the planet pluto. the photos show the layers of the atmosphere, as well as the mountains on the dwarf planet. it's the first spacecraft to visit pluto. you can always keep up to date with the very latest news on our website, aljazeera.com. dozens are killed in a strike on a damascus area market, the violence turning up the pressure for the u.s., russia, and iran tend to the crisis. releasing non-violent inmates. and a spooky situation for pumpkin lovers. a pumpkin shortage that could stretch through the holiday season.
♪ this is al jazeera america live from new york city. i'm stephanie sy. talks are underway this morning in vienna, where secretary of state john kerry and other foreign ministers are discussing how to end the 4.5 year war in syria. there are reports that the u.s. and iranians may be nearing a compromise on the future of president bashar al-assad. in syria there was more bloodshed today at least 45 people were killed and 100 more injured in duma. mohammed jamjoom joins us now from the talks in vienna. mohammed were these talks expected to last this long? >> reporter: no, stephanie, they weren't. we were expecting to see the french foreign minister emerge
from the hotel behind us and give a briefing to the press. that was two hours ago we were told that was going to happen imnextly, still hasn't happened. so that plenary is still going on right now. what is happening on the scene is there are syrian opposition activists. and if we can pan the camera over. they are waving freedom for syria flags. they are chanting anti-bashar al-assad chants. they were moved from the entrance just about half an hour ago, now they are across the street behind these barricades. they said they are committed to staying out here as long as these talks happen, and one of their representatives told me that in fact they would reject anything that would come out of these talks, because they don't believe the diplomats in there have the best interests of the syrian people in mind, even
while they are trying to effect some sort of political compromise. >> how crucial is how the different countries feel about president assad to these talks? and is it possible for compromise? >> reporter: stephanie, i'm sorry we're having some audio problems, but i believe you asked me if it would be possible to come up with a compromise. one of the key factors is the fact that the irans are here fore the very first time. this is the first time they have been allowed to join these talks. they are one of the primary back fors of bashar al-assad along with the russians, and they are now inside a room, sitting across a negotiating table from saudi arabia, their regional arch rival. saudi arabia along with the u.s., turkey, and so many other countries supports the syrian opposition. all of that being said, though,
everybody who has come out and spoken to the press, and there haven't been that many, but one of the diplomats has really struck a very guardedly optimistic tone, really lowering the diplomatic bar as far as what they think might be possible. and even while these talks are happening, as you mentioned and we spoke about last hour as well, today news of horrific attacks in syria, in duma, killing at least 40 people we are told. so this seemingly is not having any impact on what is going on, on the ground in syria. >> the expectations are low, but the stakes are high. mohammed jamjoom thank you. millions have fled the fighting in syria, o some of those refugees this morning were in a dramatic standingoff. a wave of refugees crashed through the border gates.
trampling others as they rushed through. we are getting breaking news right now from the white house. there are reports that the obama administration will announce the deployment of a small number of special operations forces in syria. we'll continue to follow those developments as we get them. but we are hearing that the obama administration is set to announce more special forces in syria in the fight against isil. the last british resident being held at guantanamo bay has arrived in the u.k. the u.s. released the saudi national this morning after 13 years. another detainee was sent home on thursday. they both had been in prison for 13 years without charge. a group that advocates for the release of guantanamo detainees says it will be a long readjustment process. >> the first that will happen is he needs urgent medical attention. his lawyers said after the hunger strikes and the forced
feeding we read about in the senate report, that the senate report described as torture, he is in very, very bad health. his first step will be to seek that medical attention he needs and try to reconnect with his family. >> the u.s. first detained him in 2001 under suspicion he was working with the taliban. but he maintains he was doing charity work in afghanistan. 118 detainees are still being held at guantanamo. the largest onetime release of federal prisoners is getting underway today. about 6,000 prisoners are being set free today and of that number more than 1700 are not u.s. citizens. they will be turned over to immigration and custom's enforcement, and most will be deported. many of those being sent home have nothing to return to. >> many of these people have
their families here. they have -- in some cases no one, really, at that -- in their home countries. and we don't understand the conditions when people are sent back. right now even people being deported immediately and separated by their families go through very difficult situations because the countries like mexico and others are not set up to properly welcome folks back. >> some will be moved to halfway houses or home confinement, a small percentage will remain under probation. president obama is praising a federal budget deal and says he will sign it. it was approved by a vote of 65-34 this morning. >> i will not give this president any power to borrow
unspecified amounts of money. our debt now equals our entire economy. >> reporter: republican senator and presidential candidate rand paul railed against the budget deal this morning. he says it contained too much spending. >> those of us who believe it was not a good deal, were not given the opportunity for an alternative. >> reporter: he promised a filibuster, but didn't get the support of his fellow republicans. the measure suspends the nation's debt limit through 2017. the budget also boosts spending by more than $80 billion over the next two years. the funding is split between military and domestic programs.
and that lead to more republican objections. >> $85 billion to our national debt, $85 billion to your children and my chiern children that they are somehow expected to pay. >> reporter: it would be offset by $168 billion in long-term changes to social security. >> it's not perfect as my friend the republican leader said, no legislation is. the budget is good for the middle class, good for the economy and good for the country. >> the deal reduces the chance for a government shutdown in december, but doesn't eliminate it entirely. a week-long manhunt in kentucky fore a man accused of shooting and wounding a police officer is over this morning. police shot and killed the man in the south central part of the state overnight. the convicted rapist has been on the run since saturday. >> there's a feeling of leaf
that it is over; that the community is safer now. >> schools and businesses had been shut down while authorities searched for cook. who of his alleged associates are now in jail awaiting charges. a washington state high school football team is gearing up for the playoffs after a big win last night without a coach. he was suspended for praying with his players on the field, so he sat in the stands, and he says he will not give up the fight. john henry smith reports. >> reporter: assistant coach joe kennedy was back praying thursday night. but he prayed from the stands not from the field. >> i never wanted any legal stuff. i didn't want any problems. i just wanted to give thanks for my team out there. >> reporter: the school district suspended kennedy the day before after he repeatedly ignored a school mandate.
>> i don't understand why america has come to this, when i thought it was so pure and -- hopefully we'll get it straightened out. >> reporter: this group of self-described satanists were there too, protesting kennedy's practice. the debate has even reached capitol hill. >> protecting one coach's right to pray, protects every person's right to pray. >> reporter: in the stands the opinion was more mixed. >> i support his right to pray. everybody has the right to pray. it's a just not the right venue. >> separation of church and state, i get that, but that's not really not what he is doing. >> he is not forcing prayer on the kids. he is just doing it on his own, and if the kids want to join in, i think that's perfectly acceptable. >> reporter: his lawyers are with the conservative liberty institute group, they say they will file a federal discrimination charge on kennedy's behalf. >> i'm willing to take this as
is looking into reports that a fourth iranian american is now being held in an iranian jail. the family friend tells the "washington post" he was visiting relatives in tehran earlier this month when security forces arrested him. word of his detention is only now coming out. he lives in dubai and a desce descendant of a prominent iranian family. engine is on fire! >> emergency call the firetruck! >> the plane had more than 100 passengers on board, and nearly two dozen people were hurt as they evacuated. lisa stark has more. >> reporter: the a bowing 767 was scheduled to fly from fort lauderdale to venezuela. so as it was taxiing for takeoff
yes the pilot on the plane behind noticed fuel leaking from the engine and then the engine caught fire. the passengers and screw scrambled to get off of the jet. fire crews responded within minutes, but 15 people were injured, including one who suffered burns. >> one person sustained serious burn injuries. i don't know if it is a crew or passenger. and then the remaining were what we call walking wounded, bumps, bruises, contusion, that nature. >> reporter: the airport did shut down for a number of hours. dynamic a ways is based in north carolina and operates flights
mainly out of fort lauderdale and new york. the plane was 30 years old. the national transportation safety board is sending a team to florida to investigate this accident. according to ntsb records, dynamic airlines has had only one minor accident before this fire. a warning today of drivers of suvs built by fiat chryslers. seven people have been hurt by those air bags going off. separately more than half a million dodge journeys and fiat fremonts are being recalled for break problems. police in seattle are offering non-violent offenders an alternative to jail. rehab. but the program has been criticized as being too soft on
crime. our correspondent followed up with three low-level offenders to see if it is working. >> skylar is a college graduate living on the streets and stealing to feed his habit. >> what is your drug of choice? >> heroin. >> reporter: the police offer him hope instead of handcuffs, and he takes it. he entered the program which doesn't require him to stay sober in order to get help. >> the morning of detox the first time, he literally slept on the sidewalk by the office to make sure he made it in the morning. the second time i picked him up from under a bridge to take him to detox. >> reporter: but each time he left and vanished. today he is back in jail this time in a city near seattle. they asked that he get drug people before serving out his jail sentence, the judge agreed,
but hooks called to say time is running out to find an available bed. >> i tried, but i'm having trouble finding a bed. >> reporter: new data suggests the four-year-old program has helped the more than 300 people who have enrolled. lisa says the program is working. >> people in the program are 58% less likely to be arrested again after they get involved with the program than people who are very similar but go through jail booking and prosecution as usual. >> reporter: compared to low-level offenders, the participants spend 39 days in jail per year. this is one of lead's success stories. we met him last year. >> this was my review from the
state. >> reporter: after remaining drug free for three years, he is no longer on probation. but he still struggled to find his own place. >> with my criminal background, and my not having any current income, it wasn't easy. >> reporter: almost a year later, he found a one-bedroom apartment. he now sees his son every other weekend and plans for the future. >> i do want to get back into, you know, very badly want to get back into the -- the world -- working class. >> reporter: we also caught up with this man, a crack addict who goes by michael. he entered the program the day we shot this video last year. case managers say he completed his community service and now lives with family. while michael has not remained consistently sober, lead officers say they haven't seen him on the seattle streets that
he once called home. the state department today is expected to release another batch of hillary clintons emails from her time as secretary of state. it was just last week that the emails came up during the marathon hearing before the house benghazi meeting. the fbi is investigating whether clinton misused classified information. reports that the united states is expected to send more special operations forces into syria. we'll have more after this break.
back now to the breaking news this morning from the white house. there are reports that the obama administration will announce the deployment of a small number of special operations forces in syria. about 20 to 30 u.s. troops will reportedly be stationed in northern syria to work along with groups fighting isil. let's go to mike viqueira live in washington. mike, this appears to be a change from what president obama has previously today about boots on the ground in syria. >> reporter: you are absolutely right, stephanie. it appears to be a draw plattic change, but nevertheless the white house is going out of its way as has the pentagon to dow play this development. a white house official tells me this morning -- here is how they
are characterizing it. it's an ongoing process that includes intensifying efforts that seem to be the most successful. when you are talking about essentially putting boots on the ground in syria something the president has said hundreds of times likely, that is simply not going to happen, likewise with iraq, but in the face of the stalemated fight against isil both in iraq and syria, in the face of these increasing attacks -- air strikes by russia, and its efforts to back the assad regime now, unclear how that plays into it, but this is clearly a step the united states appears to be taking now. they will be helping, will the united states, some of the kurdish forces in northern syria, that is likely to be very sensitive with the nato allies, the united states very sensitive about any help the united states is giving the turks. always the vetted opposition that has been the beneficiary of
the cia help in the past. one of the aspects of the failed policy so far by the admin trags is the program with to train forces in saudi arabia, and turkey, and that has obviously collapsed now. and so the administration going to be announcing a major step. although i'm told we will not see the president. another indication of how they are going to down play this move. >> i wonder if part of that is special operations forces have been known to operate in syria. so it would not be the first time they have been on the ground in syria, but ash carter, mike, he hinted just this week that there were going to be changes in this strategy, right? >> that's exactly right. and the pentagon has been saying throughout the week according to
jamie mcintyre our national security correspondent, what you will see is stepped up air strikes and more raids with u.s. support, not u.s. troops embedded with iraqi fighters. here is ash carter you alluded to earlier this week in his testimony. >> the old approach was to train and equip completely new forces outside of syria, before sending them into the fight. the new approach is to work with vetted leaders of groups that are already fighting isil. and provide equipment, and some training to them and support their operations with air power. >> reporter: and one analogy or one similar raid that has happened, wasn't in syria, but just a few days ago you recall, stephanie in iraq, when u.s. forces aided iraqi forces and kurdish forces to free kurdish prisoners in an isil prison said to be just hours away from execution. >> and a u.s. soldier was killed
in that raid. >> reporter: right. >> mike viqueira reporting that he has learned that the u.s. is planning to announce it is sending special forces, some 20 to 30 into northern syria to help kurdish fighters that are battling isil. all of this happening as diplomatic talks on resolving the syrian war continue in vienna. we'll continue to get you more details on this developing story. but for now let's move back to this country. it looks like it will be a rainy halloween in texas. thunderstorms brought a deluge of rain to houston. forecasters say as much as 3 inches of rain will fall before the storm passes by later this weekend. mother nature is playing a trick on us this halloween, pumpkin supplies are frightfully low. nicole mitchell has this report.
>> reporter: the real frightening forecast is for thanksgiving. there are different types of pumpkins. sugar pumpkins in particular, the type people eat had a terrible season. 90% of them come from illinois. morton illinois is known as the pumpkin capitol of the world. record rains in june soaked the soil across the state during the crop's critical growing period. this chart shows how high above average the rains were. look at the darker greens, in those areas, rain was two or three times above the average. there was higher than average rainfall in may and june as well, not only did farmers have to delay planting in some fields, the flooding killed the pumpkins that had already started to grow. the result, pumpkin a harvests this year are down by 50%, meaning shelves of canned
pumpkins could be hauntingly bare by the end of the holidays. i'm stephanie sy. thanks for watching. ♪ >> announcer: this is al jazeera. ♪ hello there, and welcome to the news hour. i'm laura kyle in doha. at least 55 people are killed by a syrian government strike on a busy market near damascus. an international summit is taking place in vienna to try to bring an end to the conflict. plus more than 20 refugees drown as two more boats sink off of the coast of greece. the last british pilsner has