tv PBS News Hour PBS June 5, 2015 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by newshour productions llc >> woodruff: both jobs and wages show an increase in may, boosting chances the federal reserve will start to raise interest rates later this year. good evening. i'm judy woodruff. also ahead: cyberattack on a massive scale-- hackers steal personal data for millions of federal government workers in the u.s. then, cracking ebola's code-- scientists hunt for a low-tech accurate test to rapidly diagnose the virus before the worst symptoms appear. >> it's not as accurate as the genetic technique, but it is as easy as a home2ppegnpjcy test.
♪ >> 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: it turns out the economic recovery regained some of its mojo in may. today's labor department report shows employers added a net of 280,000 jobs-- far more than expected. the unemployment rate ticked up to 5.5% as more people were encouraged enough to look for work. all from the year's first quarter.
we'll delve into the data, right after the news summary. opec opted today not to cut its oil output. cartel officials said that means the price of crude oil-- and in turn, the price of gasoline-- are likely to stay relatively low for the time being. in new york, oil closed just above $59 a barrel. on wall street, the economic news raised fears that the federal reserve might raise interest rates sooner than hoped to head off inflation. the dow jones industrial average lost 56 points to close at 17,850. the nasdaq rose nine points, but the s&p 500 slipped three. for the week, the dow and the s&p fell not quite 1%. the nasdaq was flat. the prime minister of greeceñr today rejected conditions by creditors for supplying more bailout money. instead, alexis tsipras insisted on debt relief. he told parliament that the european central bank, the european commission and the
international monetary fund are making "irrational" proposals. >> ( translated ): it is time for everyone to prove that they are working towards a viable solution and not to subjugate and humiliate an entire nation, because if that is what they are doing, they should know they will have the exact opposite effect. >> woodruff: athens shook up financial markets yesterday when it opted to defer a payment to its creditors. u.s. weapons are finally making their way to iraq's military under a program created last year. the pentagon confirms it's begun shipping rifles, machine guns and other gear. just this week, iraq's prime minister haider al-abadi complained "almost none" of the promised help had been sent. meanwhile, tariq aziz-- saddam hussein's former foreign minister-- died today in a hospital. he was awaiting execution for crimes against humanity. recovery crews in china today
raised a capsized cruise ship to help search for victims. the vessel overturned monday night in the yangtze river during a powerful storm. nearly 340 people who were on board, are still missing. today, cranes righted the "eastern star" and gradually lifted it to reveal all four decks. salvage experts said it was a delicate operation. >> ( translated ): the ship has a complex structure inside, and besides, it was filled with water, which caused uneven distribution of weight. we needed to make sure the steel cables would not break in the hoisting process, so we had to fix them fast on the ship on account of its entire structure. >> woodruff: so far, divers have recovered 103 bodies, but only 14 survivors have emerged. a stunning turnabout today in pakistan: authorities announced that eight men accused in the attack on teen activist malala yousafzai, were acquitted for lack of evidence. reports in april said they'd been convicted and given life in prison. malala was shot in the head in
2012 by a taliban gunman who boarded her school bus. she had advocated education for girls. two other suspects were convicted, and given life terms. back in this country, northern colorado braced for violent storms again after tornadoes and flooding last night. no one was hurt, but daylight showed several homes ripped to pieces-- north of denver-- and floodwaters cutting through roads. the storm system also dumped up to three feet of hail, so much that crews had to use heavy equipment to clear roads. a montana woman is accusing former house speaker dennis hastert of sexually abusing her brother. jolene burdge tells "a.b.c. news" it happened when stephen reinboldt was in high school, in illinois, and hastert was a wrestling coach. reinboldt died of aids in 1995, and burdge says then-congressman hastert appeared at the funeral. >> i just looked at him and
said, i want to know why you did what you did to my brother. he just stood there and stared at me. i just continued to say, i want you to know that your secret didn't die in there with my brother, and i want you to remember that i'm out here. >> woodruff: hastert was indicted last week on federal charges that he agreed to pay $3.5 million dollars to hide unspecified misconduct. and the roman catholic archdiocese of st. paul and minneapolis was charged today with failing to protect children from sexual abuse. state prosecutors said the archdiocese waited too long to tell police about a priest who molested two boys. still to come on the newshour: job growth and wage increases signal a step in the right direction for the economy, keeping u.s. government data out of the hands of international cyber spies, the search for a reliable, inexpensive test to diagnose ebola, mark shields and david brooks on the week's news
plus, why turkey's president seeks to overhaul his country's constitution and expand executive power. we start with a closer look at the surprisingly strong jobs report for may. many economists said it should stem fears that the u.s. economyñr was cooling after growth contracted slightly in the first quarter of the year. diane swonk is senior managing editor and chief economist for mesirow financial and joins me now from chicago. welcome again to the program diane. how good is this news we're hearing today? >> it certainly was a step in the right direction, use mentioned earlier. we saw broad-basedñi gains in employment with the exception of the miner sector which has been hit by cuts in the oil industry. it showed we could go through the cuts and overcome them the cuts and overcome them with the job gains we saw.
we also saw the quality of job gains improveñi along with the quantity. not only did professional services come back, temporary hires came back, hiring of college grads picked up a little bit. we also saw leisure and hospitality which suffered earlier in the year come back, and that's a sign of a running trend in summer bookings for vacation season. >> woodruff: we saw unemployment rate go up. how do we interpret that? >> this is the second month in a row we saw more people optimistic enough to throw their hat back in the ring and actually look for a job, something the federal reserve has been waiting for, that along with afternoon uptick in wages, something we haven't seen in a much, the west year on year wage numbers we've seenñrñi since 2011 and since 2009,ñi when they were falling apart. we're inching toward a broad-based healing of the labor market something we'd all welcome.
>> woodruff: let's get to the question i think is on the minds of so many, that is what's going to happen to interest rates. the speculation is because of this, the fed is more comfortable raising rates this fall burks we notice that, yesterday the hide of the i.m.f., christine leguard said no wait till next year. >> we've seen a bloody runup in interest rates in terms of the bond market, 2.14% today, a big jump in interest rates. the market hadn't been pricing in, but they're sort of a go or no go. they're approaching liftoff and no stop. this is a federal reserve that will be treading on thin ice even as the economic ground is firm. that said, they're very conscious of the issues christine brought up that is they deal with financial monetary policy at home but what happens abroad shows up on our shores and the i.m.f. is
concerned about the ripple effects of the interest rates and how they hit emerging markets. that can come back on us. that's why the federal reserve as it lifts the interest rate will do so ever so cautiously and not quickly. it doesn't want to snuff out the overall recovery and it's very concerned as well about the financial market volatility that's likely to come from this. it's been almost a decade since they raised rates. >> woodruff: that's right. it's been a long time. it's how gradually they raise them that will make a lot of difference. diane swonk, thank you. >> thank you. >> woodruff: the f.b.i. said today it is investigating a massive cyber-security breach at the office of personnel management. files stored there containing personal information on millions of u.s. government employees-- including those with high level security clearance-- may have been compromised. jeffrey brown has the story.
>> brown: news reports citing unnamed u.s. government officials have said that china is suspected to be behind the attacks, though there's been no official word from the administration. a chinese spokesman had this to say today: >> ( translated ): we have seen many similar media reports and remarks about this, but are they scientific? we know that hacker attacks are conducted anonymously, across nations and that it is hard to track the source. it's irresponsible and unscientific to always make trumped-up presumptions without deep investigation. >> brown: at the white house this afternoon, spokesman josh earnest said cyber concerns relating to china were not new. >> i can't speak to who may or may not be responsible for this particular incident but just as a general matter, we have raised significant concerns about the way that china and individuals acting on behalf of the state of china have acted in cyberspace. >> brown: for more, we turn to dmitri alperovitch, co-founder and chief technology officer of
crowd-strike, an internet security firm. welcome back to you. >> thank you. >>.>> brown: start with the who dunn it this time. what kind of evidence would point to china and would that be government or some kind of criminal syndicate? >> in this case, the f.b.i. is the lead investigator. they have the evidence and haven't made it public so we don't know with certainty this was from china. it follows a behavior from china. we saw intrusions into major insurance companies earlier this year where they were collecting information on tens of millions of americans not just government workers. so it's a pattern that shows clearly the chinese are trying to great a database of identifiable information, employment records, et cetera, on almost the entire american population. >> brown: the office of personnel management. why would this be targeted? >> the o.p.m. is doing
background investigations on every government employee. some agencies do it themselves but some agencies rely on o.p.m., including clearance investigations, massive forms people fill out with all the background financials and medical conditions that the o.p.m. investigates. it's for both criminal actors and nation states. >> brown: they're not sure what kind of data was actually taken at this point. >> that's right. i think, you know, this is still an active investigation so they don't want to tip their hand they don't want to alert the adversary of what they know. >> brown: what would the data be used for? >> if it is the nation state of china, the concern is really a human intelligence concern, they're building the massive databases to target people. if they want to find an individual working for a sensitive government contractor or agency and they know their relative has a medical condition or debt financially, that can be
an approach they can use to recruit the individual. it can be used to identify potential spice working for the u.s. government trying to penetrate china. if it's a criminal actor, a whole other slough of concerns like identity northwest and financial fraud. >> brown: that would tie it to some of the health insurance companies and others that have happened this year. >> that's exactly right and those have been attributed to china and we know the chinese are trying to look at this information as an effort for their intelligence. >> brown: this is a strike against the u.s. government and the administration has after all made a big effort in this area. does it suggest that nothing is safe or does it suggest that the u.s. government has really not done enough with its technology? >> you know almost half a decade ago i said there are only two types of organizations govef who have been hacked and those who don't know. no one is invincible in cyberspace. government agencies, we had the
white house getting hacked last year, the state department and numerous companies, nation states with criminal actors and it's inevitable. >> brown: they were taking some solis in they detected this. is there better detection now even if there's not better prevention at this point? >> i have to compliment them. even though it took a couple of months to detect it which sounds like a long time and it is, it's actually better than the industry average. the industry average is seven to eight months from a time of a compromise to when it's detected. they did it in a couple of months but it needs to be faster and you need to prevent the attacker from being able to get the data out of the organization. that's when you will be successful. >> brown: the focus on the chinese government outrage at the chinese government, at the same time, if it is them, is this something that the u.s. government does as well? >> well, this clearly has, if it is the chinese government an intelligence focus and intelligence mission, so you would assume that the u.s. government is doing similar
things in cyberspace and beyond so it would be hard for us to confront the chinese on this because it false into the realm of national security espionage which is a norm everybody does. >> brown: we're focusing on some of the big thefts when you join us burks this is going on all the time? >> exactly. we think of these acts as discrete, they clean it up and six months later announce another hack. in reality these attackers are persistent. the minute they're kicked out of a network they go back in the same day or try to. it's oftentimes a continuous event where you're continuously compromised and you just discover it in six-month increments. >> brown: dmitri alperovitch, thank you. >> thank you. >> woodruff: we continue now our series of reports on ebola by science correspondent miles o'brien. tonight miles looks at efforts to create faster, more reliable testing for the virus.
>> reporter: in the dusty crowded alleys of this market down near cambia, sierra leone, people stick close together and rely onçó each other. here there is no mistaking where ebola has taken its deadly toll. the quarantines are marked by ropeçó and plastic bags, enforced by soldiers, and monitored by people like thisñr man. >> i owe it to the people of sierra leone to give any help that i can. >> reporter: dr. patrick otim is an epidemiologist, a disease detecter from south sudan a volunteer from the world health organization. he helps by doing these crucial house calls. >> the moment the person becomes symptomatic, we're able to detect it and take them out from the community. >> reporter: 11 days ago, the
mother of these two boys, 3 and 5, was transported to an ebola treatment center. the virus claimed her life a few days later. just yesterday, their father also got sick and was also taken away. no one here, the boys and their aunt and uncle, will be deemed ebola free until 21 days after they were in contact with someone carrying the virus and showing symptoms. >> they have the contain the outbreak. we wish to do it that way. but it's been hard for me and my family. >> reporter: for 11 days, they have been unable to leave here and now they are in need of supplies, food and water. the delivery is carefully placed just outside the cordon. everyone including the boys pitches in to get it inside. we too, must keep our distance as we speak with them. >> we're not sure about what happens tomorrow, but for now we're not feeling any illness at
all. >> reporter: usingen infrared thermometer, they check for fevers. 37 degrees celsius is 98.6 fahrenheit. so far so good. but then we get a scare. it's 102-degree fahrenheit fever. the second reading isñi no better. then a new infrared thermometer, still high. so finally they passed along a traditional thermometer. with it tucked inside the boy's arm pit we all hold our breath. >> usually, if we detect any fever, immediately for anyone in the quarantine house, the moment they have a fever, we have to take them away dismoo.
>> reporter: the final reading school boarderline. the boy had been toting water bottles in the sun so dr. otim doesn't think quarantine is warranted. >> the minute he hasçóñi fever, head or joint pain or sore throat you need to be removed. >> reporter: it's a guess. you're nighing ebola with a thermometer. seems we could do better. >> yes but unfortunately that's all we have for now. >> reporter: on the front lines, the simple thermometer remains the primary really the only way to sort out people who might have ebola and is, of course terribly inaccurate and doesn't differentiate between ebola and any number of other diseases. what healthcare workers tell us time and again is they need something in between the thermometer and the can you remember beersome and -- cumbersome and expensive genetic
testing. not far from the cordoned home an old customs building is a makeshift genetic testing facility. blood from the boy's father comes here. workers handle the samples with great care and multiple safeguards. >> this is dangerous. >> reporter: the genetic test is pcr where machines heat and cool the blood sample, becausing the rna in the virus to replicate itself over and overagain, a precise way to determine in f a person has ebola, but the machines are expensive, complex and don't provide quick answers. >> it>> the father is taken to a treatment center run by the international medical corps. doctor must assume and dress for the worst. unfortunately, in this case
that is warranted. the genetic test confirms the father had ebola. the grim verdict comes 40 hours after the ambulance took him away from his boys. with ebola, any delay can be deadly. it's eat or two extra days for the virus to spread or means a person without ebola might wait two days near patients who are very sick and extremely contagious. a few hundred miles away they're using a prototype ebola test that is fast and simple. >> this is the test for ebola. >> reporter: the rapid test was developed by a colorado company called coregenics that looks for antigens, proteins on the ebola virus surface. it's not as accurate as the genetic technique but is as easy as a home pregnancy test. two lines on the left means
positive for ebola. one line on the right negative, no ebola. it is a low-tech solution to be sure. but as it turns out, low tech is the cutting edge in the world of rapid diagnostics. >> it's very simple, requires no refrigeration, no power no special training. >> reporter: at m.i.t., lee gehrke leads the team that are assembling and shipping to it yourself diagnostic kids giving health workers the ability to make their own fest for multiple pathogens ebola, yellow fever and den gay for starters. they have found a novel way to color code them using gold nanoparticles of varying size, so whichever ant body are
engaged in the disease will leave tell-tale proof of what ails a patient. it costs $5 now and could get cheaper. why haven't we had an easy test for ebola sooner? >> a very important question and unfortunately part of the answer is economics. it boils down to whether there are markets for these devices because many of the viruses appear in hot spots and go away there's no constant market. >> reporter: but an entrepreneur in cambridge m.i.t. and harvard lineage believes there is a market for a device that strikes a balance between low tech and high accuracy. >> one here, to the chip. >> reporter: nay anita goel is c.e.o. of a startup called nanobiosym, her device is called gene radar. >> this is processing the blood and is getting ready to get the rna of the vice.
virus. once it gets that it copies it. >> reporter: she claims it's almost as accurate as genetic testing but ten times cheaper. the idea is to detect the ebola virus before it reaches the threshold when symptoms appear. >> whether they have the ebola virus or not and quantify what that is. >> reporter: it sounds great, but it isn't ready for prime time yet, not enough proof that it works. m.i.t. biologist lee gehrke is skeptical. >> the disadvantage with fancy technologies is they are fancy technologies and the question is, if they're sent to these countries, if they break what will happen? can they be fixed? >> reporter: a good question in places like cambia where the poverty is crushing. for now dr. otim and colleagues keep visiting the boy and his family once, sometimes twice a day wielding only thermometers. >> i feel very confident we will
survive this. we are optimistic we will end up free of ebola. >> reporter: sadly, his brother, the father of the boys died, leaving them orphaned, their quarantine clock is reset. another 21 days of constant surveillance and temperature checks, waiting to learnñi if they have been spared. long after we leave, we get the word they're all okay. maybe next time the cures will be better and the answers come sooner. miles o'brien, pbs "newshour", sierra leone. >> woodruff: miles' next two reports in his ebola series air next week. tune in thursday and friday. now to the analysis of shields and brooks. that's syndicated columnist mark shields and "new york times" columnist david brooks who joins us from new jersey.
gentlemen, it's good to have you both. 2016, david, mark, four candidates entered the race since the hast time we were together. let's talk about thetimes first. how do the addition of martin o'malley and lincoln chafee affect the race? >> chafee seems an impossible candidate but he has an issue he'll raise where he opposed the iraq war and hillary clinton supported it. it will be interesting to see how that plays out whether, significant. i think it's probably passed the sell date at least in the democratic primaries but that's something she'll have to talk about and defend again. martin o'malley is a plausible candidate. i believe hillary clinton's major opponent is herself and if she comes down it will be because of an error she made or scandal or something like that and nobody else can touch her but if something does happen to her campaign, he seems a
plausible president. a moderately successful government of a major state and presents well and he's more or less plan b as it stands now. >> woodruff: how do you see them,ñi mark? >> i see, first of all, martin o'malley, two-term governor of maryland, and i would agree with david, a successful governor with appeal to constituency groups active in democratic presidential primary politics. he was on same-sex marriage and immigrant rights. very charismatic appealing, good speaker, plays the guitar. >> woodruff: importantñi qualification. >> a certain appeal. he's a natural politician. but i think the threat he represents is, judy, he, in his announcement, came out strongly
against wall street and said you don't get to pass the presidency back as some sort of crown between two royal families. so he put hillary clinton and jeb bush in the same category and, believe me, that is a popular line among people on both sides of the political -- >> woodruff: so you think that could effect -- >> put it this way judy -- at this point, bill clinton was at 6% in fifth place, michael due casemichaelñidukakis was 21 point behind. they don't like dark horses. >> woodruff: hillary clinton is talking about voting rights. naming her republican challengers one by one, is this a smart tactic?
>> did you say bobby socks appeal, mark? >> i did. >> woodruff: i was trying not to show that i recognized what he was talking about. >> i think hillary clinton, it's a good issue for her. it's an issue that mobilizes a lot of people, especially in the minority community. she's clearly trying to reorganize the obama coalition and to do that she has to get at least similar turnout levels among african-americans and latinos so this is a good issue for her. would say it's still problematic in this regard that her last campaign suffered because it didn't have an overamping theme. it policies toward specific constituencies and sometimes you can pay soñi much attentionoçó the polls and pick out this issueñi to get that person and this issue to get thatxd úe)m=91ñ and you lose anñi overamping theme. since she's dropping in the polls significantly now she needs a big overamping theme to
open a narrative and counting the things dragging her down and microtargetting in what seems a cynical way is not necessarily the way to get there. >> woodruff: i want to get to tropical storm but what about the voting rights hilary is talking about? >> i think she's right on the issue. we talk about american exceptionalism, our founding fathers limited the right to vote to white male property owners. in the next 176 years expanded to include free black slaves male then eventually to women, and eventually to african-americans, and 18-year-olds, and expanded democracy. one of the great frauds that republicans have perpetrated over the past generation has been this idea of voter fraud, that people are showing up. 31 cases in 14 years of people stealing identity or voting improperly. so i think she's absolutely right. it is our responsibility to make voting available to as many
people as possible who want to vote. >> woodruff: maybe she can get traction on that. let's talk about the republicans. former governor rick perry threw his hat in the ring yesterday. lindsey hilsumlindsey graham earlier this week. how do they change the race? >> lindsey graham is an effective legislator. he can work across lines and craft coalitions so it makes him a bit of a niche candidate to raise the foreign policy issue and maybe shake the debate but hard to see him rising to the first tier. rick perry by resume should be in the first tier but ran such a bad race last time. i was trying to think of somebody who ran really a bad race and emerges a superstar next time, candidates get better but not that much. i remain a skeptic. one person rising is carly fiorina. she's outperforming getting good crowds. if there's any buzz on the
republicanside it's there with her for the moment. >> i think lindsey hilsum comes with real credentials and credibility. i.s.i.s., foreign policy national security. this is someone long and deep in this area. she's knowledgeable. you can disagree with his pollsies as in many cases but he's a real player. farce bipartisanship, he voted for sotomayor to confirm, and stood constant for a path to legal citizenship and status. i think he's a grownup. john mccain calls him his illegitimate son because they're so close on national security, but i think lindsey graham in this climate of concern about i.s.i.s., is a real factor. rick perry, if he'd done this year what he had done four years
ago in preparation and studying and all the rest of it, he's a natural politician, a very gifted one-on-one politician and has a real story to tell. whatever you say about texas, and pages not being good or treating workers not being great, has created more jobs than anyplace in the country and he has a good job making a first impression. >> woodruff: lindsey graham foreign policy, national security, raises a question, do the republicans have a better idea, does anybody have a better idea what to do about the middle east, a about i.s.i.s. >> nobody has a great. lindsey gram has a good solution and others have some what i think is better than what's obama is offering. first to give the sunni tribes arms directly. the government in baghdad is not giving themñi anything and i.s.i.s. is able to take odep.ñi not a great idea.ñshp &
doing. that's one improvement. second, reports of i.s.i.s. convoys wandering unmolested across the battlefield so maybe stepping up some to have the attacks. and not putting american troops on the front line nobody wants to do that. putting more trainers in there a little moreñi infrastructure. i'm not sure these are great solutions, but i think the big solution is let's not pretent sunni or shia are governing together. let's federalize the system. these are in contrast to what's happening in the last six and in the last 12 years. it's a plausible alternative. >> woodruff: it would be a big change, mark, wouldn't it? >> ip not sure judy. i'm not sure the country is ready for a change. i'm not sure there is a certain or uncertain trumpet sounded by anybody in the race. this's a limit on american's
expectations on what we can achieve and a disappointment and a sense of disenchantment and a sense of almost tragedy of what has happened. at the same time, i don't see the plan that we're going to send troops in when how do we know when they've succeeded? how do we know when they come out? you know, and i think arming sunnis at this point given the tension and the reality in syria and in iraq, is maybe helping i.s.i.s. quite bluntly. >> woodruff: the u.s. is finally sending weapons to help the iraqi army, something that the prime minister had been complaining about. i want to ask you both about something we've watched all this week and that is the vice president and his loss. we've just seen this striking outpouring of sympathy for joe biden and the loss of his son bo
biden. the if you recall is tomorrow. what is it about this family and about the extraordinary personal losses the vice president has experienced? >> there are some people in washington that people just like on the strength of their character and warm heart. lindsey graham, i agree with mark, lindsey graham with is one and joe biden is another one, you could agree or disagree, but hey as an extraordinary glowing heart and is very genuine. i only met biden a couple of times. when you met him in off the record setting, he was warm, glowing, big handsome smile. people sense through the maze of politics just genuineness and a large heart and that's what both bidens, father and son, have and had. >> i agree with david judy. i just add this that no parent
ever wants to bury a child. in joe biden's case some 46 years apart he's buried his second child himself a father and husband and two children. >> woodruff: lost his first wife. >> lost his first wife and daughter in a tragic accident when he was 29 years old. joe biden is a model to every male who is a father or aspires to be a father. widowed at age 29. he drove two hours each way back and forth to work to be home with his kids at night and, as he put it recently at yale, i did it because i needed my kids more than they needed me. i just add one little p.s. and that is, every year at christmas, joe biden who road am track back and forth for a christmas party for the workers who worked on the train, the engineers the conductors, the people there, i mean, just a further example that david said
he is a man of a warm, open, generous heart. i think the outpouring especially on the president. the president has spoken about he's feelings toward joe biden. >> woodruff: and he will be speak at the services. mark shields, david brooks. we'll be back with a look at critical elections in turkey but first, it's pledge week on p.b.s. this break allows your public television station to ask for your support.ñi and that support helps keep programs like ours on the air. for those stations not taking añr pledge break, we take a second look at a story of how one writer used basketball to inspire children to read. jeff is back with that.
>> brown: up and down the court, a drive to the hoop, añr fast break in the other direction. middle school boys and basketball, and, well, why not poetry? they come together in "the crossover," a novel in verse about twin brothers obsessed with basketball. it's won this year's newbery medal. the highest honor in young adult literature. >> josh bell is my name, but mr. mcnasty is my claim to fame, folks call me that because my game is so downright dirty it will put you to shame. >> brown: its author is 46-year-old poet, writer and literacy activist kwame alexander. at the st. stephens and st. agnes school near his home in northern virginia, he told us of his own obsession, introducing boys to the joys of reading. >> we want to reach all kids librarians and teachers. but we often hear that boys are reluctant readers.
i don't believe they have anything that's relateable. basketball gets them hooked. once you get them hooked, family, love, friendship, brotherhood, you know, jealousy all the things that girls are interested in, all the things that we're interested in. we're all interested in the same things, but i think sometimes with boys you have to reach them a different way. >> brown: a novel in verse. you are trying to reach boys especially, particularly, and you're giving them poetry. >> yeah. right. no, you're dead on. that's why the book got rejected 20-plus times. >> brown: really? >> you have this sports book and you're writing in poetry? there's a disconnect. so how do we hook kids who are reluctant read centers poetry is a vehicle. i believe it can be the bridge
jeffrey, to take our kids to a more higher level of appreciation for language and literature. >> brown: "the crossover" tells in the year of a life of a close-knit african american family, the traumas of adolescence and sibling rivalry the illness of a loving father. it also shows the sometimes subtle ways that race plays a role in the boys' lives. the mother tells her son about being careful about how young black men should not show their anger in public. are you conscious of the message in a sense or just showing us, love, how do we look? >> that's interesting because when i wrote it, i often hear that question. there's a strong race element as it relates to the way they're trying to raise their boys or when the father gets stopped by the police. i never thought about that when i was writing it. it didn't come to mind that the mother was talking to her young black boy and saying, you know you're going to... if you're
angry, you're going to end up like this. it was just, you know, a mother trying to tell her child that you need to have a little bit of joy in this world. you need to find a little bit of peace. if that story can relate the a young black boy as it should, then great. if it can relate to a young asian boy, then great. but i think the idea is we want our children to be interested in positivity and not necessarily negativity. having great physical beauty and appeal as in every guy in the lunchroom is trying to flirt with the new girl because she's so punkatoodlish. as in never had a girlfriend, but if i did, why is the punkatoodlish new girl talking to my brother. >> brown: you're a poet. there's rhyme, stuff that sounds like rap, free verse.
>> there's haiku, there are list poems and vocabulary poems. i'm in love with poetry. there are so many different forms of poetry. i believe i wanted to have that variety, that sort of diversity of verse so that kids can sort of figure out what they are interested in and what they can latch on to and perhaps mimic some of these poems themselves. >> brown: that message isn't lost on teachers and librarians across the country who have seen children drawn to the crossover such as this seventh grader in wellesley, massachusetts. ♪ breaking, breaking. take him to the left ♪ >> this is the next thing i do when i'm writing a poem. >> brown: kwame alexander himself gets into classrooms frequently, working with students through his "book in a day" program. he's also taken those efforts overseas, reading a -- leading a delegation to ghana in 2013 to distribute books, build a
library and train teachers. >> i don't believe that writing is just pen to paper or finger to laptop. writing is active. writing is action. writing is activism. writing is being part of the world. that's what i like to do. i like to inspire and show teachers that poetry on one level is cool. and i like... i think i've learned how to do that to a certain degree. >> wow. >> you say it's cool. what do you do? >> what am i doing? i got up this morning feeling good and black, thinking black thoughts. i did black things like played all my black records and minded my own black business. i put on my best black clothes, walked out my back door and lord have mercy, white snow. i show them. i don't need to tell you that it's funny, that it's cool. that was a poem by jackie early called 1,968 winters. so i model what poetry can do. three lines of the haiku. the last line always has to be
the ah-hah. >> brown: kwame alexander, congratulations and thank you for talking to us. >> thank you. >> woodruff: looking for your summer read, you can watch other selections like a novel that pokes fun at how we talk about race or how social media can lead to public shaming, from our "newshour" bookshelf on our web site pbs.org/newshour. in turkey, at least two people are dead after a pair of explosions ripped through a kurdish political rally. it happened in the mainly kurdish city of diyarbakir. more than 100 people are reported injured. an opposition leader is calling it an "attack" against his party-- and not an accident. the incidents come just two days before turkey's election-- when millions are expected to endorse-- or stop-- a power play attempt by the country's controversial leader. chief foreign affairs
correspondent margaret warner explains. >> warner: by law, he's not supposed to be campaigning, and his name isn't even on the ballot, but turkish president tayyip erdogan looks and sounds a lot like a candidate. >> ( translated ): god willing, the conquest will be on seven election day! >> warner: turkey heads to parliamentary elections on sunday, to choose among an alphabet soup of parties. erdogan wants his own "a.k. party" to win at least 60% of the seats, so it can move to change the constitution and grant executive-style powers to the presidency. but the energy of the new but the energy of the new h.d.p. threatens that plan. a pro-kurdish party that's now reaching out to women, gays and labor, it needs 10% of the vote to gain entry into parliament. that would make it hard for the a.k.p. to win the 330 seats it seeks.
>> ( translated ): people think that we're the only ones who can block erdogan's stance of unlimited power and what he calls a "presidency," but what we call "dictatorship". >> warner: the leading traditional opposition group-- the republican people's party or c.h.p.-- also charges erdogan is threatening the country's democratic foundation. >> ( translated ): the importance of these elections is democracy. turkey will either move toward authoritarian rule or will opt for democracy. >> warner: indeed, erdogan is already accused of trying to muzzle dissent in the media-- using intimidation and speeches to lash out at journalists. >> ( translated ): they are paid charlatans. they cannot endure the fact that that you have a right to speak. >> warner: there's also widespread criticism of his
costly building spree-- including a 1,000-room palace complex in ankara-- even as turkey's economy is lagging from 7% growth a decade ago to the 3% expected this year. also on voters minds: the civil war in neighboring syria that's sent nearly two million refugees into turkey. the erdogan government wants syria's president bashar al assad removed, but is at odds with the u.s. about how to make that happen. so far, the turks have refused to let u.s. fighter jets use incirlik air base to bomb islamic state targets in iraq and syria. >> woodruff: and margaret joins me now. margaret, these attacks at the kurdish rally today, what does it say about any connection to these elections coming up? >> i think it shows, judy how high tensions are running right now. not only over the elections but withinñ politics. you don't have the classic issues of war and peace and the economy. it's really about erdogan's wanting to fulfill his life-long dream of wanting to become the
all-powerful turkish president who founded turkey almost 100 years ago and the pro kurdish party stands in his way. not clear if today's attackas deliberate thousand it looks suspicious, there are plenty of players with motive, from operatives from erdogan's party or kurdish militants who don't want a pro kurdish party inñi parliament. >> woodruff: so a lot of tension everywhere youçó look. >> yes. >> woodruff: what role is erdogan himself playing in stirring all this up?ñi >> a huge role judy. it's not only stirring it up burks he's become the focus of it. remember when it was elected in 2002 he came from a party with islamist roots so first of all the secular turks were very worried he would completely
islamside turkish society. but the business community found he was incredibly helpful to them. he jump started the kurdish economy. so everybody came to live with him. but the last three or four years, he won a lot of elections, very big margins, and the last three or four years his autocratic tendencies are coming to fore. he silences dissent whether protesters, whether opposition figures. fires prosecutors investigating his own government. he still has a huge base of rural, conservative islamic support and nobody thinks he won't win most votes or his party won't win most but enough voters are telling pollsters that they are worried that if he gets the kind of huge margin he wants to ram through this constitutional change, then he will become very much like russia's vladimir putin, in other words an elected but
authoritarian ruler. >> woodruff: i know you have been talking to people in washington. what are officials saying about how the u.s. sees all this? >> two things. first, they are concerned about the polarizing rhetoric of this campaign including from erdogan himself, a lot of antiu.s., antiisrael, the national conspiracy against me. two they don't think it will really affect the cooperation or lack of cooperation on the all important issue of how to approach syria and iraq. those are more deep seated. there is a prospect of destabilized turkey in any way. there are scenarios if the pro kurdish party wins by a low marling and spues suspensions of fraud, it could bring out protests and the u.s. still needs turkey as a strong, stable ally. so they don't need a distracted turkish government. >> woodruff: i know you will be watching the elections sunday. we'll have you back monday to
talk about what came out of it. margaret warner. thank you. >> as always. >> woodruff: finally tonight, our "newshour shares" of the day: something that caught our eye which might be of interest to you, too. today is the 30th anniversary of perhaps the most famous "day off" in history. it's when "ferris bueller" played hooky in the classic john hughes' feature film. we know that thanks to some careful digging by the website "baseball prospectus" in 2011. it discovered ferris and his pals saw the chicago cubs play the atlanta braves at wrigley field on, june 5th, 1985. on the newshour online: a list of the 50 best restaurants in the world was released this week. but before you make your reservations, take a quick tour of the top ten and see how much a typical tasting menu will cost you. we have those prices, plus a photo gallery, 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: who's watching whom? who's protecting whom? and what role does our government play? the supreme court finds room to agree or why you can't yell "fire" in a crowded theater. and foreign new candidates bring the 2016 total to 14 with more to come. we explore later, tonight on washington week. judy? >> woodruff: on pbs newshour weekend saturday, are drug companies paying to keep lower- cost generic drugs off the market? we update the story. and we'll be back, right here, on monday as we watch the 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. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
this is "nightly business with tyler mathisen and sue herera. >> jobs surge, hiring ramped up last month. so did wages. and while main street gets to work wall street wonders what the strong report may mean for the fed. the new normal. don't look now but mortgage rates are heading higher. just as we enter the home stretch as the spring selling season. >> and in demand. imagine no college degree and a starting salary of $70,000 grand a year. meet the entrepreneurs making that a reality. all of that and more tonight on "nightly businrt for friday june 5th. good evening, everybody and welcome. people looking for work got some good news. job growth a sharply in may. the economy