♪ indian prime minister modi makes a surprise visit to pakistan to meet his counterpart sharif. ♪ and i'm with the world news on al jazeera, also coming up, russia and qatar admits there are differences on the future of the bashar al-assad regime in syria. dozens of civilians killed in fighting as the afghan army pushes to recapture helman providence from the taliban. a long walk to a new life and challenges facing refugees on the next step of their journey
north from greece. ♪ india's prime minister modi arrived in pakistan city for a surprise visit. he will meet with his counterpart and it's the first visit by an indian prime minister to pakistan since 2004. kamal is live from islamabad with more so what else do we know about what is going to happen with this visit? >> reporter: well first of all one has to see how important this visit is and that can be judged and gauged by the fact that the two countries have been levelling charges, serious allegations against each other and dueling over the line of control in kashmir so in paris earlier or just a little over a few weeks ago on the sidelines of the paris climate confront
and modi and sharif met and shook hands and seen as a major development because the two sides were not talking to each other. after that the indian foreign minister came to islamabad and also expressed a desire and a pakistanis as well they should talk to each other so modi's visit coming at a time like this is of huge significance and of course also came as a surprise because he had tweeted just hours before he was going to land that he will be meeting the pakistani prime minister, wishing him happy birthday because the pakistani prime minister sorry is celebrating his 66th birthday and there is a chance the two will have a late lunch also and it's not clear whether mr. modi will leave the airport and how long he will stay but a huge significance as far as the visit is concerned. >> any concern this is really just about optics and pr and
maybe nothing substantive will actually come out of it? >> well, the two sides have serious problems. they have had problems over afghanistan, the pakistanis complaining about the indian involvement but however after the paris meeting the national security advisors of the two countries also met in bangkok. there a breakthrough was made and it was that both sides should talk to each other so there is cautious optimism and serious problems between the two countries. the indian prime minister will be briefing the pakistani prime minister about his visit to kabul and this is all happening behind intense diplomatic maneuvering from friendly countries as well, washington, london, both trying to convince the indians and the pakistanis to start talking again. >> all right, kamal in islamabad
thank you so much. now to a fellow at the observer research foundation a new deli based think tank joined us earlier and said india's aim is to work with pakistan in the fight of this. >> reporter: we have to move ahead and simply neither of us can afford to remain trapped in the cycle of the past. recommendations and border problems. pakistan, india has suffered a great deal from terrorism which has emanated from pakistan. pakistan now itself is a victim of terrorism and of course then there is afghanistan and i think there is a way the relationship between our countries are int interlinked in the sense it's quite symbolic this comes when the prime minister had an official visit to kabul and on his way back he stopped over islamabad and you can say there
is an understanding in india that the road to kabul goes by islamabad and so the intention is not to look at relations in ra zero sum sense but to look at it in a cooperative sum sense. and i suspect india will supply more military equipment to afghanistan to enhance the capacity of the afghan national army and the afghan national security forces. earlier modi was this afghanistan capitol where he held talks with the president ghani and inaugurateed the new parliament building and build by india at an estimated cost of $90 million and also a gesture of cooperation. qatar's foreign minister has been meeting russian counterpart with moscow with syria on top of agenda and no agreement over the president bashar al-assad and sergei fedorov helped a press
conference with his counterpart a day after china and syria agree to framework for up coming peace talks in geneva and hopes for increased cooperation with qatar in the situation in the middle east. >> translator: we discussed in detail what is necessary to be done, to implement the agreements on the syrian settlement reached within the framework of the international support group of syria and the u.n. security council. >> translator: we agree with russian party the worsening of this crisis does benefit the interests of neither party. we are aware that the delays in the solution of this crisis is harmful to all the parties and first of all to the syrian people. >> reporter: al jazeera's peter sharp is live from moscow and as you see it what was the take away, the headline from this meeting? >> well, i think it's fair to
say that russia and qatar have agreed to disagree over the future of president assad. the qatar foreign minister said that the assad regime had no legitimacy whatsoever and, in fact, said that assad was one of the main sponsors of terrorism in the region but they did agree on the main point which was a political settlement is the only way to bring peace to the region, peace to syria and the qatar foreign minister said without the political settlement they would be locked in a vicious cycle. sergei fedorov briefed the qatar foreign minister on the road ahead. now, at the moment russia is actively engaged in trying to draw up a credible list of opposition parties and opposition spokesmen who are
prepared to sit down at the table with the syrians and at the same time russia is weeding out what it regards as terrorist organizations and this is something that ka -- qatar is opposed to and both say they are engaged with trying to encourage the syrian opposition to come to the table just as quickly as possible. >> ahead of more talks that are coming up, in the coming weeks, peter sharp live from moscow and peter thank you so much. afghan security officials say 20 people have been killed in overnight clashes with the taliban in helman providence, for days the army has been trying to push the armed group out of the district, fighting has spread to other parts of helman and the u.s. is helping them with air strikes and we are there in the providence close to the fighting and told us afghan forces are struggling because of lack of support from their own
government. >> afghan army and afghan police always complain about lack of airforce and for the fight in afghanistan airforce in the very important support for the troops here, for the afghan troops because taliban are before they were not able to attack any location with a big number because when nato forces were involved in fighting especially in helman province they always had the support and it was very effective against taliban and now that afghan forces are suffering from lack of airforce they are complaining and they are saying the reason they are losing so many lives because they don't have air support and also it's so difficult for them to logistic supply with checkpoints and have bases because afghan forces don't have a proper airforce. still ahead on al jazeera
low-tech in a high-tech world, we explain why you can still send a telegram in china. and artisans not the stuffing out of machine made pinatas a mexican christmas tradition under threat. ♪ americans face the immigration debate up close and personal. >> it's heartbreaking. >> i'm the enemy. >> i'm really pissed off. >> all of these people shouldn't be dead. >> it's insane.
>> our american story is written everyday. it's not always pretty, but it's real... and we show you like no-one else can. this is our american story. this is america tonight. ♪ welcome back, here is a reminder of the top stories we are following on al jazeera, india prime minister modi arrived in pakistan city on a surprise visit. he is to meet with his
counterpart and the first visit by an indian prime minister to pakistan in more than ten years. qatar's foreign minister meeting russian counterpart in moscow who says syria is on top of agenda and no agreement over the president bashar al-assad and 20 people have been killed in overnight clashes with the taliban in helman providence, army trying to push the group out of the district and fighting has now spread to other parts of helman and let's return to our top story now and modi's surprise stop in pakistan and we are live in new deli so how is this surprise visit being received, being viewed in india? >> reporter: people here are not getting their hopes up too much. grand gestures have been made in the past.
modi before he took office in may of 2014 invited sharif here to swearing in ceremony and inclooved the pm to india for a world cup cricket match and seen as a breakthrough in regulations or a diplomacy and this visit as a surprise was announced only on twitter, a completely, you know, is not being seen as will anything come from it, relations between india and pakistan have continued to be strained despite efforts mostly because of the contention over the disputed region of kashmir where this past summer the armies of both sides continuously shot at each other but how much of an effect can one person make. modi does have an advantage here and he can actually make these kind of pushes without being pushes by hard liners at home akin to india's mixed signals to china. next month senior levels of senior officials from both
governments are expected to meet but so far no meetings between the two prime ministers are said to occur and the most resent is on the sidelines to the paris climate change talks and nothing significant came out of those. >> live for us in new deli and thank you very much. iraq's prime minister says forces aimed to recapture mosul from i.s.i.l. after defeating the group in ramadi and military says it is making progress in ramadi but has been slowed down by explosive devices left behind by the group. and began at an offensive there on tuesday and mosul is iraq's second largest city and seized by i.s.i.l. in may of last year. the city of thai fighting continues between rebels and fores of the internationally recognized government and more than a dozen rebel fighters killed and four civilians in shelling and means supplies to the city have been disrupted.
>> reporter: there are no safe havens left in thai. this mosque now bears the scars of combat. the houthis and fighters loyal to yemen's former president saleh are locked in a struggle with pro-government forces for the city and fierce battles taking place on several fronts. at the east and west city gates pro-government trying to fend off houthi fighters from entering and reports that houthis about to receive reenforcements from nearby towns and for now a blockade means nothing can get in and strangle hold meant to force houthis out but also affecting this normally bustling hospital. doctors say they have run out of some essential supplies and can't treat any more patients. a similar scene placed hundreds of kilometers to the south in the hospital in the port city of aiden. mother most departments can no
longer function but the ward of kidney patients was spared from the bombs and something he is thankful for. >> translator: when the war started it was impossible to go to the hospital. it would be considered a miracle if you managed to get in. >> reporter: with aiden now back under government control the race is on to rebuild the hospital and resume much needed services. >> translator: a lot of people come to the hospital. we have all types of military and civilian cases. some injured military fighters from thai also receive treatment here. we work with what we have. >> reporter: it's been more than a year since the houthis took over yemen's capitol sanaa and nearly nine months since the saudi-led coalition launched its military campaign. the chaos is straining basic medical services to the point of collapse. gerald tan, al jazeera. winter weather in europe has not stopped the flow of refugees. thousands are still arriving everyday by sea despite the bad
weather many are determined to reach germany and australia and we report from the border between greece and macedonia. >> reporter: tired but determined to carry on. heading into the unknown, to start a new life. the border here has been tightened with new restrictions. only iraqis, syrians and afghans are allowed in. macedonia is next but reaching northern europe is not easy. many here have escaped wars, rape and the islamic state of iraq and the levante. this iraqi family are in a town until recently was under i.s.i.l.'s control in northern iraq. >> translator: cleared from i.s.i.l. but everyone there wants to establish their own authority and we decided either we live in peace or die together trying. >> reporter: the journey remains long and hard. their next goal is to cross through macedonia and then to
serbia and then beyond. the flow of refugees crossing border to macedonia is constant, so far over 2000 people have crossed and on wednesday over 3400 people went through. the u.n. refugee agency says some of them were subjected to ill treatment and push backs by the macedonia border police. volunteers and aid groups are doing what they can to help. >> camp with medical services. we have shelter which is covered and heated. >> reporter: some greek charities are also cooperating, a group of chefs and volunteers are preparing hot meals. >> we are not given food at the time they need it we are nothing and for us it is. >> reporter: 20 minutes drive from the border this gas station became a waiting point. families rest and wait to be allowed to continue their journey. some of them have arrived the night before.
some greek and american pakistan groups felt it is time to preach. >> we are giving people some free magazines that will help with life. >> reporter: handing arabic and fancy leaflets and copies of the bible, dozens of people have their stories to tell. he is a pharmacist from syria and he says the treatment he has got here is rough. >> translator: we slept on the bus, no toy toilets and no food, i want to live in dignity and have a better life for my children. >> reporter: there is hope for better and safer future despite what is on the way, al jazeera on the greek macedonia border. 100,000 people from their homes homes in paraguay and the rivers are highest in 30 years and government declared a state of emergency. rescue teams searching for missing people after storms and
tornados battered parts of the southern united states. at least 14 people have died and many homes have been destroyed and several states flights have been delayed. some of the biggest cities in the united states say it's no longer accessible to have people sleeping out on the streets. washington d.c. is one of the cities that has decided it needs to offer permanent housing backed up by job hunting. tom ackerman reports. >> reporter: a campsite for the homeless in the heart of america's capitol shortly before washington authorities tore it down, calling it unsafe and a health hazard as well as against the law. but some who lived out in the open didn't want to leave. >> well a tent allows you shelter, temporary shelter and safety. >> reporter: washington is one of the few cities where local laws require housing for all the homeless who are in need. for this woman this is now home after years of living in emergency shelters and
short-term housing. >> i've done everything. the cabinets were already here but i fixed the kitchen and stuff up. >> reporter: she and her eight-year-old daughter share the apartment, the rent subsidized by the city and private charities but she has a full time job is glad she is required to pay at least one-third. >> it's a place i can call my own and it's something that i'm paying for so it's given me you know the opportunity to be responsible. >> reporter: within the next five years washington's local government has vowed to make homelessness in its words rare, brief and non-reoccurring and its most serious challenge is affordable housing, providing permanent housing early on is seen as the most cost effective strategy for the agency and local care agencies. >> if they wind up in hospitals, in mental health facilities, substance use treatment centers, jail, prison, all of those costs tend to go down once people are
housed. >> reporter: community of hope is one of the city's nonprofit groups that backup their housing programs with healthcare, legal services and help to prevent homelessness in the first place. >> sometimes just having resources and people there to help you and pull you along the way you know and you knowing that someone is there going to help you it really does push people you know to want to do better. >> reporter: she says her hope is to move on in a couple years and own a home of her own. tom ackerman, al jazeera, washington. group of americans taken hostage in iran during the 1979 revolution have been awarded more than $4 million in compensation. they have been seeking restitution for more than 30 years now. the victims were held for more than 400 days after a group of iranian students stormed the u.s. embassy in tehran. the incident led to washington breaking off ties with tehran. 37 of the 53 hostages are still
alive. security has been stepped up in china's capitol after the u.s. and other governments warned of possible threats against their citizens. beijing issued a jelyellow alern entertainment areas with police carrying out patrols and the telegram announced the first flight in 1903 and the start of world war i and with the advent of this new technology the telegram became obsolete in countries and rob mcbride reports from shanghai on a notable exception. >> reporter: she is about to do something very few of her generation will ever do, send a telegram to her parents. one of china's last remaining telegraph counters is in this telecom office in shanghai. the city was one of the first linked to the telegraph system and will likely be among the last to hold on to it.
>> translator: it's nostalgic for my parents and from a time people used to write letters so this will be like a souvenir for them to keep. >> reporter: the telegram begins the journey first by fax sent to another office where it will then be transmitted, this is low tech in a high-tech world. the telegrams are then sent over a network that uses machinery that is about as sophisticated as it will ever become. museum to the telegraph charts the progress of the service from its even more primitive beginnings including the code books that gave the thousands of chinese characters individual numbers so they could be transmitted. a service peeked at 44 million telegrams per year in 1988 has been in steep decline ever since. >> translator: traditionally people would still use telegrams
for congratulations or for condolence but even those uses are now dropping off. >> reporter: hardly surprising in a country that now has hundreds of millions of users signed up to one of the many messaging apps available on their smartphones. and she and her parents included. the message to say the telegraph is on its way has gone in a couple of moments. the telegram itself will take a week. with such a relatively long wait in the age of the smartphone it will probably take more than nostalgia to save the chinese telegram, rob mcbride al jazeera shanghai. mexico the pinata has always been a party staple for generations particularly at christmas but handmade craft is dying out and we report from mexico city. >> if you are a pinata artisan this is a season of aching hands and ripped nails and the creations are routinely copied
is what kept this man designing, gluing and wrapping for 40 ye s years. >> translator: i like the colors of the pinatas but you don't need a lot of money to make them and that this has given jobs to me and my family. >> reporter: he is also a dentist. he admits that pinata trade is not as lucrative as it used to be because now there is more competition. christmas is the busy time of year and he and family members will make 4-5,000 in a month and charge about $2 for these stars. ♪ they represent the christmas star, in the bible the star revealed the birth of jesus to the three wise men and lead them to bethlehem. this stretch of road in mexico city is the kilometer of the pinatas and artisans say that machines are now changing what was once a strictly handmade craft, machines are now cutting the paper and making the bodies
of pinatas. >> translator: i feel melancholy because this tradition is coming to an end. our parents taught us this for two or three generations. >> reporter: but alaina with the council for culture and arts says the tradition of pinatas will endure and not only firmly routed with catholics they are an expression of the music and spirit of mexico and also an extension of the person who made them. >> translator: at this time of the year people are always looking for the traditional pinatas and that is difficult to find when it's made by a machine. although this business is changing, the artisan are adapting and know how to satisfy their customers, that is the value we are promoting. >> reporter: but for kids pinatas will remain a game that comes with a prize. >> translator: i like the pinatas because i can hit them and eat the candy.
>> reporter: not so for christmas. it's peanuts, oranges and guavas that come tumbling out of these pinatas. al jazeera, mexico city. the head of the roman catholic church delivered his christmas sermon, the message for catholics was intoxicated by consumerism and extragance and should reject the gift given of the season. and kilometers away from the front line where rebels and the syrian army are fighting and hundreds of christians lit a christmas tree hoping the new year will end conflict and activists delivering presents to children who have been orfaned by the war. australia the first to reign in christmas and it's summer there and means sand not snow for
christmas and santa there has a different mode of transport. and a reminder you can keep up to date with all of the news from around the world, just visit our website, it's very easy to find, it's al jazeera.com. black market booze. tonight i want to talk about a group of american workers who earn less than the federal minimum wage. but first, some context. the fair labor standards act signed by president franklin delano roosevelt in 1938, made the minimum wage the law of the land. 77 years later america is locked