tv America Tonight Al Jazeera December 12, 2013 4:00am-5:01am EST
welcome to al jazeera america. i'm stephanie sy. here are the top story we are following this hour - syrian rebels will no longer receive nonlethal assistance like body armour from the united states. the u.s. was worried the supplies were seized by fighters with links to al qaeda. humanitarian aid will continue. >> 365,000 americans have signed up for health insurance through online exchanges. enrolment triple the since october. health secretary kathleen sebelius called for an inquiry. >> the national transportation safety board determined that the
pilot on as yarn ja flight 216 did not understand how the automatic controls worked. >> a funeral procession for nelson mandela is travelling through the streets of pretoria. people are lining the streets as nelson mandela's body is taken to the state building where he'll lie in state. >> there's outrage over a finy sign language interpreter. the deaf federation said the man's hand signals were meaningless. those are the headlines, you can catch us online at aljazeera.com. i also feel betrayed by the government and the military. >> an "america tonight" exclusive, inside the mission to heal their pain. also tonight, sliding into civil war. the crisis in the central african republic, and what's
behind the violence. and an unlikely voice helping the women of afghanistan be heard. >> she needs to know that she's the only female in afghanistan ever that has ever appealed a case. good evening. thanks for being with us. i'm joie chen. sexual assaults in the military, in recent months more women survivors have come forward, and lawmakers begin to grapple with providing more support for them. there has been much silence on the number of sexual assaults against men in the military, and
as it turns out, they, too, have come forward, and the pentagon has acknowledged it is a problem which deserves attention. it is far more common than you might have thought. "america tonight" found out that many survivors struggle to recover even years after their assaults. her investigation led her to meet a number of of these men and have them tell their stories publicly for the first time. we have a warning to our viewers that some of the material in her report is graphic and quite disturbing. >> reporter: it's along the serene rio grande river that runs through albuquerque, new mexico where mike scott feels most at peace. why do you come to this forest here? >> it's a place to reflect, and it's a place to escape my anxious little world for 15 minutes or an hour. >> debilitating memories of his time in the military still haunt
him more than a decade after his honorable discharge from the 82nd airborne division of the united states army. mike never served in combat, but he's been fighting an internal war for years. >> you get better for a while and crash back down. it's endless. >> mike says another soldier sexually assaulted him in 1998. he didn't report the incident because he was too afraid to speak up. >> i thought god would protect me. god didn't protect me. and that's the toughest betrayal of all. i also feel betrayed by the government and the military. >> there are nearly six times more men than women in the military, and females are more likely to be targeted. but according to a 2012 department of defense survey, approximately 14,000 active duty service men said they faced
unwanted sexual contact in the last year compared to 12,000 women. this is the first time mike is speaking publicly about his assault and sharing his medical records. they show he suffered from nightmares, flashbacks, alcohol abuse and angry outbursts, the assault pushed him to the brink. >> i ended up binge drinking a lot and ended up three times with my .22 rifle in my mouth drunk. the last time i was putting pressure on the trigger. >> why do you think it took you that long to find a way to bring this out and bring this up? >> i blamed myself until i felt i went -- i felt i let down god and my country. i felt that i was weak, and that it was my fault.
>> the hardest thing for me right now is getting out of the house, you know. >> he stayed silent for 15 years. >> six men raped me when i was in active duty. i was sodomized and penetrated. i did not report my rape. i was protecting my career. >> he came to this country from the philippines in 1989 and almost immediately enlisted in the u.s. marines. he was stationed at camp lejeune, north carolina when he says a group from his own platoon raped him. >> after i was raped, i went back to my barracks and took a long shower. i was crying. i was bleeding physically from behind. i didn't tell anybody. i just reported back to work
like nothing had happened. i worried about being labeled as a homosexual. >> a 2012 defense department survey found 81% of male victims never reported their incident to a military authority. michael matthews and his wife, jeri lynn wine stein matthews are advocates trying to change that. he was assaulted in the air force when he was 19. they said the issue has been overlooked by the military for too long. >> i'm ashamed we're talking to victims for the last 40 years and having hearings and nothing has been done. it's affecting the national defense of our country. >> it's an issue of human rights. it's not an issue of gender or sexuality. it's a secret kept down for quite a while, and we're as sick
as our secrets. our armed forces are a system that needs to look at this. it's a blight. >> the two produced a documentary called "justice denied" to raise awareness what they call military sexual trauma or mst. in the film michael reveals his own experience. >> when i came to, i was being held down by two individuals, and someone was pulling my pants down and i was raped, sodomized. >> it's funny, because i thought i was going to die. i figured they were going to kill me. >> before you entered the military, did you ever think that you could become a victim of sexual assault? >> no, absolutely not. men are supposed to be strong. they're supposed to be the protectors. they're not supposed to be the ones getting raped. >> michael was married for 20 years before he told his wife about the incident. >> i felt relieved, because for
a long time i thought there were intimacy issues we were having. i just listened and assured him that we would get through this. >> geri lynn helped michael when his mental anguish became overwhelming. he says he tried to kill himself seven times. you came in here? >> yeah, i sat in that car. >> you planned to kill yourself in the garage? >> yeah. i got in the car and turned it on. a moment of sanity saved me. i could have took it to -- >> he stopped himself before the carbon monoxide could take his life. he says he believes he's still alive today because he has a higher purpose, to help people like javier and mike scott. the men marched together during albuquerque's 2013 veterans day parade. they carried a banner to raise awareness about male survivors of sexual assault in the military. >> hey, thank you.
>> this is a banner that represents something that is something i've been ashamed about for many years. it's my commitment to stand up. >> stand up and shed light on one of the darkest parts of their lives. >> after the break on "america tonight," course we go inside the effort to heal. >> why do you think it took you that long to find a way to bring this up. ? >> i felt i let down god, my country, myself. that i was weak and that it was my fault. >> "america tonight's" exclusive access to the therapy helping survivors on their journey.
>> an al jazeera america exclusive... former president jimmy carter reflects on the life and legacy of nelson mandela. >> that spirit of nelson mandela is embedded deeply in the heart and soul of the south africans... >> they worked side by side for freedom, now president carter talks about mandela's global impact. a revealing interview you won't see anywhere else. >> i've never heard him say, that he was grateful to the united states... >> talk to al jazeera with jimmy carter only on al jazeera america
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with al jazeera america. welcome back. we now continue our reporting about the overlooked victims of sexual assault in the military, the male service members. according to the pentagon almost 14,000 men say that they have been abused sexually or harassed. but as we heard earlier, many survivors keep their assaults secret for decades and face years upon years of emotional distress. military leaders have made some strides in addressing the issue, but there are still no specific programs for men. in the second part of her exclusive report, "america tonigh tonight"'s lori jane gliha goes inside the first veterans affairs medical center to open its doors to male survivors of sexual assault. >> just beyond the calming waves off the coast of tampa, florida is the first veterans facility to address the issue of male sexual assault. >> if you're dwelling on what's going on in your own head, it's
hard to relate to someone else or have them relate to you, right? >> the men and women in this classroom at the bay pines v.a. health care system are all survivors of military sexual trauma. >> by identifying your inner personal values, we start where we think we have hang-ups. >> this is the first time a television crew has been given access to a counseling session here. >> sometimes, you know, the relationship with my myself is hard. >> participants receive treatment individually and as a group in a residential setting. >> they share the room with some private space created by the dividers. >> in the year 2000 dr. carol o'brien developed what is now a 16-bed treatment facility, originally the program was only available to female sexual assault victims. what was your reaction when you heard that men were coming forward and saying it happened to them? >> i was like most people, kind of surprised by that. i really wanted to hear more.
>> in 2003 the facility opened its doors to men. what did you learn from the men that joined your program? >> we learned that it takes a lot in order for a man to be willing to report the amount of shame or fear about the reaction of others is pretty profound. men are often worried that if they were sexually assaulted by another man and they're married, if they tell their wife, their wife will say you must be gay. >> i never talked about it with anyone until i checked into the v.a. the day i checked into the v.a., i broke down and cried. >> many of o'brien's patients are like this man dealing with very old wounds. he has received weeks of therapy after waiting 50 years to tell anyone about his assault. >> i was reclusive. i'd been married three times. i was becoming more and more a hermit because i couldn't get my mind
away from the event and the person. >> how difficult is it to treat somebody that's coming forward so much later on in life? >> when someone tries to get through their life with a kind of burden that you carry with ptsd and a history of sexual assault that there's collateral damage, if you will. things like failed marriages, failed relationships, substance abuse. those build over the years. >> many service members blame the macho culture of the military for preventing them from coming forward. mike scott says the culture still exists today. >> i think there are a lot of people in the military who think it is good to have rapists in the ranks, to have people without empathy in the ranks because they think that means
that makes the military tough. >> mike says the military needs to undergo dramatic changes to prevent future assaults. >> this is one of the only pictures. i threw almost everything away. >> right now he's undergoing his own transformation with the help of counseling services at the albuquerque v.a. he knows the road to wellness will be a challenge, but he's prepared to make the journey, however long it takes. >> i want to come out of my shell, and i think that will leave me to be able to have a somewhat normal life. >> we asked the department of defense for an interview with the head of the sexual assault prevention response office. we wanted them to react to mike scott's allegations about rapists within the ranks, and they sent this statement. they say we categorically reject this viewpoint. secretary hagel is very clear. we must have a culture in the military where sexual harassment and assault are not tolerated, condoned or ignored.
sexual assault has been front and center for dod in recent months, the topic of hearings and discussions. one of the main complaints from male victims is how slow the process is to acknowledge this issue affects more than one gender. >> when you hear all these reports coming in, what has the military done so far? >> the military has a sexual assault prevention office and one goal was to promote initiatives that address the needs of male victims. one of the things they did is added information to a 24-hour seven day a week hot line for rape survivors. they also say they reached out to organizations that support male survivors for some guidance on what to do when they come up with future strategies. then they said their focus for the next couple of months is really going to be on some of the these male victims to figure out where they're coming from and why they're reluctant to report and what kind of support they need. >> we saw the one clinic at the veterans affairs hospital you were at. are there other programs like this for men?
>> there are a lot of programs for ptsd and military sexual trauma, but one thing from the men is they have a hard time figuring out which program is tailored specifically for men victims of military sexual trauma. we had trouble from the v.a. getting a straight answer how many facilities are specifically designed to help men in this way. one thing we learned from dr. o'brien from the bay pines facility is her facility is not enough to address the demand and need from the men. she even testified in front a congressional committee this summer about the issue. even then some of the men have said they don't feel comfortable going to a facility like hers because it's mixed gender and they want a facility just specifically for men. there has been a lot of progress made, but clearly, still a long way to go, joie. >> lori jane gliha. thanks very much. we turn now to susan burke who is an attorney that has worked extensively with survivors of sexual assault.
i wonder if you can talk to us a little bit about what you've experienced and heard from survivors as they've come to you as they try to help you. >> it's hard, because we started to hear about women coming forward. why is it so much more difficult for men? >> what we have found and in the people i represent i do have many male survivors as clients. what they tell me is that the difficulty, the hurdles they have to overcome in order to report are tremendous. we as a society really want to close our eyes to the fact that there's a significant amount of rape of males in the military. for men, who are raised with this -- in this military culture, it's like such a shame, such a blow to have to come forward and report that you've been victimized. so as hard as it is for the women, it's even harder for the men to come forward and report. >> there are certainly environments within the military that might restrict. for example, we talk about don't
ask don't tell and policies that have been in place against homosexuals reporting. how does that contribute? >> that has actually contributed a lot. in fact, prior to the abolition of that, when you came forward and reported, if you were a male and you came forward and reported you had been raped by another male, you could be discharged under that policy. we have had people come to us. they were discharged after reporting being victimized. >> men who have been victimized by other men? >> correct. >> came forward to report that they were victims of sexual violence? >> right. in the instance, the commander said, all right, you must be homosexual and they're your dishonorably discharged. he was not a homosexual, but regardless, rape is about power, violence and control. but the men are even more -- they were even more at risk for coming forward to report. >> you have also worked with legislative efforts to deal with this issue. >> we have. we are strong supporters of the
effort by senator jill bragillibrand and others. as it is now it has a critical flaw. it allows a biased commander to have judging power, aadjudicatory power. the legislation pending is to take that adjudicatory power out of the war fighters and put it in the hands of lawyers and law enforcement within the military. >> are there other things that can be done to support these men, to get them to come forward to try to get a handle on the problem? >> well, the reality of today's military is that if you come forward and report, you're going to be branded a trouble-maker. you put your career on the line. so it is a very difficult choice for people to make. we cannot in good faith, those of us who help survivors, we cannot in good faith encourage reporting until we have ensured that the reports are handled appropriately and that the
predators are prosecuted and put in jail. so you've got to fix the judicial system before you're going to see any kind of uptick in the amount of reporting. >> susan burke, an attorney that works with survivors. we appreciate you being here. >> thank you for having me on. when we return, a final farewell. south africans remember tata, the father of their nation. also ahead tonight, an offensive interpretation. why his message to the deaf community was nothing more than a charade. >> al jazeera america is the only news channel that brings you live news at the top of every hour. >> here are the headlines at this hour. >> only on al jazeera america.
times the hourly wage of their employees. new information in the fatal a asiana crash say the pilot was anxious. he was operating without all the navigational equipment and he worried about his own ability to land the aircraft. disturbing story from south africa in mourning as opportunity makes a thief. capetown police say that the home of retired archbishop desmond tutu was robbed while he was at nelson mandela's memorial service. no arrests have been made. as a commemoration of mandela's life continues, the mood changed from celebratory to somber as his casket traveled through the nation's capital. thousands lined the streets to pay respects to the first leader of the new south africa. the long lines formed. south africans were able to offer final good-byes.
mandela's memorial that drew 100 dignitaries all around the world is considered one of the largest gatherings of global leaders in recent history. the memorial services have not been without controversy. the country's current president faced booed. then there was this, you see it there, a fake sign language interpreter. it turns out that his gestures were nothing more than charades. this is not a real sign language. incredibly this same man offered his sign language at a speech by president zuma last year. almost 20 years the word watched in horror as genocide unfolded in the central african nation of rwanda. now an international effort is mounting to prevent bloodshed that some fear could become a genocide in the central african republic. it began last ma when government in a mainly christian nation was overthrown by muslim rebels.
in the past weeks the attacks on christians faced reprivatals. almost half a million people have been displaced. u.n. officials warn the conflict contains the seeds of genocide. hundreds of peacekeepers from the country's former power, france, are in place after a u.n. resolution. the united states has offered $60 million for supplies to help the peace keeping mission. al jazeera has been covering this conflict and we have several reports on this already. >> this is a country being swept up in a frenzy. these pictures filmed by amnesty international show the aftermath of an attack on a mosque. local christians burned it down, and now they are stripping it apart. the gra graffiti on the wall
insults the rebel president. he led a mainly muslim coalition of rebels which took control here in march. >> the big point of it now is every day passing there are new horrific stories and situations. last week it was the fighting between armed people. now we are witnessing fighting between communities. >> thousands of people have come to the airport because they have nowhere else to go. they're targeting people in their homes. this is the only place that they feel safe. >> translator: everyone you see here in a christian. there are no muslims here. we have no protection. the muslims have seleka to look after them. we have no one to defend us. >> translator: we have nothing to drink, and there's nothing to eat. we don't have any money to buy anything.
>> there are some international charities that are helping these people, but food and water are limited in the city. there are almost half a million people around the country who have lost their homes. just looking like a muslim here can make you a target. the man dressed in white is surrounded by local christians. they say he's a seleka general, and they want to kill him. he says he's just a local businessman. the french intervene ordering people to move away. they arrest the muslim man, taking him away. in another suburb of the city, a man is carried to safety. he's been stabbed. locals accuse him of being part of a mainly christian militia group. french soldiers have a difficult task right now. there are thousands of armed people in this city and french forces under a u.n. mandate to
disarm them. >> translator: we really are happy with what the french have just done to disarm the seleka in bangui. we want them to go into the neighborhoods to take the weapons from the armed houses. >> french soldiers say that they found weapons and grenades inside the cars of these men. their cars have been confiscated. you can see they've been arrested, their hands tied behind their backs and their phones taken away as well. french soldiers are here to protect civilians, but they, too, have now become targets. the french president francois howl hollande's visit was to pay respect to the two soldiers that died and boost the morale of the rest of his forces. for now, it is the african union forces which are more visible on the streets. these men are from congo. the role of african union soldiers will become
increasingly important here. this is the only safe way to get around bangui in the moment, in a convoy with african union forces. there are no french soldiers on the streets at the moment. there is no rule of law here. muslims are being targeted by christians, and christians are being targeted by m muslims. >> can anybody be done to curb the escalating violence? we turn to the director of foreign policy in focus at the institute for policy studies. appreciate you being here. let's talk about this notion that this is largely a conflict between christians and muslims. is that what is at the source? >> we have to remember at its essence the central african republic like many countries are resource rich. they have oil, uranium. it is a vital resource that makes the tensions flare up and continue to flare. >> it's chrome of wealth? >> control and access of mines,
and really control and access of those resources both for internal actors, for multi-national corporations as well as for interests for friends and other external forces interested in accessing oil and uranium for long-term needs. >> france is leading the way in terms of international involvement. what else is happening here? is there something that will draw u.s. support beyond the supplies? >> the u.s. is already there and have been there. the u.n. sent in, it said, 100 military advisers to go after joseph a few years back. >> he was the leader of -- >> the leaders of the lower resistance army in uganda destabilizing the region. this is a tough neighborhood, right? the u.s. sent in uniformed and private military contractors to search for him, and those numbers increased in 2012 when the latest series of violence occurred.
so the u.s. has been there and i think the concern is that it's a big opaque. what are they doing? how many are there? there have been reports that the u.s. is actually using their air forces to carry french troops into central africa republic. perhaps they have other interests as well. clearly the u.s. has had a role and continues to have a role, and i think there needs to be real call for not only support of the african union peace keeping forces but a quick transitions of the african union forces to u.n. peacekeepers understanding it'sen unilateral action by france or the u.s. that will bring a resolution. it's a multilateral reaction between u.n. peacekeepers and political resolution of the crisis. being able to have citizens and diplomats working to try to bring a mrit cpolitical end to this lodge-seated crisis.
>> we heard the report and see the folks already in desperate concern for their futures, and we understand in some villages people are taking up their own arms to try to protect themselves, not necessarily to start a fight but to protect themselves. >> it's important to recognize that there are human rights violations going on all sides, and often, you know, these are sectarian battles. some say muslim and christians, but communities are taking revenge attacks and going forward with their own level of atroscities. whether it's seleka that's been victimizing civilians or the other side that is the rebel forces in response, some are muslim and some are christian, they are extremelyists without a doubt. they are people who are really wanting to control resources at their core, to control mines and also to control political power. this wills unless there is a political resolution to the crisis, there will continue to
be atroscities where people are forced out of their homes. often, you know, american audiences may not understand why people are forced in heavy numbers, thousands at a church in the capital city. it's people forced out of their homes looking for some refuge. >> terrified that they cannot stay in their own homes. >> absolutely. needing desperately a long-term solution to the crisis and an opportunity where they can send children to school and be safe. >> and be safe. >> we appreciate you being with us and giving you insight into the story. >> an honor. thank you. turn now to afghanistan where that country's justice system is still a work in progress. it is dogged by allegations of corruption, and it still doesn't have enough lawyers and judges. an american lawyer, though, has been working in kabul to secure the rights of afghans. jennifer glasse reports from kabul. >> when defense attorney
kimberly motley arrived in kabul in 2008, the junior lawyer from north carolina didn't expect to take long. >> i came here originally to train and mentor afghan defense attorneys. what i found is as much as i trained and mentoring them, they were training and mentoring me much more. >> five years later she's a regular fixture in kabul, outspoken and uncovered and defending afghanistan's most foresaken, including those at the bprison for women, where dozens of female inmates, afghan and foreign, hope for justice. motley stops in at this women's jam every chance she gets to check on the inmates and see if anyone needs a lawyer. does your iranian embassy know you're here? >> yes. >> okay. how long all been here? >> four months. >> irene from uganda has been here for more than four years convicted of drag trafficking. she should be free right now because the president reduced
sentences like hers. motley is trying to help. >> this is the most recent presidential decree, so with this degree cree they forgive president karzai, when he signs this decree he forgives sentences for people of if i can lar crimes. >> most were sentenced without seeing a lawyer and most are illiterate. >> people are coming here to help. >> without motley most of the them wouldn't know what to do. human rights watch estimates that almost all the young girls and about half the women in jails like this one are here because of moral crimes here. that's something motley wants to change. >> are you here for running away or running away and adultery? >> while the afghan law on elimination of violence against women prohibits punishing women raped or victims of violence, cultural norms mean thousands of afghan girls are forced into marriages and abuse against women remains common. despite the prohibition, motley says rape victims are still
criminalized in afghanistan. take, for example, a female clients of motley's. she game pregnant as a result of rape. when she reported it to the police, they arrested her, and she had her baby in prison. motley helped get her out by securing a presidential pardon. she married her rapist to ensure her daughter could have a future in afghanistan. motley says she appears to be happy. another one of her high-profile cases involving a teenager. she was sold into marriage when she was about 13. her new in-laws tortured and beat her and pulled out her fingernails and burned her hair and body because she refused to be a prostitute. motley helped her appeal to the supreme court and won. motley went to see her young client in the shelter that's now her home. >> i wanted to come here and talk to you about the decision we just received from court. they basically have said that mom, mother-in-law and father-in-law should be
rearrested and go to prison for five years. >> her victory is rare because talking about sex is so taboo here. that makes prosecuting cases difficult. no one wants to admit it's going on. >> she needs to know that she's the only female in afghanistan ever that has ever appealed a case and has told the court that she wants people to be punished independently, and that's important. >> after arriving five years ago, motley soon realized she could have an impact here. it hasn't been easy. motley spends a lot of her time here. this is kabul's main attorney general's offices where cases are filed and followed up. afghanistan's justice system isn't computerized yet so the process is far from straightforward. one of the big challenges is finding case files. she describes it like playing where's waldo. when "america tonight" went with
her, the attorney general's office didn't want the process filmed. >> you have broken a letter that he should be released. it's going through your process. where is that letter? we're just following the number. exactly. i mean , each -- each option you get a slip. you get a renumber. >> afghan lawyers say corruption is also a persistent problem in the justice system. some judges demand payoffs. motley says the only way to deal with that is work ethically. no bribes or payment to get documents signed. >> i don't engage in corruption or engage in it at all. every victory is an ethical, legal victory. >> her days involve a lot of running around. she says her car is her office and she spends her days chasing down case files shuttling
between clients, prison and courts. >> what happened there at the office? >> i gave them a supreme court decision because they did not have that, and then i also gave them -- we wrote a draft for them to make their job a little easier. >> it seems like you do a lot of work for them. >> yes. i just do it because a lot of times frankly if i don't do it, it doesn't get done in the way that it should get done. >> motley has had a number of prominent successes. her most recent, securing the freedom of a south african who had served his drug sentence but was still in jail because he couldn't afford the $20,000 fine. she got him a presidential pardon. >> it's been a huge learning experience. i feel like that i'm still learning. it's a place where often unwritten procedure trumps written law. that's always something that's interesting to learn, but also as a lawyer it's something elm treemly frustrating. >> motley will keep working in afghanistan but wants to practice in other countries to
apply what she's learned here. >> i think that it's very easy to look at afghanistan, the afghan legal system and be very mess mystic and i think the mere fact that myself as a nonafghan, as an american woman here in afghanistan being able to work in the system is a step forward. >> jennifer, kim seems like a remarkable person and she's quite modern. >> she went to afghanistan five years ago. she was asked to come over and help advise the legal system and advise young lawyers, and she realized she could do much more. she's a former beauty queen. >> a beauty queen? >> she's really stunning. it's wonderful to walk down the street with us and watch her turn heads in the city of kabul. she left behind three children. her youngest was 3 years old when she came to afghanistan. she has three children in the united states. she shuttles between the united states and afghanistan.
she has some commercial clients in afghanistan, but she felt she could really make a difference. as she was looking into cases, a lot of things weren't working in afghanistan sxrgs she feels like she made very, very big changes. >> that's quite remarkable and part has to do with the interest so many in the west have had with the role of women in afghanistan and how things have changed during the time of the u.s. presence there. have they really, though? >> sure. there's huge changes, but afghanistan was coming from practically zero under the taliban. women couldn't go to work. women couldn't go to school. they couldn't have any positions of power. they couldn't even go out on the streets on their own . if their shoes made a sound on the street, they could be beaten up by the taliban. a lot of things have changed. we see millions in school and lots of women in the government and parliament. women have prominent roles in many parts of country, largely in the cities and rural areas. for some women things haven't changed a lot, and kim didn't
want to focus on women but it sort of happened by default. she's had some incredible clients, incredible stories. as you saw in the piece, young girls who have been married off at a young age or imprisoned for being raped, for being the vim of rape. >> imprisoned for being victims of rain? >> still common problem, still a very common problem in afghanistan. >> it's their fault? >> even though there's a law, it's illegal to arrest young girls for running away from abusive marriage, the day that we went into the prison, half of those women were in prison because they had run away. still a long way to go for afghanistan in terms of women's rights. >> and in terms of the justice system that early does or doesn't support them, and that's what we're getting at here and that's what kim's work is as well. >> a lot of problems in the justice system. as i mentioned, the package, corruption is rampant. not enough judges and lawyers and not a lot of experience.
a lot of them either haven't practiced in a long time or fresh out university. there's also a parallel legal system in afghanistan in many of the rural areas. the taliban or conservative leaders run a parallel court system of sharia law. some afghans prefer that system because it's timely and not corrupt, and they feel they can get their problems resolved. so if you have a legal dispute, if someone has taken your land, many times in the rural areas the sharia courts are considered by many afghans a better alternative to the government system they see as corrupt. >> jennifer glasse from kabul, afghanistan and here with us in studio this evening. thanks for being with us. >> it's great to be here. after the break, who says they can't get anything done on capitol hill? the deal and the details next. [[voiceover]] no doubt about it,
cracked open the doors to the orbiting laboratory, a joint project between nasa and 15 other countries. as al jazeera reports, even though the space station has gin the world some ground-breaking discoveries, some question whether it's all been worth it. >> two and a half years after it was completed, efforts on board focus on research. science in space comes at a price, in this case a hefty $150 billion for construction and another $2 billion a year to keep it running. >> with health we're developing drugs, for example, that can show biological reactions in the absence of gravity or in microgravity, and we can determine the way these medications will synthesize new drugs and cures for cancer, who knows. it's unpredictable. >> the station's combined efrpt
of the u.s., russia, canadian, japanese and european space agencies and has been visited by astronauts from 15 different countries. how does its cost compare to other big scientific projects? the large collider in southern france cost $10 billion this year. this year it discovered a particle, a significant advance in the world of if i had zwicks. compare that to $9 billion spent on research in cancer and nasa's costly mars recovery secures city still exploring mars' surface with a mission cost of $2.5 billion. research at the space station looks at the prolonged effects on humans, important for exploration in the solar system. >> you haven't seen a nobel prizewinning discovery off the back of it yet, but you have seen the construction of a permanent lab. that's valuable to a whole range of sciences
from medicine biologies and semi conductor physics and building crystal line structures in space. >> they're important for your health, so today i chose dried spinach. >> it's not all serious science on board. chris hadfield introduced millions of people to life and research on the station earlier this year. ♪ and songs written and recorded in space and as prolific photography, a hugely popular thing online. the station is expected to be operational for the next 15 years, and in that time it's hoped that scientific findings and the new technologies developed will eventually justify the cost. back here on earth, that was al jazeera reporting. here's some other interests facts about the international space station. it travels at more than 17,000 miles per hour. it circles the earth every 90 minutes. the international space station is roughly the same size as a football tealed.
it weighs 925,000 pounds, and if you need a place to stay, it has more living spacious than an average six-bedroom house. last year the crew decided to decorate putting up a christmas tree but hung it upside-down from the ceiling to keep it from getting away. if you want to wish the crew a merry christmas, send an e-card through nasa's website. that's it for us here on "america tonight." if you'd like to comment on any stories tonight, logon to our website, aljazeera.com/americatonight. there you get a chance to meet our team, get sneak previews of the stories we're working on and tell us what you'd like to see on our program. please join the conversation with us on twitter or at our facebook page, and we'll have more of "america tonight" tomorroasif ali zardari