tv PBS News Hour PBS December 10, 2013 3:00pm-4:01pm PST
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions ♪ songs of celebration and words >> ifill: a blessing of rain, songs of celebration and words of inspiration as world leaders joined tens of thousands for a memorial honoring nelson mandela. good evening. i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. also ahead, the push to curb risky trading on wall street. after years of debate, regulators give the green light to a rule key to financial reform. >> ifill: and crossing a contentious border: kurdish refugees flee from war-torn syria to an already unstable iraq. margaret warner reports. >> it wasn't bashar al-assad's
forces that drove them out. the threat came from a different quarter instead, the ranks of anti-assad jihadi rebel fighters linked to al qaeda. >> ifill: those are just some of the stories we're covering on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us.
>> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. congress number negotiators reached an agreement this evening on a budget deal. aides said it is a two year agreement that includes operations to replace automatic spending cuts with savings from future years. it also requires federal workers to contribute more to their pension. among other things. the agreement was worked out by budget committee chairs, democratic senator patty murray and republican congressman paul ryan.
heads of state, celebrities and thousands of south africans gathered in johannesburg today to honor the life of nelson mandela. the crowd braved a rainstorm, singing songs and celebrating the life of south africa's first black president. president obama was one of many foreign leaders who made the trip. >> for the people of south africa, for those he inspired around the globe, madiba's passing is rightly a time of mourning and a time to celebrate a heroic life. but i believe it should also prompt in each of us a time for self-reflection. with honesty, regardless of our station or our circumstance, we must ask: how well have i applied his lessons in my own life? >> woodruff: we'll have a full report on the memorial service and talk with charlayne hunter gault, who was there, right after the news summary. in the central african republic, two french soldiers were killed overnight in the capital of
bangui. they were on patrol in the city as part of an operation to disarm christian and muslim fighters when gunmen opened fire. it happened hours before french president francois hollande arrived to meet with the interim president, african peacekeepers and religious leaders. a major new federal regulation approved today will bar u.s. banks from trading stocks and other securities for their own profit. the federal reserve and other agencies adopted the so-called volcker rule to prevent the risk-taking that helped cause the 2008 meltdown. we'll explore the details and potential consequences later in the program. the supreme court now has to consider a rule forcing cuts in air pollution from power plants in the south and midwest. the justices heard arguments today on the 2011 regulation. it requires 28 states to reduce smog and soot that drifts into the northeast and mid-atlantic.
a decision is expected by june. secretary of state john kerry appealed to congress today for more time to negotiate over iran's nuclear ambitions. last month, the u.s. and its partners struck an interim deal that slows iran's uranium enrichment in exchange for easing some economic sanctions. today, kerry implored the house foreign affairs committee not to adopt additional sanctions for now. >> we're asking you to give our negotiators and our experts the time and the space to do their jobs. and that includes asking you, while we negotiate, that you hold off imposing new sanctions. now, i'm not saying never. if this doesn't work, we're coming back and asking you for more. i'm just saying not right now. >> woodruff: in tehran, iran's foreign minister issued his own warning shortly before secretary kerry appeared at that hearing.
>> ( translated ): i'm sure the americans know that any new sanctions would be against what they agreed to in the geneva plan of action, and, well, it would be a serious breach and would jeopardize the deal at their end. and they would be responsible for that. >> woodruff: any easing of the existing sanctions will wait until u.n. inspectors verify that iran is filling its side of the interim nuclear agreement. the senate confirmed the nomination of one of president obama's key judicial nominees today. washington lawyer patricia millett won a position on the u.s. court of appeals for washington, d.c., 56-38. won confirmation to lead the federal housing finance agency. they are the first such votes since senate democrats pushed through a rule change making it easier to break filibusters against many nominees. the obama administration is
earmarking another $100 million for mental health just before the first anniversary of the newtown school shootings. the announcement came today as vice president biden met with families of the 26 victims. the funds will go to help community health centers add mental health services, and to help existing facilities in rural areas. for the first time, a woman will head up a major american automaker. mary barra was named c.e.o. of general motors today. the 51-year-old is currently the company's vice president for global product development. she started working for g.m. when she was 18. the announcement came one day after the u.s. treasury sold the last of its stake in g.m. on wall street today, the dow jones industrial average lost 52 points to close at 15,973. the nasdaq fell eight points to close at 4,060. still to come on the newshour: rain, song and inspiration in
south africa; a key piece of financial reform; g.m.'s first female c.e.o.; escaping syria for iraq; and how mandela connected with americans. >> ifill: millions of people >> ifill: millions of people around the world watched early today as south africans, world leaders, celebrities and a vibrant community of mourners paid final respects to the country's former president and anti-apartheid leader, nelson mandela. a cold rain didn't dampen the spirits of tens of thousands who came from far and near to the four-hour service. downpours may have kept others away, with just two-thirds of the stadium's 95,000 seats filled.
but the weather took nothing away from a celebration of nelson mandela's life and legacy that was at turns jubilant, raucous and solemn. the late leader's nephew spoke for his family, praising the humility of the man widely known with affection by his clan name. >> in his lifetime, madiba mingled with kings, queens and presidents, and prime ministers, captains of industries and ordinary workers. at the core of his being, he was a man of the people. >> ifill: and some of mandela's grandchildren and great- grandchildren offered their own remembrance, in the form of a poem. >> the land heaves dreams of a future without you, madiba. you are lodged in our memories. you tower over the world like a comet, leaving streaks of life for us to follow.
we salute you. >> ifill: when president obama rose to speak, he was greeted with waves of cheers and thunderous applause. he led the long list of foreign dignitaries bringing eulogies from around the world. the president hailed mandela as the "last great liberator of the 20th century" and urged the world to follow his example. >> there are too many people who happily embrace madiba's legacy of racial reconciliation but passionately resist even modest reforms that would challenge chronic poverty and growing inequality. there are too many leaders who claim solidarity with madiba's struggle for freedom but do not tolerate dissent from their own people. and there are too many of us on the sidelines, comfortable in complacency or cynicism when our voices must be heard. >> ifill: as he has before, mr.
obama recalled it was mandela's work-- worlds away-- that helped fuel his own desire to enter public service. >> over 30 years ago, while still a student, i learned of nelson mandela and the struggles taking place in this beautiful land, and it stirred something in me. it woke me up to my responsibilities to others and to myself, and it set me on an improbable journey that finds me here today. and while i will always fall short of madiba's example, he makes me want to be a better man. >> ifill: under tight security, the president and nearly 100 other heads of state and government filed into the stadium. they included three former u.s.
presidents: jimmy carter, bill clinton and george w. bush. brazil's president dilma rousseff pointed to mandela's long battle against apartheid and the example he set for many in the developing world. >> ( translated ): mandela's fight and that of the south african people as a whole became a paradigm, a model not only for this continent but also for those who fight for justice, freedom and equality. >> ifill: and cuban president raul castro paid special tribute to mandela's call for reconciliation after winning his long fight for freedom. >> ( translated ): i remember at this moment his bond of affection with fidel castro. fidel has said, and i quote, "nelson mandela will not go down in history for the 27 consecutive years he spent incarcerated without ever renouncing his ideas; he will go down in history because he was capable of cleaning up his soul from the poison that such an unfair punishment could have planted there."
>> ifill: at one point, president obama greeted castro with a handshake, a gesture that drew attention around the world. white house aides later described it as an unplanned encounter. the atmosphere was notably less friendly for south african president jacob zuma, whose government is awash in corruption scandals. he was roundly booed when he rose to speak, but then, went on with his keynote address. >> indeed, there is no one like madiba. he was one of a kind. today, madiba is no more. he leaves behind a nation that loves him dearly. he leaves a continent that is truly proud to call him an african. he leaves the people of the world who embraced him as their beloved icon.
most importantly, he leaves behind a deeply entrenched legacy of freedom, human rights and democracy in our country. >> i want to hear a pin drop! >> ifill: at the end of the service, an enthusiastic archbishop desmond tutu quieted the crowd for a closing blessing. >> we promise god that we are going to follow the example of nelson mandela. amen! amen! ♪ >> ifill: beginning tomorrow, mandela will lie in state in the union buildings of pretoria. he was inaugurated there as the
nation's first black president in 1994. and on sunday, his body will journey to his childhood village of qunu, where he will be laid to rest. >> ifill: charlayne hunter gault, familiar to you as a former newshour correspondent, has covered mandela and south africa for decades for us and others. now a special correspondent for nbc news, she's on assignment in the country once again. i spoke to her a short time ago. charlayne hunter gault, what a ceremony, what a week, what a day. tell us about it. >> thank you gwen for having me to tell you about it because it has been quite a week and quite a day. of course getting the news was stunning, even though we all anticipated it and that's what everybody i know both here and in the united states is saying. you know, even though people knew that the end was near, when it came, people were very sad. and getting ready for this day as you've seen the crowds, you all here in south africa, no one
talks about death or dying, they talk about passing on or transitioning. so the celebrations didn't come as a surprise to me because when people do transition, many south africans traditional ones still go to the grave site and talk to the ancestors for advice and they come away thinking that they've gotten some help solving their problems. and now madiba the father, tata is an ancestor. and of course today was just a joyful time for the people of south africa. the stores were all open but the people and the rains were pouring. but people still flooded to the stadium, not quite full, but there was enough representation to have a joyful time. >> ifill: there were a hundred head of states there today. was security a concern, did they handle that well? >> you know the one thing that south africa does exceedingly well is a big event like the 2010 world cup. and as far as i could tell, the
security was quite good. i was a few miles away in soweto but most of the heads of state were behind a plate glass. and yet when i saw them walking in, i saw camera crews charging up to them and people talking to them. so it was not as strict as it might have been. of course i didn't what happened when president obama came, there was one man on the radio who was talking with one of their anchors and he was talking about the beast and he said something about obama and he said are you calling obama the beast and he's like oh no, no, that's the car he rides in. >> ifill: there was an awkward moment on stage, or it was taken that way in many corners the president greeting rau. castro on stage, a lot of people have problematic relations with the united states. was that received the same way over there that it was here? >> well people thought about mandela again because it was
mandela who talked to president clinton and other people about the need for the south africans to remain friends with people who were friends with them during the struggle. and that included people like castro and arafat and qaddafi. and he also encouraged people to make up. and you know the other day i was talking to his daughter who said that the one word that they would like the whole world to think about if nothing else when they think about their father is forgiveness. so that was like a big deal, kind of madiba is an ancestor, would be smiling i think. now the next step is maybe problematic, but at least there was that. >> ifill: it was interesting to me to see the difference between the reaction the president received when he rose to speak, cheers and enthusiasm. and the reaction that president zuma when he rose to speak which were boos.
what a contrast. >> they are two huge differences i think. both are sons of africa in the eyes of africans. president obama is very comfortable giving a speech, even if he's reading it, whether it's on a teleprompter or even a paper. and he clearly, it seems to me from having read a lot of his writing including his dreams from my father, i saw obama in that speech. and president zuma, when he's speaking zulu he's very dynamic. when he has to speak english and do it before an international audience off a paper, he's generally very uncomfortable. and of course this is an uncomfortable time in south africa. i can continue to say it's a young democracy approaching 20 years but they are things that are quite troublesome that most people here are talking about in the news and on the radio. although today was the day of memory of a great man. people did continue to talk about the huge numbers of
unemployed people including the largest number of unemployed are youths who are being very poorly educated, if at all. there are rolling mass actions on a continuing basis. people protesting the lack of basic services. i think all of those things, i frankly was surprised that people booed president zuma because normally events like that are packed with people who support the african national congress the ruling party. so that came as a surprise to me on that level. but on the other level of disenchantment among people, i was not surprised. >> ifill: what do you expect this weekend. we go to a burial now at his ancestral home. >> well right now, i'm sit where just behind me are the union buildings where tomorrow i think and for the next about three days, the president will lie, the former president will lie in state. i think the coffin will be
opened, and if the weather continues like this, even if it did i think people will come because they're trying to show their love for the man who made the country what it can be, let's put it that way. and so for three days he will be right behind me in the big building there. and then on sunday, i believe it is, he will go to his ancestral home. he was born not far from there but as a young child, his mother moved the family and i think he thinks of that as his home. i saw him there many years ago. it's a small rural village where he as a child growing up as we pointed out at our newshour memory of him grew up herding sheep and goats and cows and whatever else he had around there. he often said that is where he wanted to transition. unfortunately i think his health
situation prevented him from going there. >> ifill: charlayne hunter gault my friend thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you my friend gwen for having me. >> woodruff: five years after the financial crisis crippled the american economy, the behavior of wall street and other financial firms has been the subject of intense debate, lobbying and legislation. at the center of financial reform, one rule has attracted more scrutiny than almost any other: the volcker rule. today, federal regulators spelled out how it's supposed to work. and now the question is, what kind of impact will it have on reducing risk? jeffrey brown has the story. >> brown: the dodd-frank act, signed into law by president obama in 2010, contained hundreds of provisions designed to avoid future meltdowns. among the most controversial:
the volcker rule. named for the former fed chairman. >> all in favor, say aye. >> aye! >> brown: its final approval today by five regulatory agencies signals a major shift in practices banks can undertake, and their oversight. in an effort to prevent excessively risky bets like last year's so-called "london whale" trades, which led to $6 billion in losses for j.p. morgan chase, the rule bans so-called proprietary trading, when banks trade with their own money for a profit. banks are still allowed to buy and sell investments for their own clients, known as market making. they'll also be allowed to hedge those bets against potential losses. but deciding when a "hedge" crosses into dangerous territory will test regulators and bank officials. fed chairman ben bernanke spoke before voting in favor of the rule today. >> i note, though, the ultimate effectiveness of the rule will
depend importantly on supervisors who need to find appropriate balance while providing feedback to the board on how the rule works in practice. >> brown large banks have now until july 2015 to fully comply with the rule. what impact will all this have? for that, we're joined by: dennis kelleher, president of better markets, a not-for-profit watchdog group; and wayne abernathy, executive vice president for the american bankers association. welcome to both of you. dennis kelleher let's start with you. you were an advocate for this rule. remind us why. >> the crash in 2008 was the worst crash since 1929. it almost caused the second great depression and it did cause the worst economy since the great depression. it's going to ultimately cost this country according to a study by better markets almost $13 trillion. that's what's at stake in financial reform and that's what's at stake at the financial reform rule. and the volcker rule which is
meant to reduce the bank's high risk gambling as opposed to the services they provide to the real economy, preventing that high risk gambling is key to preventing another crash, crises and bailouts. >> brown: all right. so he used the word gambling and you smiled. banks, investment banks generally have been against this. what's the impact going to be do you think. >> the imact is really on bank customers. that's why words like gambling are really irrelevant because what you're talking about is the ability of banks to fund not only families but businesses, to fund the economy, to fund us going forward. and the way we're looking at the volcker rule is what impact will this have for the economy going forward, for the future of the customers that rely on banks to provide the financial services they need to fund their businesses. customers like somebody who has a new business they want to take to the next level. they don't want to borrow money they want to float a bond or a security. they need a bank to help them do
that. >> you're not against that business for the bank. >> not how many are we against that, it has nothing to do with proprietary trading. what has happened the gambling culture has infected too bipg to fail banks on wall street the big he is of the big. let's keep in mind there are about 7 0eu bank -- 7,000 bankn the united states. it's going to impact less than a dozen of them. the biggest of the big. what they were doing is making reckless trading and investment divisions that created big revenue and big bonuses. that has nothing to do with providing loans, market making and hedging for the businesses of the country and to grow the economy. mixing those two is a favorite ploy of wall street but it's not implicated here. the high risk activity is not related to the economic useful activity. >> explain that. is there a connection because i asked you about it and you went right to the loans to small businesses. so what's the connection between those kinds of loans and proprietary trade. >> we want to make sure that in
the actual regulation there isn't that kind of infection because we want to make sure banks want to be able to continue to meet the needs of their customers. >> why can't they even if they can't do proprietary. >> because the difference between a proprietary trading as its defined in terms of the bank taking risks on its own money and providing services to its customers is not only a fine line, it's a real mixture. think of it as that's how you look at an insurance policy. when someone's taking out a whole life policy, are they taking it out for an investment or are they taking it out to hedge themselves against the risk of what happens when the bread winner in the family passes away. will there be resources. the answer is it's actually a little bit a mix of both. that's the way it is with providing financial services to businesses. >> this is one of the issues that's come up. it's hard to distinguish between these different kinds of practices. >> that's one of the arguments that's made but frankly it
doesn't withstand scrutiny. these are the smartest people in the world supposedly making the most money that human beings have ever made in the world. they're claiming they can't distinguish between activities that are fairly common and have been around for decades if not hundreds of years. proprietary trading at the end of the day is one of the handful of the biggest of big banks on wall street basically putting their own capital at risk as opposed to putting their clients' money at risk or servicing their clients. it's they know how to distinguish between those two things and the law actually otherwise require them to for risk capital and compliance. so for them to claim that they can't distinguish when their own capital ising being put at risk and when their clients' capital is being used frankly is just not accurate. it can't be accurate, they would be breaking laws left and right all the time if they couldn't tell the difference between the two. >> banks clearly can tell the difference between the two. the question is can the regulators tell the difference between the two. they're the ones that are going to enforce the rule.
and particularly look at how this rule was put forward. it is five separate regulators creating five identical but separate rules that will be enforced in five separate ways. >> what do you think is going to happen. >> your typical bony has two or three and some cases four of those regulators that are going to interpret that rule and our concern is it's going to make it difficult for the bank to be able to meet its customers. we're not just talking wall street banks the way the rule is written it applies to every single bank in america which by the way under 7,000 today, there were more than 8,000 a few years ago. the last time we were down to 7,000 banks was 1891. we want to turn around with pressure on the community banks, mid size banks, let them grow and meet the needs of their customers again. >> that's yet. how do you regulate this. is there going to be discrepancies. >> the reality is while the rule is applicable it's only going to impact ten of the biggest 12
banks on wall street. they're the only one that have the balance sheet and capital to engage in any material. >> can i stop you there. do you agree with that. >> that's absolutely wrong. i've been in meetings this week with banks of all sizes, from the small community bank of 10 0 million to 10 billion bank and 300 billion bank and they're all affected by the volcker rule. >> there are special provisions for community banks and smaller banks that both reduce the burden and make it unapplicable in fact. what we have is we have wall street and the biggest banks once again saying the sky's going to fall if they are regulated. well the problem is this guy did fall in 2008. wall street got the bonuses, the american people got the bill. taxpayers back up these banks, that's why they're called too big to fail. their high risk trading and vums -- and investments have to be limited sea when the big banks pretend to care about economic growth job formation
and capital formation i'll tell you nothing hurt growth, jobs and capital formation more than the crash on 2008. and preventing it is one of the most important things to protect those things and main street. >> just in our last couple minutes here that goes to the larger question which is the culture of wall street. because i think there's a lot behind this is an attempt by regulators to change that culture. there's even provision here where the ceo's of banks have to sign every year that they have procedures in place for compliance. do you sense an actual change in culture? >> absolutely. i think what you have is the bank's largest to smallest. there's a real desire to be able to focus their resources, focus their energies on funding job creation, funding development of the economy, meeting the needs of their customers from families to small businesses to mid size to large businesses. what the volcker rule is doing, is perhaps and its intention to focus on those kinds of activities. but we have here nearly a
thousand pages of new regulations that yes the big banks will be able to figure that out. how about the mid size banks, how about the smaller banks. they still have to read it. they still are going to be penalized if they don't comply. and in their he was to try to do that, a lot of small and medium specifies businesses are going to find it harder to get services. >> very briefly on this culture change. >> saying it doesn't make it true. the rule is not going to have any material impact on anything outside the biggest of the big. we do need a culture change on wall street. we need rules, we need effective regulators. we need people watching wall street closely and regulators closely. but we also need a change in the tone at the top. we need a compliance culture instead of a gambling culture. what we have is wall street's been at war with financial reform. i hope they would take the opportunity of volcker rule to actually embrace financial reform and that's have a sounding banking system that serves the economy rather than building up banker bonuses and
putting bailouts at the risk of taxpayer funding. >> brown: dennis kill her and wayne abernathy. thank you very much. >> woodruff: general motors has named a new c.e.o., and she's a woman, one who worked her way up in a company once known as an old boy's club. the news comes one day after the federal government sold the last of the g.m. shares it purchased during the big auto bailout. micki maynard long covered the auto industry and is now a contributor to forbes. she's a lecturer at the ross school of business at the university of michigan and the editor of a new journalism project "curbing cars, how we get around." hello, welcome. back to the newshour. tell us who is this new ceo, mary barra. >> so it's understandable if people haven't heard of her, judy, because she's been one of those people that's well-known
to folks inside general motors but not particularly well-known outside of general motors. she's someone who went to the company in college. essentially she went to what used to be called the general motors institute. it's now kettering university and one of the things you do there in the summer is work with them. she's only 51 but been at general motors for years. she's running the assembly plant, and the detroit plant. she's run human resources, most recently she was in charge of general motors global product development operations. and that's where she caught the eye of dan actorson who is the outgoing ceo. >> woodruff: you wrote today about that. why did he have his eye on her. what was it about her? >> well one of the things about ms. barra is first of all she comes from within general motors. and detroit over the last few years since general motors and
chrysler filed for bankruptcy since ford got in financial trouble has been one of outsiders. fiat controls chrysler, mr. akerson came from an investment firm from washington and he was named by the gm board and he ended up rung the company. and mulaly is running it. so mary is an insider. mr. akerson wanted to make a bold choice. he was looking for someone who would be different than the typical old style general motors ceo. he obviously liked her, he saw a lot of her talent and decided this is going to be my choice. that was not a secret in detroit. everyone here knew for about the past year that she was being groomed to be ceo. i was surprised it happened this quickly because she's 51 and in detroit that's still relatively young to be a ceo. >> woodruff: having said all this, what's the significance of
this. it is deeply unusual to have a woman in this position, isn't it? >> right. so if you look at all the fortune 500 companies, are even though we hear a lot about women ceo's there's only 22 in all of the 500 companies. there's never been a woman ceo in detroit, although through the years i've seen a lot of talented women who could have risen to the position if they had the patience or opportunity. it's a huge for detroit but women have not risen to the top of the companies because women now buy more than half of the vehicles sold in the united states. and so you have a very male environment selling vehicles to a very female audience. >> woodruff: nicky the other story we're following today is the report yesterday that the government sold its last shares in gm. this is four years after the federal government and a very controversial move bailed out this big automobile company. now that this has happened,
where does it leave gm. are the lessons from this experience clear yet? >> well general motors now is an independent company again without government ownership. the u.s. taxpayer lost about 10 billion dollars on the deal and it was always understood from the beginning that there would be some moan that was never paid back by gm. where at least general motors is an extremely competitive automobile market. you know back ten years ago, 15 years ago general motors had about 30% of the car market. they now have about 18%. ford is very close behind them, toyota is close to them. so we have a market where the big shares that are decided up are much more equal than they were back in the days of gm and the car market. so gm has to compete for buyers. it also has to compete in the time when many americans are rethinking the way we get around, they're thinking about do i need to own a car, do we need three cars, can we get
along with two cars. maybe i'll take the bus maybe i'll take the new street car that's in town. so consumers are rethinking their automobile use at a time when there's so much competition. there's a fight for every single buyer. >> woodruff: finally quickly, is there a lingering effect from this government, heavy government role in gm over the last several years? >> well gm got the nickname government motors and i think it will be a long time before it's able to shed that. and gm became a source of political controversy and that's something it will have to work very hard to overcome as well. >> woodruff: nicky maynard, we thank you. >> my pleasure judy, thanks a lot. >> ifill: as syria's civil war grinds toward its fourth year, the refugee crisis it's spawned grows larger by the day. chief foreign affairs correspondent margaret warner looks at the effects the flight
of syria's kurds on the prosperous kurdish region of iraq. in late summer a new wave of refugees poured out of sear why you, some 50,000 in a matter of days. they were kurds fleeing their homes in northeast area for the kurdish region of north iraq. it wasn't bashar's forces that drove them out. kurdish militia were in their home area. it came from a different quarter instead. the ranks of ante assad jihadi rebel fighters led to al-qaeda. >> the area was deat the time. >> this man left the syrian town when it came under assault by rebels. >> the shedding of kurdish blood they called from the loud speaker that it is permitted and from that day forward we did not kay venture out. i left in search for a place i
could find speech. >> they were seen as stable because the regime never really bombarded them like they did with other controlled regions. >> omar, writer for the website sear says assad didn't want to tangle with the syrian kurds. that aroused suspicion among the rebels. >> as it went on in the summer of 2013, rebel groups associated with the opposition some of them affiliated with al-qaeda saw these kurdish militia really as being complicit with the regime and really started attacking these areas very hard. this fighting scared the kurds and really sent so many of them in such a short period of time. >> they are considered the word's largest stateless ethnic group concentrated in a zone from southeastern turkey from syria and northern iraq into
iran. most are sunni muslims not arabs and homogeneous by competing parties and rivalries throughout the region. now they too have joined the well documented diaspera of nearly 2.5 million syrians who have crossed into turkey, lebanon and jordan and now this latest wave 200,000 of them into iraq. the majority of them are kurds who settled in the semi autonomous kurdish region in the north. at the outset, they were welcome with open arms. the kurdish regional government provided them with land for their cam's, electricity, transport and even work permits. that welcome was on display among many locals too when video journalists traveled to the region for the newshour. 20 year old mohamed sells home wares in his father's store. even though some refugees have stolen from his shop, he said they are welcome.
>> it is better to take good care of them. of course entry and exit from the camps have to be limited. i do not mind. we want them to have the best. they are our brothers. >> there's a great deal of ethnic solidarity with these folks living across the border. >> senior director of refugee international returned from a trip to northern iraq. he says the sympathy is more than ethnic. >> very large proportion of the population became refugees themselves in the 1990's when the region was attacked by the forces of sadaam. and so having been refugees themselves more than 20 years ago, these people have economic instinctive sympathy with people who find themselves in the same kind of situation. >> life for kurdish reknees in iraq is as tough for refugees everywhere. 25 year old arrived in late july
with her children. >> this medical center does not have enough medications. they tried to give me a pill. how can she take a pill. >> despite the difficulties she expects to stay. >> i'm never going back to syria. i will work and buy a house here. we have nothing in syria. >> the protracted syria conflict has led many to the same conclusion says chris. >> what you see amongst the rejeeps is really beginning to think a little bit more about the future and what their life is going to be like living in exile. when i was there six months ago, people were essentially living in tents. quite a big change has taken place during that time. we now see people building with blocks. people living in government structures and setting themselves up for the future. >> that's what rashid did. he was in northern syria last march. after a few months he and his family pooled money to build a
cinder block home in the camp. >> we used to have a tent and thought things would get better but nothing happened so we built this to shelter ourselves. i think it will be ten years before we can go home. if there were a better place we would go. >> rashid is already sensing that the local sentiment towards the refugees is changing. >> when we first came, we had everything, food, supply. with time it's gotten worse. syrian kurds dream to come here and life in kurdistan but they now humiliate us, they don't consider us human. >> we heard such negative sentiments in some quarters of the marketplace. 30 year old sells women's and girls clothing. >> they have a huge impact. not only here but on the whole of iraq. they impact because they work
for low wages. also prices are going up. >> and he fears the introduction of terrorism into once peaceful kurdish northern iraq. >> before the syrians came here, we had no problems. but now we have bombings. >> he was referring to multiple explosions one day in september in the kurdish capital. they were claimed by al-qaeda linked militia in retaliation for the kurdish government's backing for moderate arab rebels in syria where isis is also active. two war attacks disrupted the iraqi city in recent days. this is an assault on intelligence headquarters and a shopping mall. suicide bombers were followed by snipers and gun men. ten people were killed and more than a hundred wounded in the 12-hour attack. then sunday, a series of car bombs around the city killed
another ten people. adding the syrian kurds to this mix would make iraq even more volatile says omar. hitting syrian kurds against iraqi kurds and exacerbating tensions in iraq as it happened in next door syria. >> the radicalization is going to increase and different funds within syrian war are going to increase. the kurdish complex within syria is going to increase. that's going to have major effects. >> what does the united states have at stake in all this. >> its allies in the region are really suffering, tremendous consequences with the syrian state sailing on the borders of lebanon, israel, iraq, jordan and turkey. the longer that this conflict goes on, the greater this problem gets. >> putting at further risk the stability of iraq which costs the united states thousands of
american lives and hundreds of billions of dollars to secure. >> ifill: finally tonight, on this day when the life and work of nelson mandela were honored in south africa, we bring you some personal memories from scholar, author and educator johnnetta cole. she is director of the smithsonian national museum of african art. that's where she sat down with jeffery brown. >> brown: when were you first aware of nelson mandela? >> further back than i probably count. but i do remember being very much a part of the anti- apartheid movement of the late '60s, the '70s and into the '80s. specifically, i was a professor at the university of massachusetts in amherst, and very much a part of that
movement calling for the university to divest. and whenever we were talking about divestment, we were really thinking about the leader of the anti-apartheid movement, of nelson mandela. >> brown: and what did he mean to people of your generation of that time? >> to people of my generation, nelson mandela stood as the leader of a movement which we could so profoundly associate with. i grew up in the south. i grew up in the days of legalized segregation. and so, whether we called it legal racial segregation or we called it apartheid, it was the same injustice. >> brown: and you walked his long walk to freedom. what did that mean to you when all of that took place?
>> the long walk meant for me and for my generation-- and, i think more broadly, for anyone who stands in opposition to what is wrong-- it meant that we had no possibility to give up. here was a man who was making sacrifices that many of us cannot imagine. and so, his determination, his tenacity just meant, how dare you? how dare you even think of giving up? >> brown: you know, we talk about him as the fighter, the leader, the statesman. we're in an art museum. the man himself was an artist. >> he was, and i think that says so much about who this enormous individual was.
you cant just say he was the president, or he was the leader of the anti-apartheid movement. he was an artist. he was a father, a grandfather, a husband. he was a comrade. madiba was so many of who we are. that's poorly worded, but i hope you hear what i'm saying. that when we think about all we as humans are capable of being and of doing, it seems that he expressed it all. >> brown: can you give a personal anecdote about the man? >> oh, i can, and i'll never tire of telling it. in july of 1990, i was given the task of finding a way that 41
institutions in the united negro college fund, the historically black colleges and universities in the united states, a way that we would literally present president mandela with 41 honorary degrees. now, i ask you, will mandela stand there while 41 hoods are put upon him? not hardly. we came up with a very special way of doing this. we took the emblem from each school, and we made a quilt. now, for me, at that time, the president of spellman college, a historically black college for women, that was incredibly significant. quilts are, in so many ways, the most moving expression of women's heart of a given era.
and it continues. so, we made a quilt, and i had the almost unbelievable privilege of presenting that quilt to president mandela. winnie mandela was with him. this was in atlanta. and when this great ceremony filled with tears and with joy was over, i said, "mr. mandela, we would be so happy to send this quilt to you." he said, "no, you will not. we will carry this quilt to south africa." can you imagine how i felt when i went into a space, mandela's home, like a small museum, and i
saw that quilt? and so, what is the lesson there for all of us? it's a lesson of connectedness. it says it across waters, and, yes, across time. across race and ethnicity and sexuality. it says across all of these really insignificant-- ultimately-- attributes that we have, we can connect. >> ifill: again, the major developments of the day. congressional negotiators reached a two-year budget agreement aimed at preventing a government shutdown next month. thousands of south africans and nearly 100 foreign dignitaries paid tribute to nelson mandela at an outdoor memorial service in johannesburg, south africa.
the federal reserve and other agencies approved the so-called volcker rule, barring u.s. banks from trading for their own profit. it's designed to limit risk- taking. and mary barra was named c.e.o. of general motors, the first woman to head up a major american automaker. she's currently g.m.'s head of product development. >> woodruff: on the newshour online right now, why the irish government is asking its unemployed citizens to move away. lawmakers there are hoping it's an idea just crazy enough to reduce unemployment. read about how it works on our "rundown" blog. and if you're launching your own job search stateside, our weekly feature "ask the headhunter" has two resources that may work for you. that's on "making sense." all that and more is on our web site, newshour.pbs.org. >> ifill: and that's the newshour for tonight. on wednesday, the nobel prizes are officially awarded. paul solman sits down with a winner for economics. i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff.
we'll see you online and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us here at the pbs newshour, thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> my customers can shop around; see who does good work and compare costs. it can also work that way with healthcare. with united healthcare, i get information on quality ratings of doctors, treatment options and estimates for how much i'll pay. that helps me and my guys make informed decisions. i don't like guesses with my business and definitely not with our health. that's health in numbers. united healthcare. >> bnsf railway. >> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations.
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and major corporations. what can we do for you? >> and now, "bbc world news." >> this is "bbc world news america." poured, but their voices soared in celebration of the life of one great man. tens of thousands filled up the stadium at the memorial for nelson mandela. who of global power. nearly 100 world leaders flew into pay tribute, and president obama's eulogy captivated the audience. >> in the art of his life, we see a man who earned his place in history through struggle and shrewdness and psi