illegally taken orangutans have been returned. news hour is in about 35 minutes. more at aljazeera.com any time you like. honored for a selfless act, a retired army captain receiving the medal of honor for saving lives in afghanistan. pushing isil out of a key strong hold. and a powerful storm now moving east. millions of americans could soon feel the effects. ♪
this is al jazeera america live in new york city. i'm del walters. one of the heros in the war in afghanistan today received the nation's highest military honor. president obama awarding captain floerant grow berg, flo groberg, the medal of honor. al jazeera's jamie mcintyre is live at the pentagon. tell us more jamie. >> reporter: you know, del, how these things go, the ceremony just completed about an hour ago at the white house. at these ceremonies where you receive the medal of honor, you don't speak, the president tells your story, and that's what happened today, as president obama recounted the events of the day in afghanistan back in 2012 when captain flo groberg was in charge of a security detail escorting senior officers on foot when he saw a man walking backwards who looked suspicious. the president picks up the tail
from there. >> the man spun around and turned toward them, that's when flo sprinted toward him. he pushed him away from the formation and as he did he noticed an object under the man's clothing, a bomb. the motorcycles had been a diversion. at that moment, flo did something extraordinary. he grabbed the bomber by his vest and kept pushing him away. all of those years of training on the track, in the classroom, out on the field, all of it came together in those few seconds. he had the instincts and the courage to do what was needed. >> reporter: like many medal of honor here rose, groberg says this award is not about him but about his fallen comrades. no doubt his quick action saved many lives. but four people did die, and captain groberg said he is accepting this high honor on their behalf. four americans were killed in this august 2012 attack by a
pair of suicide bombers in afghanistan. three members of the u.s. military, and a u.s. foreign service officer. retired army captain flo groberg recalls it as the worst day of his life. >> i lost four of my brothers. i mean, you know, four amazing men. they didn't come home, and i did, so it's -- it's the worst day -- worst thing that can ever happen to you. >> reporter: it was captain groberg's second tour of duty in afghanistan. he was in charge of a security detail protecting a half dozen senior american officers and an afghan commander. and his soldiersest sorts the officers on foot, they encountered a man wearing a suicide vest. groberg had seconds to do something. >> you just react. you know he is a threat, and your job is to run a security, so you have got to get rid of the threat, so when i hit him,
my rifle and then that's company i knew he had a suicide vest under, get him as far away as possible to protect everybody else. >> reporter: he survived by spent months having his leg rebuilt. his troops say far more people would have died but for his quick action. he is accepting the award, he says on behalf of the four two dies. groberg who was born in france and lived there until 11, became a naturalized u.s. citizen in 2001. a track start at the university of maryland. the september 11th attacks inspired him to renuance his duel citizenship so he could get clearance to join as an officer.
>> i went in and said i would like to renounce my citizenship so i can join the u.s. army, and they said okay. i still want to serve my country in different matters, so when this is all over, i'm going to sit down and figure exactly what the next plan is, but i plan on serving my country. >> reporter: and in bestowing the honor on captain groberg this morning, president obama said on his worst day he managed to summon his very best, he said that is the definition of courage, not being unafraid, but conquering that fear and confronting the danger, and he said that's why the nation is honoring captain growburg. >> jamie thank you. iraqi kurdish fighters are already claiming some success in their operation to retake a key
city in iraq. they have captured the highway, one of the most important supply lines for isil. kurdic forces will being backed by u.s.-air strikes. isil have been expecting this attack since they took over the town in august of last year. now what they have been doing is they have been embedding themselves within the town itself and also on the outskirts in various little villages. they have abandoned those villages but they have left behind booby traps and explosive devices. one truck bomb went off a few hours ago. it was so large that many thought it was an air strike. this is slowing down the kurdish offensive somewhat. and that's a tactic we have seen isil use time and time again. what it means that once they do get into the town, they will then use urban warfare to try to
defeat the kurdish forces. but they have a large number of troops on the ground ready to go in. so they say they are making successes. they have cut the road off. it is going to take several days and that's what we have heard from the kurdish fighters as well. they say we need to go in slowly because of these booby trapped villages and towns, and make sure the isil elements can't escape from any other route. cutting off the town is key, and that's what they have been doing. it could take several days, and that's what we're hearing from the u.s. and peshmerga forces. admiral william fallen saying it makes sense for the peshmerga to see this fight to the finish. >> the peshmerga are the -- probably the most capable and more importantly the most willing to actually take the fight to -- to daesh, and it's an area that's -- that's -- favors them in that they control the
territory to the east and -- and mostly to the south, and it's fairly isolated. it's going to be a bit of a challenge, because as i recall the geography up there, there's a long ridge line at sinjar, and that's probably where the daesh fighters are camped out, so they are going to have to take that high ground. but i think it's probably important to them, because it sits astride a major infiltration route from syria that enables daesh to stay -- to stay capable within iraq. and i think it would also be helpful to the peshmerga because it would open up some lines for them to be able to reconnect with peshmerga fighters in northeast syria, and then on into turkey. so i think it's probably a pretty good spot to start. >> he says the symbolic significance can't be overlooked. it's where thousands of yazidis were trapped. we're following a developing
story out of beirut. at least 23 people have been killed after two explosions rocked the predominantly shia area of southern beirut. witnesses saying the blasts were just a few minutes apart. much of southern beirut is a strong hold of hezbollah. the area experiencing a string of deadly suicide explosions back in 2014. as many as 30 million americans today at the cross hairs of bad weather, high winds, heavy rain and thunderstorms, all of it moving east, as john henry smith reports, those storms causing destruction throughout the rockies and the plains. >> reporter: tornados, blizzards, even a fast-moving wildfire. this storm is impacting a lot of people. one of the twisters touched down in iowa. around suing city, rain and
heavy winds damaged buildings. and at one point tornado watches were posted in missouri, nebraska, kansas, and iowa. winds of up to 60 miles an hour swept this wildfire. >> it has been rough. slow going. about 55 mile an hour from kansas city. >> reporter: heavy snow has been the problem in denver as well as parts of utah, new mexico, and wyoming, with blizzard-like conditions in some places, but not everyone is unhappy. >> it greets out here. >> reporter: at copper mountain in colorado, skiers are celebrating more than a foot of new powder. >> it is opening day. i was working, and then i was like, no, i better go ski. [ laughter ] >> don't tell my boss. [ laughter ] >> reporter: john henry smith,
al jazeera. and nike coal mitchell has been tracking the storm. >> we have had some improves with this system. but look at all of the areas still under some sort of wind hazard for any day today. especially towards the great lakes. we are seeing gusts over 50 miles an hour. and the wind has moved more into the great lakes in the east, and you can see it sticks with this into tomorrow, but on tomorrow, more than of that cold air filters in from canada, places like minnesota, up of michigan, or wisconsin, could see your first significant snowfall of the season. if you are traveling, we could see places of maybe 6 inches or more. this isn't the only system as this continues to clear itself way eastward that we're
watching. we're also focusing our eyes westward. we're already starting to see some cloud and rain shield move into the northwest. but the heaviest stuff into tomorrow, we could see some areas toward the washington coast that get over a foot of rain, and that means flood concerns for the next few days. the rain continues possibly through saturday, and after that, the rivers will probably have problems, so another part of the country we're keeping our eyes on. serving time as adults.
>> lead paint... plaster that is falling... rodent infestation. >> if it was your own children, you'd have the money to take care of it. >> who does the buck stop with? violent protests on the streets of haiti today. demonstrators say they are opposed to the president accusing him of rigging the elections there. the candidate he backed reportedly getting a third of the first-round votes. seven other presidential candidates now calling for an independent investigation. a missouri college student due in court today. accused of making online threats towards black students and faculty. another 19-year-old was also arrested on wednesday for making similar threats on social media.
tensions still running high on that campus where students have been protesting. those protests sparking other demonstrations across the country. one activist said he believes more protests are a good thing. >> there has been an upswing, and i think it has a lot to do with the rise of the black lives matter movement, additional concern about sexual violence on campus, and the rising cost of attending higher ed a decision. >> black lives matter one was thing. but that paints it with an african american brush. are we seeing for multi-cultural movements? >> i think that's true. i think campuses are a lot more diverse than they were. >> have students been angry for a while and just not vocalizing their anger. when we think of students nowadays, they are texting,
tweeting, on social media, but they are not protesting and carrying signs. so what has sparked this anger. >> i think there are a lot of protests that fly under the radar. there is a lot of stuff that we don't find out about, but a lot of students have been disenfranchised. and the more they see something like the university president at missouri being forced to resign, the more they are going to feel they have the capacity to make the change. >> but was out the student protest or the fact that the football team said we're not going to play come saturday and that would have cost the university system millions of dollars. >> football players are students, right? so that's a part of it, but i think it's true that campus athletes, particularly division i are a sleeping giant who may have not felt their power, and that may be about to change.
a new study saying the chemicals sprayed on top of the bp oil spill didn't work as well as it was thought. it was supposed to degrade the spill and help the bacteria eat the oil. but now researchers are saying the chemical actually hurt the bacteria. thousands of juveniles nationwide are serving time in adult prisons. in louisiana there is a group trying to hold juveniles accountable for their crimes but keep them safe. >> reporter: two brothers, one 16, the other 17 stand inside a narrow cell they share. these photos were taken inside what is often called the most dangerous jail in america, part of an exhibit documenting the lives of juveniles doing time in adult prisons. in new orleans they are also
part of a campaign to change that. >> we understand some young people who committed serious offenses, should be held accountable, but they should be held accountable in age-appropriate settings. >> reporter: about 30 teenagers are held here on any given day, some as young as 15. many are 17 year olds, and under louisiana law automatically tried as adults. josh perry is with the louisiana sin -- senator for juvenile rights. even though federal law requires juveniles to held separate by from the adult population. perry says that doesn't always happen. >> this office has worked with children who have been sexually abused by adults. we have worked with children who have been stabbed, brutalized by adults. >> the ore leans parrish p
pri -- prison is one of the worst in the country >> this mother's son spent in the prison. >> he said mom, i just want to let you know. i'm going to pray, and i plan to be all right. however, i do want you to know and be aware, that i'm not afraid to die. >> reporter: her son, now 18 is serving a 10-year sentence at another facility. >> do you want a kid to be indicted to come to adult prison before being found guilty or innocent? when you do something like that, you become the first offender. >> reporter: several cities and states go further than federal
law, banning juveniles from being held in the same facilities as adults. last year new orleans city council passed a resolution that lead to some teening being moved to the detention center. >> the allegations about the treatment of abuse in our facilities, it's something that has progressed over recent times. >> reporter: but there isn't enough space at the detention center. there is a plan to use federal disaster funds to expand the detention center. >> it seems like we have gotten most people in the criminal justice system to agree that the juveniles should not be at opp. >> reporter: but construction would take at least two years, further delaying a solution to what many in new orleans have long considered a dangerous
♪ today federal officials say they plan to announce a ban on smoking in all public housing. it require apartments, common areas, and administrative offices to be smoke free. in that move would affect about 1 million people who live in public housing, half of them here in new york city. students at 100 college
campuses across the country threatening to protest today in what is being called the million student march. more than 40 million americans dealing with student debt, and americans are carrying more than a trillion dollars in student loans alone. that means one in every four americans are somehow struggling to pay it off. david talked to one law school student. >> reporter: for as long as he could remember, blake wanted to be a lawyer. the 31 year old nashville resident had been fascinated with the law. growing up in a time when films like a civil action and a few good men were still packing box offices. so blake did what most aspiring attorneys do. he set about preparing for the law school admission test. >> i got in the low 50s. i'm not a strong test taker.
it was really, really tough. >> reporter: his score wouldn't get him into an elite school where job prospects are more promising after graduation, so he attended law school at indiana university where out of state tuition is more than $40,000 a year. first-year students are encouraged not to work and take out additional loans to pay for housing and living expenses to focus on their studies. >> you are thinking it is going to be one number, and it's completely different when you get out. >> reporter: he had borrowed $171,000 by the time he graduated, a mix of federal and private loans, but with interest accruing, those loans ballooned up to $203,000, something he like many students reasoned would be offset by the salary he earned after graduation.
>> when i left my swearing-in ceremony, my family and i went out to eat, and i applied for a job there as a server. >> reporter: in fact, roughly 10% of last year's law grads are unemployed. and only about two-thirds have jobs that actually require a law license. but that hasn't stopped the price of a legal education from skyrocketing. since 1985 the average cost has increased by more than 2.5 times. in-state tuition has increased by more than five fold. one problem with the current system may be the prospect of all of the so-called free money that's out there. something called the direct-plus loan program gives students the option of using federally funded loans to pay for the full cost of tuition as a way of giving those people more access to graduate school, but as a consequence, those government loans may actually push tuition
rates even higher. john is the former president of the illinois bar association. in 2013 he authored a report meant to address the broader consequence of these policies. what he found is that graduates increasingly have to pursue higher paying corporate law jobs as a way of paying down the debt, while others decide against legal education all together. >> one of the phenomenon that has occurred as a result of the law student debt crisis has been the number of applications to law schools has been declining. >> reporter: with the median starting salary, at $71,000 a year, they face debt between $70,110,000. that means they are less likely to do pro bono work, or take jobs in rural, low-paying areas,
while others like blake often have trouble just making ends meet. >> i want to take care of my family. i want to live life. >> reporter: blake eventually found work and had his loans consolidated to lower his monthly payments. but he at times wonders whether it was all worth it. >> there are a lot of decisions you can make when you are 18 and 20 years old that can really ruin the rest of your life, and i never thought going to law school would be one of those. egypt's great pyramids of gee seay may contain an undiscovered tomb. thermal scans pointing to chambers of passageways beneath the sir face. the great pyramid is the oldst of stheven -- seven wonders of the ancient world, and the last one to be standing.
that will do it for us. you can always check us out at our website, aljazeera.com. >> this is al jazeera. >> and this is the al jazeera news hour, live from our studios here in london. and this is some of what we are looking at in detail. >> twin suicide blast kill at least 37, and a strong hold in the lebanese capitol pay route. pay beirut. >> on the isil retreat as fighters retake iraqi villages in an offensive to recapture theow