tv PBS News Hour PBS October 7, 2015 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> sreenivasan: good evening. i'm hari sreenivasan. on the newshour tonight: gwen ifill and judy woodruff are on assignment. >> woodruff: i caught up with hillary clinton in iowa, where she disclosed she is against the massive trade agreement president obama announced this week. we also talked about guns, vladimir putin and her emails. >> what i know about it as of today, i am not in favor of what i have learned about it. >> ifill: i'm in seattle, where i sit down with two of the world's biggest philanthropists and two of the largest voices in education: bill and melinda gates. >> sreenivasan: plus, on a different stage, recording artist josh groban visits our
studio to discuss his latest album, "covers of songs from broadway." >> there's the goosebump thing when the melody just gets you and you don't know why. sometimes, it's in a genre you didn't think you liked and it just gets you and you just feel the hairs on the back of your neck. i love this song. >> sreenivasan: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪
moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> 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 >> 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. >> sreenivasan: in a moment, judy's and gwen's headline interviews with hillary clinton and bill and melinda gates. but first, the day's news, starting with clinton's decision to oppose the trans-pacific trade agreement. it's her biggest break yet with president obama, but she says
the deal does too much for big drug companies and not enough to create jobs. russia sharply escalated its military campaign in syria today, adding missile might to an aerial assault. it came in conjunction with a new ground offensive. they launched from russian warships in the caspian sea, as seen in russian military video: 26 medium-range cruise missiles streaking toward syria. russian animation showed the missiles flew more than 900 miles, crossing iran and iraq, aimed at targets in raqqa and aleppo provinces, plus idlib province to the northwest. amateur video appeared to show some of the missile strikes, timed to coincide with a syrian ground assault in idlib and hama provinces. from moscow, meeting with his defense minister, president vladimir putin praised the results. >> ( translated ): the fact that we have performed strikes with precision weapons from the caspian sea area to the distance of 1,500 kilometres and hit all
the planned targets, means good advance preparation of the military industrial sector and good training of the staff. >> sreenivasan: but plenty of questions remained about who's taking the brunt of russia's air campaign. turkish leaders claimed again today the real targets are moderate rebels fighting the assad government. >> ( translated ): these air strikes are not carried out against the islamic state. russian air forces carried out 57 air strikes and, according to the information we received, only two of these air strikes are against islamic state. >> sreenivasan: the head of one american-trained rebel faction confirmed that russian planes have bombed his weapons depots in aleppo and homs. and in italy, u.s. defense secretary ash carter echoed the complaint. >> they continue to hit targets that are not isil. we believe this is a fundamental mistake. despite what the russians say, we have not agreed to cooperate with russia so long as they continue to pursue a mistaken strategy and hit these targets.
>> sreenivasan: meanwhile, russia's military buildup in the eastern mediterranean has escalated over the last week. now including ten navy ships, a number described by n.a.t.o. officials as out of the ordinary. a rebel group supported by the u.s. says russian soldiers are taking part in the syrian ground offensive. the russians deny sending in any ground troops. there's word the f.b.i. has foiled repeated attempts in eastern europe to smuggle radioactive material to middle eastern extremists. the associated press reported the findings today. it cited four incidents in the past five years-- the latest in february-- involving gangs with suspected russian ties. in that case, a smuggler sought a buyer from the islamic state group. president obama apologized today for a deadly air strike in kunduz, afghanistan. last friday's attack killed at least 22 people at a hospital run by doctors without borders. mr. obama telephoned the group's president today.
>> he believed that it was appropriate for the united states to do what we have done before. which is to acknowledge that a mistake had been made, to offer an apology, to do so in a transparent way, to own up to our mistakes and to vow to carry out a full investigation of to the bottom of exactly what happened so that we can learn from this incident. >> sreenivasan: doctors without borders has called for an independent investigation, but the white house says the president did not directly address that demand today. a defense bill worth $612 billion is headed to the president's desk despite a veto threat. the senate approved it today, 70 to 27, enough to override a veto. it already passed the house. the president objects to the way congress provided the money -- by padding a war-fighting account and denying new money for domestic agencies. france and germany joined forces today, urging the european union not to fracture under the strain of debt and refugees.
french president francois holland and german chancellor angela merkel appeared before the european parliament, and hollande warned against returning to go-it-alone nationalism. >> ( translated ): focusing on sovereign interest is a road to decline and it's also dangerous not to give a people hope, not to build anything together but to turn in on each other, without any future. faced with these trials, i am convinced that if we don't go further, it will be the end of the european project. >> sreenivasan: for her part, merkel said europe faces "a test of historic proportions." the flood disaster in south carolina surged toward the coast today. one swollen river crested at record levels in kingstree, and conway and georgetown braced for bad news as well. back around columbia, crews worked to shore up the 52-year- old beaver dam. but the governor rejected criticism that many of the state's dams have fallen into disrepair. >> you've got a thousand year flood. and out of thousands of dams, right now we're watching 62 of them. 13 of them have failed. look at the proportion of that. and even of the ones we're working on, when you have floods
of this magnitude, it is really amazing that we have not had more issues than we've had. >> sreenivasan: more than 400 roads and bridges are also being checked, and remain closed for now. long distance traffic on part of interstate 95 is having to make a 170-mile detour. authorities in roseburg, oregon have issued a detailed new account of how a gunman died after killing nine people at a community college. they say christopher harper- mercer was wounded by police, then shot himself in a classroom in front of his dead and wounded victims. meanwhile, "people magazine" is publishing the names and phone numbers of every member of congress in a effort to encourage action to decrease gun violence. the nobel prize for chemistry was presented today to three scientists who discovered how the human body repairs its own d.n.a. the honorees are tomas lindahl of sweden, aziz sancar of turkey and american paul modrich. nobel officials say their research is leading to new treatments for cancer and
other diseases. >> it is based on the idea that cancer cells already have kind of weakened d.n.a. repair systems. so then, if you can come in with a drug that makes the d.n.a. repair systems even less functional, the cancer cells will really go bad because they cannot repair their d.n.a. at all anymore. very quickly this will degrade the d.n.a. and the cancer cells cannot survive. >> sreenivasan: scientists estimate human d.n.a. is damaged daily by everything from solar radiation to cigarette smoke to pollution. on wall street, the dow jones industrial average gained more than 120 points to close at 16,912. the nasdaq rose more than 40 points, and the s&p 500 added 16. and there's more fallout from claims of insider trading at fantasy sports websites. the industry leaders, "fan-duel" and "draft kings", said today they are banning all employees from playing any such daily games for money. there've been allegations that
an employee at "draft kings" had unfair access to special data, before winning $350,000 in a "fan-duel" contest. still to come on the newshour: judy's interview with hillary clinton. gwen's discussions with bill and melinda gates. recording artist josh groban on his latest album. and much more. >> woodruff: the clintons have had a tough time in iowa over the years. candidate bill clinton lost the democratic caucuses here in 1992 and hillary clinton lost to barack obama here in 2008. this time around, she's spending a lot of time in the hawkeye state, today holding a town hall meeting at cornell college in mt. vernon, where i caught up with her this afternoon.
secretary hillary clinton, thank you for talking with us. >> thanks so much, judy. i'm glad to see you. >> woodruff: let's start with the big announcement from president obama this week about a trade deal, a trans-pacific partnership, u.s. and 11 other countries covering 40% of the global economy, 800 million consumers. it's already started a big battle between people who love free trade and people who care more about protectionism. where do you come down? >> i have said from the very beginning that we had to have a trade agreement that would create good american jobs, raise wages and advance our national security, and i still believe that's the high bar we have to meet. i have been trying to learn as much as i can about the agreement, but i'm worried. i'm worried about currency manipulation not being part of the agreement. we've lost american jobs to the manipulation countries particularly in asia have engaged in. i'm worried the pharmaceutical companies may have gotten more
benefits and patients and consumers fewer. i think there are still a lot of unanswered questions. sometimes they look great on paper. i know when president obama came into office, he inherited a trade agreement with south korea. i, along with other members of the cabinet, pushed hard to get a better agreement. we think we made improvements. now looking back on it, it doesn't have the results we thought it would have in terms of access to the markets, more exploits, et cetera. >> woodruff: so you're saying as of today this is not something you could support? >> what i know about it, as of today, i am not in favor of what i have learned about it. >> woodruff: so is president obama wrong? he is vigorously defending. this he says it protects jobs. he says when it comes to worrying about jobs, auto medication and technology are more responsible than the trade agreement. >> look, i think the president
has been extraordinarily effective in making as strong a case as could be made. but i worry we have an equation here. how do we raise incomes in america? >> woodruff: if this is rejected, asia experts says it will decrease the influence of the u.s. in asia, it is going to give a boost to china which is trying to become more dominant, and doesn't it conflict with your pivot to asia when you were secretary of state? >> i don't think so because the best way we can exercise influence in asia is to remain the world's strongest economy here at home, and that means we have to have more middle class jobs, more people being in the middle class, more people being able to get into the middle class, and we haven't looked at this from a competitive perspective because the republicans have stood in the way. >> woodruff: you said you'd favor middle class tax cuts. my question is would yours be
bigger or smaller than what the republicans put out there? donald trump is out there with a plan. jeb bush is out there with a plan. what would yours look like? >> well, i want to have families be able to invest in what they tell me they care about. how do they pay for childcare? how do they pay for college? how do they pay the daily expenses of healthcare and the other things that are really straining the family budget? i've looked at the plans produced on the other side by donald trump, jeb bush and others. they'd ex flowed deficit and, once again, they are so tilted toward the rich, it's embarrassing and we know that doesn't work. so when i roll out my tax plan, it is very much focused and targeted on the middle class. >> woodruff: your private email server. the "washington post" fact checker gwen kessler wrote this weekend that when you speak publicly about how you handle the disclosure requests you don't include the fact that the first request came just to you from the state department based
on the congressional inquiry. >> well, my understanding of what happened is that the state department had e-mails that they gave to the committee that was formed, we now know, to politically, in a partisan way, go after me, not investigate what happened in benghazi, and that we already provided those e-mails because they're already on the state.gov system. >> woodruff: but the first request came to you alone in response to the committee and i guess kessler's point is this is the indication that the state department did not realize before that that you were conducting government business on your -- solely on your private server. >> i e-mailed with hundreds of people in the state department across the government, some even in the congress, so that is just not credible. >> woodruff: why wouldn't it have been better at the very beginning of all this to simply say, i did this, i wanted a private server because i have been through this kind of thing
before, i didn't want republican congressmen rifling through my personal e-mails, done away with the controversy, done away with people now saying they don't trust you. >> all i can tell you, judy is that's not what happened. i did not give any thought to it. i had used my own email. i got into the state department's. it was allowed. i did it for convenience. my husband already had a system and i just add on the system. that's what happened. >> woodruff: you commented on what kevin mccarthy commented about the political nature of. this what do you expect when the hearings get underway on october 22? >> i don't know what to expect. i know this was set up to be a political partisan attack on me. of course, that's probably something we could have concluded earlier since there had already been seven investigations. now we see the congress setting up a special committee to look into planned parenthood. it's really sad to me that whether it's women's health or,
in this case, the death of four americans serving our country, that the republicans in congress try to partisannize and exploit these events. >> woodruff: something else in foreign policy -- syria, you came out and said you would favor the idea of setting up a no-fly zone to protect refugees and others. but in talking to experts, they say in order to do that you would have to take out syria's air defenses, most or much of which are in urban areas. in other words, you would have to go into an area with huge civilian casualties in order to set up this no-fly zone. is that something you're prepared to take on? >> there are different parts of the countries with different levels remaining of air defense. i want to see if we can't get a coalition of all the countries that have a stake in this including the russians to agree on three things -- one, we have to do as much as possible toned the conflict, we have to stop the refugee flow by helping
people have a safe space to stay in and to get supplies, medical, food and other things, and they have to begin the process of a political transition. >> woodruff: would you be prepared to shoot down russian planes if they flew into this no-fly zone? >> no. the point is to have the leverage of this discussion. the russians have already invaded turkey airspace. turkey is a n.a.t.o. allied. they are now on notice if they invade the airspace of a n.a.t.o. ally, actions will be taken. this is in the absence of no-fly zone. >> woodruff: what do you mean? they have been put on notice, as i understand it, from n.a.t.o. turkey sent up fighters, a pretty strong sense of notice, that russia get out of our airspace. so we need to send a clear message to russia, they are going after those opposed to assad under the guise of going after those who oppose i.s.i.s. who is a common enemy of everyone and we need to push back so they don't engage in
behavior that invades turkish airspace and i think it's imsecretary kerry begin immediate talks with everybody at the table to, as they say, deconflict the airspace and put the russians on notice. >> woodruff: you dealt president putin and favored the reset with russia in 2009. my question, is did you and others in the administration misread putin and underestimate what he was capable of doing? >> remember, when president obama came into office, medvedev was president and he turned out to be a good partner. >> woodruff: but putin was in the background. >> he was, but he was letting medvedev make the decisioned backed by him. when putin decided in fall of 2011 that he wanted to be president and basically announced it, we knew we were going to have a lot tougherrer time because he was taking back the presidency to assert himself
and, therefore, russia. >> woodruff: doesn't that add up to misreading what was going on? >> no, i don't think so at all. when we dealt in 2009, 2010 and the first part of 2011 with the russian government sitting across of medvedev in many meetings, we got results. putin comes back, of course you have to readjust because he's coming back with an agenda. it's an ongoing challenge because of the way he behaves and how he basically wants to, you know, push the boundaries in europe and now in the middle east. >> woodruff: let me bring you back home to the subject of guns and gun control and the aftermath of terrible shooting of the community college in oregon. this week you came out for tightening controls on guns and talked about what you would do differently. is this really laying out the defining difference between you and senator sanders when it comes to gun control is this. >> welli've spoken out and trieo work on this for more than 20 years.
i have a record. i'm going to defend my record. i'll let others speak to their records. >> woodruff: are you saying that's a contrast with senator sanders? >> this is my position, others will state their positions. >> woodruff: you said the super pac out there supporting you, at least one, is they're ready to criticize republicans, but one of the pacs supporting you is now attacking senator sanders. do you approve going after senator sanders with the super pac? we know there is coordination. >> i don't know anything about what you're saying. i have no knowledge of what they're doing. i said i want anybody supporting me to go after republicans because whatever differences we might have on the democratic side, they pale in comparison to the really substantive differences we have the republicans. >> woodruff: would you call on them to cease and desist and stop criticizing -- >> i've said i want people who support me to go after republicans. i said it before and i'm saying it again on this show. >> woodruff: well, and just continuing in that vein, the
david brock group, been reported this week in new york magazine, is digging through vice president biden's past, so-called opposition research. my question is do you approve of this? >> first of all, i have no knowledge of it. i have been clear anybody who listens to my public statements and anybody who pays attention to what i say, i want to give vice president biden whatever space and time he needs to make his decision. now, if he gets into the election, then people are going to be raising questions, just like they do about me. that's what happens when you get into the arena. but i'm not asking and i don't approve of anybody who is support meg or say they support me to be focusing on anyone other than the republicans. >> woodruff: for you, you're saying you weren't aware they were doing this and you don't approve of it but the fact they're doing it isn't that really an effort to intimidate the vice president against getting into the rails?
>> judy, i don't know anything about it. i can't comment on it any further than i have. >> woodruff: do you believe that vice president biden made it clear he's looking at getting in? how does it change the race if he gets in? > if he gets in, i will continue to speak positively about him. i feel that way. we have been friends a long time. but i will put forth my platform, what i want to do, to build on what president obama has done and then the democratic voters will make their decision. >> woodruff: secretary hillary clinton, we thank you very much for talking with us. >> my pleasure. thank you. >> ifill: spent $35 billion tackling m malaria aids and abroad. but at home their focus is
education reform which catapulted them into the middle of a 2016 political debate. i sat down with bill and melinda gates. thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having us. >> ifill: for better or worse this year, education is a campaign issue. you can see that as good or bad news. how do you see it, melinda? >> i think the fact education is part of the kiss course in -- discourse in an election year sin cred bring important. education is the bridge to opportunity. fitz not working, we need to discuss it as a nation. in that sense, it's a good thing. >> ifill: the discussion is about common core and about whether standardized testing and how you choose to define common core is the right idea. do you worry the whole issue you pushed to support, this idea of raising standardized testing in other ways, do you worry politics is obscuring common core? >> it is observe curing, but
facts about common core are often obscured. the common core sets high standards for what math, reading and writing, kids should learn in high school, and helps get the progression down so even the kids moving from state to state, if they're using online material, it's all a benchmark the same way and if the kid dwrad waits from -- graduates from high school they know they won't have to take remedial classes. it's a very important advance, a standard allowing for a lot of innovation where people build elements that connect up to the common core. so we're seeing great results. kentucky was the first state to go ahead with it. they're actually the state that's seen the most improvement in a lot of test scoornsd even high school -- test scores and even high school graduation rate. it's a foundation piece to help improve things.
>> ifill: how did the turn come on this debate, to so many republicans saying if you endorse this it's a discall fying feature? >> it's important to look, it's the state governors and superintendents who in 2006 said this is right for each of our states. that is what we want because if these are standards are set properly we know our kids are on a learning trajectory to learn what they need to know to be part of the knowledge economy. that's when it was set. there is been a lot of political mall debate about -- people confounded it is it federal or state control. no, states are deciding this. a few states rolled back the c'mon core but what they put in place of it is 95% the common core, just a different word. but for the two states and district of columbia are still doing the common core because they know it's right. more than the political debate is what's happening with teachers in the schools. when you survey teachers across
the nation whose states have common core in place, they say we like it. it's hard to implement but we know it's the right thing for our students. our students are learning the things that they need to learn. so they believe in it. in some ways, the political discourse just can't, thank goodness, trickling to the reality of what's happening in schools. >> ifill: have you been able to measure the higher standards led to hiring achievement? >> kentucky is a fantastic example. they're the first state to put the common core in place statewide and what we see is their graduation rate has gone up and that's incredibly important, but even more important is the college readiness rate. that is before they put the common core standards in, 34% of kids who graduated from high schools were actually ready to go to college. today that number is 62%. that means kids are going into college and succeeding. they know they're ready to go and they're not having to be remediated and dropping out. that is a profound change in a few years.
>> ifill: let's talk about what's happening in your hometown of seattle where there was a recent teachers' strike over some of the issues and the judge struck down the charter schools that were supposed to begin here. i'm wondering if this example makes you think you can sell what it is you have. >> well, most states do have charter schools and, although only about 5% of kids go to those schools, they have been laboratories for a lot of good things that have been learned. for example, this idea of how do you give teachers more feedback? how do you help teachers get better? a lot of charter schools really invested in doing that, and we are seeing some of those now being adopted broadly so all students can benefit from them. we are very disappointed that the courts saw that the way the charter referendum, that the voters approved, the court said the way it was funded was
inappropriate and, so, we're hopeful charters will be restored in the state. it's possible they won't. that would be a real disappointment to us. we're among the people who invested. we have 1200 kids in charter schools whose state are up in the air. some are trying to get those defunded which is, for those nine schools that are in place, you know, that seems like a bad thing to want to shut those down. but we do have charters in most states, and we think they can be a place where good learning takes place. >> ifill: what about the students opting out of the tests especially in seattle, saying i don't want to take part, there are too many test also. >> i think you're hearing it from some students and some parents. i think when you have to say when new assessments go in, you have to say what are we taking out. we have to have assessments. they are very important tests to see what kids are learning what they need to know against the
common core standard, whether in fact they are learning the material and we know that by the end of the year. some are myths about the kids dropping out. if you look at louisiana, they talked about thousands of kids dropping ought and turns out less than 1% of the kids dropped out of the state tests. that's what tells you how important you think the parents and teachers think they are. >> ifill: are those who don't want to be subject to the tests driving the unrest? >> you get both parents and teachers that get concerned. i would be concerned if my child was tested too many times in the year. the teachers believe in the standards, they believe them, but the test came out very quickly thereafter. teachers will tell you teaching to the common core is hard, they have to step up their game in the classroom and it takes a while to get the implementation down and they needs a few years before the testing begins so there were a few states that went too fast with the tests,
and that's where you saw some of the pushback. >> ifill: so what's the fix? tests where students were told what they got wrong and they use it as an opportunity to learn and say, okay, how should this concept work, tests are a very good thing done properly. so it would be very unfortunate if people thought, oh, we shouldn't test students or doctors or drivers. you know, tests are kind of this bad thing. you can make mistakes, particularly how many tests do you have that are psoa -- that e those summited tests at the end, how many are that beneficial versus the classroom time. but overall testing is a fundamental piece and it should be about making them better instead of saying, okay, let's just take the day off. >> ifill: in the years you have been undertaking this enterprise to fix american's education system, what would you say has been the least pleasant
and the most pleasant surprise that you have picked up along the way? >> well, it's always so encouraging when you go in and see a great teacher at work, to see that energy and the sense of potential those kids feel when that teacher is not only educating but giving them confidence. then, when we see things that are designed to help teachers improve, that are, you know, pretty good, but there is some fear about how those systems are run, when those are shut down and teachers aren't getting any feedback at all, that's disappointing. you know, we need to get a to point where teachers really love the professional feedback they're given and that's a struggle to design those systems, keeping them in place, till they get so good that teachers wouldn't want to live without them. >> i think the most encouraging
thing is when you see great teaching in the classroom and we see great teachers across the nation and i think it's encourage wheng you hear from the kids when they say what a difference the deeper made -- this person helped me, it was hard, but they believed in me and helped me know i could do this -- when you hear that across the nation from kids no matter where they're from, you say, that's encouraging. we know great teach happens and is possible. let's figure out how to make sure all teachers are fantastic and get the feedback they need to improve at their craft and that's exciting. >> ifill: thank you both very much. >> thanks, gwen. >> sreenivasan: next week, gwen will have a report from seattle that features one of the prominent voices that has been pushing back on the common core and encouraging parents to opt out of testing.
>> sreenivasan: stay with us, coming up on the newshour: how california's drought is causing the state to sink. and recording artist josh groban on singing broadway hits. but first, cell phones are ringing furiously at the u.s. capitol tonight as house republicans prepare for a closed-door vote tomorrow on whom they would like to be the next speaker of the house. political director lisa desjardins joins us to explain the tumultuous time and what will be a major decision for the direction of congress. first of all, lisa, i'm sure you will do this throughout the interview but why does this matter? there were recent developments this afternoon. fill us in. >> it's a critical decision. congress has had trouble over the past years in dealing with major issues and dealing especially with fiscal crises. while there are more fiscal crises coming, a debt ceiling in europe about to hit on november 5, government runs out
of funding in december, and the highway trust fund is about to run out, all issues that are circulating, all unresolved and without clear leadership from the house, it makes the current problem even more difficult to figure out. >> sreenivasan: okay, what happened late this afternoon? >> okay. we had a group of conservatives known as the house freedom caucus. they're partially responsible for the ousting of house speakerrer boehner. they decided to endorse daniel webster from florida, relatively new. he himself was a house speaker in the florida state house. a lot of folks may not have heard of him. this is important for a couple of reason. this is a man conservatives want. we don't think he has more votes than the current frontrunner, kevin mccarthy of california, but these conservatives may have more votes to block kevin mccarthy from getting the majority he needs. mccarthy is it facing doubts especially words he had after the benghazi hearings, but he
tried to assuage his critics this morning when he spoke to reporters. >> i think i have been clear when it comes to benghazi. i could have said it in a different manner, yes. i think at any given time, somebody could always say something better. over time you prove that we have a very good message. i think the job of the speaker is to be a team captain, all part of the team. we've got a lot of members inside this conference that lead a very good job of getting the message out and we'll continue to do it. >> that's mccarthy wanting to be team captain but there is a lot of nervousness even among those who are on his team. >> sreenivasan: let's talk about his biggest rival, mr. chaffetz. >> i think mr. jason chaffetz also in the hunt here, he's number three. i think what's interesting is chaffetz is in this because there is this critical problem. i spoke to him monday about what essentially is a mass problem for both kevin mccarthy and
for house republicans. >> and you need 218 votes on the floor of the house. the problem for mr. mccarthy is there are roughly 50 or so and growing number of people who just cannot or will not vote to promote the existing leadership into the speaker's role. so i worry he'll fall short of the 218 that h cause chaos internally, and nobody is arguing with the premise mr. mccarthy might be more than a few votes shy of the 218 necessary. >> now, i know "newshour" is a place where we can get into a little into the weeds. that got a lot into the weeds. he's saying while kevin mccarthy may have more votes than anyone else for republicans now, he still does not have a majority in the house. we think kevin mccarthy might walk away tomorrow with more votes than anyone else behind closed doors but may not have enough votes for what matters, the speaker's election on october 29. he needs 218 votes.
because of conservatives, chaffetz or congressman webster, no one might have enough votes right now and this leads to a very difficult situation. one long-time source called it neverland. >> sreenivasan: is there a scenario where john boehner has to stick around and be a speaker or do we not have a number three in line for the presidency? >> that's what happens when you're in neverland. a lot of people are reading the rules tonight and the next few weeks to see what happens if no one gets to 218 when a speaker's vote held. in the parks there have been many long speaker elections. there have been decades since we've had one. but could just have ballot votes till they reach 218. if they reach this, it may be speaker boehner may have to stay in the job till they find the
next one. kevin mccarthy is the leading candidate but there are questions about his leadership at this point and he has just another day to shore that up. >> sreenivasan: lisa desjardins, political director from the "newshour" joining us from capitol hill tonight. thanks for joining us. >> my pleasure. >> sreenivasan: california's drought is resulting in a big drop: the state is sinking, and sinking fast. some parts of the state are settling lower at a rate of two inches a month, according to a report nasa released last month. as nathan halverson from "reveal" shows us, the sinking is increasing the flood risk in one area of the state that is desperate for water. this story was produced by member station kqed in san francisco. >> reporter: johnny andrews is a
third generation farmer in california's central valley. >> my grandpa came out of texas and he told me years ago, he said, "you know, whiskey is for drinking. water is for fighting." see how it's changing colors? >> reporter: andrews is one of thousands of farmers in the state struggling to keep their crops green during a record drought. >> it's lifting the water. >> reporter: he is turning to what he calls a last resort: drilling for groundwater. >> you're looking at $200,000 to drill a well. you're looking at the pumping cost every month of about between $2,500 and $3,500 per well. >> reporter: farmers like andrews use about 80% of the state's developed water, growing everything from tomatoes to almonds. with the drought in its fourth year, farmers are drilling deeper and deeper, running pumps day and night. >> reporter: these are just running all the time and burning diesel ? >> yep. they're running all the time. they're burning four gallons an hour. >> reporter: all that pumping has consequences: as the
groundwater gets drawn up, the land sinks down. scientists call it subsidence. >> no one knows exactly how much water is being pumped, but hydrologist michelle sneed is alarmed by how quickly the ground is sinking. >> i've been studying land subsidence throughout the west for 20 years and i've never measured rates like this before. >> reporter: over the past two decades, the ground in one area has sunk from sneed's head to her feet. according to nasa, some parts of the central valley are now sinking more than two inches a month. >> we saw that the area being affected by subsidence was enormous, stretching all the way from i-5 to 99. about 1,200 square miles are being affected by subsidence. >> reporter: that's an area the size of rhode island, and it has sunk permanently. how do you stop those areas from sinking? >> well, the scientific solution
is really easy; you stop lowering groundwater levels. putting that into practice is a whole other ball of wax. >> reporter: farmers would have to cut back on drilling for water. >> the center of it is down south of here. >> reporter: sneed's colleague claudia faunt took me to see some of the damage subsidence has already caused. what have we got going on here? it's really buckling. >> a few years ago, when i was here, it wasn't nearly this bent. it's showing evidence of continuing to warp even more. >> reporter: these canals deliver water to farms and cities throughout southern california, including los angeles. >> this isn't the only one i see. i mean, i see it here, i see it right down there, and i see a third one. >> yeah. there's another one up that direction as well. >> reporter: this can be happening to the bridges, to the roadways, to the railroads. >> correct. in fact, there's a bridge right down the road from here that the water level is now coming up over the base of the road because that area has sunk. >> reporter: when i went to see the bridge, the flood risk was clear.
the water level is now higher than the surface of the road, and is only being held back by this concrete barrier. problems like these are already costing taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. subsidence is also damaging a vital part of california's flood control system. >> the levees here are about five to six feet lower than they were historically during the design. >> reporter: chris white runs the central california irrigation district. he says subsidence is weakening levees. >> this area, we've always had flood challenges through here. with this subsidence that's occurred, it's going to be even more challenging to deal with floods in the future. >> reporter: forecasters are predicting a record el nino this winter. the wet weather pattern could bring heavy rains to this region. white showed me areas most at risk of flooding. >> there's an elementary school there, highway 152 crosses right through the area. there is significant farm land assets. i'm praying for rain regardless, but it's a high risk situation from a flood control standpoint.
>> reporter: nearly half the nation's fruit, vegetables and nuts are produced in california. to find out what the state is doing to protect its vital farmland, i met with jeanine jones of the governor's drought task force. >> subsidence is not regulated historically under california law. no one is responsible for it. >> reporter: the state doesn't even know how big the subsidence problem is. we're not even monitoring all of the subsidence? >> no, there has not been funding or programs because there has been no statutory responsibility or requirement to do so. >> reporter: last year, california lawmakers passed legislation to manage groundwater, but it won't require regulators to limit pumping for another 25 years. until then, the sinking will likely continue. so, how much is the state projecting this subsidence is going to cost taxpayers? >> we have not run that analysis. it is a local scale issue so
most local agencies, because subsidence happens very slowly, it is not something that comes to the top of the priority list generally in terms of maintenance. >> reporter: the independent non-profit california water foundation has estimated that damage due to subsidence across the state could cost taxpayers billions of dollars to fix. do you think a billion dollars is a high estimate for what the total costs will be, or a low estimate? >> i really don't have anything to judge it by. i don't have the data. >> reporter: for some farmers, drilling for water has provided a lifeline during the drought. but the long-term consequences of that drilling are becoming clearer. as large swaths of the state continue to sink, the risk of flooding increases. and people like johnny andrews, whose farms have survived four dry years, are now worried they could be wiped out by the rain the state desperately needs. >> we're talking about the state and feeding the people in the
state. if that flood is bad enough, it'll wipe out the next year's farming, or a lot of it. >> reporter: for the pbs newshour, i'm nate halverson in los banos, california. >> sreenivasan: in response to the nasa report, governor jerry brown's drought task force announced it would work with local communities to develop recommendations aimed at reducing subsidence. >> sreenivasan: finally tonight, recording artist josh groban recently kicked off a tour for his latest album, "stages," which features covers of songs from broadway. his music has sold more than 25 million albums worldwide. jeffrey brown caught up with him about his multi-platinum career and the role of the arts in his life from an early age. >> brown: i think i want to start with the song. the idea of the song. what attracts you to one? what makes you want to sing it?
>> well i think there is a little bit of a head versus heart kind of battle that happens with the song. there's the goosebump thing when the melody just gets u and you don't know why. sometimes it's in a genre you didn't think you liked and it just gets you, and you just feel the hairs on the back of your neck, "i love this song." and then there's the cerebral side of, what is this song saying, what is the story i'm trying to tell here? >> brown: you think about the song? >> yeah, you think about the story, is the lyric smart enough, is it something that satisfies this side as well? so when those two things come together you realize it as the song. and sometimes the song is not in the language you are fluent in, so sometimes the song is a demo you have recorded at two in the morning, and it's giving you goosebumps, but it's in gibberish because you haven't put lyrics to it and you're not sure what the story is. but for whatever reason, whatever that is has the it factor and it really comes down
to, from the moment that happens to the moment you master it, put it out, that happens. >> brown: in the latest album, "stages," you are specifically taking great songs from musical theatre and doing what with them? because for many of them, they are songs that have been interpreted countless times. >> and that's intimidating. you're taking off the songwriter hat and putting on the interpreter hat, and with that comes a great responsibility as a singer. self-indulgently it's a joy to take a song like "somewhere over the rainbow" or "bring him home" and say i'm going to sing it. ♪ >> brown: have you listened to the other renditions? >> of course. those songs are in our dna for many years, but i don't listen
to them with the intent of recording them or singing them in the same way. i listen to them for inspiration based on the fact that the songs are so universal, and that so many people can record them and have their own moment with them. >> brown: i did notice you stripped them down to a much more spare-- >> yes that was a nice surprise when that happened. we fully intended on putting the full orchestra. we did "abbey road" with the full philharmonic. >> and then there were the songs we felt like taking a breath from that, like "taking him home" was just piano and a one take. just worked surprisingly well. i think that's a testament to the melody. ♪ >> brown: do you like that power of the orchestra behind you? i mean that's how we see you most times.
>> (laughs) yes i really do. i'd be lying if i said i didn't. it's a pretty cool feeling, it's a high five to a 15-year old theatre geek in the room. >> brown: is that 15-year old still there? >> oh absolutely. >> brown: he's sitting in front of me. >> yeah, he's definitely there. he couldn't grow a beard then, that's different. >> brown: but he wanted to be in front of the orchestra on the stage? >> absolutely. the nine year old, the 5 year old me wanted that. i had the bug at a very young age and its truly because of the arts exposure that i had at a very young age, from my parents, from my teachers, from pbs that allowed me-- >> brown: you're welcome. >> absolutely-- i have so much thanks for that. because it really gave me that spark, it made me realize that's out there and in turn it gave me my first moments of truly my most honest voice and real communication. >> brown: you more than anyone have found space in what some call a crossover world of different genres. what did you see yourself as
doing, who are you reaching to, what are your aiming for? >> (sings) who am i anyway? >> brown: is it something you think about? >> no and that's the kind of off-putting thing, when you read about people putting you in a place or what genre or subgenre that you're in, that's sort of jarring when you read that stuff, because i'm just me to me and the songs that i sing and the songs that i write are the songs that i feel my voice does well, and what my inspirations have been and a kind of culmination of everything. but the voices that i grew up loving are the voices that you can tell in five seconds exactly who it is. ♪ >> brown: well, when you look out that far, and i talk to a lot of, especially musicians nowadays, in a hugely changing music history, right? >> for sure. >> brown: how do you maintain the success you've had?
how do you reach new audiences? you're still making albums, right? >> yes, sure. yeah. >> brown: in an age where that's almost, nobody does it. >> well, there's kind of a singles mentality now. we, there's a whole new generation that's being, kind of being conditioned to stream, and download song after song, and i think that my course doesn't change. i still want to make an album from song one, to song twelve, that is an experience for my truly, it's up to every artist to still make great music, and not make the immediacy of the technology make the artist lazy.
from musical theater training i left to signed a record deal. music became everything. the acting was half of what i loved about storytelling and theaters. when i get a chance to do a cameo show or movie, it's fun and great stepping outside yourself and either playing a bizarre version of yourself or a character. so more doing broadway in the next year, hopefully. we'll see. >> brown: broadway, that's big. >> yeah. >> brown: that's not from your high school. >> no. >> brown: a little cameo on tv to broadway. that's a big leap. >> it would be a great leap. the reason it hasn't happened so far is because it takes so much time and effort to mount a broadway production and something that you can put the time and effort into. so constantly looking at things, have had offers but nothing worked out.
hopefully we've include it in things i do. >> sreenivasan: pbs will air a full concert called "josh groban: stages live" in december. for times, check your local listings. >> sreenivasan: on the newshour online: it's two distinct sounds you are probably familiar with. only, not like this. a canadian band-- a tribe called red-- combines native american pow-wow with electronic dance music, and the result is a rhythmic surprise. you can listen yourself, on our home page, pbs.org/newshour. and that's the newshour for tonight. on thursday, gwen sits down with the u.s. attorney general, loretta lynch. i'm hari sreenivasan. join us online and again here tomorrow evening.
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