u.s. drone strikes under fire. two top human rights groups say the u.s. attacks in pakistan and yemen have killed dozens of people. many civilians. a lot of americans aren't too happy with the gop. following the government shutdown, new polls suggest republican approval ratings are at a 30-year low. hundredhundreds rally in supporn alleged teen rape victim. the missouri case attracted nation al tension after the prosecutor dropped charges against a high school football player. and a new military academy is being created in afghanistan. it's the first step in building leaders for the nation's future
army. ♪ ♪ hello and welcome to al jazerra america. a am stem any sy. the obama administration calls drones an important weapon in the war on terror but pakistan's prime minister says their use is a threat thr*et to his people and must stop. leaders are meeting at the white house today after two groups were critical of the drones. they say they kill is vernal vinnies, violate international law and their use may be a war crime, randall spinks tonight reports. >> reporter: amnesty international focused on drop strikes in pakistan. investigators say they researched nine of 45 known drone attacks which occurred between january 2012 and august 2013. in one strike, they claim 18 laborers were reportedly killed. >> the most challenging
situation we had to face watt the complete and utter secrecy oof the u.s. authorities. because of that we cannot be 100 percent certainly, but we are extremely concerned that these and other killings documented in our report macons toot executions or war crimes. >> reporter: the pakistan prime minister visiting washington today expressed concern about u.s. drone policy. >> more ye recently we have declared the use of drone is his not only a violation of our territorial integrity, but also detrimental to our have you resolve andests at eliminating terrorism from our country. this issue you has become a [inaudible] bilateral relationship as well. i would therefore stress the need for the end to drone attacks. >> reporter: yemen is another frequent target of u.s. drones. human rights watch charges the u.s. launched 80 targeted
killings there since 2009. killing 473 people, among them civilians. >> we found despite assurances from president obama that it's doing its utmost to protect civilians from harm that in fact, in many cases it is killing innocent civilians, even dozens of them, if not more. this is a clear violation of international law. even if it was not the u.s. intent, if it indiscriminately killed, it should be held responsible. >> reporter: earlier this year president obama spelled out america's drone policy at the united nations general assembly. >> we have limited the use of drones so they target only those who pose a continuing imminent threat to the united states where capture is not feasible and ther there is a near certaif no civilian casualties. >> reporter: amnesty international accuses the press of escalating the use of drones from 2004 to 2008, the bureau for investigative journalism reports there were 42 drone strikes in pakistan n2009,
president obama's first year in office, there were 56. and in 2011, 127. >> that was randall pinkston reporting. drones are used by the u.s. to target al qaeda and the taliban. and while some senior militant leaders have been killed, civilians have also died. still the obama administration is defending drone strikes. the budget confrontation that led to a partial government shutdown has dealt a major blow to the republican party. according to a new abc washington post poll. public approval of the gop is at its lowest in 30 years,. >> reporter: as congress tries to shift through the wreckage and make sense of the shutdown and debt ceiling crisis, there is bad news as far as the public ainger and political fallout is concerned according to a new poll. the washington post and abc out with a new poll. 12%, 12% approval rating now for congress. that is a new low in 40 years of polling in in washington post
abc news poll. 85% disapprove of the job that congress is doing. congressional republicans their approval rating also in the tank. 32% favorable. 63% unfavorable. that is the lowest in 30 years in that poll. now, a year is a long time. an eternity in politics as they say, everybody in the house of representatives is up for election next november. so there is plenty of time for republican asks democrats to recover. the more important question, how will this affect the items that are on the docket right now in the immediate future for congress, chiefly immigration and those budget negotiations. remember on january 15th that is the new deadline if there is no agreement on you on how to spend the money, the congress could shutdown again. congressional democrats fair betner this poll. they are a favorable rating -- their approval rating 46%. unfavorable opinion of democrats 49%. everybody though it's below 50%, that is a record high for the democratic party in this poll.
the president, in the meantime, is holding steady, at about 50/50. his strategy during the shutdown crisis seems to have paid off. he stayed above it all. he let harry reid and nancy pelosi do all the dirty work in congress. back to you. >> thank you, mike viqueira reporting from wash warrant everybody though the government shutdown is over, the affects are still being felt across the country. the irs says it's been forced to push back the start date for processing returns next year. that means a possible one or two week delay in contacts refunds for early filers. but federal taxes will still be due on april 15th. 60 bush fires are burning throughout australia and weather conditions are making them harder to contain. >> based on the forecast, based on the size of these fires, it's expects to become a whole lot worse yet. >> thousands of australians are being urged to evacuate hot, dry windy conditions on wednesday could be the worst the firefighters have seen, more than 200 homes have been detroit
in new south wales. 800 firefighters from around the country have been sent to relieve crews that have been working nonstop for days. ♪ ♪ >> meteorologist: hello again, while i want to take you here across the ohio river valley that's what will be the coldest today and we have frost advisories and warnings there. the showers went through with a mix of rain and snow. that is expected to be a problem now through indianapolis this morning as the temperatures come back down. now as we go through the ref of the day a lot of rain is heading up towards the northeast. of course today is the first game of the world series in boston. what we do expect to see is clouds, as well as off and on rain throughout the day. up until about 8:00 p.m. after that the rain should be out of the area. so if you are in boston, bring your umbrella just in case. now, i want to take you up here towards the northwest.
things have been quite nice for most of the west coast over the laugh five days. the reason is, we have this ridge of high pressure dominating and it's keeping all of the weather to the north and over here towards the east. so what we can expect to see is cloud free, mostly and showers really are not going to be too much of a problem. let's take a look at the forecast for seattle. 54 degrees, maybe getting up to about 57 on friday. but there is no rain, there is no overcast skies in the forecast. same thing down here towards the southwest. things are looking nice for many locations, no rain not forecast either and those temperatures for phoenix will remain in the low 90s, overnight lows dropping to the low 60s. so you want to light those fires on your patio. now, in texas, we had some great weathers here across the area and that is really going to stay like that for the next couple of days, as you can see no rain really up here across the ohio river valley what i had mentioned before. but for dallas, your highs today look like this 78 agrees, san
antonio with 80. getting down to about 69 degrees on friday. and then very quickly some rain showers across central florida. in a small missouri town hundreds of demonstrators demanding justice. last year two boys were charged with sexually assaulting two teenage girls but the charges were dropped. now a special prosecutor has been called to look in to whether the case should be reopened. jonathan martin has more from martinez iville. >> reporter: maryville, missouri a town of 12,000 people find itself in the national spotlight as several hundred demonstrators are rally be with daisies supporting daisy coleman and her friends paige park -- hurts. hurts. they became they were sexually assaulted in 2012 but then saw charges dropped by the local authorities. >> all the evidence was there and they turned their back on her. >> reporter: the girls 114. the other 13 at the time. say they were raped by two classmates a 16 and 17 year olds boy. a third teen is excused of
recording the incidents on a cell phone. the girls and their families say they endured bullying and harassment from. in the town after coming forward. >> i want to know the truth. you know, i don't care which tieside it's on where it comes m we want the truth and justice regardless of where it goes. >> reporter: the local prosecutor dropped the charges against the boys saying there was insufficient evidence and have that the victims refuse today cooperate. >> this case was handled perfectly from beginning to end. it's unfortunate the prosecuting attorney was put in a position where he had to dismiss the charges. >> reporter: but the girls and their parents say they did cooperate. some in the small town believe the charges were dropped because one of the accused attackers was a stands out football player. and is from a prop net family. >> it was political. it was because people knew people. >> ultimately the truth and the facts will come out in this case and i hope when at the do the people that have been so critical of this community are big enough to accept what the truth really is.
>> reporter: a recent article published in the kansas city star led to an online campaign that filed new interest in the story: now a special prosecute briefs another county has been assigned to reopen the case. jonathan martin, al jazerra, maryville, missouri. >> tuesday's rally was organized by the computer hacking group anonymous which mountss a similar campaign for a rape case in ohio. a major milestone for afghanistan's military. the new facility that will help prepare their troops. two plead guilty in taye deadly listeria out break. anger brewing on college campuses in california as the governor okays a plan to dramatically hike class for his some popular classes. news stories? >> they share it on the stream. >> social media isn't an after-thought, it drives discussion across america.
arab countries med in london on tuesday in hopes of launching talked necessary month but the syrian national coalition told them sitting down with president bashar salad would make them delayed toers the revolution, a sad has given no indication that he is willing to step down. caray says there is a great deal at stake in syria, including the destabilization of an entire region. afghan sedan's first military academy opens on wednesday. it will be used to educate the next generation of afghan army officers, jennifer glass takes a look at the military school's first year which is getting underway. >> reporter: these men hope to be the leaders of afghanistan's young army. but for now they just to get through the training. at this new army officer academy in kabul, the recruits are seen as the future i've sustainable military. >> to make a strong army it's clear we need educational i think stewingses like this. which are the basis of building of a country.
>> reporter: nine afghan i'm has a high attrition rate, most of the regular soldiers are illiterate and h ethnic loyaltis sometimes come before national ones, big challenges for any mill terrell i officer. these future leaders were carefully chosen. 10,000 afghans compete today for 270 slots in the first year at the officer academy. they are about to start a 42-week course. if they graduate, they will be afghan officers. instruct stores sainstructors sl be rigorous physically and mentally. some won't make it. the recruits sea they are red. >> i we will tighten our belts to serve our country, accept sacrifice to rescue the children of this country from dark times. >> reporter: the academy is still under construction. eventually 1350 men and 150 women are expected to graduate each year with mentor mentors fe nato nations. >> we intend to be here until
2023 or until the afghan nation decides it's enough. >> reporter: but nato has a pending agreement with the u.s. that plan will be debated by a national gathering late next month. if it's reject third degree academy and afghanistan security forces could find themselves without international support at the understand of 2014. years before planned. jennifer glass, al jazerra the afghan army officer academy, kabul. >> the academy hopes to better train and strengthen after began forces. last year more than a thousand afghan soldiers were killed and another 3,000 were seriously injured. two colorado cantaloupe farmers have pleaded guilt any a deadly listeria out break, brothers eric and ryan jensen of jensen farms appeared tuesday at federal court in denver. they entered those guilty pleas without cutting any kind of sentencing deal with prosecutors. 33 people died in 2011 after eating tainted cantaloupes from jensen farms. the jensens could face up to six
years in prison and $1.5 million in fines. a sentencing hearing is now set for january 28. with california colleges strapped for cash, law make he is are trying some new ideas to help raise money. one plan includes charging more for popular classes at the state's junior colleges. but as jennifer london reports, many students are giving this two tea paymen tear tier paymen" >> reporter: it's production time at the student newspaper at long beach state college on, this day students are writing and talking about this. >> this is a chance for a lot of students to actually get the opportunity to take classes when saint funding isn't available. >> it's massed as oh, it's an opportunity for your students. >> reporter: the opportunity as described by these students is to allowed six california community colleges to charge close to five time as much for popular classes taken during winter and summer sessions,
which means instead of paying 46 he dollars per unit the same colors will cost $208 per units. the fee hike is being called around experiment by california's governor. many students a on the surface it sounds like a good idea, offer the high-demand chances during summer and winter sessions they say if those classes aren't affordable doesn't that defeat the purpose. >> it creates a two tier system for those that can pay more out of pocket. rather than us and i mean us as will be income students because we can't afford that. >> as controversial as this is there are many viewing this as the best option that we have. >> reporter: california assemblyman doss williams authorized the bill. >> it's supposed to be open access for all essentially turned away half a million students last year. they were allowed to come in to the college but they weren't given any of the classes that they need to transfer or get a
two-year certificate. >> reporter: under the plan, participating colleges can funnel a third of the revenue back in to the school to help with financial aid. and if students have to spends more for high-demand classes like english and math which are often wait listed, williams says they'll spends less in the long run because they'll get the classes they need to graduate or transfer sooner. the faculty association of california community colleges disagrees. >> california community colleges were founded upon the principle of equitable access. what this does is it turns that philosophy on its head and says, there is a segment of courses that are available only to those who are economically privileged. >> reporter: at least two of the community colleges invited to participate agree and are taking a pass. one is undecided and two aren't everybody eligible because of enrollment requirements. which leaves only long beach. >> we have a mission here at
long beach city college and throughout our community colleges to insure that we open up as much opportunity for students, these courses are only in addition to what we would normally offer and students can choose to make the investment or not. >> reporter: with course offerings decline buying 21% since 2008 because of budget cuts, it's clear something needs to be done. but ultimately, it will be up to the students to decide if the state's experiment makes the grade. jennifer london, al jazerra, long beach. >> california governor jerry brown calls the new plan a reasonable option for the schools. he says the increased pricing allows community colleges to offer students action owes cespedes to courses that would not otherwise be available. a chicago neighborhood blanketed by black dust. where the crime that's invading their homes is coming from and the potential health risks it could pose to people living there. one of the first pieces of debris from the japanese sue familiar toy wash ashore in the u.s. making its return back
u.s. gas prices are approaching their lowest levels in three years. right now the average price nationwide for a gallon of gas is $3.35. industry analysts say the falling price of crude oil could bring it down another 20-cents by december. the last time gas was 3.15 was during 2010 holland say season, people who live in southeast chicago say every time the wind blows black dust blankets their yards and home. the dust is pet coke a byproduct of refining oil and residents
say they have had enough. >> reporter: from her second floor apartment susannah gomez can see what looks like mounds of black soot. >> see how it's much thicker. it's not like regular dust. >> reporter: because of concern about what is in the air, she tries to keep her kids indoors. >> it's hard to breathe around it and it just gets very sticky. in the summertime you can see it stuck on your skin. >> reporter: it turns out that these piles of crumbly black powder are a high sulfur, high carbon by properties of crude oil called pet coke. thousands of pounds of it are being stored on the chicago's southeast eyed. >> the united states is where star sands oil the dirtiest of the dirty oil in the world is being refined. and it's being refined and leaving a waste stream of pet coke. >> reporter: it's shipped from bps writing, indiana oil refining to a company controlled by industrialists charles and
david coke. >> reporter: community activists say when the wind blows clouds of black dust blanket their nearby neighborhoods. >> it travels throughout the community. and our concern is that it's in the air we breathe. it affects our product values. we have children playing outdoors and breathing in this stuff. so we are very, very concerned. >> reporter: there is reason to be concerned. >> there are various carcinogens, cancer-causing chemicals that ride along with this dust from this type of source. so all of these can cause long-term health effects. >> reporter: while no state law requires pet coke to be enclosed. the illinois epa and attorney general's office are investigating the permits. kcbx is for the responds for al jazerra's requests for comments but bp did. in a statement, they say:
>> reporter: en sraoeurplg the activists and concerned citizens are hoping the state's investigation will lead to better containment or stricter regulation. that's little solace right now for residents like susannah gomez. >> i worry about it all the time. >> reporter: bp's whiting, indiana refinery is the second largest pet coke producing facility in the country and it isn't even running at full capacity yet. when their planned ex-bastion is completed by the end the year of it's expected to produce more than 2 million tons an al jazerra, whiting, indiana. >> environmental groups are asking refineries to contain and enclose the piles, shielding it from the wind and elements. the vatican is reaching out to those that from pedroia other religions using cricket as the olive branch. they are hoping to play against teams from other faiths, cricket
is very popular in the most low noncatholic countries of india, pakistan and, bangladesh, the vatican team plans to hit the field by next spring. california is returning a fishing boat to japan and it's not just any boat, it was the first debris to wash up on the west coast of u.s. after japan's 2011 earthquake and sue nanny. as we report, the boat's return is helping heal a community that was devastated by the disaster. >> reporter: the owe scaled miracle pine became a symbol of hope. the only one of 70 thoughal trees that wasn't stepped are stint sw*ept way by the tsunami think an estimated 1800 people died here. among them a teacher and 22 students at a high school. now they continue their studies in marine science farther way from the flattened coast. having lost so much, at last they are getting something back.
a boat, used by the school for steering skills training. the tsunami sent it on a 13-month voyage across the pacific. it reached the shores of crescent city, california in april last year. local and high school students identified it it, scraped off layers of barnacles and helped it complete the long journey home this. time in a container. almost 1,000 days since the disaster, it is battered, but not destroyed. the boat is symbolic of the spirit of the students here. like the pine tree, students call it the miracle boat. and it was the only one to ever return. >> we never expected that it would return or that it would be found. it surprised us. >> reporter: a rand miles an hour characters on its hull saved it from being lost among the efforthe estimated 1.5 mills of debris floating in the ocean. it will take pride inside a temporary museum.
tsunami destroyed the fishing industry, the very livelihood that the community once depended on. several thousands residents still live in temporary accommodations, and lack of space and higher ground away from the coastline has hampered the rebuilding process. in a worrying trend, the town's population continues to d to de, younger general raising are left with no choice but to leave their hometown to find jobs elsewhere. >> with so many things left to do, that's why we haven't been able to take any solid measures but we want to help the young some way. >> reporter: for the students, it is a moment to rejoice as they trace the long journey the boat has endured and to feel that their own determination is also intact. al jazerra, japan. >> that boat is just one of many pieces of debris that continueds to wash up on u.s. shores solemn remindsers of that deadly