i'll see you online. >> isolate russia politically, diplomatically and economically. >> the u.s. threatens russia over the crisis in ukraine. >> in crimea soldiers forced to choose loyalty to ukraine or russia. [ ♪ music ]. hello, welcome to al jazeera america, live from doha. . also on the program - china ramps up defense spending as the united states cuts back. three of al jazeera's journalists detained in an
egyptian prison make their second court appearance in a few hours. and still looking over venezuela a near after his death - hugo chavez remains part of every day life. [ ♪ music ] hello. world powers usually preoccupied with syria are rapidly flying diplomats around the globe to get to grips with ukraine. the united states and europe have been slated against russia. john kerry and sergei lavrov are due to meet in paris. they are meant to talk about syria, but no doubt ukraine will fig fighture. ukrainian soldiers, meanwhile, have been, in some says forced to choose sides. jennifer glasse reports from
sevastopol. >> if there's somewhere where the russians have full control, it's here at sevastopol. ships of the black sea fleet halt all traffic, draining all life from this otherwise thriving port. if the russian's intentions is to take over ukrainian military instillations, it is not over yet. ukrainian servicemen refuse to yield to the russian show of force. >> the russians take position in front of this army base. we spoke to some of the ukrainian servicemen through the gate. they said they had not received an ultimatum. they said they had no intention to vender the base because they had pledged loyalty to ukraine, and said that they hoped it would be solved peacefully. the soldiers are digging in for the long haul. relying on the support of relatives to keep them going
while politicians reach a compromise. >> this story has two sides. on the one hand my son has to obey the ukrainian government that he pledged to serve. since the government changed the situation is different. the crisis is polarizing opinions in crimea. servicemen are coming under pressure to take sides in a place with strong roots in both - russia and ukraine. russians are not invaders this mother shouts at her sons, and comrades. they explain that they are caught in the middle. but she is not convinced. >> we are on our land. >> translation: this is ukrainian territory, many don't understand us. there are different opinions and people are stressed out. >> as the crisis deepens, one of
the biggest challenges for the military is to stay disciplined in the face of growing divisions in the country they swore to serve. let's hear from nadine who is in kiev. kerry has moved to paris, but what was his visit there like? >> he was here on tuesday. it was an emotional visit. he took time to go to the spot not far from where i am, where dozens - scores of protesters were killed a few weeks ago. he laid flowers there, talked to the crowd who thanked him for his presence and support. his visit was a visit of solidarity for the new government. he has been in contact with european union leaders. they've been more reticent about imposing swift sanctions on russia. the u.s. talked about trade
sanctions. now we are hearing from, in fact, john kerry himself, that he does foresee some kind of deescalation, especially in crimea, one which could perhaps negate the need for swift action on sanctions. >> it is diplomacy and respect for sovereignty, not unilateral force that can best solve disputes like this in the 21st century. president obama and i want to make it clear to russia and everyone in the world that we are not seeking confrontation. there's a better way for russia to pursue its legitimate interests in ukraine. >> what's happening in kiev later on wednesday then? >> well, in kiev itself, katherine ashton, the foreign policy chief of the u.n. is
meeting members of the government. it's events in brussels where she's based that might be more important in what happens over the security and stabilization in ukraine because russia, we are hearing, accepted a meeting at ambassador level with members of n.a.t.o., the security alliance. that's crucial because there's talk of contact being set up. that's what the european union wants, to see what will happen to those russian forces, an estimated 16,000 russian troops based in crimea. john kerry has been saying that he wants to see them return to their bases. analysts say that is unlikely what is at stake is whether they go further into other regions of ukraine. that's the main concern for the u.s. and its allies, that will be discussed later on wednesday in boroughs else. >> thanks for that.
that report from kiev. now, as we mentioned the top diplomats are in or heading to paris to discuss syria. but ukraine's likely to feature high in any discussion between john kerry and sergei lavrov. diplomatic editor looks at how one crisis affects another. >> the ongoing battles in syria are more than 1,000km away from ukraine. the crisis in crimea may have an impact on the war which is about to enter its third year. the international community has given this man the job of trying to find peace in syria. talks convened by veteran lakhdar brahimi achieved nothing. getting both sides back around the table and persuading them and the syrian government to negotiate properly requires pressure from the u.s. and russia working together. that doesn't look likely now. just like the peace talks, the
deal to remove syria's chemical weapons was done by u.s. secretary of state john kerry, and his russian counter part sergei lavrov. >> so much has happened since the handshake took place at that spot. u.s.-russian relations are at their worst points since any time since the end of the cold war. the chemical weapons deal is not going to plan. the syrian government is behind schedule in getting the deadly agents out of the country. some believe the bashar al-assad government welcomes the fact that the world's attention moves. >> i think bashar al-assad moves. it knows that the united states has its hands full with the crimea crisis and a lot of international pressure will be taken out of his back. all of the n.a.t.o., europe and the united states energy is in the ukraine. >> there could be a downside for
president bashar al-assad. he relies on russia's support. the west presses for sanctions against russian tanks and arms manufacturers. that could really hurt. >> the ukraine crisis is likely to overshadow talks in paris between the french, russian and u.s. foreign ministers. they are meeting to discuss ways of helping lebanon to cope. barnaby phillips is in paris and joins us for more on that. how much will events in ukraine and crimea overshadow this? >> i think inevitably they will because the expectation is that john kerry, and sergei lavrov will meet here later in the day. sergei lavrov is still in madrid as we speak. john kerry arrived here from kiev last night. now these would be importantly the first head to head
high-level meetings between the united states and russia sips the late -- since the latest phase of the ukrainian crisis erupted. we can't underestimate the importance of that. there's the chance for europe and the united states, the west broadly, if you like, to coordinate their positions, how much stick, how much carrot they are offering the russians in meetings with lawrence fab use, chuck hagel and so -- and william hague. and there's only so much diplomacy. the headlines of the day that come out of the french capital inevitably will be about ukraine. >> you mentioned at the top there that the foreign ministers from - several foreign ministers meeting, sergei lavrov, and the
u.s. secretary of state john kerry. there are other meetings as well on the sidelines of this. you talked about the lebanese officials as well. there'll be time for events in syria to be addressed also, presumably. >> yes, they'll certainly be addressed, and there would have been a summit meeting in paris anyway if the ukrainian crisis had not happened. it's important to emphasise that. president suleman from lebanon is here. the original idea was a confrontation on ways to bolster the army. an offer of some $3 billion going in to bolstering the army, supplying them with french weaponry, trying to resist pressure, certainly the west would like in lebanon to worson.
at the end of the day we will talk about ukraine here in paris, and we are going to get some good indications. we know that the interpretations, if you like, from moscow and washington of what is happening in ukraine are so diametrically different. if we are listening to vladimir putin and john kerry, it sounded like they were talking about two different countries. they should get the chance to come face to face. there's glimmers of hope, talk of contact groups, monitors from the o.s.c.e. both sides say they want a deescalation. we'll have clues today as to whether the crisis can be diffused, put on hold or will get worse. >> barnaby phillips reporting from paris. thanks for that. >> lots more ahead on the program. when we come back a television debate for the afghan presidential candidates. find out their take on foreign
russian foreign minister sergei lavrov to discuss the crisis in ukraine. and the world's top diplomats will be discussing event in syria as well as events in the ukraine, as we just mentioned. our three al jazeera staff detained in egypt are due to make a second court appearance on wednesday. mohamed fadel fahmy, mohammed badr, and peter greste have spent 67 days in prison. they are accused of having links with a terror organization and spreading false news. al jazeera rejects the charges. >> al jazeera staff have been in the egyptian prison for over two months. they were doing their job, reporting events as they unnoded in egypt. peter greste is an award-winning correspondent who covered the
plights of civilians in africa. he reported on similar stories for bbc already al jazeera. >> his counterpart, abdullah al-shami worked for the "new york times", and red cross. >> mohammed badr spent most of last year working for al jazeera. the egyptian authorities accused them of broadcasting false information and having ties with a terrorist organization. al jazeera rejects the charges and wants the men released. >> we categorically deny they were involved in a malicious spreading of lies about egypt or they were colludingway terrorist organization. >> the first hearing took place on february 20th. it was adjourned. wednesday is their second appearance in court. al jazeera demands the release of correspondent abdullah al-shami from our sister channel al jazeera arabic. it's been in detention since
july. family members joint journalists and members of the protest in support of the four men. . nine bombs in bag dad killed 10, injuring dozens. they were spread across the iraqi capital. >> india's election commission announced the schedule for upcoming parliamentary elections. voting in the world's largest democracy will begun on 7 april. polling in india is spread out to ensure voter safety and defeat for the ruling congress party. we go to new delhi where the dates were announced. >> it's been an anticipated announcement when the chief election commissioner for india announced the fact that people
in this country, the world's largest democracy will go to the polls on april 7th, and end on may the 12th. 814 million eligible voters head to the polling booths and vote in 29 state and seven union territories. thousands of candidates and political parties have been on the campaign trail. it has to be said the political parties will gear up in the six week period before the polling date to get the message across to the public. it's expected as many as up to eight million election officials will be involved. nearly the population in what many believe will be one of the most closely fought-after elections. this is not just a 2-horse race. over the past two years we've seen the rise of other political
parties and the strength of regional chief ministers who wanted to exert their influence on central government in delhi. we are looking at the common party. he's hoping to fight major seats in major locations. three front runners in the race to the afghanistan next president committed themselves to a deal with the united states. it would allow washington to keep troops in afghanistan beyond next year. bernard smith reports from kabul. >> for the front runners for afghanistan's presidency it was more to unite than divide them in a tv debate on foreign policy. all would sign a bilateral security agreement with the united states something that the incumbent president is refusing to do over skepticism that the u.s. would carry out a threat to pull out troops. >> our mutual interest requires
cooperation, threats that brought us together not be eliminated. when you have mutual interests you come together and move forward. >> afghanistan's relationship with pakistan dominated the debate with three contenders recognising that pakistan supports the taliban. if there's hope for peace, the government in kabul must find a new way of engaging in islamabad. the president often refers to the taliban as brothers. >> they are our brothers and sisters. those committing suicide attacks and mass killing people, how can a leader call them beggars. >> for more than 13 years afghanistan dominated the foreign policy of the countries that had troops stationed here. it is changing.
the next president will need billions in aid and a foreign policy to keep the money flowing. >> china announced it is boosting the defense budget for this year, increasing it by 12.2%. the military spending is second to the united states. the u.s. announced it would be shrinking its military, reducing troop numbers, $496 billion. china's current budget is paling in comparison to the united states. it will increase that to $132 billion, a 10% increase in military spending last year. the budget announcement was made at the ends of the national people's congress. protesters were driven away by security officers. as china increases military
spending its rival is cutting back. the u.s. navy reduced its order for the stealth fighter jet. the deployment is years behind schedule and billions over budget. >> the joint strike fighter better known as the f35 is supposed to be all things to all branches of the u.s. military. capable of super-sonic speed and land and take off. since the pentagon unveiled in 2001 turning it into jets is problematic. >> almost all is twice as long, it's delivered so slowly, it's twice as long and gives you half the performance you thought you were getting at the beginning. >> the special helmet makes them
dizzy, and could cause them to crash. >> the stealth coating melts near the tail and reveals the f35 to enemy trackers. ground kesting causes cracks in the bulk heads of the it version designed for the marine corp. they are some of the problems in a program costing taxpayers 392 million, 70% more than originally projected. while they are conducting test flights, not a single jet is ready to go into contact. one day the pentagon will buy 2500, but in next year's budget it will purchase 34 of them for testing and basic missions. why so few? congressionally mandating budget cuts. the defense secretary pointed out that every program has to be trimmed to save money.
>> the reality of reduced resources. it requires us to prioritise and make difficult choices. some of those choices we must make now. >> despite the many problems, the military has no plans to scrap the s35. it argues current fighter jets are obsolete, and that they'll outfly and outgun the u.s. fleet. in a time of budget constraint the question is whether the pentagon can make good on the promise of a jet that cap tackle all threats in all conditions. thousands of anti-government protesters continue to flood the streets of caracas. they wore white to symbolize peace. the government says 18 have been killed and 260 injured since the student-led protest last month.
>> it's been a year since hugo chavez died. daniel schweimler is in caracas to find out how things have changed. >> the poster reads, "chavez lives", a year after the former president dies, there are thousands over venezuela. this one looking down over a rally for the opposition. nicolas maduro may be gone, but chavez is far from forgot n. >> translation: he was the most nobel man i ever knew. >> he was our brother, our father our friend. >> for some, he has a status. this statue a shrine where his body was laid to rest. in the humble neighbourhood where the anniversary of his death is being commem raid. >> how much is nicolas maduro hiding behind the image of his
old friend hugo chavez, and how far will the government go to use the image to keep the revolution alive. those are the questions being asked in a bitter conflict between a growing opposition movement and president nicolas maduro's government, which is struggling to tack the rising crime and rampant inflation. >> translation: he was a man with quality that no political marketing can copy. it was part of his charisma. impossible to explain. neither nicolas maduro nor the opposition leader can fill chavez's shoes. >> new posters are appearing for many that loved and hated him, chavez's memory lives on. bolivians are struggling to cope after weeks of heavy rain.
we have this report. >> reporter: isolated from the rest of the world. several weeks of heavy rains cut off towns, villages and indigenous families like these. tens of thousands of people have been impacted, homes flooded and crops left to rot in the fields. remote communities like this now lack clean water, food and medicine. most of their livestocks drowned in the floods, contaminating the wells. >> translation: my daughter has blisters, like burns. we think they were caused by the water by the dead animals. the water is filthy. >> syria is on the news. the rape-ey speech is almost over, many fear once the waters recede mosquito born diseases will arrive. >> translation: now, more than
ever we need support, especially food and medical supplies and a doctor that stays permanently. when the water level is lowering the sickness affects everyone rnchts >> bolivia's president said a massive aid operation is under way. few are happy with his response. they want the government to increase the amount of assistance and allow international aid organizations in to help. >> translation: according to the farmers federation more than 200,000 cattle were drowned and human lives lost. this is not considered a disaster. if this is not a disaster, what is considered a disaster by the government. >> flooding hits parts of bolivia. it appears the government is determined to prove it can
manage relief efforts during an election year. however, ruined communities like this are not convinced. more on the website. aljazeera.com. the latest on all the stories. the scenes in ukraine. plus take back your digital privacy. the technology to foil spies and hackers. i'm ali velshi. this is "real money." >> this is "real money." you are the most important part of our show 37 join our conversation at twitter using aj real money