>> around the country, we've seep a fierce winter. a lot of times there's a lull in the fighting season. the taliban have increased not only attacks on government targets, on journalists but also fighting around the country. >> jennifer, pakistan, afghanistan, china, the u.s. meeting to try to revive the peace talks. do we have any idea what the taliban intention is in actually staging these attacks now days before these talks? >> we don't, barbara. this is the third round of talks that we've seen in the last two
months or so. the taliban have yet to come to the tail. we're not sure if the spate of attacks are meant to end the peace attacks. the taliban has been opposed to the peace prospects or they are trying to build a better bargaining position if and when they come to the peace table. it has unnerved afghan security. it has to get security under control if anything is to make any progress here, so the afghan government is determined to find a way to somehow come to some sort of agreement with the taliban, as many afghans are concerned with that approach saying how cash the government negotiate with the group attacking so fiercely in the capital and around afghanistan. >> jennifer glasse with the latest from kabul, jennifer, thank you.
it's been confirmed that a key syrian opposition figure, the commander will be attending talks in geneva in ending the bloody civil war in syria. it comes as the high negotiation committee arrives for first session of the talks. it's been given a positive response. sieges on towns and cities could actually be addressed. the u.n. envoy has met both sides for preliminary discussions. the humanitarian crisis in syria meanwhile continues. more than 3,000 refugees crossed into turkey in the past three days, fleeing advances by pro-government forces backed by russian airstrikes.
>> in the last few minutes, i can tell you that the meeting that got underway between the special envoy and the delegation from the opposition. yes, they met 24 hours ago, but not here in the formal setting of the u.s. headquarters, and this is the first formal meeting here between the opposition and the special envoy. mohammad alush is not in that meeting today. we understand it's possible depending on formalities in the airport and length of the meeting that he will come here to the j headquarters and join that delegation, but whether he joins that meeting or not, his actual presence here is important, because he is a senior figure in one of the armed groups. he is supposed to be and has been named to be the chief negotiator of these talks. he plays a similar role to the
syrian ambassador, basharral jaffrey. they have their lead negotiator here to lead the negotiating team. within the object significance are doubts about this process. have they got the things they are supposed to get. the most worried about that are the armed groups. as one of the key leaders, i think his presence is very important. >> it's been so complicated getting people to geneva. of this meeting going under way within the opposition, would you say there is more cause for optimism now than perhaps a few days ago. >> i think these are moving
forward and they wanted momentum, get everyone here and try to keep them here before you start dealing with the tough stuff. there is still tension in that opposition team about whether to stay or whether to go. they were told by their allies that when they got here, they would at least be some sort of measures to alleviate the human suffering on the ground, maybe ceasefires, maybe a stop of the bombardment, or maybe and i think this is the easiest thing for the u.n. to try and persuade the russians to persuade the syrians to get them, which is prisoner releases. none has happened at this stage. even the meeting we have now, the u.n. telling me well, this is the equivalent to the meeting we had with the government, it's the start of the process, the opposition, saying no, we're having another meeting with the u.n. to explain our concerns and why we're not ready to negotiate yet. >> james bays with the latest oh from geneva, thank you. >> let's go to yemen now where al-qaeda fighters say they've
reclaimed a town. the group had controlled the area until 2012. according to tribal chiefs, most fighters who seeds the town come from surrounding areas. fighting has expanded in the civil war exploiting a security vacuum in the south. in sanna, dozens of houthi rebels and supporters of the former president al saleh have been killed in the east of the stiff. it's after an attack by the popular resistance, backed by the national them knee army. hundreds of politicians have been sworn into parliaments in myanmar, heralding in a new era of politics. they won election ins november, ending more than 50 years of military rule. as rob mcbright reports, the military will still have a significant influence. >> members of parliament from myanmar's nld finally take
power, but it is a power shared. after half a century in control, the military will still retain a firm hold. it can block constitutional change. analysts say that will make it difficult for the n.l.d. to govern. the government cannot govern efforts. >> the military themselves were not saying too much. >> is it going to be a good government, workable government? hello? during the years of military rule, nld supporter was constantly in and out of detention. reconciliation will take effort. >> it is a very sensitive time. negotiations need to take place to built up trust.
this is a country in need of effective government. >> often referred to as democracy on a leash, there's no doubting whose hand is on it, the hope for the n.l.d. is that the military feel comfortable enough in this delicate relationship that they don't exercise their pours. >> the list of priorities for the new m.p.'s is long, getting a analyses fire after years of conflict. ending the marginalization of the citizens and the rohingya. he used to have a roadside store selling fuels from bottles. now he has a filling station. >> we hardly saw a car or motor bike but now every house has at least one motor bike. >> among the priorities, the
business of a new president. the leader is blocked by a constitutional clause that would need to be changed with the agreement of the military. in this new atmosphere of change, even that seems possible. still more to come here, including we'll be looking at whether genetically modified mosquitoes are the answer to slowing the spread of the zika virus. the scam which has defrauded investors of $7.6 billion in china.
welcome back. here's a reminder of the top stories on al jazeera. at least 20 people have been killed and many others injuries by a suicide bomber and you said a police building the afghan capital kabul. it's been confirmed a key syrian opposition figure, a commander will be attending talks in geneva for ending the civil war. hundreds of pro democracy politicians have been sworn into the parliament in myanmar heralding in a new era in politics for the country. voting will get underway later in the u.s. state of iowa as the republican and democratic parties choose their candidates for the 2016 presidential election. after months of campaigning in which has at times been heated and angry, it will be the first real test of how the candidates are viewed by the general public. al jazeera's alan fisher is in
des moines and iowa and sent us this update. >> this is where presidential campaigns come to die. >> here we will get the first real test of public opinion, the first votes, the first indication of where america's two main parties are headed. this has been a strange campaign. the conventional wisdom is this would end up a contest between hillary clinton and jeb bush opinion one event changed the dynamic and the face of american politics.
>> donald trump getting into the race, i mean, i think if you look back on this election, it was going to be a very different kind of conversation, very different discussion had donald trump not decided to run. >> trump is the most talked about, most covered candidate and provided the most incendiary moment of the campaign. >> donald j. trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of muslims entering the united states. >> the republican field has been packed outsiders like trump senator ted cruz and ben carson challenging establishment figures like bush, and govern chris christie among others. that's exposed divisions in the party on key issues like taxation, immigration and the best way to handle foreign policy. on the side of the democrats, the field narrowed to three with hillary clinton, and another
outsider, self acknowledged socialist vermont senator bernie sanders. he wants to see university health care, free college education and higher taxes to pay for it all. he's appealing to the political left of his party in sharp contrast inside both parties are that people are fed up with politics as usual. >> we see that both parties are moving to ideological extremes. it's happening more advicably on the republican side and republicans dislike their party leadership. >> how could could the caucus turnout effect the elections today? >> when we hear about turnout,
whether those numbers end up high or low, that will tell us whether a lot of outside voters, people who don't normally vote are coming out and that's probably good news for can't dates like donald trump and bernie sanders. sanders has a lot of young voters without a long history of voters, trump, because he has voters who have not been part of the republican establishment, have not been voting every year, and that would suggest high turnout that these outside candidates are doing well. if turnout is low, that would suggest good news for hillary clinton and ted cruz. we had a situation where it was possibly there was going to be a blizzard in the middle of all of this today. now that blizzard is going to happen after the caucuses end, so that won't hinder turnout. we'll be looking closely to the numbers. >> what's been really interesting is that this race to get to the point where we are
now, we really see how non-establishment candidates have been doing pretty well, but even hillary clinton hasn't done as well as some were predicting, haven't done as well. how can you explain that? >> i'm standing a few doors away in newton and this is the second time hillary clinton has come to iowa. she was predicted to do very well here. each time barack obama took it from here and now she's facing a run for her money from bernie sanders, vermont senator. he is drawing in youthful voters. what we keep hearing is that people are discontent, not happy with the way that washington is running and that is why they are looking to these outside candidates. >> certainly will be very interesting to see the results of the iowa caucus. john, thank you. the word health organization
is meeting to decide whether the zika virus outbreak should be declared a global emergency. the u.n. health agency warned the mosquito borne virus is spreading fast across the americas. there is a search to control the disease. with vaccines several years away, there is a no approach, a company researching to control the mosquito that carries the virus. >> this is the mosquito that spreads dengue fever, yellow fever and now the zika virus. how to control and eradicate an insect which numbers in the billions and can reproduce prolifically. >> one single female can produce
6 million offspring, all able to spread the disease. the solution is to breed in a mortality gene that prevents the offspring reaching adulthood. >> at this lab, genetic biologists use an antidote and allow them to create millions of the transgenic male mosquitoes. the males don't bite or spread disease. once released into the wild, genetically modified males can decimate the mosquito population. >> as we release our males, the females can't tell the difference between our males and a wild one. if given the choice, it will be a 50-50 straight bet. if she mates with ours, then the offspring will die. it's simply a numbers game. we need to put more males out there so more of the females mate with ours, because every time a female mates with one of ours, she's not going to have viable offspring, so you bring the population down. in practice, that means in a town, within six months, you can
reduce the mosquito population by over 90% and that's in every case that we've done it. >> between april and november last year, in partnership with the authorities in the brazilian city, the company released 25 million of the modified males. it achieved an 82% drop in the number of wild mosquito larvae. the transgenic males are identified through a color marker which is passed on to their larvae offspring, rate is a simple matter of simple matter of seeing how many of the larvae show up with a red color. the company already has a factory in brazil producing millions of the transgenic mosquitoes every week and building an even bigger facility to produce tens of millions of mosquitoes a week in anticipation of regulatory approval. the sites of fumigation vehicles blanketing neighborhoods with insecticide might reassure the human population but it has
short lived effect on the mosquito population. introducing a self destruct gene appears to be a far more effective tool and u.s. regulators looking at the program in florida. the government in southern africa declared a national emergency to combat the crippling effects of drought. the el niño weather pattern is having a major impact on the smolt country. we report now from that district. >> she packs her empty corn bags. a continuing drought means her crops failed and she's run out of food. it is going to be very difficult to live in this situation, because i live on farming. i don't know what i'm going to feed my children. >> her village in the district release on the good it grows. despite months of no rain, her plant of maze hoping for a
successful harvest is unlikely. these plants by now should have been five times their height. >> the world food program says the drought will hit 80% of the population the hardest. most people in these areas depend on sub 16ance farming. half of the population survives on a dollars a day. >> if we do not react now, we have people who have lost their assets, their cows, their sheep, they are selling whatever little assets they have. it means that they will fall into a deeper poverty. >> the w.f.p. says more than a third population will need food assistance, the government
pledged $10 million for drought relief, but the agency responsible for disaster management says it needs three times that amount. it's waiting for the money. >> we are thinking about delays. well, it goes without saying, that we are a bit behind. >> this water is at its lowest levels in a decade. it's part of the highlands water project which exports water to africa, brianing in much needed income. any rain now would be too late. as winter approaches, communities worry about the road ahead. chinese people arrested 21 -- chinese police arrested 21 people for an investment scheme that defrauded people of
$7.6 billion. peer to peer money lending company are accused of stealing from about 900,000 people. according to state media, the suspects scammed people on line using funds from new investors to pay old bets. they concealed the evidence by burying the account books. we have more now from beijing. >> this is one of the largest financial scams in china. the company ran an on line financing platform, connecting borrows with lenders without having to go through a traditional institution such as a because, known as peer to peer lending. it managed to lure very many customers by offering extremely high returns on investment products. in just 1.5 years alone, it managed to persuade some 900,000 investors to part with some $7.6 billion. this ising to a state media
report. chinese internet financing has grown more popular as consumers find how easy little to borrow money and make money just using their mobile phones and laptop. it's stimed there are some 2,000 on line lenders in china. chinese officials have promised to crack down on the pier to peer lending industry, but as this case shows, it is extremely difficult to regulate and supervise this fast growing internet based financing activity. so south korea now where pilots are taking flight with many leaving the country's biggest airline for better pay in china and elsewhere. those left are threatening to go on strike. >> the korean training center, new pilots are being trained.
>> they are practicing an emergency landing. it's a prestigious job with the nation's flag carrier. why are so many colleagues leaving the company and country? >> the first reason is the korean airline system does not provide hope for the pilots. there is a huge gap in salary compared to neighboring countries, especially china. >> last year, 122 pilots left the company, more than seven times the number for the year before. a third went to join the aviation boom in china for double or triple the pay. trade union leaders here demand a 37% pay rise. korean pilots say they already earn about $116,000 a year. >> the increase of about 1.9% this year, so the gap is too big for us to tell with them, so right now the numbers they are asking for is quite unacceptable.
>> union leaders say the flood of departures is creating a safety issues. recruiting from overseas is going up. the union say many don't have the necessary experience. >> the union concerns about safety are called unfounded, that they have the ability to train up new pilots and recruit experienced ones to fill the gap. >> there is as geographical issue. south korea's relatively small size mean pilots on domestic routes are in command of many more individual flights. >> in that case, the labor intensity and stress could be doubled up for the more frequent flight pilots. when we are investigating by government, they don't count that kind of frequency effect. >> whether it be for more money,
less stress or both a growing number of pilots are opting for a one way ticket, many bound for china. al jazeera, seoul. you can find much more on that story and everything else we have been covering here on al jazeera at our website. the address is on our screen right now, aljazeera.com. the american people getting their first official say in this year's presidential election. the world health organization holding an emergency session to discuss the next steps in fighting the zika virus. a deadly series of attacks in damascus overshadowing talks to end the conflict in syria. ladies and gentlemen, welcome to diverse t.v. >> one hollywood awards show dial up the diversity.