years. in women they have gone up five fold. that means we have more american women dying of brain disease than cancer. these are profound changes. >> you can find out more about that alarming research and indeed the rest of the day's news stories on the al jazeera website, aljazeera.com. the stage is set for the first republican presidential debate tonight. the hot issues the candidates will spar on. the long road to the voting rights act. why the law is facing multiple challenges today. and a nation pauses to remember the thousands killed in hiroshima, 70 years ago today. ♪
this is al jazeera america live from new york city. i'm stephanie sy. the republican party's top presidential hopefuls will try tonight to lay claim to next year's nomination. ten of the 17 candidates will take part and it takes place in the key battleground state of ohio. michael shure is there. >> reporter: by holding not just their national convention next july but their first debates tonight in cleveland, the republican party is being anything but cavalier in their effort to win the swing state of ohio next year. >> are people going to vote for republicans over the democrats because the convention was here? no maybe not. but it may help ginning up
enthusiasm in ohio. >> reporter: ginning up enthusiasm among female voters is important. concern over remarks by jeb bush hasn't helped the g.o.p. cause. >> i'm not sure we need a half a billion dollars for women's health issues. >> hillary clinton wasted no time responding via twitter: >> reporter: the bush comments came days after senate republicans failed to get the 60 votes they needed to end funding of planned parenthood. >> to me by extension their war against planned parenthood is really that disrespect of women when you -- when you scale it down. >> reporter: the release of videos showing planned
parenthoods executives talking casually about fetal tissue donations, as created a debate before the debate. >> the abortion debate is a big debate among the parties. >> as a roman catholic i have strong issues on planned parenthood, and it would lead me to believe as much as i am for women's issues, my religious believes would agree with them. >> reporter: and what about women's health issues do you want to hear about that? >> i do. the health cost for women health care issues will be covered. >> reporter: do you think you'll hear that from republicans tomorrow? >> i do not. >> reporter: why is that? >> i don't think they care.
>> reporter: this may represent an opportunity for the candidates tonight. >> if you are a candidate particularly one that is already regarded as not being sufficiently conservative do you really want to poke your party in the eye. >> reporter: it has become an issue that there won't be a woman on stage tonight. but women's issues almost certainly will be. michael shure, al jazeera, cleveland. >> reporter: according to a pugh research center poll terrorism ranks as the highest policy issue for voters. i talked to john hudson about this. >> there is no doubt that the islamic state beheading videos had a huge effect in stirring the american public out of this war weariness that existed and was pervasive in the at maf of
the iraq and afghanistan conflicts. so you will see the republican candidates try to out macho each other when it comes to talking about aggressive steps that they would take to counter the group. donald trump has said that he has a beautiful plan for debeating isis but we haven't seen any specifics. the only republican candidate that has offered specifics is lindsey graham who said he would be up for at least 20,000 combat troops in iraq and syria. he didn't poll well enough to even make the debate. >> hudson told us the other international issue very likely to come up is the iran nuclear deal. all candidates have come out against the deal to varying degrees. a federal appeals court has struck down the voter id law. it required citizens to show photo ids before casting
ballots. the governor says the state will continue to fight to reinstate voter id laws to quote ensure the integrity of elections. the president is set to speak later today on the 50th anniversary of the voting rights act. the law is considered one of the crowning achievements of democracy, but since the supreme court struck down a key part of the act, southern states have been reintroducing laws. >> reporter: 50 years ago, president johnson signed the voting right's act. one of the reason for the legislation was a series of bloody sometimes deadly protests that took place across the south, including here in alabama. today some civil rights advocates say voting rights laws are under attack. >> the events going on in north carolina and texas, georgia, and other jurisdictions are a
reminder that these struggles are not only the struggles of the civil rights movement of the 1960s, but they are contemporary struggles. the fact is, is there are still those who would like to deny the right to vote to certain people. >> reporter: i'm randall pinkston in selma, alabama, isle have details on the challenges to voting rights as the nation observes the anniversary of this historic law. >> for more on this now, we're joined by liz kennedy, a campaign strategist. liz, good morning, and thanks for your time. what does the overall landscape look like for voter's rights in this country? >> sure. well 50 years after the passage and signing of the inviting rights act which was really the
crown jewel of the civil rights movement we are seeing a retrenchment where there has been a greater attack on voting rightest since the supreme court gutted the provision. so what we're seeing is attacks that are carving back particularly minority voting rights but really voting rights for americans of all ages races, parties even and it's unnecessary and un-american and congress needs to restore the voting rights act now, and we need to move towards affirmative voting solutions so that we can ease access and bring all of our voices into the process. >> how many states have enacted new restrictions since the supreme court decision in 2013 and what type of restrictions are we seeing besides ids? >> well we're seeing very strict photo id requirements. and what is important to remember is that voters have always identified themselves at
the poll right. they are showing up in person. in texas they used to be able to provide a registration card that was mailed to them by the state when they were registered. we're also seeing cutbacks in early voting. north carolina ended their same-day registration program. and that's unfortunate, and it's also a reaction to growing political participation by minorities and younger folks, by people that are really taking it upon themselves to use their voices in america, and to engage in the project of self government that is the heart of our real american identity and unfortunately, some state legislatures kind of grew scared of that and passed laws to retrench and protect their own power. >> what you are getting at is one of the main criticisms. some say this is a way to
suppress minority and lower-income people's votes because they tend to vote democrat correct? >> that is certainly -- yes, a -- a reasonable explanation of exactly why these laws have been passed. in north carolina it was essentially transparent. many of these have same-day registration, that was passed in 2007 and in 2008, north carolina actually saw the largest increase in political participation across the country. but unfortunately, instead of celebrating that these democratic pro-voter rules are working to include everyone's voices in our government we saw, in fact that these -- that these programs were ended. and in north carolina they had to wait until after the shelby decisions, until after the protections of stloeting rights act were removed in order to
pass this -- this monster voter suppression law that is currently on trial. the trial just rested on friday. we are awaiting a decision from the federal judge. and the head of the naacp there who runs their moral monday marches is explaining that this is their selma. similarly in texas, that texas strict voter id law was actually suspended or held up by the federal government in 2011 when it first passed because they said this will have a discriminatory effect. >> so there are all of these case by case -- because of the shelby decision in 2013 you have state by state, these different laws being challenged by the justice department and many of those cases are either in the appeals process or somewhere along in the legal process. the states say they are preventing fraud. don't states have the right to ensure the integrity of their elections in the way they see
fit. >> unfortunately, stephanie as has been shown again and again that argument is a total red herring. there is no fraud. and there have been no documented cases of voter fraud, essentially. i believe one study found 10 in 35 million votes cast. so while we want to maintain the integrity of our elections, what that actually mines ensuring access for all americans. when you have state legislatures choosing the electorate, by in fact keeping your neighbors away from the ballot -- you know in texas they were saying that you could -- a gun permit would be acceptable but a student identification wouldn't be acceptable. those are the kinds of things where you are slicing and dieing the electorate and that's not the democracy that we deserve, and what we fought for 50 years ago through bloody sunday and
other -- out there years and years and years of struggle. we need a restored voting rights act on today the 50th anniversary, congress should be moving to do that. and we need it before the 2016 elections so that voters aren't subjected to these discriminatory racially motivated voting attacks. >> liz thank you for your time. japan today marks 70 years since the u.s. dropped an atomic bomb on hiroshima. people are releasing lanterns on a river running through the city to commemorate victims. some 140,000 died in the attack. roxana saberi has the details from hiroshima. >> reporter: for one minute on thursday morning, hiroshima stood still. with people here and around the world reflecting on the moment 70 years ago that tens of
thousands of lives were lost. when the u.s. dropped an atomic bomb on hiroshima this woman was 13. she survived by her sister and four year old nephew did not. >> they were swollen twice or three times than the normal body and all they wanted was water. >> reporter: since the bombing japanese families have mourned the loss of many others who died from cancer and other illnesses linked to the attack. this sparked an anti weapons movement every year. these protesters have traveled here to mark the anniversary of the atomic bomb dropping on this city. we'll ask one of them what her goal is here. >> translator: my wish is that the countries that arm themselves with nuclear weapons will abandon them entirely.
>> reporter: japan's prime minister says his country has a duty to push for the elimination of nuclear weapons. >> translator: i am determined to step up efforts in order to realize a world without nuclear weapons. >> reporter: japan's ambassador to the u.n. says his country is working hard to make this happen. >> reporter: is this a realistic goal? >> we hope so. we believe so. the nuclear disarmament has to be pursued in realistic and practical means. you -- it is easy to chant the total elimination of nuclear weapons. meanwhile it is not that easy in practical terms. >> reporter: today more nations have nuclear bombs than ever before and they are getting more sophisticated. >> one weapon could potentially
kill millions of people. >> reporter: these protesters marked the moment the bomb dropped by dropping to the ground. roxana saberi, al jazeera, hir ryshe ma japan. coming up an al jazeera america exclusive. >> when i mention the name darren wilson, what comes to mind? >> the devil. that comes to mind. >> reporter: our tony harris sits down with michael brown's mother in a candid conversation. plus another attack at a movie theater, police say the suspect had significant psychological issues.
police in ashville are looking into what drove a man carrying a hatchet to attack people inside a movie theater. they said the suspect had a history of psychological issues and a criminal past. >> reporter: he had at least one arrest as well as multiple commitments to mental health facilities in his past now two weeks after the theater shootings in louisiana, he had
movie goers in tennessee ducking for cover. that's the sound of the latest theater shooting suspect being shot dead by police in tennessee. >> it was a lot -- a lot of shots. it was coming from inside the theater. >> reporter: police began receiving emergency calls just after 1:00 pm in the nashville suburb. witnesses say this 29 year old balked into a screening of "mad max fury road." >> he was armed with a hatchet and a weapon that strongly resembles a semiautomatic psi toll but we know now it was a fake gun. the gunmen unleashed the pepper spray in the theater.
as the s.w.a.t. team arrived it was thick with pepper spray. >> reporter: police entered and ended the threat. records show he was a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic who had been admitted five times in the last 11 years. he had also been arrested for assault. three people were treated at the scene for pepper spray. a daughter as well as her mother and father. the 58-year-old man also suffered a quote superficial hatchet wound. >> i'm very very grateful that no one else got injured here today other than the person who perpetrated this. >> reporter: given that the most deadly weapons were in fact fakes, and given the fact that he attacked a theater room with only seven other people in it there has been speculation that
he did not really want to kill anyone. police say his mother had reported him missing just two days prior to wednesday's attack. back to you. >> john henry smith, thank you. this week marks one year since michael brown was shot and killed in ferguson missouri. the death of the teen sparked a national outcry and raised questions about racial bias. tony harris sat down with an exclusive interview with his mother. she says she not ready to forgive. >> she said mike has been shot. and when i got there, i saw a hump in the street with a sheet on it. and for the next probably 72 hours, i felt like -- like -- [ inaudible ]. but i can't. i don't know i can't remember. >> what do you think when i mention the name darren wilson?
what comes to mind? >> the devil. that's what comes to mind. evil. you know it's -- he is somebody's son, so getting a peak into his life with his mother is something i would like to know. he hurt my child. he -- he hurt him bad. >> he may be someone's son, but he doesn't think much of your son -- >> uh-huh. >> even to this day. >> even to this day. so how was he raised? >> there was a new interview. >> uh-huh. >> that i don't even think you are aware of with darren wilson in the new yorker magazine.
here is what he said. do i think about who he was as a person? not really. because it doesn't matter at this point. do i think he had the best upbringing? no. >> hum. >> not at all. take that in for a second. >> uh-huh. >> what do you think? >> just what i said that he's evil. his acts were devilish. and we definitely know he didn't have the right upbringing because those are words that you just don't use especially after you took somebody's life. and you know you had no reason to -- you had no reason to do that. what he did last year hurt me really bad, so his words mean
a new medical center in new orleans is being hailed as the hospital of the future. ten years ago hurricane katrina patients fled into the streets. as jonathan martin tells us this new building promises to be hurricane proof and more. >> reporter: it's a one of the largest and perhaps vital additions to new orleans since
hurricane kra trina. the new billion dollars university medical center is being celebrated as full-scale health care finally returning to the city. many hope it will stay true to its mission of caring for all patients including the poor and uninsured. >> i'm thrilled that i'm here. and we have this here. it's a bit shameful that it has taken ten years to happen. >> reporter: for the chief medical officer, opening the doors as the city marks a decade since the storm, makes it tough not to reflect on that frantic week in 2005. he was among the staff and patients trapped in the hospital. >> we moved our patients from the emergency department to a second floor auditorium. >> reporter: it wasn't long before water knocked out basement generators, and the temperatures soared. this doctor was in charge of 50
intensive care patients. >> we ran out of sedatives, so many of the patients that had breathing tubes in were awake and squeezing them with a bag. >> reporter: some infrants and critical patients were air liefted after the storm, for most it took days for help to arrive. >> you are loading sick patients on airboats. >> reporter: while there were few patient deaths the outcome was much worse at the medical center. and memorial hospital there were at least 30 deaths. more than 100 people died in the hospitals and nursing homes in the days hollowing katrina. ten years later this new medical center is seen as a beacon of light. it is a hospital built using lessons learned from the storm. it has windows set to withstand
hurricane-force winds. and another on the bottom floor is essential. while most agree the new hospital is safer, in order for it to be successful, the doctor says it must focus on its mission. >> we have a lot of work to do but we have made great progress in the last ten years. tonight jon stewart says so long to the daily show. he took over the show 16 years ago. since then he has pointed a satirical finger at politicians and more. >> you know, i'm going to miss watching you on this show but -- i think the most reliable way to take a good thing and make it go bad is to hold on to it too long. >> i think that's right. >> so you have got to let it go. and also -- you know it's really time to go. [ laughter ] >> the daily show set will be
donated to the museum in d.c. as part of an exhibit tracing five decades of news. thanks for watching. i'm stephanie sy. >> announcer: this is al jazeera. hello and welcome to the news hour. i'm martine dennis in doha. coming up in the program, a suicide attack in saudi arabia kills security forces at a mosque. hundreds of rescued migrants are brought to shore in italy, but many more are still missing. the battle for fallujah how families are being torn apart by the fighting between isil and the iraqi army. honoring