students and a professor among the dead at an attack on a university in pakistan. you're watching al jazeera live from our headquarters in doha. top diplomats try to iron out their differences and keep the syria talks alive. we've live in doff volunteers where world leaders and shakers are talking about the challenges for the global economy. ♪ chinese investments grow,
some african schools begin teaching mandarin. not everyone is happy. the head of the pakistan taliban is strongly condemning an attack on a university following an earlier claim of responsibility by a taliban splitter group. at least 19 people were killed including a professor and several students. the attack took place not far from peshawar in the northwest. marian has hon reports. >> security forces now patrol the fields alongside the university. gunmen had earlier taken advantage of thick winter fog to scale the walls, storm buildings, and open fire on students and teachers. >> we heard firing from the back of the cam pugs. we thought some people were
fighting. then the gunfire increased. we said stay in the rooms, don't go out, then the security forces came. >> classes at university had begun for the day. 3,000 students study here. there were hundreds of others at the university, too, 600 special guests were celebrating the birthday of the man who the university is named after. the university is in the same region where fighters attacked a school in december, 2014, killing 134 children. that attack was linked to the pakistan taliban. reaction spurred pakistani government officials to crack down on the taliban and other fighters. hundreds of suspects were killed or arrested. gunmen are among the dead. security forces still combing the university locking for more.
the nature of the attack in wintery foggy conditions means it's difficult to know just how many attackers there are. a saturday bomber has blown himself up in the afghan capital, killing at least four people. the incident happened near the russian embassy in kabul. the interior minister says 24 people have been injured in that attack. so far, no one has claimed responsibility. defense ministers from seven members of the coalition against isil are meeting in paris, france and the u.s. jointly hosting the meeting for the country's contributing most to the fight. let's cross over to jacky rowland joining us from paris to talk us through more of that meeting that is going on in paris. what is the order are play going to be? >> we haven't been given many details about the agenda for the talks, except that the seven defense ministers from the seven
countries are interested in looking at ways of sell rating and intensifying the fight against isil. that was the way in which they distributed it, so it's a meeting that brings together some countries which are actively involved in carrying out airstrikes, including the united kingdom and france. countries that are contributing logistically, such as germany, which is providing reconnaissance flights and also countries which have been training local fighters on the ground, such as kurdish peshmerga who obviously are involved up close with the fight against isil. really it is a way of looking at trying to coordinate those efforts in particular, striking against isil financing. we've seen airstrikes against oil facilities and also ways in which to cut off isil's fly routes through syria and through iraq, all of which are important
ingredients in trying to weaken isil's capacities. >> what do we make of the fact that russia that not been invaded or is not involved in this meeting? >> well russia is obviously a big missing component, but also turkey, because we shouldn't forgot that turkey is a front line state with syria, and that in fact, isil does receive recruits and certain supplies that have been smuggled through turkey, so clearly the absence of turkey at these talks, the absence of russia at these talks, rush which is active live involved in carrying out airstrikes in syria, clearly these are big elements of the jigsaw missing and russia in particular has been criticized by france, and other states involved in that coalition's efforts in syria, because the
russians, their targeting information is mostly coming from the syrian regime, so france and other nations have complained that in fact the syrian regime is mostly giving information about targets of insurgents whom the western coalition would support rather than targeting isil, which obviously is the objective of the western campaign, so in fact, the objectives the agenda of the russians are not the same in syria despite the fact that when the french president went to visit president putin tin straight after the paris attacks, president putin tin stressed that the objectives were in alignment, so there are clearly some problems with strategy in terms of the different countries engaged in syria. >> ok, jacki, for the time being, thank you for that update from paris. while that is taking place in
paris, syrians trapped in besieged areas close to damascus are burning rubbish to warm their homes. >> winter is harsh in eastern guta, scraps of wood, pieces of garbage, in fact anything that burns are pushed into the homemade stove. >> my dad and i made this heater. we don't have diesel fuel. we use garbage that make sure we stay warm. the smoke chokes us sometimes, because it's strong. >> she and her father use pots and pans, old pipes and bits of metal to build the family's only source of warmth. it's almost impossible to get heating fuel. the things they would normally burp now cost far too much. >> you see this, the charcoal, we can't even use this. it is too expensive. every now and then we use some
so we can keep everyone warm. >> bargains and haggling used to be common and market. now with airstrikes, there is no negotiation. for most people, prices are impossibly high. >> some of the wood here is from old houses. people are taking them down because this is all they've got to sell. some of the wood i sell costs up to 100 syrian pounds. people can't pay that price. they don't have the money. some people can't even make 100liras per day, so how can they buy this? >> he and his neighbors are cut off from fresh water, food and medicine. even winter seems to have turned against them. al jazeera. the u.s. secretary of state john kerry is in zurich to meet the russian foreign minister, sergey lavrov. russia and the u.s. disagree on who should be at the negotiating
table over bringing about an end to the war in syria. now those talks scheduled to take place in geneva on january 25, but now there are doubts over whether or not they'll actually go ahead. the talks are expected to focus on the setup of a transitional government, crossing over to paul brennan joining us from zurich, paul, we'll discussion whether the talks next week will actually go ahead in a moment, but first, talk to us about the meeting between secretary of state john kerry and sergey lavrov now underway. >> it's been underway about three hours. i have to say that the indications that i can get from the movement of vehicles over my shoulder is that the meeting could be about to break up. just over three hours after it began, i'll bring you more if i can probably in the next hour when i have an update, but the meeting was called because of doubts about whether or not the meeting on monday due in geneva can actually take place, giving
the rangling that there is about who is legitimately going to represent opposition parties and opposition fighters at the table around the table with the u.n. and the syrian regime. late in the day, russia came forward and said that a couple of the parties who were agreed, they rewarded them as terrorist groups. furthermore, they said that interior opposition parties, that is current opposition parties within syria were not properly represented at that meeting due to take place in geneva. some of the optimism from the state department, which continues to be hopeful in their comments publicly that the meeting can go ahead on monday was being counter acted by statements from the opposition groups who said if russia imposed a whole new set of opposition leaders for the monday meeting, they won't turn up. it's really in the balance. the task facing john kerry and sergey lavrov here today were to bridge the divide and make sure
these very urgently needed talks can go ahead. >> paul, thank you very much for that update from zurich. u.s. helicopters have begun operations from an airport in the syrian province. it is now ready to be used by u.s. war planes following the completion of a runway expansion. the airport will be a headquarters for fighter jets carrying out airstrikes against isil controlled areas in syria. at least 21 people have been killed in two separate attacks in iraq. isil fighters targeted army barracks and killed eight soldiers southeast of fallujah city. 11 soldiers were injured. near ramadi, 13 were killed and 18 injured when the iraqi security forces tried to form a village, isil fighters destroyed the oldest christian church in iraq, the monastery was reduced
to roll. it was built more than 1,400 years ago on a hill above mosul. isil fighters who control large parts of iraq and syria have destroyed historic buildings they consider contrary to their interpretation of islam. iraq's foreign minister vowed to go after those fueling sectarian divisions in his country, making the pledge north of baghdad on tuesday. government backed shia fighters have attacked sunni owned businesses and mosques in that town. civilians are getting caught up in the crossfire. they're having to flee. >> the streets look calm for now but the mood remains tense. while many school children are back in classrooms and bakeries are selling bread once more, the remnants of last week's sectarian violence are easy to spot. from the wreckage of a cafe attacked by isil because it was
frequented by shia militia men to the burned out remains of a sunni owned market fire bombed in reprisal attacks. >> the sunnies accused of has she boring terrorists. the displaced are not able to return home. >> this family is so scared, they've asked us to blur their faces and not to reveal their names. the last thing they wanted to do was to leave. >> we were ordered to go. we were forcefully displaced by the militias. i took my children and now have my entire family living in one room that i can barely afford. >> for the time being, they moved to the city and have no idea when or if they'll be able to go back. >> many houses owned by sunnies were fire bombed in the last few months. members of our community were killed, too. now we've got nothing but the mercy of god.
>> a population here is made up of sunnies and shias. >> since isil was pushed out. shia militias have been in charge of security there. anger from sunnies who feel aggrieved and marginalized has been rising. >> when rack's prime minister visited, he vowed to restore security for all residents. to many sunni lawmakers, those promises ring hollow. they are openly accusing the government of not doing more to reign in militias and protect sunni citizens. >> there have been many violations in several towns and villages. we see the retaliatory attacks. the governments is not able to control the initial action or the reaction. >> as it battles isil and confronts a growing humanitarian crisis, iraq security forces and governments are stretched very thin. the threat of rising sectarian
violence only makes an already volatile situation that much more dire. al jazeera, baghdad. protestors demanding jobs in tunisia are confronted by riot police. a night curfew's been imposed. unrest has spread to three other cities, protestors demanding work following the recent rise in unemployment. a jobless man committed suicide two days ago. the arab string uprising started when a struggling market vendor also took his life. rival political factions in libya announced the makeup of a new unity government under pressure to provide stability and counter the growing threat of isil. critics say it doesn't represent libyans fairly. >> a significant step forward in libya's struggle to end political deadlock, the creation of a national government, hoping
to unit the countries two rival parliaments. this was not achieved easily. we went through major difficulties, challenges and sometimes even slip ups that we knew we had to address, because we were equipped with the spirit of agreement and knowing the phase our country is going through requires control. >> the new government has to convince all armed groups that put down their weapons and join the national army. it will have to move quickly to try to end libya's humanitarian crisis. >> we would like to encourage the other stake holderles who are just -- who still have difficulties with the agreement and with this new government really allowed to take their responsibility because the people of libya deserved it. the humanitarian situation is dire. >> many members of the general national congress in tripoli and the u.n. security council recognized parliament in tobruk still don't back the agreement. critics say libya's factions and groups aren't fairly represented by the 32 ministers appointed to
the new government and it will have to take on the growing isil threat which continues to expand along the libyan coastline. the united nations which has been coordinating intense talks be sees this as the best chance so far of reuniting libya, which has been fractured by fighting for nearly five years. turkish government leaders say the number of refugees crossing waters to reach europe spiked seven fold last year. almost 100,000 people did so in 2015. 300 died en route. in 2014, just under 15,000 people tried to reach europe. a few weeks into 2016 and turkish coast guards have already saved more than 2,000 refugees from sea. we have more from istanbul. >> in january, 2015, 1,472 refugees made the journey from turkey across the aegean to the greek island.
already in january, 2016, more than 30,000 refugees have made that as i am journey, incredibly high number, most of them from syria, afghanistan and iraq. there are others from further inside the asian continent. they are choosing to make that journey at a very dangerous time. it is freezing cold and aegean remains very rough, wintery weather making those seas very rough. one day 36 bodies were found floating on the sea or washed up from capsized vessels trying to cross to the greek islands. turkey said it's doing all it can, intercepting 500 a day. it has introduced regulations, formalized regulation that is allow syrians to work in turkey. one thing turkey says to the european union is where is the 3 billion euros you promised us to help integrate syrians into
turkey? that money not yet forthcoming from the european union. >> sweden's prime minister said the refugee crisis facing europe cannot be handled by just a future countries. spoke to al jazeera, stefan called on all european union member country to do their part. >> we need oh new system that if you go into europe, you are registered in one country, but you can be transferred to another country, because today, three or four countries take the responsibility and we need a situation where 28 member states take responsibility, meaning that other countries would take more refugees not only sweden, germany and netherlands. it is of course difficult task, but it needs to be done, because if we cannot handle this situation as a european union, the european union in itself is at risk. it will be much much weaker, the
schengen cooperation may be at risk. there's so much at stake here. i believe there are country that is today do not want at a take that responsibility need to see the larger perspective and it's not easy, but we need to take that discussion. >> that was the swedish prime minister speaking to al jazeera at the world economic forum where world leaders and business executives are there. the annual meeting is being overshadowed by the plunging price of oil. there are growing fears for the word economy after the i.m.f. cut its growth forecast. we are in davos with this report. >> we woke up to with it things on the first day of the annual meeting of the world economic forum, one thing snow, plenty of it but more bad news on the economic market, on him had fallen to $28 a barrel both in the united states and crude meaning chinese markets were
down 15% over the entire year so far and that's only been about a month, leaving people with a lot to talk here at the world economic forum. the e.a.c.d. is one group we heard a comment from, it's chairman, william white, the chairman of the review committee said the situation is worse than 2007. our macro economic ammunition to fight is all used up. things could be worse than they were before the financial crisis of 2007 and the fact that we can actually see the crash coming now but are powerless to do anything against it is something i put to the e.o.c.'s secretary general earlier. >> the only question is we continue to rely on the central bankers, they have run out of ammunition because they have been the heroes of the last four or five years. it's a time for the finance ministers, for the trade ministers, the environment ministers, the innovation minister, for the education ministers, a time to go
structural. it's a time to go green. it's a time to go institutional, it's a time to go social, it's a time to do all the structural measures that we did not take in the last four or five because we were dependion on long term. we've got to brace ourselves for a short term crash then. >> if we had to say that these were long term issues i understand 2008 and 2009 or too worried fighting the short term, perhaps we would now be in better shape. >> not the most positive news to come out of the first day. it is a networking event, not something that is the g7 or g-20 to come up with some sort of communique at the end. the stated goal of talking about what it calls the fourth industrial revolution and how to handle on, it has moved
on to the global economy. chinese police detained a swedish man on suspicion of endangers national security, accused of running an unlicensed human rights group in china. we follow developments from beijing. >> state media are tore trying the detention and concession on state t.v. as part of a successful police operation and smashing an illegal organization. he said the organization is involved in training and hiring workers to gather and then distort and fabricate information about china, information that would hurt china. it accuses the group of stirring up disputes of incidents gating public confrontation with authorities, activities that would jeff or dies china's national security. the organization he cofounded is
known as the chinese urgent action working group, its stated aim to promote the rule of law in china by providing legal aid to people who say human rights have been trampled on. it does that training lawyers here in china. it issued a statement saying the accusations against him and the organization are baseless and nothing more than an attempt to criminalize human rights work here in china. it also appears to be partly of a bigger and worrying trend, crack down on human rights lawyers and defenders that's been taking place since mid 2015. amnesty international estimates more than 250 human rights defenders and lawyers have been arrested since then. more than 20 are still believed to be in custody while only nine formally charged. these figures are hard to verify because of how opaque the criminal justice system is here but they do indicate a broader and more worrying trend, a crackdown on human rights activities and suppression of
various civil rights elements in chinese society. >> school kids in south africa will soon be speaking mandarin, a pilot program launched to teach the chinese language in some schools. critics question why the children aren't learning local african languages instead. we have this report. >> welcome to a mandarin class in south africa. these children are learning one of china's popular languages. ♪ >> what is the song about? >> about three little kids, they are singing together and they're walking together. >> these 7-year-olds admit it's not as easy as it seems.
>> you say it because it's not the right term. >> these children are like sponges and can absorb. they can remember for a long time. >> children here have to learn two south african hanging in school and any foreign language as a third additional option. south africa has seven local languages, most speak at least two. people who don't want mandarin taught in schools say the children won't learn to speak the other indigenous lanes. the education democratic said mandarin is not forced on children. >> all schools that currently don't offer an african language now have to offer an african language as a compulsory language, this would go starting grade one and incrementally introduced, next year grade two
until eventually the whole system does at least one indigenous language. >> chain new is africa's biggest trading partner. some teachers aren't impressed with the introduction of mandarin in the curriculum. >> we do not see the government mandating that chinese people should always learn our languages. we look at it as perhaps another form of colonization. >> the government admits who are challenges in the education sector but say exposing children to other languages could mean opportunity for the future generation. still ahead on al jazeera, the ruble in trouble, the russian currency hits record low against the u.s. dollar. the oceans will have more plastic than fish by 2050 says a new report. more on that in a moment.