tv PBS News Hour Weekend PBS March 8, 2015 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by wnet >> sreenivasan: on this edition for sunday, march 8: the latest from baghdad as iraqi forces launch an offensive against isis. why the director of the c.i.a. plans to restructure the agency. and, in our signature segment, the increasingly tense climate for muslims in france's most diverse city. >> ( translated ): it's getting worse and worse. and frankly, i don't think it's going to get better. >> sreenivasan: next, on pbs newshour weekend. >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by:
corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we are your retirement company. additional support is provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. from the tisch wnet studios in lincoln center in new york, hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: good evening thanks for joining us. time is running out for leaders to make some kind of deal with iran about its nuclear program. president obama told cbs' "face the nation" that within the next month or so, his administration needs to determine whether negotiators can get iran to truly agree to a reasonable deal. >> if we are able to verify that in fact they are not developing weapons systems, then there's a deal to be had, but that's going to require them to accept the kind of verification and constraints on their program that so far, at least, they have not been willing to say yes to.
>> sreenivasan: but top u.s. lawmakers are split over whether the negotiations will succeed at all. >> looks like it will leave infrastructure in place with one of the worst regimes in the world, the fact that the president doesn't seem to want congress to participate in this underscores what a bad deal it is. >> let's see what the negotiation produces. let's hope there's an alternative to war. but at this point we don't know. >> sreenivasan: thousands marched in selma, alabama this afternoon as part of the continuing commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the "bloody sunday" clash between state and local police and peaceful demonstrators. the day began with a unity breakfast, followed by services at the brown chapel a.m.e. church which served as the starting point for the selma-to- montgomery marches in 1965. attorney general eric holder spoke there this morning. >> half a century ago, it was said that nothing could stop the marching feet of a determined people. today, 50 years after bloody
sunday, we stand together once again as a people. we are no less determined. and we will march on. >> sreenivasan: the events in selma continue tomorrow with a march from the edmund pettus bridge to montgomery. the ceremonies end friday with a rally at the alabama state capitol. in russia, a suspect in the assassination of putin critic boris nemtsov reportedly blew himself up with a grenade as police closed in on him overnight. another has reportedly confessed to taking part in nemtsov's murder. there are four other suspects in custody who are denying any involvement. officials say all of the suspects have ties to chechnya. it's been exactly one year since malaysia air flight 370 disappeared somewhere between kuala lumpur and beijing. today, officials released a 584- page interim report on the investigation. the new report says the battery that powered the underwater beacon for the plane's flight data recorder expired in december 2012 and may not have been replaced, making it even harder to find the crash site. the plane vanished with 227
passengers and 12 crew members on board. malaysian and chinese officials are reassuring the victims' families that the search will go on. a second attack in as many days has rocked u.n. operations in mali. attackers fired more than 30 rockets and shells at the u.n. base in the northeastern city of kidal this morning, killing three people and wounding 12 others. just yesterday, islamic extremists claimed responsibility for opening fire on a restaurant in mali's capital. five people were killed there and nine others were wounded, including two swiss soldiers who were working for the united nations. colombia's government has made an unprecedented deal with farc rebels. both sides have agreed to work together to remove landmines that have covered the countryside since the 1960s. colombia is one of the most heavily mined nations in the world. mines have killed or injured more than 11,000 people in the last 15 years. negotiators call the agreement a giant step toward making peace. people from all over the world are marking international women's day today, with rallies,
protests and performances. in new york, men and women with the fdny marched for gender equality in manhattan. in afghanistan, u.s. soldiers joined local women for a ceremony in kandahar province. arabic women in morocco carried a banner demanding dignity freedom, equality and social justice. most of the events have been peaceful, but chinese officials have reportedly detained at least 10 women involved in a campaign to fight sexual harassment on public transportation. international women's day dates back to 1908 when thousands of women marched through new york city demanding better pay shorter hours and voting rights. >> sreenivasan: iraqi forces have been making significant headway against isis in the last few days, pushing extremist fighters back out of some of the territory they seized last year. anne barnard has been reporting for the "new york times" on the fighting and the rising political tension.
she joins me via skype from baghdad. what is the latest on the iraqi forces' efforts to take back some of the ground that isis gained last summer. >> . >> well the reports that they moved into another village which is close to tikrit. the offensive has been going for the last week perhaps more slowly than expected, but moving suddenly ahead. and there's about 32,000 troops involved. isis has been able to hold out against them in the center of tikrit but they lost a number of villages around tikrit and tamara. >> by some measures this is a sign of success. is the iraqi military ready for this fight now? versus in other times where we had reports of them turning away on the battlefield and fleeing? >>. >> well, we were out on the front lines the other day. and we definitely saw i would say a new level of organization and enthusiasm. but i wouldn't say it's as
of the iraqi army that is leading the fight as the shiite par military organization known as the popular mobilist-- committee the shiite militias which are closely tied to iran which are providing the bulk of the fighters. and there was a call that went out from shi'a clerics asking everyone to come and fight isis. and this is basically the vehicle available to quickly mobilize all these people. >> with the presence of all these shi'a militiamen how does that affect the relationship between iraq and the united states? >> well it's really sparking the tensions. because america has not provided air strikes in this battle the way they had in previous battles. when we were on the ground, militia leaders were complaining bitterly about this complaining that iran was really the real friend of iraq and iran was providing much more significant help throughout this war than the united states. at the same time for the americans it's very difficult to work with
militias that may have been involved with attacks on american troops during the u.s. occupation here. >> so while we hear about these battles taking place we're also in the west seeing this footage of isis forces destroying works of art and places of cultural significance. is there anything that can be done to stop that? >> unfortunately there's not much that can be done in areas that isis is currently controlling. some of the leaders of the iraqi cultural institutions have actually been asking for air strikes to stop the advances of bulldozers on those sites. i don't think american rules of engagement call for attacking bulldozers but on the other hand people say there's really no other way to stop this at the moment. of course, there are other things that can be done and are being worked on now to try to mitigate these kinds of risks by better documenting the very valuable ancient sites that are all over iraq. that is essentially a way to recover objects that might
get looted or to reconstruct things later. but there isn't much that can be done on the ground. >> ann barnard joining us via skype live from baghdad thanks so much will >> sreenivasan: many pbs stations are taking time out this week to ask your for your support. with that in mind, we are bringing you updates to some of our signature segments from the past few months. tonight, we return to france-- a country that remains on high alert two months after the terrorists in paris killed 17 people. the attacks, which were carried out by islamic extremists further strained the relationship between french muslims and the rest of french society. megan thompson traveled to marseille in december and updates her story. >> reporter: this port city of around 850,000 is france's second largest, and one of its most diverse. located on france's southern mediterranean shore, marseille is home to tens of thousands of
immigrants from throughout europe and more recently, north africa. by some estimates, the city is now 30% to 40% muslim, one of the highest concentrations of muslims anywhere in this overwhelmingly catholic country. always a melting pot, marseille hasn't seen the riots or violence that have broken out in other parts of france in recent years. but even before the january attacks in paris that shook the nation-- first at the satirical newspaper charlie hebdo, and then, at a kosher market-- tensions in marseille between muslims and non-muslims had been rising. >> ( translated ): it's awfully complicated, all of this. with the arrival of the foreigners who have changed everything in the town of marseille. >> reporter: retired photographer claude de garam has lived in marseille his entire life. he said he's felt things change over the years. >> ( translated ): before, everyone knew each other. even the first immigrants in marseille, the italians spanish, all of that, it all worked fine. perhaps because it was the same
religion. but what came after, it's a lot more complicated. less integrated. the old marseillais are annoyed to have people who come and bother them in their hometown. because we have our ways. and the new arrivals feel not well accepted and so you feel their hatred increasing. you can see it in the buses. there are fights, and that didn't happen before. >> reporter: de garam said he's not sure what the future holds. >> ( translated ): we don't know where we are going, but we can feel that it's not towards peace. there's a feeling of uneasiness. >> ( translated ): yes, there are problems of islamaphobia. in my opinion, it's happening more and more. >> reporter: as we traveled around marseille, we spoke to many french muslims who told us they've seen things change here, too. like our taxi driver, aziz, who was born in marseille to tunisian parents. we heard about french-born muslims feeling like they were sometimes considered foreigners. we also heard complaints about
job discrimination, and feeling singled out by politicians. >> ( translated ): every public official, whenever there's an election, their number one issue is islam. but i just gave you a little tour and almost half the people who live here are muslim. and i don't think you saw anything different from other neighborhoods. everybody lives normally. >> reporter: aziz was showing us around a lower-income section of north marseille. outside a mosque after friday prayers we met several men who were very suspicious of our camera. medy, a french-born muslim of algerian descent, was the only one who'd talk. he explained many muslims feel they're portrayed unfairly by the media. >> ( translated ): they are always trying to say islam is terrorists. every time with our religion. so it annoys me. they are not telling the truth. >> ( translated ): there are lot of verbal insults. the stares, people in the streets looking at me. >> reporter: nathalie bensilla lives on the other side of marseille. she was also born in france, the daughter of an algerian
immigrant. she converted to islam in her early 20s and is now married to the imam of the mosque we visited. the mother of seven said once or twice a month she's ridiculed because she wears a headscarf. she also said she's been excluded from her children's school field trips, and back in 2012 she had a confrontation in a store. >> ( translated ): a woman tore into me, really insulted me. she said you've rejected our origin. because she knew that i'm french, because i told her. she really insulted me with all these names. she almost hit me. >> reporter: bensilla said she reported the incident to the police, but nothing happened. according to a national muslim advocacy group in france, after the paris attacks the number of islamophobic acts across the country increased by 70%, compared to the same time period last year. >> ( translated ): it doesn't bother me. i ignore them. but, when you have your kids with you and someone insults
you, it's degrading. and frankly when it happens on the street it's hard to justify it to the kids, they don't understand. my son, he says, when i'm big, i'm going to fight these people if they talk to you that way. and i say, you can't respond to aggression with aggression. >> reporter: why do you think people treat you this way? >> ( translated ): i really, i think it's fear of the other. and also lack of understanding of our religion. also i think that muslims don't make enough effort to reach out and to explain the fundamentals of our religion. that there is a lot of respect for others. >> ( translated ): i would like to remind people that france is a christian country, with an identity, a culture. >> reporter: steéphane ravier is the mayor of the poor northern section of marseille that we visited. he's also a member of france's far-right party, the national front. last year, he made history becoming one of the first politicians from that party ever elected to the french senate. the national front is known for
tough talk on immigration, security and islam, and its hard line on secularism, which has offended members of the muslim community. ravier once interrupted a muslim wedding because the bride's face was covered a violation of french law. >> ( translated ): we have an identity, but we also have laws. french law forbids to anyone to be entirely veiled. so, i have only applied the law. so i'm telling the french muslims and the muslims in general you have a right to live your religion, but don't forget that here it is french soil, and in france as it is done around the world, we also have to respect religions and rituals customs, codes. so there is islam and there is islamism, which is growing >> reporter: even before the terror attacks in paris, the national front was gaining ground in france amidst growing concerns about the economy and security. french officials have estimated more than 1,000 people have left, or plan to leave france to wage jihad in syria and iraq.
>> ( translated ): massive immigration is causing islamization. we can see that there are some extremist elements at the heart. they are very active. and the french authorities are completely frozen because they fear being labeled islamophobic. these small groups of islamists within the heart of islam are very active and those are the ones that i want to fight. >> reporter: since the attacks the popularity of the national front has grown even more. the party's leader came in first in a recent poll of potential candidates in the 2017 presidential election. we recently caught up with ambroise bouleis, a television journalist in marseille, who said it's a surprising development for a party once considered fringe. >> they are doing very well. and part of the explanation might be that the attacks brought back, on the scene, their favorite topics. immigration, national security. those are the core of their political program. >> reporter: as for the climate in marseille after the attacks bouleis said, initially it was quite tense.
but he told us the public response was more tepid here than in other major french cities, where hundreds of thousands marched in the streets. bouleis explained that while many muslims condemned the violence, they were also offended by the cartoons of mohammad published in the paper charlie hebdo. >> many of them decided not to go out, decided not to participate in this public grief. they decided not to say, "i am charlie," like everyone said this day. but some of them chose to say," i am not charlie." because for them, supporting charlie hebdo was supporting the caricatures of mohammad that the satirical journal had published. many muslims have felt stigmatized as well. because the three terrorists called themselves islam defenders. so it led some people to conflate in a way, islam and terrorism. and there were some very racist rants on the internet.
so, a large part of the muslim community was very deeply hurt. >> reporter: it's all been a blow to an already tense situation in marseille. as for the future? even before the attacks, there seemed to be little optimism. >> ( translated ): i think that we'll need a few generations to get used to it. me, i won't be here. but my kids, i think they will be experiencing some tough moments. >> ( translated ): it's getting worse and worse. and frankly, i don't think it's going to get better. i don't think it's going to get better. >> sreenivasan: what's driving some european muslims to extremism? watch judy woodruff's interview with the director of the international center for the study of radicalization in london. visit pbs.org/newshour. >> sreenivasan: c.i.a. director john brennan announced friday that he is ordering sweeping reforms designed to dramatically change the agency, starting at
the top. but exactly what is changing and why? yesterday i spoke with associated press intelligence reporter ken dilanian. why did the cia director feel these changes were necessary in the first place? >> well i'm not sure he's going to be completely leveling with us about that. but i can say that it comes amid the backdrop of a series of intelligence failures where the cia has not predicted major global developments. whether you want to talk about weapons of mass destruction in iraq or the movement of russian troops in the u. ukraine or the rapid rise of the -- >> there is a felling that since the cia has done thinging incredibly well since 9/11 there are also some gaps. and the world is changing a lot. so director brennan assembled a group of experts and internal people and looked for three months intensively at the agency's functions and came up with this plan. >> so one of the suggestions was to break down the law that exists between the analysts and the operators. and to most of us, i didn't
realize there was that wall in the first place. >> right. and that is fundamental. that is the biggest change brennan is implementing here. that is fundamental to the agency's character. since it was created in 1947. the operators are people who recruit spies who run covert operations. and they have their own bosses. they work in their own offices for the most part. and the analysts are different, they're more like college professors they take the intelligence collected by the operators and interpret it and write papers that are collected by the president. there are part of the cia including now, the counterterrorism center that is-- but for the most part they don't work together. and under this change they would begin working together in ten so-called centers which would sort of either be geographic areas of the world or in some cases subject areas like counterproliferation. >> srennivasan: but what was the rationale behind keeping these teams separate? >> well, i mean, there's a school of thought that says analysts are more objective when they are not-- when
they are not working closely with the collector. because they don't want to have a stake in the intelligence or the operation. they just want to call if as they see it but others have said look we're not seeing very much of a compromise of objectivity in areas where analysts and operators do work together so we're not so concerned about that problem. but they are very different disciplines. operators are the ones that go to the farm and get trained and spy trade craft surveillance detection and all of that. analysts work in offices for the most part i'm generalizing and kberpt the intelligence. since 9/11 analysts have been deployed more off tone war zones and there has been a comingling and this is the ultimate result of that. >> and what about this focus on cyberthreats. what does he plan to do? >> well you know obviously the cia does a lot of hacking and cyberstuff now. but what he is doing is setting up a directorate which is the equivalent directorate of operations we just talked about and director of intelligence. this would be a directorate for sign their would look
for that across the agency and trying to up their game in terms of hacking, whether it's hacking into a pass wore database to protect an aliases or trying to get information about the islamic state in syria where they can't go in. so there's a feeling that, you know, they need to sort of get with the times and really enhance their cybercapability and this is one way to do that. >> ken dilanian thanks so much. >> thanks hari. >> srennivasan: before we leave you tonight alabama governor robert bentley is reportedly sending additional state law enforcement officers to selma to help with crowd control. according to nbc station wsfa selma mayor said 80,000 people showed up for today's bridge crossing ceremony. here is a look at what is coming up on the news tomorrow. >> we're here in selma, alabama, where people came to the streets this weekend including two presidents members of congress and
regular folks to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the selma to montgomerie march. but that was 50 years ago. what about now and what about the future? that's the story we'll tell tomorrow night on the newshour. >> srennivasan: that's it for this edition of pbs nuz -- pbs news azhour am weekend. i'm hari sreenivasan. thanks for watching. captioning sponsored by wnet captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we are your retirement company. additional support is provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.