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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  December 25, 2013 6:00pm-7:01pm PST

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captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> ifill: at the vatican, pope francis called for peace, while some in berlin marked the holiday with a dip into a frigid lake. just some of the scenes from around the world, as millions celebrated christmas. good evening, i'm gwen ifill. judy woodruff is off this holiday. also ahead: china, egypt, iran, syria-- the list goes on. we look back at this busy 2013 in american foreign policy. >> this is a year which president obama really tried hard through diplomacy to reposition of united states after these difficult wars. but we saw how hard it is to reposition a superpower.
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>> ifill: and we close with a different take on the story of jesus. this time, from a novelist, poet and scholar of literature jay parini. >> i do think the story of jesus, this great mythical story, can have transforming value in our lives. those are just some of the stories we're covering on tonight's pbs >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> supported by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. more information at macfound.org >> 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.
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>> ifill: this christmas day brought new calls for a better world, but also, new violence. some spent the day just trying to stay warm, while others reveled in the cold. it was all part of christmas 2013. more than 70,000 people crowded st. peter's square on christmas morning, to hear pope francis call for peace that is more than just a lovely facade. he singled out the troubled corners of the earth. >> ( translated ): let us continue to ask the lord to spare the beloved syrian people further suffering and to enable the parties in conflict to put an end to all violence and guarantee access to humanitarian aid. grant peace to the central african republic, often forgotten and overlooked. yet you, lord, forget no one! foster social harmony in south sudan, where current tensions have already caused numerous victims and are threatening
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peaceful coexistence in that young state. >> ifill: the pontiff also prayed that christians be protected from persecution. as if to underscore the point, car bombings in iraq killed at least 37 people in christian areas of baghdad today. but for u.s. troops in afghanistan, it was a relatively peaceful day, with holiday food and celebrations. ♪ volunteers in athens served christmas meals to the growing numbers of homeless, driven to the streets during greece's long years of economic crisis. >> ( translated ): yes, the situation is getting worse. to give you an example, we used to give out 1,200 meals a day, now we're giving out 1,400, and we are arranging to start giving out 1,500. >> ifill: in their christmas message, president and mrs. obama recognized americans who help those in need. >> for families like ours, that service is a chance to celebrate the birth of christ and live out what he taught us: to love our neighbors as we would ourselves, to feed the hungry and look
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after the sick; to be our brother's keeper and our sister's keeper. >> ifill: and in britain, queen elizabeth's traditional christmas message urged her people to get the balance right in their daily lives. >> we all need to get the with so many distractions it is easy to forget to pause and take stock, be it through contemplation, prayer or even keeping a diary. many have found the practice of quiet personal reflection surprisingly rewarding, even >> ifill: the national security leaker edward snowden put out his own, two-minute recording calling for reflection on how much surveillance is too much. >> a child born today will grow up with no conception of privacy at all. they'll never know what it means to have a private moment to themselves, an unrecorded, unanalyzed thought. and that's a problem because privacy matters, privacy is what
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allows us to determine who we are and who we want to be. >> ifill: for thousands of others, though, christmas day came down to a struggle with the elements. powerful storms battered britain and france in recent days, and torrential rains and hurricane- force winds left hundreds of homes and businesses flooded and without power. thousands more-- from the great lakes region to eastern canada-- faced a bitterly cold christmas in the dark after weekend ice storms knocked out power. >> we actually put the turkey out on the front porch because it was colder there than in the fridge. >> ifill: some hardy souls reveled in the cold. as they do every year, 20 members of the berlin seals club took their traditional christmas dip in a near-freezing german lake. in russia today, prosecutors dropped charges of hooliganism against 29 crew members of a greenpeace ship. they'd been seized in september
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outside a russian oil rig in the arctic. the criminal case was set aside under an amnesty passed by the russian parliament. charges against the 30th and final crew member may be dropped tomorrow. the president of south sudan is calling for an end to ethnic killings, after ten days of growing violence. his appeal appeared today on a government twitter account. as he spoke, government troops and rebel forces battled for control of the capital city in oil-rich upper nile state. meanwhile, a south sudan official said the prime minister of ethiopia and the president of kenya will arrive tomorrow to try to mediate the conflict. the military-backed government in egypt formally declared the muslim brotherhood a terrorist organization today. it culminated a crackdown on the group that began when islamist president mohammed morsi was ousted in july. the announcement was delivered on state television by the deputy prime minister.
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>> the government reiterates that there will be no return to the past under any circumstances egypt, the state and the people will never succumb to the terrorism of the brotherhood whose crimes have gone beyond human limits >> ifill: the minister said the ban was a direct response to a deadly bombing in the nile delta yesterday that killed 16 people and wounded more than 100. the muslim brotherhood denied any role in the attack. a corruption investigation in turkey triggered a government shakeup today. prime minister recep erdogan replaced ten cabinet ministers, including three who resigned earlier in the day. two of them have sons who were arrested this week on bribery charges. erdogan has charged the investigation is aimed at discrediting his government. china's ruling communist party has officially released a five- year plan to tackle corruption. the plan targets wrongdoing that triggers protests or leads to industrial accidents. it gives relatively few details, but does include heavier
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punishment for bribes. chinese president xi jinping has made cracking down on corruption a priority. still to come on the "newshour": a year of foreign policy challenges; paul solman on solving global problems with the latest technology; the man who is grappling with india's economic difficulties and a new book about the life of jesus. now, we continue our series of conversations about the major news developments of the year. tonight's topic: the obama administration's foreign policy challenges. judy woodruff recorded this discussion before she left for her christmas holiday. >> woodruff: it's been a busy year diplomatically for the obamaed a mrgs. the most notable was the agreement signed with iran
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limiting the countryies nuclear development program for lifting economic sanctions. the civil war in syria intensified and after a chemical weapons were used against scores of civilians, the u.s. and russia brokered a deal in which syria take greed to give up its chemical stockpile. >> the world will now expect the assad regime to live up to its public commitments and as i said at the outset of these negotiations, there can be no games, no room for avoidance. >> in asia, tensions mounted as china declared territory to be in its air defense zone that japan also claimed. so to put those events and others in perspective, we get four views. john negroponte held several major alabamans positions including united nations and he was head of intelligence in the bushed a mrgs and now is with an international consulting firm.
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anne marie slaughter was head of the planning department during the first term of the obamaed a mrgs and president of a american foundation. and the columnist for the washington post and trudy ruben is with the philadelphia enquirer. we welcome you all four. and i'm going to start with you anne marie slaughter, over all when you consider u.s. foreign policy over the last year, how does it look to you, was there an over arching theme that you saw. >> i think the overarching theme is leading through diplomacy or putting diplomacy very much first. this is -- 2014 will be the year we pull our troops out of afghanistan. the presidenting will able to say that he ended two wars and he put diplomacy front and center and on iran, i think he really skeeted, that framework agreement is the best news that we have had in a long time on
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iran. i think behind the scenes diplomacy in china with china and japan and other countries in east and south aiz yar, very effective. on syria, on the other hand, yes, good diplomacy to get chemical weapons out but where i think they have really fallen down is no successful diplomacy with respect to the underlying conflict in syria which just gets worse and worse, and at this point, no credible threat of force which means it's hard for their -- to make diplomacy bork in that case. >> we will pick up on the individual countries. but trudy ruben as you look around the world, what do you see? do you see a theme? how do you think the administration has done? >> i think the administration is trying to put diplomacy first but i think they have made a big mistake in underestimating how well you can do with diplomacy when people don't think that there's force to back it up.
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and when people think you need them more than they need you. i think that has become clear in syria, which i will mention because i think it affects everything else. the president's decision to go for a chemical weapons treaty and to back off a pledge that he had made and commitments that he had made 20 allies to strike the syrians in response for violating his red line has had repercussionsll over the globe to china and iran because the president making it clear that domestic relations were more important than keeping commitment competence being consistent has convinced a lot of countries i believe including iran, possibly china, that he will not put muscle behind his diplomacy. certainly it has convinced russia and that affects the kind
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of diplomacy you can do. >> david ignatius, pick up on that. what do you see as you look around the world and what the administration has done. >> this is the year of diplomacy without doubt but it has been seen as a year of weakness and reactive policy by president obama. i just have come back from traveling overseas and i have never heard more complaining, criticism, unhappiness, and in some cases bordering on contempt for the united states. it's an unusually and worrying situation. >> the same reasons that trudy rubins was stating? >> i think policy -- this is a year which president obama tried hard to reposition the united states after these very difficult wars. but we saw how hard it is to reposition a superpower. you have existing commitments, allies, a whole network of people that are going to be upset by changes in the status quo. and i would fault the
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administration for things with -- but for lack of communication, friends and allies and lack of consistent follow-through. a lot of these are follow up issues. it's hard to criticize an effort to see if you can get a deal to reverse iran's nuclear policy short of war. what is essential when you're doing something big like that is that you communicate, communicate, community, and i don't see enough of that. >> we put a lot on the table. what do you as you look around, do you see the same things? >> first of all, i would say that diplomacy and the use of force are not mutually exclusive. this is a spectrum. war is the continuation of politics by other means. sometimes you have to have the threat of force available in order to achieve your peaceful diplomatic objectives and i think we saw an example of that in one of the areas which i would highlight as a success of the administration which was the chemical weapons agreement through the security counsel
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with respect to syria and i think that is clearly a considerable success. one thing we haven't mentioned which i think is important to talk about is is the economic revitalization of the united states, the fact that we just passed a modest budget bill, the fact that the united states economy is on the mend, and it all -- our dependency on foreign imported oil and the shale revolution here in the country is taking place have put us in a much better position when you look back five or six years ago when people were on our backs. >> you say that has an affect -- >> it improves the environment through which we carry out our foreign policy. >> well, let's just pick up. go ahead, anne marie, slaughter because what i would like to zero in on here, are there places brt administration needs to change, or approaches that can stay the same, can stay
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where they essentially are now? >> so i think you hear a lot of agreement among all of us on the fact that the administration is not at this point looking credible with respect to the threat of force. so the minute that we really were drebl, and it was clear we were going to strike syria, suddenly the diplomatic game changed and you got the chemical weapons agreement but since then with the turn around what we're seeing is a country that is saying, you know, we want to negotiate a deal but we're not actually willing to use force or economic coercion if we don't get it. and certainly for syria. and syria is so all of that many of us just want to, you know, not think about it because tens of thousands, over 150,000 people have died, the humanitarian conditions are all
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of, al qaeda-linked groups are growing in strength daily. syria itself is coming apart. we all effectively don't have a solution but i think that's not good enough. i think thissed a mrgs has to actively -- i think this administration has to put together a coalition, make it a priority and make clear we are willing to use force in some ways to stop the killing. that's one thing i would say. >> trudy? >> i just want to follow up on that. i just came back from the turkish-syrian border, and it was -- actually i would say almost tragic, watching and listening, as secretary kerry said, we're ready to talk with islamists, there was a new islamist coalition that is the powerhouse open the ground inside syria bit that is a trap much our own making. and actually, by failing to act, we have allowed an al qaeda-belt to flourish often both sides of
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the syrian iraqi border. i bring this up because as we go to geneva, these syrian talks will be the prologue of what we can and can't accomplish with iran. the arenas are watching and -- the irans are watching and we're in a position to deliver anything, i think we have to be willing to walk away from those syria talks, unless the russians and the iranians in the background actually deliver a humanitarian opening, which allows food and vaccines to be delivered to territory controlled by the opposition. there is a polio epidemic spreading, etc. bashar al-assad will not allow that in. this will be the test case. if this doesn't work on syria then i don't think the iranian talks will work either. >> and davidignatius, what i
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want to get at, are there specific changes the administration can take to get these, whether it's syria or whether it's afghanistan, which we haven't really addressed, is not clear yet, to get these back on track and, frankly, change some of these impressions that we're hearing that are settling in about the united states? >> what i would say is that thed a mrgs needs to emphatically, systematically apply the policies that it has. the u.s. has a program now to train and assist the syrian opposition. it has been a disaster. the first disaster is that it got started so late. slaughter was somebody that was early in advocating assistance to the syrian opposition. her boss, secretary of state clinton greasively argued for it by petreus of the c.i.a. the president didn't want to do it and when he did do it, it was a half hearted way. that's a program that, even
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today, if you started seriously, would make a difference in building the structure of a future syria. and we're headed into the most important negotiation maybe of my lifetime, with iran. and it's crucial that the united states in every aspect of its policy, be tough symptomatic, coherent. this is a deal that you can't get wrong, and i know the white house is worried about it, that they need to be communicating, thinking with their allies. >> and how important is it, john negroponte that the administration get on a better track or more successful track with syria in order to get the outcome it wants in some of these other countries. >> i'm not too sure about that. but one thing i would add, you mentioned afghanistan. i think it's very important. it's a more modest issue but it's very important that thed a mrgs is successful in
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negotiating arrangements for residual united states and allied force, coalition force to be able to stay inned afghanistan after we complete the withdrawal of troops after the commitment in 2014. we failed to do that in iraq and i wouldn't fault this administration. both administrations have to set that situation up. but i think it would be very fortune get in afghanistan. i think it would be inearnest with our commitment to that part of the world and a good example of the correlation between our diplomacy and the military issues. >> several of you talked about the standing of thed a mrgs, of the united states in the world, an ma reads slaughter, how much does it matter whether the u.s. is respected or not? if the u.s. is pursuing a course that it believes is right, how much does it matter whether the saudis agree for example with the iran policy. >> well, a great deal.
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i mean it's actually highly ironic president obama came in at a time when our standing in the world was as low as it had been in 50 years, after, as the george w. burkes went out and president obama raised that standing and secretary clinton, 250. but they're -- there are all sorts of smaller issues and problems and crises that our diplomats work, try to work out. somebody has to day the initiative and the united states is traditionally felt that it was our job not to solve every problem but to put together coalitions and, you know, the willing tons get the process of solving the problems started. and if we're not playing that role and we're not even looked to do play that role, that leads to a much more chaos, much more kind of -- the small problems becoming big problems, and the
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last thing i would say, because we haven't raised it, is the whole spying with the nsa and what that has done to our stature and that's another major, major problem. >> trudy, ruben just to pick up on that as we conclude this, in terms of what thed a mrgs needs to do differently in 2014. >> i agree with david that communication is key. even if our allies disagree with us and especially when they do if we leave them flat footed as we did with france on the strike which we had pledged to do in syria and france had gone out on a limb, president -- suddenly president obama beaks off after communicating with the staff and doesn't inform in advance, the same thing happened repeatedly with the saudis, then they begin to distrust us. soft power, we have a problem. it's not entirely the
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president's doing. dong's machinations on freezing the government have made us look week. what the president can do is have a coherent policy where he sends out emsearses and informs others and otherwise they don't trust us and go out on their own. >> a final word, how much of what we're talking about is due toed a mrgs policy and how much of it is the problems are harder than they have ever been? >> these are problems that we saw in iraq and afghanistan, the limits on the efficacy of u.s. power. if you look at our iran diplomacy i give the president high marks for opening the door to iran after 34 years of no talking and then putting together a coalition and sanctions that pushed iran through that day.
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he opened it and then compelled them really to think about changing. that was a good diplomacy effort. the issue for thissed a mrgs is -- for this administration is fall through and closing and getting the deal done. that's what we had have to watch. >> john? >> they so have work hard on stabilizing the middle east including support for egypt and that has to continue. it includes working on the iran situation. i think trade, i mentioned economic factors earlier. i think we have two major trade agreements, an atlantic agreement and a transpacific agreement that are on the table for next year and it's important that we pursue those because the american people perceive foreign economic relations as very beneficial to our economy. >> it's not sexy to talk about trade. >> it may not be but i think the american people see a benefit in it. and lastly, there are these finger bolts that cam at us
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every now and then like the snowedden revelations which has been very prejudicial. and i think the president under the circumstances is managing that very difficult issue as best he possibly can and that has hurst us in our relations with countries like brazil for example and others. >> woodruff: beer going to leave it there. a big subject and we have a whole 'nother year to look forward to. thank you very much, john, neelg responsibility, david ignatius, truey and marie slaughter. >> thank you. >> ifill: we turn now from analyzing the past to anticipating the future, which is what paul solman did when he visited an unusual tech gathering of thinkers and entrepreneurs last year. here's a second look at paul's report. >> reporter: on the back lot at 20th century fox, the world of make-believe, and a typical make-believe vision of the
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future, courtesy of fox c.e.o. jim gianopulos. >> here's a little peek at what's in store for us. >> at wayland industries, it has long been our goal to create artificial intelligence almost indistinguishable from mankind itself. >> reporter: the sci-fi pipe dream of moving pictures for as long as they've existed. but no dream to those assembled here. this wasn't a film industry gathering, but a conference put together by singularity university, a futuristic silicon valley think tank which fosters and showcases high-tech inventions. their goal is to make the world a better place as fast as possible. co-founder peter diamandis. >> these tools that are now in your hands allow us to really take on any challenge. it's about the most efficient use of capital and tools that
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have ever existed. >> reporter: singularity's mission is to solve humanity's most pressing problems by spurring new technologies in food, water, energy-- supposedly scarce, but with the tinkerings hnoly, says diamandis, potentially abundant. >> we have the potential during our lifetime, in the next 10 to 30 years, to slay water and energy shortage, hunger, healthcare, educational issues, where we can create a world of abundance, where we can meet the basic needs of every man, woman and child on this planet. >> reporter: the key, says diamandis, is that tech growth is not linear-- one, two, three, four, five-- but exponential-- one, two, four, eight, 16, or even faster than that. >> the rate of innovation is a function of the total number of people connected and exchanging ideas. it has gone up as population has gone up.
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it's gone up as people have concentrated in cities. you know, the coffee shop is the location where people exchange and share ideas. now, the global coffee shop is the internet, and the more people connected, the more innovation we have. think about the fact that a masai warrior in the middle of africa today on one of these cell phones has better mobile com than president reagan did 25 years ago. and if they're on google on a smart phone, they've got better access to knowledge than president clinton did 15 years ago. it's extraordinary! >> reporter: but, says high tech entrepreneur carl bass, we haven't seen anything yet. >> within five to 10 years, we will be printing biological structures with actual function. >> reporter: 3-d printing is already a reality-- copying machines that literally copy in three dimensions: toys, product prototypes, and now, living things as well. >> there's some fantastic work going on at wake forest where they're using the same technology of 3-d printing, and
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they've already printed a human kidney. it's not ready for transplant, but i suspect, within five-ten years, it will be. >> reporter: this conference was filled with sci-fi-like eye- openers. the self-driving car has now been okayed in nevada. >> so we can put your hands right here. >> reporter: doctor dan kraft gave me an e.k.g., and with a stent installed, i've had a lot of them, with his cell phone. >> it's just a two-lead e.k.g., it's pretty basic. but i can see the basic things, that your heart is beating regularly, that your q.r. complex looks normal, that you're not having an s.t. elevation, which is associated with chest pain or acute attack. >> reporter: former astronaut dan barry said the day was soon coming when robots would provide all sorts of services, from the workaday to the intimate. >> robot sex is going to be big, it really is. ( laughter ) it's funny, right? but it's not funny if you're 75 years old and you just lost your partner and you are lonely and by yourself, and still have
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sexual drive and you have no outlet for that. >> reporter: among the best known inventors at the conference was dean kamen, whose innovations include this prosthetic arm. it freed double amputee chuck hildreth from total dependence; freed his wife from feeding him. >> his wife is standing behind me at the time and starts to cry because she says he hasn't fed himself and she says to me, "dean, you've got a choice-- we keep the arm or you keep chuck." ( laughter ) >> reporter: now, kamen and his cutting-edge contraptions may be familiar, in that we've introduced many here on the "newshour" over the years, from his medical marvels to transportation aids for overworked newshour correspondents. kamen invented the segway. but for the past decade, his most ambitious project may be the slingshot, a device to make drinkable the world's dirty water.
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>> it is poison, it is toxic waste. take water that's got fecal matter, cryptosporidium, giardia, every other kind of organic toxin or inorganic. we said, "lets make a box that's small and portable that you can plop down anywhere." >> reporter: a box the size of a dorm-room fridge that almost instantaneously boils and then condenses water, up to 250 gallons a day. >> water that's so pure, it's equivalent to rainwater, it's distilled water. and we believe that if we can build these machines to scale at a cost that is, we think, highly realistic, we will be able to put these things all over the world where people that today have to make a choice between drinking something that will make them sick or possibly kill them and their children, or not drinking at all, which will surely kill them. that's not a choice people should have to make, not in the 21st century. >> reporter: kamen has cajoled coca-cola into distributing these devices. first venue-- rural ghana, where
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they're now being installed. eventually, slingshots could be everywhere. to peter diamandis, kamen's project exemplifies the mission of singularity university. >> converting that which was scarce to that which is abundant. >> reporter: "abundance" is the title of diamandis' new book, and describes his vision of the future-- transformations in water, food, energy. >> what people don't realize is that we're living on a planet that's bathed with energy. 5,000 times more energy hits the earth's surface than we consume as a species in a year. it's just not accessible yet. but there's good news in this area. there are breakthroughs constantly in solar energy production. last year in 2011, the cost of solar in the world dropped by almost 50%. >> reporter: admittedly, solar now provides less than 1% of u.s. energy needs. but singularity university's other co-founder, ray kurzweil, whom we interviewed by something called teleportec, says the
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public is pointlessly pessimistic. >> i think the major reason that people are pessimistic is they don't realize that these technologies are growing exponentially. for example, solar energy is doubling every two years. its now only seven doublings for needs, and we have 10,000 times meeting 100% worlds energy needs, and we have 10,000 times more sunlight than we need to do that. >> reporter: okay, one last high tech frontier-- meat. at the moment, livestock production takes up a third of the world's ice-free land, generates nearly a fifth of the world's greenhouse gases via organic exhaust, front and rear. and eating just one serving of red meat a day, says a new harvard study, correlates with a 12% increased risk of death. enter in vitro meat, not to be confused with pink slime. >> we have the technology now, it's being done in a number of labs, to actually grow meat
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products in the laboratory, in the test tube, so to speak. and people say, why, it's disgusting! have you ever seen how chicken mcnuggets are made? >> reporter: but an in vitro hamburger doesn't sound like it would be good for you. >> well, actually these kinds of new food products will be far better for you because they'll have the best proteins, the best fats, the nutrients built-in. >> reporter: they'll taste like a hamburger? >> they'll taste better than a hamburger. >> reporter: by this time, we were sufficiently wowed, if not downright overwhelmed. but keeping our journalistic wits about us, we posed the skeptics question to vint cerf, known as the father of the internet. did he think this conference might just be over-hyping the future? >> i have been surprised repeatedly by the things that we've been able to do that would have been thought to be science fiction in the past. what craig venter talked about this morning about creating synthetic life, would have been science fiction, and in fact it was science fiction and he's pushed the boundaries of what's
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real. >> reporter: but what about craig venter himself? the man who cracked the human genome in record time a decade ago is now hard at work creating new life forms for fuels, food and vaccines. he surprised us by issuing a warning of sorts-- singularity's brand new world, he said, is not just around the corner. >> most of what you've heard here so far today is fantasy or bull ( bleep ). >> reporter: venter was venting for effect, perhaps, since he too is creating the future. but think of the world's growing problems, he says. >> if all these dreams come true, and i hope these people are right, then we will solve everything. nobody has the solutions in hand right now. we have potential solutions. we don't have ways to provide the fuel, we don't have ways to provide the food, clean water, medicine for seven billion people now. how are we going to do it for eight billion, nine billion, 10
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billion people in the coming decades? >> reporter: how, indeed? but here in the make-believe world of the future, you can be sure that someone has started working on the question. >> ifill: a couple of updates since that piece first aired: coca-cola is now using dean kamen's water purifier, the slingshot, in south africa as part of a small kiosk there. it plans to provide safe drinking water to 20 countries by the end of 2015. and the first in-vitro hamburger was unveiled and then cooked and eaten at a media event this summer. the burger was said to be a bit lacking in flavor, but researchers said they are working on improving the taste and the viability of mass production in years to come. now to south asia and the man behind efforts to restart a once surging economic powerhouse. hari sreenivasan reports.
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>> it's been a tough year for one of the world's largest economies, india, a member of the advancing brick countries, along with brazil, russia and china, is struggling to keep its reputation a growing economic power. but growth has slowed to less than 5 percent a year since 2011. >> the ruby lost due to inflation, and sharply higher prices for vegetables and other foods making life especially hard on the poor. >> today it is impossible to spend a day on just five rupies. it doesn't fetch anything. >> the faltering economy shapes up as an issue in next year's elections. the reserve bank of india is trying to cope. the governor of the reserve bank has boosted borrowing costs
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twice since then. >> the committee decided -- >> last week the u.s. federal reserve announced lit wind down the economic stimulus program. expectations of the movement helped drive the rupie lower. but they're better equipped now than a year ago. i spoke with him in mumbai. >> help a u.s. audience member understand how our two economies are connected when the fed announced that we will begin tapering and it krcted to the rupie declining to new record lows so how does what happened in the fed affect the indian economy. >> we is a number of low interest rates in the united states. what happens is then, money looks for new places to invest in. a lot of money has come looking for returns in places like india. fortunately for us a lot of money that has come in from overseas has been to equity
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markets rather than deck markets but we also have money into indian debt. so when the fed says it's going to raise interest rates, what happens is, people say aha, now the interest rate differential is not to attractive, maybe i will bring the money back and put it in u.s. debt, which didn't pay high interest rates so far. and so we get a reversal of flows. that leversal of flows mean that they sell rupp rupie by dollars and that was a wake-up call are us to not be as dependent on foreign money as we were but differently, we can't, you know, buy as much foreign goods as we were, produce more locally. >> a you few years ago there was the notion that the developing countries were going to be this new engine and now you see the brick countries, russia, india, china slowing down. india is growing at half the
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rate it was a couple years ago. are we waiting for larger economies to become of power the steam engine again or can india rebound on its own? >> i think everyone is looking for a new model of growth and i think india is going to discover that model over time and that model requires doing thing's little differently, more investment, less keumgtion, more effective implementation of large products. i have no doubt indian growth will pick up 5 percent where it is now, it's not bad. it's bad relative to the 10 percent it was growing at at some years in the past but going back to higher rates of growth, once it figures out how to do things better, it will resume that level of growth. >> so a few months ago, there was this thing in the indian press about the price of onions and how they had doubled and tripled and now the price of vegetables have come down for
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several reasons but the big question is about inflation. it's 11 and 11.25 this month. how does the bank address that when the poor feel inflation disproportionately hard? >> i think it's a important value. as you said, the prices have come down, there's a spike, they have come down substantially since then and we should see some of that inflation fall of. whether it's nine or 11titus high. we need to bring it down. some of it has to be done by addressing the supply constraints in the economy, and that will be done over time and he have to make sure we send a clear signal that higher rates of inflation will not be tolerated. i think you have to bring both sides together to get inflation down to healthy levels. help us understand the balance between growth and ininflation.
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there are estimates that about a million new indian less enter the workforce or be of working age every month for the next 10 years so how does the central bank create an environment where you can create jobs for all of those people without contributing to inflation? >> the first thing is that we don't directly have an effect on growth other than through maintaining inflation relatively low. over the long-term these tradeoffs are basically disappearing and essentially the best way to keep growth going is by maintaining a low level of inflation. however, as a country, we have additional tools to the ones other countries have. we can double up the system and make sure we reach every part of india. that helps the village flourish and it helps with the
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reallocation of labor. so that can help growth. >> you said you doesn't pay attention to the election calendar, a lot of people are look at india and saying there's an important election coming up. how do you outcomes affect the indian economy. >> i think they're important for the indian economy. >> there is a coon census behind reforms which will take us regardless which political party comes into power. but i think if -- what we need is stable coalitions. because stable coalitions can make decisions more easily. there's a small possibility that the coalition that comes in doesn't contain one of the big political parties, in which case there may be a little more sort of difficulty in getting together open policies but we must remember that, you know, some of the best budgets in indian mist, from the prospect
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the growth were presented at times of very fractured coalitions. >> so if the existing party doesn't remain in power does that mean that you extender your resignation. >> no. mine is a technocratic position. i'm not a political -- i don't owe allegiance to any complete dell party and therefore i don't have to. i think i can be removed but i don't have to tender my resignation. >> thank you for your time. >> thank you. >> ifill: finally, on this christmas day, a different take on the story of jesus. jeffrey brown has our book conversation. >> who was jesus? how have his words and deeds resonated from his time to ours? a new book examines the questions not from the perspective of a religious scholar but of a writer, poe and the time teacher of literature,
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jesus the human face of god is the face in a series called icons, short biographies on figures that changed history. jay parini is professor of english at middlebury college. among the previous works are "the last station" and a biography of robert frost. welcome. >> good to be here. >> i want to use that starting point that you will not a religious scholar. you're approaching this as a writer. what did you think that you wanted to bring to the life of jesus. >> i was hoping at a poet and novelist i could bring energy to the narrative. this is a great story, and i use the word all through the work mythos, the greek word for myth i always say that a myth is a tear in the fabric of reality, through which all of this spiritual energy pours, and i'm trying in this book to trace the outline of that tear and say, do, jesus, who was they say guy. >> you say myth, you mean not in
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the common parlance right? >> people usually say you think jesus is a myth. not true. but a myth is a story that is not just not true but especially true and i think the myth of jesus is especially true. >> you tell us jesus was a religious jean us. what i mean, and i'm glad you brought that up. i say jesus was a religious genius. here is a mediterranean peasant, an incredible mind. he is important in a very interesting place, right on the silk road, which goes from the hellenistic greece, tracks along to persia, china and i saida and jesus is able to -- it's a lively time, too. and jesus is able to pull in ideas of the body and soul from plato, from karma and buddhism in the east and he can synthesize all of this and
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create a world religion, although i do say he was not trying 20 start a religion. that wasn't his purpose. >> when you say synthesize -- give me an example of the synthesis that would have come from west and east. >> well for instance i think with body and soul being how we're put together is a hell inistic idea, plato. but the idea of carpal aand the it's a complicated idea but the main thing, say blessed are the merciful for god will show them mercy. i think notice sermon on the mound, matthew 5, and have 7, jesus is really laying forward a beautiful, a perfect system of ethics and, you know, blessed are the peacemakers, blessed are the meek, blessed are the merciful for they shall be shown mercy. then the six antithesis, things like in the old days they said, if you hurt somebody, hurt them back. an eye for an eye. a tooth for a tooth. jesus said, no, wait a minute.
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if somebody slaps you, turn the other cheek. i'll even go further. if somebody -- i want you to love your enemies. >> do good to those who hate you. he says if somebody success for your shirt, wants your tie, say i want your tie, jeff, you have to say, jay, have my whole jacket. that's christianity. and christianity is not a set of boxes that you intellectually give a set to. i believe x, y and z. no. that's not it. it's a way of being in the world. >> you said earlier that you didn't see jesus as someone who imagined or wanted to set out to start a new religion. you also don't see him, and i mention this because of the book this year that got a lot of attention, zealot, that portrayed him more as a political firebrand. you don't see that jesus. >> that jesus doesn't exist. jesus said those who live by the sword die by the sword. he was teaching peacefulness.
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jesus was not founding a religion oar political movement. he believed in -- i keep using the phrase and i was happy when i stumbled on it, the gradual apply realizing the king doom of god. >> which means what? >> someone says, where is this kingdom? is it here? is it there? and jesus says, the kingdom of god is within you. i think one of the words i stress in the boong is the character of jesus, the old testament uses meta, which means to go beyond physics, and noya, which means the mind. so what jesus is saying here, metanoya, if you allow yourself to go beyond this physical mind and enter into the larger spirit of god, you will experience salvation, or the word salvation in greek, salturia, means
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enlightenment, peace, reconciliation and this is the kingdom of god, and eternity and that eternity is here, now, always. >> this idea that you said about the myth, bringing the myth, in fact you say that you're writing in opposition to many tendencies in contrary scholarship and practice, to demythologize jesus. >> this is a biography but not historical in that we're not working with the usually data that we have have for writing the life of say, george washington or j.f.k. this is a mythical story and what we're going on the is the experience of god that people have through jesus christ. so it's, you know, a book about this marvelous experience of this teaching and experiencing of how through understanding this story, we have a way that we can follow. >> i was curious how that
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also -- what that means for our leading and understanding of the miracles of the supernatural aspect as well. because it -- in a sense -- >> happened? >> yes. i believe in the supernatural here, and someone asked me, how do you deal with the resurrection. you're an intelligent monarchs professor at middlebury college, a rational person. i talk about the resurrection saying this is a trans formation that goes way beyond anything that the human mind can understand. and it strikes me as important that when jesus comes back in the stories from the dead, nobody recognizes him. he is walking -- mary magdalene is in there and goes into the tomb. she is so sad because her best friend jesus has been crucified. someone talks to her. she thinks it's the garner. he says mary? and she said rabone, in native
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aramaic. even when she visits andrew and john, who are taking to fishing again after the crucifix, they're out there casting for fish, not getting any and jesus says try the other side of the boat. they do. and catch all of these fish. they come to shore and still don't recognize him. it's peter when he goes, wait a minute, you're jesus, aren't through. >> i think the point is that the res vex way beyond human understanding, that life and death are very complicated matter elves. i think that the membrane between life and death pairlously to thin and i think the story of apologize, this great mythical story can have transforming value in our lives. we will continue this discussion online. for now "jesus, the human face of god. jay parini. thank you very much. >> thank you, jeff. >> ifill: again, the major developments of the day:
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millions around the world marked christmas 2013. pope francis appealed for peace that does more than paper over conflict. russian prosecutors dropped charges of hooliganism against 29 members of a greenpeace ship's crew. they were seized in september outside a russian oil rig in the arctic. and the military-backed government in egypt formally declared the muslim brotherhood to be a terrorist organization. on the "newshour" online right now, we unwrap the gifts science gave us in 2013. from a rock and roll astronaut to a furry new mammal, we offer some of the year's most interesting scientific discoveries, achievements and pop culture moments. and on "making sense," we bring you a conversation with economist dan ariely on the surprising effect of holiday bonuses on work performance. all that and more is on our website newshour.pbs.org. and that's the "newshour" for
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tonight. on thursday, we'll unpack a year full of cyber-spying revelations. i'm gwen ifill. 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: ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> support also comes from carnegie corporation of new york, a foundation created to do what andrew carnegie called "real and permanent good." celebrating 100 years of philanthropy at carnegie.org.
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>> 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. captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org 
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this is "nightly business report" with tyler mathisen and suzy guerin brought to you in part by -- >> thestreet.com. up-to-the-minute stock market news and in-depth analysis. our service provides objective independent ratings daily on over 4,300 stocks. learn more at thestreet.com/nbr. good evening, everybody, and welcome to a special holiday edition of "nightly business report." i'm tyler mathisen. >> well, 2013 is almost in the books, and what a difference a year makes. from what seemed like daily record highs in the stock market to a bumper crop of new companies going public, 2013 was a good one for investors. >> a very good one. but away from wall street, things seemed to get mostly better as well. home prices came roaring back in many parts of the country, and the consumer dug deep and started to spendin

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