you are watching al jazerra america live from new york city, i am jonathan betz with today's top stories. released from prison the hero of ukraine's opposition movement greets cheering crowds in independence square. captured in mexico, federal agent take down a drug lord considered the country's most wanted man. thousands march in the venezuelan capital. i just wish you guys would see me as michael sam the football player instead of michael sam the gay football
player. >> michael sam speaks publicly for the first time since coming out. ♪ ♪ in ukraine, the conflict is coming to a head on this saturday, ideal could not stop the unarrest the president's rival and the former prime minister yulia tim shiancoe joined protesters. she was leased from prison earlier this afternoon. parliament have voted to dismiss president januar yank shiancoe e says he will not step down. protesters across ukraine tour down statutes of former soviet leader. fen jeff glasse is joining us. update us where we stand now. >> reporter: big day of changes, jonathan here.
the lamenter elected a new minister, they dismissed the prosecute kerr. people waited all do yulia tim shiancoe. people gathered all day and as night fell. and it was clear that she had been released more and more people tam came, thousands waitg for her to arrive. when she got here she apologized for not being here and joining the people. >> translator: it's a different ukraine, it's the ukraine of free people. you gave the gift of those. those that live in the future. you gave the gift of ukraine. that is why people who died,
they are heros forever. >> reporter: she said the road is open. she urged the chem straighters to stay here on independence square until an honestly elected president has been put in place here. >> jennifer, what about the president, we mentioned he has fled the capitol s there any indication that he will step down? insists he won't, has that changed at all in the last few hours? >> reporter: we haven't seen any indication that it has changed, we saw him on television tonight. a rare television appearance. it was very odd. it was a televised interview with an off-camera reporter in an undisclosed location, he says he is in ukrainian territory, reports are there are reports that he might have gone to the east, ironically exactly where yulia tim then co has been jailed from where she was released. nobody knows where yanukovych is
and that makes people nervous, they don't trust him. they say he has made agreements before and broken agreements before. they are concerned about his wrath air aggressive words, calling this a coup. he called the opposition leaders, saying this is not an opposition movement at all. he called them bandits. they were open to the public and really suhr veal scen surreal s. he is not going to step down. >> jennifer we have seen so much violence in the capital, have you sessioned a real shift in the mood there after today's events? >> reporter: there is a real sense of optimism. and victory among the opposition here in the square. they have been firing fireworks in celebration. i think that is a symbolic
release, she has been the poster child of the opposition. that was one of their big demands from the beginning that she would be released. i think as they see more and more things happen. the opposition are in control of the streets around here. and that is a totally different atmosphere. the police have left the streets, riot police have gone back to their barracks and it's been rather peaceful overnight. there are organized civil defense forces opposition force that his protect the parliament and the government buildings around here and even at the president's residents 20 miles outside of the city. this palatial, sprawling residents with beautiful, expensive homes which were locked up. the people were very deferential no. looting, no anger, no breaking of windows. they simply we want to look and take picture to his see what kind of luxury their president has been living in. they say that that land they hope will go back to the people. so a real sense of change here in ukraine tonight, jonathan. >> a big shift without question.
jennifer glasse live in ukraine tonight, thank you. and the crisis has deepened the divide between the u.s. and russia. the white house said it was encouraged by today's events in kiev. but the russian foreign ministry didenounced it as a coup. our patty culhane is live in washington with more on how world leaders are reacted. what's been the reaction overall, patty? >> reporter: well, we obviously it's a saturday so we haven't had any press brieflyings but got a statement from the administration. and they said they reiterate the constitutional changes, fed up with electio elections. they want to have a broad tech contract i can government of national unity. and in the statement they repeatedly seau unified ukraine. the concern is the country could split in to two. that's something that the white house will work guns happening, but their influence in the situation, how much influence they have seems to be somewhat
limited. >> any idea how much support there will be from russia? >> reporter: everybody everybody is waiting to see irrelevant their foreign minister had a conversation with john kerry. the state department confirmed the phone call to us but no read out yet of the phone conversation. >> reporter: what we are hearing comes from las i don't have's s office and he said to put a stop the radical forces saying secretary kerry tried to use all he could do swell the violence, that's what he's saying the u.s. is going to do. it remains unclear how much influence those leaders of the opposition actually have with the people on the streets. remember, they made the deal. but then the people on the streets said it wasn't enough.
that led to the developments you are seeing here. >> patty culhane following it from washington, thank you. joining us further to discuss this is an independent ukrainian journalist in ukraine tonight. thank you for you can with us today. >> reporter: oh, yes. good night from kiev, yeah. >> i know it's late for you there. tell me what it's been like today for you inside the ukraine. >> reporter: i think there are a few very important messages to send. that it's still not a celebration and i don't feel there is a general feeling of celebration. because it's still morning and the people gathered in the square, not because of yulia tim shiancoe, but for the few days in ukraine there are constant tunfunerals and the morning sir moan and i people coming to pay tribute and they will go onto do that. so far 82 people killed. the according to the official sources, the doctors tell about
more than than that and there are still people missing and first talk among the ukraine are those who responsible should be good for justice. and the yulia tymoshenko there are different ideas about that. the people cheered her. because, yes, she was in prison, but she represents the former government. still the former system. and i feel there is a very different ideas, people think like it's good that she was released but she should go to the -- she's a person from history. because it's -- this gathering was never made by the politicians, it was made by the people. and all of the self organizations, it's still made by the people. the groups of the people patrol who let's control -- what they do actually is there are a lot of activity that his go to the airport and see the members of government party and bringing back to the parliament, so they
could vote for the elections. without any violence, another thing would be to talk about the president's residency. the former president we don't hear about resignation, but anyway, it was a sign of his corruption -- >> let me ask you, natalie, aim cure news to know, you hit on some of the topics. the big point here is how divided the country is. president yanukovych enjoys a lot of support in his country. how concerned are you that we are on the brink of something bigger? the word revolution has been thrown out a lot. do you think this is what ukraine is face something. >> reporter: actually what i start today talk is really link. so today in another city in the east there was kind of an attempt to make this congress where the people -- we were afraid there would be something announced maybe something sepsis tick, it didn't happen. what ukraine is following the president's residency.
it was not the people who came but the journalists who came. a lot of investigative journalists found an incredible amount. it's not about luxury livan malls or anything like that. but the documents, documents, documents. but the documents thrown away and destroyed, and there there are contracts, even some documents about this bribe like that. 90 million euros given to somebody. 12 million of euros given to another person and, we have seen the bribes to the judgesth. we have seen the reports for the riot police who were actually responsible for killing the people. that they were paid by the president itself. and especially if those luxury, an incredible amount of cars. those pictures would be seen by the team in the east, in very different places. that can be a very clear
indication that what these protests were about, they were never about the east or west or some kind of a divide. but against corruption. >> the bigger concern there. so, yeah, absolutely. as you are saying the bigger concern is not a divide in the country but the concern of corruption there among the administration. natalie, thank you for your time today, a journalist inside ukraine, we appreciate it. the former ukrainian prime minister yulia tymoshenko is seen as a rival. she was impressed after losing the presidential election four years ago. we have more now on the woman at the ender the movement. >> reporter: a trained engineer and economist, yulia tymoshenko made her fortunate on the back of the ukrainian independence. forming a major energy company. she became known as the gas princess and like many tycoons, made her move in to politics. elected to apartment in 1996, tymoshenko quickly rows through the ranks becoming deputy prime
minister for the fuel and energy sector in 1999. but it was in 2004 when victor yanukovych was elected president and allegedly rigged elections that tim then kay truly came in to her own, along ally and president shot hopeful victor a theyeah then co. she called on them to protest. wearing the color of her opposition party hundreds of thousands turned out the protest dubbed the orange revolution. 56 reelection the orange alliance took power and tymoshenko became prime himster, but by the 2010 election, she was ready to go out on her own in a bitter defeat she was beat by victor yanukovych. in august the following year she was arrested. abid outrage in the west she was sentencedded to seven years behind bars. she stage aid temporary hunger strike saying she had been
beaten by regards and needed better medical attention for chronic back pain. now despite two years of maintaining her incarceration was no more than political revenge. she was set free. now to another country in turmoil. rival demonstrations in venezuela today. thousands of rallying in support of president nicholas mo du mo . hundreds of thousands blame the government for the problems. today's protests were peaceful. update us daniel on what has been happening today. >> reporter: as you say, counter demonstrations, thousands and thousands of opposition supporters. mostly dressed in white. all converge on the ground one particular part of the caracas. where there were speeches made by some of the opposition leaders, most notably enrique, who called for unity and urged
them to work together to try to out of the or try to control government actions. then on the other side, around venturvenezuela, but specificaln caracas, many women marching on behalf of the government. the president nicholas maduro is still speaking after an hour or so he calls it all coup against the government and the homemade weapons that he said some of the opposition had been using against the police, against government institutions so while things have gone relatively peacefully so far today, there is very much a standoff between the two sides and we are waiting to see now how this pans out and how both sides will use the large turn outs. to further the cause. >> talk about what exactly the opposition wants and frankly just how realistic it is. >> the opposition are split.
there are some who want nicholas maduro's government to end now. he was elected only last year and still has many more years to run. others are talking about a more moderate approach. protests to try to control the rampant inflation that venezuela suffers from, very high crime rate. one of the height he have murder rates in the world. many members of the opposition are simply fed up with the government, the previous government hugo chavez and now nicholas m maduro and their impatience to wait not next election, so very much explain terred among the opposition, unrealistic certainly in asking nicholas maduro to stand without. he's not going to do anything of the sort any time soon. >> he has also called for a meeting with president obama. i am curious why he wants to meet with mr. obama. >> reporter: sorry, could you repeat that, please. >> i understand that president nicholas maduro has called for a meeting with president obama. i am curious just how serious is this request and why he wants to meet with mr. obama?
>> reporter: well, nicholas maduro very much like his predecessor hugo chavez is constantly attacking the united states. blames the united states for many of the problems here in venezuela, he specifically blames the united states for being behind supporting the opposition movement. for financing them to some extent. he says that he has proof of that and he would like to present that to either barack obama or if not to the secretary of state john kerry. unlikely that they will respond. they are more than used to these kind of accusations, but it's just another weapon really in his attacks against the united states. >> live for us in the ca tal of caracas venezuela. the u.n. security council voted unanimously to allow aid groups in to all of syria, russia and china voted yes on this resolution. the syrian government says it needs more time to destroy its chemical weapons, it's already
missed two deadlines. we have that story. >> reporter: damascus wants another 100 days to remove its biological and chemical weapons and hand them over to a u.n. led mission for di destruction. the plan was put forward at a meeting between the organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons and u.n. officials. at the haige. the opcw won't comment on syria's new timetable but western diplomats say that they are concerned. so far the assad government has only transferred about 11% of its total arsenal and is well behind schedule. >> if we can get 50, 75, whatever, percent of the chemical weapons out of syria that's a huge policy victory. the only other alternative we were looking at was military action that president obama was considering. and that would have gone after production facilities, right, their buildings, it's easy to bomb buildings but we would not be getting the actual chemical weapons. >> reporter: syria has already missed a couple of deadlines,
its most poisonous chemicals were supposed to have been handed over by december 31st last year. it was also supposed to have given up its entire stockpile of chemical weapons by february 5th. that date has also come and gone. and a june 30th deadline is quickly approaching. by which time all of the chemicals are supposed to be destroyed. the syrian government has repeatedly cited the security situation inside the country. as the reason behind the delays. a former chairman behind the u.s. senate relations committee told al jazerra he doubts the syrian government is as committed as it says it is. the security situation is one in most cases being created by the problems the government is fostering. i would say that there certainly is clearly some understanding of this. but there has been delay really throughout this. and it raises questions about the sincerity of the government. >> reporter: the next deadline is march 15th. by which team all 12 of syria's
chemical weapons production facilities have to be destroyed. missing that target date could cause the u.n. security council to take unilateral action to remove the country's chemical stockpile. al jazerra. the white house will recognize 24 army veterans all minorities with a medal of honor, it's the nation's highest award. they have been passed over in the past due to racism. only three of them, though, are still living they served during world war ii, the korean war and vietnam. which we come back on al jazerra, the arrest of one of the most wanted drug lords in americas, we'll have all of the details. and after three days of meetings with estranged loved ones north korean family members return to their homes.
was arrested last night. it was part of a join u.s. mexican investigation. he faces several drug trafficking charges here in the united states. joining me now is robert research fellow for the council on hemisphere affairs, thank you for think doing in. >> thank you. >> this is a pretty big deal. >> it is. it was one of the most important stories of the year so far. this is a huge blow for the cartel, one of the most powerful cartels in mexico right now. >> what does this mean for the cartel, losing someone of that stature. >> this is a legendary figure in the first place. avenues rested in 1993. he got away. he probably bribed a lot of folks in mexico. >> in the laundry basket, the famous story he got away in a laundry basket. >> his tentacles not literally saying, but he has been all over the place, he has business in all, a europe, united states and the americas. and now that he's apprehended it's very likely that he will be extradited to it the united states to face a lot of criminal
charges. >> do you think it's more than likely he'll get away a second time? >> if he stays in mexico, he might. but, you know, we don't know if it might happen. i am pretty sure there will be plenty of security around him this time. >> mexican authorities have tend up their efforts in trying to catch these king pins? >> it is true. before he was captured other cartels were apprehended. we have seen a leg up in security enforcement in mexico. however, and i want to emphasize this, this is not the end of the war on drugs per se. this is a huge blow. but it's a big victory on the security front. but there is more -- there needs to be much more willingness for the mexican and the united states governments to ease drug enforcement of. >> because there is also the argument that this is not that big of a blow on the cartel because he's been pursued and wanted for so long, he's already delegated much of the day-to-day
operation to his lieutenants, and this that this won't actually necessarily affect the drug trade. >> this is true, he's a legendary figure, he's one of the richest men in the world according to fork flashes fo fo. this is a moral victory. for the president of mexico who has criticized for his policies in his first year, he's a man of the hour after capturing him. but, again, as we mentioned, this doesn't mean the end of the war on drugs as we speak. >> do you think it will have any kind of impact on drugs on the american streets? >> as you mentioned, there are other cartels that are operating in the united states. the knight templar or formerly known as the [inaudible] and you have the gulf cartel, the tijuana cartel. not to mention the, you know, the production of cocaine in south america, central america
being the passage way to make its way in to the united states. >> you don't think there will be much impact on the american streets? >> to be honest, no. there needs to be more, you know, willingness as i mentioned from the government to ease the current drug policy. >> nonetheless still a big blow for the one cartel without question. robert with the council of hemispheric affairs thanks for coming in today. >> good to see you. >> they have been cut off for decades, families separated by war were reunited in north korea this beathis weekend caroline ms more on the emotioning reunions. >> reporter: when will i see you again he asked his older brother. they were reunited briefly for the first time since 1972. when he was abducted and taken to north korea on a fishing boat. they are among 82 elderly south koreans selected from thousands to remeet their family members in north korea over the weekend.
even the north korean hostesses are caught up in the emotion. it's a rare opportunity. families were split up in the north korean war of the 1950s. and most don't get this chance. those who do, make the most of it. a nephew bows to his uncle and a father tries to comfort his daughter. >> translator: don't cry, you shouldn't cry on this good day. we'll ab i believwe'll be able . trust your fa there are, so stay healthy and live well. >> reporter: a 30 of this group are over 90. at least two of them got sick and had to return home. i second group will be allowed up from sunday to tuesday. it's it's a special time becauy don't have contact otherwise. they can't write e-mails, exchange phone calls or write letters to each other. the this arrangement was only
agreed to by north and south korea a few weeks ago. the last union happened more than three years ago. the union and over and they had to say goodbye too each other. they know there is little lance of seeing each other again. caroline malone, al jazerra. there is a lot more ahead on al jazerra america, including the death toll drops in what is described as one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. ♪ ♪
protesting for and against venturvenezuela's government mad side by side today. today's demonstrations have been peaceful so far. in you crying former prime minister yulia tymoshenko joined protesters. she was released from police hours ago. they voted to dismiss their president but he insists he will not step down. we are joined by nick schifrin live from independence scare. nick, what have you seen today? >> reporter: john thanker as you just said the moment of the day was tim shiancoe coming to the square behind me. the first time in two and a half years that she addressed ukrainians, she told the people do not give up. do not leave the square until all of your demands are met. her party's facebook pag peja us
nod she would run for president. it's independence day, many people expresses june elation, victory, that they have won. even if they don't know the specifics of the victory. the government simply melt wade today. no police, no government presence here or across the suburbs, nowhere was that more apparent than about a 45 minutes drive from here at the former president's own house. they came feeling proud and feeling free. they came to see a home they consider a symbol of one man's corruption. that now belongs to the people. for years ukrainian president victor yanukovych lived in this sprawling 500-acre estate. and oh, did he live. the massive rare car collection. the into filled with exotic birds, beautiful gardens. random greek ga gazebos. the golf court, the tennis court. >> you cannot imagine how we are grateful for the victory of the
people who have been fighting for three months for this. this man would never go out of here. he would kill anyone to stay here. >> reporter: until today the president's security forbade anyone from evening coming close. but now they walk around like they own the place. >> to make this place clean. >> reporter: do you feel like this is your compound now? >> the property of our peeling. >> reporter: not the president anymore? >> not the president, yes. >> reporter: outside some of these buildings and the presidential compound people are awaiting patiently to get in. the people who are defending independence square inside of kiev are now defending properties that they consider theirs. and you are inside, you really get a sense of how luxuriously the president lived. this seems to be some kind of a sitting room up on the ceiling there is a stained glass window, all huge big screen tv where the news is playing and this seems to be some kind of spa. right in the middle here is a giant jacuzzi. it's this luxury that sir game
was fighting again, we ran in to him today on the president's lawns. we first met him yesterday on the frontlines. for two months he manned these barricades, he had had a few close calls. and needed everyone's prayers. >> translator: we are fighting against the government abusing their powers he says. >> reporter: you are being here right now instead the president, that's what you have been fighting for? >> translator: yes, we are happy this property will belong to the people. the people belong here. the now it's sergeis to walk through. >> reporter: it's also for arena and her son. she brought her seven-year-old son here as a kind of goodbye to a president she passionately opposed. >> i am happy that he ran away from here. and i hope he would never came back. >> reporter: she hopes all of the sacrifices made to liberate these grounds guarantees a future democracy for her son. >> we -- we hope for better
future for our children. they died for our country. they died for democratic ukraine. they died for future of our children. >> reporter: for so many that, future began today. and today was proof the sacrifices were not in vain. so much sacrifice so far and the fight certainly isn't over. tomorrow the leadership battle will begin and jonathan, these people will not leave this square until all of their demands are met. >> and, nick, i am so struck that you and many others were able to walk through the presidential palace. were the guards still on duty? was there any concern of looting? >> reporter: absolutely not a single guard. absolutely no police. there was no presence of the president or of his party or any of his security at all. we were able to walk through the front door, you saw the
bicyclist setting up a garbage back, there was a level of proud throughout the day, people walking through, no looting at all. deep respect. a very patient and long line out of that building that we talked through earlier. so a real sense that they own the place. a real sense that they had achieved victory. a real sense that today was a tipping point and they showed deep respect to the land because they feel like it's theirs and that president yanukovych had taken it from them and now, jonathan, they have take 10 back. >> wow. stunning developments in ukraine. nick schifrin live for us in kiev, thank you. now for more on russia's influence on yo ukraine, we joid by the author of a brand-new books called the limits of partnership u.s.-russian relations in the 21st century thank you for being with us tonight. >> good to be here. >> let's talk about the relations with russia. they have a lot of control over ukraine, is president obama's approach to russia and president
putin a good one? >> the relationship with russia got more complicated when president putin returned to the kremlin. a series of disagreements with the united states culminating real knit granting of temporary political aside lum to edward snowden who remains in moscow. since the president canceled his summit with president putin in september. and the relationship has been on ice. i think yesterday you saw that there was a one-hour conversation between president obama and putin. and the u.s. administration realizes in this fast and dangerous situation we have to talk. we have different interests but we have to both work towards a goal having a more stable, less violence transition in ukraine. >> let's talk about that phone call yesterday. just how critical was that? how big i've deal was it? >> i think it was a very important phone call because you had heard just a couple of days before president obama and secretary kerry criticizing russia not only for what was happening in ukraine, but for the lack of progress on syria.
and so i think it was a very important gesture to have a one-hour phone call described by the white house as quite constructive on where ukraine and syria and other issues were talked about. i think this is the beginning maybe of a path towards reengaging russia on issues of great importance to both sides. >> and what does that path look like. when try to get the two sides to tcome together. is it with more phone calls, more summits, is it with heavy arm twisting? whadoes that path actually look like? >> el with, phone calls may be a begin. secretary kerry and foreign minister lavrov have a channel of communication and meeting quite regularly despite all these problems, so that clearly has to continue on all of these issues and maybe there will be a summit there could be a summit in june when the g8 meets in sochi, russia. but i think there will only be a summit if the u.s. side feels that enough progress has been made, if there are enough
concrete issues we can agree on. >> i have read and heard that some believe that upheaval in ukraine is actually possibly positive to russia since it may send a message to russia's public that protests, decent leads to crisis. do you think there is any truth to that? >> there is that part of it. there is always a concern in moscow if the ukrainians can change their government like. some russians might think they could do the same thing. on the other hand, you have seen bloodshed, a lot of chaos in ukraine and in some ways it's an anti example for the people in russia who like stability and support president putin. but i think ultimately. it will also mean that russia has to face the consequences of we have a transition government in ukraine, there will be an election in may we'll have for see what happens, you may well have a new president, government, that won't lean so much towards russia and that's something that ultimately is good in the long run, it means all sides have to accept a truly
independent ukraine. >> and now that the olympics are ending in russia, do you expect any kind change in vladimir putin's public stance on these big issues? >> some people fear that mr. putin may take a much tougher stance both domestically in russia and a tougher stance in ukraine. but at the moment, there is not that much more that russia can do. i mean, the worst scenario is probably a ukraine that splits up. i don't think we are there yet. we have president yanukovych somewhere in the east. we have had a meeting today in the east of people who support him. but i think from the russian point of view they need to wait and see. the one thing we know about president putin is he sometimes prizes us. we have to wait and see what he does next. >> you have to say there has been a lot of surprises in the last few days, angela from georgetown university and author of the book the limits of partnership. thank you for your time this afternoon. >> thank you.
at the vatican today pope francis elevated his first-class of bishops in to the college of cardinals. the 19 new princes of church include several from poor countries. retired pope benedict district unexpectedly attended it was his first public appearance since retiring last year, more now from vatican city. >> reporter: the new cardinals were the personal choice of pope francis. with from outside europe and none from the united states. many were from developing nations, pope francis made it clear that he wants to the shift the balance of power way from the vatican. but the presence of benedict 16 was a real prize. it was the first time the former pope attended papel rights since his regular nation a year ago. it's been one of the most important weeks for pope francis and the catholic church as a whole. faced with opposition inside the vatican pope francis has been leading a debate on whether the church's teaches on abortion,
divorce and homosexuality needs rethinking. last year a worldwide pope was taken on the church's take on family and sexual morals. most say they are out doubted and unrealistic. >> the pope is going in that direction by paving the way for change little by little because it can't happen automatically. you have to take small steps because in the vatican you have to follow a certain process. >> translator: homosexuality, civil unions i am strongly christian but i do believe this pope can open doors that in the past were always kept shut. >> reporter: this week's meeting came before another ski conference later in the year on family issues. vatican expert says that the pope's attempt to modernize the church is an uphill battle. >> translator: catholics who divorce and remarry even gay couples adopting children are
becoming the norm in the western world, so the church can't just ignore them. >> reporter: 919 new cardinals will be among those called to mike life-changing decisions for the millions of catholics around. world asking pope francis to break with tradition and keep up with modern times. >> and that was claudia reporting from vatican city. earlier we spoke to joshua with the national catholic report and asked him about the significance of the pope selecting cardinals from places like latin america and africa. >> when the people announced who he was picking as cardinals, it was striking that he picked a cardinal from haiti. haiti, of course, has never had a catholic card familiar. he picked a cardinal from the philippines an area of the philippines which is known for being impoverished and dealing went wil religious doing dialogs
from muslims and i was speaking to him yesterday and he was talking about what it's like for him. as a expected to go back and do confirmations on monday in the hillside. he said he will have to hike in to the hillside to people the -t the people who need to know the church and the love of christ and that's very interesting. the cardinals have lots of roles one of which is to advice the pope and what the pope has done is asked people to advice him from places where the church either hasn't gotten that advice before or it's been a long time since he's gotten that advice. turning now to afghanistan. fewer and fewer police officers are getting killed or injured on duty. still remains one of the most dangerous jobs in that country. al jazerra's bernard smith introduces us to one man who will suffer the rest of his life for the job he loved. >> reporter: for much of the past six years, this has been abdul's life. lying face down in a bare room. the former police officer was
paralyzed by shrapnel after his pickup truck hit a roadside bomb in central afghanistan. >> translator: i have endured so much pain and tragedy, for the past six years my wife, god bless her, who turns me over, looks after me. after god, she is the only person who cares. i can't even use the bathroom. >> reporter: ab doubt joined the police as an idealistic 22-year-old. he says that he wanted to serve his country. but there is only so much his country can do for him. abdul was flown to i had indiar surgery however doctors there couldn't help him. last year almost 81st were killed every week during april to november fighting season. another 3,000 were injured according to the government. >> translator: he used to tell us these terrible stories from the frontline. he used to tell me about the dangers of the job and i told him not to go anymore, but he would say that as long as i am alive. i will serve my country. while he was healthy the government used him. now he's wounded and paralyzed
they don't care about him. >> reporter: abdul wants treatment in the u.s. or our you feel. it will cost 10s of thousands of dollars. in reality, this is probably how he'll be for the rest of his life. the afghan government says that during the past six months, the number of police casua casualtis hassablely fallen dramatically from up to 20 a day to around three or four now. they put that down to providing reinforcements more quickly during torque better medical evaevacuations and stopping unnecessary patrols, this remains a very dangerous professional faced with an em my willing to blow itself up and kill indiscriminately. bernard smith, al jazerra, kabul. when we come back on al jazerra america, the college athlete expected to be the first openly gay player in professional football speaks out publicly, we'll tell you what he said.
♪ ♪ everywhere the big job interview known as the nfl combine there was one prospect everybody wants to hear from. last year it was catfish victim manti te'o. this year it's michael sam, the man poised to be the first openly gay player. michael eaves is live more. so what did he say today? >> reporter: he said quite a bit, jonathan. i am not sure he was the most anticipated interview because stars such as johnny manziel and gentleman davion clowney and others that spoke to the nidia today. but his media attention was attended by the most members of the media since the combine started a few days ago, he answered 35 questions over the course of 12 minutes and it centered on everything from football to his sexual orientation as everyone wanted to know what he was thinking since his big announcement. this is the first time he's been
in the public since he announce publicly that he is gay and will try to be the first openbly gay player in the nfl. as far as what he was talking about today he wanted to talk about football more than his sexual orientation. >> , heck, yeah, i wish you would just say michael sam, how is football going, how is training going. i would love for you to ask me that question. but it is what it is. and i just wish you guys will see me as michael sam the football player instead of michael sam the gay football player. the positive on you weighs the negative. i am surprised actually. a lot of support. a lot of people want this just a lot of support out there. a good proportion of my student body knew. so word did get out, but, you know, we protect one another at mizzou, apparently i guess other schools don't. if someone want to call may a name i will have a conversation with that guy and hopefully won't lead to nothing else. i am not a g.m. and do not have
control over my drat status, all i can control is me preparing myself to get the best scores out there. since i am not on an nfl active roster right now, that is my only thought. is to be on that roster and, so, that's my 100 percent focus on this. i am not focusing on anything else but to earn my spot on an nfl team. >> reporter: sam was all joined in the media session by his publicist and his two agents. and that within itself is unique to the nfl, the combine is very strictly controlled by the league. this is the first time in the history of the combine that agents were actually allowed in to the 3450ed i can't interview area with a player. but sam had requested that through the nfl because he thought this was such a big deal he wanted his team there. after sam address the media. i had a chance to speak exclusively with his agent and i asked him how continue if i cond hconfident in whatsam said to t.
>> he crushed it. he's very comfortable whenever he's had and who is is asking him questions he's more than happy to address any issues. >> reporter: i thought one of his most telling lines is he says i want you to think of me as michael sam the football player not michael sam the gay football player. that's obviously his approach. is he prepared for that to not be the approach from the media and maybe fans around the league? >> i think a little bit from the media obviously from what he has received so far, but mike expects and he's seen at his meetings so far all the nfl teams will address limb as michael sam the football player regardless of his sexuality and that's the way it should be. >> reporter: let's talk about his football status in terms of where he should, drafted. we have heard a lot of projections mid. road, third round, maybe fifth round. it's not just the distraction that some people may be anticipating but also he may have to change positions on the defense. how much have you heard from that since you ever been here in indianapolis that that may affect his draft status? >> we haven't heard anything about it. mike still has to be through all the combine drills and pro date drills. i think at the end of march, beginning april we'll get
clearer idea of where he's going to be going. but at this point, you know, he's going to be out there and do work. >> reporter: based on past precedent. if you are the sec defensive player of the year, you are pretty high draft pick. if he's not a high draft pick, would you be surprised, upset about that? >> i don't know if i would be upset. i would be surprise definitely. the last 7sec defensive players of the year have all gone in the first round. so i think the track record kind of proves itself and mike should be going definitely somewhere higher in the draft from an athletic standpoint we have the drills coming up. how good of an athletes is he and how does he compare to another pass rushers in the draft? >> he stacks upgrade. he had most tackles for loss, most sacks in the toughest competition in the country. or against them. so for him, i think his track record proved it he feel 1678 how big of an asset will he be to any team that drafts him? he will be a huge asset not just on the field, locker room, outside community wise, he's just an amazing personal and i
think he will bring a lot to whatever team he goes 206789 now sam also spoke to several teams today, they are not allowed to ask him about his sexual orientation per league rules but coming up on monday, jonathan, he will get his time in front of coaches and scouts on the field where he will be timed in drills which he wants to concentrate his on because that's all football related. >> a lot of attention on that young athlete right there. thank you,. let's get a check of the weather with it's beautiful in new york today. >> meteorologist: it is so beautiful. 54 degrees in new york city, well above where we should be this time of year, we are going enjoy the nice weather not just today but in tomorrow as well. high pressure has built across the northeast and what that is doing is melting a lot of snow that's out there. so we had multiple accidents reported along some of the roadways in the northeast earlier tonight actually within of them resulted in a fatality in massachusetts. a lot of snowmelting as a said,
temperatures at the ground, not above freezing. we'll seat problem again not just in ne new england box bulln anbut throughthe pennsylvania v. temperatures 10 to 15 degrees above where they should being at this too many of the year. another picture of the black ice that will be a problem on the roads tonight after the sunsets so be careful if you are traveling. temperatures towards cleveland right around 43 degrees, pittsburgh at 52. our nation's capitol coming in at 64. so it feels good. and it will tomorrow as well. temperatures stay above where they should be at this time of the year. but a dose of reality arrives on monday, on in to tuesday and why friday, we are going to have subzero temperatures we are talking about temperatures in the teens folks so enjoy the weather throughout and we'll see snow mixing in as women. we have a weak disturbance
pushing across the northwest bringing sonoma long i-5 along the washington cass tied cade in to tomorrow. we should see up to a foot of snow. so be careful if you are traveling there. elsewhere, it's quota long i-5 from portions of oregon down in to northern california. but the cold air is a major problem across the north central planes far go a high of 7 degrees for saturday. that cold air will continue to spread south and east towards the i-95 corridor as we track in to later next week and it will be very chilly as we track on in to next week our nation's capital back in the 30s. jonathan back to you. okay, thanks, jelelah. beautiful weather today, enjoy what we can. a look at the headlines when we come back on al jazerra america. the rise... >> when it goes wrong, it goes extremely wrong... >> what's the price for militarizing our police >> they killed evan dead >> faul lines,
al jazeera america gives you the total news experience anytime, anywhere. more on every screen. digital, mobile, social. visit aljazeera.com. follow @ajam on twitter. and like aljazeera america on facebook for more stories, more access, more conversations. so you don't just stay on top of the news, go deeper and get more perspectives on every issue. al jazeera america. this is al jazerra america live from new york. i am jonathan betz with today's headlines. form every ukrainian prime minister yulia tymoshenko has joined protesters in independence square, she was released from prison this afternoon. earlier today the ukrainian
parliament removed president yanukovych from office. today's dual protest? venezuela went off without any violence, they rallied in caracas, opponents of president nicholas maduro have been demanding increased social services and crime reduction for almost two weeks now. joaquin guzman one of the country's most wanted criminals was captured last night in a joint u.s.-mexican operation, attorney general eric holder called it a landmark achievement. guzman the leader of the sen low a drug cartel faces much triple trafficking charges in the united states. eight organizations allowed in to all of syria, russia and china sent a strong message to its ally by voting yes to the resolution, the syrian government says it needs more time to destroy its chemical weapons even though it's already missed two dead lines. and michael sam the college football player projected to be the first openly gay athlete in the nfl told reporters it the a press conference today, he wishes to be seen as himself and