has been vindicated. at a embassy in london. bidding farewell to the boom times. syria's government and its allies are intensifying their major offensive around the country's largest city aleppo, government forces have captured the village of vitien, tens of thousands of people are now fleeing aleppo and amassing on the turkish border zeina khodr reports. >> the syrian government and its allies have managed to capture another town in the aleppo country side, there was fierce resistance. we still don't know if the opposition will be able to prevent the government from achieving its objective and that is to encircle the city of aleppo, that is what the government has been trying to
do, the army command late on thursday saying that they're close to achieving this but they haven't been able to do so. the fighting is ongoing on the ground, civilians trapped in the conflict and many of them trying to find a safe place. the suffering is growing. tens of thousands of syrians are again on the move. those who have arrived to the turkish border are not being allowed in. these people are from the northern country side of aleppo. many of them arrived on foot. many of them came with nothing. there is no safe area for these people, as the government pushes ahead with a major offensive in the province. >> translator: we left our homes because of the bombings by the russians, the iranians, the syrian government, we want them to let us in. >> reporter: for now, there is no indication that the gates will be opened.
officially, turkey has an open door policy for the syrian refugees but strict restrictions have been put in place over the short past, due to the 2.5 million syrians in this country. but those trapped in the battle ground are also under pressure. villages and towns in the aleppo country side have become waste lands. there have been hundreds of russian air strikes since the government's ground assault began earlier this week. and there have been dozens of civilian casualties. the air strikes are not just targeting the front lines. neighborhoods have been hit. people have abandoned their homes, their livelihood. the ongoing government offensive has cut through the heart of rebel territory in northern syria. this has severed opposition supply license but they are still fighting back. a number of factions have created a joint command and calling on all hen in the area
to take up arms. the opposition is fighting for its survival in this corner of syria, groups described as the moderate rebels and this is one remaining road that supplies the rebel controlled eastern districts of aleppo city. for now, the cost telelowe road is still open. keeping it that way is vital to keeping 300,000 people supplied with basic necessities. it is the only way in and out. but the syrian military has said that it is just a matter of time before its troops and their allies reach this junction that would allow them to close the circle around the city and yet another opposition controlled area in syria would find itself under siege. aleppo is not the only battle ground. there are many front lines in syria and the government is on the offensive especially in the southern province of darra, government and its allies have managed to capture a town in
that province which really brings it closer to the provincial capital. the provincial capital is now underthreat and that is now under threat. many of the syrians we speak to are frustrated, they feel that darra was the birth place of their revolution and they risk losing that strong hold. a few years back, they lost the capital of the revolution, the city of homs and now they are putting up a fight to protect the heart of the revolution, the province of aleppo. and northern syria is really strategic for opposition because it lies on the turkey border, and that has been the life line of the opposition for years. >> let's go live to the u.n. now where the security council has been holding a closed session on syria. al jazeera's gabriel elizondo is live. what do we know about these
discussions on syria at the u.n? >> reporter: this was a closed door private u.n. security council meeting, it was held by staffan de mistura, as we mentioned, the u.n. envoy to syria. he was briefing the security council from geneva, the secure video link. it was private, cameras were not allowed inside. however we are hearing from diplomats who were in there telling us what the briefing was about. basically, de mistura told the security council much of what we heard publicly but worth hearing again. he said the syrian government came to the peace talks but they wanted some procedural clarifications before they would get deep into the talks. that was one of the tripping points right off the start. also de mistura informed the council that the opposition came with demands they wanted met in the talks. so those were colliding
objectives off the top that forced de mistura and his colleagues to put the talks on hold. increased fighting in syria while the talks were going on but here's the question, who is to blame for that and what are the ramifications of that? so that was what was inside the security council meeting. outside though as we know there was that syrian government military campaign in and around aleppo, backed up by russian air strikes as well. that has come under heavy criticism from the u.n. and also, from the west, united states, russia and the u.k. we really saw a deep divide on the security council on who was responsible for the violence in syria right now and what the ramifications are. listen to what a couple diplomats had to say. >> the syrian regime and its allies have made no concession, quite the contrary, on the one hand, the syrian regime claims
to discuss peace in geneva. and on the other hand, it intensifies its military offensive against opposition groups with which it is supposed to discuss. and imposes on the city of aleppo an unprecedented or the rent otorrentof fire. all of this with russia's military support, within the frail work of a military campaign that can only lead to torpedo any hope for peace. >> and the response to that criticism is that all those things needed to be addressed during those talks. so those people who have encouraged the opposition to essentially walk out of the talks, who have been refusing our continued offers for them to arrange really practical cooperation between us and them in the situation of syria.
they do not really have much of a ground to criticize us. >> so an escalation in the violence on the ground in syria gave gabriel, between the dynamics of the opposition and their backers, is there much confidence that these talks can be resumed? >> the short answer is: everybody says yes. both the russians, the french, the u.k. and u.s., all want this to go forward. they want there to be talks. but there are clearly these divisions and no one knows how to overcome them. but i can tell you what we'll be looking to next is, next thursday, february 11th, in munich, that's when the international syria support group will be meeting. that's an intrel grou imrel in t will be meeting next thursday to try to figure out how to get all
sides back to the negotiating table. i can tell you here at the u.n. based on a security council briefing and what we've heard from diplomats, everybody knows there's a divide, everybody knows what the problems are but here even at the security council more than ever, nobody knows what the solutions are. >> yeah, all eyes on munich in the coming week, thanks vex, gabriel elizondo live for us at the united nations. noamore than 200,000 peoplee estimated to have fled burundi since conflict broke out last summer. they are being attacked by government militia. >> reporter: in dita camp in tanzania, is home to more than
40,000 refugees that fled from nearby burundi. screened by officials from the u.n. refugee agencies, the u.n. says it was for refugees protection. several other people wanted to speak to us about security in the camp but were not allowed. so we contacted them by phone after we left. >> translator: the camp is currently not safe. we live in fear of burundian repertory booution. >> many of them name particular individuals who they say are agents sent by the burundian government, attempting abduction he and killings and these incidents have been reported to camp officials but many of the agents are still at large. several more refugees say a group of dozens have left the camp in november, believing they were joining an armed rebel
group in burundi, later learned it was a trap and most in that group were killed. one of the men that was among them gave a detailed account and said he escaped. >> some of our group were tied up loaded onto a truck and driven away. my friend and i jumped offer and ran away to the tanzanian border, they killed my friend but i escaped over the border. >> the burundian foreign minister told us the allegations are baseless. any of the refugees should have been allowed to speak to us and senior u.n. officials were not aware of these particular cases. >> because about if we had solid evidence -- because if we had solid evidence it would be our duty to do something about it but through the government we're not responsible for actual security and safety. >> reporter: screening the constant flow of new arrivals is not easy.
searching bags for weapons. tanzanian government said it was not aware of the allegations but doing everything it can to make the camp secure. >> any time we have sported any kinds of activity, saying yes they are a ceo crooument we have actually taken serious measures. only last wee. >> meanwhile a leaked u.n. report accuses the rwandan government, rwanda denies it, back in tanzania both the u.n. and the government say part of the problem is that they're desperately short of funding to deal with the burundian prchgz they just want a place for them to be safe. malcolm webb, al jazeera, tanzania. >> victim sitting in a parked
car in lower manhattan when a crane's boom broke and land id across several vehicles smashing their roofs. an investigation is now under way to determine what caused the accident. the founder of wikileaks, julian assange, freedom of movement should be respected and he's entitled to compensation for arbitrary detention. he sought asylum in 2012 in the ecuadorian embassy. hasn't left since. >> the sweet feeling of victory, after years of frustration and loneliness inside the ecuadorian embassy, he savored this appearance on the balcony, says he suffered arbitrary detention. >> however what right does this government or the u.s. government or the swedic
government has to deny my children their father for five and a half years? >> in geneva, a spokes imran for the u.n. panel said its decision was, in part, based on the fact that assange has never been formally charged with the rape allegations the swedish authorities wish to follow. >> no charges have been filed against him. still he is depriefd of his deps freedom. >> the british prime minister was scornful of the u.n.'s findings. >> i reject the findings of this working group. it is a group made up of lay people not lawyers and he should
not be able to escape justice, this is frankly a ridiculous finding by the working group and we reject it. >> julian assange's wikileaks revealed classified and often embarrassing details of u.s. and international diplomacy. he says he fears if he would be sent to sweden he would be handed over to the americans. julian assange is back in the news but not sure how much has changed. the british please are still adamant if julian assange steps down from the ecuadorian embassy he will be arrested straight away. perhaps the british, swedish and ecuadorian governments will try to reach some sort of diplomatic
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you're watching al jazeera. let's take you through the top stories. tens of thousands of syrians mass at turkey's border as they flee the fighting in aleppo. burundian refugees, are targeted by government agents infiltrating their camps. julian assange's detention in the ecuadorian embassy in london has ended. el nino originates in the pacific, brings drought to areas that are usually wet and rain and snow to areas that are normally dry. rob reynolds is on the story. >> the last few years have been tough for california farmer jordan parsons. >> the last four years in a
rewe've had complete crop failures. in terms of the irrigated stuff we've seen acreage drop because our wells can't hold up. >> now for the first time in a long time his fields are green thanks to the el nino global weather system that's bringing water to california. scientists measuring the snow pack in the sierra nevada mountains say it's well above normal for this kind of the year. the scripps ocean og iography institute. >> we would be very unlikely to erase our way out of the long years of drought.
>> officials say that 38 million californians need to keep conserving water. >> we can't say the drought is over yet. we're still in the rainy season don't know how much we'll end up with so basically, the message has been, people have stepped up to the plate and tried to conserve in the urban sector and we want them to keep doing so. >> farmers complain about water settle aside for the environment and at-risk species including commercially valuable salmon. >> as a farmer it's hard to be satisfied. >> officials say they're following the law. >> the law requires that the water be provided for them. >> more rain would be good news for california. but there's bad news, as well. el nino downpours could cause flash floods and mudslides. and already, some areas are seeing severe coastal erosion. heavy january storms swamped parts of southern california.
and in pacifica south of spransn francisco, high tides and battering waves, have left residences teetering offer the edge. officials have told these residents to leave their homes, until el nino pulls their homes into the sea. rob reynolds, al jazeera, california. an outbreak of lassa fever. >> one victim died here a few days ago, several have been given treatment and discharged. there are still patients suspected of carrying the disease which is spread through ingesting rat waste. they include this man. he does not want his identity revealed because of the stigma
attached to the virus. his fiancee died of lassa fever a fortnight ago. >> she started this feeling of the ploorl omalaria or whatever. it was a disaster, i was sure it was this lassa fever. i wept. >> he's not sure how rat waste contaminated the food that led to his fiancee's death and he feels he will be cured of the disease. those who experience backache and severe rashes, more than 15% of those who contract the disease die. the government partly blames the lassa outbreak on a popular food called garry, stored outside in
unhygienic conditions where rats roam freely. rats get in sacks of garry where they spread waste, and it's also gotten from inhaling rat waste. >> the garry were standard and they were sun-dried. >> the government says it's doing everything it can to stop the virus but having difficulty getting ribrovin, the antiviral drug that stops it. >> all our response teams, contact, tracing, diagnosis, case management. i did not think we had enough public health laboratories, we might need assistance. >> reporter: those suspected of carrying the disease are hoping the outbreak will be over soon but the government says good sanitation hygiene and fume gating rat infested locations
will come in soon. yvonne ndege, al jazeera, lagos. >> many companies are still opting for cheaper gas guzzling models. fez jamil reports. >> here the focus is on the high-earned and the affordable. not on low emissions or hybrid vehicles. in india it's a growing car market especially among the middle class where price is paramount. some vehicles here sell for less than $5,000. india's capital is trying to get a control over emissions to bring down pollution and even eventually begin the winding down of sales of diesel vehicles but the rest of the country is not. adding low emission technology or hybrid models would drive up cost. car makers are not keen to make
their products more expensive. here at the expo,ful of the vehicles are suv or suv style. not the most environmentally friendly. india is the fifth largest car market in the world and growing meaning at present, the focus will be on that growth, and not what's best for the environment. >> the global art market is worth an estimated $70 billion. after the economic crisis, few sectors bounce back quicker but industry experts are now warning the art bubble may be about to burst. al jazeera's neave barker reports from london. >> it's auction day at christies, a sale reserved for the super-rich. works by picasso, shagal, daly , who ensure prices remain high. >> this is estimated, seven to
10 million pounds. >> all by a mystery buyer, breaking records. >> 160 million. it's yours, sold. >> at this high end, art is an asset to be traded. but experts warn, the market may be ready for a slump. researchers at the university of luxembourg have been analyzing the results of millions of sales over 30 years. their findings show that art sales fluctuate like other commodities, gold and real estate, now we're heading for a bibig dip. >> a lot of experts have been expecting the market to cool down. i think we're seeing it this year, i think we saw its top in may of last year and since then we have seen a bit of a cooling. will it collapse? i don't think so. will it hit a downward trajectory? i think we're seeing that this year.
>> christies sold a billion and a half in art last year, slow down in the chinese economy are worrying the world's wealthy. but it's the smaller commercial galleries gathered here at the london art fair that are feeling the squeeze. the problem for these galleries is now that there's too much art and not enough buyers willing to hedge their bet on new or lesser known talent. forcing many galleries to reduce their prices and some to close their doors altogether. >> it's really difficult because obviously in london price are so enormous. it's hard for small galleries to maintain a central london presence these days and that's the biggest threat to young galleries, because it's really sad, there is no way they can sustain their presence and court younger ar festivities they can't afford that overhead. >> art and money have
historically gone hand in hand but as the wealthy tighten their purse strings the entire art market could suffer. neave barker, al jazeera, london. >> for more, the address is aljazeera.com. you'll find comment, analysis and video on demand, as well. incredible science in the lab usually means this. it can be controversial, it can also be extremely beneficial. >> just like that, i'm genetically modified the mosquitos that carry two deadly diseases, malaria and dengue fever. both show promise they can work