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tv   PBS News Hour Weekend  PBS  March 14, 2015 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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captioning sponsored by wnet >> sreenivasan: on this edition for saturday, march 14: in madison, wisconsin, the funeral for an unarmed teen shot and killed by police; in ferguson missouri, ongoing tensions and the manhunt after the shooting of two police officers; also the iraqi army makes advances in the fight against isis and then stops; and in our signature segment, planning for the inevitable by protecting your online accounts. >> the year after somebody passes is one of the most vulnerable times for identity theft. >> sreenivasan: next on pbs newshour weekend. >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by:
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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. two cities are grappling with violence and racial tension tonight. in madison, wisconsin, hundreds of mourners are expected to attend the visitation and funeral this evening for 19- year-old tony robinson. he's the biracial unarmed teen shot and killed by a madison police officer on march 6. on wednesday, robinson's mother said this:
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>> i want to be able to make a change. i don't want my son to have died in vain. i want us to be able to make change and do it peacefully. >> sreenivasan: a preliminary report released yesterday revealed robinson had been shot in the head, torso and upper body. the robinson shooting ignited days of protests and is still being investigated by state authorities. and in ferguson, missouri, the manhunt continues for the suspects who shot and wounded two officers outside the police department wednesday. it's just the latest incident of violence since the police shooting of michael brown on august 9. this week, following a scathing justice department report about racism within the ferguson police department, the city's manager, police chief and municipal judge all resigned their positions with the city. but so far, the mayor of ferguson, james knowles, refuses to step down. knowles says he wants to "turn the city around," but he also told "usa today": "i have no executive authority. i have no administrative authority. the charter doesn't allow me to hire, fire or even give
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direction to city employees." joining us now from st. louis is jim salter of the associated press. he's been covering the story since the dming. let's begin with that statement. is there no one that has any leadership capacity in ferguson if this is the job description that the mayor says? >> there's an acting city manager, the assistant city manager has been promote to the position now that john shaw stepped down. the mayor is right. he's, in the sense the mayor of city manager, form of government like firing son is a ceremonial figurehead. he does run the council meetings but it's a part-time position. he makes about $4200 a year, and until this whole crisis broke his role really was to lead city council meetings and to shake hand and to be sort of the face of the city. >> sreenivasan: so what's your sense then, of the tension between different sides over just bthe past few months, and whether it's gotten worse with what happened just a few days
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ago? >> i believe it's gotten better because the city has taken pretty swift action. six different pretty key figures have left the city, as you mentioned, in the past-- really in the past week, including the city manager the police chief, the municipal court judge, and the municipal court clerk, and two police officers the other two. there are still people who aren't satisfied. they believe the mayor should go that even members of the council should go, and the mayor's argument, of course is he's a part-time ceremonial figure, scowm leader, he's really not privy to the information that these people believe he was privy to. >> sreenivasan: so at the moment when it am comes to law enforcement, who is in charge? is it the city police? is it the state police? the county political accomplice? >> well in terms of day-to-day law enforcement in ferguson it's absolutely the city police. there are certain factions who want the police department to be dissolved. they want st. louis county to take over a neighboring community to take over patrol in ferguson. the mayor has been steadfast, in
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that the citizens of the town do not want that. he believes the citizens want their own police force. they want change, but they don't want another entity to come in and take over. now, in terms of security during the protest yes, there has been a change. st. louis county and the missouri state heid patrol have taken over that duty, at least for now although things were very quiet the past two nights in fact virtually no protesters last night. but that could change. as of right now, ferguson is running its own police department but it is deferring to st. louis county and the highway patrol for protest duty. >> sreenivasan: all right macky sall from the associated press joins us from sloourks thank you very much. >> sreenivasan: there are new details in the controversy over former secretary of state hillary clinton's e-mail practices. this week, clinton confirmed she used a private e-mail account for official business but emphasized the messages were preserved on government servers. but now, the state department is saying it had no way of routinely preserving emails from senior officials during clinton's time with the department.
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in fact, officials say they depended on individual employees to decide if certain emails should be considered "public records." clinton says she's turned over work-related emails to state department officials but says she won't turn over personal messages. a new report shows that millions of death records are missing from the social security database. according to the agency's inspector generalcial security records show 6.5 million people in the u.s. have reached age 112 or older. the data lapse means millions of long-deceased americans still have active social security numbers, so thieves could use their accounts to report wages open bank accounts, get credit cards or fake tax papers. the agency says it is working to update the system but warns it will be costly and time- consuming to do so. california officials say they've issued about 131,000 driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants in the last two months. california is one of ten states and the district of columbia which has drawn criticism for
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granting driver's licenses regardless of immigration status. in france, prosecutors have indicted two men in connection with the terror attack on a kosher supermarket in paris in january. investigators say they have tied a 25-year-old and a 33-year-old to the attack on the market and the satirical magazine "charlie hebdo" through hundreds of text messages, meetings and d.n.a. found at the crime scene. one of the pacific ocean's most powerful storms has killed at least eight people and forced hundreds into shelters across the vanuatu chain of islands. pam, a category-five cyclone hit the tiny south pacific nation early this morning, packing wind gusts up to 200 miles per hour. unicef estimates 54,000 children have been affected by the cyclone. the storm is expected to skim the northern coast of new zealand tomorrow into monday.
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>> sreenivasan: this week could be a turning point in iraq's fight against isis militants. shia militia members have joined %8qi forces to take back tikrit. if they succeed, it would be the first time pro-government forces beat back isis to recover a major iraqi city. yesterday, the fighting reportedly stalled while troops waited for reinforcements. but now, a u.s. military leader says he's worried about what could happen next if iraqi troops manage to defeat isis altogether. for some insight, we are joined now from washington, d.c. by douglas ollivant, former national security council director for iraq during the presidencies of george w. bush and barack obama. he is a senior national security fellow at the new america foundation and a partner at mantid international. so first, why the pause in fighting? >> well we're not sure. that's a single-source report. we're not confident that is what's happening. although knowing what's going on in the fog of battle is often
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difficult. what we do know is the battle has been going fairly successfully. it's possible they've taken a pause to call for more reinforcements. but in general they've opinion pushing through the city of tikrit, and we do expect them to control it in days to, you know a week or 10 days at the outside. >> sreenivasan: you know, i referenced a comment from army general martin dempsey, he said this week any fight against isis is a positive thing but he worried: >> that's a legitimate concern. the good news today is that the initial indications are good. we have a front page story in the "wall street journal" today about the sunni residents around tikrit being overjoyed at being liberated by the shi'a militias. in fact, we have a report from a.f.p. that states some of the shi'a militias are setting up sunni groups within them that they are recruiting sunni
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auxiliaries to their militias. so there are some initial good signs. now, of course, in the longer term the political reckon sillation, the reconstruction of tikrit, getting the services back up,un, the economy moving again-- these are all really important things that it's too early to tell if those are going to be as successful. >> sreenivasan: there's also some concern, it seems, on the involvement of iran in this fight. there was a report that an iranian revolutionary guard commander was seen on the battlefield or leading some of the troops in tikrit, and there was some response, also, from the saudi foreign ministers saying, you know what? this is proof that iran is essentially taking over iraq. i mean, is it very easy to get people off the battlefield and say, "thanks for the help. back to your country now." >> certainly, iran is banking some very serious political capital with the iraqis in their instantaneous and overwhelming support in their fight against the islamic state.
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so iran, in effect, has paid its dues and will probably enjoy some political support in the coming years because of that. that's something that the united states is just going to have to keep competing with iran for influence in iraq. it would be easy to just walk away, but instead, we need to stay in and really try to recover from some mistakes, i think, that were made early on that have given the iranians some positional advantage in the aftermath of what will happen. >> sreenivasan: is that what's leading to some of the tension in d.c. right now. >> that's a big piece of it. there are, obviously, all types of things going on with iran. this is just one piece of it. the nuclear negotiations are in the air. the competition with saudi arabia is the in air. there's a huge propaganda battle going on, on the airwaves in social media, you know, for the attention of the people, you know, lots of accusations that iranian-backed groups are doing this. they, of course, are pushing back saying that is just not the
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case. yes, there are concerns some of them legitimate, some of them less so and we're going to see how this works out in the longer term there doesn't seem to be any alternative to let the iranians help. we certainly don't want to tell the iraqis kick them out of country and fight the islamic state without this aid. that's not going to fly, either. >> sreenivasan: all right dug ollivant joining us from washington d.c., thanks so much. >> always a pleasure. >> sreenivasan: this week, many public television stations across the country are once again taking time out to ask for your support. with that in mind, we are taking time to update you on some of our signature segments. in this story that was originally broadcast last july we ask what happens to all of your online banking, travel and email accounts after you die? as it turns out, managing one's" digital estate" is a complicated job. do you have an email account? how about a facebook page?
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bank online? shop online? pay your gas, light or cable tv bill over the internet? i've just laid out more than a half dozen accounts that many of us have, likely each with its own password. these accounts don't die with us. the passwords to each of them are often times locked away with only one person, the deceased. which means that valuable online assets could be lost forever or be found by those looking to exploit them. take the case of glenn williamson, a tech entrepreneur in portland, oregon. in august of 2012, he got the worst news possible. >> i was in the philippines speaking at a conference, and, you know, when your phone goes off 15 times and it's 3:00 in the morning in the united states, you have a bad feeling. you know it's not a good call. >> reporter: glenn's 73-year-old mother, lee, had died. as her fiduciary and as a 25- year veteran of the tech world, it fell to him to manage her online accounts. >> i knew my mom being a cool grandma, was on twitter. so, i knew she was on twitter and i knew she had a yahoo account.
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so, we had a baseline to start, but that's all we knew. >> reporter: after 20 hours of searching glenn found 13 different accounts belonging to his mother, including email social media and shopping accounts. >> so, we broke it down into categories-- travel, sentimental value, security-- and basically we searched on about 75 different sites. >> reporter: some had real value. after going through all the airlines we got to united and united did, indeed have my mom as a customer. and there was 54,000 miles that we were able to retrieve for our family. >> reporter: all this while he was grieving. >> and it's a painful... it's a long process. and everybody means well, but if one more person tells you they're sorry, it's like, okay, i just need to know, did she have an account or not? >> reporter: williamson and his wife are online savvy relatively young, and it was still tough to find all those accounts. >> so, the average person, especially if the average person is doing it in their 60s, it's a very, very difficult process. >> reporter: glenn's problems managing his mother's online
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estate helped inspire him to start a business solution called webcease, an online service that helps people search for their deceased loved ones' digital assets. it uses a person's basic information, like an email address, and finds the major online accounts that are linked to it. and although webcease won't shut down an account for you, it will tell you what can be done under a web site's specific terms-of- service. >> my mom d an asset inventory of her financial accounts, but she didn't have an asset inventory of all things digital. and that's really what we provide to the family is, we provide them at a high level a digital asset inventory. so, you can look through it and say, "oh, my mom was on amazon and itunes, and she had marriott and hyatt, et cetera." so, that's really the value we provide. >> reporter: webcease is one of a handful of web sites that has sprung up over the last few years. sites like navigatr, the doc safe, capsoole, my cyber safe, and afternote-- all of them trying to tackle what is becoming an increasingly common problem. >> nowadays, everyone keeps
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their filing cabinets on their computers, and they may not have shared the access to that with their families. >> reporter: suzanne walsh is an estate lawyer in hartford, connecticut. >> i have received panicked calls from family members who don't know passwords, don't know the nature of the online accounts. they simply know mom paid the bills online, and they may not even be sure about the bank. >> reporter: walsh says that the main problem is one of access. in many cases, we have made it virtually illegal for anyone else to use our online accounts. it starts with those terms of service agreements, the fine print of the online world. once the "i agree" button is pressed it's as good as a contract. >> many of them prohibit the sharing of passwords, and they prohibit third-party access. so, right now, they tend to bar anybody but the account holder accessing the account. >> reporter: that means even if the account holder is dead. internet service providers say they're following the letter of the law as spelled out in the
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1986 stored communications act which prohibits anyone from accessing private information online without permission. >> the problem with fiduciary access now is that it may be a violation of federal privacy law or a computer fraud and abuse act. it may be an actual criminal act to violate the terms of service agreement. >> reporter: but being unable to access or shut down a deceased loved one's accounts could have unforeseen risks as glenn williamson, who spent 20 years in online security, will tell you. >> the year after somebody passes is one of the most vulnerable times for identity theft. it's a heinous crime, but what the bad guys do, because death is public record, they'll go out there and they'll comb through recently deceased and they'll create a fake identity. because the deceased don't check emails, and they don't get the mail. >> reporter: every year, more than two million americans are the posthumous victims of identity fraud. thieves can use a dead person's information to rack up credit card charges, apply for loans or
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even file false tax returns. and much of this information can be found on the internet through something as simple as a shopping account. to date, only nine states have any laws in effect that govern online estate planning. suzanne walsh who chairs a committee on the uniform law commission, an organization which drafts laws it hopes to standardize in all 50 states, is trying to change that. last year, walsh's committee finished drafting a bill called the "fiduciary access to digital assets act," which would give fiduciaries the same rights over online estates as they now have over physical estates. >> fiduciaries, traditionally, have access to everything in admin... especially in administering estates. and that used to mean opening up the mailbox, opening up the file cabinet, rifling through the desk. our act is designed to continue that and facilitate that, given the different nature of the digital assets. >> reporter: the bill was reviewed and enacted by the uniform law commission last july, but it's still up to individual state legislatures to
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propose it and pass it as law. although the act has been introduced in 18 states, so far only one state, delaware has signed the act into law. however, the act is not without its critics. the general counsel of a washington, d.c.-based group called the state privacy and security coalition, which represents the interests of google, yahoo and facebook, among others, came out against delaware's new law, saying" this law takes no account of minimizing intrusions into the privacy of third parties who communicated with the deceased. this would include highly confidential communications to decedents from third parties who are still alive, who would be very surprised that an executor is reviewing the communications." but, despite the pushback, suzanne walsh is hopeful that her committee's work will be recognized in more state legislatures. >> widespread enactment is our goal. that's our primary goal. certainly, we hope and expect that it won't take more than a year or two for most of the states to adopt this product.
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>> reporter: while the states debate the act, some internet service providers have begun proposing their own solutions to the problems raised by digital estates. in 2013, google introduced a new feature called "inactive account manager," which would give users the choice of having their accounts transferred to specific people after a set period of inactivity or having them automatically deleted. and last month, facebook announced their own feature for dealing with digital estate management called "legacy contacts." users can now choose a facebook friend to maintain their account after they die, but the designated friend cannot delete the account or respond to messages intended for the deceased. facebook users also have the option to have their account deleted upon their death. but beyond new user features and state laws, there are steps that people can take now to make the process of digital estate management easier on next of kin. first, create an inventory list of all your online accounts and
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passwords for your fiduciary. stipulate what to do with your email accounts in a will, and read the terms-of-service agreements so you can understand how or even if access to your accounts can be granted to someone else. but glenn williamson says, no matter what steps you take or what laws are eventually passed, managing a digital estate for a loved one will always be a long, arduous and painful process. >> sreenivasan: learn how to manage your digital estate and keep your accounts protected. read our guide at >>ab american worker who tested positive for united arab emirates in sierra leon is back in the u.s. tonight being treated at the national institutes of health in bethesda, maryland. , to thes have not released his name but said his condition is serious. 10 other u.s. aid workers might have also been exposed and headed back to the u.s. as well. none has tested positive. more than 10,000 people have
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died of united arab emirates in the past year. if you're a nerd like me you know there are two fun math moments today. a very special edition of the annual pi day at 9:56 and 53 seconds on march 14 of 2015 is also the first nine digits of the mathematical constant pi all in a row. the dates and time won't line up like this for another 100 years. and finally, the documentary " documentary "180 days: hartsville" premieres this tuesday, march 17, on pbs. it examines the nation's poverty and education challenges by focusing on the transformative efforts of one school district in hartsville, south carolina, where most residents hover near the poverty line. here's a brief look. >> the american education system is broken. it's failing. is that really true? >> for all the criticisms that we get we really don't get up in the morning and drive to work thinking about how badly we can do today. >> there are good days here. there are wad days here. you know it's a journey.
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>> sreenivasan: that's if for this edition of pbs newshour weekend. i'm hari sreenivasan. thanks for watching. captioning sponsored by wnet captioned by media access group at wgbh >> 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:
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and by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
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