hello, everybody, and welcome to al jazeera america. i'm david shuster in new york, here are the stories we are following at this hour. holiday nightmare, icy roads, grounded planes, and millions of americans not going anywhere any time fast. a massive winter storm is about to hammer one of the busiest travel a decision of the year. and the supreme court agrees to review the birth control coverage requirement for businesses. and stalemate in afghanistan. and retailers roll out the
sales has consumer confidence takes another dive. ♪ and if you were one of the more than 40 million americans getting ready to travel tomorrow for the thanksgiving holiday, take note. a major winter storm is bearing down on the east certain united states. there will be rains snow, and heavy winds all across the eastern seaboard. here is what the mess looked like earlier today. and this was a reminder in michigan about the slick roads. you saw the trailer there essentially siding off of the roadway. here was a seen at chicago o'hare. people moving pretty slowly. there were flight delays and cancellations and those are expected tomorrow across the entire nation. robert ray is live from
hartsville jackson international airport in atlanta, the busiest airport in the world. rock better what is it like there? >> reporter: david, it's pretty busy. a lot of people inside. all day today it has been pouring rain. though minimal delays. but in the past couple hours we have seen a slight uptick. officials expect about 1.8 million holiday travelers to move in and out of atlanta this week alone. that's a 3.3% increase over last year. today, it has been a bit of a tough day for a lot of the travelers, but tomorrow is when more of a headache could come. here in atlanta, thousands of holiday travelers landed in a cold rainy south. >> i knew it was busy, but waiting for five hours that's ridiculous. >> reporter: heavy rain, high
winds, and snow are already effecting travelers. >> i came from chicago right here into atlanta, and it was amazing how that plane made it through all of that rain, you know? i didn't see the ground until almost tohdown. >> reporter: thousands of flights have already been canceled or delayed. these travelers decided to get ahead start. >> i was going to stay until tomorrow but then i changed my flight three days ago just so i could get home in time for the holidays. >> reporter: some airlines have started to wave change fees, but for many travelers paying up was wort it. >> it was many hundreds of dollars to change your tickets, but we had family plans in chicago that we can't miss so off we go. >> reporter: and it's not just in the skies of the 43 million people who plan to travel, 90% of americans are expected to drive for the holiday. >> faster, cheaper, easier to
get back and forth. >> reporter: snow, ice, and treezing rain are making roading treacherous. drivers are urged to be cautious, more snow and sleet is expected, and rain is already a major issue from florida up the eastern seaboard. now in south carolina? some spots there's actually tornado watches until about 1:00 am this evening. here in georgia tomorrow morning expecting a duszing of snowy could create more problems, but the major issues are up the eastern seaboard near you, david where the brunt of the storm is expected to come this evening and all day tomorrow. david? >> robert for the airlines in addition to waiving the change fees what other steps are they taking in in advance of this storm? >> exactly. the change things fees are a big thing. there are a lot of people who
have decided to take part, the airlines are telling people to get to the airports much earlier, anywhere between two to three hours before your flight to check on whether it will take off on time and get through the long security lines especially tomorrow. we also looked at the faa website, in the past couple of hours laguardia, philadelphia and memphis are expecting delays anywhere from 50 minutes to an hour. it looks like thanksgiving will be fairly clear everywhere, however. >> robert thanks for that live report. kevin corriveau is tracking the storm here for us. kevin how is this going to move it? >> it has already been a problem on the east coast. this is happening right now. so what we're seeing is all of the rain down towards the south. it was mentioned about the
tornado watches, and it is affecting parts of south carolina, north carolina, georgia as well as florida right now as those thunderstorms push through highway 95, and 75 and 85 you need to be very careful because it is expected to effect that area. temperature wise, we are seeing very cold temperatures to the north. new york is at 38, washington 39. tomorrow those temperatures are going to be on the increase especially here for washington -- excuse me -- new york. expect a high of about 60 degrees there. down towards the south atlanta still not getting much warmer but we don't think we will be dealing with snow there. temperatures are going to be rising across this region. still going to be quite cold. parts of illinois, chicago, at 29. we think on the ground some of
the worst highways are going to be in pennsylvania highway 80, 81, massive amounts of snow is going to be in the area. back to you. >> all right. kevin we will stay on top of it thank you. at the hobby lobby, which has over 500 stores across the united states, you can get art supplies, and even christmas trees, but employees didn't get health insurance to cover birth control. that's because the owners believes providing such coverage violates their religious freedom. their belief is at odds with the affordable care act. mike viqueira joins us from washington. mike, the white house knew there was a good chance the supreme court would hear this case. what has been the obama administration response? >> they are confidence in that hobby lobby is one of dozens of
companies who have brought a lawsuit. the administration welcomes the high court's decision to review this case. they say they asked the supreme court to do so way back in the spring. and president obama has been over the last couple of days on a fund-raising swing on the west coast, but the white house was quick to punt out a statement in response to the decision. it reads in part . . . and of course the white house, the statement went on to point out that through the rule-making process, as the affordable care act has got underway they have exempted religious organizations that they are not forced to provide contraceptive care or coverage within their policies. it's important to note, however, that the affordable care act for everyone else including private
companies like hobby lobby requires that that be provided at no out of pocket cost. >> so what happens if the supreme court rules against the obama administration on this? >> it is obviously going to be very contentious as potentially a landmark case. there are dozens of similar cases brought against the affordable care act. it raises a fundamental question say legal experts -- say legal experts, and that is do companies have the right to deny coverage on the basis of religious grounds. critics say that any organization if the supreme court were to rule in favor of hobby lobby could pick apart the afford care act.
>> mike viqueira at the white house, mike, thank you. now let's bring in jamie floyd. there are up to 40 lawsuits from companies asking to be spared from the affordable care act. >> it would potentially unravel the affordable care act because as suggested you could pick and choose what portions of the act offended you as a corporation. what the obama administration is saying is that this is not a burden on individuals who own or run a corporation, but a requirement under the law of the corporation as an entity. and that is what they will argue in march when they go before the supreme court. >> isn't birth control coverage -- there are something like ten different coverages
companies have to abide by starting in january. it is possible for the supreme court to carve out something religious because one person's idea that while birth control violates my religious freedom, somebody else may say i'm a capitalist, and that's my religion and i should haven't to pay for somebody else's emergency room visit. >> that's absolutely right. you could carve out things you are uncomfortable with. the fact is that this is the law, and this is one effort to undermine the law. now quite frankly the people who own hobby lobby, david green being the principal plaintiff here, i think honestly has an objection to this part of the law, the question is whether he as an individual or hobby lobby as a corporation have a right. where does the constitutional
right fall? with the individual or the corporation? and that, david, takes us back to the big citizens united case, was not about healthcare at all. that was about campaign contributions but i think that will be the big precedent here. >> that's right. it could cut both ways. could an organization that is owned by women say we are going to cover birth control, but we're not going to cover viagra. >> that's exactly right. there are all sorts of things that any individual corporation could say we're uncomfortable with this. the obama administration has said we have made exceptions in certain cases, but if you are a business -- and by the way hobby lobby is not a small business, they have something like 1300 employees in dozens of states, but if you have a religious objection you still have to
comply as an corporation. this is going to be a very tough one for the u.s. supreme court. and i agree a landmark decision. >> and how do you think the decision will go? >> i have learned long ago not to handicap u.s. supreme court decisions. i think this will be one of those ones that comes down to us justice kennedy in the end. >> jamie thanks for being on the program. >> my pleasure. a sailboat carrying ha hash -- haitian migrants overturned. authorities report a significant increase in the number of haitians trying to cross the water. african president hamid carsy is refusing to sinecurety agreement that would allow u.s. troops to remain in his country
for years to come. karzai is now telling the leaders that before he signs the security agreement, there must be some additional commitments from the united states like no more military raids on homes of private citizens, and the release of afghan pilsnrisonersd at guantanamo bay. >> if the agreement is not signed what i said to the president is we would have no choice, we would be compelled to have to begin to plan for the prospect that we will not be able to keep our troops here because they will not be invited, and then the nature of our partnership, and the investments that we have made will be more difficult to sustain. >> jennifer glasse has been coveri covering near -- afghanistan for nearly three years.
jennifer explain what he is doing. >> no one really knows what ham hamid karzai is up to. maybe he is worried about his legacy. maybe he doesn't want to be the man that turns over after sovereignty to americans. but it has been a very confusing time. >> how unusual is it for the afghan president to take an even more hard lined position than the tribal leaders? >> he has done this before. he has pushed very hard to the edge and gotten a lot of concessions before. but when you have the national security council saying if you don't sign this by the end of the year, we're going to have to consider pulling all troops out after 2014. >> getting the tribal leaders to approve this, was that a close
call? >> it was a very handpicked [ inaudible ]. it's not just signing the agreement they asked for. they asked for a number of other things including additional military places. i think it didn't come as too much of a surprise because the afghans understand the need for some sort of support there in afghanistan. so i think they -- you know, their approval didn't come as a huge surprise. president karzai's refusal to adhere to that has been a surprise. >> the pentagon likes this deal because it provides certain circumstances where they can enter homes. difficult for afghans to accept that distinction nonetheless? >> that has been a huge sticking poimth. it is something that president karzai has made an issue of over and over again. there was an incident earlier
this month where two afghan boys were killed. they have to seek the approval of afghans beforehand, and karzai turns around and says again, no, if one american soldier goes into an afghan home there will be no agreement. that's the kind of contradiction that they are dealing with. >> jennifer glasse thank you for joining us. we appreciate it. still ahead. at odds over the path of b52 bombers. china is angry about the u.s. war planes venturing into that area's disputed air place. and why the book business is hurting. it is not why you might think.
pure tan settlers was just auctioned off in new york. it was bought by u.s. businessman david rubinstein. that little book of psalms may have fetched a high price, but sales of new books are another story. john terrett has the story. barnes & noble is the last nationwide mega bookstore its retail revenue has declined by almost 8%. and there is a 4.6% dip in revenue that comes from stores that are on or very close to college campuses. and even sales from the nook reader is down by 40%. the nook is why barnes & noble is still around today and how it has outlasted borders which
closed its doors about two years ago. amazon.com is the reason there is all of this heart ache in the book industry and the reason why it's more like a tail of two cities than a midsummer night's dream. amazon eats into profits in two ways by offering deep discounts on books, and by cashing in on the skyrocketing sales of the ereaders. barnes & noble were the ones that helped push the mom and pop stores out of business in the 1990s. in the first six month of this year, the overall book market was down by about 6%. particularly children's books, but there may be some pilgrims progress. many people would rather roam the rusty stacks of a local book
shop than shop on line. and last holiday season mom and pop book sellers say they are thriving where they exist in the country, and that is in marked contrast to their much bigger rival. ♪ another day, another record on wall street. today the dow at the closing bell squeaked in an all-time high, it's 43 so far this year. i asked ali velshi whether these consistent gains on wall street are turning into big profits on main street? >> not necessarily because we really are in this by fur indicated economy. you have those that have their money in the stock market or the housing market which meant they had some money to get these kind of gains. stock markets up almost 30%, the housing market up 13% gains over
last year in most markets. so you have this group of people who have money, and they are going to spending. and then you have the other side where people are more worried about their employment future than have been in a very long time. the problem david is if retailers are confused they are going to bet that people will stay home a little bit, which means good news for consumers is they will get promotional earlier. and some sales are all right starting many kicks off almost a week earlier than they would have on black friday ali how would you describe the economy right now? >> bifurcated. america took pride for decades in not being a bifurcated economy. where the bulk of it was in the
middle. the aspiration was for a big middle class. we are leezing that middle class, and you are seeing an economy that is driven by two sides. a fearful side of people who don't feel like they are getting ahead and earning enough and saving enough people and a group of people who are doing better than they have ever done before. it become very hard to get a sense of how they are doing. >> it's also hard to get a sense about what is going on in many washington some days we hear they are making progress, other days we hear they are not. how crucial is it for congress to come up with something this time? >> this is an important question, because one would think people are not that closely tied to the federal government. but the reality is, and we have seen this in survey, people really get shaken by this sort of thing. when the government doesn't do
the basic thing that it sets out to do, people start to really worry about the future, who is minding the shop. so if this goes on again, if we get into a quagmire and we head towards another debt ceiling problem, i think it will have a very negative effect. when the government is working properly, most people don't care, but when it is working poorly, people worry about their economic future. michael eaves is here with sports and some suspension news involving the seahawks. >> yeah, the nfl suspending walter thurmond for violating the league's substance abuse policy. he started three games this season, including last week when he returned an interception 29
yards for a touchdown. the eagles head coach officially named nick foles the headquarterback for the remainder of the season instead of michael vick who has struggled with injuries this year. and despite a payday this weekend, manny pacquiao says he is having issues keeping his promises to typhoon victims because his bank accounts are being frozen us because it is claimed he has owes $50,000 since last july. those are your sports headlines for this hour, ports news in about 20 minutes. >> all right. thank you. this is a razor thin margin to give seattle airport area workers a raise. plus texting while driving in in the volunteer state which
>> this is video from the u.s. coast guard which eventually rescues more than a hundred haitians clinging to the hull of the boat. the united states supreme court agreed to hear a case that pits the new health care law against some companies that don't want to offer birth control coverage. a lawsuit filed by hobby lobby claims that the owner's re rely -- religious claims should not require them to provide the coverage. snow, wind, and heavy rains
are expecting to cause travel delays for millions of americans. it is blamed for the death of at least 12 people and the inconvenience of tens of thousands. kevin corriveau is back with an update. >> the storm is taking up a lot of the united states, about 20% of the united states right now is dealing with the storm, and we are k looking at delays in some of these major airports. all dealing with those people trying to get out early, but dealing with delays that will probably extend to tomorrow. we expect to see very low temperatures tomorrow with atlanta at 34. they are going to be hovering around the freezing mark. for harts field in atlanta, they will probably stay out of the snow. new york tomorrow at 35 degrees. those temperatures are going to be going up with new york seeing
about 60. here is what we're looking at right now, a lot of rain. virginia, south carolina, north carolina, as well as up towards pennsylvania, a mix of precipitation as well as snow. these are the warnings in place across many areas. across the east, no warnings but that's where we are seeing quite a bit of rain. >> kevin thank you. the united states flew two military planes over an area in the south china sea. rosalyn jordan has more. >> reporter: on monday night the u.s. military says two b52 bombers like this one flew over the islands here japan for training purposes.
islands which both japan and china have long claimed as their own. >> this appears to be an attempt to unilaterally change the status quo in the sea. and this will increase the risk of miscalculation, confrontation and accidents. we have made this case to -- made this case to china. >> reporter: on saturday, beijing declares the air space part of its air defense indication zone. it requires foreign aircraft to identify themselves before entering the zone or face possible military action. on tuesday a chinese warship was scene on patrol in the nearby south china sea. >> well, it's national. it's indeed the right of every country to defend its air space and also to make sure that it's
territory, its sovereignty are safeguarded. >> reporter: but the u.s. says none of its aircraft will comply. it says the air space over these islands is international and no country can restrict access to it. what is more, officials reject suggestions that by conducting the training flight right now that they are getting involved. a former obama administration official says washington wants to send a message to beijing it is being watched. >> there is a broader strategic game at play. we have the rising power of china acting like a classic rising power challenging the status quo. this is as old of form of great power relations as you can get this kind of challenge, but it could be dangerous. >> reporter: so far this dispute has involve ambassadors to be
summoned. rosalyn jordan al jazeera, the state department. from the far east to the middle east, the day after the united nations announce what could be an historic development, some rebels say they may not go. talks are scheduled to be held in in geneva in late january. rosha has been covering the civil war from the front lines for years. john siegenthaler spoke with her in new york, and in part two, he asked her why the removal of chemical weapons is meaningless to more syrians. >> yeah, the issue with the chemical weapons and the
international reaction has been pretty much meaningless to most syrians regardless of where they are on the political spectrum. >> meaningless? >> yes, because -- you know, the chemical weapons killed, you know, maybe 1500 people or so. anyone in their rebelous area will tell you you know -- i mean sure that was the worst day of their lives, you know, for the people who were right there, where the weapons fell. but they will tell you they have been under constant bombardment for over two years. air raids and shelling and tank shells and disappearances and detention and torture, so many of them -- pretty much every single person has someone close to them currently in detention. >> and that goes on despite the removal of chemical weapons. >> yeah, exactly.
>> doesn't stop it? >> not at all. it hasn't even changed or gotten less or -- or more, just continued as if it were in a sort of parallel universe. so that's why it's a completely moot point. >> do the people in syria think the u.s. -- what do they think the u.s. should be doing? >> a lot of the rebel brigades really wanted a u.s. strike when there was talk of that. and even two years ago a lot of people in the rebelous areas wanted some intervention just to help them out. anything that would give the rebels a military advantage. >> now the conflict seems to have spread to the root? >> to lebanon, yeah. first of all with nearly 1 million syrian refugees in in lebanon, which is a tiny
country, imagine 1 million newcomers to israel, it's similar to the size of israel, but there are a lot of middle class syrians who have moved to lebanon, and it is interesting because even they, you know, who are spending a lot of money in the country, and some of them are investing and so on, but they are experiencing a major backlash. i have seen it personally when i having driven around beirut with a car that has a syrian license plate i was harassed in the street just for having the license plate. so i can only imagine what happens to someone who is otherwise disenfranchised, and then with -- with the bombing, of course, which, you know, a lot of fingers are pointing towards the rebels that they targeted the iranian embassy, some people say what took them so long? we expected this to happen a
year ago because iran is such a major player in the war in syria along with hezbollah, of course. so a lot of people think it will only get worse in lebanon. >> it sort of makes you wonder how long this can continue this way. >> completely unsustainable, but -- but i don't think all sides have gone gotten to the point of utter exhaustion yet which i think is essential before all sides sit down and talk and they are ready to put down their weapons. >> do you there is possibility that assad will be removed from power? >> i think it's very, very difficult. even if he -- if he -- he won't be removed from power, but let's just say someone comes to the agreement that he steps aside, that would only happen if someone from within his circle
comes forward, so basically another assad -- just a different face. >> but will these be free and fair elections? >> no, no. they were never free and fair to begin with. they are not elections, they were referendums. >> let's head down to washington, d.c. joie chen is standing by to tell us what is coming up on "america tonight" at the top of the hour. >> david you are going to like this. great political figure out of office, still in the limelight. we'll pay a visit to former louisiana governor, edwin edwards. he definitely has had his fans and critics. he went through four terms in the state house to eight years in the big house, the federal penitentiary. that's where he meant his third wife. now he tells soledad o'brien
that he is considering another political career. >> i bought into the fact that he was guilty in the trial, but when i started peeling back what the operation was, even going down to the wiretaps, it's just not there. >> i didn't whine or complain. i walked into prison and i vowed that i would live to come ohm, and i did. >> and so he did. soledad o'brien will join us with her story about that cajan comeback. joie thank you. looking forward to that one. texting while driving can be dangerous, just ask the residents of tennessee. the volunteer state has the highest rate of texting and driving related deaths in the country. jonathan martin reports.
>> reporter: it's meant to grab your attention. mu message boards reminding drivers that nearly 900 people have been killed on tennessee roadways so far this year. this colonel says texting behind the wheel is behind many of the deadly crashes. >> i would say right now it's the number one traffic safety issue in the country. >> tennessee is one of 41 states where it is now illegal to text and drive. yet in the four years since the tennessee law went into effect, highway deaths have not gone down. in fact 2012 saw one of the state's highest fatality rates ever. with 1,019 people killed. right now violators only face a $50 fine. >> i would like a stronger law that we would easily enforce. i think down the line probably five to ten years from now it
will be against the law to have an electronic device in your hands and drive. >> reporter: 7% of all fatal crashes in tennessee were caused by texting or talking on the phone in 2010. that number jumped to 10% a year later. compare that to the national average during that period, a little more than 1%. the report also suggests that many states appear to be underreporting data. because texting and driving laws can be tough to enforce. law enforcement officials are using a variety of strategies to try to combat the problem. tennessee troopers have swapped squad cars with semitrucks so they can be higher to see if they are texting. >> this is the text from me right before she flipped her car. >> reporter: and several
lawmakers are threatening to push for heavier fines. >> i know if i get a $250 fine every time i was texting ann romney driving i would probably stop the first time i got caught. >> they are getting ready to put cops everyone several miles to enforce the laws. >> reporter: state leaders say they believe the problem of distracted driving will likely get worse leaving other states to push for more aggressive numbers. by a margin of just a few dozen votes a $15 minimum wage for some workers in a city in washington state has now been approved. this vote was launched by labor workers across the country who want higher pay for low-end jobs. alan it sounds like this decision is not quite final? >> not quite, david. that's right.
the votes cast, counted, certified today by the state, and as we have seen before we have one side claiming victory and the other side saying not so fast. we will have a recount in this as expected. this is a case where a battle over the $15 wage and a number of requirements involving employees goes down to the wire. 77 votes out of 6001 passed. >> it is a fantastic district. what happened was voters in the community said they are tired of waiting for ceos or congress to do the right thing, and took matters into their own hands. >> the citizens and businesses in in ctack fought the proposition because they thought it was the wrong approach to this problem. they think it will eliminate
jobs, it will make it a lot harder for teenagers to get these jobs. and 90% of these people live outside of the city. >> follow the campaign money and you see this is a battle between organized labor and business. and look at these figures we figured out today prop one supporters spent $422 per yes vote. opponents nearly entirely business interests sent $174 per vote. this will be a hand recount of every ballot cast. it won't take too long. we expect results by the middle of next week. and the legal validity of this wage hike and some other elements of this proposition are now being contested. we expect a hearing in about three week's time. and that could dely
implementation of this thing. >> alan what is the legal basis for that court challenge in state court? >> it is actually a challenge on several different points. basically jurisdiction, does the city of ctack have the regulatory power to dictate wage and employer at ctech international airport. also are there violations of state and federal rules governing employers when the city is going to be telling them how much they have to pay people, whether they must provide sick pay and vacation pay that kind of thing. so legal challenges on a number of fronts. supporters are expected to bump that into federal court. >> alan thanks for that update. still ahead the winner this
olympics, they are around the corner, we'll show you how the ladies of the u.s. hockey team plan on keeping their medal streak alive. plus trouble in toy land the potentially dangerous toys to watch out for this holiday season. nefrnlth. jim abbott spent tens years as a baseball as jessica reports, abbott considers giving back to be his greatest achievement in life. >> when jim abbott pitched a know-hit -- no-hitter in 1993, he did more than cement himself in baseball history. the yankees pitcher who was born without his right hand became an inspiration for those who thought having a disability meant they couldn't go after their dreams. >> i don't know if i could really truly put into words all that baseball has meant to me on a number of different levels.
i think it provides a wonderful message to people. at a time doesn't matter how you do it. it matters if you can do it. >> now 20 years later, joe rogers, a senior hockey player half of all of the toys sold in the united states are bought during the final three months of the year, but parents want to know the toys their children play with us safe. today the 28th an you trouble in toyland report was released. what did they find? lisa has the story. >> reporter: at child's play toy store in washington, d.c., holiday buying is in full swing as parents puzzle over their choices, a word of caution. >> not every toy is a safe toy. >> reporter: jenny is with the public research firm who has
tested and torn apart toys for nearly three decades. her number one concern, choking hazards. >> more children choke on toys than any other toy related injury or death. >> reporter: there is a way for parents to check toy size. if you can drop it through a toilet paper roll it's a choking hazard. another concern is led. this captain american shield has led levels 29 times higher than the levels allowed. >> a kid two years old could easily put this toy in their mouth. >> reporter: and noise levels. she says this toy phone when next to a child's ear is too loud. ♪ >> reporter: also on the caution list, powerful magnets. if swallowed they can be deadly.
for parents the good news is toys are really safer than ever. five years ago congress passed tougher toy standards. some 80% of the toys sold in the u.s. are made overseas mostly in china. they have to meet u.s. standards. the city has its own advice for parents, read those age labels. >> i think that sometimes we as parents tend to think that our child is smarter than others, but that age grade is so important. >> reporter: this shopper agrees, toys need to be age appropriate. >> if there are not, there can be dangerous possibilities. >> reporter: her grandson admits he is too young for some toys he has wanted. can you think of one that maybe you wanted that you can't get yet. >> a bbgun.
>> that's a toy he will never get. [ laughter ] >> reporter: lisa stark, al jazeera washington. ♪ michael eaves is here with sports and it sounds like the seahawks have to make some adjustments now. >> yeah, in the buildup to this weekend's huge clash this weekend, the conference-leading seahawks will be extremely shorthanded in the secondary. the nfl suspending walter thurmond for violating the substance abuse policy. thurmond is eligible to come back the week before the seahawks season finale, but this is the 8th time since 2011 that
seahawks player has been caught violating the policy. there are multiple reports that brandon brownen could be facing a year-long suspension due to a second violation. he will miss sunday's game due to a groin injury, leaving a pretty big hole in the secondary. now to the college game, the iron bowl will feel like a real bowl game this effect. both teams come in ranked in the top 5. alabama holding down the stop spot, while auburn sits at number 4. >> the iron bowl is the best
rivalry in college football. >> really? >> yeah, the fact that i have been here before, that helps. obviously it is a big game. but when you add the fact that the winner goes to the scc championship it makes it even bigger. now to the nba, after signing a contract extension for the los angeles lakers kobe bryant says he is still weeks away from making his debut. if he plays out the contract, he will set an nba record with the most consecutive seasons with one team at 20. >> i -- it wasn't like it was -- i was surprised or anything like that. i really didn't give it that much thought. there was so much going on in terms of things that i was trying to focus on from my recovery and getting back to it. so i let them handle whatever was going on.
but my understanding of it was there was really no negotiation. the lakers came up with a structure with the system and a plan that they thought was a win-win for everybody involved, and, you know, from my perspective it was very easy to just accept it. so it was pretty quick. when the 2014 olympic games kick off in february, it will be the fifth olympic hold women's hockey games. >> reporter: as the games approach, we're definitely pushing harder if anything. we're still training smart but we're full-time as a team, which is so exciting. we train in the boston, massachusetts area, and every day we come to the rink with a
smile. >> reporter: julie knows a thing or two about preparing for olympic competition. he has been a forward on the u.s. women's ice hockey team for the last three olympic games. with the next olympiad quickly approaching julie draws on her experience. >> i think the biggest thing is to stay focused on the present moment. have a great time because it is such an incredible journey. especially for hockey, because it's over a week, two-week period. and really have energy left in the tank later on in the tournament. >> reporter: as a harvard graduate, and three-time olympic medalist, shoou has accomplished much, yet the idea of being seen as a role model is something that surprises her. >> it's a little bit surreal to be honest. when i started playing hockey
the dream of being an olympian wasn't there. so now because i have been fortunate enough to event our country on the national team with amazing other players, it really is a responsibility and great honor, and it humbles me because i would never be here unless my mom and dad said i could play hockey when i was eight years old. >> reporter: while she may be less than comfortable with the label pioneer, she is set to become a pioneer again, by becoming the first asian american to win ice hockey olympic gold. and from what i understand the women have a pretty good chance in sochi. >> all right. thank you michael. i appreciate it. kevin corriveau will be back with a look at weather when we come back.
have two unconfirmed tornados in the panhandle of florida. the tornado watches were out along with this ban. they are still out right now for part ts of florida, georgia, south carolina and north carolina. if you are traveling in this area, you need to be very careful. of course it's. dark. you won't be able to see tornados like this. now we're dealing with the snow that will be happening amost of the northeast. the big problem will be up here. we'll see in this area the largest amounts of snow is going to be anywhere between ten and eight inches. four to six where you see most of the blue, and along the edges it will be more like one to two inches, along the coastal regions where most people will be flying too. that's a look at your national weather. have a great evening. ♪
welcome to al jazeera america. i'm david shuster. here are tonight's top stories. the united states supreme court has agreed to hear a challenge to the affordable care act. the owners of hobby lobby have sued saying their religious values prevent them from providing birth control coverage. afghan president is holding up a deal to keep u.s. troops in the region beyond the 2014 scheduled pullout. the agreement has been approved by the united states and afghan tribal elders. karzai says he wants concessions first including no more military raids on homes of