welcome to al jazeera america, i'm del walters. >> i want to apologize to you that the website has not worked as well as out should. >> congress demands from this woman about the affordable care website. and two florida mothers taking on the stand your ground law in florida. congress wants answers about the troubled rollout of the affordable care website, and
lawmakers are trying to get them at this hour. they spent much of the morning grilling the administrator who oversaw the plagued website. she apologized for the issues that consumers have been facing. she says the agency is now working to fix the problems. our white house correspondent, mike viqueira is in washington. mike they are the seven worst words that anybody wants to hear. you have been called to testify before congress. what is happening right now about that particular website? >> well, she is the made of the cms, who is in charge of running not only that website, but the entire affordable care act that goes around it. obviously a lot of controversy. perhaps if they had stuck to this all along in plait call sense they would have been better off.
no one has had much success at all applying through the website. the president has said time and time again, they are working 24/7. they hope to have that website to a point where it is at least effective. she apologized for all of the problems that happened already. >> i want to apologize to you that the website has not worked as well as it should. we know how desperately you need affordable coverage. healthcare.gov can and will be fixed. >> you remember, dell, time and time again the president has said over the course of the last four years, while complaining for the law's enactment that if you have your insurance, you'll be able to keep your insurance, well, it turns out if your insurance was changed around the date of enactment, then think a
affordable care act is likely going to require you to get into a plan with better benefits but higher premiums in many cases. john boehner we mentioned the fact that of all things this has really unified the republican party. something that has not been happened over the course of the last several months. >> i said last week obamacare is like a wet blanket over our economy. with all of then uncertainty around this law, employers are having a very difficult time making decisions. it's time to delay this. it's time to fix this before it gets any worse. >> many democrats have joined the call to push back the dead of line of march 31st for signing up for the individual mandate, therefore requiring everyone to have insurance.
and ms. tavner asked time and time again how many people have been successful in signing up. she like officials all around town have refused to answer that question, saying she doesn't know the number. >> many are sames this is similar to the rollout of the medicare d website a few years ago during the bush administration. are the complains similar or is thecorus these days that much louder. >> well, part d medicare, an epic three-hour vote pushed by george bush, he twisted enough arms and got that passed. it didn't rely as much on these technical aspects on the website for enrollment and that's why it's not an apples-to-apples
comparison. >> congress also asking questions about an intelligence apparatus . the direction of national intelligence, and nsa director both set to testify about u.s. spying allegations from brazil to germany. randall pinkston joins us live on capital hill, and randall they said trust has to be in their words rebuilt between the u.s. and its allies. are stepping being taken to do that? >> given all of the issues right now, the administration certainly did not need the headache of having it revealed that the u.s. has been spying on some of its top allies. they are meeting with the nsa director, keith alexander who
will be testifying later today on intelligence. they will be grilled, both of them, alexander as well as james clapper on the extent of america's spying operations and there will also be the introduction of legislation to scale back to modify the patriot act. this legislation will be introduced by the author of the patriot act, and among other things it will put restrictions on the gathering of metadata, as well as refining the extent to which america can engage in foreign intelligence, and presumably that will take into account spying on foreign leaders. >> randall in a lot of instances what the public finds out concerns what goes on in the
house intelligence committee isn't learned until decades later, but that being said what is the house saying about this latest brouhaha. >> that's an interesting point, because in the first place ordinarily we hear nothing from the administration or congress about intelligence matters. they are after all top secret issues, and usually the comment you get no comment. but now we have the house select committee on intelligence having a rare, open, public hearing on intelligence, we have the white house responding to the allegations about what president obama may or may not have known back in 2010, going so far as to issue a press release in which the public affairs office for the national security agency denied reports in the german press that the president had had conversations about intelligence gathering related to the german
chancer will, angela merkel, of course saying that had not happened. of course they were very specific in that press release, so it's not clear who else may have talked to the president. but right now we have foreign leaders asking for action at the united nations. it's the stuff of spy novels come live and real right before your eyes. >> it is indeed. randall thing you very much. members of congress also said to be taking a closer look at the white house drone policy strikes today. they have invited a pakistani family that says they were victimized by a strike. they want them to share their story. they first stoke though to al jazeera kimberly halkett. >> it happened a little more than a year ago. for the 12-year-old and the
9-year-old the memories are still vivivid. >> i saw these bright lights fall from the sky and hit my grandmother. i looked at my hand and there was blood coming out of my hand. >> it was as many day become night, and i later heard my grandmother was blown to pieces. >> reporter: she had been picking okra when she was hit. the family has never been told why the 67-year-old midwife was targeted. >> i received a letter from somebody in the pakistani government saying it what hand was sad because we were innocent. but there was nothing else that came from that letter, and they just said that this indeed was
an american drone strike. >> reporter: despite u.s. claims that its drone program targets only taliban and al-qaeda operatives, a recent report shows that at least 19 civilians have been killed since january of 2012. >> there is part of a process, and as part of that process we make every effort to avoid these tragedies. >> the children's injuries have healed, but they can't escape their psychological stories. so they have traveled to washington to share their stories with congressmen. >> why do you want to come to washington and speak to the politicians on capital hills.
>> i have seen obama say he will use drones on anyone who will cause harm to america. the reason i come here is to share the truth. >> i want justice, i don't know what to make of what happened to me and my family. and these drones should just come to an end. >> reporter: they hope to put pressure on the u.s. government to reevaluate its targeted killing program. kimberly halkett, al jazeera, washington. the leaders of pakistan and afghanistan are meeting in london today. they are trying to breathe new life into the talks with the taliban there. the peace talks are taking on a new sense of ur againsy. jennifer glasse gives us this
perspective from kabul. >> reporter: most afghans are suspicious of afghanistan. they say their neighbor is playing a dangerous game. they have watched the president visit pakistan 20 times with little result. >> they are saying, but in action, they are not doing whatever they are saying. the action is important, not the talking. >> reporter: in august avenue gan officials had high hopes the new prime minister could improve the strained relationship. president karzai extended his trip, and sharif promised to release prisoners. in london, karzai is expected to ask about the taliban's former second in command. he was reportedly released last month, but apparently still under tight supervision. >> at the center of the problem as the ties to the taliban is
the role of pakistan's military. whether that will be changed or not re mains to be seen. >> reporter: karzai can't run in the elections. he said there can be no peace in afghanistan without pakistan, but it's unclear whether he can persuade pakistan to deliver that piece. students are going back to school after that deadly shooting in nevada. they were greated by a staff of grief counselors. police are still trying to find out where the student shot his teacher and two fellow students. reyes ultimately killed himself. in florida the controversial stand your ground law is under review. they are hearing from two women
who both share a rather tragic bond. natasha ghoneim reports. >> reporter: these two mothers now share a bond no parent wants. their teenage sons were shot and killed in florida last year, nine months apart. george zimmerman shot and killed trayvon martin claiming self-defense. >> i just want equal justice. i want them to be able to feel comfortable walking down the street. >> reporter: a shooter must only prove having felt threatened when he or she pulled the trigger. the law has unanimous support from every sheriff in florida. now they are fighting to quash stand your ground laws across the country. her only child was shot and killed in november of last year. they were in this suv at a jacksonville, florida gas
station, a 46-year-old pulled up alongside them and told the teenagers to turn their music down. witnesses say, inc.ry words were exchaked. dunn says he was threatened and thought he saw a gun. he is shot into the suv killing davis. >> i kept screaming and all i could say was jordan is gone. jordan is gone. >> reporter: she also blames stand your ground for her son's death. >> it is not defined so people are continuing to use the legislation out of context to do whatever they want to do. you know, it's shoot first, ask questions later. >> reporter: dunn is in jail charged with first degree murder. he is planning to use a stand your ground defense. he wrote i guess it's news when someone dares not to be a victim, and my attorney says i have a much stronger case of self-defense than george zimmerman.
>> in the case of self protection, that's one of the most fundamental and natural rights that humans have. >> i know that jordan is with us. i really believe in my spirit that what we're doing, a lot of this is fuelled by him. >> reporter: dunn goes on trial early next year, she hopes a florida jury will reject the stand your ground defense and find him guilty of murder. when we come back, the lingering legacy of superstorm sandy now one year later.
it was one year ago today that superstorm sandy made landfall, bringing high winds and causing widespread flooding up and down the eastern seaboard. since then homeowners and businesses have been working to repair the damage and the cost have been enormous. more than $5.6 billi $5.6 billion -- including 44 deaths in new york city alone. and six people died in connecticut where -- [ technical difficulties ]
>> show me the money, dell, that's what they are telling me. right now the people of jersey want to see the color of the cash. according to the reuters news agency del, of the $50 billion that's being earmarked to help hard-hit areas like the jersey shore where i am. of that $50 billion less than a quarter has been allocated so far, and governor christy who is the outspoken, and i think respected governor of new york, they do respect him because he speaks up for the state on the national level. he has been doing the rounds and appearing all over the state today. and he said although incredible.
supported them as much as they could, but they did not make as much as they thought. and the other is the visual aspect. this is a very wealthy area. but you drive up and down the shore now and you see areas of slight. the shore is blighted by urban decay because people have either abandoned some of their homes or businesses, because they didn't get the money, or didn't get enough, or they can't get the permits to rebuild. >> stunning indeed. john thank you very much. coming up on al jazeera america, a problem of epic proportions. locusts, devouring crops and causing wide-spread food damage. take a look at those numbers.
[ technical difficulties ] >> translator: the lobing custs came from the south, blown by the wind. they flew silently in a huge storm. they were like a huge cloud and they blocked out the sun. >> reporter: at the height of infestati infestation, this year's harvest is down 21%. the world food program and the un's organization says millions are hungry. political and economic crisis that has gripped the country left officials helpless too. >> all of the conditions were ripe for