the pakistani tall been condemns an attack on a university that killed 20 people and wounded dozens. ♪ hello there, i'm felicity barr and this is al jazeera live from london. also coming up, defense ministers of seven countries in the coalition against isil meet to discuss new ways of stepping up the fight. syrians cut off by fighting, burn whatever they can to keep warm, and questions around planned talks to end the war. he is the master at the art
of the deal. >> and sarah pailen throws her support behind donald trump. ♪ at least 20 people have been killed in an attack on a university in pakistan's northwest. a splinter group of the pakistani taliban claimed responsibility. but the head of the group has strongly condemned the attack. >> reporter: security forces now patrol the field 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. >> translator: we heard firing from the back of the campus. we thought maybe some people were fighting. then the gunfire increased. we said stay in the rooms, don't go out.
then the security forces came. >> reporter: classes had begun for the day. 3,000 students study here, and there were hundreds of others at the university too. 600 special guests were there to mark the death of the man whom the university is named after, the founder of the liberal anti-taliban political party. universities in this province, the same region where fighters attacked a school in december 2014, killing 134 children. in that attack was linked to the pakistan taliban. reaction spurred pakistani government officials to crack down on the taliban and other fighters. hundreds were killed or arrested. in this latest attack security forces combed the campus for hours, looking for gunmen. they say they are confident they have killed them all, and an investigation is underway.
defense ministers from seven members of the coalition against isil are meeting in paris. and a warning the following pictures contain flash photography. that meeting is being jointly hosted by france and the u.s. the french army operations chief said recently the current military strategy is not producing fast results. more on this let's speak to jacky rowland at that con for instance this paris for us right now. and jackie, the main message i saw seemed to be everybody needs to do more. >> reporter: well, yes, there was a discussion about what each of the partners could bring to the table in terms of the fight against isil in syria and iraq. after the meeting at the news conference, the french defense minister started talking about particular areas to focus on. he said it was necessary to
attack isil command points to attack their communications, their supply routes, really to erode their capacity to actually carry out attacks on the ground, and the american defense secretary, he outlined another very important part of the we west's strategy, and that has been to train and equip local forces on the ground so while the coalition is attacking from the sky it would be local forces who could do the fighting on the ground. >> we are as the minister indicated, enabling local motivated forces, wherever isil has spread as the only practical strategic approach not only to defeating isil, but also of sustaining its defeat
thereafter. >> jacky this is a meeting of seven member countries of the coalition, but ash carter talking about another meeting where all 26 countries would have a representative at it. >> reporter: yes, he is saying he is calling a meeting in brussels in three week's time, a larger gathering, the iraqi defense minister would also be there, and the language he used indicated a certain amount of frustration or impatience, he said he would be pressing ministers to come up with more ideas, come up with more contributions, which i think is a reflection of the fact that this -- this battle against isil has proven more difficult, more protracted than they had suspected at the beginning, and of course, we're just talking about isil in iraq and in syria. we have to remember as well, they are growing in strength in libya, a whole, completely
different operation, and also carrying out individual targeted attacks in places as far afield as burkina faso, and here in paris as well. so this is not a conventional enemy or conventional war, and a recognition that people fighting them have to think of unconventional ways, think outside of the box if you would like in the way to move forward with this strategy to try to weaken isil, and their ultimate goal to defeat it. >> thank you. isil fighters have destroyed the oldest christian church in iraq. 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 already destroyed historic
buildings they consider contrary to their interpretation of islam. government-backed shiite fighters have attacked sunni owned businesses and mosques in one town, and civilians are getting caught up in the cross fire and are having to flee. mohammed jamjoom reports. >> reporter: the streets here 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 a cafe attacked by isil, to the burned out remains of a sunni-owned market fire bombed in reprisal attacks. >> translator: the sunnis are always accused of siding with isil. today the displaced are not able to return to their homes.
>> reporter: this sunni family are so scared, they have asked us to blur their faces and not reveal their names. the last thing they wanted to do was to leave. >> translator: we were ordered to go. we were forcibly displayed by the militias. i took my children out of school, and i have my entire family living in one room that i can barely afford. >> reporter: for the time being they have moved to this city, and have no idea if or when they will be able to go back. >> translator: members of our community were killed. now we have got nothing but the mercy of god. >> reporter: this town is located in the [ inaudible ] province. and has a population of sunnis a shiites. ang anger from sunnis has been
rising. when iraq's prime minister visited on tuesday, he vowed to restore security for all residents, but for many sunnis those promises ring hollow. >> translator: in our town there have been many violations in several towns and villages, we see the retaller to torie attacks. >> reporter: iraq's security forces and government are stretched very thin. the threat of riding sectarian violence only makes an already volatile situation that much more dire. mohammed jamjoom, al jazeera. u.s. secretary of state john kerry is in zurich meeting the russian foreign minister. the countries have disagreed on who should be at the negotiating
table to help bring an end to the crisis in syria. the scheduled talks were expected to focus on the setup of a transitional government and due to take place in geneva on january 25th, but there are doubts on whether or not they will go ahead. >> translator: we discussed a number of measures which have to be taken in order to provide for a ceasefire. obviously, apart from isil and al-nusra, they remain our enemies, they cannot be subject to ceasefire, and we will continue to fight them. >> paul brennan joining us live now from zurich. are we any the wiser as to whether or not those talks will go ahead on the 25th? >> reporter: i'm afraid not. john kerry and sergei lavrov came here hoping to iron out
this last-minute wrinkle, which is russia's demand that the opposition contingent at the table, include interior opposition to assad. and the other thing that russia was keen on was to specify that some of the groups who would be attending geneva, russia is not happy with them, because it sees them as terrorist groups. we just played the clip from sergei lavrov there. he went on to say that the talks will begin, we hope, as soon as possible, but i don't know the exact day. he said we hope very much it will happen this month and he pointed out that there are still 11 days left in this month. so i think it's looking increasingly unlikely that the talks will get underway in geneva next monday. but they are putting a brave face on the possibility that the talks will get underway before the end of january. the syrian opposition council
which met in riyadh and agree who would be going to geneva, they have threatened to wukt if opposition delegates are imposed upon them by russia, and we're waiting to hear what the russian opposition council thinks. still to come, the financial incentives being offered to thai families to have more babies. plus the search for a president. a palestinian reality show like no other. ♪
hello again, and a remicer of the top stories. a splinter group of the pakistan taliban has claimed responsibility for an attack on a university that killed at least 20 people. u.s. secretary of state john kerry and the russian foreign minister sergei lavrov say there are no plans to move the date of next week's talks aimed attending the war in syria. in syria itself people trapped in besieged areas close to the capitol are burning rubbish to try to warm their homes. al jazeera's correspondent reports. >> reporter: winter is harsh
here. scraps of wood, pieces of garbage, in fact anything that burns are pushed into the homemade stove. >> translator: my dad and i made this heater. we use garbage to make sure my brothers and sisters stay home. >> reporter: she and her father use pots and pans, old pipes and bits of metal to build the family's only source of warmth. the things they would normally burn now cost far too much. >> translator: 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. >> reporter: bargaining and haggling used to be common at the local wood market. now among the resulting wreckage of air strikes by russia and the syrian air force, there's no negotiation. for most people, prices are
impossibly high. >> translator: some of the wood here is from old houses. people are taking them down, because this is all they have got to sell. some of the wood i sell cost up to 100 syrian pounds. people can't pay that price. some people can't even make a hundred liras a day, so how can they buy this? >> reporter: this man and his neighbors are cut off from fresh water, food, and medicine, even winter seems to have turned against them. police in turkey and germany say they have broken up a sophisticated human smuggling ring. syrian refugees were sent across the mediterranean in freight ships into europe. 34 people were arrested in early morning raids. they said the traffickers would be directly responsible for the death of any refugees.
>> translator: those who cram more than 1,700 people into the holding space of a run-down cargo vessel that is ready for the scrap heap and then set the autopilots for the italian coastline, and then leave, they will be responsible for the deaths of those on board. >> we want to do two things we want to kill this business model of the boat smugglers, these people who earn money through which many people die on the seas, and secondly, we have to kill the idea that the refugees himself or herself decides to try to go to europe. the 46th world economic
forum is underway in switzerland. the annual summit is being overshadowed by the falling price of oil, and china reporting its lowest economic growth rate in a quarter of a century. kamal is in davos for us. >> reporter: so we work up to two things on the first day of the annual meeting, one of them snow, plenty of it. but also more bad news on the economic markets, the news that oil had fallen to below $28 a barrel. the chinese marks were now down 15% over the entire year so far, and that has only been about a month. it is leaving people with a lot to talk about here. the oecd is one group we heard a comment from, its chairman of the review committee, so said,
quote, the situation is worse than it was in 2007, our macroeconomic munition is all used up. that's a pretty scary thought. the fact that we can actually see the crash coming now, but are seemingly powerless to do anything against it. that's something i put to the oecd's secretary general earlier. >> the question is we continue to rely on the central bankers to do more. they have pun out of ammunition, because they have been the heros of the last four or five years. it's a time for the finance ministers, trade ministers, innovation minister, education minister, it's 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 of the structural measures we did not take in the last four or five years because we were depending -- those are all
long-term things though, aren't they? but we have also got to brace ourselves for a short-term crash then. >> kamal if we had to say that these were long-term issues in 2008, or 2009, perhaps we would now be in better shape. >> reporter: so not the most positive news to come out of the first day of this forum. but it is a networking event, not something that is going to come up with some sort of communique at the end. but the focus has moved away from talking what it calls the fourth industrial revolution, and how to handle that, and on to more pressing concerns. and the russian currency is a record low against the dollar. russia's economy and government revenues are suffering because of the country's dependance on
oil. a suicide bomber has killed at least seven people after detonating a device in afghanistan. police say a mini bus was targeted sarah palin has officially backed donald trump as the republican candidate for president. she unsuccessfully ran for the vice presidentsy eight years ago. >> we are ready for a change. we are ready and our troops deserve the best. a new commander in chief who's track record of success has proven he is the master at the art of the deal. he is one who would know to negotiate. only one candidate's record of success proves he is the master of the art of the deal.
he is beholden to no one but we the people. how refreshing. he is perfectly positioned to let you make america great again. the thigh government is offering families cash incentives to have babies. it's trying to tackle low birthrates and a rapidly aging population. >> reporter: may you have a house full of children and a town full of grandchildren. that used to be a common thai greeting for the new year and at weddings. but now it's only said by older generations. in fewer than 50 years the fertility rate here, the average number of children per household fell from 6 to 1.6. for mothers such as this one, a single-child family is all she can afford. >> translator: for us, it is best to have only one child so we can provide as best as
possible for our kid. >> reporter: just three months after he was born, she and her husband sent their baby boy off to live with her parents outside of bangkok. the government has launched a program that provides a child allowance of $14 a month. the maximum our tax cap is now 3 children, the maximum is about 450 a year. many feel it is not nearly enough incentive to encourage parents to have more children. >> translator: this is considered the river of no return. the most concerning issue is the shrinking work force over the next 20 years. >> reporter: that works out to be 6 million fewer workers not paying taxes. but it's not just about the number of people in thailand. it's also about the quality of
early childhood care and education as they both directly affect how the next generations will contribute to the country. right now in early childhood about 30% of thai children are under developed. >> thailand needs to consider the quality -- both quality and quantity of the children. it's really, really important for thai society. >> reporter: he feels there should be more money and resources dedicated to programs helping the growing number of mothers who need to or want to work, such as this mother who could continue providing for her family without having to sacrifice family time. now a tv show is giving palestinians the chance to choose a new president, at least in theory. auditions are being held for consistents who think they can do a better job than the
much-criticized real president. >> reporter: it has all of the ingredients of a successful reality series. but the program, the president, isn't like other competitions. the winner isn't awarded a record contract or cash, the top prize is the palestinian presidency, at least hypothetically. these auditions are for the second series of the president. contest en contest -- contestants are given only a few moments to convince judges. >> translator: i'm focusing on projects that would allow for palestinians to remain in this land, steadfast, to be able to find the future that meets the
minimum of their ambition. >> translator: my priority would to make an all inclusive national program that will gather all political parties under the umbrella of the plo. >> reporter: tv critics say the success of the president has much to do with the growing frustration with the real-life president. a recent opinion poll by the palestinian center for policy and survey, found two-thirds of palestinians want their 80-year-old leader to resign. this man conducted the poll. he says the refusal by abbas to call elections despite his term engineering six years ago has hurt him far less than the little he has accomplished during his 11 years in power. >> i think most palestinians would view him as a status quo leader. it is likely that he will take small steps and to be very, very
slow in implementing them. >> reporter: the president's unpopularity is not lost on most contestants. it's now up to the public to decide who will go on to win. although hundreds of reality show competitors believe they can do a better job than president abbas, he of course, remains the palestinian leader, and with no elections in sight, he will continue to be so for the foreseeable future, despite the fact that vast majority of palestinians want him to resign. in a little under 30 years the world's orb shoons could contain more plastic than fish. in that is the stark warning from the world economic forum. after interviewing hundreds of experts, the report concluded the use of plastic has increased 20 times in the past half of century, and is expected to increase further as the global
population grows. in the next two decades, plastics use is expected to double again. most plastics are used only once and then thrown away. about 30% escapes collection systems. about 80 -- 8 million tons ends up in the oceans every year. by 2050, there will be as much plastic in the oceans as fish, by weight. the ceo of the plastic coalition says it's time to for government to catch up. >> any government that is alarmed can make major steps to cut down on single-use packages, and implement extended
responsibility, so that companies that package with these materials are required to take them back. you can find all of the stories we are covering on our website. the address is aljazeera.com. aljazeera.com. ♪ the senate gets ready to vote on whether to let syrian refugees come to the u.s. another brutal day for the markets around the world as business leaders gather in switzerland. we will not stop working for the people of flint until every single person has clean water, every single day, no matter what. >> reporter: michigan's governor trying to make amends after that disastrous handling of the