pianists, opening the doors for them to play at the world's leading concert halls. gerald tan, al jazeera. [ cheers and applause ] fantastic. much more real news from alvaz, along with analysis and comment on our website, aljazeera.com. ♪ house republicans gather to talk about elects their next speaker after paul ryan changes course and agrees to take the job. a surprise meeting in moscow. syrian president bashar al-assad talks with vladimir putin about the russian air strikes that could help his government regain control of the country. and searching for an
arsonist, investigators hunt for the culprit behind six fires in predominantly black churches in and around st. louis. why they say the fires are linked. ♪ this is al jazeera america live from new york city. i'm lisa fletcher in for stephanie sy. house republicans just wrapped up their latest meetings over who may be the next speaker of the house. wisconsin congressman paul ryan was in those meetings, and after weeks of saying no, he has agreed to take the speaker's job, but some republicans are rejecting his demands for unanimous party support before he runs. the house has now scheduled a vote for a week from today. al jazeera political contribute jason johnson says paul ryan doesn't have much chance of getting the job.
>> he has about as much chance of being speaker of the house as joe biden does of being president of the united states. i think his statement yesterday makes it very clear he doesn't want this job. so he has laid out a series of conditions that he knows won't be met. he knows that it is not a winning position for him to be in. >> so if not paul ryan, who? >> well, i think you have got to look at how john boehner got the job. these are guys who were young. they were ambitious, and they kind of got veered off of the leadership track, and eventually the republicans came back and say we just need a consent house person. i think some generic person who has never offended anybody that everybody can rally around,
those are the people who tend to be speaker of the house. >> jason said some conservatives have criticized his work on immigration reform, and tea party groups have launched a website saying ryan is smart but not qualified or conservative enough to lead the house. there is growing anticipation about vice president joe biden's political future. last night, the vice president took jabs at democratic front runner hillary clinton fuelling talk that he will run, but as david shuster reports, the decision is more complicated than it might seem. >> reporter: last night in washington vice president joe biden offered no news about a possible presidential campaign. the vice president honored one of his predecessors, and while he did not clarify much about 2016, he did make a few remarks yesterday that sounded like a candidate gearing up for race.
first he implicitly knocked hillary clinton for saying at the first democratic debate that she considers republicans her enemy. biden said, quote, i don't think my chief enemy is the republican party, this is a matter of working things out. she disputed her count over the raid on osama bin laden. according to clinton's last book, she supported the attack, and biden did not. but biden indicated clinton's position wasn't clear and his narrative about his advise to the president was wrong. >> so as we walked out of the room, i said -- i told them my opinion that i thought he should go, but to follow his own instincts. >> reporter: he played off his own foreign policy credentials and pointed out that mr. obama trusted him the most in talking with foreign leaders. >> john kerry is a great
secretary of state, hillary clinton was a great secretary of state, but there are times that only the vice president if it's known of his relationship with the president can speak for the united states when the president can't be there. >> reporter: joe biden has been around for a long time, and his supporters think the shots after clinton was an indication of running. but he is not yet comfortable with formally joining the race. he has been advised of winning may be slim, and yet not running means his political career will come to an end in just 15 months. hillary clinton is scheduled to testify tomorrow about benghazi and her emails, and now top biden supports believe that the decision may not come until after the impact of clinton's testimony is clear. david shuster, al jazeera. israeli prime minister
benjamin netenyahu has arrived in berlin for talks with angela merkel. european officials hope to end the violence that has spiked between israelis and palestinians. secretary of state john kerry will head out on his trip to europe and the middle east later today. he will hold high-level talks with netenyahu tomorrow. u.n. secretary general ban ki-moon is also in the region urging for calm. >> this continued occupation and the blocked political and diplomatic horizon, and the insecure future in the eyes of the palestinian youth in addition to the daily acts of humiliation are breeding violence. >> violence will not bring lasting peace, but will only
push back the day when palestinians achieve statehood, and both sides will live in peace and security. i understand the frustration that comes after years of dashed hopes. >> the u.n. secretary general met with netenyahu on tuesday, and sent the same message. today israeli soldiers shot and wounded a palestinian girl in the occupied west bank. they say she was carrying knives. weeks of violence in the region has killed 50 palestinian and 8 israelis. just a short time ago, russia announced it will hold an international meeting on friday about the crisis in syria. the u.s. turkey, and saudi arabia are expected to attend. today bashar al-assad is back in damascus after meeting with vladimir putin in moscow. it was assad's first trip abroad since the civil war began more than four years ago. putin has been one of asued's strongest allies, and russian air strikes are helping
government forces retake key areas. >> reporter: this was a trademark putin piece of political theater. yes, things are now starting to make sense as i was leaving work yesterday. the traffic in central moscow was at an absolute stand still, many of the main thoroughfares were blocked off by police, and as i cycled over the river a presidential helicopter flew very low down the river just over my head. now it seems very likely from what we know now that it was president bashar al-assad who was in that helicopter. so what do these two men talk about? well, we know they discussed the obvious things, the russian air campaign in syria, and how this is supporting bashar al-assad's ground offensive. but the big question remains.
how much did vladimir putin push president assad on a transfer of power for him to leave power? now there are those who have been talking in moscow, saying that moscow is not particularly wedded to bashar al-assad as long as whatever happens in the political resolution of this conflict it leaves moscow's interests in the region relatively unscathed and that a leader is in place in syria, that moscow can work with. but every time the west has assumed that moscow might be just about to give up on president assad, moscow seems to have done exactly the opposite, doubling down, stepping in to prop up its long-time ally. >> that's rory challands reporting from moscow. the u.s. incidentally has not yet confirmed any meeting friday about the syrian crisis. more than 130 police chiefs and prosecutors from across the
country are expected to launch a new campaign today to reduce the number of americans in prison. they tell the "new york times" that too many people are behind bars that don't belong there. the law enforce group says it wants to eliminate mandatory minimum prison sentences and build better relationships with communities of color. in st. louis federal investigators suspect a loan arsonist has been setting fires to black churches in and around the city. so far, six fires in just two weeks. >> reporter: fire department officials in and around st. louis say they have no doubt the fires that have burned six churches there are the work of an arsonist. >> these things don't start by themselves. and it was in a very odd place, any door. >> reporter: the new north side missionary baptist church is one of the churches set ablaze since october 8th. all are within three miles of
each other. >> what i like to see happen is number one that it stops. and whomever it is will be caught so they can face justice. >> reporter: five of the churches are predominantly black, and the other is mixed. >> we got phone calls from kentucky, from michigan, media, national media, you know, but yet in st. louis it has just been very apathetic. >> reporter: while investigators say they don't have any suspects, they also say it's likely one person is responsible for the rash of fires. there's a $2,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest. >> it's an appalling, to even think that someone would do something like that. we really would appreciate any help, in resolving this as quickly as possible. >> reporter: at new life
missionary baptist, dozens came together for an outdoor service a day after a fire there, showing amazing grace as they prepare to rebuild. >> i don't want the communities to be angry. i don't want the churches to be angry, because it's in these moments when our character is tested. troops in slovenia get new power to guard the border, the latest for thousands of refugees on a desperate journey. and keeping an eye on what police are doing to track your cell phone. why some in congress are asking today if law enforcement is going too far.
slovenia has called in the troops to try to control a huge influx of refugees. the country's parliament voted overwhelmingly to allow soldiers to join police in patrolling the border with croatia. european officials have called an emergency summit for the weekend to discuss how to manage the crisis. paul brennan is live in slovenia. paul, what difference can the army make at this point? >> reporter: the reality is the impact of the army is going to be quite limited at the moment. the vote took place on tuesday night. the vote was overwhelming, 66-5 in favor of deploying the army. but the actual limitations of the army's own resources mean
it's impact is not going to be huge. there are just 7,000 regular soldiers in the army, and another thousand reservists, so they have not very much to throw into the contribution to this refugee crisis. and they are going to be under the direct command of the police. so it's going to be under the police orders that the army operates. and we went down to a border area next to the croatian border, and we saw one army jeep with five soldiers in it. and they were helping to hand out food to the refugees. that was the extend of their contribution to this effort at the moment. but the expectation is that every pair of hands that can be pressed into assisting the refugees and assisting the authorities will be welcome. >> the refugee crisis is revealing a growing divide among the e.u. states. what are the chances that this
weekend's e.u. meeting could help reach common ground on the issue? >> reporter: i think it will be very difficult for those leaders. it doesn't comprise all of the european union leaders, just those relevant to this part of the world, which include the balk balkans, and germany. but many of the countries along the route have very different attitudes. hungary, for example, has completely closed its borders, it doesn't want any part of the refugee crisis. and that means extra burden has fallen on slovenia, croatia, serbia, and austria as well. they have different attitudes as to how they will cope, and differenco differenco quotas as to how many refugee they can take in. >> all right. paul brennan live from slovenia.
thank you. a rise in crime in the nation's capitol has officials scrambling for answer. some cities are reporting homicide rates that double last year's. some washington residents including a 13-year-old victim of gun violence, wants to make sure that d.c. does not again become the nation's murder capitol. the sound of sirens blaring. the sound of a city in crisis. officers racing to the scene of yet another violent crime. the most powerful city in america seems powerless to stop the killing terrorizing the community, destroying families. august 30th, this 36-year-old mother of seven came face-to-face with the violence. >> i hear gunshots, i'm thinking about six. >> reporter: her 13-year-old daughter was sitting on her
neighbor's front step with two other kids when gunfire erupted. >> the man walked in front of us, and the car started shooting. >> reporter: i understand you laid down over the little girl to protect her. >> yeah. >> reporter: what was going through your head? >> i don't know it -- i think it just naturally came to me. >> reporter: she may very well saved the life of her friend, this eight year old. but paid a heavy price. gunshot wounds in both legs. and she is just one of a long list of violent crime victims in the city this year. so far 124 homicides, a 46% jump over last year's 85 murders. but while the dramatic rise in the murder rate looks and is a terrible reflection on the city, experts who take a long view,
warn against reading too much into a single year. developer adrian washington is another washingtonian who takes a long view. the lived through the murderous '90s, and decided he would help communities mobilize against the violence. >> it takes the involvement of business owners, people in the neighborhood to all do small parts, because the police can't put a cop on every corner, and have them there 24 hours a day. so we have got involved and not just say it's your job to make us safe, but do what we can do to help make us safe. >> reporter: the message not lost on this 13 year old. just two days after she was shot, she found her voice, insisting her mom take her to a community meeting at the first district police station. >> i wanted to go to the meeting, because i felt like i belonged there.
it's a community. i was in the community. something happened upon the community. so i figured i should go to the community meeting, because i don't want it to happen to nobody else. >> reporter: you can see more of my story on "america tonight" at 10:00 eastern, 7:00 pacific. executions are on hold today in yet another state. this time it's arkansas where the state supreme court has halted capital punishment while executions are challenged in court. they are also on hold in oklahoma and ohio for similar reasonings. death penalty opponents have challenged a law that prevents the state of arkansas press release disclosing its legal providers. law enforcement agencies use special devices to track investigate suspects. >> reporter: the devices are
easily obtained and easily used. one of them called the stingray captures key information such as the location of every cell phone on a street corner or protest. >> the problem is that it can only operate in a dragnet fashion. so everyone within range has their cell phone data intercepted. >> reporter: police departments and federal agencies have been buying the devices as far back as 2010. they cost anywhere between 2400 to $7,500. many passively gather radio waves. the fbi has asked local law enforcement agencies not to disclose their use of the technologies. >> i don't want to say too much about that, because i don't want the bad guys to know.
>> reporter: last month the deputy attorney general told justice department agencies they need to mention the use of stingrays in search warrants. that policy has two major exceptions when there's an urgent public safety need, and when the need meets exceptional circumstances. privacy advocates say the use is often concealed from suspects, lawyers, and even judges. >> police want to enter into a house, they have got to get a search warrant. it would be a lot easier for law enforcement to say we're just going to enter everybody's house and look for crime, once a week. but we decided that there are important liberty interests at stake. >> reporter: some say they are concerned federal and state agencies are not applies uniform standards when it comes to tracking cell phones. ines ferre, al jazeera. ahead, a screening shift. new guidelines on when to get a
earlier test help women understand the risk they face. >> we're concerned about this, because most women don't understand the risks very well. basically risk tends to go up over time. and these guidelines are aimed at women at average risks. but only about 10% of breast cancers are due to those single genes that run a high risk. so we're concerned that there are women who are at higher than average risk who think they are at regular risk. >> this is where the confusion lies for me. because about 75% of women who get cancer, aren't predisposed it to. >> that's right. >> so you would be considered average. >> that's right. most risks are how you lead your life. and most people don't really know their risks. and risk tends to go up over
time. so our goal is to give each women the benefit of early detection, which means high-quality mammography, and correlating the information you get from all three changes. because while we're concerned about the risks of a false positive, and overdiagnosis and overtreatment, that's what the guidelines focused on. women don't want a missed or delayed diagnosis. i would rather have a false positive than a delayed diagnosis. and i'm a breast cancer survivor and breast cancer doctor. and i got that phone call myself about a diagnosis of breast cancer, and i think i speak for a lot of women that we want our best shot at early detection, treating it as early as possible when we can have our best chance of being cured of it. >> she also says her group still recommends annual mammograms
beginning at age 40. this morning fans of back to the future are looking back to 1989 to see how its predicts for today measure up. >> we're going to california at 4:29 pm, on wednesday october 21st, 2015. >> 2015? you mean we're in the future. >> 26 years ago, marty mcfly and doc brown travelled to this day. while the movie's version is different than the reality. back to the future ii did predict videoconferencing, much like skype or face time, and mobile tablets, and marty's future self even gets fired during a future chat. the chicago cubs winning this year's world series. though that is still a
possibility, last night's loss to the mets makes it seem a little more unlikely. sorry cubs fans. thank for watching. the news continues next live from doha. ♪ >> announcer: this is al jazeera. ♪ from al jazeera's headquarters in doha, this is the news hour. i'm adrian finighan. coming up, ban ki-moon calls for an end to the violence between israelis and palestinians during a visit to the occupied west bank. bashar al-assad leaves syria for the first time in four years for talks with vladimir putin in moscow. south african students take their nationwide protest to parliament, but are sent running by riot police and tear gas. ♪