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tv   Fareed Zakaria GPS  CNN  January 24, 2016 10:00am-11:01am PST

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this is gps, the global public square. welcome to all of you in the united states and around the world. i'm fareed zakaria coming to you from davos switzerland. we have a great show for you this week. two big interviews. i will talk to u.s. defense secretary ash carter on the fight against isis and troubles in afghanistan.
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and we talk to the biggest opponent of the iranian nuclear deal, israel's prime minister benjamin netanyahu. what's his reaction to the deal's implementation. >> look, i hope that i'll be proved wrong. >> and is there any hope of middle east peace while he's still in office. >> you have to sit down and negotiate. we're willing to do it. they're not. >> also, our dollars down, are pounds a part of the past? imagining a cashless future. it's already happening in one major european country. we'll take you there. finally, scientists say we are in new age. we'll tell you what that means. but first, here's my take. conversations here at the world economic forum in davos might
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begin with the global economy, but sooner or later, they turn to trump. the republican primary contest has gotten everyone's attention. some remain entertained, but many of the people i've spoken with are worried. as one european ceo said to me, we're moving into a very difficult world. we need grown-ups in charge. that sense of difficult world is pap panel here. there's more anxiety in the air than at any time since 2009. the worry is reflected in the world's stock markets which have lost trillions since the start of the year. people still believe that the worst will not come to pass, china will not crash, america will not fall into recession, europe will not come apart. in recent years, the conventional wisdom has been wrong on many, many issues. the former deputy treasury
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secretary pointed out to me that few experts predicted that oil prices would collapse or that growth would slump in china and crater in brazil, south africa and many of the other emerging markets. no one saw that even as america achieved full employment, wages would not rise, inflation would stay stubbornly muted and interest rates would remain low. and no one predicted the rise of isis or its ability to inspire terror attacks in countries far outside the middle east. many of the trends now afoot interacting with each other could move faster and further down that people realize. as the stock market falls, businesses and consumers get worried and pull back, spending less, saving more. a fall in oil prices is generally good for all countries except the major producers of petroleum. but a fall this far this fast, could produce a credit crisis and a deflationary spiral.
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and technological innovation is not what people once thought. i don't know where all this goes. but in periods like it, open systems like america's will do better than closed ones. the u.s. often looks like a dysfunctional country. because all its problems are on display and debated daily. everything. economic strategy, monetary policy, homeland security, police practices, infrastructure is out there, open for constant criticism. but this transparency means that people have information. and it forces the country to look at its problems, grapple with them, and react. while it's a messy, sometimes ugly process, the american system actually takes in a lot of diverse contradictory information and responds. it seems dysfunctional, but it's actually highly adaptive. closed systems often look much better. a country like china with its
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tightly centralized decision making has been the envy of the world when it was growing. we watched with amazement as it built infrastructure and moved millions out of poverty. now that growth has slowed down, no one is sure why, what went wrong, who's to blame, or whether it's being fixed. a black box produces all when things go well. when things don't go smoothly, it causes anxiety and fear. >> i'm telling you. i will say it tonight -- >> these days american politics is showcasing turmoil, rage, and rebellion. ultimately, that's a strength in these fast-changing times. people are angry. the economy, the society, and the country are being transformed. the fact that politics reflects these changes is a strength, not a weakness. it allows the nation to absorb, react, adapt, and then move on. at least that's what i tell
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foreigners and myself with fingers firmly crossed as i watch the craziness on the campaign trail. for more, go to and read my "washington post" column this week. and let's get started. joining me now, the secretary of defense, ashton carter. secretary carter, pleasure to have you on. >> good to be with you, fareed. >> a lot of americans wonder, the islamic state, isis, is by most accounts about 30,000 likely armed people, lightly armed compared to the u.s. military. why is it so hard to defeat them? >> i think we will defeat them and we need to defeat them quickly. you're right, it's a force you're taking about in iraq and syria. we need to defeat them there
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first. i'll come back to that in a minute. remember, that's the parent tumor of a movement that is cancerous. and so there are things elsewhere. libya, afghanistan, and so forth. but it needs to start in iraq and syria because that is -- it's not sufficient, but it's necessary to defeat isil there. speaking in geographic terms, that means especially -- and this is what the operations plan that we have been -- we have formulated and are carrying out, if you think about world war ii documentaries and arrows on maps, one big arrow going towards mosul in iraq and another big arrow going towards raqqah in syria. >> mosul being the second largest city in iraq and raqqah being the capital in syria. >> the supposed capital of their
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supposed country in syria. it's necessary to take those two cities back. i'm confident we'll do so. in this case, of course, we offer the capabilities of the finest fighting force the world has ever known, namely ours. we're also asking for contributions from others in the world who are also threatened. you know, we don't ask favors strategically. neither do we grant favors. so we are asking all the countries that are -- have signed up for the counter isil coalition to put forward their capabilities. when they see this operations plan, they'll see the capabilities it requires. it's not just airplanes, troops, special forces. it's things like police, police training, sustainment. >> but do you want major arab troops involved in this campaign? so far, you have almost none. >> this is one of the grate ironies that the countries of
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the region have made the least contributions to the counter isil coalition, including the gulf countries. now, i am hoping and believe that if we show them what they can do and what they can accomplish, that they will do more. because if they are better suited culturally and historically to deal with some of these complicated situations than we are. remember, our overall strategic approach is to defeat isil in a lasting manner. i emphasize the word "lasting," because after they have been defeated, somebody needs to keep them defeated. somebody needs to govern. that can't be westerners. that just fuels the whole narrative that it's a foreign occupation. we've had that experience before. that was very difficult for us. so we need capable local forces.
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the gulf states can make contributions to galvonizing and recruiting such local forces. >> how will you press them? what will you say to these countries that will convince them when so far they haven't been convinced? >> we're going to be the winning side. when they see a plan to win, i'm hoping that that will itself cause them to see where they can make a special contribution. you know, i should also say that, you know, we expect our friends, we stand with our friends. we stood with them through many difficult situations. and we expect our friends and allies to stand with us. we're prepared to lead, but we do expect them -- and again, i'm saying we're not asking for favors. we're asking for things we think
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are in their interest. but we'll win. when we do win, we'll remember who contributed. >> just to be clear on one thing, you said that you want to accelerate the fight against isil and you talked about ground troops. just to be very clear. do you believe that there need to be more american ground troops as -- whether it's special forces or in other ways, in theater? >> well, in fact, we're looking for opportunities to do more. we're not looking to substitute for local forces in terms of governing the place and policing the place. but we are looking for opportunities to do more. that's why we put some special forces in syria which we acknowledge. we don't talk much about what they're doing. they're the ones who locate those forces that want to combat isil. they're the ones who connect them to the great might of our military. boots on the ground -- we have
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3,500 boots on the ground. i just went to fort campbell last week, storied american airborne decision. they're going to be the next unit going into iraq. a whole division. and i was describing to them, this is your mission which is to get the iraqis positioned to go to iraq. is that hazardous duty? yeah. but it's just that the strategic concept is not to substitute, but to enable. is it dangerous? does it involve being on the ground? absolutely. when we send these people off, i think the american public needs to understand, this is serious business. at the same time, it's business that we have to do and that we can do and we're going to succeed. >> we're going to come back with more of my conversation with secretary of defense ashton carter. i'm going to ask him whether american troops are destined to
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spend another decade in afghanistan, when we come back. or visit this is not a job for me, thbeing a part of helping thpeople in need is who i am. working at brookdale for me is not just a job, it's a life for me. i love it. i formed many connections with the residents. i feel like i am part of their family and they're part of mine. if you can get up in the morning, ya know,
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we are back with secretary of defense ashton carter.
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when we look at afghanistan, what's striking is u.s. forces have started to draw down. the taliban has gained some strength and been able to make some impressive headway even in places where they didn't seem that strong. what does that tell us that 14 years after we went in, tens of billions of dollars, hundreds of thousands of american forces, the taliban is still very strong? >> well, one reason for that is that the afghan security forces are still getting off the ground. remember there were no afghan forces to speak of at all. we had to build them from scratch, including taking young people who didn't know how to count and didn't know the letters of the alphabet. that's the world of afghanistan that was left by previous taliban rule and turn them into an armed force.
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one of the reasons that president obama decided to keep 9,800 troops in afghanistan through this year is to help them get consolidate the afghan security forces. they're going to have a tough season ahead with the taliban, but they're gathering strength. the afghan security forces are going to be much stronger this season simply because they're further along. >> you the imagine a lot of americans thinking will this ever end. >> it's winding down. we're having to do less than we did in past year. but our plan in fact it's not just hour plan, is to stick with afghanistan forces for a long time. continuing to provide them with training and continuing to help fund their military so it can be self-sustaining. we're on a glide slope to a situation where they are self-sufficient.
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they're not going to be self-sufficient for a while. but we're not in a position anymore of having to substitute for afghan forces. we're in a position of having to assist afghan forces and we'll need to be in that position for some time. >> the "new york times" reseceny editorialized that you were essentially slow walking the president's desire to shut down guantanamo. that the defense department was opposed it and you were kind of sabotaging it. >> i don't see how where you get that. i said from the day i was nominated it would be a good thing to close gitmo. i completely agree with president obama about that. here's the issue. there are people in gitmo who are so dangerous that we cannot transfer them to the custody of another government no matter how much we trust that government. i can't assure the president it would be safe to do that.
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so the reality is that this portion of the gitmo population has to be incarcerated somewhere, has to be detained somewhere. if we're going to close gitmo, which i think would be a good thing to do on balance. i would prefer not to leave this to the next secretary of defense and the next president. we need to find another place. >> in the united states? >> that would have to be in the united states. so i've made a proposal for the president and he has indicated that he's going to submit that to the congress. why is that? because it's against the law now to establish another detention facility. so therefore we have to get the support of congress. i hope they will support a reasonable plan. we'll have to see. i've been saying it's not a matter of one guy, let's be realistic about this.
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we're not going to be able to close gitmo by magically making safe everybody who's in there. if you want to close gitmo, you have to find another place. that's the serious answer to a serious question. >> you met with a lot of technology leaders while you were here. leaders of all the big technology companies. do you think you will be able to convince them that they should not encrypt that data so the united states government can have access to it to identify terror threats to the united states and other countries? >> i wouldn't try to convince them of that particular technological method because i don't believe that's necessarily the best technoloicaological me for doing something which reasonable people do think has to be done. which is not to enable terrorist
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organizations with the very internet whose whole purpose is to lib rat people. unite people, be a tool of civilization, not a tool of evil. the people who represented this have given their lives to that vision of the internet. they don't want to be part of something evil either. i'm a technologist myself. so i say with certainty that combatting encryption would be foolish because i count on good encryption. because defending our own networks, defending our own security, not just in the defense department where it's essential, but also in our critical infrastructure in the country depends upon good network security. one of the parts of that is encryption. i find that people here and elsewhere in the tech community -- remember, innovators are people who have something in common with those of us who work in national security, which is we want to be working on something that really matters.
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one of my reasons for being here other than seeing other world leaders about today's problem is to talk to tomorrow's leaders and the leaders of innovation in tomorrow's companies. how do i make the defense department of tomorrow the very best. it's a competitive world out there. we compete with china, we compete with russia, we compete with terrorists. and we have to win. and to do that, we have to be completely up to date, the first with the most always. and that's not a birthright. that's something we have to keep working at. >> secretary of defense ash carter, pleasure to have you on. >> good to be with you, fareed. next, i'm going to tell you about a world without cash. not without money. you'll still need that. but cash is actually disappearing in one important country. find out where when we come back. ...are taking charge of their type 2 diabetes... ...with non-insulin victoza®. for a while, i took a pill to lower my blood sugar. but it didn't get me to my goal.
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now for our "what in the world" segment. can you imagine life without cash? i don't mean to take away your money but rather a world in which you bought everything using credit or debit cards, apps and smartphones. those dollar bills in your pocket might become relics of the past like vcrs, answering machines and compact discs.
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what would it mean for our lives in cash disappeared all together. one country is giving us a preview after what a cashless society might look like. sweden was the first european country to issue paper money way back in the 1660s, but it could be the first to be virtually cash free by 2025 or even before according to one prediction. in 2015, 42% of the value of consumer transactions worldwide were made with cash. but in sweden the rate was just 11% according to euro monitor. in the last six years, swedish currency in circulation dropped by 25%. sweden's largest banks eager to rid themselves of the expense of holding hard money have led the charge. more than 500 bank branches went cashless between 2010 and 2012. 900 cash machines were removed during that time too, the bank says.
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all of this has produced a change in the way they do business. instead of passing out a donation basket, churches now accept electronic offerings. even homeless vendors selling newspapers now take mobile payments. what might a completely cashless future mean for sweden and for the rest of us? for one thing, convenience. imagine never having to take a trip to an atm machine again. there's also evidence this crime could go down with less cash and circulation. there's been a remarkable decrease in bank robberies from 110 heists in 2008 to just seven in 2015. tax evasion, corruption, and terrorist financing are all easier to prevent with an all electronic monetary system that leaves a trail for every transaction. but a cashless society may also
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have its downsides. segments of the population with less access to mobile phones may be excluded like the elderly and the poor. crimes like bank heist may be less frequent. but electronic froud may likely increase. perhaps most concerning overall in a cash free society would be the potential for big brother to look over our shoulder thanks to the complete digital blueprint of our financial life that would exist. the basic trade-off of the digital era, greater access and efficiency in return for the loss of privacy has now moved from the world of information in general to the world of cold cash. >> next on gps, my interview with israel's prime minister, benjamin netanyahu. he has been the main opponent on the world stage of the west nuclear deal with iran. has his position softened any since the deal was implemented last weekend?
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there were many people who were quite pleased when the iran deal was finally implemented last weekend. for sure the negotiator, secretary kerry and his counterpart foreign minister zarif. and also their bosses, president obama and his counterpart president rouhani. there is at least one world leader who is is decidedly displeased, israel's prime minister benjamin netanyahu.
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i interviewed the prime minister here at the world economic forum in davos on thursday. >> mr. prime minister, the international atomic energy agency now says that iran has destroyed 98% of its enriched uranium, that its plutonium pathway has been rendered inoperable. that it has done more than most people imagined. and more importantly, that the setbacks to its program, the discontinuation of the vast majority of its centrifuges to enrich uranium, that these setbacks are much more substantial than most military experts believed would have been possible by air strikes, by military strikes. shouldn't you be happy and celebrating this? >> well, we always wanted this result, but we wanted something else. we wanted to make sure that iran
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doesn't reconstitute a much larger capability to enrich uranium with 200,000 centrifuges which they will be free to do after 15 years. the issue is never what happens now. the issue is how to prevent later. >> but to be fair, prime minister, you were suspicious about the interim agreement, said they would not abide by it. they abided by it. you were skeptical that they would actually make these changes they have made to iraq, which is the facility you wanted the bunker boss to have busted their bombs for. >> i always said that you could achieve through economic sanctions and the threat of military force. results that would set back iran's program. that has been -- that's the first part that i think is important.
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but the concern that i have and others have in the region, just about everyone, is that after a period of time, iran could resume on a much larger scale, the military program because there is no connection to the lifting of sanctions or the lifting of restrictions on iran's nuclear program to iran's behavior. it can continue to send its terrorists and covert armies and overt armies throughout the middle east and would have the freedom to enrich as much uranium as it wants. which is a critical component for a bomb. that was the source of our differences, the main source of our differences. look, i hope that i'll be proved wrong. i hope that iran will be seen to be a moderate country, moderating its -- changing its internal repression, stopping its external aggression.
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i'm not sure i'll be proven wrong. and i have my doubts and we shall see very soon. >> the iranian foreign minister when confronted with your arguments and objections said publicly, how can israel, which has nuclear weapons, sit in judgment over iran which does not. what is your response to him? >> i'm not going to talk about his allegation, but i will say this, israel doesn't seek to destroy anyone. in iran, still today, after the agreement, during the agreement, before the agreement, iranian leaders are talking about their goal to eradicate israel off the face of the earth. to annihilate the 6 million jews of israel while denying the holocaust that killed another 6 million. that's what they say. they give a billion dollars a
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year to hezbollah for the purpose of creating war front and the ability to bomb israel cities with missiles. it's all iran. you take away the scaffolding of iran, and hezbollah collapses. iran, hezbollah and hamas say our goal, like iran, is to wipe out the jewish state. i think that to have a country committed to our destruction and the conquest of the middle east have nuclear weapons, that ought to raise some concern. so there's no symmetry. israel doesn't seek to eradicate iran. iran seeks to eradicate israel. >> in your struggle against iran, you have created some unlikely allies. the moderate arab states, egypt, saudi arabia, and others with israel. is that an awkward situation to
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be in given that saudi arabia is an islamic state? it practices many of the forms of islam that people regard as highly puritanical, they chop people's heads off, they chop hands off, they have laws about bla blasphemy. >> i see the world not as i'd like to it be only, not as we remember nostalgically and i work from that premise. i think saudi arabia recognizes today that it needs a pass to reform. they see israel as an eye lie rather than as an enemy because of the two principal threats that threaten them. first is iran and the second is d.a.s.h. if you're closer to the persian
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gulf, iran comes first. but there's always the second. and so when they look around and they say, who can help us in this battle that threatens our very future, obviously israel and the sunni arab states are not on opposite sides and that's natural. that, i think, tells you there's a bigger story -- i said this yesterday. i went to -- with my wife to a dinner, the opening dinner here, and i met some of our european friends including members of the eu. i said look, i have one request, that the eu policy shaped in brussels, not the individual european countries, but the eu policy vis-a-vis israel and the palestinians merely reflect now the prevailing arab policy to israel and the palestinians. there's a great shift taking
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place, and it might be -- we used to think that if we solved the palestinian/israeli conflict, it would solve the larger israeli/arab conflict. the more i look at it, the more i think it may be the other way around, that by nurturing these relationships that are taking place now, that could actually with the arab world, that could actually help us resolve the israeli/palestinian conflict and we're working towards that end. we'll be back with a moment with much more with benjamin netanyahu. i'll ask the israeli prime minister how the palestinian problem will ever end and what his legacy will be, when we come back. i lost my sight in afghanistan. if you're totally blind, you may also be struggling with non-24. calling 844-844-2424. or visit
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i'm there for ray.sie. ted loved baseball. dr. phil likes to watch football. renne, who wants sloppy joe on the menu every day. rosie's my best friend. evelyn likes to dance. harriett wants her fried shrimp as well. alice anne likes vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup and rainbow sprinkles. they give me so much back. i can't even imagine how i could possibly give them what they give me.
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we're back now with more of my interview with israel's prime minister benjamin netanyahu from here at the world economic forum in davos. >> what dooup you think is goinn in syria and is there any path out? you and i have talked about this in the past. you have said they're all killing each other and we're staying out of it except when it affects our core interest. is it getting so messy, so bloody, that you'll have to be more involved? >> so far the only way we have been involved is to offer
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humanitarian help. i've set up a field hospital -- a military field hospital right -- about 50 yards from the syrian border on the golan heights. we have taken in thousands of children, women, men. amputees, horribly disfigured. taken care of them at our own expense. we take care not to have their photographs taken, because if their photographs are published they can never go back to syria. they'll be executed on the spot. so that's one involvement, hu n humanitarian involved. the second is i've said, look, we will not allow syrian territory to be used against israel. if anybody tries to pass it, which is iran, tries to pass to hezbollah through syrian territory, game changing weapons and we see it, we interaddict it. if iran tries to set up a second war front along the golan, we
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take action to prevent that. that's the extent of our intervention. if you ask me, what will happen in syria, can a unitary syrian state be put together again? i doubt it. i wish it could be -- it could happen, but i'm not sure you could put humpty dumpty back together again. you could get a benign -- that's as good as your going to get. right now, we have two concerns in syria. we don't want isis to win and we don't want iran to have a syrian dominion from which it can operate these two war fronts against us. those are our concerns, and we -- we take our actions accordingly. >> isn't there a problem which is isis and the assad regime which is supported by iran and
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russia are the two main fighting forces? in other words, you're hoping for a third outcome, a third force in a way, so are the arabs, so is the united states. is it viable? >> my rule is simple. when both your enemies are fighting each other, don't strengthen either one. weaken both. that's more or less what we try to do. i think isis -- and there's a difference between isis and iran. there are two sides of the militant islamic coin. there's a difference. isis wants the caliphate now, here and now. that's the power of isis, the idea of here and now. so we'll redeem history, if you call it that. a really sick redemption. and you the individual fighters will be redeemed and you'll go to this paradise with all the trappings right away. that's how they get all these people to come to fight for it.
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iran says, not comely fa ll lly caliphate now, but the hidden imam will come back later, first we have to establish step by step our power. i think that the first order of the day is to defeat isis. i don't think it's an -- i think it's a doable thing. i think isis can be defeated. isis is an idea, plus territory, plus oil. it is possible to knock out the oil which takes away half their revenues. it is possible to get at the nerve centers of their ideas which are concentrated basically in two places. it's in raqqah and it's in mosul. it doesn't require taking care of all of the syrian/iraq -- we have these discussions with the united states and with others
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about this task. but to the extent that people ask our view, that's our view. >> you >> you have had a long time in politics. they say choose your carefully if you want to live long. your father lived to 102. what do you want your legacy to be? what do you want people to think of? there are many who thought you might be the nixon -- you took the united states to china, by which i mean the hard line, conservative israeli politician who would that i can peace with the palestinians and create a two-state solution. do you still hope or did you ever hope that that would be your legacy? >> yes. i mean, first of all, i'm not through yet. >> right. >> let's get that straight. i think -- my first responsibility is to ensure the safety and security of the one
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and only jewish state. that's not an easy feat. but if i look back 67 years since the founding of israel we were, you know -- we had a few hundred thousand people. today we have 8 million we had a tiny gdp. it's much bigger today. our gdp per capita has grown. by leaps and bounds. we have built an army that can defend ourselves and can also offer a modicum of stability in our neighborhood. i want to ensure the future of the jewish state while trying to achieve peace and stability in our region. that's a tall order. we've revolutionized our economy. i had something to do with it, to create a market economy. we need to -- you know, my father's generation was entrusted with regaining for the
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jewish people what was lost in antiquity. that is a state of their own. my generation is charged with protecting and nurturing what was regained. and in so doing i think we can also change the world. the things that we're also doing in israel are changing the world. you know, they're changing it in medicine. they're changing it in communications. they're changing it in cyber. they're cheiking it in so many things that can benefit our neighbors and the rest of humanity. to do all that i have to make sure that the future of the jewish state is safe and sound. that's my goal. and i would like to be remembered as the protector of israel. that's enough for me. protector of israel. >> mr. prime minister, pleasure to have you on.
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>> thank you. [ aplau >> next on "gps," houses of worship come in all shapes and sizes. this one is a size 880. i'll explain. etball hall of famr dominique wilkins... ...are taking charge of their type 2 diabetes... ...with non-insulin victoza®. for a while, i took a pill to lower my blood sugar. but it didn't get me to my goal. so i asked my doctor about victoza®. he said victoza® works differently than pills. and comes in a pen. victoza® is proven to lower blood sugar and a1c. it's taken once a day, any time. victoza® is not for weight loss, but it may help you lose some weight. victoza® is an injectable prescription medicine that may improve blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes when used with diet and exercise. it is not recommended as the first medication to treat diabetes... ...and should not be used in people with type 1 diabetes or diabetic ketoacidosis.
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victoza® has not been studied with mealtime insulin. victoza® is not insulin. do not take victoza® if you have a personal or family history of medullary thyroid cancer... ...multiple endocrine neoplasia syndrome type 2, or if you are allergic to... ...victoza® or any of its ingredients. symptoms of a serious allergic reaction... ...may include itching, rash, or difficulty breathing. tell your doctor... ...if you get a lump or swelling in your neck. serious side effects may happen in people who take victoza®... ...including inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis). stop taking victoza®... ...and call your doctor right away if you have signs of pancreatitis such as severe pain that will not go away in your abdomen or from your abdomen to your back... ...with or without vomiting. tell your doctor about all the medicines you take... ...and if you have any medical conditions. taking victoza® with a sulfonylurea or... ...insulin may cause low blood sugar. the most common side effects are headache, nausea... ...diarrhea, and vomiting. side effects can lead to dehydration...
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...which may cause kidney problems. if your pill isn't giving you... ...the control you need... ...ask your doctor about non-insulin victoza®. it's covered by most health plans.
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this place was in the news for building an unusual church in the shape of a high-heeled shoe and for electing its first female president this week, although i don't think the two are related. where am i talking about? andorra, malta, turkmenistan, or taiwan? stay tuned and we'll tell you
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the correct answer. this week's "book of the week" is "ronald reagan: a new biography of the president" by jacob weisberg. it's one of the best studies of reagan, one of the best biographies, and simply one of the best books on american politics that i've read in years. he asked three big questions about reagan and answers them with intelligence, insight, and elegance. and here's the big bonus -- it will take you just a couple of hours to read the slender volume. so run, don't walk, or whatever the equivalent is when you order a book on the web. now for "the last look." we're not only in a new year, we are in a brand-new era of life on earth, a new epoch. is this news to you? well, it turns out we've been in it for decades. according to a new study in science magazine, since the m mid-20th century we have been living in a new geological epoch known as the anthropocene,
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meaning new man. this shift is remarkable considering the former epoch started 11,700 years ago and the one before that began about 2 million years ago. epochs are ushered in by catastrophic events like the thawing of the ice age or mass extinction of the dinosaurs. so what is the cause of this new age? well, we are. us humans. this idea is not new but by studying sediments and other man-made markers different than those found in any era before, the study's authors say there is now more of a consensus that we are indeed living in new times. they say that humans have essentially changed the planet much like the natural forces of earth's orbit or an asteroid strike. just look, they say, at concrete. in the last two decades we have manufactured more than half of the over 110 trillion pounds of concrete ever produced. and consider the abundant
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plastic particles that end up in rivers and lakes across the globe. in fact, according to a new world economic forum report, 8 million tons of plastic currently leak into the oceans every year. that's the equivalent of emptying a garbage truck into the ocean every minute. at this rate, by 2050, the report says the oceans will contain more tons of plastic than tons of fish. remarkable. the world economic forum said this year the greatest global risk is the failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation. the correct answer to the "gps challenge question" is d -- taiwan elected its first female president this week, leader of the democratic progressive party, one with mo-- won with mn 56% of the vote. the kmt party lost their majority this week after 56
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years in power. if you're wonder about that shoe church, it's real, and it will open next month and cnn estimates it is a size 880. thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. i will shee you next week. hello, everyone, and thanks for joining me. i'm fredricka whitfield. you're in the "newsroom." the east coast is digging out of record-breaking snowfall from tennessee to new york and many major airports are bracing for a travel nightmare in its aftermath. airlines in new jersey and new york are already cancelling some monday flights, and d.c.-area airports are at a standstill. runways still buried and operations are shut down. it will be a series of messy days to follow. backups and delays after widespread cancellations left thousands of passengers stranded throughout the region. dangerous icy roads are