tv PBS News Hour PBS September 17, 2015 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> ifill: good evening, i'm gwen ifill. judy woodruff is away. on the newshour tonight: interes how the federal reserve's decision affects americans and the economy. also ahead this thursday, the ke candidates' made their appeals t highlights from the second republican debate. plus, papal economics. as the us readies for a visit from francis, paul solman reports on the pope's critique of capitalism. an economic model that the pope says overlooks the poor. >> jesus says, you either serve that's pretty radical. mammon means money. you serve god or you serve money. >> ifill: all that and more on t
>> 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. >> support also comes from carnegie corporation of new york. a foundation created to do what andrew carnegie called "real and permanent good." celebrating 100 years of philanthropy at carnegie.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. >> ifill: the word from the fede interest rates aren't going anyw the announcement ended weeks of speculation, but wall street wasn't sure what to make of the news. the dow jones industrial average lost 65 points to close at 16,675. the nasdaq rose four points. and the s&p 500 slipped five. we'll hear some of what the fed had to say, and examine its reasons, after the news summary. the flashpoint in the crisis eng fresh scenes of chaos. thousands of people poured into the country, at a key border crossing with serbia, after hungary closed its border yesterday. jonathan miller of independent
television news reports from the scene. >> reporter: on the croatian front of the crisis threatening to overwhelm this continental, even riot police proved hopelessly unable to contain the onward surge of refugees and migrants. hours waiting for a train which never came in blazing heat with insufficient water and in a total information vacuum was too much for the multitude who streamed across the serbian border into the european union in the past 24 hours alone. the desperation here is incredible. they've been pushing women through and man handling little children over their heads to get them out of this crush. this chaos the knock-on effect of the closure of the gates to hungary 100 miles northeast. it's been obvious for days that a new route would open up through the western balkans, but somehow no one had expected this. the u.n. refugee agency was nowhere to be seen, the handful of croatian red cross workers
were stretched beyond their limits. women fainted, children became separated from their parents, but police did not use their batons. from early morning, fresh arrivals have streamed across the fields to the station just 500 meters inside croatia. thousands crowded on to the railway tracks. they've been told the train was coming to take them to zagrab. many here acutely aware that in western europe, where they're headed, there are large numbers of people who do not want to let them in. >> we want to live in peace because we leave syria to live in peace in europe. >> reporter: as the temperature rose, so did the frustration. no sign of any train. croatia's interior minister turned up. are you overwhelmed? >> absolutely, yes. because this country in this moment, the figures are very important.
during the nine months croatia has 1,500 illegal immigrants altogether. we have in this 24 hours 6,500, and you ask me are we overwhelmed. yes. absolutely yes. >> reporter: he said he spoke to the u.n. refugee agency to inform them this was their problem now. after weeks and sometimes months on the road, this international mass migration is unstoppable. there has been barbwire and tear gas, water cannon, boat capsizes, thirst, hunger and exhaustion, but they keep on coming, and they keep on keeping on. >> ifill: austria and slovenia h checks ahead of an expected surg traveling through croatia. in south sudan, a truck carrying killing more than 100 people. it happened in a town west of the capital, juba, as people were trying to siphon fuel. officials say a crowd had
gathered around the truck, when someone lit a cigarette. meanwhile, twin suicide bombings at least 23 people and wounded n the bombers blew themselves up at police checkpoints in mainly shiite sections of baghdad. the islamic state group claimed responsibility. thousands in chile spent the day after a powerful earthquake stru at least 10 people were killed. the quake had a magnitude of 8.3, so strong that was felt across much of south america. today, people in small towns along and near the pacific coast picked through what was left after the quake and small tsunamis hit. >> ( translated ) : we never imagined the water could do so much damage. the earthquake didn't do that much damage; it was the water. it was the tsunami that destroyed part of our lives. it destroyed our memories, pictures. >> ifill: more than a million pe evacuate their homes, but most o major damage.
the military in burkino faso sei short-circuiting a democratic tr instead, the army installed a general with close ties to a former president who was ousted last year. troops then broke up attempts to protest the coup. hospitals filled with victims of the street clashes. at least three people were killed, and dozens were wounded. back in this country, two more b northern california. that makes five people killed in two major wildfires in recent days. the latest victims died in the so-called valley fire raging near napa valley, north of san francisco. and in southern utah, the death toll hit 19 in monday's flash floods. search teams discovered another body today. an american soldier accused of d went before a military judge tod sergeant bowe bergdahl disappeared from his post in
2009 and was held by the taliban for five years before being exchanged for five taliban commanders. the hearing at fort sam houston, in san antonio, will decide if bergdahl is court martialed. the three americans who helped f train bound for paris, got a white house welcome today. president obama posed for pictures with airman first class spencer stone, army specialist alex skarlatos and anthony sadler, and thanked them for confronting a would-be gunman. >> they represent the very best of america, american character, and, you know, it's these kinds of young people who make me extraordinarily optimistic and hopeful about our future. >> ifill: the men were also give they already received the legion of honor medal, the highest award in france.
u.n. health agencies report malaria deaths have fallen 60% in the last 15 years. that means more than 6 million lives saved. the vast majority of them are children in africa. officials also say the disease is far from eradicated. there have already been 214 million new cases just this year. still to come on the "newshour," what the federal reserve's decision on interest rates means for american highlights from last night's republican debate. and much more. >> ifill: it's been seven years since the federal reserve took the unusual step of lowering interest rates to near zero. more extraordinary, rates have not moved up since then. for much of this summer, the expectation was that this would be the day the fed would announce a change. but once again, the fed decided to leave rates where they were. jeffrey brown picks up the story from there.
>> brown: expectations began to change just weeks ago following market turmoil and worries over china. during a press conference this afternoon, federal reserve chairwoman janet yellen spoke of those factors, but also said a hike may still be in the cards. >> most participants continue to think that economic conditions will call for or make appropriate an increase in the federal funds rate by the end of this year. of course, there will always be uncertainty. we can't expect that uncertainty to be fully resolved, but in light of the developments that we have seen and the impacts on financial markets, we want to take a little bit more time to evaluate the likely impacts on the united states. >> brown: some insight now into the this decision and where the fed may head soon.
krishna guha is the vice chairman of evercore isi, an independent investment banking advisory firm. from 2010 to 201 he served as the head of communications at the new york federal reserve. >> nice to see you. >> brown: the fed made clear the recent turmoil was a factor here. >> i think that's right, but it's not just so much the turmoil in the markets per se. the fed is saying it looks like the market weakness was driven by concerns about china and the emerging markets, and if that's right, that's something the fed should be paying attention to, not market volatility from day to day, but concerns about global growth. that's really what they focused on. >> brown: the release today said the fed is "monitoring developments abroad." it's that bland kind of statement. of course, they're always monitoring developments abroad, but this says they're really watching and worried. >> it says they're paying close attention to these developments. now, i think one of the reasons why the stock market was a bit jittery today is people were wondering, does the fed know something we don't.
i don't think that's the case. i think they're being prudent. i think they're saying, things look weak in china and other emerging markets, weeker than we thought a few months ago, and the markets are telling us that there may be some problems here, so let's take a short time out at least and evaluate these developments, see what happens and then we can make a better assessment of what they mean for the u.s. >> a short time out. there were some real divisions that have come out about what happens next. there was a minority, but stale strong minority suggesting nothing should happen even through at least through the end of the year. >> so i think, you're of course right, and fed officials give you their dots, where they think interest rates will go. >> brown: their tally. >> that's right. most of them still expect a hike by year end. four are now saying, no, 2016 or maybe even 2017. so i think they're leaning toward december, but they're giving themselves the option to delay if the world looks threatening at that point. >> brown: is this unusual in your experience to have that
kind of division vocalized or put down in the tally form in. >> you know, not really. i think that's a good thing not a bad thing. you don't want group thinking at a central bank. you want people to have their own perspectives, difference of views. right now there is i think a fairly cohesive mainstream view that we're getting closer to the point at which the domestic economy will support a rate hike, but it's worth paying attention to these international developments. now, you have some people, jeff lacquer dissented, who would like to hike today, and you have a few who are already pushing back into next year, but i think the mainstream is saying, by the end of the year probably, but we'll keep an eye on things. >> brown: just briefly, you have people breathing a sigh of relief in europe and elsewhere who are looking to the u.s. economy as a driver still. >> yes to some degree, but it's also the case that of course, if you're sitting in europe right now, the fact that the u.s. is not raising rates means the doller is a bit weaker, means
their currency, the euro, is a big stronger, and if your economy faces a lot of challenges like the european economy, you would prefer the fed was hike sog your currency would weaken and you would pick up some more trade. >> brown: all right. krishna guha, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> ifill: the republican candidates now have two debates under their belts and the discussion about who won last night's event will go on for days. a clear winner was c.n.n. who according to neilsen ratings claimed 22.94 million viewers. while donald trump continues to be the marquee draw, business executive carly fiorina and senator marco rubio are trying to elbow their way into the spotlight. president reagan's "air force one" served as the backdrop for 11 republicans who hope to have their own presidential planes
someday. but they first had to survive the night. as expected, the primary target was frontrunner donald trump, who has upended the race and left previously strong contenders like wisconsin governor scott walker in the dust. >> this is what's wrong with this debate. we're not talking about real issues. and mr. trump, we don't need an apprentice in the white house. we don't need an apprentice in the white house, we have one right now. >> ifill: walker and former florida governor jeb bush tried to use the face-off to reestablish lost footing by linking trump to the leading democrat. >> you got hillary clinton to go to your wedding. >> that's true. that's true. >> because you gave her money. maybe it works for hillary clinton. >> i was... excuse me, jeb. >> it doesn't work for anybody on this stage. >> i was a businessman. i got along with clinton, i got along with everybody. that was my job, to get along with people. >> but the simple fact is.. >> i didn't want to...excuse me. one second. >> ifill: trump came prepared to criticize bush as well, over his stance on women's health programs. >>i know, but why did you say
it? i heard it myself. why did you say it? >> we increased child support -- we increased child support with a broken system by 90%. >> you said you're going to cut funding for women's health. you said it. >> i have a proven record. i have a proven record. >> you said it. >> ifill: meanwhile, carly fiorina, a former hewlett packard c.e.o. who was relegated to the second tier debate last time, seized the moment to slash at trump while presenting herself as a leader. i also think that one of the benefits of a presidential campaign is the character and capability, judgment and temperament of every single one of us is revealed over time and under pressure. >> ifill: the only woman in the field also came prepared to belittle trump, who in an interview, had criticized her looks. >> you know, it's interesting to me, mr. trump said that he heard mr. bush very clearly and what mr. bush said. i think women all over this country heard very clearly what mr. trump said. ( applause ) >> ifill: trump, in turn, dismissed fiorina as a failure in business. but new jersey governor chris
christie, struggling in the polls himself, repeatedly returned to his theme of the night: that this campaign was not about them. >> while i'm as entertained as anyone by this personal back- and-forth about the history of donald and carly's career, for the 55-year-old construction worker out in that audience tonight who doesn't have a job, who can't fund his child's education, i've got to tell you the truth. they could care less about your careers, they care about theirs. ( applause ) let's start talking about that on this stage and stop playing the games. >> ifill: each member of the 11- candidate took turns trying to break through. for florida senator marco rubio, it was on foreign policy. >> the united states military was not built to conduct pinprick attacks. and we're not going to authorize use of force if you're not put in a position where they can win. >> ifill: and in an earlier forum, south carolina senator lindsey graham targeted former senator rick santorum on immigration reform. >> how many democrats did you have on your bill?
>> i don't know how many democrats i had on my bill. >> i can tell you: none. >> but, the point is is that i had a bill. >> that went nowhere. >> ifill: the attention turns now to the democrats. clinton used an appearance on "the tonight show" last night, to mock her competition. the democrats' first debate is october 13th. >> ifill: stay with us, coming up on the newshour: making sense of pope francis' critique of capitalism. an american trained soldier, now a leader for the islamic state group. how body cameras changes our views of justice. and, after a texas teen is arrested for taking a homemade clock to school, what it's like to grow up as a muslim-american. >> ifill: but first, general
motors and the government reached a settlement today over how the auto maker handled a defect that led to deaths, injuries and the recall of millions of vehicles. the agreement may resolve many of the cases involved, but there's also real concern over whether the government let g.m. off too lightly. hari sreenivasan has the story from our new york studios. >> sreenivasan: the formal announcement from u.s. attorney preet bharara in new york followed years of recalls, lawsuits and congressional hearings. g.m. agreed to pay $900 million dollars over faulty ignition switches that shut off engines and disable safety systems. the company now admits it hid the deadly defect for more than a decade. >> they didn't tell the truth in the best way that they should have to the regulator and to the public about a serious safety issue that risked life and limb. >> sreenivasan: an independent monitor will check g.m.'s compliance, and pending criminal charges could be dropped after three years.
but the deal does have its critics. in a statement today, democratic senators ed markey and richard blumenthal said: >> the 124 families who lost loved ones deserved individual criminal accountability. it is shameful that they will not be held fully accountable >> sreenivasan: back in new york, prosecutor bharara defended the agreement. >> we're not done and it remains possible that we'll charge an individual, but the law doesn't always let us do what we wish we could do. >> sreenivasan: and in warren, michigan, g.m.'s chief mary barra summed up the auto-maker's perspective at an employee town hall. >> this is a tough agreement. it further highlights the mistakes that were made by certain people in gm and it imposes significant penalties and obligations. >> sreenivasan: g.m. also today said it'll spend $575 million dollars to settle civil lawsuits. let's learn more about this settlement and the questions
surrounding a lack of charges. david shepardson of the detroit news was at today's press conference and joins me now. it seems that we kind of learned today the limits of the law. gm wasn't necessarily found guilty of the ignition switch problem, but more of the wire fraud connected to the cover-up. >> it's basically the same charge the federal prosecutors have used for years for gangs and different crimes, you know, using a telephone or any electronic device across state lines. the u.s. attorney said there is not a statute that makes it a crime solely for an auto company to sell defective vehicles. and they were not able to determine whether individual employees, you know, were engaged in a cover-up or intentionally committing a crime without that specific statute, and so they said they're not giving up, and they're in the ruling out any criminal charges in the long run, but realistically, this is probably the end of the criminal side of this case. >> sreenivasan: a lot of
families of victims are saying, listen, my loved one died and there's not a single human being at general motors that's responsible for this that we can find criminally negligent here? >> you have 124 deaths and gm's independent compensation fund is died to this, 270 injuries, some of them very serious. gm had this silent culture where no one was taking responsibility, the c.e.o. has called it a culture of incompetence and neglect, and essentially because of this huge, incompetent company, no one is being held responsible and it is, you know, like i said, there are a lot of families the u.s. attorney personally knows the families and says he was sorry and they're as aggressive as any office in the country, but they can't find a statute to specifically go after those individual employees. >> sreenivasan: that's probably discomforting for pi auto owner that there is no law to prosecute, this but how much has gm paid so far, and it seems like this is less than what toyota was fined with for the
sticky accelerator problems a couple years ago. >> that's right. in fact, the toyota sudden acceleration problem, which was linked to about five or six deaths, resulted in a $1.2 billion fine. gm is paying to the u.s. government $900 million. there's about $1.2 billion more in settlements of lawsuit including to shareholders and people who sued overric night switch defects and there's the independent compensation fund that's awarded about $600 million. the u.s. attorney said we're essentially going easier on gm because they fully cooperated, not only did their attorneys, you know, turn over information to us before they even told the executives, but they created this compensation fund and they quickly said, we're going the change our culture. toyota was accused of misleading government regulateors and not coming clean for much longer. it took them four and a half years the reach that settlement. so that's part of the reason for the difference of the fines. >> sreenivasan: this also doesn't count what it costs to
fix the ignition switches of all these recalled cars. >> that's right. gm last year took about $4 billion in charges, much of it in the 30 million vehicles they recalled, including another 12 million vehicles beyond the ones involved in this criminal case for other ignition problems, for other key issues. so the expenses are significant. there's many hundreds of lawsuits left to be resolved. so it's not over yet. >> sreenivasan: what are the next steps? is gm essentially on probation? they didn't have to admit any wrongdoing... >> they didn't have to plead guilty, but they already we inquired to admit to the information that's laid out in these two charges. so for the next three years they will be on probation. if they violate the law, the government could seek to reinstate those felonies and actually going through a conviction, but the reality is there are not a lot of penalties to a big company. companies don't go to jail. you know, individuals do. for the most part wall street has basically baked in this cost of the settlement, so the stock
was up a little bit today. >> sreenivasan: david shepardson of "the detroit news," thanks so much. >> thanks, hari. >> ifill: pope francis's upcoming visit to the u.s. next week is generating huge interest and expectation. part of that excitement is rooted in the different tone the pope has taken on a variety of issues, from marriage to the role of women in the church. but he also issued a tough critique of capitalism and called for tougher action to deal with climate change. we kick off our coverage of the pope's trip which will continue all next week with a look at those issues from our economics correspondent paul solman. it's part of our weekly series, "making sense," which airs every thursday on the newshour. >> reporter: are you excited that the pope is coming here? >> yay! >> it's a blessing that the pope is coming to visit us. especially the poor people that need a little bit more.
>> reporter: a senior center in east harlem, the poorest part of manhattan with the closest ties to latin america-- home to jorge mario bergoglio, the argentinian jesuit priest now known as pope francis. >> and just to the south of this district, we have the wealthiest district in the city of new york in the upper east side. >> reporter: melissa mark- viverito is the first puerto rico-born speaker of the new york city council, where she also represents "el barrio." >> there is a real contrast, which speaks to the vision and the philosophy of what the pope is all about. >> reporter: the pope put that vision and philosophy bluntly in june, with his controversial encyclical on climate change and poverty, blaming what he calls "unbridled capitalism" for "ruining the earth" with "tragic effects" on those he cares most about, "the world's poorest." >> that's why the pope's visit is so important, so that we continue to shine the light on those challenges and continue to challenge us as government and
as leaders in our communities to overcome them. >> reporter: and presumably, that's why francis will come here: to challenge government to do more for the environment and for the poor. but will government respond? the issue has already entered the race for president. >> i don't get economic policy from my bishops or my cardinals or my pope. >> reporter: conservative americans like presidential candidate jeb bush, a convert to catholicism, say the pope should steer clear of "politics." >> i think religion ought to be about making us better as people and less about things that end up getting in the political realm. >> reporter: but francis seems to think politics is about making us better as people-- more generous, kinder and gentler to the poor, to each other, to the earth. activist naomi klein: >> it kind of felt a little bit like being invited into the world's oldest secret society. >> reporter: klein is one of the
pope's more surprising new advisors, a self-described "secular feminist." >> my views about climate change about the economy,are pretty radical. there are people out there who are saying this pope is a closet socialist, and then for them to invite somebody who's written a book whose subtitle is capitalism versus the climate is saying, well, "we're not backing down, frankly." >> reporter: moreover, says progressive evangelical jim wallis, pope francis is squarely within the tradition of his vow- of-poverty namesake and of jesus, who told the rich man hoping to enter the kingdom of heaven that he should give away all his possessions. >> jesus says, you either serve god or mammon. that's pretty radical. mammon means money. you serve god or you serve money. >> reporter: isn't that why people say that jesus is a socialist? >> how we decide the morality, the integrity, the righteousness
of an economy is not how the wealthiest do but how the poorest do. that's in the text. now, that is more radical than communism and socialism. >> reporter: i tried to be even more provocative with marie dennis, who heads a catholic peace and justice movement. is the pope a communist? >> no, the pope is not a communist. pope francis keeps, as the church ought to do, keeps a distance from any particular system, whether it's communism or socialism or capitalism, in order to be able to critique whatever system is not serving the needs of people and the planet. >> but in his encyclical, he is stridently anti-capitalist, or at least the unbridled version as he calls it. >> his critique of unbridled capitalism is very strong, absolutely, and he is very serious about it, because of his experience. he lived his whole life in a
latin america that was on the receiving end of some very destructive economy policies. i think what pope francis is trying to do is trying to amplify voices that have been calling for a different system for decades. >> reporter: a different economic system? is what the pope argues for really what the world's poor need? >> well, i would say that the pope is probably not a well- trained economist. >> reporter: new york university professor richard sylla. >> economic historians like myself study these things and we're pretty big fans of capitalism! >> reporter: the pope's argument is not that historically capitalism has not done a good job. it's that now capitalism is a new form of colonialism. it's suppressing the poor and keeping them down. >> i have to disagree with that because in this age of globalization. my view is that capitalism is actually working to make the lives better for the poorer people of the world. >> there's so much poverty in the world.
hasn't capitalism created that? >> no, capitalism is not the culprit. capitalism when it's allowed to do its work-- some of us would say work its magic-- has this tremendous ability to raise living levels for the people who live under that system. that doesn't mean it's perfect but i think to sort of say that capitalism is the problem, let's get rid of it as the pope may be hinting, is to throw the baby out with the bathwater. >> reporter: the pope, however, is more than hinting. he writes that: a market that does not the pope being unavailable to respond to economist richard sylla's defense of markets, i asked his radical bedfellow, naomi klein for a reply. >> yes, this is a system that has pulled many people out of
poverty but it has also thrown many people into destitution. now, my goal here is not to say capitalism has never done anything good, it's to say we need a better system because now the fate of our species hangs in the balance. >> reporter: or as reverend wallis puts it: >> is our economy today good news for the poor? the economy is for, more and more, the very top, the very few, and the middle are all very insecure and half of god's children, half the world's people are left behind by the economy. god's economy is very simple. there is enough if we share it. it's really as simple as that. >> reporter: well, maybe it's simple, maybe it isn't. but that seems to be what pope francis believes. and the new york neighborhood he'll visit, with its homeless, it's mentally ill, its drug-ravaged denizens, cries out for help, says local resident rodney johnson. >> there's a lot of changes that need to be made.
>> reporter: like what? >> like people getting housing, people really getting help on their drug problems, people, somebody really sitting down and understanding people on what they been through in life, and what they need in order to get off the streets, because there's really no, there's really no compassion out here enough to help people on their feet. it's not out here no more. there used to be but it's gone. >> reporter: from east harlem, among other locations, this is economics correspondent paul solman, reporting for the pbs newshour. >> ifill: there were reports today that the united states and russia will begin military-to- military talks as russia moves into syria to bolster its ally.
as they come to the aid of bashar al-assad, russia may be coming up against a man they've fought before. chief foreign affairs correspondent margaret warner has that. >> warner: the man is abu omar al shishani, the islamic state military commander for the northern district of syria, seen here last august as the group pursued its lightning march across northern and central iraq. >> ( translated ): it is time for the sons of the islamic state and the ummah to defend the islamic state of iraq and sham and defend our imam who the world gathered against with all its strength. >> warner: unlike most i.s. fighters, he was speaking russian. his real name is tarkhan batirashvili; he's an ethnic chechen reportedly born 30 years ago in the country of georgia-- then part of the soviet union-- to a christian father and muslim mother. tapped as a special forces soldier in the georgian army, he fought fiercely against the russian army when the two countries went to war over the province of south ossetia in 2008. mitchell prothero of mcclatchy
newspapers has just written an exhaustive profile of him, with startling new information. i spoke with him via skype from his bureau in northern iraq. how significant a military figure, is abu omar al shishani? >> if he's not the overall military commander for the islamic state he's the commander of the northern front, which is the most serious and active. >> warner: you uncovered very interesting twist in this story. some of his skills came from americans. >> in 2005 to 2006, a lot of cooperation between u.s. military and intel training the georgians. he had been tapped for training by us but there was nothing that would flag him as a security risk on paper. >> warner: how effective was he versus the russians in 2008? >> everyone i spoke to said he
was a fantastic soldier. he was considered a rising star of the georgian military, a senior n.c.o of the special forces eyes and ears of georgian military one of their most successful battlefield commanders of the brief 2008 war before russians rolled over them. >> warner: yet scarcely six years later, he was in syria, swearing allegiance to the islamic state. it's an unusual evolution for a man brought up in a moderate muslim enclave in the predominantly christian nation of georgia. >> warner: shishani was arrested in 2010 on what his family called a trumped-up weapons possession charge and spent 16 months in prison. and once released, he fled to istanbul. >> at that point, he was radicalizred-- perhaps in prison. some suggest his mother's death. he had a religious awakening, adopted her religion. in june 2012 ends up in aleppo and built movement that became
part of isis. i was told part of why he was convinced to bring his unit and become part of the islamic state was a promise that is would organize an emirate in the caucuses and go after the russians. >> mary: and, says prothero, al shishani has emerged as an effective recruiter of other muslim fighters from other former soviet republics. >> they have a tendency to be very professional fighters-- former military. they're considered the shock troops, moved around. there is a core of these very disciplined fighters as opposed to guys from europe.
>> warner: what makes him so particularly effective? >> he's quite capable of thinking strategically and tactically, which you don't get even with fierce fighters. it takes more than that to run an army. >> warner: today abu omar al- shishani is on the u.s. treasury department's list of "specially designated global terrorists" and has a $5 million bounty on his head. so as the russian military appears to be moving its way into syria, this hardened chechen fighter may have the battle coming that he's long been waiting for. for the pbs newshour, i'm margaret warner in washington >> ifill: now how body cameras
on police and cell phones everywhere are changing our views on justice. charlayne hunter gault has the latest installment in our series, race matters. >> reporter: from the michael brown fatal shooting by a policeman in ferguson, missouri last year to new york city last week when a plainclothesed police officer roughly threw former tennis player james blake to the ground, police have been under fire for attacks on black people, but in many instance, police representatives have pushed back, insisting their offices were nearly doing their job. how to narrow the profound fractures between the public and police is the subject of extensive research by brian jackson, a senior political scientist at the rand corporation, a non-profit think-tank working on improving policy and decision making. brian jackson, thank you for joining us. your study focused on what you describe as profound fractures between the public and the
police, and you say it's been a long trend. can you expand on that just a little bit? >> well, of course, policing in the united states isn't something that started a week ago. it's something that started near the beginning of our country, and the relationships that police have with their communities goes back to events that happened during arab segregation, during war protests when police didn't always take actions that today, you know, we see as appropriate. and so for individuals who have an interaction with a police officer today, they're often seeing that interaction as part of a pattern that went become a long time, and this is part of why it's very challenging to build and maintain trusted relationships between police officers and different communities, because the police have to sort of take on and understand this history that goes back probably well before any of the officers who were on the force now were police officers. >> reporter: so it's going on in the heads of black people or people who were victims, but not in the heads of policemen?
>> yeah, indeed. and it's not just the minority community. you have people who were members of protest communities during the '60s and '70s who have very different views of police. really this is a question of the many communities that exist in the united states and the fact that all of them need good relationships with the police departments that protect them. >> reporter: but i think you see statistics showing that blacks are three times as likely as whites to be killed by police. that widens the fracture, doesn't it? >> absolutely. when you have a sort of preexisting breakdown in trust, these very serious incidents, and police use of force is always a serious incident when it results in loss of life of a citizen. that's always something that is a challenge in a democracy. >> reporter: so how do you see race fitting into this? >> our country has a very complex history around race to make a very sort of obvious and understated point, and so race is something that is behind all of this. and it's not that individuals are necessarily racist.
there are folks who study unconscious stereotypes and how race can affect the way that people make judgments about another person. >> reporter: unconscious stereotypes? >> indeed. someone may view someone else as a threat because of stereotypes that exist around race and they may not even realize that influences their decision. so you can train people to understand there are stereotypes to let people step back from themselves as they make these incredibly important decision, sometimes in a very short time, and work through those issues to make sure they're making the right decision for the right reasons, not because of a stereotype that they've learned overtime. >> reporter: so are you saying this can be fixed? >> i'm an optimist by nature, so, yes, i am saying it can be fixed, although this is a training issue. it's about sort of teaching people about other cultures. it's... this is embedded in sort
of the notions that are behind community policing, of police departments, building connections with the community so they have a way of understanding where people are coming from, understanding what their needs are, the problems that police should be involved in solving, and part of that is about building these person-to-person relationships that mean people are making judgments less on mental short-hand and more about, you know, who is this person that is in from the of me and understanding what is going on. >> reporter: in your report you talk about narrowing these gaps and divisions being a two-way street, that the police have responsibilities and the community has responsibilities. how do you work that out? >> when you look at the rhetoric around the challenges about police oversight, police are concerned that members of the public who don't know what high-pressure interactions where
the police officers are at risk work and are concerned that they're not going to make fair judgments about, you know, about the police officer's decision making after the fact. members of the public are obviously concerned about that decision making because it's in that decision making where we get uses of force, where we get decisions about who gets searched and who doesn't, who gets stopped and who doesn't, and so there is an element in this where, you know, increasing transparency in those interactions, to give the public more data, more information -- i'm a researcher, so i go back the data and information as a solution. >> reporter: it sounds like that may be happening in the ferguson case where we've just had a report by a commission that looked into those incidents there, and they said that people need to engage with the report, discuss, debate and argue about it, even though it is likely to be difficult and take a long time. is that what we're looking at? >> they are going in the right direction.
these are not easy questions. we expect the police to use force in situations to save lives, and we expect them to do it appropriately. where is the line? well, that's a tough... that's a tough line to draw and it varies place the place. in a democracy, that's done by people coming together and having those debates, having those discussions. brecken windows policing or order maintenance policing, as it's called, because philosophy of trying to control crime. but that approach has a lot of impacts on the communities that are affected by it. so part of what needs to happen, they are around a policing tactic, is for people to come together and say, well, do the benefits that we think we're getting from reducing crime worth the side effects this has on everybody in the community where it's done? is there a right and a wrong answer there? no, but the answer for me there is going from more transparency. so these bad incidents that happened, and there are terrible incidents that happened where we get the one cell phone video,
they travel the internet, they have a very large effect. on that same day, a lot of interactions between the police and the public happen that we're very positive. sometimes those go viral, for example, there was the case of the african american police officer who was helping a white supremacist at a confederate flag rally who was being overcome by the heat. and there's a picture of this officer leading the gentleman away so he could sort of get water. again, it went viral. >> reporter: is there anything in this whole equation that gives you optimism that this fracture can be narrowed and maybe even resolved? >> yes, absolutely. i mean, we're seeing sort of explorations with use of technology like body cameras, although they're not the answer to everything. we're seeing, you know, police departments proactively sort of reach out to communities. we're seeing the public debate and the public debate is part of it. it's about, you know, what the country wants from its police forces, what the right balance to strike in a democracy about
the power given to police versus citizen oversight, what the society wanted from police 30 years ago is not the same as what society wants from police now, and i don't know what the changes will be, but i'm quite sure that in 30 years there will be changes. what i'm optimistic about is that we have a process going now where people are focusing now on this issue and where we will work through the problems to come up with better solutions over time. >> reporter: thank you. >> thank you very much. >> ifill: on monday we'll expand on that conversation in a pbs prime time special "america after charleston." join me as we explore the many issues propelled into public discourse after a white gunman shot and killed nine african american worshippers in charleston's emanuel a.m.e. church last june.
>> ifill: 14-year-old ahmed mohamed, who was suspended from an irving, texas school after officials mistook his school project for a bomb, spent another day out of school today. mohammed's arrest, he'd brought a homemade clock to school, stirred a global social media frenzy. hari's back with that. >> sreenivasan: the hashtag "i stand with ahmed" went viral for a third straight day on facebook, twitter and elsewhere. president obama jumped in yesterday, too, inviting him to visit with a tweet that read: "cool clock, ahmed. want to bring it to the white house? we should inspire more kids like you to like science. it's what makes america great. for his part, the teen said he did not plan to return to the school and was grateful for overwhelming support. >> when i showed it to her, she thought it was a threat to her.
so it was really sad that she took the wrong impression of it and i got arrested it to later that day. thank you to all my supporters on twitter, facebook, social media. thank you for helping me. i never would have got this far if it weren't for you guys, and not just you guys, everybody. >> sreenivasan: now for some perspective. michael philimr. nihad awad hasg with ahmad and his family. >> when this happened to the family, the family contacted our office in dallas, and we recognized this was another case of unfortunate islamophobia and targeting of young people just because of their faith tradition, not because of their deeds or their behavior, and we managed to tell his story and his narrative now dominated the
story. the school officials, i think, failed him when they accused him, when they called the police on him. he was arrested. he was detained, interrogated without the presence of his parents, and this was totally unnecessary. >> sreenivasan: mr. awad, why is this story resonating so much even with non-muslims around america? >> i think this is a human story. this is a young genius inventor who wanted to impress everyone, and he wanted to do better. he wanted to build things to improve the world. i spoke to him yesterday, and he told me that he wants to create things, and his father told me that he fixes everything around the house. so at this young age to have a brilliant teenager who is involved and has a passion in science and innovation, we should cherish this. and that's why i believe he was able to fill his story through
his invention, he's young, he's cute, adorable, intelligent, and i think that got him a lot of support, definitely with the help of an advocacy organization like ours. we managed to also get his story out. >> sreenivasan: are you advocating for him to take legal action? if so what's the basis of that action and against whom? >> i think the most important thing is to restore his confidence. the president has supported him and he stood for him publicly. he led by example. mark zuckerberg and other leaders in our faith tradition have stood by him. and that was the most important thing, to restore and reinstate his confidence and his dreams to change the world to be a better world. the legal action, i think, is being considered. we just want to make sure that this experience does not happen to other people. >> sreenivasan: is this indicative or emblematic of
actions against muslims around the united states? is that one of the reasons that people are paying attention to this, where they can see this in themselves? >> unfortunately i have to say yes. it is widespread. there is an atmosphere of islamophobia that has plagued our countries, cities and towns. it has centered even through the school system. we hear many, many stories like this. luckily ahmad med is clever. he was able to tell his narrative, but there are many untold stories nationwide, and we as a nation have to start a frank conversation, and i urge our national leaders, our religious leaders at their home, in their places of worship, everywhere, we have to fight against xenophobeback any kind of phobia, and just reward diversity but not punish diversity or punish people just because of their traditions.
>> sreenivasan: what would you like to see happen at the school, at the local police department? >> i would like to school to look really at what happened, and they should not justify what they did. what they did was wrong. and they have sent the wrong message to teenagers nationwide, not only in their schools, and i would like that to be the last story, but unfortunately knowing the history of our society, we learn sometimes the hard way. >> sreenivasan: nihad awad, director of the council on american islamic relations, thanks so much for joining us. >> ifill: on the newshour online: for the last two weeks, we have been showing you some of the extreme conditions faced by migrants and refugees as they wind their way through europe. correspondent william brangham spoke to many of them along the hungarian border, as they tried
to make their way to a better life. he talks about what he saw, on the latest episode of our podcast shortwave. find a link to listen, on our home page: pbs.org/newshour. and that's the newshour for tonight. on friday: we re-unite with syrian refugees in germany. we first met on their journey through hungary. 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.
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