a renewed syrian government offence i against rebel forces is blamed for the suspension of peace talks in geneva-- offensive against rebel forces is blamed for the suspension of the peace talks in geneva. also on the program, protests as the controversial transpacific trade pact is signed in new zealand. then there were nine. another presidential hopeful drops out of the race for the white house.
increased binge drinking in south korea might not be something to celebrate. after only three days indirect talks between the syrian government and opposition groups have been suspended. the u.n. special envoy to syria staffan de mistura said the negotiations will resume on february 25. both sides have blamed each other for the breakdown. our diplomatic editor james bays reports. >> reporter: the u.n. special envoy came out to announce that after less than a week the syria talks are over but he insists only for now. >> i have taken the position to bring a temporary halt, it is not to end. why? they came and they stayed, not only, but both sides insisted on
the fact that they are happy to have the political process >> reporter: you said nothing about the military escalation by the syrian government and the russian bombardment. haven't they basically bombed your talks? >> i am not referring to military activity. >> reporter: so he gave no direct answer to my question, but there is no doubt what ended this talks, this onslaught. the main syrian opposition block were finally persuaded to fly to geneva last weekend after being given assurances by their allies and by the u.n. that measures would be forthcoming that would ease the suffering of people into the-- on the ground in syria. instead there was the exact opposite. the head of the high negotiations committee told reporters that unless things change, the opposition will not be returning next month. the idea in the early stages of
complicated negotiations like these is to build trust. over, p opposition members tell us there there is little opportunity of that. they don't trust of the russia or u.n. or the u.s. the representative of the syrian government in geneva has accused allies of the opposition of interference >> yes. there is a failure. it is a failure of everybody except the government of the syrian republic. those who have the responsibility of this failure on the saudis, the turks and the qataris. they are the real handlers and masters of the group riyadh hijab from the opposition say the regime is responsible for the alfailure of the geneva talks. >> translation: someone who wants a political solution and wants negotiations wouldn't
carry out these kind of attacks on people there and let them starve to death. we know the regime drove the negotiations in geneva to a failure and will do it again in this political process. we came to geneva and were keen to make it a success and prove that we were serious about it, but it seems he doesn't want it to be a success iraq is responsible for two attacks in ramadi which left 13 soldiers dead. the fighters are inclining to-- clinging to one sigh. in fallujah thousands of civilians are trapped and basic supplies are running out. >> reporter: it is the second largest city, very important and under occupation by i.s.i.l. for over a year now. what people inside that city are telling us is that the situation is incredibly dire. there are no fruits or vegetables in the markets.
we're hearing that there's very little medical supplies and there's very little supplies for infants and young babies. also i.s.i.l. who control the city are rationing out the only food available, which is wheat, to the residents there. there's at least 110,000 who have been trapped in that city for over a year. the situation got worse in the last two months when the operation against ramadi, the largest city, happened while forces managed to take a key bridge which linked ramadi and fallujah and they surrounded the perimeter and they're not letting anything in. aid agencies and people from anbar have told us that this is becoming a desperate situation for the people that live inside that city. they're concerned that they're running out of food. they do have some basic supplies, but real concern that this might develop from shortages into starvation around 40 houthi fighters have been killed by saudi-led
air strikes in yemen. the attack happened north-east of the capital in a mountain range where pro fighters are trying to take back control. three palestinians have been shot dead after allegedly opening fire on israeli police in the old city of occupied used jerusalem. one police woman has died of her injuries. two remain in hospital. >> reporter: it was one of the most serious cases of violence in occupied east jerusalem since this latest wave of unrest began more than four months ago. three palestinian men were shot dead after they fired out. one israeli police woman died of her injuries, two others remain in hospital in serious condition. investigators say the palestinian men all in their 20s and from the same city in the
occupied west bank were not only armed with guns and knives but also explosive devices. all three terrorists were shot at the scene. they opened fire with a weapon that they had with knives and a bomb disposal experts are now at the scene diffusing two explosive devices. the area is still cordoned off. heightened security is going on and around the area. the situation is under control, but security is continuing to prevent and stop any further terrorist attacks from taking place here some jerusalem today. >> reporter: the attack is the latest in a wave of unrest that has spread across israel and the occupied palestinian territory since october. the stabbing, shootings and car rammings have killed more than 25 israelis. 125 palestinians have been killed. nearly half of them were protesters. this surge in violence has many reasons. israel blaming palestinian leaders and social media for
what it describes as incitement, but young palestinians who have been involved in most of the violence say it's israel's nearly 50 year old occupation that is to blame. after four months of unrest the israeli government hasn't been able to offer any meaningful solution on to end the violence. what we're seeing now is the new normal, but it's clearly anything about > wick ee leaks assan dpshgs said he will turn himself over to the police on friday but only if his case is rejected. he has been holed up in the embassy in london for more than three years now. he is trying to avoid extradition to sweden over rape allegations. he feels that he will be extradited to the u.s. to be put on trial there over leaking of
documents. the tpp partnership consists of 12 nations and they make up 40% of the world's economy. >> reporter: after years of negotiations the transpacific partnership is one big step towards becoming a reality. new zealand is one of the drivers of this 12-nation deal and hosted the signing ceremony in auckland. >> i am delighted to be here today to mark the signing of this most important agreement. what brings us together is a shared belief that opening and integrating our market through trade and investment will enhance the prosperity of our peoples. >> reporter: outside the venue the reception wasn't so welcoming. protesters filed into the city and were met by a large police presence. opponents say the deal under mines the sovereignty of member nations. they're not happy many of the
finer details will remain secret for another six year and they believe it hands too much power to big business >> it is important that we build sooltd art on the streets. many people are opposed to this deal, not just because what it does to our communicate economically but because it is the sovereignty that has been sold out from under us >> reporter: the governments say the boost that they will receive outweighs necktives. many numbers are conservative. it will increase the gross doment product by 0.9%. it has been said a technicalal step in the process. each country has two years to ratify the tpp and in that time these protesters say they will continue to oppose the deal. ratification may be the most difficult in the u.s. where there is political opposition to it in the middle of a
presidential election campaign. but the trade representatives who signed say the deal is solid and that they're confident all 12 members will remain in the pact u.s. republican presidential hopeful rick santorum say he is suspending his campaign for the white house. he has endorsed marco rubio. rick santorum's decision comes after a poor performance during monday's iowa caucuss. rand paul also dropped out after failing enough support in iowa. mike huckabeeing suspended his campaign on monday. so there are now nine candidates vying for the republican nomination. more from tom ackerman. >> reporter: rick santorum endorsement for marco rubio is
more a sign of the republican party to decide that marco rubio is the more better alternative to ted cruz who has had no endorsements from anyone. donald trump has no endorsement from any major political figure. their feeling is that neither cruz nor trump is a candidate who could win against april democrat who would move beyond the narrow base of their traditional support whereas marco rubio does have the ingredients for actually coal essing enough of the factions of the republican party behind him so that by convention time they will have more of a consensus candidate still to come here on al jazeera, the zika public health emergency spreads to florida.
welcome back. a look at the top stories. the u.n. has suspended talks between the syrian government and the opposition in geneva. both sides are blaming each other for the breakdown. after years of negotiations, the controversial transpacific partnership has been signed in a ceremony in new zealand. there has been opposition with hundreds of protesters taking to
the streets in auckland. the 12-nation trade deal still needs to be ratified by each country before coming into effect. another republican presidential hopeful has pulled out of the race for the run for white house. there are just nine republican candidates left in the running a15 health ministers from latin america and the caribbean have held an emergency meeting about the zika virus. the world health organisation has declared the virus a health emergency. it is suspected of causing birth defects and is primarily spread through mosquito bites. our correspondent reports. >> reporter: health ministers and representatives from countries in latin america and the caribbean has expressed a worry about the lack of research and information available regarding the zika virus. here they signed a 16 point
declaration about how to start coping with this disease. they agreed that attacking the mosquitos that cause dengue fever and chickengunya is a necessity. to find the answers after why in some countries like colombia with over 20,000 cases of zika, there has been no babies with birth defects. brazil on the on the other hand with over a million cases of zika, there is no doubt that there is a link between zika and microcephaly in babies. >> translation: we have no doubt that the cases of the outbreak of microcephaly in brazil have been caused by the zika virus. the only answer we still need is if the virus alone causes microcephaly or if there are other factors that pre-deposes a human being.
>> reporter: they also spraesed a need to control borders and airport and provide the public with more information about what to do. countries agreed that cooperation is crucial in fighting the zika skrirs and they also-- virus and they also committed to working together to have a vacuum even -- vacuums ian. vaccine >> reporter: miami has been known as the gateway to the americas and it is a reputation born out by the city's international airport. every day more than 40,000 passengers arrive from or go to latin america and the caribbean. some of the city's most senior politicians have voiced their concerns that the international airport may not have the resources to cope with the zika
virus. experts say it will get back to the basics that will help >> we're expected to see some of these in the u.s. >> reporter: at the university of miami this man has been studying diseases for years. there's nothing new in how to respond to the zika virus. there are programs in place to combat the mosquito that spreads these viruses. a real difference can be made by improving living conditions globally and ago rately diagnosing those. >> the faster the better, but to me it's getting back to the basics, dying months particulars, basic data, basic science on what is transmitting, trying to get a perfect diagnosis on every patient, everywhere in the world >> reporter: at miami's mosquito control center it is business as usual. there are no plans to implement any special measures to combat
the zika virus but say it is people who will make the biggest difference >> translation: we are appealing to the property owners to do their job. they are called to play a major role right now in preventing the disease to be established in our county by eliminating every single accumulation of water around the home. >> reporter: as yet there are no federal guidelines in response to a potential outbreak of the zika virus in florida. the education program and the public role will be most crucial in western germany it's carnival week with thousands of people celebrating. in the city of cologne it's the first major public event since new year's eve when there were claims of sexual assaults against women followed by a backlash against refugees. our correspondent has been gauging the mood in cologne
>> reporter: a team of party goers put the final touches to their costumes. for them mid winter means only one thing, carnival. this thursday is known as lady's night, but this year the claims of sexual and physical assault on so many women on new year's eve are on people's minds. >> it's the best way to keep calm now and have a view at what happens and, yeah, to look who was guilty and who wasn't guilty. it's not the best way to just say all the refugees are bad people because that's not true >> reporter: in an effort to reinforce that view the authorities have been handing out leaflets to refugees and recent migrants pointing out the dos and don'ts of carnival season. at this refugee center people welcomed the idea.
>> it's okay. some people are not so good. there are some bad people. >> reporter: if awareness campaigns are the gentle side of official policy, then so the tougher side is also on show. police have drafted in 2,000 officers to secure carnival week. what happened in city on new year's eve has changed public opinion, not just here, but across germany where once the majority of people were in favor of the government's refugee policy, now there are there are many doubts, doubts that this city's mayor has tried to address. >> translation: many people are asking the question what will happen during carnival. what is going to happen once carnival is open to make our cologne safer. there is only one very clear answer. cologne will act and not only during carnival. >> reporter: but in the city center reaction to that seems mixed. >> translation: i find the
situation is more tense. i'm not feeling entirely safe. for me personally as a woman it is unpleasant. >> translation: i was very surprised in the main station. there were lots of policemen. i felt safe there. >> reporter: back at the carnival events are in full swing, pleasing the crowd here seems relatively simple, but on the political stage it is a difficult matter. opinion polls suggest people want radical changes to refugee policy. whether the government can perform them is another question a major storm has hit the central united states bringing with it a bands of tornadoes as well as heavy snow. the national weather service said that eight twisters hit the state of mississipp pishgs and another struck alabama. there has been damage to power
lines. more bad weather is forecast. thousands of flights have been delayed or cancelled. u.s. president obama has made his first visit to a mosque in the u.s. he delivered a message of tolerance and unity at a time of heightened religious tension in the country. our correspondent reports. >> reporter: this is the first time a u.s. mosque has been able to put up a welcome sign for president obama. >> your entire community so often is targeted or blamed for the violent acts of the very few >> reporter: after more than seven years his visit now comes as anti-islamic sentiment is on the rise and the people here say they feel it. >> it's present. it has become part of the political discourse to gain votes, that scares our community as well, but we just try to focus on the positive >> reporter: that is exactly what the president did, highlighting the accomplishments
of muslim americans, at the same time giving a kind of lecture to people watching at home and what muslims believe. this woman thinks that might have an impact. >> there's only a couple of million muslims in the country. in a large part where there is none at all. i hope people heard him. >> reporter: 59% said that they agreed with one candidate's plan to temporarily halt all muslims coming into the country. the p said that is not only un-america but it is dangerous because it could serve as a recruiting crew for i.s.i.l. >> today there are voices in this world, who are over the internet, claiming that you have to choose between your identities. as a muslim, for example, or an american. do not believe them. if you're ever wondering if you fit in here, let me tell you, you fit in here, right here
>> reporter: he said even though it's unfair, after a terrorist attack, muslims will have to continue to condemn it. that didn't sit well with anyone >> if the careful to condemn terrorism is rooted in the bigoted idea that we're muslim, continuing to accommodate that sentiment is not going to make it go go away. it will make it worse. >> reporter: islamaphobia ask on the rise-- is on the rise. the president is hoping that his speech sends the message that muslims are truly welcome here south koreans are some of the biggest consumers of alcohol in the world. the country's drinking shows no signs of slowing down. the increase of drinking among women is of concern. >> reporter: on drunk patrol
with south korean police. this officer and her partner have been called to this shop. there is a report of someone in urgent need of help. they find her heavily intoxicated and passed out in the bathroom. the officers carry her to the patrol car. they will take her to medics. up until now korean men have been the heavy drinkers, but increasingly women are joining their ranks. every night south koreans consume 7 million dollars of the local alcohol made from r ice. >> the number of calls we're getting over drunks is overall
increasing, but women make up most of our calls now. they're destroying themselves with liquor. it's hard breaking. >> reporter: on any given even young women can be seen stumbling about drunk out of their minds. a problem is the availability of liquor. so it can be found 24/7 anywhere, and the cost only $1 a bottle. this man and 25 other alcoholics have launched a lawsuit against liquor companies. >> translation: people look at these and see people drinking liquor, famous people. it encourages consumers to drink more. it leads to over drinking and people getting knocked out. >> reporter: university students like this girl and her friends
argue partying and binge drinking helps relieve stress. sympathy studies 18 hours a day and with youth suicide rates here the highest in the developed world, she says drinking is good for mental health. >> reporter: do you ever see a day when south koreans will drink less? >> absolutely not. >> translation: liquor is something that is naturally shared between friends and family. i think our drinking culture is very uplifting. i don't say less will ever come, nor should it. >> reporter: they argue women are simply joining in on anned old korean practice, one that provides a necessary escape, no matter the risks that was just an extract from a much longer report.
you can see his exclusive in full about south korea's binge drinking problem on 101 east, on thursday 22.30 g.m. t on al jazeera and also on line at aljazeera.com >> thanks for joining us on "america tonight." i'm joie chen. think psychedelic drugs and you're likely to imagine a turn on tune in, generation. for recreational highs, some researchers continue to believe that these drugs could have great value as penicillin for