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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  July 30, 2015 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT

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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: on the newshour tonight: a search reignites: the investigation to verify whether debris from the indian ocean is wreckage from a missing malaysian airliner. >> ifill: a plea of not guilty. university of cincinnati police officer disputes charges of murder. how a community responds to another fatal shooting. >> woodruff: then, humans need not apply. why the jobs of the future may be filled by robots. will this help or hurt humankind? >> people in the silicon valley believe that what we're doing is god's work. we are making the world a better place.
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>> and it is going to disrupt industries and create unemployment on a scale that we haven't imagined before. >> ifill: plus, scaling back on the nuts and bolts that hold us together, when federal funds grow scarce. stop-gap solutions to maintain safe sidewalks, roads and bridges. >> woodruff: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. >> supported by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. more information at macfound.org
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>> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and individuals. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> ifill: the u.s. senate sent legislation to the president today authorizing a three-month patch to fund the nation's highways and transit systems. the highway trust fund was set to run dry on july 31. a bipartisan senate deal for a six-year funding bill made it through the senate this morning, but it has little support in the house. the co-sponsors of that bill were oklahoma republican jim inhofe and democrat barbara boxer of california. she laid blame on the house for leaving town without a long-term solution.
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>> they should have stayed another week. because there are several things they could do, one: they could write their own bill, two: they could take up our bill and three, they could do just a small bill and we could get to conference. i would have preferred that because i hate the idea of another short term extension. >> ifill: this marks the 34th extension congress has passed since 2009. and it kicks negotiations into the fall. we'll have a look at how one state oregon, is dealing with dwindling road funds later in the program tonight. >> woodruff: the u.s. economy expanded in the second quarter of this year, boosted by solid consumer spending. the commerce department reported the gross domestic product grew to a 2.3 percent annual rate. but wall street primarily paid attention to corporate earnings reports today and ended the day mostly flat. the dow jones industrial average lost five points to close at 17,746.
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the nasdaq rose 17 points, and the s&p 500 added a fraction of a point. >> ifill: one out of every five adults in the u.s. has a disability, meaning the total number of americans living with a disability is 53 million. the new study from the centers for disease control and prevention gives a state-by- state look at disability types. among the findings, the highest percentage of people with disabilities are in the south: alabama, mississippi and tennessee ranked highest. and black and hispanic adults are more likely to have a disability than whites. >> woodruff: rolling stone magazine's managing editor is stepping down after 19 years. will dana's departure is the latest fallout from a november 2014 article about an alleged gang rape at the university of virginia. the piece was later retracted and has been widely discredited. yesterday, three members of the fraternity at the center of the accusations filed a defamation lawsuit against rolling stone and the article's author.
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>> ifill: in afghanistan, the taliban confirmed the death of their longtime leader, mullah omar, and they appointed his successor. omar's deputy, mullah akhtar mansoor, was elevated to lead the group by the taliban's supreme council. but that put a second round of peace talks between the afghan government and taliban on hold, as they assessed the new leadership. >> woodruff: hundreds of migrants from the mediterranean stormed the channel tunnel that links france and britain today. riot police were deployed to the northern french port town of calais to secure the passageway. british prime minister david cameron warned his country won't become a safe haven for migrants. cordelia lynch of independent television news has our report. >> reporter: crawling through a small hole in a fence, this is how many migrants get around the railside defenses before they make a perilous walk to the channel tunnel along train
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tracks. this scene is played out throughout the day but navigating their way to a better life is fraught with risk. it's a continuous game of cat and mouse. many have fled war but they can't escape conflict. the migrant problem has been rumbling for 20 years, simmering beneath it a standoff between both sides of the channel. some in france believe they're being asked to do britain's dirty work. it's beginning to look like a toxic game of political football. the british solution is more fences and more police and yet still the migrants come. it seems all that's on offer is a short-term fix for an intractable problem. 120 gendarmes and riot police have been sent to the tunnel. but the man coordinating the
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response believes the answer is political. >> what i'm sure is that solution is not a game. that is certain. the solution is not a police solution or forces police or different things administrative. the solution is political. >> reporter: but there are clear battle lines being drawn and it's claiming lives. 10 since june. thousands more died just trying to get here. >> woodruff: some 3,000 migrants are believed to be living in a makeshift camp near the channel tunnel's entrance. >> ifill: the only man sentenced to die for the 1993 bombings in mumbai, india was executed by hanging today. yah-cube memon was convicted in 2007 for helping to raise funds to carry out india's deadliest terror attack. 257 people were killed. the blasts hit the mumbai stock exchange, three hotels, and multiple other sites over a two- hour period.
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human rights groups protested the execution. india's legal system allows execution in "the rarest of the rare cases". >> woodruff: a sweltering heat wave had its grip on much of the middle east today, with temperatures more than 25 degrees above normal. the heat was so extreme the iraqi government declared a four-day holiday, beginning today, to keep people indoors as temperatures topped 122 degrees. some baghdad residents beat the heat by taking advantage of water misters at local markets while others took a dip in the tigris river. >> ifill: still to come on the newshour: investigators work to determine whether plane debris is wreckage of the missing malaysia airlines flight. cincinnati's police chief on the latest fatal shooting by an officer. and much more.
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>> woodruff: the year-plus mystery over what happened to a missing malaysian airliner is capturing the world's attention once again after wreckage turned up on an island near madagascar a long way from the search area. small waves rolled in along the coast of the indian ocean island of reunion, just a day after the world's attention was brought to debris washed up on shore. it appeared to be part of a plane wing. and now, it's being sent to a french military lab near toulouse. that's where aviation investigators are headed to determine if it's the first trace of wreckage from the missing malaysia airlines flight, mh-370. malaysia's chief of civil aviation: >> we are going there, i'm leading a team to toulouse tonight, to verify and investigate whether that particular part comes from a boeing 777 or is it come from the mh-370, so it's very >> woodruff: it's been more than
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a year since the boeing 777 disappeared. the plane was en route from kuala lumpur to beijing on march 8, 2014, but then turned south and vanished from radar somewhere over the indian ocean. it was carrying 239 passengers and crew. since then, its disappearance has remained a mystery. despite extensive search efforts, nothing had been found leaving families to linger in uncertainty, and frustration. >> ( translated ): they claim to have found debris of the mh-370 on an island? we don't accept this, we do not believe what they claim, the finding does not constitute anything. >> woodruff: australia's deputy prime minster said this new discovery could be a major breakthrough, but added: >> it's been in the water for a year and a half now and it's moved, obviously, a considerable distance. so, it won't be all that helpful in pinpointing precisely where the aircraft might be located
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but if this wreckage is linked to mh-370, it'll certainly confirm that the aircraft has gone into the water in the indian ocean area. >> woodruff: it may be more than a week before investigators are able to determine that. the discovery of the debris raises many questions and we look at some of them now with van gurley, a retired naval oceanographer whose company metron, helped investigators eventually find air france flight 447 after it crashed in the ocean off the coast of south america. and, miles o'brien, our science correspondent and a pilot himself who closely watches the world of aviation. gentlemen, welcome to you both. miles, i'm going to start with you. how definitive, then, is it that this plane piece comes from that boeing 777? >> judy, i'd put it in the high 90 percentile. this is absolutely, definitely a
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piece of a triple-7. threes only one triple-7 missing in the world, much less the indian ocean, and there the piece is. so what remains to be done is dot the i's, cross the t's, get the serial numbers. every part of a plane has a serial number and a long pedigree attached to it. it's a lot of paperwork and is going to take a little bit of time to say absolutely definitively. >> woodruff: i know you have been watching the story since the news broke last night. looking at what we know so far, what does it tell you? >> well, it's interesting, the way the damage pattern presents itself is interesting. a lot of people have been saying, perhaps it fell off as the aircraft struck the water. but i have been talking to some experts who have looked at it and said two things that are interesting -- the leading edge is not very damaged at all, and the trailing edge, if you look at it, almost looks like it's been torn like a piece of paper. that would indicate stress
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damage. in other words, it could have been fluttering, and that would suggest that it tore off in flight. so perhaps this aircraft was diving in a spiral at a very high rate of speed, and pieces of it before falling off. >> woodruff: that's still speculation at this point? >> it is, but the damage pattern supports that. >> woodruff: van gurley, based on what you know from looking for plane parts, knowing about ocean currents, what does this tell you? i mean, what was known about where this plane possibly went down and the fact this may be a part all the way over close to madagascar? >> this begins to answer some of the big w question plaguing us since the beginning. first, what happened to this flight? if this, in fact, is traced back to the malaysian air 370 aircraft, this says the plane crashed at sea and provides the ability for those families to get the closure they have been looking for since it began. the second question it answered is where would it have crashed. now, everybody would love, and i
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would love to be able to say we would be able to use some scientific method and say because we found it here, it must have been here. the science doesn't support that type of accuracy, but what it does tell us, if we look at the ocean currents in the indian ocean, is if this is, in fact from an mh370, that the plane definitely went down in the indian ocean and most likely in the eastern to southeastern indian ocean. so that begins to sort of draw circles and narrow down some of the wilder speculation that's been out there for the last year and a half. >> woodruff: what about the barnicles they've shown that are on this flapper-on, this part of the wing? >> that is very strong evidence this part has been at sea for quite a while. it's not something lost off a transport ship last week and just happened to wash up on this beach. for that type of marine growth to accumulate means the piece has been floating out at sea for
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a while. i think the marine biologists if they get a chance to look at it k start looking at how much growth is there and provide a better estimate of how long it must have been at sea for that to have happened. >> woodruff: miles, what are the questions you and others who look at aviation and aviation safety have going forward? how much does this narrow on our understanding of what could have happened? >> well, you can learn a lot from the pieces, the wreckage. it can tell a real story for us. what exactly happened? did it break up in flight? was there a fire or explosion? the pieces can actually tell you this kind of information. ultimately, however, the only answers are at the bottom of the sea and, hopefully, this will help people at least have the confidence to know that, looking in the right part of the world, that on that circle that van was referring to on the map, there is some degree of confidence that they're looking in that
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precise place within plus or minus a few miles, whereas there was all this concern that perhaps, after that last communication with the satellite, it might have glided on for some several dozens or even close to 100 miles, making the search much less accurate. so i think this helps make the search more accurate and ultimately might get us to some answers. >> woodruff: van varntion what about in terms -- van gurley what about in terms of parts of the plane that would float and parts that would sink? what do we know about that? >> so, again, depending on how the aircraft is constructed, if there's air voids and pockets, foam inserts, those types of things, then the parts would tend to stay on the surface for a longer period of time. one of the things i think i already read in the reporting is if you find one piece, are there more somewhere in that part of the ocean. every part moves differently in the ocean currents and the wind is a very complex pattern, so
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might find more on the same beach, but a high indication, if thingser are going to wash up, you would want to look around madagascar and the islands and down off the western coast of the southern part of africa. so looking for more pieces, parts might help to backtrack and make that -- refine what miles was talking about, help narrow the search area, but it still will be a long process. >> woodruff: quickly, miles the next things that have to happen are what, broadening the search in that area? >> exactly. keep plowing through the ocean along that circle that was drawn by that satellite that gave them a basic idea, a big swath of ocean to be sure, but this helps them have that confidence and we hope we can find more debris. >> woodruff: miles o'brien van gurley, it's early at least at this stage of the story. we thank you both. >> thank you. you're welcome:
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>> ifill: this is not the first time the city of cincinnati has been caught in the crosswinds of an officer-involved shooting. the last time, however, was in 2001. and the city has since been considered an example of how to recover from community unrest. but after the killing of samuel dubose, those lessons may now have to be relearned. >> ifill: ray tensing entered a packed coutroom this morning in handcuffs, wearing a striped jail uniform. the now-fired university of cincinnati police officer was indicted yesterday in dubose's death. tensing pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter. judge megan shanahan set his bond at $1 million, and much of the courtroom broke into applause. >> ladies and gentlemen, this is
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a courtroom, you will conduct yourselves at all times appropriately. >> ifill: tensing's attorney, stewart mathews: >> there are two sides to this thing. the case will ultimately be tried and decided in a courtroom, and that that videotape is subject to more than the interpretation that's been put out there by the prosecutor. >> ifill: that videotape is the much-viewed footage from tensing's body camera, taped during the july 19th traffic stop that ended with tensing shooting dubose in the head killing him instantly. tensing, who is white, has said "he feared for his life," and audio of his initial account was >> ifill: prosecutors have scoffed at that claim, but defense attorney matthews has pointed out th at footage from a second officer's camera shows tensing on the ground. >> ifill: prosecutors have scoffed at that claim, but defense attorney matthews has
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pointed out that footage from a second officer's camera shows tensing on the ground. outside the courtroom today, a friend of samuel dubose proclaimed, "they can shoot me in my head too" if tensing's not convicted. >> he wasn't in fear of his life. you see how humble my brother was? my brother don't even raise his voice. he panicked when he seen that gun. "he got a gun! i got my hands up!" and he shot him cold blooded in the head. >> ifill: today's arraignment follows a peaceful rally in downtown cincinnati last night. hundreds took part in the "black lives matter" protest, chanting slogans like "hands up, don't shoot," a phrase coined nearly a year ago after killing of michael brown, in ferguson, missouri. ray tensing's next court date is set for august 19th. >> ifill: joining me now to discuss the fallout from the shooting and indictment, is cincinnatti police chief jeffrey blackwell. he has been a driving force behind many of the changes that have taken place in that city in the years since another officer-involved shooting triggered 5 days of riots in 2001
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welcome, chief blackwell. >> thank you. >> ifill: between 1999 and 2014, cincinnati had a drop in officer-involved cases, i think 69%, i saw, of use of force. what's happened? what changed? did this bing backward? >> i think what happened -- and i wasn't here. i was in column at the time. but after the collaborative agreement and the civil unrest in 2001, we changed our strategic and our operational platform, if you will. we signed an historic collaborative agreement that involved the community, clergy, prosecutors, judges and police officers. i don't think any other city has engaged or encountered this type of document since then. i think that's been the driving force to the culture change in cincinnati policing. >> ifill: well, and i want to be clear and fair that the officer involved in this latest
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shooting is not a city of cincinnati police officer but a university of cincinnati police officer, but it still must stir you have a lot of bad feelings and familiar old feelings. what has been the community reaction thus far? >> it has, you're right, gwen. it has stirred up those feelings and, quite naturally, we were concerned that we would have that sympathetic reflex, just like communities had or have now after incidents in baltimore and cleveland and ferguson and other cities in our nation. we've seen one egregious act after another, unfortunately in policing. make no mistake about it, we are in the most difficult policing environment in this nation and 99% of the police officers perform admirably, they do a wonderful job every day with compassion and character. but when we make mistakes, they are magnified like never before and i am pleased that, when this mistake happened in our city by a university officer here, it was dealt with appropriately and
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in a timely fashion. >> ifill: let me ask you about the appropriateness of how it was dealt with. we saw the video footage, we heard about the body camera that the officer was wearing. did this prove to you that body cameras help to get to a resolution more quickly or did it prove that body cameras don't stop this sort of thing from happening? >> no, i think the first, gwen. i think it absolutely proves that body cameras should be a required piece of equipment for police officers in this nation, and we are in the process here at cincinnati p.d. of trying to implement a body camera platform ourselves. body cameras help in two aspects, they make the police officer behave more professionally, but they also make the citizen behave more appropriately as well, and then they give us the much-needed evidence that is critical in situations like this. candidly, i'm not sure that this
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would have resulted in an indictment, had we not had that body camera footage. >> ifill: you have said, in the past -- because you've advised other cities in these situations -- you've said in the past there is a cultural disconnect and that racism is often at the root of some of these conflicts. do you think that's the case here as well? >> you know, i think it's a combination of things, gwen. i think, first and foremost, is that the officer lacked the necessary training from a baseline level, as well as the cultural competency training, to be engaged in urban policing. our community is very urban. the university of cincinnati sits in an urban space in our city and, by coming out of the university area and going down into one of our neighborhoods, i think it's a recipe for disaster when these officers don't quite understand how we police in the city, and it played out in a very negative way. >> ifill: the prosecutors said
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yesterday among the other things that this individual perhaps should not have been a police officer. >> well, you know, i don't know. i haven't had a chance to delve into his personnel file or his background history, but i will say this -- policing in a big city in this nation is far different than policing on a university campus or a rural community, especially a city like cincinnati that understands the proper way to police. we place engagement high on our list over enforcement. we are engaged with our community. we believe in transparency and relationship and truth telling. i remember being with you in ferguson several months ago and i said, when you have community engagement, you get what i call relationship collateral. i think you've seen that play out here in our community since this verdict. we were expecting problems. i think other parts of the nation were looking at cincinnati thinking that we would turn into a baltimore or a cleveland that have experienced civil unrest, but we didn't.
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we did not, and i'm very proud of our city. i'm very proud of the peace that prevailed in cincinnati last night. >> ifill: yet you've said every city is one incident away from a ferguson or baltimore or cleveland, but not cincinnati? >> you know, i hope not, gwen. i was worried. i have to be honest, i haven't slept in a couple of days, and i do believe that every city including my city here is one incident away. if it's a bad incident and it's not dealt with appropriately. first and foremost, we hope, in policing, every chief that i know hopes that they're not sitting here talking to you about a riot in their city based on inappropriate police conduct. but the other piece that i think the nation is really honed in on is that, if we do have police misconduct, we need to be held accountable for our actions. we have got to stop this shroud of secrecy around policing and we've got to be truthful in our investigations on police officers.
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>> ifill: cincinnati chief of police jeffrey blackwell, thank you. >> thank you, gwen. >> woodruff: stay with us coming up on the newshour: making sense of how robots are changing the economy. hitting the road to highlight crumbling infrastructure. olympic athletes forced to compete in sewage water. and, performance artist marina abramovic on connecting with her audience. but first, the pentagon has denied reports that al-qaeda linked fighters have abducted several u.s. trained syrian rebels outside of aleppo, syria. the syrian observatory for human rights stated that the men were taken by members of the al nusra front. in may, the u.s. military launched a program to train up to 5,000 so-called moderate
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rebels per year. so far, they're nowhere near that number. special correspondent jane ferguson caught up with one of the few fighters who has been trained by the u.s., in southern turkey. >> reporter: in the world outside syria, mohammed seems nervous. he has good reason. as a free syrian army commander he and his men are waiting to see if foreign intervention will change the direction of the war. he says he has already been trained by americans. >> ( translated ): in the beginning they asked for our three names. our first name, surname, and father's name. we gave our names and pictures. there were about 100 of us. they took us to the camp, they trained us for 50 days in working with guns. the training was very good. they taught us how to use some of the weapons we weren't familiar with. advanced weaponry, like rockets. >> reporter: mohammed says he has seen and spoken with americans inside syria, who were
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coordinating air strikes. >> they were telling us, these are the lines which you should not cross or the air strikes will hit you. >> reporter: now, a new deal between turkey and the u.s. could push the islamic state away from turkey's border. american air strikes against isis will now be launched from turkish soil. the idea being, if isis pulls back, fighters like mohammed could then move in. he was injured in battle and treated in hospital in turkey but is eager to get back to the fight. >> ( translated ): i will return to my country and i will fight there, even if i were to be killed there. >> reporter: refugees living in turkey could technically move back to the isis-free area too. ali left aleppo two years ago and now runs a restaurant in turkey. he would move back to a safe area in syria if he could. >> ( translated ): of course, of course. this is how every syrian feels. our homeland is very precious to us. the minute the war ends, even if all of turkey belonged to me, i would go back to syria.
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>> reporter: but not everyone is confident about returning. some refugees worry about who will replace isis. just two weeks ago, nour and her family crossed over to turkey fleeing isis-held territory. she says simply clearing an area of isis would not be enough to convince her to go back unless her safety is guaranteed. >> ( translated ): even apart from isis, there are many groups who do bad things. i'm afraid of all those groups. many people have been killed by them. >> reporter: there are also no guarantees people in isis-free areas would be safe from syrian government warplanes. >> ( translated ): even if isis are pushed out we still would not return until the assad regime is finished. because the syrian regime bombs us with air strikes, they kill many of us, we know many who died this way. >> reporter: it's not yet clear what kind of troops would hold the ground in any buffer zone or area that isis have been cleared from. turkey has already said that it
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will not be sending in ground troops, and they are unlikely to allow kurdish rebels to take that territory. with few options left for replacing isis, those who do could end up being extremist islamist fighters. the deal between turkey and the u.s. to step up air strikes against isis over the border is being heralded as the best hope yet to take territory from the group. holding on to that land afterwards could be an even greater challenge. jane ferguson, pbs newshour, eastern turkey. >> ifill: we've shown you before the rising role that automation and robots play in some parts of the workforce. tonight, we have a more sobering and perhaps somewhat eerier picture of how those trends are gathering force, more quckly than anticipated. economics correspondent, paul
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solman, looks at the promise and perils of the rise of the robot part of our weekly series, "making sense", which airs every thursday on the newshour. >> reporter: the 11th hole at stanford university. chad gray's an okay golfer, but his caddy is really hard to beat. >> it's gonna go wherever you want it go. it follows you like a puppy dog. >> reporter: meet the robot caddy trek. >> it has two ultrasound bars that send a signal back to the remote that's on my back pocket here. >> it's an incredibly simple piece of technology. >> reporter: but the implications for america's caddies, and millions of other workers, are ominous, says computer scientist and serial entrepreneur jerry kaplan. kaplan has his own labor-saving schlepper, an r2-d2 designed to make local deliveries. >> this is the stanford jack rabbot. >> reporter: jack rabbot. >> yes. >> reporter: as in robot. >> that's right, it's like a jackrabbit, but it's a robot. it's designed to operate in
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socially appropriate ways in pedestrian spaces. >> reporter: jack looks harmless enough. but he, like caddy trek, is the shape of things to come. >> we're about to see a significant increase in the acceleration of the rate in automation. >> reporter: and the age-old fear of displaced workers, says kaplan, is finally, irrevocably upon us. >> what happens to people who simply can't acquire or don't have the skills that are going to be needed in the new economy? >> reporter: well, what is going to happen to them? >> we're going to see much worse income inequality and unless we take some humanitarian actions the truth is they're going to starve and live in poverty and die. >> reporter: kaplan offers that grim prognosis in a new book, "humans need not apply." he knows, of course, that automation has been replacing labor for 200 years or more; for decades, eliminating relatively high-paying factory jobs in america, and that new jobs have more than kept pace.
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but not anymore he says. you're the guy from the same day delivery piece! now by pure chance, a case in point happened to notice jack rabbot being put through his paces. we'd met mike cannon a few months earlier when shooting him delivering packages for google express. >> so i'm delivering dna samples to all of the various labs on campus. >> reporter: you're just watching us shoot. >> and it caught my attention. i thought that's my replacement. ughs) >> hi i'm oshbot. >> reporter: at a hardware store in silicon valley, oshbot. doorknobs. >> sure. follow me. a joint venture between the lowe's chain of stores and a startup called fellow robots. >> reporter: are you serious? and, without ever needing a coffee or bathroom break, its voice recognition software fluent in multiple languages and laser sensor safety technology can do a better job than many of america's five million or so retail workers.
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>> maybe 50% of the retail clerks could be replaced by this kind of technology? and of course this is just the beginning. >> reporter: now oshbot's inventor, marco mascorro disputes that his baby would put anyone out of work. so you don't see oshbot replacing people? >> no, i don't think so. i think this is really a tool that helps people find things in a store with very specific information. >> reporter: and if you think "well, oshbot still seems a bit clunky as a replacement for humans..." after you, kema. >> thank you. >> reporter: ...in downtown palo alto, suitable technology's beam tele-presence robot sells itself, with no humans on site at all. >> hi guys, how's it going? >> good, how are you? >> beam is a smart presence system, so it allows us to beam in anywhere in the world with a wifi connection and maneuver this device on our keyboards here. >> reporter: turn around, would you? do a 360° for me. >> the problem in retail is staffing.
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you have people standing around in the stores, often, just waiting for people to come in and then you've got customers at other times that are waiting and can't get help. >> reporter: and already, says taylor sewitt, beaming in from upstate new york: >> we've had a couple of banks actually start to use them where, if all of a sudden a secondary location gets swamped you could have a couple of tellers from the first location actually beam into that second location and that instantly doubles the staff without actually doubling the staff and hiring twice as many people. >> reporter: kema johnson was in utah. >> i sit here in the desert where i want to live but i can still work in california. >> reporter: is there any sensitivity on your part about replacing people? >> i don't think it's as much replacing people. we definitely want to stay away from automation because somebody needs to be on beam at all times. >> reporter: what do you mean, it's not automation? you're the personification of automation! >> ultimately for us we'd like to give more jobs to people that they wouldn't normally be able to have or do like myself and kema. >> reporter: but if you're in
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utah and you are servicing lots of customers in maybe multiple stores, right. >> correct. >> reporter: you are replacing the jobs of people who would be in the stores themselves. isn't that just obvious? >> a person still needs to operate the device. we're not robotic, so to speak. >> reporter: are they being defensive about not replacing jobs? >> you're talking to two people that have jobs. the one you're not interviewing is the person who didn't get a job working in this store here locally. >> reporter: i was also not interviewing the heads of companies that provide robots at local hotels, robots that can thin out lettuce crops. >> the reaction people have here seems to be similar to if you called up a tobacco company and said: i'd like to do a story on smoking and health. >> reporter: so when you called up companies for this shoot to appear on the pbs newshour, they said not if it's about displacing labor? >> i found that doors would immediately slam shut. oh no, we make people more productive.
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well, making people more productive puts other people out of work. >> reporter: now in fairness, not everyone in the valley was afraid to admit that robots are labor-saving devices. are you ok with the fact that this is going to replace thousands, maybe tens of thousands of caddies? >> absolutely. and this technology can be applied to other types of jobs as well: porters, bellhops, stockroom clerks-- anywhere where heavy lifting is involved. >> reporter: of course, new jobs are being created in silicon valley. that's why entrepreneur vivek wadhwa confidently told us this in 2012. >> the convergence of these technologies will create jobs in areas we can't even think of. >> reporter: but these days wadhwa is singing a different, dolorous tune. >> technology's moving faster than anyone believes and it is going to disrupt industries and create unemployment on a scale that we haven't imagined before. >> reporter: why did you used to think it wasn't going to be a problem?
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>> because i believed what people of silicon valley do, that technology will make everything alright. i've had debates with a who's who of silicon valley, and i sit back and think: these people live in their own world. they don't know poverty; they don't know despair. they don't know what the impact of unemployment is. >> people in the silicon valley believe that what we're doing is god's work. we are making the world a better place. >> reporter: around the corner from stanford's robotics lab, the university's world class art museum provided a last symbolic stop. >> here we are standing in paradise. but we're standing in front of rodin's the gates of hell. >> reporter: so in your dystopia, there are millions of americans who literally out of luck and are facing a grim future because they simply don't have the skills to sell in the new economy. >> i think that's true. here's the good news: the u.s. economy has doubled, reliably about every 40 years for several hundred years now.
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so when you look out 40 years from now, we're going to have twice as much wealth as we have today. the question is who's going to get that wealth? is it going to be concentrated in the hands of an elite, or is it going to be distributed more widely? >> reporter: good question. this is economics correspondent paul solman, reporting in as human a way as is still possible for the pbs newshour from silicon valley. >> woodruff: as we reported earlier, after much debate, congress today passed a short term extension of the highway trust fund. but years of cutbacks in federal transportation and local funding, are being felt in communities around the country. the newshour's cat wise takes a look at some of the key transportation issues facing
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portland, oregon and the surrounding region. >> reporter: early one morning this week, as thousands of commuters drove overhead, oregon bridge inspector joel boothe hoisted himself 100 feet up in the air and got to work. boothe was doing a routine inspection of one of the states busiest bridges: the marquam bridge built in 1966. it carries about 90,000 vehicles a day on interstate 5 over the willamette river near downtown portland. unlike some of the other bridges in portland, its in fairly good shape, but its still got some issues. on both sides of the location we've had some -- issues that are being closely monitored by the states chief bridge engineer, bruce johnson >> they found some pack rust, so weve got some corrosion going on in some sections of our steel. the other issue this bridge has had a lot of fatigue cracking,
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and of course we've mitigated the cracks by doing repairs, but were concerned about the performance of our repairs and how the cracking is going. >> reporter: johnson says that maintaining bridge safety is a huge task for the state. >> in oregon, we have an old inventory of bridges. we haven't been funded to systematically upgrade and renew our infrastructure. so in a lot of cases we've been patching and trying to keep older bridges operational and safe. also in oregon, we're vulnerable to a very, very large cascadia subduction zone. and when that happens, unfortunately were not prepared. >> reporter: the cascadia subduction zone is a fault-line off the coast of the pacific northwest that scientists believe is capable of producing a major 8.0 or larger earthquake in the next 50 years. when the big big one hits, many of the bridges in the state are
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expected to collapse, including the ross island bridge in portland and the interstate bridge-- an important artery for the region connecting portland to vancouver, washington. the price tag for seismically upgrading oregons bridges is hundreds of millions of dollars. money, johnson says, the state doesn't have. >> in oregon because of reduced state funding, we rely heavily on federal funding to do the majority of the serious, the heavy work, the major rehabilitation and replacement of our structures. >> reporter: repairing the bridges here in portland and around the state is a top priority for local officials. but oregon, like many other states, has a long list of much- needed transportation projects. projects that have been impacted in recent years by cutbacks in federal funding. the cutbacks in transportation funding are being felt in the town of newberg, which sits on a major route from portland to the
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oregon coast. traffic backups here are notorious. a new bypass for the area has been in the works for years, but the states original plans for a four-lane, 11 mile highway, were scaled back several years ago to a two-lane, four mile road-- not enough federal funding. >> traffic is always on everyone's minds. >> reporter: 26-year-old ali mcleod is a carpentry apprentice who grew up here and was hired to work on the project. she says many in the local community are worried the shorter bypass wont actually solve the traffic problems. >> they're all pretty upset about it. knowing a lot of people from the area, everybody's just like well, well see if it works. >> reporter: the cost of the $175 million project has been shouldered by the state and that's meant some creative financing according to tom fuller with the oregon department of transportation. >> normally the federal government pays for about ninety
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percent of the construction projects, the state pays for about 10%. there just isn't any federal money for us to do projects like this, so the states got to get very creative. so we do things like selling bonds, using lottery money. even coming up with entirely new ways of charging people to use the roads. we've got to do something, because the needs not going away, even though the dollars aren't there from d.c. >> reporter: but federal transportation dollars aren't just used to build new freeways; they also trickle down to the local level where they're needed for much more basic projects. >> no sidewalks here and a very busy street. >> reporter: leah treat is the director of portland's bureau of transportation. she took me to a neighborhood she says highlights the need for more funding, from pedestrian improvements to road repair. >> we can replicate this situation in dozens of areas of the city where we have three hundred miles of missing sidewalks. we have close to 5,000 lane miles of roadway, and with our
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limited resources we are only able to do preventative maintenance on 100 miles a year. >> reporter: the city also wants more federal funds for innovative projects like the new south waterfront neighborhood, developed with a mix of federal, state, local and private funds and which offers people a variety of transportation options. the country's first-ever bridge open only to bikes, pedestrians and transit-- not private cars-- will open in september. jennifer dill, who studies national transportation issues, says there's a need for more such projects. >> there's a lot of cities in the u.s. right now that really want to invest in more multimodal systems, more pedestrian infrastructure, bike infrastructure, more innovating types of infrastructure. and the feds have been lagging a little behind on that. >> reporter: oregon transportation officials say the temporary highway funding deal worked out this week in washington is a good step, but
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they'd rather have a long-term consistent source of funding from the federal government. for the pbs newshour, i'm cat wise in portland, oregon. >> ifill: rio de janeiro may sound quite appealing as the host site of next year's summer olympics. but a new report out today finds athletes could be swimming and boating in waters that are highly contaminated, polluted by sewage, viruses and fecal matter. the investigation by the associated press suggests athletes could become ill as they compete. william brangham has the story. >> brangham: rio's polluted waters are the result of decades of neglected or nonexistent sewage infrastructure, so in the coming weeks, as trials and test runs begin for the 2016 olympics, some athletes will be competing in waters that contain over a million times more contamination than levels allowed in u.s. waters. bradley brooks is the bureau
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chief for the a.p. in brazil. he co-wrote this new investigation and he joins me now from rio. so bradley brooks, how did these waters get so poll poluted? >> william, these waters have been polluted for decade and basically what happens is that rio grew so fast since the 1960s that the infrastructure of the sewage system could not keep up with the growth. so what you have are poor communities, slums, that cling to these steep hillside and have sewage, so the sewage runs downhill and drains into the basin bole that is rio de janeiro and flows into the streams and lakes and oceans. >> people in the u.s. are familiar when the bacteria levels get to a certain level they close beach also. how do the levels you found in rio compare to the u.s.?
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>> they're astronomical. even the bacterial levels are much, much higher than you see in the u.s. the a.p. study went further. we searched for viruses that are specifically linked to human sewage. those numbers that we found are off the charts, astronomical. scientists that we spoke with in the u.s., in brazil and in europe said that they are numbers that they've never seen anywhere else. here in brazil, the difference is they don't close the beach. >> brangham: what does this mean for the athletes? they have to get into the waters. what are the chances athletes competing in the events are going to get sick? >> the u.s. analyst ran arisk assessment and said there's a 99% chance athletes will be infected by one of these viruses if they ingest 3-teaspoon of water. i should underscore that just because they are infected, that does not mean they will get sick. if they fall ill, that depends
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on a number of other factors that are unknown until they actually ingest the water. >> brangham: is there anything an athlete can do to protect themselves? if they have to get in the water, is there anything they have to do in advance to protect themselves in. >> well, there's no protective gear, per se. some people suggested wearing masks so they don't have to inhale droplets. one of our experts in the u.s. suggested that the athletes show up in rio much earlier than they expected toimply expose themselves to the viruses and, in essence, to make themselves get sick several times so that, by the time the olympics rolls around, they might have built up immunities. most health experts say that's impossible, it takes years and years to build up immunities to these viruses. >> brangham: has the international olympic committee said anything about your findings? are they going to do anything about this? >> the i.o.c. and brazilian officials told "the associated press" today that they will not change the way they evaluate the
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health of the water, meaning they will continue only to look for bacteria, not viruses despite the fact our study showed astronomickicle levels of viruses in the water. in addition to that. the brazilian officials blasted out at the ap. they questioned our data. they questioned the integrity of the scientists who carried out our data and they questioned the university that he is attached to. they did all that instead of simply answering the question of whether or not they're going to look into this question of viruses in the water. >> brangham: all right bradley brooks of the associated press. thanks so much for being here. >> thank you, i appreciate it. >> woodruff: now our regular feature, "brief but spectacular." this week we hear from artist maria abramovic, who tonight shares her thoughts about performance and interactions with audiences.
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for me, the performance is one of the most informative. the performance can really change your life. i like to work with them, push them, i take to take them out of their comfort zone and make a new experience. if you want really to connect with the public, you have to show your true self, and any human being is not perfect. another human being they have the parts they like to hide especially the ones they're ashamed of. the human has to defend his own purpose in this planet. not just sit in front of the computer and twitter.
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if we're going through life, we sit in front of the waterfall or the association or the chair quietly and looking out the window sometimes is more important, more reflective and more reflective of the conscience. there are performers i respect very much. spending three months, just sitting there, it changes everything. i was different. my name is maria abramovic. this is my brief but spectacular take on art, life and beyond.
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>> ifill: you can see our other "brief but spectaculars" on our facebook page. tune in later tonight, on charlie rose: the death of the taliban's mullah omar, and what it means for afghanistan. >> woodruff: and that's the newshour for tonight. on friday, america's aging fleet of nuclear subs, the billions of dollars needed to upgrade a force no one ever wants to use. here's a preview: >> battle stations. all missiles. sound the alarm. (alarm sounding) >> if america's strategy of nuclear deterrence ever fails the beginning of the end might look something like this. >> one six zero feet. aye-aye, sir. submerged just off the coast of hawaii, the 180 man crew of the u.s.s. pennsylvania demonstrated for the pbs "newshour" an abridged version of what it practices every week
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with subs at sea. >> woodruff: i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. join us online, and again here tomorrow evening with mark shields and david brooks. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> the lemelson foundation. committed to improving lives through invention. in the u.s. and developing
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countries. on the web at lemelson.org. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
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report" with tyler mathisen and sue herera. >> picking up momentum, the economy grew in the second quarter, just not as fast as many expected. but is it just enough for the fed to move on interest rates? >> brace yourselves. what one energy expert says oil prices could hit $30 a barrel by late summer. and crash test dummies. the new question being raised about the nation's best -selling vehicle. all of that and more on "nightly business report" for thursday july 30th. >> good evening, everyone. the economy seems to be getting its act together and economic activity this summer is picking up after a brutal winter that has caused growth to pretty much come to a standstill. the commerce department says that the gross domestic prod

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