tv PBS News Hour PBS April 10, 2015 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: the contest to be the next president gathers steam. republican contenders speak at an n.r.a. meeting to talk guns, politics and 2016. good evening, i'm judy woodruff. also ahead, video as evidence training citizens to capture crime, document abuse and fight for accountability. >> most of the video that we see on youtube and that goes viral on the media, its about the crime, it's about the what. an important part of my job is to teach people also how to document who did and how it was done. >> woodruff: it's friday, david brooks and ruth marcus are here,
to analyze the week's news. plus: ♪ ♪ >> woodruff: musicians experiment with eclectic sounds challenging audiences to listen with big ears and re-think the bounds of genres. >> it gets you out of your comfort zone and makes you just go okay i am going to consider something from a completely different point of view. and i just think that's really important. you can't make art by thinking "this isn't going to fit." you just do what seems right. >> woodruff: those are some of the stories we're covering on tonight's "pbs newshour." >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160
years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> lincoln financial-- committed to helping you take charge of your life and become you're own chief life officer. >> supporting social entrepreneurs and their solutions to the worlds most pressing problems-- skollfoundation.org. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions 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. >> woodruff: president obama and cuba's president raul castro will meet tomorrow, a historic encounter en route to restoring diplomatic ties. that word came from white house officials today, at the summit
of the americas being held in panama. leaders of the two countries have not held any substantive, face-to-face discussions in decades. >> woodruff: federal authorities have charged a topeka man with plotting a suicide car bomb attack at fort riley, kansas. john t. booker allegedly planned a strikein support of the "islamic state" group. he was arrested today near manhattan, kansas. the f.b.i. said security at the base was never breached. >> woodruff: tiny towns in northern illinois picked up the pieces today, after a tornado struck late thursday, killing two people. at least one twister cut a path through fairdale and rochelle, some 80 miles northwest of chicago. 70 or more homes were destroyed and fire officials reported just about every building in the area was damaged. the local sheriff lost his own home. >> it was pretty significant damage. houses that are affected are severely affected.
they're gone for the most part or uninhabitable. there's no -- doesn't appear to be houses with minor damage. it's pretty much just devastation where the tornado went through. appears to be a quarter mile or wider than that. >> woodruff: some people were trapped in wrecked buildings for 90 minutes after the tornado struck. officials said today they're trying to determine if anyone is still missing. in yemen, much-needed medical assistance arrived in the embattled capital of sanaa. 35 tons of equipment and supplies were unloaded from two planes sent by the red cross and the united nation's children's fund. and the situation in aden was growing desperate, as well. dounia delkhili of doctors without borders, had been in aden until yesterday. >> so, it's more than 20 days that we witness heavy street fighting in different parts of the city. really heavy, we have received so far, more than 600 injured.
>> woodruff: meanwhile, the pakistani parliament voted today not to join saudi arabia and its allies in fighting shiite rebels in yemen. also in pakistan, the accused mastermind of the 2008 mumbai attacks in india was released on bail. a pakistani court ruled that zaki-ur-rehman lakhvi was to be freed, pending trial. he's facing terrorism charges in the deaths of 166 people in mumbai. india criticized the release and the u.s. state department said it's "gravely concerned." china today rejected president obama's complaint that it's intimidating neighbors in the south china sea. the chinese have been aggressively building up bases on man-made islands in the disputed region. but in jamaica yesterday, mr. obama said just because china is larger, does not mean countries like the philippines and vietnam can be "elbowed aside."
>> where we get concerned with china is where it is not necessarily abiding by international norms and rules, and is using its sheer size and muscle to force countries into subordinate positions. >> woodruff: that drew a response today in beijing, where the chinese foreign ministry turned the charge back on washington. >> ( translated ): you've said that the u.s. leader said that china is showing its size and muscle. i think everyone can see very clearly who it is in the world who is having the biggest size and muscle. i think you would agree with my words that china has always been a resolute maintainer and pusher of peace and stability in the south china sea. >> woodruff: beijing claims the bases it's building will be primarily for scientific research and environmental preservation.
back in this country, wall street scored gains across the board, partly on the news that general electric will sell its financial arm, g.e. capital. the dow jones industrial average was up almost 100 points to close above 18,000. the nasdaq rose 21 points. and the s-and-p 500 added 11. for the week, the dow and the s-and-p gained more than 1.5%. the nasdaq rose more than 2%. >> woodruff: still to come on the newshour: the fight over gun rights shifts from washington to states and cities; witnessing crime and capturing video that can be used in court; david brooks and ruth marcus on the week's news; why retailers pull some dietary supplements from the shelves; plus, musical mash-ups and a feast of eclectic sounds. >> woodruff: it was widely reported today that hillary clinton will formally announce
her run for the democratic presidential nomination on sunday. the former secretary of state, senator and first lady is expected to enter the ring via social media, then travel to early-primary states. meanwhile, a dozen potential republican presidential contenders took to the stage today to woo one of their biggest constituencies, the gun lobby. >> i'm proud to stand up and fight for your right to possess firearms. i'm proud to stand up for the great american traditions that are true in my state and across this country of hunting and shooting, but most importantly i'm proud to stand up for freedom. >> i remember seeing people lying on the ground with bullet holes waiting to die. >> then as a surgeon, i spent many a night operating on people with gunshot wounds to their heads. and all of that is horrible.
but i can tell you something, it is not nearly as horrible as having a population that is defenseless against a group of tie rants who have arms. >> i earned an a-plus rating from the nra. i was proud of that. progun laws have been the model for other states. today there are over 1.3 million law abiding floridians with a valid concealed weapons permit. 1.3 million. (applause) that's the most in the nation, nearly double that of the second state which is texas. sorry, governor perry. >> woodruff: a broader look now at the politics of guns and how that debate is playing out at the state and local level, we are joined by josh horwitz, executive director of the coalition to stop gun violence.
and alan gottlieb, founder of the second amendment foundation who is in nashville for the n.r.a. convention. we welcome you both. alan gottlieb, it used to be the gun debate played out here in washington, there were these he have ying lobbying big debates over the brady bill, over the ban on assault weapons. today the action seems to be moved to the states and the cities. why is that? >> well, that's because the results of the mid-term elections, politicians in washington, d.c. got defeated for office. >> woodruff: meaning congress is overwhelmingly pro-gun rights now? >> most definitely is. the house was before, now is stronger and the change in leadership in the senate made a big difference. no anti-gun bill is going to get out of committee in the united states senate. >> woodruff: josh horwitz, does that mean for the side that supports gun control you've
given up on washington? >> not at all. we're going to work hard over the next two years to make sure things like background checks that have bipartisan support get moving. i think it's important to understand that congress doesn't work very well that trying to get anything through d.c. and capitol hill is going to be hard. they can't do immigration or a host of other things. so looking at this issue it's difficult like all the issues in washington which is one of the reasons we're focusing on the states. >> woodruff: where are you focusing your efforts? what kinds of things are you trying to do? >> i think it's important to go back and look what happened the last couple of months. washington state passed an historic referendum on background checks and now we have been looking for other states so i think you're looking at oregon a real push for background checks, we'll see another referendum in nevada in 2016. we also want to make sure we have background checks on all gun sales but want to make sure that what's in the background check system makes sense so that
we want to make sure people who are domestic violence abusers and violent misdemeanors with long records can't buy access firearms. so we're working on background checks and making sure that the checks stop the people who are dangerous from getting firearms. >> woodruff: alan gottlieb what is the gun rights movement doing to push back on the snefers. >> in the last months alone 16 states passed pro gun rights legislation. in the areas of extended concealed carry rights, where you can carry a firearm reciprocity and even kansas now which allows you to carry firearm for self-protection concealed without a permit. so we've skort 16 victories in the last 30 days and plan to have more next month as legislators roll up their legislation. >> woodruff: are you targeting this? are you picking places where you think you will have a better shot, one assumes? how do you make the decisions? >> you pretty much make decisions on where you think you can get a bill passed.
the only place we tend to have problems are a couple of states like massachusetts new jersey new york, maryland, states that already have strict gun control laws that don't work. i'll push back a little bit on that. in a state like virginia where you have a democratic governor a purple state, a small number of those got through legislature this year but the governor vetoed them all. i think that the battleground is really the purple states places like minnesota, washington, like oregon, these are the places -- and a bill out of massachusetts. we saw colorado pass an historic background check last last year. the people want these policies and a lot of politicians are realizing it's good politics to do so. >> woodruff: alan gottlieb if it's playing out in the purple states where the
republican-democrat balance is more evenly divided, what are the battles coming down to? background checks? >> most places have background checks. sometimes it is background checks. like in colorado, josh just mentioned the purple state, the state senate just repealed some of the gun control passed last year. so we're making gains and repealing some of the stuff that had just gotten through on the other side. i have no problem with background checks. the problem is how the bills are written, registering gun owners, creating registries and making it impossible to loan a firearm to a friend or someone to protect themselves against her boyfriend, those are the laws that hurt gun owners we can't support them. the legitimate ones, we can support those. the problem is the ones proposed have baggage in them and the devil is in the details. >> woodruff: josh horwitz, are you finding it possible to come together on this kind of legislation anywhere in the country?
>> there actually are. keeping guns away from domestic abusers is getting a lot of traction across the country. republicans and democrats are coming together in wisconsin minnesota louisiana, virginia, working hard to make sure those types of people who are dangerous don't have access to firearms. so i think you have to pick in these specific issues but i think you're starting to see look, we need to make sure that people who are dangerous don't have firearms. we need to make sure those people are in the database and i think that's really where we'll find some movement and in the next couple of years this will play out in a positive way. >> woodruff: alan gottlieb we started out listening to a few potential republican candidates in their remarks today at the n.r.a. did you hear something that stood out particularly for you? do these candidates all pretty much reach the same level of support for gun rights in your view? >> yeah, i think everybody who spoke at the n.r.a. convention is a candidate for president, pretty much supports gun rights
and what kind of bills they support or don't. there's no doubt about it, the problem, josh was saying, trying to make progress. it's hard to make progress when people like president obama polerrizes you, banning magazines, certain firearms it makes everybody goes to two sides and we don't get anything accomplished. >> woodruff: how do you respond? >> i'm glad to hear this. alan is saying there are opportunities to go forward, i agree with that. one of the things, it's unfortunate that the n.r.a. convention, all republican candidatesser are pledging loyalty to the n.r.a. and bashing hillary clinton. i think there is room in the middle. i think the american people want background checks and violent people don't have access to firearms and i think we'll come together on those things. >> woodruff: some democrats support gun rights as well. >> there is bipartisan across there. >> woodruff: gentlemen we thank you. josh horwitz in washington, alan
gottlieb from nashville, thank you. >> thank you. >> woodruff: this week has brought questions about police violence front and center once again, and has demonstrated the power of what's captured on video, frequently by citizens. the latest case: an arrest in san bernadino california that appeared to involve excessive force. today, ten deputies were placed on paid leave following the release of news video that recorded a violent arrest of a man who fled on horseback. it comes nearly a week after walter scott was shot in the back and killed by a police officer in north charleston, south carolina. his funeral is this weekend. hari sreenivasan has a report on efforts to document violence by video here and abroad. a warning: it contains images that are disturbing including the shooting of walter scott.
everyone is shooting everything with camera phones (gunfire) >> the shooting of walter scott proves that sometimes video can be used as evidence against police wrongdoing. >> i think cameras in everyone's hands means that there will be more transparency and more accountability. the camera is the new dna technology. the dna is only available to specialists only available to scientists. the camera is available to everyone worldwide. >> reporter: the video as evidence program, a witness founded by activist peter gabriel trains people around the world to document abuse as effective in the courtroom as on the web. >> with cameras, we can document and share what is going on. we can build campaigns with millions and billions of others and leverage those numbers which are large enough that politicians can't ignore them to
create new change. >> shocked citizens took to the streets after nypd concluded there would be no indictment in the choking death of eric garner despite the viral video. >> there's a difference between a protest video or a human rights video going viral on the internet and what it takes for them to stand up in court. >> most of what we see on youtube and what goes viral on the media is about the crime, what happened. part of my job is to teach people to document who did it and how it was done so we can convict the perpetrators in court. >> part of the training emphasizes basic video shooting techniques such as holding a steady shot for at least ten seconds, proper framing of people and objects and gathering a variety of shots that show details like i.d. badges street signs and license plate numbers. the program manager priscilla
oversees the project's work in latin america. >> you need to do things like not deleting the original file making sure you can prove it was from the day you say it was from, making sure you can sign it later and it's stored in a safe place. all these things ability increasing your video mattering and being used in the fight for accountability. >> reporter: the fight for accountability can be dangerous especially overseas. >> when the government tries to take a drastic step and evict people forcibly what do you see? >> a lot of terror and a lot of pain in the eyes of the woman, the child the old lady kicked out of her home. >> reporter: she is a staff attorney at the action center in nigeria. she took part in the workshop practicing interviewing techniques and other skills she can use to defend her community back home. >> i see things that tug at my
heart and the hearts of many who have access to the videos. this is what i take to the courts to try to get justice on their behalf. after i educate myself, i can tell the people i come across and how they can document most effectively. >> reporter: activists walk a fine line between safely standing away from the abuse and potentially becoming a target by recording it. >> the very first question that we advise is should i or should i not press record. is it worth it? part of our goal is to help people really think through what sort of a footage will move people to act. >> as the world becomes more brutal, do the videos inspire change also have to be that? >> i think that if we look back in time we basically start with the rodney king incident. it's considered the first viral video for human rights. >> even before the internet. >> reporter: then a weighs
like oscar grant a boy shot on the bart platform. >> reporter: these are from the 2013 movie fruit mail station about the incident. police respond to situations that require split-second reactions and rely on training to make calculated decisions. some argue more police oversight in the field won't make effective policing better only worse. dr. marky teaches police ethics at john j. college of criminal justice. >> potentially holding the weapon or something that can be dangerous to police officers' lives. the bulk of police officers have to be, oh my goodness, i'm going to be on tape and pi my career is over. >> reporter: the fatal shooting of michael brown introduced viral technology into national debate. police departments around the country began outfitting their
officers with miniature recording devices but the cameras don't solve all problems. >> it can start with whatever conversation is going on between the police. on the other hand, it's visual. >> reporter: witnesses in collaboration with the international bar association are developing a smartphone app called inform-a-cam to upload pictures and video on to a secure cloud repository, recording the time g.p.s. location of each upload, who uploaded it and records every edit made to the media to assure transparency in court. >> a video alone won't ever bring a perpetrator to justice or free someone improperly accused. it's used in combination with witness testimony forensics and documents. you take all of these different sources of evidence and you try angulate it.
>> reporter: with hope good video will lead to prosecutions and convictions around the world. hari sreenivasan pbs "newshour" new york. >> woodruff: about three fourths of the work the witness program does is aimed outside the u.s. online, we've compiled six steps you can take to safely document police and public officials in your community at pbs.org/newshour. >> woodruff: potential republican candidates talking guns, with the leading democrat expected to jump into the race for 2016. and a police shooting in south carolina raises questions about use of force. for this and more we turn to the analysis of brooks and marcus. that's new york times columnist david brooks and washington post columnist ruth marcus. mark shields is away. welcome to you both. >> hi. >> woodruff: that disturbing video we've just watched again, we've seen it all week raising
questions about how the police are using force against everyone but particularly minorities black men. that's really been the subject. david, is this an issue that's going to be around and discussed for the foreseeable future? i mean, do you see this lasting on into the campaign this year and next year? >> i'm not sure it's going to be a national presidential issue but it certainly will be a national issue, just not affecting the campaign but it's national because the relations between african-americans and police forces has been a sore spot and a source of tension for decades. one of the immediate debates is over cop caption, whether police officers should be wearing cameras. i can't make up my mind. on the one hand, if they wear them all the time, it's a blow for truth. you get the guys who are abusing their authority and in some cases apparently shooting people in the back, we can see what's happening. in addition, memory is so bad,
the witness testimony is so bad often that we would see the truth or some version of the truth. on the other hand, a lot of the cops do a not violent arresting of a felon, it's mediation in a troubled situation, and it's going to help in domestic violence and you want the cop to be approachable and trustworthy. it's hard to have an intimate conversation when you're wearing a camera. it would be a game for truth but a blow for intimacy and cops have to get better connected to the communities. so this is sort of a tension as the technology gets more widespread. >> how do you see that? i think i only have one hand on this one. i think body cameras are a very good idea. i think they can be unobtrusive enough that you don't really pay attention to them in those situations where you do want a calming influence. but we saw this week how valuable and powerful that video is. but the real value is not just to have ascertain the truth when
memories are faulty at best and sometimes people just don't tell truth at worst. but also a restraining influence on officers. if we all knew we had cameras following us all the time, i don't know about you guys, but my behavior might be better. >> do we now have the kind of discussion that is just going to be reenergized every time there's another police shooting like this? >> that's been the case and for the good. we should have these conversations and based on what we just saw this week in south carolina, probably a lot more of this going on. >> david said correctly that this has been the source of tension for decades but i think the conversation that we've had this year since ferguson has really been a wakeup call for the white community about the degree of re-sentment and tension and harassment many citizens experience that they don't, that i don't when i don't feel scared or harassed when i'm pulled over by police, and also
i thought this week, in addition to the news out of south carolina, there was actually good news out of ferguson where we saw two additional african-americans elected to the city council. it's now half african-american. at the voter participation rate was 30% which sounds low but is way high than it was. if we can get the white community to understand the real frustration african-americans feel, if we can get the african-american and minority communities to participate in their governance, we can end up with a better country as a result of this national conversation. >> woodruff: you brought up elections. let's broaden that way out and talk about the presidential. just in the last i guess, 24 hours david, we've learned not only that lincoln chaffee, the former rhode island governor and senator is forming an
exploratory committee to look at the democratic nomination and hillary clinton will announce sunday. where does this leave the democratic race? >> hillary, it will be fascinating. she'll do it very gradually and slowly, which is wise, but she's got a lot of interesting choices to make. the first choice is whether to be interesting at all. she wrote a book and just now released an afterward to the book which is not exactly that interesting. so is she willing to take a risk or is she going to coast? second, how she can deal with the splits in the party that emerged since her husband was in office. the party shifted more left more anti-wall street. how does she handle that? it seems from her perspective a small step to the white house. she has pretty open ground that i've watched so many politicians who seem to be front frontrunners just have a defensive strategy and not take risks and not really
earn it and they've faltered and she's in the unfornlt position of being the monopoly player and she has no competition to keep her sharp. we know she's a super hard worker and super smart. she'll probably overcome them. >> what does she need to do. first of all, i don't think most monopolists regret their monopoly position. you can have an argument whether it would toughen them to have competition, and i'm sorry lincoln chaffee does not rise to that level nor do the others that arrive to the field. if you have a choice between somebody pummel you every day or the nice, stately march to the nation, you'd choose the nice march. when you say hillary clinton will get enough grief from the republicans and the republican party and us in the media that she will be fine in getting toughened up. i think i gray with what david said about her challenges. but i think there's likely -- i
would put it into two categories, one is to sort of soften this air of entitlement and inevitability and the second is to present the theories of the case other than i'm really well prepared for it which she is of why she should be president. i actually thought her epilogue was very interesting. she's used it to tie together an argument about those two things and she did it with the interesting point of her grandmahood, and -- >> talked about her daughter chelsea. >> it softens her, makes her human. i got a listel look at being a grandma myself, not too soon. she wants to make sure all children growing up in america have the same opportunities baby charlotte does. so there's a risk in emphasizing age, but i actually thought it was -- >> my grandmotherly juices are not flowing that much, though.
>> woodruff: i thought you were impressed. >> i liked charlotte the story. you're not a suburban woman in her demographic and i am. (laughter) >> every open opportunity for everybody, in my view that's what every candidate runs on. how hard is she going to press it? you know the party's moved to the left. inequality's more stubborn since the last time she ran. how hard will she push them? h her advisors the natural democratic economists have moved. they're not where bill clinton was. not even where barack obama was when he took office. does she move with them? there is a lot of interesting choices. >> woodruff: when is she going to have to answer those questions, ruth? >> in very intimate conversations with thousands of reporters watching in living rooms. >> woodruff: do we think ordinary americans will be asking her these questions? >> well, she is going to -- no.
they are not going to be saying, what is your position on ttp or do you think that one of -- one of the interesting questions and you're totally right, david, that she is going to have to explain where she is in the party's move, we've had a financial crisis. she will have to open herself up to questions from us. one really interesting issue will be trade, another the push by many sector of the democratic party not to put social security on a more sustainable financial footing by trimming benefits or increasing taxes but by expanding social security benefits and that's going to be i think a new emerging democratic party litmus test. so it is going to be fascinating to watch her but she needs to in addition to those discreet issues wrap it into all politicians prescriptions and put it into a theory that allows people to connect with her. >> woodruff: david you don't think it's a detriment that she doesn't have a tough or any
primary serious opposition? >> i agree if you were the candidate you'd rather not have opposition but i think it makes you a better candidate. candidates get so much better over time when they're forced to debate. i think there's a chance somebody could emerge, i don't know who it will be but there's market. two things any candidate has to show -- one is imagination something new. i don't think she's shown many great virtues as a public figure. imagination, not so much. second, how is she going to get anything passed? this is true for republicans or democrats. do you have an agenda that can get 61 votes in the united states senate? that's important because we've had no legislation for five years. that's incumbent for any candidate. >> woodruff: maybe we'll hear something about that sunday. the the other person who threw his hat into the pool is rand paul. libertarianish. where does he fit on the
republican spectrum? >> libertarianish but not as much as he used to be. the intriguing part of rand paul and perhaps his downfall, which is -- i've thought he is a very interesting figure in the republican party, one of the few who can really address the fact that as he has said -- as domino's pizza saying their crust was no good, the republicans need to improve the taste of their pizza and he has offered the opportunity with talking about surveillance and talking about secure drones and things like that so attract millennials. however, that looked a lot more attractive a few years ago than it does now with the eamericannens of i.s.i.s. and more foreign threats. so i kind of think not the right moment. >> woodruff: what do you say? i agree. the party is less libertarian than three years ago most domestic and foreign affairs. second his personality and
presentation, his stick was authenticity. an authentic figure cannot be a trimmer. he's tried to make himself more acceptable to the main stream party but chipped away at authenticity. he's a trimmer and he's stuck there. >> there is where i might need to say shush to you because -- >> woodruff: i was going to say when he's been challenged by reporters he's gotten upset. >> when your defense is you're not sexest but equal opportunity short tempered, that's not a presidential rollout. i have really bristled watching him trying to say shush to women reporters interviewing him. >> woodruff: watch out, it may not be a strategy. >> if you're president, you're
going to be there for years and people have to like you and you have to come off well. >> woodruff: david brooks, ruth marcus we thank you. >> woodruff: a study out this week is calling new attention to the health risks of some dietary supplements, and whether the industry and the u.s. food and drug administration are doing enough to protect consumers. it found that some popular weight loss and workout supplements contains a chemical called b.m.p.e.a. that includes an ingredient nearly identical to amphetamine. and again to hari, who has the latest on this from our new york studios. >> sreenivasan: researchers found the amphetamine-like stimulant in 11 of 21 products they tested, including in poular ones like jetfuel superburn and jetfuel t-300 that are sold at stores nationwide. last year, canadian health
officials pulled some supplements with those chemicals from shelves over concerns of stroke risk and cardiovascular health. today, the "vitamin shoppe" chain announced it would stop selling any products in the study that were believed to contain b.m.p.e.a. the study is raising flags once again about the regulation and responsibility of a $30 billion- a-year industry. doctor pieter cohen of harvard medical school was the lead author of the study. and daniel fabricant is with the industry trade group, the natural products association. he also ran the f.d.a.'s division of dietary supplements from 2011 to 2014. pieter, let me start with you. what did your study find? >> well, what we found was that yet another still lappet has appeared in supplement. we've seen a plethora of things trying to replace ephedra since banned in 2004 and we found a new stimulant extremely similar to amphetamine.
>> sreenivasan: daniel, when at the fda you did your own study. why is it still on the shelves and not pulled then? >> the study was initiated at the end of 2013. the types of studies evidentiary burden, there has to be due process so it was a scientific study not necessarily done for regulatory purposes but started during my time and in all fairness should have continued the work and the fda should have the authority to take the product off the market. >> sreenivasan: they don't have the authority now? >> they do. >> sreenivasan: the fda said "it is true under current law the agency faces a high burden before we can take enforcement action on a dietary supplement. that said we recognize more can and should be done. we're committed to leveraging limited resources to address the various concerns being raised ." so pieter why should these be off the shelf? what's the danger inside it? >> well, the danger is this is a new synthetic stimulant that its
effects have never been studied in people. all we know is when opinion vinted in the 1930s, it was used in ex experiments in cats and dogs and increased the heart rate and blood pressure of the cats and dogs. but what we have no idea is what's going to happen when people actually take it. so this is literally an experiment we're watching before our eyes which is what happens when consumers take this brand-new drug. >> sreenivasan: daniel, mark me as a naive consumer, but when i go to the store and get something off the shelf and put it in my body, i have an assumption the fda said it's okay. why should i believe that? >> you can believe that. the fda has authority to regulate the space. but people look at a dietary supplement like a pill and think it's been approved by the fda. people would be shocked to know products like aspirin have not
been approved but are used safely every day. over 800 million supplements are used every day safely and rarely make the news. >> sreenivasan: is it true pieter, we're focusing on the exception and not the rule when so many people successfully take the supplements? >> no. unfortunately, we don't have an effective system to detect risk from supplements. it's well known doctors often don't realize their patients are being harmed and when they do realize it they often don't know to inform the fda about the case. so basically there are hundreds ifs not thousands of serious reactions to supplements throughout the united states every year that are not reported to the fda. so absolutely, we have no idea what's actually happening. >> sreenivasan: daniel, what do we do the figure out the risk tolerance with supplements
people assume are like drugs but are not. >> dr. cohen is mistaken. the reporting requirements for dietary supplements are identical to over the countered drugs. when the laws were written for supplements. over-the-counter drugs were brought in at the same time. so the same notification systems doctors used to notify the fda of problems with drugs are identical to supplements so the risk detection warning system is clearly there. >> sreenivasan: you mentioned you were working with this group, then went to the fda and back. the case for the resolving door is there are experts hopefully looking at and regulating the industry they're from. but in this kind of scenario, people are going to wonder, wait, are you too exhibit chummy and did you not make the rules hard enough in the industry you were a part of? >> if you look at my track record at the fda we did more than supplements in my three years than they did the 16 years
prior. precedent cases and the number of injunction we took which is shutting firms down, we led all of fda in injudges my lit dill vision of only 25 people. so i think that would be a hard case for anyone to make if they actually looked at the facts. >> sreenivasan: looks like the new york attorney general's office is doing what the fda couldn't do. >> in this case i agree with dr. cohen. he was one of the firsz ones on the scene to point out the attorney general's office was flawed and they used a technique that wasn't appropriate for those commodities. >> sreenivasan: pieter, i was going to say, what are other academics saying about this? is this fire field being researched? you focused on a specific set of drugs but dietary supplements is a very broad category. >> it's a very broad category. we're particularly concerned with a whole hundreds ifs not thousands of different supplements using something that's legal under the law called the structure function claim, allowing the supplements
to be sold for, to improve your workout, to help you lose weight. even if there's not a shred of data that they actually work in people. so like you pointed out they look like drugs. they're being sold as if they have effects in humans but there's actually zero need for evidence to support those claims. >> sreenivasan: so do you agree with that. >> no, claims have to be stan submitted by law and fda regulates structure function claims as well. they have to have science behind. those that don't laws are being enforced to people can act. products have to be truth and not misleading and fda takes action where the products harm health. >> in this particular scenario the products were labeled as if they were having a supplement from a dry grass. so there was a false labeling concern trying to convince the people buying a product saying
hearings you will get the stimulant from this little grass but it's not really it's synthetic. >> and the fda's authority to take action and they should and all our mothers and fathers taught us if something is too good to be true, it probably is, especially weight loss. the dietary supplements are claiming to act like a drug that's not what they're authorized by law to do. >> sreenivasan: so what should a consumer do when looking at the store shelves, pieter. >> right now consumers really kneed to avoid anything that suggests it will have a positive effect on the body because unless you talk to your doctor and you need a supplement like iron or calcium for your health, there is no reason the supplement should have immediate effect on your body. so if you're feeling better, if your workouts are better losing weight or any other claim like your diabetes is better controlled i would steer well away from those types of supplements because they're more likely to be spiked with harmful ingredients. >> sreenivasan: daniel
fabricant, i want you to quickly respond to that. >> i think dr. cohen's never worked in public health. i think the key issue is structure function claims are important to convey messages to consumers they're looking for. we know calcium builds strong bones. you have to engage consumers on those issues and that's important for the medical community to do. >> sreenivasan: daniel fabricant, pieter cohen, thanks so much for your time. >> thank you. >> woodruff: it's called "big ears," a musical gathering that rolling stone magazine called the "most diverse festival in the country." jeffrey brown recently traveled to knoxville, tennessee, to have a listen. >> brown: the big ears festival is a feast of strange sounds. ♪ ♪ a mix of traditional musical styles-- ♪ ♪
--and decidedly new ones. >> the idea of big ears is to invite people in. it's to share the experience. i i want it to be seductive, not frightening. ♪ >> brown: for more than a decade "big ears" founder ashley capps has been best known for another festival, bonnaroo, a massive gathering in the blazing june heat of middle tennessee that features major pop and rock stars of the moment. started in 2009, "big ears" is altogether different: smaller and more personal, eclectic in its tastes. aiming to show how different genres influence one another rather than exist in separate musical boxes. a big part of its charm is that it unfolds not in new york or san francisco, but in
a walkable area of downtown knoxville, tennessee. you get this reputation for it's weird music, right? you're putting these things together, avant-garde, does that scare people off? >> i'm not sure what avant-garde means in 2015. >> brown: you don't like it because it scares people. >> i don't like it because it scares people. if i wanted to do an avant-garde festival, i could really scare people. >> brown: this year the festival centered around a group that's been breaking musical barriers for more than 40 years: the kronos quartet, led by violinist david harrington. >> when i started kronos in 1973 i hoped we would survive a week. >> our society didn't really welcome our work at first. it was an uphill battle. >> brown: because you didn't fit into any box? >> we didn't fit in. it was hard to explain.
>> brown: kronos looks like a traditional quartet, but the group has made its name by stretching the form. at "big ears," for example, kronos performed with, among many others, the chinese pipa player, wu man. minimalist composer, terry riley. ♪ ♪ and a canadian inuit throat singer named tanya tagaq. ♪ ♪ >> the world of music is a cool wonderful place. what i want is for music, and concerts, and musical experiences to be these places where we learn new things about each other, about instruments,
about culture, about life. and music is the greatest teacher. >> brown: concert-goers we met >> brown: kronos looks around the world for its inspiration, one performance here featured folk music from all over including a piece from iraq. ♪ ♪ later they were joined by singer and banjo player rhiannon giddens for american folk ballads. ♪ ♪ giddens is a classically trained singer who then spent years exploring and playing african- american appalachian styles. big ears offered a new way in to that music.
♪ ♪ >> it's great because it gets you out of your comfort zone and it makes you go, okay, i'm going to consider something from a totally different point of view. you can't make art by thinking "this isn't going to fit." you just do what seems right. >> brown: rock music also had a central role at "big ears," but again, in unusual forms. guitarist nels cline, best known for his work with the band wilco, performed here with a painter, norton wisdom. ♪ ♪ and another genre-bending guitarist, bryce dessner, a rock star with the band "the national" and a classical music composer, played a piece he wrote for the kronos quartet.
♪ ♪ >> we are blessed now, my generation, where there's a much more open, and thanks to them, very much so, where the path has been paved. the world is just a very open and beautiful environment, where we can, and a place like big ears is obviously the most pure celebration of that. >> brown: a still small celebration of listening and finding connections between genres. but one that's finding an audience of open-minded and big- eared music lovers. for the pbs newshour, i'm jeffrey brown in knoxville tennessee. >> woodruff: again, the major developments of the day: the white house announced president obama and cuba's president raul castro will meet tomorrow at the summit of the americas in panama. the talks will be the first in
decades for leaders of the two nations. and the f.b.i. arrested a kansas man in a sting operation, and charged him with plotting a suicide car bomb attack at fort riley. on the newshour online, recent recalls of ice cream and hummus have consumers wondering about the hardy bacteria known as listeria. just what is it? and how did it get into some of the most popular food brands? read a post on "frequently asked questions" about listeria, on our home page. that's at pbs.org/newshour. and a reminder about some upcoming programs from our pbs colleagues. gwen ifill is preparing for "washington week," which airs later this evening, here's a preview: >> ifill: stepping on the gas, in politics, diplomacy and the law. we go inside the emerging 2016 campaigns of rand paul, hillary clinton and marco rubio. we explain the administration's hard sell on the iran nuclear
deal. and, in the wake of the north charleston shooting, we tackle matters of law and justice. all that, tonight on washington week. judy? >> woodruff: on pbs newshour weekend saturday, some residents of hawaii who turned to solar power were being told to slow down. what it might mean for the rest of the nation. >> reporter: in this tropical state, where the combination of sky-high energy prices, abundant sunshine, and federal and state tax credits makes going solar a no-brainer, the very popularity of these panels has become a problem. >> so we drive up, and you have these lovely solar panels on your roof. how's that workin' out for you? >> it's not! >> reporter: not working out because by the time aircraft mechanic carlton ho joined the rooftop solar parade in september 2013, there were so many people in his area that had installed panels that the local utility company told him and many others "don't turn on that switch yet." >> woodruff: that's tomorrow night on pbs newshour weekend. and we'll be back, right here
on monday, with a look at the latest candidates to seek the white house, as hillary clinton and marco rubio throw their hats in the ring. that's the newshour for tonight i'm judy woodruff. have a great weekend, thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> lincoln financial-- committed to helping you take charge of your life and become you're own chief life officer. >> carnegie corporation of new york. supporting innovations in education, democratic engagement, and the advancement of international peace and security. at carnegie.org. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and friends of the newshour.
this is "nightly business re sue herera. general electric plans to sell off most of its ge capital unit. what does it mean for the new ge and investors in one of the most widely held stocks anywhere? no stone unturned. how black stone, the private equity giant is becoming a real estate behemoth as well and a little la. our market monitor has some of the best names to own, the ones investors love to hate sometimes and she's got names for you. all that and more for friday, april 10th. good evening, everyone and welcome. sue herera has the evening off. well talk about ending the week with a bang. general electric is continuing its makeover and in this case it's an