>> america's longest law got lodger, the u.s. military to extend its mission in afghanistan hello, i'm darren jordothis, in doha with the world news. also ahead syrian forces launch a major offensive to retake rebel held areas in the homs countryside. the e.u. offers turkey more than $3 billion to help deal with the flow of refugees into europe. >> free trade - we visit a unique fair on the border between china and north korea
the u.s. is shifting its policy in afghanistan. president obama said soldiers will stay there until at least 2017. he hoped to withdraw the troops, but said it was necessary due to a fragile security situation. rosalind jordan has more from washington d.c. 5500 troops will be stationed around afghanistan after 2016. >> the mission will not change. our troops will focus on training afghans, and counterterrorism operations. but these bases will give us the presence and the reach our forces require to achieve their mission. >> right now there are about 98 hunt u.s. troops in afghanistan. they are training and providing battlefield advice.
under the president's original plan, the number of troops would drop to 1,000 by the end of 2016. the political pressure on obama to cancel the troop draw dawn has been building for some time. wednesday more than 30 officials sent a letter warning of chaos if u.s. troops leave. >> i think it would be a great loss for all of us if a rapid withdrawal of american capabilities and counterterrorism capabilities led to a deter ration in the situation, just as a new president is coming into office. >> also key factors, the taliban's temporary takeover of kunduz city, and continuing stability in iraq. >> the obama administration is taking a look at their plan for withdrawal in light of what has happened in iraq. without sort of saying whether it was the right or wrong call in iraq, i am sure it's raising
red flags when we look at the disengagement time line. >> last year president obama made a promise to young military officers. >> you are the first class to graduate since 9/11. who may not be sent into combat in iraq or afghanistan. >> preventing afghanistan's disintegration means obama is breaking that promise, both to the troops and his political legacy. >> well, kurt volker is a former u.s. ambassador to n.a.t.o., and says the security situation worsened since the u.s. began to pull out troops. >> recognising that we can't just leave and expect afghanistan to be secure and stable is a good first step. the plan that we have been on for several years has been one of announcing our withdrawal, giving deadlines for na, and decreasing resources and the effort. that has been a signal to the
taliban and the afghan people that we will not be there, the taliban will. we are beginning to see the reversal of that, first by saying that we'll stay in some number after 2016. that pushes the next decision into a new administration as to what the strategy should be. if we make a long-term commitment, we have a good strategy, we have to give it time. in terms of what the military forces are going with the aftergan government, the string, e -- afghan government, the training, equipping the right people, fighting corruption, economic development, that is the right strategy. when you do it on declining resources, and with a message to your opponents that only you are planning to leave, that undercuts your ability for the strategy to play out successfully.
>> two suicide bombers killed 14 people in northern nigeria. the attackers targeted a mosque near maiduguri, the capital of borneo. on wednesday three suicide bombers killed seven nearby. a state of emergency has been in place over the past two years as part of a military occupation. >> we have the latest from maiduguri. >> basically two suicide bombers attacked muslim worshippers in a mosque. one bomb went off inside the oftening. and the other outside of it. the total number are put at 14, but who was on the scene, at least 25 were killed in between. 26 others have been injured. the force of the blast, according to eyewitnesss destroyed the mosque, as worshippers prayed.
probably they'd have more dead as a result of the two exclusions. >> nigeria's president crowed to defeat boko haram by the end of the year, vowing to carry out more attacks. they were asked if that goal was realistic. >> whenever i take that we mention it. we don't hide anything from anybody. in terms of occupied ground, we gain ground and boko haram is virtually confined. and operations are well coordinated. it comes by the end of there, coinciding, boko haram will virtually be out of the images jungle hold. >> and there'll be more on the
programme upfront on friday, at 1930 g.m.t. >> the syrian army launched an offensive in homs. 75 people have been killed. the fighting focussed on two areas. they are on a highway linking the provinces of homs and hamas. the government wants the route brought to the north. it wants to secure a corridor between the coast and damascus. zeina khodr reports the battle in northern homs countryside has begun. rebel-held town are coming under fire. this is a coordinated assault between the syrian army on the ground and the russian air force, the second offensive of its kind since the military intervention of russia, the air force providing support to allies on the ground, as they
try to advance into opposition territory. civilians are caught in the middle this is a civilian area. i.s.i.l. is not here. you russian dogs. activists are reporting fighters as well as civilians are killed and injured. tens of thousands of people live there. many of them displaced from fighting elsewhere in the country, and this corner of syria has been surrounded by the army for years. the only roads out lead to government controlled territory. >> people are afraid. people started to leave the areas hit. they can't leave the countryside because the roads are blocked. there's one route out. it is under government control. people are afraid they'll be arrested if they go there. >> the syrian military says the aim of the offensive is to end the offensive of terrorists and restore security and stability. recapturing the countryside would help the government with
the liking of power in its cultural bass. homs is the area they wanted to control. it's in central syria and roads lead across the country, it's important for the regime and the opposition, because this is the capital of the revolution, and we'll fight until the end. the opposition is also under attack on other fronts. the northern hama countryside in southern area and the nearby provinces of idlib are battle grounds, there are reports of a major ground operation being planned around the northern city of aleppo. >> the homs offensive is linked to a breeder military campaign begin two weeks ago, when russia started air strikes, targetting opposition controlled areas in the west of the country. the syrian government and allies are on the offensive, and stopped rebel advances in the area. >> this is one of the biggest military operations against the opposition in years.
the immediate aim is to recapture territory and weaken the opposition. it's about using force to bring about political concessions. >> seven people have died after a greek coast guard ship crashed into a boat carrying refugees, and it happened during a rescue operation. a baby and three children are among the dead. 31 are rescued. the vessel was trying to flee from the coast guard. >> the european union and turkey agreed on a joint plan to ensure refugees stay in turkey. e.u. says it will make sure it's not used as a transit country. the issue topping the agenda of a summit in brussels. >> european leaders arrived in brussels facing multiple challenges. the war in syria, conflict in ukraine, and the aftershocks of the greek bailout put the 28-nation block under mounting
strain. it's the unrelenting refugee crisis that dominates european politics. half a million people, many refugees from syria, arrived in the e.u. this year. a large number travelled through turkey, to europe's shores. now, a preliminary agreement with turkey to help reduce the number of people attempting to make it to europe. >> we received a report very early this morning na there had been an outcome of the negotiations, and we were able to reach on agreement with regards to the shape of the joint action plan. >> under the draft plan, turkey would receive 3.4 billion in aid, in return for clamping down on the numbers of people crossing its territory, heading to the european union, the money would be used on tightening security, and on creating greater incentives for people to stay in turkey. greater levels of integration
and better living conditions also. as well as the money, there's talk of liberalizing visa restrictions on turkish nationals. conditions not everyone in the e.u. is prepared to accept. including the french president francis hollande. >> translation: we cannot have a situation where in exchange for turkey helping us to hold back refugee territory, we liberalize the visa system, but no cobs attached. allowing visas for individuals whose identities we don't know or can't check. there'll be a process. it's normal to discuss with the turks, france and other countries, paying attention to make sure that conditions are not only set, but also respected. >> if you are under pressure to come up with a solution, the e.u. may have little choice but to concede to turkey's demands. >> the willingness reflects
desperation on the part of the member states that they want to extend the flow of arrivals, and would like turkey to play a key role, because it is their best option. >> in return for turkish help, the european union promised to start new talks. in the short term, there's a question of where billions in aid to turkey will come from. the e.u. is suffering the effects of the eurozone crisis. europe may have to dig deep if it wants greater control over its borders lots more still to come on al jazeera. doctors in nigeria are worried about how they'll be able to treat snake bites in the future. we'll explain why. and the writing on the wall. how graffiti artists use their skills to criticize a hit tv show. more on that. stay with us.
>> they're consuming economically important species >> we're offering something on our menu that no-one else is offering. a quick recap of the top stories on al jazeera. u.s. president obama has bolstered the number of american troops that will stay in afghanistan after the next year. 5, 500 soldiers will remain five times more than originally planned. and comes as fighters attack cities across the country. >> two suicide bombers have killed 14 people in northern nigeria. the attackers hit a mosque near maiduguri. the army is fighting boko haram in the area. >> the syrian government
launched an assault. 75 people are reportedly killed. israeli security forces fought with palestinians in the occupied west bank. >> tear gas was fired after palestinians threw a molotov cocktail at a vehicle in bethlehem. they burnt tyres and hurled stones. 32 palestinians and seven israelis have been killed in unrest over the past few weeks. the u.n. security council will hold an emergency meeting on friday. the prime minister says security forces are using legitimate means to confront attackers. >> israel is using the kind of legitimate force. that any one of those municipalities would use, if they had people wielding lives,
meat kievers trying to kill people on the streets israel has been rolling out measures to curbing the violence. >> mike hanna looks at how the measures are attacking people's lives. >> security at entrances to the city. police ordering palestinians to lift their shirts, some structed to remove their shoes. but the group waving israeli flags faces through. the security clamp down is related to the degree of anxiety among jewish israelis. false alarms about impending attacks sparked panic in a number of locations at israel, and there has been reports of israelis with dark complexions attacked by jews, after they were mistaken by palestinians. >> security forces work with the members of public that have a wide understanding of security
issues. there is not ponic. >> reporter: even police where safety vests. >> personal safety is important. being jewish, religious and a police officer, i could be targeted. >> reporter: in occupied east jerusalem, a number of neighbourhoods have been sealed off, and all residents passing through the checkpoint. only a handful of individuals have been involved in the attacks. and the dominant emotions is anger, that so many are made to pay for the actions of few. >> this is a prominent community leader here. and he voices the frustration of fellow residents. >> they are putting pressure on the palestinian people, and the people of jerusalem.
this pressure will create a bigger explosion, and will not calm things down, to calm things down you need a political decision, not a security one. the warning that the punishment of the people, may threaten the security na israel contends it's designed to enforce. >> scottish procedures identified two civilians in the lockerbie bombing, believing the pair were involved in bringing down the plain in 1978, killing 277 people. investigators in scotland want to the work with the libyan authorities to interview the suspects in tripoli. the only person convicted was a man who died of cancer in 2012. >> the venezuela opposition leader has been arrested and custody, as he returned ahead of
legislative elections. the governor fled to peru after being charged with corruption. >> now, a medical crisis could be looming for snake bite victims in some african countries. the last batch of an antivenom anecdote expires next year. doctors are not sure how they'll treat patients after that. >> reporter: this hospital in in north-eastern nigeria treats snake bite victims. this person travelled more than 100km to get to this facility for specialised care. it may be run down, but at least he's being treated. like most victims, he's a poor farmer barely able to feed his family. >> translation: i was weeding
the farm and grabbed the snake by accident. it bit me. shortly after i felt dizzy, it's painful. >> reporter: 370 patients come to this hospital. they struggle with a huge number seeking medical attention, after being bitten by snakes. getting a bed is costing them huge success. because facilities are overstretched. many brought to the hospital go not survive. the situation could be worse next year, when the last batch of ant dotes expire. it's a concern for medical experts. >> if they stop producing the snake venom. we'll be in for trouble. many people will die. most of the indian drugs are not specific for us. so there'll be negative consequence. >> this hospital now has to make do with an anecdote limited to treating venom. outside the hospital, the farming community is facing another crisis.
a growing population means an increase in demand for lives to go forward. that set up a conflict between people and the reptiles. who also call that rocky community home. the situation reached a point where a boundary is placed on every. >> we just want to get relief. it's nearly two years. whoever brings it down. the professor says we should stop killing the snakes. if we kill them, there'll be nothing to produce antisnake venom for others to use. >> if the anti-venom runs out. communities may be forced to ignore the advice to protect themselves the south korean president, park geun-hye is in washington for a summit with president obama. and as harry fawcett reports from the capital seoul,
balancing the relationship between the u.s. and china is a delicate task. >> south korea's president began a postponed visit by paying tribute to veterans of the korean war. an alliance between the nations. an alliance showing strains. last month the president was in beijing, an honoured guest as china commemorated 70 years, with a huge display of power. park's efforts to improve the political relationship with china, to match the vital interests there risk unsettling her country's main ally. >> on the one hand china has enormous economic ties with the south koreans. we concluded a successful f.d.a. and we realise that china could grow during the prospects. it's critical to understand that there's a biggest leverage. >> reporter: one of the issues
is a high altitude defense anti-air miss ail system. china is pressuring seoul to push back on the plan, saying that it would be targetting north korea's capability and china's own. >> despite the fact that president park is taking her defence minister on the trip. the issue would not be on the agenda. the fact they felt the need to do that shows how sensitive an issue it is. >> north korea should provide easier territory for agreement. a massive parade at the weekend didn't mention nuclear weapons, and held off on a rocket launch. should president obama soften preconditions with pyongyang. >> i say no. the americans long ago realized that north korea is not going to
stop the nuclear weapons. at the same time the threat of the missiles is real but remote. >> the white house is in no worry and is likely to condition. >> after the reef-laying ceremony, solar is hoping for the transfer of more technology. it's an example of the range of issues crammed into the visit, but is as much about symbolism, a statement affirming the strength of their partnership. >> meanwhile, china is boosting business ties with north korea. the trade flare is taking place at the border city. as rob mcbride reports, the event dem straits the economic gulf between both countries. the trade fair bringing together businesses from both sides of the border iltraits how far
part. chinese stalls are bold. chinese consumers are on show. they are mired in a world of strict ideology. a virtual world economy looks like not much sense of how to sell it. >> sometimes with nothing to sell at all. >> still, from the crowds attending this year's event, the hope is north korea is learning from china's relatively free market ways. >> these are the biggest crowds i have seen. more business people than ever before. >> i think from now on there'll be more trade between china and north korea. >> shower head salesman say trade is brisk. >> we have sold a lot to the north koreans. business is good. >> all around there is evidence of development, but little of
that business drive seems to reach the other side of the river, and into north korea. it is home to the sign of korean friendship bridge, a life line helping north korea survive. a new bridge project further along the river is stalled. >> the bridge now is a symbol of the troubled relationship between the two neighbours. work on it was completed a year ago, paid for by china, and for now traffic should have been running across it. today there's no sign of it opening. >> the infrastructure on the chinese side is complete. satellite images from the north korean side shows the bridge ending in a field. chinese businesses at this event know that this will not be a quick sail. >> we came here to sell to north koreans, we have the right machines and are hopeful we'll sell. >> for the moment this is a bustling partnership of
unequals. >> artists hired by the u.s. tv show homeland to write graffiti on its sets wrote messages criticizing the show. they were asked to ad authenticity to scenes. producers of the show didn't check what was written. one of the messages reads "homeland is racist", another says "homeland is not a series", and another reads "black lives matter." >> this is one of the artists involves saying it sends a mess kij against stereotypes. >> there's no doubt that the show is well produced. that's besides the point. it's important to the dress this idea that stereotyping and a region of people, a huge region of people to a shallow and
one-dimensional perspective is something that is dangerous. we wanted to use the opportunity to claim back our image. >> a quick reminder, you can keep up to date with all the news on the website. there assist on the screen, aljazeera.com. on america tonight, a dying city? pained by the loss of industry and people, can milwaukee save its next generation? >> any time you are a 16-year-old and you say i am better off dead than alive, that's how bleak it is. >> on the crime spike putting milwaukee's future in trouble. and the one thas got away. >> you have gone from a couple of fish off the east coast of from.