russia confirms it is sending military supplies to president assad's forces in syria. the u.s. warns of the risk of a confrontation. ♪ hello there, i'm felicity barr. also coming up, authorities struggle to retain control of europe's refugee crisis continues to worsen. one hundred thousand people forced from their homes in japan. and scientists reveal they
have found the remains of a new species of human in south africa. ♪ hello. it has been the subject of intense diplomatic speculation for weeks, but now russia has confirmed it is flying military equipment to syria. the u.s. is stepping up pressure on greece and bulgaria not to allow the flights to fly through their air space. russian military aircraft have been flying into an airfield near the syrian port city. around 100 russian soldiers have been spotted there. several russian ships have also been unloading equipment at its naval base which is 100 kilometers south. russia has backed the syrian president throughout the
country's four and a half year civil war. some in the west believe the russian military buildup is meant to force president assad to be part of any political agreement. >> reporter: russia's foreign minister sergei lavrov admits russian aircrafts are delivering military supplies and humanitarian aid, but denies any military build up. >> translator: we have helped and will continue aiding the syrian government in equipping the syrian army with all that is necessary to prevent a repetition in syria of the libyan scenario, and other vennes that have occurred in this reagain, because of an obsession with some of our western partners with ideas of
changing unwanted regimes. >> reporter: officials say rur russia is sending ships, and naval material to syria. russia is also sending more naval vessels to the mediterranean. russia has maintained a military presence here since the 1970s, and after the collapse of the soviet union, it was eager not to lose that spot. meanwhile in eastern syria, fighters from the islamic state of iraq and the levant say they are making gains. there's video from isil shows the group overrunning a small base. it also took control of military positions, including a rocket regiment close to the airport. isil fought government forces in at least three neighborhoods. most of the city is under isil's command, but government forces
still control several areas, but they are struggling on multiple fronts. the government relies heavily on shia militias, and depends on russia for military and political survival. let's take you now to moscow and speak to peter sharpe a big diplomatic issue, and we're hearing that ukraine has closed its air space to some russia planes. >> reporter: that's might, the foreign ministry was talking this morning of the west's strange hysteria with russia's presence in syria. the foreign minister points out that this is not new. they have been supplying weapons and equipment, jets, air defense systems to syria, well, really, for 60 years, and that that has continued and there has been an unequivocal statement from the
kremlin that the presence is to train, and they are not there to carry out military activities, but the news that they are flying in weapons and humanitarian aid together has resulted in air space being closed down by their neighborhoods. bulgaria has closed its air space, ukraine followed suit. the obvious route would be through turkey, but the russians are reluctant to use turkey. they -- one of their planes was grounded there in 2012, and radar equipment for the syrians was taken off of it, so they don't want to go there, but at the last minute, we understand from the russian console late in teheran, that iran has now opened its air space, giving it that final stretch on to -- into syria. >> peter sharpe with the latest from moscow. thanks, peter. ♪
shocking new footage has emerged showing macedonian police using batons to hit refugees gathering at the border with greece. and hundreds continue to stream into hungary. jonah hull has the latest. >> reporter: it is a journey made much harder in the rain. they have taken enormous risks to get to greece, travelled the entire length of the country, including many kilometers on foot to the macedonian border, only to be confronted with this. violence from the macedonian police. there is little comfort ahead. the journey through hungary on the road to austria is equally
forlorn, and austria has been forced 20 suspend onward rail services. >> translator: from serbia to hungary to budapest, people have to face the police. they hold you for three days. everyone is going through the forest, getting lost, sleeping on the floor. >> reporter: human rights watch saying the treatment is barbaric. but these people will leave hungary as soon as they can. most heading to germany. there angela merkel continues to hold the door wide open. >> translator: it's worth making an effort for every child. there is so much enthusiasm among them and so much readiness to learn. we want to give them a good future.
>> reporter: the pressure on society will be enormous. germany has already registered 450,000 migrants this year, 105,000 in august alone. not all want to stay in germany. on wednesday denmark briefly suspended train services from germany carrying hundreds of people towards sweden. europe's refugee crisis is spreading northwards and it's getting bigger. >> for my son and my wife and my life. because in syria, don't have life. >> reporter: the latest e.u. plan to share out 160,000 refugees between states would be the block's biggest formal gesture yet. but with more than 3,000 arriving on the beaches of greece each and every day, it's nowhere near enough. jonah hull, al jazeera.
let's bring you some live pictures now of a group of very wet refugees, as you can see. they are actually following a railway track on the hungarian, serbia border. conditions turned very wet overnight. but these refugees still desperate to make their way through -- across that border, heading, of course, towards european union countries. that's a live picture there from the hungarian serbian border. but let's take you now to hoda abdel hamid. she is in the greek border town south of the macedonian border. and hoda we were seeing earlier shocking footage of police using batons to control the refugees. >> reporter: yes, indeed. that actually happened this morning. there was a large group of refugees probably between a
thousand and 1,500, it was pouring rain, like ask happening now. they were very eager to get into macedonia, the macedonia border police were stopping them. so there has been a little bit of scuffle as they were pressing and the police were pressing them back. this is not the first time the macedonian border police used such tactics. it has been going on ever since the refugee crisis spilled on to this border. because the border is about 50 meters behind me, and if you see there is a whole continuous flow since about half an hour ago, a continuous flow of refugees arriving now by bus, because greece has changed their regulations over the past few weeks, so they are allowed to take buses, and i can see a bus, again, arriving in the background. from what we understand, most of the islands the congestion in
the past week has now gone away. so you do have up to potentially 30,000 refugees on the move here in greece. it takes a while from the minute they leave the island to the minute they reach this border, because sometimes the ferry ride does take about 12 hours. they stop in athens and have a bit of a rest, because at that point they can check into a hotel, and then by bus, they reach this border, crossing, which is not really a border crossing, what you have is a walk along the train tracks here and then the macedonians lead them in by groups of 50, where they have to then walk to the train station across the border, and then there they have to get another registration paper. >> all right. hoda abdel hamid thank you. floods in eastern japan are
affecting up to 800,000 people. at least 100,000 have been forced from their homes. the flooding has lead to a leak of radioactive water from the fukushima nuclear plant. >> reporter: another natural disaster strikes north of tokyo. this time it was an in-land sea of water which hit the area just after lunchtime, taking everything in its wake. the muddy wall of water uprooted trees and shook houses from their foundations. in this city, rescuers couldn't keep up with the desperate pleas for help. only a lucky few were moved to safety. the national broadcaster urged people in cars and houses not to give up hope, but do whatever they could to survive. >> translator: we have had heavy rain in the past, but i have not seen this much water in decades.
>> reporter: the river broke its banks after a second day of unusually heavy rain. some areas in the re -- recorded double the usual september rain in just 48 hours. the typhoon has now moved off of the coast, but the rain lingers across the affected area. >> translator: these heavy rains are unprecedented. this is an abnormal situation and there is imminent serious danger. serious disasters such as landslides and flooding have occurred and are still happening. >> reporter: the prime minister has urged local governments to be as ready as possible for the disaster. >> translator: the heavy rains are unprecedented and likely to continue. the government will prioritize people's lives and take every possible disaster measure. >> reporter: more than 800,000 people have been urged to
evacuate their homes, while the rain has eased its for casted to continue into tomorrow. authorities are now waiting to see what daylight brings. and still to come on al jazeera, china's prime minister tries to reassure the world about the health of his country's economy. ♪ and trouble upstream, this hydro power producing lake in zambia is running low, causing big problems for local people. ♪
hello again a reminder of the top stories here on al jazeera, russia has confirmed it has flown military equipment as well as humanitarian aid into syria. the admission comes after days of speculation that there was a russian buildup in the country. macedonian police have been filmed using baton against refugees who have gathered at the border with greece. and one hundred thousand people have been forced to leave their homes after floods washed away houses in japan. let's return to developments in syria's civil war. thanks for being with us on the program. how significant do you think is this so-called russian military buildup in syria? >> well, i think it's very significant. let's not forget that putin's support of the assad regime is not new. this has been happening since the syrian uprising.
however, the increased buildup shows how far he is prepared to go. >> why have they admitted it right now? >> i think -- we have seen putin has been trying to establish a coalition to fight isil. really, however, i don't think this is so much about isil as it is about keeping assad in power, and pew -- putin wants to position russia as a world power with without which decisions cannot be made. at the same time he is talking about fighting isil, however, that is probably not his real intention. this is pretty risky, the russian military is already stretched pretty thin.
it's unlikely that russia can continue sustained long-term military involvement both in ukraine and syria. russian military has a number of problems they with going through. they have expensive commitments throughout the most soviet state, there are instances of corruption, spending on the military has been unsustainable. so this is not in russia's interest. >> the putin, obama, u.s., russian relations have not been good as we know in the last couple of years. what will this do to that relationship? and how far will the u.s. go to make known its displeasure. >> certainly this is not helping the relations, nor russia's relation with the west. how far this is willing to go remains to be seen.
clearly the united states is not interested in getting more involved in syria, and i think putin is trying to take advantage of that. >> there is the latest from the u.s. enjoy to syria, about the possibility of some sort of transitional government with perhaps bashar al-assad staying on as a figure head rather than a powerhouse, do you think that's -- the fact this is happening at the moment that all feeds into what russia is saying? >> sure. sure, i think this does fit into what russia is saying, what we have seen throughout the syrian crisis since 2011, is that russia has consistently sustained assad, with weaponry, advise, loans, political protection on the u.n. security council, and so far it looks like as if the russian position is prevailing as the only option on the table. because while the u.s. is paying lip service to assad stepping down, they are not really willing to do anything about it.
>> good to get your thoughts on this issue. china will reach its economic growth target and its current problems will not trigger a global recession. that's according to the chinese pee mere. he did concede that the 7% growth tar will get be hard to achieve. shanghai's shock exchange has plunged 40% in the past four months. adrian brown has more from beijing. >> reporter: the premiere appeared a very nervous man as he addressed this forum. the speech was significant, because it really was the first time he has addressed the problems in china's economy since the stock market began
falling back in june. in august the government made the decision to devalue the chinese currency, and since then it has fallen by more than 4% against the u.s. dollar. but the premier said that china's economy was still a sound bet, yes, there were going to be ups and downs, but that was to be expected. but he gave a guarantee, a promise, a pledge, that china will achieve economic growth of 7% this year, but he also hinted that it was going to be very difficult do that. so the premier was suggesting that china's government is in this for the long haul and said, you know, have faith in us, we are still a country that has an economic growth rate better than many other developing economies right now. new figures came out that show that the inflation rate is the same as the interest rate.
that means there is a lot of cheap money sloshing around the system, and that is because the government wants the economy to shift from one based on manufacturing to one based on consumptio consumption. analysts say this is a high-risk strategy, but it's one the rest of the world hopes will work. conflicting reports coming out of turkey over the number of people who died in a town currently under curfew. the government says between 30 and 32 kurdish militants and one civilian died, but the prokurdish people's democratic party says that 21 civilians have been killed in the last week. the town has been under curfew after an increase in violence between the state and prokurdish forces. a car bomb has exploded in
triply where top officials are being held in jail. one of gadhafi's sons, and the former intelligence chief were in the prison where the bomb went off. several cars were damaged but no casualties. officials say the attack was intended as a warning about the sentencing of gaudify officials being sentenced to death or life in prison. human rights groups have repeatedly accused the military of detaining civilians in the country's northeast. senior commanders have rejected claims of wrongful death and torture. a drought in zambia has seen the level of the world's largest man made reservoir drop to its lowest in years. the amount of water has receded
to less than half of its normal capacity, forcing power cuts. and communities around the lake are suffering the most. >> reporter: the golden shores and waters of lake kariba, for local communities the lake is part of its every day life. it provides thousands of megawatts of hydro power. but the drought has left the lake at its lowest level in years. >> in february the lake gets to its men mum and then begins to rise. but in february the lake didn't rise. it stabilized and instead of coming up, it kept going down. so we have lost probably another two or three meters since the beginning of this year, when we should have been gaining water. >> reporter: he says only once before has he seen the lake so low, and is worried. >> if the lake gets too low,
then they will not be able to generate power, which will effect the whole of sambyia, that's the big issue. >> reporter: according to official data the dam is just under 40% full, impacting the hydro plant's ability to generate power. >> traditionally they have imported power from south africa. south africa has its own issues with regard to electricity supply. so it has been importing power from elsewhere, but in the short-term no quick fix. structurally they have challenges with regards to the electricity sector, and that will take time to resolve. >> reporter: meanwhile there is rationing to manage the crisis. as smaller towns like this one develop, the demand for electricity continues to grow. it boarders the lake and the dam. businesses and residents here
rely on the lake to keep their businesses going. this man worries, at home he quickly collects water before the supply is cut for the day. for paul and this community, there are few things more valuable than this water. they say without it, life would be impossible. scientists have discovered the remains of a new human like species in a cave system in south africa. they could have evolved about 2.8 million years ago. scientists say it will reshape our understanding of how humans developed. as tanya paige explains. >> reporter: it was unveiled in front of the world's leading scientists and media, a new link in our evolutionary chain.
this is one of our earliest relatives, a new species of primitive hominid. >> it walks on two legs, and has long legs, in fact the feet are like your and mine. but if it was standing next to us, you would not think it was a human. it would be about 5'tall and the made head would be about the size of my fist. >> reporter: the fossils were found in south africa two years ago. never before have so many early hominid fossils been found in one place. there are 15 partial skeletons but what is more significant is what it tells you about the behavior. scientists say the remains were put there deliberately, suggesting a bury ritual. >> we don't see any evidence of
symbolic behavior that they are doing, but yet that emotional and social basis, some recognition that a dead member of their own species is special in some way, that seems to be what we're seeing here. it's maybe one of the first steps towards humanity. >> reporter: it's revolutionary in other ways too, common thinking was the early brain grew bigger before or at the same time as its body became more like ours, but here it is the other way around. as a species it could have emerged around 2.8 million years ago, and it could have walked the earth as recently as a hundred thousand years ago. south africa's deputy president was clearly as delighted as the scientists. it confirms south africa as one of the world's richest sources of answers to one of our greatest mysteries, where and
from whom did he come? and just time to remind you, you can always find out much more on many of the stories we're covering on our website. the address is aljazeera.com. it's down to the wire for republicans trying to kill the iran nuclear deal. why they say the white house isn't giving them enough information. cars and trucks being shot on a busy arizona highway. >> any time that you have multiple shootings against american isn't its on a highway, that's terrorism. ♪