a warning from the u.n. human rights chief on the starvation of syrian civilians as negotiations continue on talks in geneva. i'm jane dutton in doha with the news on al jazeera. also coming up the new faces of politics in myanmar. prime ministers take their seats after decades of military rule. sign of the times on the streets of belgium as it perhaps for a security summit after the awake of the paris attacks. why pilots in south korea are
taking off in big numbers to work for other airlines. the u.n. has warned that starvation of syrian civilians is a war crime and a potential crime against humanity. as the talks continue in geneva, a meeting with the u.n. special envoy staffan de mistura was very positive. the group has threatened to walk away from indirect talks with the government unless humanitarian concerns were addressed first. they're due to meet again in a few hours. let's get the latest from our correspondent in geneva. what can we expect today? >> reporter: pleat try and breakdown the latest. right now there are meetings going on in the hotel behind us, members of the opposition trying to figure out how to go forward today.
there will be a meeting to be held later today with staffan de mistura and members of the opposition, or the opposition said just because they're going to the meet with him does not mean that they are actually participating in these proximity talks or negotiations, whichever you want to call them. also in the next couple of hours there's expected to be a meeting between the syrian regimes delegation and staffan de mistura held at the u.n. here. i want to get more perspective about what's going on exactly with the opposition. their viewpoint right now, how they're planning to go forward, so i have a guest who is with the negotiating committee here. i want to ask you first how is it going this morning so far and how do you picture that you will proceed throughout the day? >> i would like to talk about what happened yesterday. we had a very bloody attack on
the neighborhood in damascus, away from damascus. this is an area fully controlled by the regime. we know that it is very difficult to penetrate this area. i.s.i.s. has claimed responsibility for this attack. we don't know where the truth lies exactly, but we know that if civilians have been hit, this is something we condemn categorically because we are the party that is suffering enough from attacks on civilians and we are definitely not the terrorist party mere. there are-- here. there are two terrorist practices by two players, that is the regime andisise. the regime has hit yesterday with over 50 barrel bombs, which is already under siege. with these barrel bombs it can be destroy the city entirely with over three times. that's the loads that it has received yesterday. we have come here to get these
kinds of attacks stopped. that is when we can enter negotiations. this is exactly what happened yesterday tells you that the humanitarian request, the implementation of humanitarian law, international humanitarian law, is an absolute necessity, it is not up for negotiations and we hope this can be stopped very quickly. >> reporter: are you getting any sense thus far from the u.n. that there will be consideration of a humanitarian pause in some sense? this is a precondition that has been made by your side, you want to see prisoners released, seizures and bombings stop, are you getting any indication that the regime is considering doing any of that? >> we are hoping that the u.n., staffan de mistura, as well as the countries that can exert pressure, and this is russia before anyone else, can get these attacks to stop.
this is not a halt, this is not just suspending. this is implementing what is required under international humanitarian law. it is only that that we want. these are not preconditions. pleas call them implementation of international humanitarian law. that is when the negotiating team will be ready to go into any kind of negotiations, whether they are proximity talks or direct talks >. >> reporter: is there still a plan to meet with mr staffan de mistura today and if that happens what do you think will be on the agenda? >> there is a meeting planned this afternoon with him and it will exclusively focus on how we can get the implementation of the international humanitarian law regarding air bombings by russia and the regime, regarding the prisoners, detainees, as well as the besieged areas, of course, which are suffering and
need urgent, very urgent relief. >> reporter: thank you very much for joining us. as you can see, jane, it is a complicated situation still here. there are meetings that are set for today. a lot of conditions that the opposition says still need to be met before they can enter into these talks, into these negotiations with the u.n. and really this is going to be the kind of thing that we're just going to have to see hour by hour how the day develops and if the opposition here feels that they're getting any closer to getting their demands met so they can actually participate in these talks thank you for that. your guest focusing understandably those in syria. i.s.i.l. is claiming responsibility for three bomb attacks which killed at least 60 people in the capital. it happened at a shrine in a mainly shia suburb. more from our correspondent who is in on the turkey side of the
border. talk us through the attacks and what you make of the targets. >> reporter: well, this was a bombing, what we understand that there was a car bomb and then two suicide bombers that detonated their explosives when rescuers and people gathered at the scene. dozens of people were killed. this is being described as one of the worst attacks in the capital of damascus and the target of the attack was a shia area. this is a shia district, one of the holiest shrines is located there. we do understand among the casualties were shia fighters. we understand that we know that shia fighters are fighting alongside the syrian government. this is one of the areas where they have a heavy presence and it is also heavily guarded. so this is a security breach and really a penetration on the part of i.s.i.l. in one way or the other, this is i.s.i.l.'s policy trying to increase sectarian tensions
because the more there is political instability the more this group can survive. it is not clear if they purposefully carried this out to be at with geneva, but the main issue is for the warring sides to stop fighting each other and fight i.s.i.l. instead all important to this is the talks with the y.p.g. a senior official has met the y.p.g. in kabani. what do you know about that meeting? >> reporter: we understand a high delegation is in north-eastern syria. among them obama special adviser as well as british and french
officials. they're holding talks with the troops on the ground. we understand that the backbone of the alliance. they haven't met the delegation but the delegation is holding talks with other groups. they're attaching great importance to that visit because it is a message because the y.p.g. was excluded from talks under pressure from turkey because turkey consider them terrorists. at the end of the day these people in north-eastern syria are the only partners in the coalition in the fight against i.s.i.l. they are attaching a lot of importance to these meetings and really a message from the u.s. that, yes we still regard you as our allies. also a message really to russia because russia and the united states really have been vying over influence, over the kurds in recent weeks thank you for that. the u.n. high commissioner for human rights is welcoming talks
to end syria's war but it should not include an amnesty on possible war crimes >> where allegations reach the threshold of war crimes and crimes against humanity, that amnesty is not permissible. clearly, when looking most recently at the forced tar invitation of the people of madaya, there are other besieged towns and cities that this is not just a war crime but a crime against humanity if proven to yemen where there have been fierce clashes. dozens of houthi fighters and supporters of the former president have been killed in the east of the city.
the saudi-led coalition in yemen says it will investigate civilian deaths during air strikes against houthi rebels. the announcement comes days after saudi arabia's ambassador to the u.n. blames houthi rebels. an 18-year-old palestinian man has been shot dead in the west bank. the death comes after a palestinian police officer was killed after he opened fire on israeli soldiers at a check point on sunday. he wounded three israelis aduring the attack in the occupied west bank near a settlement. 167 palestinians have been killed since october. hundreds of opposition politicians have been sworn into parliament in myanmar heralding in a knew era in politics.
50 years of military rule. the official start of the group will be in april. >> reporter: in taking up their seats in parliament today the n.l.d. are effectively picking up where they left off back in 1990. then as now they won a landslide victory but the decision was annulled by the military that led to more than two decades of military-backed government. the military is still very much in control here. has automatically a quarter of the seats in parliament. it has a control over important ministries. it also put a clause in the constitution that disallows aung san suu kyi from becoming president, but as mps take up their seats here, given her strength, her control of the n.l.d., it seems that her quest to become president finally it seems an unstoppable force much more to come, including
opposition again who have threatened to leave unless the government stops attacking civilians. dozens of houthi fighters and supporters of the former president have been killed in the capital. hundreds of opposition politicians have been sworn into parliament in myanmar. aung san suu kyi's n.l.d. won elections in november ending more than 50 years of military rule. french and belgium leaders are due to hold an anti terrorism summit in brussels to discuss sharing intelligence and improving security measures, but there are concerns the meeting won't address underlying social causes. >> reporter: on the surface life in brussels is deceptively normal. this popular market draws to youists and locals as it has
always been. but military patrols are never far way. a reminder of the manhunt for the suspects of the paris attacks. an attack is still possible and problem. for many-- pro about aple. >> i don't really think a lot of people are stopping on doing their daily business >> reporter: when french and belgium politicians meet on monday it is to find shared solution to the threat of violence. there have been major flaws in policing that countries are eager to close. all but two of the known man of the attacks were from belgium or france. the police are still looking for these two men. they managed to escape paris passing through check point because he hadn't yet been identified as a suspect.
security experts are calling for better international cooperation. >> we have to share with the other countries. that is necessary. that has to be established, set up in order to get all the information about the suspected people. that has not been done yet. >> reporter: so far france and belgium have focused mainly on ramping up security. france has carried out thousands of raids but so far only four terrorism related investigations have been opened. for weeks the brussels district of moleembek was the center of security issues. today locals are eager to improve the areas's reputation but better security alone won't solve the deeper social
problems. >> translation: more security makes people feel safer but threats don't disappear like this. we have to provide work and support and we have to change things for the young. >> reporter: the paris attacks were among the deadliest in europe since the second world war. now many people welcome greater security but while the lure of radical armed groups remains, so too does the risk of more violence dozens of people have been killed in suspected boko haram attacks in north-eastern nigeria. gunmen opened fire on civilians and set fire to homes in a town. some of the victims were children. boko haram has been stepping up attacks on the villages as it loses territory to the nigerian military. u.s. presidential candidates have been winding-up their campaigns in the state of iowa.
voters will take part in meetings to choose their party's nominee for election in november. the results in iowa are an early indicator of voting patterns. the demographic is changing in iowa. >> reporter: there are now just hours until the iowa caucus and the message from both republican as well as democratic presidential candidates is one thing, and that is voter turn out, that they all say will be in the results. it is critical given there is the threat of snow. hillary clinton and bernie sanders urging their supporters to come out. donald trump is taunting iowa you supporters saying that they should not be afraid of snow and they need to come out to show their support. another group, a key demographic changing the outcome of this potentially in iowa is the growing demographic of hispanic
voters. they are mobilizing saying they are determined to put a stamp on the outcome of the iowa caucus. >> if you're a candidate and you want to talk to the latino community, if you're outside saying you're going to deport their family members, they will not open the door. >> reporter: they came out strong in the u.s. election for obama in 2008 and 2012 and they are determined to do the same in this one but also the iowa caucus. there is 200,000 turn out that is expected. the goal of latinos in iowa is to make a showing of approximately 10,000. that would put them at about 5% of the voter turn out here and they hope that that will be enough to elevate the issues they care about in a changing demographic and political u.s. landscape the number of people infected by the zika virus in el
salvador has reached 6,000. the government is urging women to getting pregnant until 2018. the world health organisation says up to four million people could be infected by the virus. >> reporter: soon to be mothers in a hospital in el salvador all worrying about the same thing, the zika virus. it is spreading fast here, transmitted by mosquitos. scientists think if the mother is infected it could cause brain damage to the unborn child. the link is yet to be proved, but el salvador's government has already taken the extraordinary step of warning women not to get pregnant for at least the next year. that warning came too late for this woman, sumping from the fever and rash that comes with zika. since we filmed her, she has given birth to a healthy boy, but she says the worry was constant. >> translation: i wouldn't have got pregnant. i would really have waited for
the outbreak to have finished. >> reporter: the minister of health says this is the tip of the iceberg. authorities only recently detected the virus here but they're already getting ready for the brain-dajd children they think could be born in around seven months time. >> translation: we started to talk about this to get the resources, looking at other countries who have had the problem. >> reporter: the emphasis is on prevention, but while contraception is widely used, one option for women in this count country-- one option they don't have is terminating the pregnancy. there is no tolerance abortion laws need to be discussed in light of the zika threat. >> translation: it is a debate we should take seriously without the subjectivity that religious
myths that the church have generate in our country. it can affect the whole family and damage for the society >> reporter: for now the government is concentrating on the route cause, the mosquitos carrying the virus. they're fumigating all over the capital but there is already 6,000 suspected cases of the zika virus in el salvador. the biggest worry is not for how, but what the future may break-inning south korea's pilots are taking flight. many are living the country's biggest airline for better pay in china and elsewhere. >> reporter: at korean air they're training new pilots and honing the skills of existing one. inside a replica this crew practices an emergency landing. it is a prestigious job, so why
are so many colleagues leaving the company and the country? >> translation: the first reason is the system does not provide hope for the pilots. the second reason is that there is a huge gap in salary compared to that of neighboring countries, especially china. >> reporter: last year 122 pilots left the country, more than seven times the number for the year before. a third of them joined the aviation boom in china for double or triple the pay. they're demanding a 37% pay rise here. pilots already earned around $116,000 a year. >> the increase of about 1.9% this year. so the gap is too big for us to talk with them. right now the numbers they're asking for is unacceptable >> reporter: union leaders say the flood of departures is creating a safety issue.
the proportion of pilots recruited overseas is going up. the union say many of them don't have the necessary experience. korean air say the union's concerns about safety is unfounded. they have the ability to train up and fill the gap. they admit the current swaying is far from ideal. south korea's relative small saz pilots on domestic routes while flying the same number of hours are in command of many more individual flights. >> in that case the stress could be doubled up for the more freak flight pilots. when we are investigating by government, they don't have that frequency effect. >> reporter: whether it be for more money, less stress or both, a growing number of pilots are opting for a one-way ticket,
many of them bound for china the thai government have begun drilling thousands of new wells to combat the effects of drought. wayne hay has been in the country's north-east. >> reporter: in parts of thailand water has become a precious command ee. the government ordered the drilling of around 6,000 new wells to try to help people through the dry season. at the moment the water is for domestic use only. it is being rationed and sent to homes in rural areas where people are growing increasingly frustrated by the drought. >> translation: it affects everyone around here. we rely on rain for living and farming. i don't understand why we don't have enough water. >> reporter: without a lot of irrigation it's too dry here to grow r ice more than once a year, so farmers plant
alternative crops in the dry season, but now they've been told not to use any water on their fields. rare clouds and light rain offer some hope but no change for this woman who normally grows soi soya beans at this time of year >> translation: we can't use water now. ponds around here are too far from my area >> reporter: there are creative sources of food and if income left in the fields, but thailand's economy is struggling and on the back of a slump in r ice exports last year, it is a worrying time. this is not just than environmental issue but part of the political situation because governments come and go so quickly, real national issues like developing a sustainable water management plan are neglected. the irrigation department says the problem is a lack of water
storage. >> translation: our water the management plan is based on scientific and academic research and results. we don't have enough damns or reservoirs to keep the rainfall >> reporter: others disagree and say glovts don't work close enough with farmers. some also blame a lack of seasonal planning >> they don't use a forecast for the next three or four years what will happen. so there is a risk management. if you don't do risk management you will have the problem like this. >> reporter: the risk now is that the dry season may extend beyond may and begin to effect planting of the next rks ice-- r ice crop which is due to begin in june the traditional mass migration of travellers heading home for luna new year's celebration has begun in china. people have begun heading home
to mark the occasion. passenger volumes are expected to reach almost three billion. the annual mass migration will last until march the third. that story and so much more can be found by logging on to our website at aljazeera.com new york new york 8.4 million people call the city home. >> it's snowing hard in central park and 20 in midtown and snowfall one to two feet and saying we could have snow hour. >> the coldest winter in 81 years and coincides with a grim reality.