big, big deal... >> convicted of unspeakable crimes did flawed lab work take away their freedom? >> i was 18 when i went in... when i came out i was 50... you don't get it back... >> shocking truths revealed >> the system with joe burlinger only on al jazeera america sus. >> i'm michael each with a look at today's top stories. >> we'll have approximately 98,000, 9,800 u.s. service members in different parts of the country. >> laying out plans to draw down troops afghanistan.
and boko haram holding hundreds of kidnap girls. >> president obama making a big announcement on u.s. involvement in afghanistan today. he laid out how many u.s. troops will stay in country at the beginning of this year. >> we'll have approximately 989,800 u.s. service members in different parts of the country. >> mike viqueira in washington. take us through the specifics of the troop withdraw plan. >> reporter: the president has long promised withdrawal
by 2014. it's something that he has campaigned on and promised ever since. his surprise visit outside of kabul was a precursor to the announcement he made today. he laid out the numbers. at the height of mr. obama's serge, by 2010 and 2011, u.s. had 200,000 troops on the ground. by the time of his visit was 32,000. 9800 americans left in afghanistan. that number cut in half by the end of 2014. and by the end of 2016 the president promises the u.s. will have a normal emabout as is presence and over 13 years of war. now the americans who do remain over the course next two years in country in accordance with this agreement will have a role
of counter terrorism, aiding and training of afghan forces. they will not be involved in front line combat. >> the bottom line is it's time to turn the page on more than a decade of so much of our foreign policy was focused on the wars in afghanistan and iraq. >> and michael, the thing that you need to remember about this is that the u.s. had wanted this agreement with the existing president hamid karzai. there has been frustration over the last several months if not years with karzai on his way out in his long and forrou forrous . >> this comes after an address by president obama at west point. will afghanistan be a major focus for president obama on
wednesday? >> reporter: that's interesting. and part of what the president wanted to do was to clear the decks and announce a shift and focus on foreign policy. you heard him say that he wanted to turn the page from iraq and afghanistan. there is talk from the information of focusing on problems in north africa as well, and it doesn't come a moment too soon. according to clear politics, the public is asked what they think about mr. obama's foreign policy. 39.5% approve. so the president is stepping in to west point here with the white house filling as a rebuttal to mr. obama's critics what they call the obama doctrine as they ridicule as weakness. they don't think that the president's response has been robust enough. >> live in washington, thank you. coming up at 4:30 we'll take a closer look at the implications of the president's announcemen
announcements. the white house said president obama will meet with ukraine's president. the announcement comes amid new violence. the mayor of doneskt said that 40 people have been killed at the airport. we have more from doneskt. warning that the report contains graphic images. >> reporter: the route shows signs of a fierce battle. perhaps not something that the pro-russian gunmen expected when enthey tried to seize the airport. they could not with stand the power that the ukrainian forces used this time around. many of the fighters were part of the military arm of the people's doneskt republic. among them fighters from across the border of russia. they had issued an ultimatum at
which it warned if would unleash all its power, and it did. from the ground and from the air. but the separatist gunmen with further reinforcements arriving. >> a second ultimatum to evacuate the airport and it's surrounding area, but they're not gone. now the roadblock on the road leading to the airport has moved closer to the city center. some people are already taking precautions. >> especially those who live close to the battlefield. the mayor of doneskt urge people to stay at home. it seems nearly everyone in this city of 1 million heeded his call. the battle over the airport marks a dangerous escalation in this conflict. so far fighting was restricted to the outskirts of the city mainly at checkpoint. now many fear that war could
reach their door steps. al jazeera, doneskt. >> as just mentioned residents have been urged to stay indoors since the stand off at the airport. we have more from insid on the d from inside the city. >> reporter: there is a great fear here in the city that the fighting was brought into the city sistecity center itself. the mood is one of anger and determination to resist any attempt by the ukrainian government and the military forces to oust them from positions they have. and reinforcing the barricades. but of course there is also a lot of shock and grief amongst the families here. the scale of the bloodshed. the pro russian fighters that were killed and the attack on the air force and there were civilians who were caught in that cross fire. when will the fighting stop?
will it be coming into the city center? now, the thing about the airport attack was that pai paratroops e used, gunfighters were used. that clearly cannot happen here in the city center. there will be too many casualt casualties around these positions that are being occupied. when are the ukrainian government military forces willing to make their move here in the city sister of doneskt. that's what's on everybody's mind here. >> at least 54 people have been killed in two separate attacks by the radical group boko haram. the attacks come less than 4 hours after officials say they know where 300 missing school girls are being held. they were abducted last month from a school. we're in the nigeria capitol. what do you know about the bold
attacks by boko haram? >> reporter: well, michael, the attack took place in the northern state bordering borno state where boko haram is said to be staying in nigeria. remember, boko haram members attacked a street and 40 were killed. gunmen who are suspected to be members of the boko haram arrived in town and open fired on a military post and set fire to government buildings. in the process they killed many. >> back to the missioning school girls what information has the government revealed on their
location and what their plan is to ask you these girls? >> reporter: well, th they know where the girls are, and the military will use force because that could endanger their lives. that's the fear that they have. but people are wondering how long will the government wait to save these children from their abductors. ththe statement is raising more questions than answers. the public is asking, if they know where they are, why don't they free them because the government said there is no negotiations with terrorists. although there is conflict between government officials. one will tell you that everything will be done to free
the girls. >> there is certainly a lot of criticism . nigerian government regarding the kidnapped girls. classes at uc were canceled. >> today has been designated as a day of remembrance and mourning and reflection. there will be a memorial to honor and remember the six people killed friday night and the 13 others who were wounded. a number of students are returning to campus for the very first time after a long holiday weekend. to say that they experience grief and shot is an
understatement. earlier today i spoke with the president of the associated students here on campus. she describes it this way. >> all i know is that every single person in this community is feeling this right now. we're all going through the stages of grief at our own time. we're just coming together to support one another. >> reporter: now the blood has been cleared from the streets, and flowers have been put in place where the shots were fired, but really the healing process is just beginning for students, faculty members, members of the community. as you mentioned, classes have been canceled and a number of grief cor counselors are on han. >> any information about he will lot rogers. >> reporter: we know he carried out the murders as his day of retribution. those are his words described in a document, and in youtube videos posted online. when you read his words and you
hear his voice describing how he would go about shooting spree it gives you this chilling insight into the troubled mind of this young man. he describes his sense of loneliness. he describes being rejected by women. he talked about how he would make those women pay for the crimes he said they committed against him. in parthe confusion in part what happened, but why it happened. >> reporting live from isla vista, california. in today's power politics presidential candidate hillary clinton has started the media rollout for a new memoir. david, it's a good way to get the p.r. going. >> it's only fueling the expectstation in the political
role that hillary clinton does intend to run for pratt in 2016. the book "hard choices" comes out today, they released an author's note as well as a video clip and audio clip of why she wrote this memoir. she decided to take people back to the day in 2008, starting the 2008 campaign, and talking about the very unlikely journey that led me t to be asked by president obama to serve as secretary of state, and to develop a partnership and friendship over the years we worked together. >> reporter: in her book clinton said foreign political is not a far away place, but it's a national and economic security at home. thespokesmen have said she has t decided to run but she'll prepare much the same.
some progressives are hoping that she'll be challenged from the left. persony saunders describes himself as a democratic socialist is now seriously considering getting into the race. he is a feisty two-term senator with a small but passionate congresssive following. sanders has been railing against the unfair political power of the wealthy, and how it trumps the interest of america's middle class. >> i do not believe democracy is a handful of billion narrows like the koch brothers, sheldon adelson, being in a position in which they can spend as much money as they want on any political race in this country.
>> sanders calls the situation olagarky and will start in new hampshire. on the republican side ted cruz a potential 2016 presidential candidate is now on a trip to israel. cruz has limited foreign policy experience. so in this trip he's meeting with israel's prime minister, defense minister and political party leaders on israeli-palestinian conflict. and saying here at home that palestinians are solely to blame for the failure of recent peace talks. this is primary day for state elections. and one ma man to watch is republican ralph hall. he is 91 years old but he's being challenged by john radcliffe, who has raised a
concern about hall's age. in this primary season, michael, incumbents have won 139 races. can congressman hall keep this going at age 91? we'll find out. >> further proof to get someone out of office once they've been there for a while, coming up on www.aljazeera.com. relying on i do. a ruling that prison inmates must have other disability, and we'll show you the unless to remove blight from detroit, but where will the city find the money to cover it.
>> freedy lee haw, 68 years old. he's been on death row for 36 years. he killed two people, a 21-year-old pregnant woman and a sheriff deputy. now he sued the state of attorney. hiflorida. his attorney said that's mentally disabled. the supreme court already ruled you cannot execute someone who is disabled. over the years hall's i.q. score some were below the level set by florida, and some were above. they varied. what is the standard for mental disability in the state of florida? >> natasha, the supreme court was split on the decision. what did each side have to say? >> reporter: so okay, the state of florida was saying you need a 70 i.q. or lower to be executed.
advocates or people against the death penalty for the mentalry disabled said you can't tak ta a numeric number and apply it. you have to consider adaptive functioning, can they hold down a job, and today the supreme court agreed with this. >> the ultimate thing we can do in this country to hold them responsible, accountable for what they did is give them the death penalty. we should not be putting people to death in an arbitrary fashion. >> reporter: we also spoke with a prosecutor. he said his office already is taking a look at the other factors when determining whether or not to execute someone. he says that once you start tinkering number it becomes a slippery slope. the brighter that line is the easier it is for the prosecutors to apply the law uniformly.
>> i don't think the legislature and courts reached into a hat and reached for a number. he's not a victim. he ended up on death roll by being a vicious murderer with a low i.q. >> reporter: florida is not the only state that will now reevaluate it's standards. alabama, kentucky to name a few. florida attorney general is reviewing this ruling and has declined comment tonight. >> thank you. well, the new trading week on wall street got off to a positive start with good news on the economy. the dow rose 69 points. the nasdaq and s&p 500 which set a new record is also up-to-date. it's been so months since detroit filed for bankruptcy.
>> detroit blight task force has spent the last eight months analyzing every single property in the city, and they found there are over 80,000 blighted structures throughout detroit. this was compiled by businesses as well as the city of detroit, and they estimate it will cost over $2 billion to remove all of this urban decay over the next several years. the city's emergency manager spoke out today saying that this report is essential to moving droid forward. >> for the first time you have a comprehensive proposal to analyze all the properties in 144 square miles of city including lakes and rivers with the resources and technology to address the issue. >> detroit's blight issue. this is nothing new. this is a problem that has lingered now for decades.
i had the opportunity to speak to a long-time detroiter who had issues of blight in his community, and he decided to take things in his own hands. >> despite what it looks like these are not your typical farm. these goats and chickens are being raised on detroit's east side. the farm yard belongs to mark covington. he has lived in the neighborhood all of his life. abeed and rotted out homes. vacant lots, illegal dumping. his once thriving community became one of decay. he decided to take on the blight himself. >> i said from the beginning i wanted to shine the most positive light on my neighborhood as possible. first he started mowing the grass. then he bought this abandon building and built a farm yard and community guard. >> what do you have here? >> right now we have broccoli,
kale, collard. >> reporter: it's now known as the georgia street community collective. >> ideas for the neighbors to come and pick whatever they want to pick, and have whatever they want to have, and get help if they need it. >> reporter: in a bankrupt city with an 80,000 abandoned structures covington is considered a an innovator. the city will spend $5 million over the next five years to eliminate plight. it's a step in the right direction, but there are more hurdles ahead. >> the city's biggest challenge after eliminating blight is to begin to assemble the land for reuse. >> reporter: but covington's collective is laying down the groundwork hoping to serve as an stamexample of what is possiblea
bankrupt city striving for a comeback. this report has inspired optimism. the emergency manager has set aside half billion dollars that would go through eliminating the urban decay. this is money coming from the federal government, private donors before the emergency manager can move forward on that. bisi onile-ere, al jazeera detroit. >> a new report reveals that american ceos now earn 257 times the average workers salary. a study found the head of a large public company earned a average salary of $10.5 million in 2013. the highest male ceo was anthony patrello. he made more than $68 million. the highest paid female ceo of
>> every saturday join us for exclusive, revealing, and surprising talks with the most interesting people of our time. rosie perez >> i had to fight back, or else my ass was gonna get kicked... >> a tough childhood... >> there was a crying, there was a lot of laughter... >> finding her voice >> i was not a ham, i was ham & cheese... >> and turning it around... >> you don't have to let your circumstance dictate who you are as a person >> talk to al jazeera only on al jazeera america
>> president obama announced plans to withdrawal all u.s. troops from afghanistan by the send of 2016. there will be 9800 soldiers throughout next year who will be training afghan security forces. they now believe that afghanistan is now ready to protect it's own security. >> the future of afghanistan must be decided by afghans. about what we will do is give afghan a chance. >> the u.s. has spend
$353 billion. as of last year mr. there from 330,000 afghan security forces. now n.a.t.o. estimates it will cost kabul $5 million to maintain it's security levels. joining me now is mark jayson season. >> thanthank you for having me. >> what about the size of the force that will be left behind in afghanistan. >> what i saw today was a demonstration of what some administration officials are calling a momentum in afghanistan. we now have had a successful
election. and now it's time for the u.s. to commit to what i think is a very prudent number. this is the sweet spot, the high end of what is needed for n.a.t.o. forces to help the afghans sustain the momentum they have gained in this insurgency. >> buck mckean has already criticized the plan saying for him it feels like the same thing to happen when u.s. troops left iraq saying that president obama abandoned the region when did he that. how fair is that statement and what about this plan and iraq. >> reporter: iraq and afghanistan are not the same in this regard. i disagree with chairman mckean. the president committed to a surge. a responsible transition that would allow afghan security forces to take the lead and continue to have u.s. and n.a.t.o. support.
that's what we've seen. we've seen afghan forces take the lead for combat forces. we'll see the withdraw of regional approach. the timeline is one that essentially takes the training wheels off and operate with fewer and fewer nato and u.s. troops, which is exactly what they want to do. it's exactly what the american people want in terms of troops overseas. >> how effective have troops been since taking the lead from n.a.t.o. forces last year. >> i was in afghanistan in 2056. the afghan soldiers and police have nothing in comparison with
what you see today. you have afghan special forces. you have narcotics police who are really able to take on operations similar to the n.a.t.o. forces. that does not mean that there is not work to be done in terms of higher regimental brigade type forces. that's what they'll focus on during the last year. the long-term the enablers that they'll need to con dru conducte broader scale operations. >> they say if you pull them out at this rate and give certain dates, then they'll feel embolden and rally and take over territory in the united states. is that accurate or is this plan
limit that prospect? >> reporter: the greatest fear that i have and many others is that there would be this zero option when president karzai would refuse to sign the acceptance of troops. you'll see criticism from all sides, that's reflective of the point that the president is trying to make today. a commitment to end the war at a reasonable pace. that's why the glide path you're seeing 9800 now. half by the 2015, and then 2016 a normalcy in terms of military to military relations. that's exactly the type of path we want to see cut. >> again, we expect president obama to address more about afghanistan when he addresses west point tomorrow.
marc jacobs from the truman national security project, thank you. >> thanks for having yes. >> the revolutionary armed forces of colombia turns 50 years old today, known as farc. now the fate of the group rests on next month's election. >> the semi tropical region of colombia gave burst to a rebel group made up mainly of poor farmers that would transform itself of a powerful army capable of waging war against the colombia state to this date. financed through kidnapping, extortion and drug trafficking, the revolutionary forces of colombia, facr, reached 20,000 combatants, and billions of dollars of u.s. military aid has reduced their numbers to roughly 1,000. farc has survived all attempts
to defeat it. the first registered attack was in southwestern colombia an area where impoverished farmers, a and it was here where there was the harsh blow. >> reporter: their leader killed in an army raid three years ago. a loss that has brought the rebel group to the negotiating table. >> things have changed in this country. there is no more future in war, and that's something that the farc leadership has understood. >> reporter: the talks to end the conflict cost 200,000 lives and displaced 2 million colombians are takes place in havana. but they oppose rebel leaders
whom they describe as terrorists in politics and avoid long prison terms in exchange for peace. 221 years ago they tried and failed to end the conflict, and as things stand now any deal would be fragile. >> the president wants to impose peace instead of making it a state policy because if it isn't any deal that is reached is not solid or suspendible. >> in the short term. if not elected next month, the peace talks are off. which is why even after 50 years there is no guarantee that this will be farc's last birthday as a combatant force. al jazeera, colombia. >> in india on his first day onn the job narendra modi sat down with pakistani leaders to
restart peace talks. for his part he said in proving relations with india is key to region allottability. in thailand, the first member of the ousted government to appear in public. the former education minister said the takeover would not end the arms cries. in malaysia, showing flight 370 crashed in the indian ocean. the jetliner and all 239 people on board vanished three months ago. families have been demanding that malaysia show all of its information so independent experts can review it, but they're criticizing the
government of withholding complex calculations. and in south sudan many have fled their homes. more than a million people have bin eneternally displace--have y displaced. >> this tea family now has to le in this muddy camp. in february, rebel fighters attacked. >> there was a fighter who would tell the fighters to rape them and then kill them. >> reporter: president said both government troops and opposition forces targeting them for their
ethnicity. many ran to churches and the u.n. base. many were sheltered here, they thought they would be safe. but rebels attacked and they looted everything of value. survivors say many people were beaten, many were killed. and some patients who were bedridden were shot dead. it's one of many instances where they were targeted. u.n. general secretary ban ki-moon said needs to be justice. the u.s. has called for justice, too. nobody has faced justice for the atrocities committed here. going back for deck glades one of the reasons possibly there have been so many crimes committed is that nobody has
been held accountable. with the level of atrocities now committed now is the time of justice to prevail. the u.n. said south sudan's justice system may not be adequate. an international tribunal will depend on the security council. this woman hopes that something will stop the violence so it will be safe to go home. >> the search for three missing men in a landslide in colorado has been called off. >> yes, michael, the sheriff office says the conditions right now are too unsafe to continue the search. an account roa roadwork, his sod another man has been missing since sunday. they were checking a road
damaged by mudslide. a huge chunk of the ridge sheared off and likely enveloped them. a man was sentenced to a year probation. he was a member of the hacking group anonymous and cooperated with the fbi to disrupt hundreds of cyberattacks. testimony began on wisconsin's new abortion trial. it requires abortion providers to have hospital-admitting privileges. planned parenthood said that the new law will shut down clinics. the national weather service said that a tornado in north dakota packed winds as high as 120 mph. nine people were injured when the twister tore through a trailer park about 15 trailers were devoid. video of the tornado was posted on youtube.
>> and you can see the magnitude of the twister. the people who shot the video said at one point they were laughing not because it was funny but because they were pa panicking. that is amazing video. >> when you see the scope and size of it you're surprised that more people were hurt or killed in that endeavor. amazing video. thank you very much. coming up on al jazeera america. is college worth the price tag? new numbers say yes. immediate the syrian man living in exile in chicago. he is living a secret life as the writer of short stories.
>> president obama announced a new program to help low income students. highlighting inventions by young female students. he stressed that american scientists should be as famous and respected as it's athletes. >> but i believe that what is being done by these young people is even more important, and i'm a big sports fan, everybody knows that. but what is happening here is more important. as a society we have to celebrate young people and their work in science at least as much as super bowl winners. >> i pat gap between college and high school graduate is reaching
a high. >> reporter: a lot of new college grads are struggle to go find jobs and student debt is 1 trillion-dollar. still, new statistics show a four-year degree is more valuable than ever before. americans making on average 82% more than hour than people with only a high school degree. that's up 77% five years ago and 71% a decade before that. and around 44% in the early 1980s. experts say that gap proves there is a demand for college grads. the unemployment rate for those with college degrees, 3%. it's twice that, 6% for people without college degrees. in the long run not going to college could cost a person hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost earnings. many people who start college say that it's still not worth
trying to finish it, the u.s. still has the highest college dropout rate of all countries. >> really, maybe they see these billion narrows like mark zuckerberg as an inspiration. >> steve jobs. >> bill gates. >> roxana saberi, thank you. >> you're welcome. >> a man exile from syria is now working as a taxi driver in chicago. now americans are starting to discover the talent that made him a star in the middle east. >> you just never know who will pick you up in a cab. 446-year-old will pick up passengers. they will never know that he was a literary star back in damascus with four books published.
parables. sometimes only a sentence long. they're sly and wry and take a subtle dig at political power. >> we cannot express our opinions freely there. so i decided to make it more--to hide the idea. >> with life in damascus permanently in his rear view mirror he drives a cab to survive and hates it. >> it keeps me from my writing. but now it's paying off. as a guest of a new york literary conference, he sold his first book in english, but like cinderella after the ball, he is back in chicago still eking out a living and thinking about a smoother road ahead. >> maybe it takes two or three
years from now, but i'm working on it. this is my goal. this is my life. >> now joining us is osama. thank you for joining us. >> thank you for the invitation. >> what is it like here in the united states and see area country back home at war, and your home was also destroyed, correct. >> exactly. actually, i left syria before the up rising at the end o of 2008. my goal to come here to publish my books here. >> do you have family still here? you have relatives her still in
syria? and what is their safety stand point now? >> i have my aunts and my cousins, my mom and my two brothers are here now. my aunts and pro brothers still live in downtown damascus. it is still safe a little bit, so far. they can hear shellings and bomb it's, fighting. but so far syria saved. >> to be such an accomplished writer and come to the states and driving a cab to get back into the writing aspects. what have your days been like in that regard. >> reporter: it's been a new experience. when i first came to the states i was thinking i have to work
anything to make money. to make my living to pay my bills, you know, to for the first year i couldn't write a single word. i couldn't write anything because it was a completely new experience for me, and i felt as if i came to another planet, to be honest with you. after this year i started step by step to refresh my soul, refresh my mind. >> after i published my first book in english my life, my soul turned upside down because now i'm writing more than ever. and i'm optimistic more than ever.
i'm working and writing more than ever. >> best of luck to you in that endeavor and maybe you can even get back to syria and start writing there. thank you. >> thank you very much. >> someone in san francisco is handing out a lot of money. you find it villa includes on twitter. details on the social experiment, and why the person behind it said he's not stopping any time soon. >> a shooting rampage left seven people dead and is raising questions about security. >> we're still learning about eliott roger and what drove him to kill, but we do know that his parents were concerned enough about his state of mind that they alerted authorities. what can a parent do help an adult child struggling with mental illness. what can police do? you can't just lock someone up. and with good reason.
70,000 knol70,000 followers. the person behind the account is says this is a social experiment for good. this is not about marketing. this is where to find white envelopes of cash, usually about $100. the latest, you'll find white surveillance here and if you're lucky, white envelope. new drop, stay for the cash and stay for you view. i has them posted on parking meters, and then he asks people who find these envelopes to post pictures of themselves with cash in hand and the envelope to prove that they have found it, and this cash was there. forest said, half, sharing most of it with other beachgoers. in another telephone interview, he said he made money off real state, and this is whic his wayo
pay it forward. >> instead of hating people who will successful, my point is to encourage people who are successful to give back a little bit more. >> you just found the cash? >> you just beat me. >> buried right under--right in there. >> and that couple found $100 at the beach, decided to give it away to people there. so far at hidden cash he has given away thousands of dollars, and he plans to keep doing this, expanding. >> we hear the term pay it forward so often, it's nice to see someone with the means actually doing that in san francisco. >> reporter: truly one of those days. >> thank you so much. pay it forward. there is value in that for sure. i'm michael yves, thank you for joining us on this edition of al jazeera america. for more news, updates around