the prime minister is hoping that selling stakes in the postal service will help increase investments in japanese firms. more on that story and everything else we're covering right here, aljazeera.com. losing support, russia softens its stance on keeping syrian president bashar al-assad in power. a meeting 60 years in the making. china and taiwan, set to discuss peace talks. and up in smoke, ohio voting against legalizing medical and recreational marijuana. one of the many issues turned aside at the ballot box. ♪
this is al jazeera america live in new york city. i'm del walters. russia's foreign minister meeting in moscow with the u.n. special envoy on syria. the envoy painting an optimistic picture on moving forward on peace talks. >> the government in damascus has indicated they are ready to participate, and they have a substantial and numerous delegation. we need, and we will ask the opposition, all of the oppositions to actually be represented. so that we can start working. when? as soon as possible. >> it was those russian-lead air strikes in syria that drove a wedge between moscow and the west, but said sergei lavrov saying it is not crucial for the syrian president to say in power. paul brennan has more on what that means for u.s.-russian relations. >> reporter: in september after a series of defeats at the handing of rebel groups and
isil, russia started carrying out air strikes in syria, supporting assad's government forces. vladimir putin suggesting that bolstering assad was simply the only way to defeat isil. >> translator: we think it's an enormous mistake to refuse to cooperation with the syrian government and its armed forces. we should finally acknowledge that no one but president assad's armed forces and the militia are truly fighting the islamic state. >> reporter: most of the air strikes have not been aimed as isil, instead targeting rebel groups trying to overthrow assad. last week assad travelled to moscow to meet with putin, marking his first trip outside of syria since the start of the war in 2011. as for the new suggestion that moscow might be willing to see a syria without assad, officials
say their ramp up speaks louder than words. >> i would refer you back to the government of russia for that. russian actions so far in syria have been to prop up the regime. >> reporter: when and whether assad should go is just one of the key sticking points. last month they met to discussion ways to end the fighting that has killed hundreds of thousands and displaced millions more. syrian officials and the opposition could meet as early as next week. one point on which the u.s. and russia do agree is avoiding accidental clashes between their air forces in the syrian battle space. to that end, the pentagon says that one russian, and one u.s. plane carried out a sort of safety exercise tuesday.
the planes flew within about five miles of each other for about three months in the skies over syria testing communications protocols set up last month. romania's president saying he will name a interim prime minister now that victor ponta has the resigned. protesters calling for ponta to step down following a nightclub fire that left more than 30 people dead. long-time rivals, china and taiwan, will soon meet for the first time in 60 years. it will be the first meeting since they were divided by civil war in 1949. al jazeera's rob mcbride has more from beijing. >> reporter: this will be hugely historic for both mainland china and taiwan, and is the culmination of a process that has been going on for several years now, especially under the
starred wardship of the president of taiwan who has been pushing for closer ties. we have seen those closer links in business terms, communication and transport. millions of tourists now travel back and forth between taiwan and mainland china. what we haven't seen is a closeness in diplomat -- terms. it adds an interesting dimension to the presidential elections in taiwan in january. the main opposition party is expected to win those elections. they are opposed to closer ties, so this was seen as the last best chance of this historic meeting taking place. both sides are cautioning that there won't be any agreements signed, it is purely symbolic, but as symbolism goes in terms of cross strait relations it doesn't get much bigger. the white house saying it welcomes that meeting, saying it
could reduce tensions, and we're going to have much more on this story in our next hour. ash carter says he plans to board is naval ship near the disputed south china sea. he'll be there with his malaysian counterpart. the pentagon is not saying exactly where the aircraft carrier will sail. but it has been on patrol in the south china sea area. several countries including china have overlapping claims to those waters and the islands. dozens of people are dead in south sudan where a russian cargo plane crashed. the plane came down on the banks of the white nile river. officials saying fishermen on the ground were killed as well. at least three people survived. the first refugees to be resettled from greece now arriving in lucks um
-- luxembourg today. tsipras says not all of the e.u. countries are pulling their weight. >> translator: it's a drop in the ocean. we would like this drop to become a stream and then a river of humanity. >> many of the 600,000 refugees who have made it to greece this year landed on the island of lesvos. but more than 400 have died in the sea just trying to get to the island, trying to reach europe. mohammed jamjoom reports lesvos says it is running out of room to bury the dead. >> reporter: at this hour in greece, the sky darkens as quick as the fear sets in, but still they come. attention turns first to the ones they risked everything for, the young they must comfort. the old they must aid. having survived the sea, they land into a situation so chaotic, even our team was asked
to help translate. yes, she had on the side of her head. the car accident in turkey just a few hours ago was bad, but this woman and her family still made the crossing. i can't even explain my emotions he tells me. we came such a long way. we were just praying we would make it to greece and then we did. thank god. the medics arrived quickly, and treatment was given, but during these days of crisis, even aid workers accustomed to helping the emotionally traumatized are at a loss. >> they flee war for a better life. most of them now they are forgetting, because they bring -- they brought the families with them, children, and now they are dead or they are looking for them. actually you cannot say anything to a woman that has lost a
husband and children as well. but they just need a hug, someone there to be next to them and facilitate with all of the procedure. >> reporter: it's not just identifying their loved one that is so difficult. even finding a final resting place is difficult. >> reporter: these graves are a stark reminder of how sad a death these refugees had. what makes their fate even more tragic is the fact that many buried here were put into the ground anonymously. overcrowded with bodies, this cemetery has run out of room. this grave digger understands death better than most, but this, he struggles to comprehend. the refugees come to find a better future, he tells me. instead they get a painful death. we greeks, we also were
migrants, but we didn't have to die in the sea. now even for the refugees who managed to escape with their lives, it's death that seems closer than ever. mohammed jamjoom, al jazeera, lesvos, greece. we now know the cause of death in the fatal shooting of the illinois police officer. moments ago, it was announced that he committed suicide, the result of a police officer who broke the law. >> the investigation found he had been stealing and laundering money from the police explorer post. this had been occurring over the past seven years. he was also found to have forged signatures on official documents. thousands of dollars were used for personal purchases, travel expenses, mortgage payments, personal gym memberships, adult websites, facilitating personal
loans, and unaccounted cash withdrawals. >> reporter: he is better known as gi-joe to the locals was found shot dead of a gunshot wound. voters in ohio overwhelmingly striking down an attempt to legalize recreational and medical marijuana. the outcome may have been driven by critics who say the measure would have created a monopoly in that state. bisi onile-ere has more. >> reporter: this is a huge upset for the backers of legalized marijuana, a group of wealthy investors spent millions of dollars over the course of the year trying to issue issue 3 through, but in the end, they were defeated, now a lot of voters that we talked to took issue with the term monopoly. had this gone through the investors would have gained a lot of profit.
they would have had exclusive rights to about ten marijuana growing sites across the state. and a lot of people took issue with that. there have be a number of schools, hospitals, law enforcement agencies, and politicians who have been vocal against legal marijuana. >> ohio voters were on to this plan. they saw it not so much as an marijuana legalization plan, but a business plan that a select few were trying to implement, and these sorts of plans have no place in our constitution. and the electorate was on to it. >> reporter: and nick la shea was one of those wealthy investors and he had this to say on twitter: we actually talked to proponents of legalized marijuana, it's a group called responsible ohio,
and they said that this isn't over. they are not giving up, and there's a very good chance that a similar issue could be on the ballot this time next year. and that is bisi onile-ere reporting from columbus, ohio. canada has a new prime minister. at 43 he is the second-youngest prime minister in canadian history, and the son of the country's former prime minister, pierre trudeau. more bad news for the company responsible for those exploding air bags is dropped by an auto maker and hit with a huge fine. plus why some disabled workers say they are earning less than minimum wage and it's all legal.
honda saying it is going to stop buying those air bag inflaters from the japanese auto maker who's air bag sparked a huge recall. and now the company has been slapped with $70 million in fines. al jazeera's lisa stark has more. >> i have to say this has been a mess. and today, usdot is stepping in to clean up the mess. >> reporter: the mess involved defective air bags. this go test shows what can happen. they explode with so much force, that metal shards come flying out. people to have been badly injured. lost their eyes, even their lives. theovernment says the company provided incomplete, inaccurate,
and misleading information. >> delay, misdirection and refusal to acknowledge the truth, allowed a serious problem to become a massive crisis. >> reporter: the recall covers 23 million driver and passenger side air bags in 19 million vehicles. those at highest risk are older air bags. the government wants the risky air bags replaced first, and has set up a priority schedule. the national highway traffic safety administration, says car manufacturers must have replacement parts on hand for the air bags at highest risk, about 6 million of them, by the end of march 2016. but overall it will be another two years before most of the recalled air bags are replaced. in a statement, they expressed regret and said this settlement will quote:
for consumers, such as elliott, a fix can't come soon enough. >> my car is parked at uncle bob's. it's a self storage facility. i'm sending $185 a month to have it stored there. i refuse to drive the car. >> reporter: the root cause is still unknown, but regulators are now taking aim at the compound they use in their air bags. highly explosive amoan um nitrate. >> we have enough suspicion about this substance to believe it's a risk to the consumer. so unless and until they can prove it is safe, we will not see it in the air bags in the future. >> reporter: and if they can't prove the compound is safe, that may lead to the recall of
million more air bags. the fcc is cracking down on hotels blocking access to the internet for their guest. hilton is the latest. that hotel chain facing up to $25,000 in fines. the fcc, alleging that hilton blocked guests from using their own personal wi-fi hot spots porters in maine rejecting a proposal to raise the minimum wage in that city to $15 an hour. that's a setback for those who support what is called a living wage. some disabled workers make as little as $2 an hour. and as ali velshi reports it's all legal. >> reporter: this 50 year old has never had it easy. but she has always been determined not to let sir rebral palsy get in her way. she has worked most of her life.
>> right now i'm labeling boxes. i do maybe two and a half skids a day. there's probably about 500 to 700 boxes on a skid. >> reporter: theresa is paid below the minimum wage. she earns about $3.65 an hour. $4 less than missouri's minimum wage. her wage fluctuates based on how many boxes she labels. her employer employs over 130 disabled workers. >> to me it's not right that we're getting the pay that we get. because we work hard over there. we work very hard. >> reporter: with government approval, sheltered workshops can legally employ disabled workers at a rate lower than
minimum wage. >> whether it's legal to pay people less than minimum wage raises serious questions about exploitation, and whether people are really given an opportunity to reach their full potential. >> reporter: the heads of the workshop say their business model is dependent upon sub minimum wages. they appealed to city hall to convince allederman to proposal bill exempting their company from a forced minimum wage hike. painful divisions within the disabled community were exposed. >> it has been a fight to prove my intellectual ability all my life! and the workers, these workers, they deserve at least the respect of a minimum wage. >> i'm scared. i am scared to death that the
workshops will go away, because it gives him meaning. >> reporter: the future of sheltered workshops across the country is being threatened by stepped-up enforcement of a 1999 supreme court ruling that people in disabilities work in more integrated settings. jim and his developmentally disabled brother, makes about $1.93 an hour at a sheltered workshop in new york. >> if you see him working at his electronic recycling program, he is thrilled about that, tremendous amount of self esteem that he feels out of it. >> reporter: the thought of gerard and his coworkers losing their jobs here, literally brings jim to tears. >> the families -- give me a second. the families, i think worry about the guys, the gals just
being at home with perhaps, you know, little meaning, you know, to their day-to-day existence. >> we don't want to see the workshop close down. i don't want to get laid off. >> reporter: ali velshi, al jazeera. and you can see more of ali velshi's reporting on ali velshi on target. it airs at 9:00 pm eastern time here on al jazeera america. helping students stay focused. the school board in seattle deciding if classes should start later? but it will cost a lot.
♪ those rising college costs could soon be slowing down. the college board finding that tuition fees went up about 3% last year, that's far below, the average increase of 5.9%. students at public colleges paying about 40% more than a decade ago. private school students paying about 29% more. and students are taking on less debt. they borrowed $106 billion last year. in that is 6% less than the year before. what time students go to
school is an issue in seattle. there is research that show that students do better when school starts later, but it's a an expensive proposition. >> reporter: breakfast at this household is always a busy time as henry and olivia get ready for school. for the second and fourth grader, it is just a couple of minute's drive to school, but mom has to get to work to the kids go to day care first. >> spread out over ten months of school year, $6,000 a year that we're paying just for the before-school care. >> reporter: despite hard costs and human complications like that, the seattle school district wants to get more teenage students to school later in the morning. >> if you can't fall asleep until 11:00, and you need eight to nine hours of sleep, and we're getting you up early to go
to school, then we're causing sleep deprivation, and that hurts contive ability. >> reporter: they say they have seen some progress in pushing back the school bell for teens across the country, but they also understand it will take time. >> because you are asking a big bureaucracy to change, you know, and that's not easy, and there are a lot of complicated factors. you are dealing with transportation, and costs, so it's not just something you can do overnight. >> reporter: simplifying the system from the current three start times to just two, later for most middle and high school students would add millions in transportation costs. one proposed plan, 8 to $15 million more. in see at samb handles the
logistics. >> reporter: it becomes very expensive. >> reporter: and with so many parts of the puzzle, it means not everybody will be happy with the compromise, which emphasizes teenage sleep and learning keeps the costs where they are, but also keeps some elementary schools on the same start time. >> it is also the cost for families like mine and certainly there are less fortunate families. >> reporter: seattle is one of the largest school districts in the country to push for later start times for older students. for those times when won'ts just aren't enough, there is now an emogi keyboard for sale. it will let you type emogies,
rather than words. thanks for watching. the news continues live from london next. romanian's prime minister and government step down as protesters blame corruption for a deadly nightclub fire. ♪ hello, i'm in london. you are watching al jazeera. also coming up, at least 41 people are killed as a cargo plane crashes in south sudan. there are new diplomatic push to get syria's government and rebels to sit around the same negotiating table. and justin trudeau follows in his