>> president obama paying tribute today to president john f. kennedy. a short time ago he laid a wreath where kennedy is buried in arlington national cemetery. before that he an awarded the highest nation's honor created just before jfk's death. >> reporter: a number of comments running through both of these ceremonies. it's really quite interesting. let's start with arlington. it walate november 1963, presidt kennedy was interred in arlington cemetery. he was supposed to be buried in the family plot, or it was thought initially. the family plot in massachusetts. purelily happenstance, there had
been no other president buried there, the president ended up there where we now see the internal flame which was inspired by something that jackie saw in paris, it now draws visitors from around the world. bill clinton had met kennedy as a young man, shaking president kennedy's hand in the rose garden in the early 60s, and then president obama, who of course, gained the endorsement of the kennedy family, edward kennedy, who is interred next to his brother, and caroline kennedy, as it happens, was installed as ambassador to japan in tokyo just yesterday. president obama, president clinton, hillary clinton, michelle obama at the grave side.
>> there was the ceremony where 16 people received the presidential medal of freedom today. >> reporter: the presidential medal of freedom, the highest civilian honor in the land was instituted by john f. kennedy some 50 years ago. some 500 distinguished individuals who have provided this country with service as the award goes throughout the years has been awarded, including the 16 today. some notable names, bill clinton, chief among them, perhaps. not far behind that is oprah winfrey, people from the world of sports ernie banks, mr. cub from the president's adopted hometown of chicago. sally ride, posthumously, the first american female in space, and arturo sandoval, a noted trumpeter, a defector from cuba, who has provided millions with the joy of listening to his performances on the trumpet, he happens to be a personal favorite of mine. that happened in the east room, a day of joy and solemnity for
president obama. >> mike viqueira at the white house. mike, thank you very much. some items from jfk's funeral will be on display for the first time special artifacts including a flag draped over the president's casket, and clothes worn by those who went to the funeral part of the exhibit "a nation remembers" that opens friday and goes through president's day. iran's supreme leader is speaking out about talks on his country's nuclear program. he said there are limits to what iran is willing to concede. white house officials say it will be very hard to reach an agreement this week. the comments coming as negotiations between iran and six world powers including the u.s. resume in geneva today. al jazeera's phil ittner is there. this is the third time, is it going to be a charm? >> tit is going to be difficult. that is directly from an u.s.
official. the official saying if this was easy it would have been done a long time ago. nevertheless, there remains a sense of optimism on the ground here within geneva. there are a number of things outlined in that press briefing, not least of which they have had their first meeting of all the dignitaries, the delegations along with iranians today. they break out, a break from that, and they go into a series of bilateral meetings. that's in you the u.s. officialg they have not rested on their laurels in the last ten days since the last meeting, but there have been a number of talks amongst the leaders and foreign ministers. >> before those comments by iran's supreme leader and then that optimism faded. what is the impact you're seeing
there? >> reporter: well, there is deep concern over those statements but there is also an understanding much of what was said was for the domestic audience. the speech was given in front of a pair military group from iran that is thought to be quite hard line. in that briefing the delegation understand that it was foredoomic consumption but also those strong words aimed at the international community date there is an awful lot of bad feelings, and issues that need to be overcome from the last 30 years of tension. del? >> phil ittner joining us live from switzerland, thank you very much. in iraq a wave of bombings leave 35 people there dead. several blasts ripping through the capitol today, the bombs targeting mostly shia neighborhoods. and blaming the growing body count on attacks in sectarian
jaar. it could make it its deadliest year since 2008. pulling a draft copy of crucial security agreement with the u.s. the day before the council of afghan elders are scheduled to meet. they're expected to discuss whether to allow u.s. troops to stay in the country after 2014. the state department is reviewing the draft agreement and the final details are still being worked out. congress taking yet another look at all the problems surrounding the president's healthcare reform law. this time it's a senate economy looking at the impact of small business, the law making it tougher to find affordable policies. >> i want to provide health insurance for my employees and their families. we've been doing it for 15 years since i bought the company. but now because it's so high our plan in affect is not viable because it's not affordable. >> another hearing coming just one day after a major omission
from the art tech of the troubled website. telling the committee saying that it includes the inability to process payments they decided to launch the website despite warnings from the consultant. the president said it reveals a problem. >> we probably under estimated the complexities of building out a website that needed to work the way it should. the way the federal government does procurement and does it is just generally not very efficient. >> now those billing problems need to be corrected by january 1st. the obama administration said the other issues with the website will be fixed by the end of this month. well, president obama's approval ratings are at an all time low. the polling showing 42% of americans approve of the job he's doing and republican strong holds are beat met with "i told
you so." here is oh our story. >> reporter: in rome, georgia, political chatter about what is happening in washington is as familiar as the southern charm of its main street. >> those people up there don't have a clue about what's going on in the united states. >> reporter: in the foothills of the appalachians, rome is home to conservative republican conservative tom graves. he's one of the architects of the legislation to repeal obamacare. he's also voted to continue the government shutdown. he can find plenty of supporters in rome who blame the president for the failures in government. >> people would be nationally disposed to exposing him on partisan grounds and vehemently opposed to the affordable healthcare is what unified the tea party in the early days. >> reporter: there is a lack of confidence in a washington but specifically the president of
the united states. his opponent, mitt romney won this region by more than 73% of the popular vote. now the problem plagued roll out on the affordable care website and the partisan bickering that led to a partial shutdown of the federal government are adding to earlier disfaction contributing to the sinking approval ratings of president barack obama. >> i think it has hurt him tremendouscally. >> reporter: charlene has been an independent pharmacist in rome for over 30 years. she thinks obama's policies are anti-small business. and with the affordable care act it will just get worse. >> this is not preferred, which is going to cost our customers more copay if they trade with us. >> reporter: in the local barbershop the hope is gone. >> when he was first elected, an opportunity as a black man being the first black president of the
united states, that he could actually make some changes. >> reporter: retired factory worker roy hudson supports the president. for him the anti-obama trend is about something else. >> i think it began really the day he went into office. it was because he was an of a groafroamerican. >> reporter: some say it makes it difficult to work through race relations, issues that they say cannot be ignored. >> there are some driven to the tea party movement because of racial resentment. when we look at the polls we that's righwefind many are symp.
>> reporter: al jazeera, rome, georgia. >> the ref lend billy graham is back in the hospital. he was admitted on tuesday suffering from respiratory congestion. graham has been in the hopped several times over the past year for similar issues. he's expected to leave the hospital over the next day or two. friend and family help himsel hm celebrate his 95th birthday. >> reporter: the senate is discussing how to combat sexual assault in the military, and senator gillibrand is gaining momentum taking it out of the chain of command. we'll have more coming up after the break.
(vo) next ... >> does the nsa collect any type of data on millions of americans? >> no sir. (vo) fault lines investigates what it's like to live under the watchful eye of the nsa. >> they know everything that you do, everything that you think, everything that you fear. they know how to manipulate and control you. the state has all the power. >> we have done more to destroy our way of life than the terrorists could ever have done. >> welcome to al jazeera america. i'm del walters. the senate could take a stand in effort to reduce sexual assaults in the military.
libby casey is in washington on capitol hill. libby, why are senators divided over this bill. >> reporter: many senators agree the problem of sexual assault cases is an intense issue and one that really follows along a very important line. the chain of command in the military is an essential way that things are done. but if you're a victim of sexual assault or accused of sexual assault it's your commander who deals with the case. some members of the senate believes it should be taken outside of that complain of command. one is senator gillibrand, sponsor of this amendment. so far she has 50 senators on board. some conservative republicans, some democrats, here is senator gillibrand talking about one young woman who came all the way to washington from colorado to share her story this week. >> sarah's story is disturbing. she was raped as a young marine in 2003. she said i knew the military was
notorious for mishandling rape cases so i didn't dare think anything good could come from reporting the rape. having to report to your chain of command is like having been raped by your brother and your father decides the case. >> to uphold the rules and enforce things and keep the family structure in place, here is senator mccaskill. >> just like there is not an agreement in all the women in this chamber, there is not agreement among all the victim, there is not agreement among all the veterans, there is not even agreement among all the commanders although most women commanders have acknowledged even though this sounds seductively simple it is much more complicated, and we will be creating more problems than we
will be solving if we make the change as advocated by senator gillibrand. >> senator mccaskill is proposing to making it a crime to retaliate against someone who has brought accusations of sexual assault. right now a commander can throw out a court-martial conviction even for something as serious as rape. those are gaining more momentum than the gillibrand momen momen. >> what has the votes? >> right now it's at 52. senator gillibrand needs 60 votes to take it to the full senate, and senator mccaskill, who is not supporting in measure is a former prosecutor, and another former proper, heidi heitkamp is supporting the amendment. >> libby casey, thank you very much.
taking a look at your business headlines minutes of the last fed meeting taking its toll on wall street, blue chips turning south after the release of those minutes. some policymakers saying in the economy improved they might consider cutting back on the stimmous programs. retail sales in october soaring .4 of a percent. and the gains suggest spending may accelerate during the shopping season. shoppers enjoying low prices last month. inflation fell a surprising .1 of a percent. and inflation is up 1%, that's the smallest increase in four years. the king of rock under new management. rights to elvis presley's work
has been sold to authentic brands group. including his music library, memorabilia and operation of graceland, his home in memorities, and it also owns "american idol." people in illinois and other midwestern states sifting through what was once their homes. during the tornadoes on sunday eight people died. this is day two of those people trying to put their lives back together. how are they coping? >> they're coping with a lot of help, and it's been a busy day. power crews have made so much progress that the number of people without power is now down tto 2,000. another day for people to get into their homes, gather personal property and lay down
some tarp. one man who lost everything is really putting it all in perspective. >> of course this can happen. you try to prepare for it, but you're never really ready for something like this. the only thing i can say is don't take life for granted. live every day as a blessing from god because you never know when it's all going to go. >> reporter: jason was so happy to show us his photo albums that he recovered from his childhood home. it was about the only thing he recovered. it gives him a sense of security. and we have major streets in this neighborhood authorities used snowplow to clear away the debris. >> and the officials are holding daily news conferences out there. what are the new numbers that you're hearing. >> as we said in 2,000 is the people without power. they expect to have that finished in a couple of days. they also did tell us that one
thing that they're not allowing in the neighborhoods are contractors. a lot of contractors want to come in here and get to work, but they're always worried about looters, people who are not reputable, and they said no contractors for another day. and if they're allowed in, they can only be licensed folks with clear identification on their cars. >> andy joining us live from washington, illinois, andy, thank you very much. the face's report card is out, and it's not good for one state. up next on al jazeera america we'll take a look at the educational achievement gap between the races in wisconsin.
iran's leader said it would not step back from its nuclear rights. the nation's report card is out and there are numbers that are disturbing. the test looked pretty good unless your opportunity is back. in wisconsin a longstanding achievement gap between white and black students is the largest in the country. >> reporter: idyllic and idealistic. madison, wisconsin, makes many lists of the best place to raise a family. michelle moved here from chicago in part to make sure that her children had access to a great education. >> the responsibility that i put on my kids is the same thing that i expect out of myself. they tell me that i'm harsh and expectations can be high, but i
mean, i'm going to be his cheerleader. if i don't push him no other person will. >> you but there are troubling problems in the educational system when it comes to children of color. >> reporter: wisconsin ranks the top in high school graduation rates. over the last eight years wisconsin has consistently ranked at or above the national average in math and reading scores. but the achievement gap, the different in performance across racial groups is growing in wisconsin. numbers released this month show a difference in reading and math scores between black and white students are the highest in the nation. >> if you go back and look at the early 70the late 70's and ee were coming out of segregation, there was a spirit in the community and country that we
really want to do things right. that spirit carried over to the classroom. >> reporter: university of wisconsin professor carl grant who has written over 35 books on fairness and education related to policy and curriculum, believes there is a way out. >> i would relate it to when kennedy said let's put a person on the moon. we need that kind of drive nationwide to turn this around. >> there needs to be a change. currently the system is just not working. >> reporter: and an attempt to start a charter school three years ago aimed at tackling the racial disparity in madison was voted down. >> we have to radically redefine education in america. our schools are not preparing our young people for technology and innovation of their future. >> reporter: madison superintendent brings hopes. >> i think there is a bias that we bring to the work. when we talk about children as if they're damaged goods, we're
setting ourselves up for failure. we have to constantly recognize the deficit mindset when we see it, and turn that into a mindset that builds into strengths. >> strengths built by strong relationships in the classroom and at home one student at a time. al jazeera, madison, wisconsin. >> meteorologist: a look at the weather now. we'll start with the pacific northwest with the weather there bringing rain, and then it goes up to the colder air in the higher elevation with snow coming down. and a winter weather advisory some accumulation in southern montana, wyoming and idaho. that is really it with the know
that we're talking about. it is the temperatures that will be the big story. this is just a hint of what will be happening, cold air is moving down through montana, and i in e rockies we have colder air. as we move south there is light rain expected. there are a few showers in iowa, pushing in illinois and chicago. light showers expected, and that will clear out by the time the very cold air gets there. the cold air is in place by friday. this is what you can expect by the start of the weekend. you might notice the temperature dropping a little bit. that is just a hint of what will be happening. arctic air will plunge to the south and then move east. as the front moves through by saturday it will be through chicago and the midwest. now you'll see the temperatures drop quite a bit, a 30-degree
temperature drop expected, and the wind picks up. you see lake-effec-lake snows. it will move east and that area will get colder. it will come with a gusting wind. the wind chills will make it feefeel like it's below zero one it moves through. this will play out in the northern plains on saturday and northeast on sunday. >> recapping our top story, a ceremony in solemn, president obama paying tribute to president john f. kennedy a short while ago as, see the president gathering to lay a wreath at arlington where kennedy is buried in arlington national cemetery. before that he was awarded the presidential awards. thanks for watching al jazeera america, i'm del walters.
"techknow" is next. for more updates you can check us out at www.aljazeera.com. i'm phil torrez, here to talk about innovations that are going to change lives. we're testing the intersection of hardware and humanity. rax is a neuroscientist. she has the invocation of bamboo and carbon. mar inkta davidson is a biologist specializing in ecologist and evolution. and i'm phil torrez. i'm an entomologist. but i'm over america for a very bad ride. how bad is our air? that's our team.