you have a lot of options. so there's no clear plan and no clear leader. >> scott appreciate it. awarding-winning new hampshire political journalist. thank you. i'm tony harris. thanks for watching. john siegenthaler is back. >> thank you. we begin with theest ka lighting tension between saudi arabia and iran. three allies downgraded diplomatic relations with iran. the saudis also cut off air traffic and commercial ties with tehran. the dispute began on saturday when saudi arabia executed a well-known cleric. >> reporter: saudi diplomats on their way home with their families. as they were evacuated came similar action by some of the kingdom's allies, among them
neighboring bahrain. after two days of demonstrations by protesters from its shia muslim majority. the gulf state that's closely allied to saudi arabia, accused iran of blatant and dangerous interference in arab countries and support for terrorism. the actions followed the arson attack at the saudi embassy in tehran. saudi arabia accused iran of doing nothing to prevent it. >> we decided to cut off all diplomatic relations with iran, and all air traffic to and from iran, all commercial relations with iran, and we will have a travel ban against people traveling to iran. >> translator: unfortunately the government of saudi arabia sees its interest in creating clashes and escalating tensions in the region. in recent years it has taken measures and followed policies in line with that. >> reporter: shia people across the middle east have been demonstrating after the
execution of a well-known cleric, he and 46 others, including an al-qaeda member were charged with plotting and carrying out terrorist attacks, targeting civilians and security forces. saudi arabia is adamant he got a fair trial. it's not the first time diplomatic relations have been cut, but there are fears it could cause more violence. in an incident in eastern saudi, the official saudi press agency reported that one man had been killed and a child was injured. the brother has said he is being told the cleric will be buried in an indoes -- undisclosed location. iran and saudi arabia are of course key players in the middle east, this dispute could complicate efforts to end the wars in syria and yemen. james bayes has more from the
u.n. >> reporter: relations between these two heavyweights in the middle east have always been strained, but they are now at a new low, and that's why ban ki-moon has been working the phones, speaking to iran's foreign minister, and then to the foreign minister of saudi arabia. details of the second call were given. >> the secretary general reiterated his views on capital punishment and the execution of the cleric who's case the secretary general has raised with saudi authorities on several occasions. he reiterated that attack in tehran was deplorable, but added that a break in diplomatic relations with tehran was deeply worrying. >> reporter: the real concern centers on two places where the
u.n. was hoping to restart peace efforts. one was yemen. there had been a truce in place there. that no longer exists. and the other place is syria, there they set a date for peace talks, three weeks from now. this new effort built on the fact they got all regional players to sit around the same table, including saudi arabia and iran, the u.n. special envoy is in the region, his mission now to save the peace effort. the white house says it's concerned by the dispute between iran and saudi arabia, but also called on both sides to de-escalate the tensions. >> we're urges all sides to show some restraint, and to not further inflame tensions that are on quite vivid display in the region. and secretary kerry has been in
touch with his iranian counterpart. u.s. diplomatic officials in saudi arabia have been in touch with their counterparts to convey this message. i would anticipate that secretary kerry will be in touch with his saudi counterpart at some point soon. vanity fair contributing editor, the author of house of bush, house of saad, is in our studio tonight. welcome. >> thanks for having me. >> is this a sunni shia issue, or an attempt by saudi arabia to put down dissidents again or both. >> i see it less of a sectarian battle than a proxy war. if you go back to 1979, the u.s. had a twin pillar policy where we had the saudis and iran protecting the persian gulf, but with the islamic revolution, the
saudis were out, and -- iran was out and we became allies only with saudi arabia. >> so saudi arabia trying to send some big message to iran and the world? >> absolutely. i think they are speaking to three groups of people, one internally, about 15% of saudi arabia are shiites, and the sheik was an activist on their behalf. and he was executed. they are also speaking to iran and you have obama's agreement with -- nuclear agreement with iran. you have iran having a -- projecting itself through hezbollah in yemen and so forth, and they are trying to say, we -- we don't want you out there, and they are also speaking to obama, and in the talks for -- to try to solve the syrian conflict, last fall,
saudi king salmon did not want iran to participate and obama had to call him personally. >> so you have countries lining up on both sides, in some ways based on religion, right? >> it is religion, but, again, i think it's a proxy battle. christians and protestants -- catholics and protestantsly together peacefully in most of the world, but in northern ireland it become a political issue, that is sort of what is happening in the middle east. >> so what does that mean for the countries in that part of the world. >> it's hard to project. obama has been strong in opening the door to iran and allowing them back on the world stage. so me that's the biggest implication of the nuclear agreement. there is even talks that iran will apply for membership in the
world trade organization. iran is four times as big as saudi arabia. it has to have a voice if there is to be a real resolution of that conflict. you can't just brush it off. >> but saudi arabia is saying not at the expension of our country. >> absolutely. but obama has stood strong so far at least. in the fall he insisted that iran will be able to sit down at the table in geneva. and this is an election year in the united states, and the republicans are going to be very, very different. >> craig thank you very much. >> thank you. much more on the tension between iran and saudi arabia at the half hour, including a profile of the executed shia cleric. why the saudis wanted him dead. it was a rough start of the year for the financial market. one problem china's laboring economy.
stocks plummeted some 8% monday. >> reporter: an inauspicious start to 2016. the dow jones closed down 276 points. its worst annual kickoff in eight years as markets around the globe tanked over fresh evidence that china's economy is shrinking more than analysts expected. >> what investors are worried about is whether that is accelerating. whether the slowdown is moving from gradual to a sharp drop. >> reporter: china's economy has been decelerating for years, as beijing tries to shift from investment and manufacturing-driven growth, to an economy powered by consumer spending. but the ability of chinese authorities to pull off a smooth transition and manage shocks along the way has been thrown into doubt. last year beijing tried to stem
a stock market drop by slashing interest rates. sharply devaluing the chinese currency, spending billions on share buybacks, and placing a six-month ban by share shoulders that is due to expire this friday. >> they have taken a number of measures that don't look like good policy making. >> reporter: if china's economy slows so does its appetite for raw materials. weakness that can feedback into the u.s. economy by shrinking the volume of global trade and depressing prices when a strong dollar is already making u.s. goods more expensive to buy overseas. it didn't help matters that a reading on u.s. manufacturing also disappointed monday.
and while many investors will be hoping the sell off was over done, the tone set by the first day of trading in 2016 was undoubtedly a dismal one. and now to washington where president obama is preparing to unveil his plan to try to reduce gun violence. he talked about his options today with the nation's top law enforce officials even before the plans made public, some republicans are speaking out against it. mike viqueira is in washington tonight. mike? >> reporter: good evening, john, and happy new year. on his first day of his last year in office, president obama took on the one issue he says has been the most frustrating throughout his term in the white house. gun violence and what to do about it. after going over plans with the attorney general, president obama says it's time to act on guns. >> we have to be very clear that this is not going to solve every violent crime in this country. it's not going to prevent every
mass shooting or keep every gun out of the hands of a criminal. it will potentially save lives in this country. >> reporter: and he has on immigration and the environment, he will be executive action, bypassing congress. among the new rules, requiring dealers who sell firearms on line and at gun shows to get a license. thereby making their customers subject to background checks before a gun sale can go through. >> we have been very careful recognizing that although we have a strong tradition of gun ownership in this country, that even those who possess firearms for hunting, for self protection, and for other legitimate reasons want to make sure the wrong people don't have them for the wrong reasons. >> reporter: currently a seller classified as a hobbyist can sell guns without running a
background check on the buyer. the numbers are in dispute of the number of these private sales. but backers of tighter rules have long said it's a huge loophole in the law, a law that is frequently ignored. >> background checks are the only systemic way that we have in this country to make sure that people who are buying guns can legally do so. >> reporter: it should have stopped the man of killing nine charleston church goers last june. but the procedure was botched and the fbi apologized. in san bernardino the shooters reportedly recruited a friend to buy some of the weapons used to kill 14 out of fear they wouldn't pass the background check. but in both cases purchase of the weapons would not have been blocked by president obama's new rules. one place where it could have been a difference, the massacre at columbine. >> we're not under the illusion it is going to prevent every
incident of gun violence, but if we can prevent one or two, then we'll eagerly implement those executive actions. >> reporter: a clear majority of republicans are against stricter measures. republican presidential hopefuls have pounced on the new proposals. chris christie called president obama a petulant child. >> i'm confident the courts will reject his attempts to do that, and if they don't, i'm sure ultimately the next president will make sure that he abrogates those acts. >> reporter: john republicans are incensed, they look at the immigration debate, and the action on executive actions. but congress may get its say after all, because the president
is proposing adds more examiners, and to do that, they will need funding, and that's where the congress will come in. we're going to bring you president obama's gun-control announcement live tomorrow morning, 11:40 eastern time in the morning. the attack in san bernardino reignited the gun-control debate. today workers returned to the center for the first time since december 2nd when 14 were shot to death during a holiday party. the actual building where the shooting took place still closed. officials have not said yet if it will ever reopen. coming up, standingoff, activists seize a federal building, vowing to take back land they claim is theres. paradise lost. >> we'll have to sacrifice essential services for the people of puerto rico.
>> puerto rico defaults on its loans, triggers more layoffs, cutbacks, and fear. plus supersized. >> reporter: the port of clanged is ready for these ships and capable of handling them. >> up close with one of the largest container ships in the world and the american port that can accommodate. >> people need to demand reform... >> ali velshi on target.
allen schauffler is outside of burns, oregon tonight. allen. >> reporter: john, here at the site of the occupation, a lot of talk, a little bit of show and tell, and not much real action, but we got a tour today, our first good look at the new home of the group calling it's a the citizens for constitutional freedom. a spokesman told us specifically not to expect a lot of guns, and any questions about how many protesters are here were left unanswered during our 45-minute tour of the property that this group walked into and took over. >> reporter: how is it going? >> it's an emotional roller coaster. it's up and down. and it's going great. there is no bloodshed. >> reporter: there are 15 or so buildings here, dozens of idol
government trucks, swamp boats, and heavy equipment. the spokesman told us this is one of the sleeping quarters. we didn't visit every building, but were allowed to roam on our own, and saw no signs of damage or vandalism. >> we want to be polite, neighborly, citizens, we want to be respectful of each other. this rancher has emerged as one of the group's main spokesmen. where do you see this ending? >> i believe it will spread from here. the grievance is widespread throughout the west. >> reporter: we saw nobody carrying a weapon, but, again, didn't see every room. we asked duane if people here were armed? >> there's -- probably a weapon in every pickup truck within a hundred miles of here. you know, everybody says they
are armed, but each rancher i know has a weapon, you know? so -- you know, i had a cougar on my porch last week. there you go. >> reporter: ammon bundy the leader of the group held a morning press conference to outline grievances about land-use restrictions and federal regulations, in an area where ranching and conservation have collided since 1908. he was asked what will it take to end this protest peacefully. >> i wouldn't say words would do it. i would say action would, and that would be for the federal government to remove its unconstitutional presence here in the county. >> i want to talk directly to the people at any wide life refuge. you said you were here to help the citizens. that help ended when a peaceful protest became an armed
occupation. the ham manneds have turned themselves in, it's time for you to go home and end this peacefully. >> reporter: the protest that started saturday continues. and this is having -- this protest is having an impact locally. the schools are closed all this week because of concern from the school district. there's a highway to the east of here that oregon department of transportation hasn't plowed because of concerns of activities by militia or law enforcement. the blm office is completely shut down. it is having an impact in this town, and in many ways have split this community. a lot of folks support the basic causes. they are not so sure about the tactics of taking over here. >> thank you allen. and on the phone now is ammon bundy. he is the leader of the occupation. he is on the telephone.
ammon, how long do you plan to stay? >> we plan on staying until the job gets done. >> years? is that what you are planning on still? >> well, again, until the job gets done. >> i saw some children in this -- during your press conference today in the area, and i saw some -- some women as well in the video that we just showed. aren't you concerned that if this does escalate and becomes a -- a difficult situation that those women and children could be in danger? >> they were at the press conference, so i do not know -- i believe they were ranchers, local ranchers here that came to listen to the press conference. so i'm not sure where you are leading to that. >> i'm not sure whether you have woman and children with you.
you won't say how many people you have with you or many guns you have, right? >> have you -- as far as the children. there are no children here, absolutely not. >> but there are women there? >> absolutely. and they have made their choice. >> and again, i'll just try one more time, how many people are there, and how many guns do you have? >> well, we would not disclose that as --you know, in -- in wisdom, we would not do that. >> can you explain why you don't want to tell us? >> well, i think that's pretty obvious. can i ask you a question? >> sure. >> why are we not talking about the issues? this >> well, talk about the issues. talk about the issues. >> why -- why are we not talking about -- why are we not talking
about -- >> please talk about the issues. >> -- intimidated this -- excuse me in >> please talk about the issues. what do you want to say? what is the message? this >> well, for many, many years, the people especially when it comes to the land, have been extremely abused by federal agencies that have not afforded the people their constitutional rights, and have acted outside of the law in acquiring and controlling and maintaining the land and resources. and as -- if we think about it, you don't have to think about it very long, but our homes, our vehicles, our communication tools, our clothing and our food, and everything that we use
and benefit from as man, everything we prosper with comes from the land and the resources, and this foundational government was not based -- i should say this foundational nation was not based on government owning and controlling the land and resources. it was based upon the people owning and controlling the land and resources and government protecting those people while they use it. >> all right. so you know that it is against the law to take over a federal building. are you prepared to -- to stand if the government decides to charge you with a crime -- >> illegal again. as much as i appreciate this conversation, you are yet to be able to truly have a desire to know what is going on. >> yeah, i asked you the
question, you know -- i -- i can't tell -- based on what you said, are you suggesting that we don't need a federal government is that essentially it? >> no, not at all. the federal government's purpose and responsibility is to protect the state from the outside world and to man its borders and to work with other nations with -- for international trade and to stand as a defense for the states against the outside world. >> so you don't think the federal government should have -- have -- have any land, should own federal land? you think, what it should be given away or auctioned off? is that what you think? >> well, that's not my idea. that's what our -- the supreme law of the land clearly states. it clearly states that the federal government in order to
have land seeded to them inside of the state, they have to have consent from the state legislatures, and they have to purchase it from the rightful owner, and they can only use it for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dock yards, and other needed buildings. so there are rules. and the federal government is breaking those rules and it is causing the people to be forced into poverty. >> the federal government also has rules about this land as well, but you don't want to follow them, right? >> well, they can't just make up their own code and regulations when -- when they do not adhere to the supreme lawmaker of the law -- >> but ammon that's the way our government works. if you want to change the law, that's one thing. but by taking over a federal building, you are not going to change the law. >> i would love for you to
readout loud here for the audience the first two paragraphs of the declaration of independence, and then rephrase your words. >> well, i -- we can -- our audience can do that on their own -- >> have you read the declaration of independence. >> we can read the declaration of independence -- >> no, you -- >> i have. but i will ask you the question. >> you are talking about the proper way for people to ask for redirection of government, you are questioning that, but yet, you don't understand the founding documents. it is the right of the people to do exactly what we are doing. >> to rise up and take over a federal building. how far will you go? >> we have already gone as far as we need to. now we need to go to work. begin getting these people back to their lands. back to using their resources.
>> but the hammonds went to prison today. that's the exact opposite of what you want to see, right. >> of course, i do not want to see the hammonds go to prison. >> so what has this achieved? if they went to prison today, that's really the opposite of what you are trying to achieve, right? >> no, the hammonds went to prison today because of the violations our federal government are committing against the constitution. if they had adhered to the constitution, the hammonds would never have been subjected to the egregious abuses they have had to endure for over a decade. and they are still enduring that. and so that is why we are doing
what we are doing. we know we have to stand now, and we cannot let this set a precedent. it must not happen again, and when we have petitioned and petitioned our local, state, and federal governments to check and balance these actions, and they have ignored our petitions, then it becomes our right as a people to make a hard stand, and that is what we are doing. >> and that stand continues tonight out in oregon. ammon bundy, we appreciate you taking the time to talk to us. and thank for sharing your thoughts. we hope to talk to you again. >> thank you. i appreciate it. i really do. coming up next, the shia cleric executed in saudi arabia. and bill clinton back on the campaign trail trying to put hillary clinton over the top in new hampshire.
put to death, the execution of a shia cleric but sunni saudi arabia. why it's inflaming tensions. president bill clinton. >> supporting role. bill clinton hits the 2016 campaign trial in new hampshire. >> there has never been anyone better prepared for the job that awaits the next president than hilary. for now he appears to be on a short leash. plus anesthesia, we'll talk to director tim blake nelson. >> what is the emotional impact of our technological connectedness. >> about his gripping new film. iraqi police say today's attacks on sunni mosques are retaliation for the execution of a shia cleric in saudi arabia.
a guard was killed during an attack on a mosque outside of baghdad. a mosque worker was reported killed in a separate incident. cities are now calling on the government to cut ties with saudi arabia. at the heart of the escalating violence in iraq, nimr al-nimr was executed by saudi arabia. supporters say he was a leader in the fight against shia discrimination. roxana saberi reports. >> reporter: he never denied the political charges against him. he was an outspoken shia cleric in the mostly sunni kingdom of saudi arabia. he was a supporter of shia protests in saudi arabia's oil
rich eastern province which intensified in early 2011. he was arrested in 2012, but he did deny that he took up arms and incited terrorist attacks targeting civilians and security forces. resawed -- reahhed executed him on saturday. >> he was agitating, organizing cells, providing them with weapons and money. he was engaged in attacks against saudi security forces that lead to the death of people. in short he was a terrorist. >> reporter: the cleric did speak out against iran's support for syria's leader, bashar al-assad. anger over nimr's death has lead to condemnation in the nation. iran's shia lead government and supreme leader warned of what he called divine revenge following
the execution. >> translator: it is a wrong deed because this blood will trouble them without a doubt. policy makers executed them. the decision-makers should not estimate that this blood will trouble them, it will torment them. >> reporter: saudi arabia has cut diplomatic ties with iran as the cleric's death threatens to escalate tensions between the two countries. >> the iranians will probably intensify they support of the houthi rebels in yemen. and problems organize insurgencies in bahrain and in saudi arabia. this is going to make a broken, angry, and dysfunctional middle east, even more broken, angry and dysfunctional. thomas libman is a scholar
at the middle east institute, and bureau chief of the "washington post." he is in washington tonight. mr. libman, do you think the saudi's expected this reaction when they executed this shia cleric? >> yes, i do. i -- i think they knew that there would be an outcry. i don't know that they expected the iranians to allow yet another embassy in tehran to be trashed, but they certainly knew that there would be an outcry that they probably figured they can ride out. >> and talk about the king. some viewed him as a reformer. this doesn't look like the action of a reformer. >> i never used the -- word reform when talking about saudi arabia. reform implies improvement. the saudis have their own ideas about how to run their society,
and they don't necessarily see that running it the way we would like them to is an improvement. >> the past year has seen the highest execution rates. what does it tell us about this royal family? >> it tells us that first of all, that the wave of cases that have accumulated since the uprising by al-qaeda in the the -- arabian peninsula a decade ago has worked its way through the judicial system, such as it is, and that they are carrying out the sentences as they are being dumped out of the pipeline. i think it tells us that the royal family believes that god is on their side, and they will do what it takes to preserve stability and their own regime, and that has always been the case. >> do you belief the royal family is trying to send not only a message to iran -- i mean
to the united states? >> well, i have read some analyses that say that, say that the saudis think that they need to do more to promote their more interests more vigorously; that they believe the united states is not going to go in there and throw its weight around as it did with the invasion of iraq or in desert storm, and i understand in that context, why they are pursuing their course in yemen, but in -- domestically i don't think this necessarily fits in with that pattern. this is a separate issue. >> okay. what is the separate issue? >> well, the separate issue is they had -- they had two problems, one was that they really did have a domestic terrorist threat, beginning with al-qaeda in the arabian peninsula and now in the islamic
state. and the prince is highly regarded in washington because of his very successful efforts to control that domestic insurgency, and the execution is the -- is the ultimate weapon in that. a separate problem is a very deep, almost instinctive loathing of the shia minority, the shia form of islam. so they have never been able to find a comfortable relationship with their own shia minority which is 10 to 15% of the population, and when the iranians came out in advance, and warned the saudis not to execute sheik nimr, i think that was not to his benefit, because the saudis are not amenable to compromise on this subject. >> tom, thank you very much. >> my pleasure.
bill clinton backn a familiar place, the campaign trail. made his first solo appearance on behalf of his wife's presidential campaign today. lisa has more on that. hi, lisa. >> reporter: hey, john, new hampshire of course a very key state. not surprising that this was the location that bill clinton began campaigning for his wife. he is also very popular in this state. tonight he was at the townhall behind me, overflow crowd. earlier in another new hampshire city.
bill clinton saying his wife is the best person for the white house. >> hilary! whoo! >> reporter: hillary clinton has called her husband, her, quote, not so secret weapon. and this was the day the campaign began using his star power with voters. >> president bill clinton. [ cheers and applause ] >> reporter: the former president told those crowded into a community college gym that this election is about restoring prosperity, about keeping america safe, but still keeping it america. a dig at candidates like donald trump who has suggested banning muslim immigrants. >> america is a place that welcomes all people who are willing to treat other people the way they would like to be treated, willing to follow the law. [ applause ] >> reporter: clinton said there is no better candidate than hillary clinton to raise the middle class and carry on president obama's progress on the environment, gay rights and healthcare. >> i do not believe in my
lifetime anybody has run for this job at a moment of great importance who was better qualified by knowledge, experience, and temperament to do what needs to be done now to restore prosperity. [ cheers and applause ] >> she loves you. well, we all do anyway. >> reporter: new hampshire is friendly territory for the clintons. hilary had a skom from behind win here in her first presidential bid eight years ago. and the state launched her husband's run to the white house in 1992. now hillary clinton is trailing bernie sanders in the polls here, but political experts say it is still anyone's race, and bill clinton's job is to corral those undecided democrats. >> his job is to get them energized, and win the war for hillary clinton. because he realizes if she wins here and wins in iowa, basically it's game over.
>> thank you very much and god bless you! >> reporter: in 2008 he angered african americans by insinuating obama won the south carolina primary simply because of his race. but monday clinton stayed on message, even when asked about trump's comment, calling him, quote, one of the great abusers of the world. >> the republicans have to decide who they want to nominate. i'm trying to tell now the democrats and the country why i think hilary would be the best president. >> reporter: for supporters of his wife bill clinton had an easy sell. >> he touched on all of the issues that would show us what a great candidate she can be. >> she can work with other people and get things done. >> i'm still not sure. i'm -- i'm going to -- still five weeks. i have got a lot of time to think about it. >> reporter: five weeks, and i'm sure he will have a lot more visits from candidates between
then and now. john, bill clinton spoke about similar themes in both of his talks here, but tonight he seemed quite tired, a lot of low energy, not quite in his campaign groove yet. he'll have another opportunity later this week. he'll be in iowa on thursday for two more events there. >> lisa thank you very much. more trouble for volkswagen tonight over its emission scandal. the justice department filed a civil suit against the embattled car maker. it admits rigging 11 million vehicles with software to environment tests. the lawsuit concerns 600,000 vehicles sold in the united states. it could cost vb billions of dollars. it does not preclude the u.s. from pursuing criminal charges. now to california the largest container ship ever to visit the u.s. is sailing away
from the port of oakland tonight. they argue the so-called mega shipings are common in other parts of the world. >> reporter: it's called the benjamin franklin. making a stop here at the port of oakland, and a new days earlier, los angeles. called a mega shipment because it can hold 18,000, 20-foot longshiping containers at maximum capacity. >> what is important to demonstrate that the port of oakland is not only ready for these ships but capable of handling them efficiently. >> reporter: this is the benjamin franklin, and this is a bowing 747, or as compared to the aircraft carrier. it's the mega ship's maiden voyage and this port is one of the few in the country at the moment that can handle something
of this size. oakland has dredged and raised the height of eight of its canes. but it will mostly shuttle containers between asia and europe. when it comes to shipping, the u.s. is behind the times. while mega ships dock regularly at ports in asia, in the u.s. major ports are just starting to make up grades needed to accommoda accommodate mega ships. >> the federal government needs to develop a strategy. the arrival of these else haves a stimulus to get their act together. >> reporter: proponents of mega ships say they save fuel, and it means less pollution.
>> it's a considerable challenge, and it puts stress on the trucking lines and companies that move cargo short distances from the ports to translating facilities to be sent to other parts of the country, or sent to facilities where the goods are repackaged. >> reporter: some shipping companies believe it makes economy sense. west coast ports also recognize the far-reaching economic benefits. >> the port of portland influences 70,000 jobs. with increased cargo comes more jobs yet. so we see a true economic benefit to the region as these big ships arrive. >> reporter: that is the hope, but as mega ships dock with greater frequency, the question will be how quickly american ports can keep up.
despite major social and technological advances aimed to make our world smaller, questions remain about how connected we truly are as a society, and whether we're better off. those questions are at the heart of a new film, anesthesia. take a look. ♪ >> i am so lonely. i crave interaction. i crave it. ♪ >> i have been decent, honest, loyal, worked hard. ♪ >> it won't be all right if i still adore you. ♪ it's okay, it's okay, i'm going to be with you ♪ ♪ it's okay >> do we abandon the search for truths? or is all of this finally and forever pointless? ♪
>> tim blake nelson, wrote, directed and produced anesthesia, he opens friday in theaters and on demand. welcome. >> i'm really happy to be here. >> it's great to meet you. a lot of people know your face from your acting career. you have been in what 50 feature films? >> yeah, something like that. >> but you have this other career as a director. where did this idea for this movie come from? >> well, when i was in drama school, a long time ago, from 1986 to 1990, i used to live in a walk-up -- >> in new york. >> yeah, in new york city. and i -- i had one of these intercoms in my apartment where i would listen to somebody buzzing in from the street, and so i used to -- even when there wasn't anyone there, i used to press listen, and listen to
snippets of conversations as individuals would walk by. and i became curious what would happen if that was a way in to somebody's life? and then that life lead to a bunch of other lives. and 20 or so years later, i decided i wanted to write that film finally. >> it's an amazing cast, and it begins with sam being violently attacked. >> yeah, he is violently attacked and goes up to one of these intercoms, two characters hear his screams while he is being attacked, and he effective effectively parishes in this person's arms, and we explore everything that lead up to that
moment and everything that transpires. we're at a technological revolution that is perhaps even more dramatic than the industrial revolution. and as was asked then, is life more or less painful as a result? what is the emotional impact of our technological connectedness? and that's what this film is exploring and characters in the movie, each one of them, finds a way to anesthetize him or herself in sometimes constructive ways and sometimes destructive ways. >> do you like directing more than acting? >> i love them both. i think that probably acting is emotionally a more liberating experience. but i'm challenged as a director on every level. directing is physically
challenging. it's psychologically challenging, and certainly mentally challenging, and it's a terrific kind of marathon. >> you work with a lot of great directors, what lessons did you learn from them. like spielberg, right? >> yeah, spielberg. and i guess i have learned there is no one way to make a film. i had the privilege back in the late '90s of getting to work pretty much back-to-back with tear reasons malac, and joel and ethan coen. and these brilliant artists could not have had more disparate ways of trying to reveal a narrative on film. and i -- learned first and foremost that you have to take from everyone but find your own way. >> tim, thanks so much. >> thank you. >> anesthesia opens in theaters
and on demand this friday. that's our broadcast. i'm john siegenthaler. i'll see you right back here tomorrow night. ali velshi, "on target" is next. ♪ >> i'm ali velshi. "on target" tonight. power struggle in the middle east. with america caught in the middle, an execution upsets delicate alliances, put be two rivals often a dangerous collision course. president obama's biggest diplomatic achievement of 2015, the iran nuclear accord could be in trouble. things boiled over this weekend when sunni dominated saudi arabia executed