americas's longest war just got longer, the u.s. military to extend its mission in afghanistan hello, i'm darren jordan, in doha with the world news. also ahead - the e.u. offers turkey more than 3 billion to deal with the flow of refugees into europe. >> >> free trade under communism - we visit a unique fair on the border between china and north korea a sign of improving ties between washington and havana.
an iconic cuban ban rocks the white house the u.s. is shifting its policy in afghanistan. president obama says the war will not end before he leaves office, and that american soldiers will stay on until at least 2017. there are currently 9,800 american troops on the ground, training and advising the military. president obama hoped to withdraw all the troops, leaving 1,000 by the end of 2016. now more than 5,000 will stay on in the country. the president says the extension is necessary because of the fragile security situation. patty culhane reports from washington. >> reporter: it was the central foreign policy issue that helped president obama stand out from a group of candidates. he was opposed to the iraq war and vowed if he was elected president he'd ended war in
afghanistan and iraq. >> we'll end the war in iraq and bring troops home. we'll finish the job against al qaeda in afghanistan. during his re-election campaign in 2012... >> we are bringing our troops home from afghanistan, and i set a timetable. we'll have them out by 2014. >> and then this in 2014. >> by the end of 2016 our military will draw down it a normal embassy presence in kabul, with a security assistance component, just as we have done in iraq. >> now he says that is not going to happen after all, but the president is trying to downplay the significance much you. >> this decision is not disappointing continually, my goal has been to make sure that we give every opportunity for afghanistan to proceed while meeting core emissions. >> the white house says keeping
the status quo is prove that the strategy is working. many analysts don't believe that. >> i don't think you can call this the result of a success. the fact of the timing comes in, making it look like it was a reaction to the fall of kunduz. as opposed to if the same decision was made in march, when all the elements listed - a cooperative government. an army that will fight in so forth, were all in place in march. >> it's clear, the next president will the decide whoug the u.s. troops will stay in afghanistan, and will become a campaign issue, with the majority expressions a willingness to say. >> when we withdraw, as in iraq. a dangers situation becomes more dangerous. >> president obama had some foreign policy successes. if they did leave, the prison at
guantanamo bay a likely will we open, and the war in afghanistan will be going on. the longest war in u.s. history will be left to his successor to deal with the syrian army launched an offensive in homs. 75 have been killed. the fighting focuses on two areas, on a highway linking homs and hamas. the government wants the route to bring supplies to the north, especially in idlib and aleppo, and wants to secure a corridor between the strongholds along the coast and the capital 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. the whole world should see this. >> reporter: 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 that are being 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 presence of what it calls 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 areas in 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. joshua landis is an associate professor at the university of oklahoma. and says russia is trying to display its power on the world stage. >> russia is extremely weak. no one took it seriously as a military power. today, and after the demonstration in syria, people will take it seriously. the big question is does russia getboged down in syria. that is the bet that president obama is making here. he has stated that this is a stupid ruse by russia, and will be sunk into quick sand, and ultimately this will make russia weaker. we don't know who is right and who is wrong in this. clearly the syrians have been very motivated.
they are claiming that they, in three months, will be in aleppo, they'll have taken back much of the territory between aleppo and homs, that you are reporting about. we'll have to see. american analysts are reporting that they are bogged down, they have not made the progress that they are planning to. so you have people on both sides that are trying to spin this, and we'll see how it goes, because this is a tough fight. the syrian army is exhausted iran has denied reports that it's sending ground troops to syria, the head of the national committee met syria's president in damascus. he says he'd consider requests by syria to send ground forces. activists say iranian forces are already on the ground. >> two suicide bombers killed 14 people in northern nigeria. the attackers hit a mosque near maiduguri, the capital of borneo state. three suicide bombers killed
seven. a state of emergency has been in place over two years as part of a military provision. ahmed idris has the latest. >> reporter: two suicide bombers apparently attacked muslim worshippers in a mosque. and one of the bombs went off inside the mosque and the other outside of it. those on the scenes say 25 people were killed in between explosions. 26 others injured. reports of the blast according to eyewitnesss destroyed the mosque ass wore shiffers were praying. >> seven died after a coast guard ship crashed into a boat carrying refugees, off the coast
of lesbos. a baby and three children are among the dead. 31 were rescued. the vessel was trying to flee from the coast guard. the european union and turkey agreed on a plan to ensure refugees stay in turkey. e.u. leaders will make sure turkey is not used as a transit country, and the issue topped the agenda at a summit in brussels. >> european leaders arrived in brussels facing multiple challenges. the war in syria, conflict in ukraine, and the aftershocks of the saga put the 28 nation block under mounting strain. it's the unrelenting refugee crisis that dominates european politics. more than half a million people, many refugees from syria, arrived in the e.u. this year. a large number travelled to turkey to europe's shores. now, a preliminary agreement with turkey to help reduce the
number of people. >> we received a report very early as to the outcome of the negotiations, and we were able to reach an agreement with records 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 the territory heading to the european union, and it 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. as well as the money, there's talk of liberalizing visa restrictions on turkish nationals entering the european union, conditions not everyone is prepared to anticipate, including the french president francis hollande. >> we cannot have a situation
where in exchange for turkey helping us to hold back refugees, we liberalize the visa system, with no continues attached. allowing visas whose identities we don't know and can't check. there'll be a process with a lot of conditions attached. it's normal to discuss, but france and others will pay attention to make sure conditions are not only set, but respected. with europe under pressure to come up with a lasting solution to the refugee crisis, the e.u. may have little choice but to concede to the demands. >> a willingness reflects desperation on the part of states that they want to stem 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 unions promised to start new talks with turkey about joining the e.u.
in the short term there's the question of where billions in aid to turkey will come from. the e.u. is suffering from the effects of the eurozone crisis. europe may have to dig deep if it wants greater control over the borders. >> a lot more to come on al jazeera. >> i've never seen so much flooding, it was like a fountain. >> irish women demand justice over childbirth procedure. and the writing is on the wall - how graffiti artists use their skills to criticize a hit tv show. more on that, stay with us.
welcome back. a recap of the top stories, u.s. president obama bolstered american troops that will stay in afghanistan. 5,500 soldiers will remain, five times more than originally planned. coming as taliban fighters attack major cities across the country two suicide bombers kill 14 people in northern nigeria. targetting a mosque near maiduguri. the army is fighting boko haram in the area. the european union and turkey agreed on a joint plan to stem the flow of refugees going to europe. it includes the e.u. considering more than 3 million of financial aid for turkey israeli security forces fought with the palestinians. tear gas was fired after a molotov cocktail was thrown at a
military vehicle. 32 palestinians and seven israelis have been killed in unrest over the past three weeks. the u.s. security council will hold an emergency meeting. israel's prime minister denied the army is using excessive force. >> israel is using exactly amount of legitimate force that any municipality would use if people wielded knives, meat cleavers and axes. scottish prosecutors identified two libyans as suspects 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 e.u.'s huge reason rights court ruled it's not a crime to deny the armenian genosized, and involved a politician who said that the armenian genocide is an international lie. there are different views as to how the mass killings should be described. ankara said the deaths were part of war and not premeditated. >> mark ellis is the executive director of the international bar association, and the rules is an opportunity as a whole to encourage debate. >> i think the lower court probably got it right by saying that this - the swiss parliament had gone too far in restricting the freedom of the speech for the sake of social cohesion. the genocide says it's an intent not destroy in whole or part a group, such as a nationality, ethnic groups like the armenians.
this is the trick to this. you have to show specific intent. that is hard to show, because you are indicating that there has to be a coordinated plan that the intention was solely to eliminate a group - in this case the romanians. and turkey has always denied that what occurred during the episode was genocide, because they denied that there was specific intent to destroy the group. this is, perhaps, an opportunity for europe as a whole, but particularly through the court to say that there are going to be times when there are contested facts, interpretations of history. and you must permit this debate, an opportunity to engage in this type of safety. and that it's give to legislate against ignorance, for instance.
if someone wants to deny the hollio caused. if they wanted to deny an armenian genocide, the court is saying we have to permit the space now, lawmakers in ireland called for the scrapping of a compensation scheme for women undergoing childbirth, and involved opening up of the pelvis whilst giving birth. hospital doctors deliberately experimented on one woman it's claimed. this footage may show graphic images that may be upsetting. >> reporter: at 63 this woman can have been working, it was taken away from her at the age of 18. she went to hospital for a routine deliver of a first vialed.
doctors and nurses and nuns had a different idea. they put the foetus in the wrong position to allow the surgeon to operate. >> they pressed it hard, made the baby go around in a circle, the wrong way. >> reporter: this was in 1971 in our lady of lords in dublin. it's not any more, but was a leading center and teaching hospital for missionaries. nora's recollection is as clear as day. she thought she was the subject of an experiment. faced by a surgeon with a hack assume. >> they told them to hold me down and me to push the baby out why he sawed me. i pushed the baby out. she came out head first, normal. and then right away he was sawing me once i pushed out the blood, shot up to the sealing and over him and the nurses and
students there watching what was going on and all that carry on. >> reporter: sounds like a horror story. >> it is. i've never seen so much blood. it was like a fountain. i knew i was going to try. >> reporter: the hacksaw was an implement of choice used in maternity hospitals against hundreds in ireland, and only in ireland throughout the 20th century. doctors new about caesarian, but the church felt it would limit the number of babies. in a society where medical practice it was thought sawing open a woman's pelvis would allow her to have more children apart from the impact on her body and mind. >> it ruined my life, mentally and physically. >> there are hundreds of women survivors of sim fizzy ot somy, the irish government offered a payment, limiting it to
$180,000, and demanded legal action against doctors, church or state. the assessor refused. nora's allegations are subject to no investigation. sympathetic politicians in dublin are demanding a vote of no confidence. >> if we don't amend this scheme. what we are saying is the women don't deserve justice. their life's horror didn't account for anything. we didn't believe it. financial compensation doesn't compensate. to be human rights compliant. we have to scrap the scheme. >> nora accepted the compensation pay out, regarding it as an inassault. it came without apology, but an observes that these were unhappy experiences in the past and perhaps nora could spoil herself. nora feels the duration were happy for her to die. her pain is not in the past,
it's wither every day and will be all her life china is trying to boost business with north korea. a trade fair is taking place, but as rob mcbride reports, it demonstrates the economic rift between both countries. >> the trade brings together businesses from both sides of the border, illustrating how far apart they are. chinese stalls are bold and brash. china's consumerism on show. the north korean stalls, in contrast. miered in a world of strict idea loingy, a war-time economy with little to sell. and not much sense of how to sell it. sometimes with nothing at all. from the crowds attending the event. the hope is that north korea is learning from the free market ways. >> these are the biggest crowds
i have seen. with more business people than before. >> i think from now on there'll be more trade between china and north korea. >> reporter: shower head salesman says 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. dan dong is home to the korean friendship bridge, an economic life line helping north korea survive. a newbridge project along the river remains stalled. >> the bridge is a symbol of the trouble relationship between the neighbours. work was completed a year ago, paid for by china, and traffic should have crossed it. today there's no sign of it opening. >> the infrastructure is
complete. satellite from the north korean side showed the bridge ending in a field. chinese businesses know that this will not be a quick sale. >> we came here to sell to north koreans. we have the right machines, and are hopeful to sell. for the moment. this is a bustling partnership of unequals venezuela opposition leader manual rozales was arrested, custody after returning home from a self-imposed exile. he fled to peru after being charged with corruption in 2009. he is accused of supporting a parliamentary group attempting to enter venezuela through a state he governed. >> hundreds of vehicles have been stranded after flooding in california. heavy rain affected areas of elizabeth lake, 60km north of
los angeles. highways were forced to close. >> artists hired by the u.s. tv show "homeland" to write graffiti on its sets wrote messages criticizing the throe. they were asked to add authenticity to a scene in lebanon. the show's producers didn't check what was written. a message reads ""homeland" is racist, and another saying "homeland" is not a series. another reads black lives matter. one of the artists says it send a message against stereotypes. >> there's no doubt that the show is well produced with great actors. that's besides the point. it's important to address 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 potentially dangerous. we wanted to use the opportunity to claim back our image. "homeland"'s executive producer issued this response to the graffiti stump: now, for the first time in more than 50 years the white house hosted musicians from cuba. a concert by a social club orchestra marks the end of its 20th year touring, and the beginning of u.s. and european cultural ties. here is tom ackerman. more than 500 invited dignitaries swayed to the troops of the afro cuban mission. the white house stop coming through midway, what the group
is calling a farewell musical tour. >> for two decades the group has been a symbol of the strong bonds between the american-cuban people, of friendship, culture and music. i just hope they enjoy their stay and i hope i look as good as they do in a few years. >> a 1999 documentary that won on oscar nomination brought the group international recognition, sparking the revival of the cuba's musical golden age predating is the 1959 revolution. they've performed several times in the u.s., not without attracting anti-castro protesters and bomb threats. the performance at the white house follows the full diplomatic relations and the reopening of embassies. >> u.s. commerce secretary head a delegation of officials to havana, calling for both
countries to stake more steps, and nine u.s. governors backed by ob, urging congress to lift a trade embargo for the benefit of american farmers. >> meanwhile the havana government assigned a -- signed a deal allowing sony to distribute 30 nouz cuban recordings, including a catalogue, for worldwide sale. unmistakable stench of