>> welcome to al jazeera america. i'm richelle carey. here are the stories that we're following for you. power outages and canceled flights number some americans face holidays delayed or in the dark as ice storms hit new england rand the midwest. obamacare shoppers making the list and checking it twice said the deadline to sign up loom. and how one vet's visions is putting soldiers to work. >> ice, snow, and powerful winds are putting a damper on holiday travel and shoppers with
flooding. people across the country are dealing with wild weather. the storm left 100,000 people without power in the metro detroit area. and a deep chill is setting in. temperatures will hover around 20 degrees. in canada a storm system turned freeze into ice sculptures. damaged cars and left houses without power. toronto mayor called the storm one of the worst in the city's history. al jazeera has more on the conditions outside. >> reporter: wild winter weather across the country cutting off power to hundreds of thousands, and taking a number of lives. in kentucky floodwaters rose so high so far it washed away a suv drowning three people inside. >> it got up to my door. >> i gran grabbed my grandmother dog and hi cousin.
>> reporter: fast-moving floods as firefighters go door to door to rescue residents. the storm tore through arkansas, ripping apart homes and injuring several people. icy roads in oklahoma are glammed for the deaths of at least three people. this scene captured outs of an outdoor mall as sheets of highs come crashing down almost hitting shoppers. ice hits the power lines cutting off heat to hundreds of people while the winter wonderland makes for pretty pictures it's also down right dangerous. >> at 2:30 this morning we awoke to house shaking and discovered it had has fallen on house and cars. >> reporter: ice takes down huge tree limbs in vermont. >> i need gas and i can't get to my gas tank. my car is totally frozen.
>> reporter: the governor declared a state of emergency as hundreds are stranded without power or heat. several hours south and the weather went from nasty to nice. new york city near 70 degrees temperatures has shoppers and skaters outside in t-shirts. further south in virginia the warm weather even got some people out on the golf course. >> it doesn't feel like christmas to a point. but it's great for the golfers. >> reporter: al jazeera, new york. >> so from as far north to canada as far south as florida no one can argue that the weather is crazy. you're not going to use the word crazy. you've got a scientific word. >> meteorologist: yes, a bit extreme. we'll traumatic about the extreme cold that will set in shortly but we're looking at this storm that brought ice, there was that severe weather in
the past 24 hours. flooding today across the mid-atlantic states. but now we start to see that change in temperatures as the warm air goes to the cold air as ththe rain freezes on contact. ice storm warnings will remain in effect but things will clear off in the coast by south carolina tonight. it's finally dry across new england. that storm is off the coast of the mid-atlantic. look at this snow developing on the eastern side of the great lakes. now we go from very warm weather to cold weather. an arctic blast shaping up and here is the cold arctic air from minnesota to chicago down down to the east. we'll look at what it looks like christmas eve and christmas day with the national forecast. >> thank you so much. today marks the key deadline for the affordable care act. it's the last day for americans to have coverage on january 1st. there is one group that the white house is desperate to sign
up, the young and the healthy. >> reporter: it's right before christmas and troy and tory has shopping to do. but the last thing they plan to buy after work is insurance. the administration wants people like them to enroll. they're not convinced. >> the only thing i know about obamacare is what i've seen on saturday night live. >> i did not because i think healthcare should be free. >> reporter: they would like to see 7 million people signed up by spring. the administration said it would like one-third of those to be young and healthy americans. it's actually not about the number of people who sign up for obamacare. it's about the direction. in order for the system to work enough young healthy americans must enroll to pay for the healthcare costs accrued by older americans. if too few young and healthy americans enroll, premiums go up
which will force premiums higher still making the system unsustainable. but some state exchange bases have performed well. california has enrolled 17,000 american between the ages of 18el to 34. about 22% of those enrolled. that's on target as proportion of california's population. >> california has done a great job of running their state-based health exchange. they don't rely on healthcare.gov . they rely on their own system. >> reporter: state level exchanges have had advantages of taking the show on the road, holding town halls to reach out and educate the public. some argue for patience saying what is happening in california an other states shows that if con right obamacare works. >> i think it's worth bees cautiously optimistic given what is coming out of california and the numbers we're seeing in new york. i don't think it's the case that the plans are unraveling right now. >> reporter: in the meantime many young americans will not sign up by monday.
>> i've been living this long without health insurance. i was just going to keep on doing the same thing. >> reporter: carrying on out insurance even if it means paying a federal penalty. melissa chan, al jazeera america new york. >> it's estimated that someone in their 60s will use $6 in healthcare services for refer $100 someone in their 20s uses. >> reporter: the u.n. in south sudan tells al jazeera no communities are being spared the violence. loyalties have slipped from the country's president kiir to vice president machar. >> new fighting has erupted in an upper state. an another oil-rich area. we're hearing soldiers from the army have defected and joined rebels loyal to the former vice
president machar. civilians are trying to run for cover at u.n. bases. and they're having trouble dealing with thousands running to their bases. i spoke to the u.n. humanitarian coordinator. >> i think the situation has been very tense over the last three days. i just came off the phone from my office there. the tension continues and there are skirmishes that are i don't know going. i think not only the parties who are having this political struggle for power here but it's also now armed youth who are increasingly taking matters into their own hands in different parts of the state. it's particularly worrying, and we'll do everything we can with the united nations to make sure people who have sought refuge, over 15,000 people now, can be safe. >> can anything be done to stop civil war?
>> well, everything must be done. as humanitarian coordinator i'm focusing first and foremost that people are safe and getting the best assistance that we can get to them. i'm depending on capitols and those engaged in that process to do everything they can to bring people back to the table to talk to each other and not until numbesettledifferences by the be gun. >> do we have a death toll? >> it's difficult, but at this stage we're over 1,000 and the low thousands. when we talk about people who have sought shelter, we're approaching 15,000 people, but that does not included people who are seeking shelter in churches, the cathedral. in the bush. i've had countless phone calls from our own staff members that they're leaving the city centers and going back to their villages
or hiding between villages out in the savannah where they feel safest and people have to be the budge of where their lives will best be secured. i'm concerned this is not going to be a situation affecting tens of thousands of people but hundreds of thousands of people. my main message is that in terms of peacekeeping and humanitarian response the united nations is here to stay. >> reporter: even in these u.n. camps things are tense. here in juba, not far from here we have to move because things are getting volatile. there are a few people with us who are south sudan necessary from a different tribe than the majority in the camp, and people were angry that these people ventured into the camp. they said get them out of the camp or we will kill them. this is signs at a that it's escalating. if this is not contained the tribal differences will escalate. and if it's not contained things
will get much, much worse. >> 62,000 people displaced by the fighting are now seeking refuge by u.n. bases in south sudan. the shooting has sparked backlash against french who are in central african republic. >> reporter: they shot three men dead. the french have come under fire themselves after starting disarmment in an area where there had been sectarian killing. here they're trying to cure the area backed up by a helicopter. they decided to withdraw for a short while and then returned. minutes later former seleka fighters started spreading hate messages towards anyone of french nationality. then peace keepers backed up the french. there is an air of tension right
now. this is a congolese contingent from the international peace keeper force deploying. we're seeing situation where is unofficial road blocks had been set up. we stopped at one of them. we had to. we were threatened with a hand grenade. >> they were trying to stop anyone who they thought was french from passing through. the bodies here are from the alliancthebeleka. the three dead were from the presidential guard, and all the people here accused the anti-beleka. but hard on seleka. >> reporter: up to now we have not heard of french killing one anti-baleka.
all the seleka are back in their barracks. they only travel with the right papers. >> reporter: a relative of one of the dead gave this message. >> i'm asking all of you french to go home. since independence you have done nothing for us. now you're manipulating us. sometimes you're with us. sometimes against us. which side are you on? >> reporter: this has caused more fear for the impoverished people of this country. such clashes are often followed by resurprisals. and the interim government appears to do be doing nothing to cool down the anti-french sentiment. >> four journalists were killed iin a suicide attack. suicide-bombers attacked the building in the city. five people were injured and 11 journalists are among the thousand who is have died in the violence this year. a brewing company that is
immigration tragedies. we look at how this has changed lives. >> reporter: this is a year that domingo will never forget. he had been a fisherman for 40 years and the sea was his second home. but four months ago he witnessed a tragedy that made him afraid of the ocean waters. >> we were headed back to port when we saw a stranded boat. we saw a lot of heads in the water. we went to help. >> he and his brothers were the first rescuers to arrive at the scene of the worst shipwreck off city's lampedusa. that night do min domingo and hs brother say he's happy he saved so many lives but he said he's haunted by those he left behind.
>> they were screaming, raising their arms. for everyone we saved one would drown. i have had palpitations since. i haven't been able to go out. >> reporter: the idea of leaving the port sendsim into a panic attack. his thoughts go to those he saved. >> they call me daddy. i hope they'll be happy wherever they go. they have nothing. it's hard for us here but we have a home. they don't. >> reporter: for a seamanlike de domingo, the sea was his home. but now he stays on dry land and watches his brother sail without him. >> in the wake that have tragedy the european union and the italian government announced they would rethink the country's immigration policies.
they said today it would be the top priority in 2014. >> wall street looks to shatter some more records on consumer spending and feeling optimistic about the economy recovery. the dow is up 76 of points right now on pace for its third straight day of gains. apple will get a bigger slice of the chinese mobile market. the iphone maker reaching a deal with china mobile. apple will begin selling it's phones starting january 17th. the deal gives access to china's mobile subscriber base which is seven times larger than verizon, which is the largest u.s. carrier. veterans in the united states are three times more likely to be jobless than non-vets.
one vet is out to change that one beer at a time. we have more. >> reporter: the maker said it's america's most important beer. why? because the new brew that customers are start to go knock back are 100% patriotic. >> for the holidays, for the veteran. >> reporter: in the summer o of 2012 paul jenkins was wondering why veterans held supply a high unemployment rate when americans held them in such regard. >> if i could come up with something better i promise you i would have done it. >> reporter: so jenkins went on a mission that is as focused as any in the navy. the plan to watch the veteran beer company on veteran's day on 2013 using only veterans were brewer, designer right down to the promoters. he said being a
jack-of-all-trades served him well in the military but not in today's job market. >> companies are afraid to hire veterans like myself if they don't fit that job description, that the roles and responsibilities that the companies are looking for. >> mark is one of the company's 44 employees. they figured they would sell 1,000 cases of beer in the first year. they sold 10,000 cases in the first month, and paul jenkins said he's more excited about hiring more veterans than he is about selling more beer. >> i need people who today are despairing because they can't find work, to overcoming. that is what drives it. if they can hold on and no we're coming. it's again that military philosophy where back up is coming. back up is on its way and we're growing as quickly as we can. >> reporter: here's another similarity to the military. you have ten years to move up in the company or you're out, period. that includes the founder. >> i recognize that one of the most important parts of my job
will be finding the person who takes my place. >> reporter: first things first, the veteran beer company plans to expands to seven more midwest states by spring and a dozen more states by the end of the year. >> these are the two products that we have on the market. >> reporter: paul jenkins said what is appealing to his customers is the taste, but what he calls flactism. >> when someone wants to sit on the couch and watch the game, what should i reach for. means nothing, means nothing, i'm going to drink something that matters. >> reporter: selling the veteran and the blond bomber matters even more. >> coming up on al jazeera america, young geniuses compete in denver as the robot olympiad.
here are your headlines. today marks a key deadline for the affordable care act. it's the last day for americans to sign up for health insurance to have conscience beginning january 1st. hundreds are dead following ethnic fighting in south sudan now the world's newest country spiraling towards civil war. at least four journalists were killed in a suicide attack on an iraqi tv station. suicide-bombers attacked the city, and five people were also injured. young security whizzes around the world face off at the robot olympiced. organizers hope the event will inspire the next generation of tech innovators. >> these students have come from around the world turning this football field conference room to a giant learning lab. they program some fancy foot work for the robotic dance
competitions. >> their dances are really put together well. >> more than 300 students are taking part in this robotic olympiad, putting their machines through the maneuvers in 16 different categories lobsterlike robots can grab and go. there are designs to save money and water on the farm. >> there are six position on the robot. when it gets to the top it will dump out on this tray and put on the suspect to take out to the cows. >> sometimes they work. sometimes they don't. but that's not enough to start these budding geniuses. most are in high school. some only in elementary. >> this robot is a soccer robot. >> the executive director of ameribotics who has worked three years to bring the competition to america. >> it's the physical word, the
physics and the moving parts and the math, it's just a really powerful platform. >> reporter: this robot is getting ready for the competition. you'll see more proof that the american kids are falling behind in the world of technology. most of the competition have been dominated by kids from the asian countries. >> where are the americans? >> i think they're back at home sitting on the coach and watching tv. >> only 10% of these competitors are from the u.s. >> the real issue i think with our kids is we need to take a look at from an u.s. perspective how we get them to go beyond where they are right now and not be just consumers of technology, but be creators of technology. >> last year south korea walked away with the top honors. americans won one silver medal. u.s. students are ranked 21st out of 23 countries in math and science. seventeenth out of 19 in problem solving. >> it doesn't mean that everybody has to be a creator of technology but if we can move
them up that continuum it's going to be a really powerful experience. >> a point not lost on the nine-year-old of denver. >> if they don't know math, you can't really do this at all. >> next year's olympiad is already booked. the students and their robots will be head to go beijing, china. >> 30 american students took part in the competition which also drew in kids from canada and mexico and saudi arabia. >> meteorologist: i'm meteorologist dave warren. we're still looking at warm temperatures across the united states but ice is still a problem in new england. it's set in the northern plains. not much happ happening on the r there, but this is where all the action is in the mid-atlantic states and new england. the rain falling in
new hampshire and maine, it goes from 60 in new york down to 34 in boston. there is that cold air slowly trying to push out. the warm air is here for one more day across philadelphia, washington, d.c. before that cold arctic air moves in. we have the ice storm warnings cruise new england but there is the snow watch across pennsylvania and western new york. you get that when the old care comes over the warmer waters of the great lakes. that's where we'll get the snow. the rain will continue today but it's gone tomorrow. tomorrow it's dry here in new york with a few light flurries, but look at the temperatures. that cold arctic air is here by tuesday and wednesday for the holidays. it will certainly feel like it should this time of year by wednesday, christmas morning there the temperatures are easing in the 20s and even the teens. flooding a problem today. it's not freezing or snow coming down. just a lot of rain. there is that heavy rain continuing across north and
south carolina. flood watch is issued there in that region. so we're looking at the flooding problem across the southeast. here is the cold arctic air. these are the temperatures down across zero. in committe chicago we'll see f, but it's easily ho below with the wind chill. the cold air to the south and east taking the cold air with it. just bitter cold air over the next 48 hours. >> thank you. christmas is just two days away. people around the globe, they're getting to celebrate. the recent violence has not stopped people from putting up christmas decorations in lebanon and dozens of people dressed up. and santa himself has been finishing up last-minute preparations for his trip around the globe. i'm richelle carey. inside story is next.
and for news throughout the day check out our website www.aljazeera.com. . >> the u.s. seeks a renewed relationship with the philippines, still hurting after a major storm. recovery and the pivot towards asia are the "inside story." >> welcome to "inside story." i'm ray suarez. for more than a months the specific island nation of the philippines have struggled to recover from the worst national disaster that it's ever known. typhoon haiyan. there are still people missing