>> syria agrees to negotiations about restarting peace talks in moscow. the fighting rages on. hello, watching al jazeera live from london. also coming up, tens of thousands displaced and dozens dead as the worst flooding in more than 40 years sweeps across southeast asia. new yorkers pack the streets for the funeral of a policeman killed by a gunman while in his
patrol car. and nigeria's booming hair industry, how braids, weaves, and wigs are boosting the country's economy. >> hello, it began as a pro democracy revolt. russia's foreign ministry hopes to host a meeting between bashar al-assad's government and syria's divided opposition. but it's unclear who will officially take part. and there has been no let up in fighting in syria. there have been airstrikes in the northern province of aleppo. 39 people are thought to have died in the past few days. areas controlled by else fighters are being targeted.
>> elsewhere in syria government wa warplanes have hit the southwest. at least five people are said to have died after government jets bombed a residential area. and government forces have bombarded the rebel-held town of douma. the air assault has killed at least five people. [ sirens ] let's get more now from our correspondent kimberly halkett in washington, d.c. for us. what more door know about these planned possible peace talks? >> well, what i can tell you there has been interest in what the u.s. reaction will be, and so far there has been none. we have not heard anything about these discussions that could be taking place, hosted by russia from the obama white house or the state department. what i can tell sue that the response is expected to probably be lackluster given that it is counter to u.s. policy. u.s. policy has been for some
time when president obama said that bashar al-assad must step aside for the sake of the syrian people, that he, in fact, must go. that has been a consistent refrain when speaking to u.s. officials. this is back to sanctions. peace talks do not achieve that goal. there is really a view here in washington that is as long bashar al-assad remains in power, the country in syria remains divided. for that reason there really is going to be a lot of skepticism about russia hosting any sort of peace discussion. >> and there have been numerous tapers to get both sides to agree to some sort of peace team in the past. >> what is important to note is the relationship with russia with the syrian government that has been taking place, historically strong trading partner. very strong in terms of their tying, but we've seen this at
the united nations as far back as 2011 when there was an attempt to condemn the actions of the syrian government. this was vetoed by russia. and again in may when referring syria to the international court. and then again attempts to sanction syrian leadership was vetoed by russia. there is going to be a lot of skepticism. given the strong russian support in widespread international condemnation with the u.s. leading all that there, there are going to be sirius questions of how fair and neutral russia can be in holding these discussions. >> many thanks for that. in iraq the u.s.-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes against isil in the north. sinjar is in the middle of
fighting. peshmerga commander has told al jazeera they will do everything they can to defend their regional capitol, but they may need more help. we have reports in northern iraq. >> peshmerga fighters take up their positions. it's under the cover of darkness that isil attacks, and they can't forward to lower their guard. erbil is just 60 kilometers away. >> we have to continue the defending, and we will defend because erbil is our city.
and we must be safe. >> but protecting erbil is a dangerous task. two days ago isil fighters carried out the most daring attack on this peshmerga base. carrying out a combination of suicide-bombers and vehicles laden with explosives, isil had taken over for a few hours until peshmerga recaptured it. this is the ifers time that the isil has used a tank for suicide-bombing, and it's deep in kurdish territory that has them worried. >> this is a first time to have the tanks covered in tnt and suicide people, they're coming to our front line.
they try to push peshmerga back, but they can't do it. >> their inhabitants have been long displaced by the fighting. they have made modest gains, but they say that their weapons are old and no match against their opponents. >> we need weapons an, because what we have is very old from iraq war. the newest one we have is 25 years old. but the munition is good. >> they call for more action against isil, per mushga remains the group's most formidable opponent on the ground. they say they need meaningful help or isil could come charging against across northern iraq. al jazeera, northern iraq.
>> pakistan's military said it has carried out several airstrikes in north whic waziristan. journalists are not allowed in that region so we cannot independently verify the information. relatives of a death row inmate in pakistan say he's about to be hanged for a crime he never committed. the man is one of 500 people who are due to be executed in the coming weeks. after pakistan lifted a moratorium on capital punishment. >> they're begging for mercy. now he could be hanged at any moment. >> we're knocking on every door
to seek justice for my brother, to save his life. but there is no hope, and my brother will be wrongfully hanged by the authorities. >> now with the lifting of the moratorium on death penalties suspects are facing excuse. >> on a list selected for immediate execution. convicted for an unit terrorism court in 2004 for killing a boy, but his family and lawyer denies the crime saying he was 13 at the time, and the accusation has nothing to do with armed groups. >> justice ohe was juvenile and forced into a confession. it goes to the government to lift the moratorium and resume executions under the pretext that they're hanging terrorists and the most dangerous terrorists, but he's none of
that. he's innocent, and he was 13, a juvenile. >> the lifting of the moratorium on executions following an attack of the taliban on a school in peshawar killed 149 people, most of whom were children. o >> at can't bear that my innocent brother will be hanged by the government without a fair trial, and if they do so, i won't keep silent, and i'll take revenge for my brother. even if i have to join a terrorist group. >> if his brother has been convicted, he is not fear to do this. there is a law, and islam is very clear on that. >> justice delayed, he says, is justice denied, but he also recognizes that justice hurried is justice buried. between the two, pakistan is facing hard choices at the
moment. al jazeera. >> forecasts of more severe weather in southeast asia already hit by flooding, rescuers are struggling to reach hundreds who are stranded while it's president is playing golf in hawai'i. >> this corner of northeastern malaysia has not seen flooding like this for decades. people had to leave their homes in a hurry after days of rain turned roads into rivers. the government has sent in rescue teams for the badly hit areas, but for some it's too little too late. they criticize the government for being too slow to respond and for failing to declare a state of emergency in time.
>> malaysian prime minister has cut short his holiday to the u.s. to deal with the emergency. he had been in hawai'i visiting president barack obama when the rains began. it's monsoon season in this part of asia, but this year's rains have been particularly heavy, and it has affected he's area been the worst in 04 years. cases of typhoid fever, cholera and hepatitis-a increase when flooding course. the spread of malaria, yellow fever and west nile fever increase. monitors watching the flood say that levels have not reached
their peak yet, and with more rain coming in the coming days, it will be a wet end for 2014. >> india moves to ban older ve capitol. will that be enough to clear the air in a dangerously smoggy city? plus. >> i'm nick spice center berlin, now more than ever the go-to place for young classical musicians.
>> we were talking to a young lady saying she just wanted her voice to get out there. >> by the thousands, they're sending their government a message. >> ahead of 'em is a humanitarian crisis where tens of thousands of people are without food, water, shelter. >> a special one hour look at global attacks on free press. monday 9:00 eastern. on al jazeera america. >> hello again a reminder of the top stories here on al jazeera. syrian state television say the
assad government is willing to take part in talks with opposition in moscow next month. there has-non-stop to silence that erupted four years ago. peshmerga recaptures parts of sinjar from isil. and there have been more airstrikes in the area. forecasts of more severe weather. officials say 180,000 people have been displaced in malaysia and neighboring thailand. ukraine's president petro poroshenko has sean the hands of soldiers who have been released by senior separatist. >> in a military airfield ukrainian president welcomes home these prisoners of war.
they were exchanged with hundreds of pro russian fighters. this is a prop bega propaganda coup for petro poroshenko. >> i'm telling you that i as a president and odometer system has a heart that is happy to greet the new year. together with your families and your military brothers you will do what we've been waiting for, for so long. we're grateful again that we have you. >> there is relief but also sadness about those still being held. >> it is bles pleasant that the president met us. thank you for what you've done to release us. we hope our friends who are still being held as hostages will be released in the near future. >> this is where the exchange took place, in a secret place in the donetsk region. some prisoners are injured and
have to be carried to freedom. others watch on. they know that this is still a fragile cease-fire. >> there are still many who are missing. they're on the way and we'll complete the exchange tomorrow. >> kiev said its fighting against what it calls russia's influence. moscow has always denied backing and arming the separatists, who still control parts of eastern ukraine. the russian president recently signed a new military doctrine, a nato expansion was among key external risks. in the latest twist in this crisis. ukraine's state rail company has suspended trains to crimea blaming security concerns, leaving many passengers stranded ands from straighted. >> if is very bad and will affect many people. people should not be affected by such decisions. they should not suffer because of politics.
>> this prisoner exchange is a small step towards reconciliation. and to the families of the released prisoners it offers hope in this bitter and deadly conflict. al jazeera. >> in new york tens of thousands of police officers and mourners have turned out for the. funeral of rafael ramos, one of two policemen shot dead two weeks ago. he and his patrol car partner were killed while in their car by a man claiming to avenge the killing of unarmed black men by police. this has been a huge funeral procession, hasn't it, courtney? >> absolutely. it went on for two hours. just the ceremony itself.
i'm standing outside of the church, christ tabernacle church where officer ramos was a p parishioner for nearly 15 years. this morning the police locked down the area. the secret service sweeped in so vice president joseph biden could attend. after the area was locked down for several hours the police filled with policemen. they were not only from the nypd, the new york police department, but police departments from around the country. >> how much sympathy is there now for the police at a time when, of course, there have been major problems in the relationship between the police and some communities right across the u.s. and the police have been roundly criticized in some areas. what sympathy is being shown for police in new york?
>> as we've seen nor months now, we've seen killings of unarmed black men. we've seen protests in the streets and antagonism towards police tactics, also as you remember two weeks ago there was an incredibly large protest. tens of thousands of people taking to the streets. multi racial and multi generational taking to the streets to protest against police tactics, and especially against the judicial system that has chosen the grand juries not to indict anyone in the deaths of ferguson or here in new york city and staten island for eric garner. but now since last saturday when these two policemen were killed, the sentiment has turned slightly. it's christmas season. they are putting out messages of peace. they're saying this is not the time to take to the streets. this is not the time for retribution, this is not the time for vitriol.
you had vice president delivering that message here. and words chosen to tone down what has been a very contentious months for the u.s. >> thank you, courtney. >> india is one of the planet's biggest polluters agains in next to u.s. and china. we explain how india's government is trying to clear the air. >> this man loves his scooter. it's been a proud member of his family since he married anita 28 years ago. and he says it has never let him down. >> i have driven around my kids on this scooter after they were born. i've taken my wife and my sister-in-law for a ride. even my mother when she was sick, and we had to take her to
the doctor. we went on this. >> india's green tribunal is forcing them to retire their trusty two-wheeler. in a bid to clean up new delhi's air pollution, the tribunal has banned any vehicle older than 15 years. the city has been singled out by the "world health organization" as having the world's worst air quality. and a recent study suggests that pollution levels on these roads could be eight times higher than profess lie reported. >> elevated levels of pollution can lead to heart attacks, strokes, respiratory diseases. >> with increasing risks to public health authorities are now under pressure to clean up the air.
delhi's government estimate that three-quarters of the air pollution is caused by vehicle emissions. but environmentalists sabaning all carold cars and scooters are not going to make much difference. what they need is monitoring of emissions and tougher fines for polluting vehicles. >> the average age of vehicles in new delhi is four to seven years. we don't expect many vehicles in this age bracket of 15 years. even if you get rid of them, i don't see it having a massive impact on air quality. >> around 1500 new vehicles roll on to the capital's roads every year, and environmentalists say if authorities are serious about tackling air pollution they need to invest in public transport. al jazeera, new delhi. >> niger's hair industry is worth millions of dollars, and
that's where we report from lagos, it's booming. >> on the corner of a busy street these women are looking for beauty. a booming demand for all sorts of air pieces, braids, weave-ons and wigs. >> it makes you look smart, beautiful, confident, you look good when we make our hair. >> esther olabyyi comes twice a month to have braids attached to her hair. she does not mind the two-hour process or the 15-dollar bill. >> the only fixtures of the economy that attracts investors from around the world. >> this is the largest factory producing hair pieces in nigeria. it makes two of africas most popular brands.
rayon is imported from japan and then it's processed into what is called dry hair. by some estimates it brings in $6 billion across africa. >> the nigerian lady and african lady has to throw it away after three weeks, four weeks. with a growing population your product will keep growing on its own. you add in trendy fashions, you have a win-win combination. >> the image of stars is now more attainable. >> people perceive you by how well they think you look, you're more respected. you're more regarded, you know, you're just more in. and everyone wants to be in. >> being in comes in all shapes and prices. from streets stalls to lucks near malls, hair piece gas from
$15 to up to $3,000. the closer the hair piece looks to national hair the prizeyer it gets. walking on the streets of nigeria you would be hard press to find a woman without a hair piece. >> we get it. we just know what to do. we know how to turn out. i think it's so innate in the nigerian womb. >> those in the industry most certainly agree. >> berlin is famous for electronic music and a thriving techno scene, but the german capitol is also drawing in classical musicians. [ opera singing ] >> a mozart aria sung by rachel fenlon. [♪ singing ] >> she says she has had some success back home, but she moved to berlin last summer.
that's where you go now to make it big in opera. >> there is a choice of ten classical concerts to see every night of the week. as a performer the education side of that, the learning that i get from seeing these amazing performances every night is huge. >> this is the deutsche symphony orchestra. one of seven full-time orchestras in the german capitol. there are three full-time operas. if berlin has caught up to paris and london and new york as music capitols, it's largely because of money. [music] >> public subsidies keep the classical music scene in berlin and the rest of germany flourishing when many countries have slashed spending in the name of austerity. but there is also a quirk of history. berlin was a divided city east and west in the cold war with
east and west germany outspending the other on concert halls and orchestras. >> when germany was union need, the city was unified as well, and all of a sudden there was basically two sometimes even three if you look at the opera houses of everything. >> this woman's company promote the careers of young artist who is come to berlin. she said it's the ideal place for them to grow as musicians. >> you have the study, you have the hiver educations, and the acts of orchestra, and you still have ability to find comparatively cheap space to live. if you compare to london, paris and new york. [♪ singing ]
>> rachel fenlon, the german capitol is like what was said of new york. if you can make it here, you can probably make it anywhere. nick spicer, al jazeera berlin. >> adults can buy recreational marijuana legally in colorado today, and reformers hope it's the beginning of a wave that will sweep across america. but in places like louisiana in the southern united states, legalization is off the agenda. the state has the countr