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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  October 14, 2015 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> ifill: good evening. i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: on the newshour tonight: the israeli military deploys hundreds of troops, and seals off parts of east jerusalem as clashes with palestinians continue. >> woodruff: also ahead this wednesday: hillary clinton and bernie sanders spar on gun control, big banks and more. we break down last night's democratic debate. >> ifill: then, a park director puts his life on the line to protect one of congo's greatest resources: virunga national park. >> there's no park probably in the world that has so many species of mammals, reptiles, and birds as virunga. so that's what makes it so special. >> woodruff: and justice stephen breyer explains why the supreme court sometimes must consider laws in other countries when
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making decisions about our own. >> ifill: 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.
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>> 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. >> woodruff: the situation in syria had u.s. and russian military officials talking today, at least by long distance. they discussed ways to avoid confrontations between warplanes criss-crossing syrian skies. meanwhile, the war on the ground raged on. >> woodruff: rebels in northern syria fought using american-made anti-tank weapons today, trying to slow a government offensive in hama province. the assad regime is taking
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advantage of russian air strikes currently hitting targets in hama and aleppo. that's raised concerns about possible mid-air incidents between u.s. and russian pilots, and moscow now acknowledges that one of its planes came within a few miles of a u.s. jet on saturday. >> ( translated ): while moving to the area, the [plane's] threat alert system which all of our planes are equipped with, fixed on the activity of an unknown flying object. the jet turned and approached it at a distance of two to three identify the object and whom it belongs to. >> woodruff: in a bid to set rules of the air, pentagon officials held a third round of video-conference talks with the russian military today, but white house spokesman josh earnest confirmed there are no plans for wider ranging talks on syria. >> we've said that we're not interested in doing that as long as russia is not willing to make a constructive contribution to
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our counter-i.s.i.l. effort. russia has their own agenda, and it's an agenda right now that they're pursuing on their own. >> woodruff: meanwhile, iranian lawmakers visited syria's capital, damascus, amid reports that hundreds of iranian ground troops have joined the fight to shore up the assad regime. >> ifill: in iraq, government forces say they've launched a new offensive to recapture baiji from islamic state militants. the key northern city sits about 90 miles south of mosul, and is home to the country's largest oil refinery. caravans of vehicles carrying iraqi army and shiite militia fighters could be seen on the move there in recent days. the city has changed hands several times in the last year. >> woodruff: the iranian nuclear deal cleared what appears to be a final hurdle in tehran today. a majority of the country's guardian council, made up of both muslim clerics and lawyers, ruled the accord does not violate religious law. this comes a day after iran's legislature approved the deal,
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and it means dismantling of nuclear infrastructure can begin. >> ifill: for the first time in six years, afghanistan may produce less opium. a joint u.n. and afghan survey reports the acreage planted in opium poppies is down 19%. officials say that's due mainly to bad weather, but also to a change in how farmed areas are measured as a result. the country's potential output of opium could fall by nearly half this year. >> woodruff: pope francis apologized today for what he called "scandals" that have recently occurred in the church. the pontiff spoke during a general audience for the public at the vatican. he did not elaborate or cite any examples. >> ( translated ): the word of jesus is strong today. he says it is inevitable that there will be scandals. but woe to the man who causes them. therefore, i ask you for forgiveness for the scandals that have occurred recently either in rome or in the vatican.
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i ask you for forgiveness. >> woodruff: a spokesman would not specify which incidents the pope had in mind. they may have involved a monsignor who was fired after he announced he was gay, or a priest who said children are at fault for pedophilia. >> ifill: volkswagen now says its 2016 diesel models contain even more software that could "cheat" on emissions tests. the company says it told the environmental protection agency last week. the information did not appear in v.w.'s initial applications to meet u.s. emissions standards. for now, thousands of 2016 volkswagens are quarantined at u.s. ports. >> woodruff: meanwhile, toyota announced it hopes to eliminate nearly all gasoline-powered vehicles from its lineup by 2050. instead, it's shifting to hybrids and fuel cell technology that converts hydrogen into energy and water. toyota aims to cut emissions from its cars by 90%, below 2010 levels. >> ifill: and on wall street, stocks gave ground after wal-
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mart issued a warning about future profits. the dow jones industrial average lost 157 points to close below 16,925. the nasdaq fell 13 points, and the s&p 500 slipped nine. >> woodruff: still to come on the newshour: simmering tensions in the middle east. supreme court justice stephen breyer's new book, "the court and the world." gwen sits down with ta-nehisi coates to get his take race relations. and much more. >> ifill: violence, and counter violence, continued today in israel. israeli police reported that an arab attacker stabbed a 70-year old woman near jerusalem's central bus station. while, in bethlehem, dozens of palestinian protesters clashed with israeli troops. over the past two weeks, 32 palestinians and seven israelis have been killed.
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and each side blames the other for this latest outbreak. newshour special correspondent martin seemungal is in jerusalem. i spoke to him a short while ago. martin, welcome. so tell us today what the mood and the atmosphere is like in jerusalem. >> reporter: well it's a very tense situation. we've had a few days of these so-called lone wolf terror attacks, knifings of jews on the streets, here in jerusalem and some other parts of israel. that's got people extremely nervous, people looking over their should, not knowing when the potential next attack could come. there was one as we talked about in-- just outside the old city, an attack, an attempt of an attack on an israeli security guard. the perpetrator was shot. and then, of course, the attack at the bus station where a 70-year-old woman was stabbed, and that perpetrator was shot. those kinds of things only add
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to the tension here. amid all that, benjamin netanyahu and the rel government making good on its promise to crack down in these areas, in these arab areas are the attackers have come from. we have seen any entire neighborhood cut off. we've had checkpoints put up. and we see people being searched. the rest of the-- of each jerusalem, not as sealed off as we had thought it would be. however, we do see roadblocks that we hadn't seen before. obviously, the israelis trying to make a point that they're going to punish people in those areas where those attackers came from. also, the israeli government talking about destroying the homes of the terrorists, also talking about stripping them of their residency, and even there's a discussion that the bodies of the attackers who have been killed, obviously, are not
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going to be given back to the families. the israeli government saying when they do that, all that does is-- is give an opportunity to support terror, and these funerals become a celebration of terror. so the israelis say they don't want to do that. >> ifill: so what has been the the palestinian reaction, not only on the streets but also in the government? >> reporter: well the palestinians are saying these actions by the israelis? east jerusalem are unprecedented, and they see it as collective punishment. mahmoud abbas made a statement today on palestinian television where he said, "we have the right to peaceful protest. we're going to continue to stand up to the occupation." he didn't mention anything about the terror attacks in recent days. that raised some eyebrows here in israel. he talked about the alaxa mosque, which as we know, hoab a source of great concern among the palestinians. they feel that the israelis are
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trying to change the status quo on the alaxa mosque, and they're accuse the israeli government of trying to do that. the israeli government responded very swiftly to that this evening saying mahmoud abbas is only adding to the incitement and spreading alongside among the palestinian population and making things worse. >> ifill: you used the term "lone wolf" at the top here. it seems there's a difference. there's a viral aspect to these attacks and the degree to which people act and counter-react. >> reporter: absolutely. and, you know, that viral aspect on social media, whenever there's an attack, it spreads on social media, and each side has its own narratives too what's behind it. the palestinians say that the israelis are treating some of the people who were the attackers very badly. we saw that video yesterday of the young boy on the ground. the israelis saying that these
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are terrorists. they're being whipped up by the palestinian leadership, and as a result, this just keeps going on and on. and, you know, we have this attempt by the israeli government to try to put a lid on this with these checkpoints and deploying more troops and whatnot. but one of those attackers today, the one outside the old city for example, didn't come from anywhere in the jerusalem area. he came from hebron. s so these attacks are very unpredictable, and as far as we can tell, they're not organized. that is very difficult for the israelis to try and put a stop to it. >> ifill: martin seemungal reporting for us tonight from jerusalem. thank you. >> woodruff: the democratic candidates for president got back on the campaign trail today after an issues-packed debate last night. political director lisa
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desjardins reports on what we learned from their first face- to-face encounter. >> reporter: the five-person las vegas stage quickly morphed into a two-person heavyweight match, as democratic socialist bernie sanders was asked if he is a capitalist. >> do i consider myself part of the casino capitalist process by which so few have so much, and so many have so little, by which wall street's greed and recklessness wrecked this economy? no, i don't. >> reporter: it was a symbolic start to a policy deep-debate, and hillary clinton moved to critique but defend the system. >> it's our job to rein in the excesses of capitalism, but we would be making a grave mistake to turn our backs on what built the greatest middle class in the history.
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>> i'm a progressive, but i'm a progressive who likes to get things done. ( cheers and applause ) and i know how to find common ground and i know how to stand my ground, and i have proved that in every position that i have. >> reporter: she soon went on offense, highlighting sander's vote against a prominent gun control bill. >> senator sanders did vote five times against the brady bill. since it was passed more than two million prohibited purchases have been prevented. >> reporter: the vermont senator insisted he, too, wants gun control, but he argued the issue is complicated. >> as a senator from a rural state, what i can tell secretary clinton, that all the shouting in the world is not going to do what i would hope all of us want, and that is keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have those guns and end this horrible violence that we are seeing. >> reporter: the two rivals did unite for a marquee moment on clinton's use of a private e-mail server as secretary of state. >> well, i've taken
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responsibility for it. i did say it was a mistake. >> i think the secretary is right, and that is that the american people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn e-mails. (applause) >> reporter: clinton and sanders dominated. each spoke for about 30 minutes, according to newshour analysis, twice as long as anyone else on stage. former maryland governor martin o'malley tried for a share of the spotlight-- hitting clinton for not pushing to separate big banks and investment firms. >> you are not for putting a firewall between this speculative, risky shadow banking behavior. >> today, it is my view that when you have the three largest banks in america-- are much bigger than they were when we bailed them out for being too big to fail, we have got to break them up. >> reporter: clinton would not go that far, but said banks need strong scrutiny. >> reporter: on the side, former rhode island senator and
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governor lincoln chafee tried to break through for opposing the iraq war-- swinging at clinton's vote to support it. >> reporter: voters can next judge the democratic hopefuls side by side one month from today, in des moines. for the pbs newshour, i'm lisa desjardins. the supreme court of the united states is often the sienl say on the major domestic conflicts of the day from voting rights to gay marriage and health care. but when foreign law crosses paths with our legal system, how should the supreme court proceed? justice stephen breyer, who has served on the court for over two decades, examines this in his new book, "the court and the
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world: american law and the new global realities." and justice breyer joins me now. welcome to the newshour. >> thank you very much. >> woodruff: it's great to have you with us. with so many complicated issues before this supreme court, why did you take the time to focus on how it's affected by what's going on in other countries? >> well, i've noticed that over the coirs of the last 20 years, we have more and more cases, maybe now 15 or 20%, where what goes on beyond our shores is directly relevant to our making a sound decision on the american legal question before us. they range from security problems-- guantanamo-- to human rights problems-- victims of tortures-- to commercial problems-- copyright, antitrust, securities law-- domestic relations, marriages that are governed by treaty. they're all over the place, and i wanted to show people concretely in the case of our institution what that general word "interdependence" means.
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>> woodruff: just to bore down on this a little bit. you start out looking at places involving national security and in some regards, striking a balance between national security, civil libertys. why should the u.s. be concerned with what foreign countries are doing when deciding important questions like that? >> we didn't have to be, our court, for a long time. we didn't have to be in that area because for dozens and dozens and dozens of years, the court simply stayed out of the effort to balance security interests, which was the president's job, against human rights, or limitations on civil rights. that led to a case in world war ii where 70,000 americans of japanese origin were put into camps in the center of the country, prison camps, for no reason, no good reason, and the court upheld it. since that time, most people who
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study these matters think that was a terrible decision, and, therefore, the court gets involved. so in guantanamo case, in those four cases, we held in favor of the prisoner prisoners in guatad sandra o'connor wrote these words, "the constitution does not write a blank check to the president to run over civil rights, even when national security is at issue." once you hear those words, "blank check," you have to ask how do we fill the check in? and to know the answer to that today involves knowing something about security problems, it involves knowing. something involving terrorism, which takes place abroad, it involves knowing how other countries deal with those problems. >> woodruff: you also bring up the death penalty, and this arose in a case the court dealt with this year. you wrote in your-- you included in the dissenting opinion in
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that case, you cited the fact that most countries on earth don't have the death penalty anymore, either by law or by practice. again, why is that relevant here? >> well, it-- it-- there's a debate on how relevant it is. the relevant constitutional provision forbids punishments that are cruel and unusual. the founders didn't say whether that meant unusual in the united states or unusual in the world. so some people think that's quite relevant. other people think it isn't so relevant. i put that in, in the opinion to show that we are virtually alone, but some other countries have it. nonetheless, that wasn't my main basis for the cop collusion. the conclusion was we should hear the question of whether the death penalty is unconstitutional, and there were other reasons -- arbitrariness, wrong person, long delays--
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diminished number of cases in the united states, just a hand full, where death is actually carried out, those were the basic reasons i thought we should reconsider the question. >> woodruff: a number of your-- well, four of your more conservative colleagues on the court have made it very clear, they're troubled by the idea of being influenced by foreign law. in a number of cases over the years this has come up. it's come up in congress when members of-- nominee to the supreme court have been seeking confirmation. do you think that kind of implacable opposition to paying attention to foreign law is softening among some of your colleagues? >> yes, for this reason, in this respect, and that's one reason i wrote this book. if you look at the cases actually before us, they're much different and often far more mundane, but perhaps very
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important than death penalty cases. they involve, for example, treaties which deal with what? which deal with marriages that failed and abduction of children across boundaries. why do we have those treaties? because today, marriage is more and more international, and who interprets treaties? we do, the federal courts do. and when we interpret them, do we pay attention to what other countries have said is the right meaning of the treaty? absolutely. and you can find in all-- i think that's a unanimous view. so there are many issues where, of course, you have to take into account foreign matters and that's what i want to show has become more and more of our business. >> woodruff: and you're saying, and one of the reasons you wrote the book was to influence your fellow justices. >> no. i'm just saying i want the ordinary-- the ordinary reader-- and i prefer-- you know, people
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read this-- contrary to popular belief, of our 315 million citizens, 314 million are not lawyers. and i'd like them to have a chance, too, to know what goes on in the court. >> woodruff: a broader question about the court, justice breyer. critics on the right, some of them are now saying this court has become too activist. among other things they're pointing to the ruling in summit of same-sex marriage. they're saying why should the supreme court be intervening itself in an area where the public is still sorting itself out? how do you answer that? is the court-- >> everyone-- everyone has a right to criticize the court. and oddly enough, what we do, the nine members, rarely try to respond to the criticism. why? because our job, our job, which we take very, very seriously, our job is to look at the individual case in front of us, to read perhaps a dozen, perhaps
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100 briefs that have been filed on the two sides, to try to understand through the argument, written and oral, and discussion in the court where the right answer lies and try to write as best we can our real reasons for reaching the conclusions that we reached. now we take that job seriously. david souter said we are never off-duty, and we're not. and that is what we must continue to do, and ultimately, i believe-- others -- justice brandeis believed this-- that the best hope for maintaining the respect for the court that is necessary for our constitution to work is just do your job. >> woodruff: justice stephen breyer, the book is "the court and the world: american law and the new global realities," we thank you very much for coming to sit down and talk to us, thank you. >> thank you.
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>> ifill: stay with us. coming up on the newshour: what's killing some of california's oldest and largest trees. one man's mission to protect congo's gorillas amid decades of war. and a fashion photographer on what clothes do and don't say about the people wearing them. >> ifill: but first, another take on our legal system. this time, a conversation with the writer who is among the newest class of macarthur genius fellows. and today was named a finalist for a national book award for his writing about race, crime and punishment. the book is "between the world and me," and his latest contribution to the atlantic magazine examines "the black family in the age of mass incarceration." ta-nehisi coates joins me now. welcome. >> thanks for having me, gwen. >> ifill: it's a very, very long magazine article, and in it
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and in your book and in a magazine article you wrote last year about reparations, it seems to reveal an ongoing sense of deep pessimism, not only about america but especially african american americans. >> i wouldn't call it pessimistic. i would call it-- real politic is really a word that i would actually use. i think there's a way of looking at african american life and looking at the long struggle against racism in this country that is current within our politics and the whole different way people talk about when i go talk to academics, when i go talk to soc olses, and when i talk to historians, and that some would feel is pessimistic. i don't think it's pessimistic. i think any struggle worth having takes place across generations, you know. so one of the things-- if that work does anything, it forgoes the possibility of great and tremendous change within our lifetime. but, you know, it's not so pessimistic about the long term, i don't think. >> ifill: but when you talk
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about the gray wastes, that is not an optimistic term. explain what it is, first of all,. >> it's prison. it's a description of our sprawling jail and prison system. i was looking for some sort of terminology that as far as i could see accurately reflected not just in terms of hard numbers but compel people to feel what it was. and the great waste is what i settle on. when you write about mass incarceration, when you write about housing discrimination-- which i was writing about in the case of reparations -- when you write about death at the hands of the police as i was "between the world and me," it is not happy, fun times. it tend to be hard. >> ifill: which is why i'm surprised you don't see it as pessimistic but let's get back to that. you framed this particular article with-- you used danielle patrick moynihan, the senator from new york, to frame this, wrote a very famous report on the state of the negro family,
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as it was called then. >> right, right. >> ifill: he played a role not only in writing that but also on the other end in creating some of the problems you say continue to exist. >> right, well, in 1965, daniel patrick moynihan does this report on the black family. daniel patrick moynihan is very, very sympathetic to the black family, sympathetic to black people in general, to the problem of race in this country. he was arguing-- you know, effectively he used the family as the lens to look at the community assembled all these social economic indicators to show where black fam leerpz as compared to the rest, and hoped what would follow was benevolent investment. the argument they make in the pieces that in fact followed was malevolent investment. a the lot of problems that daniel patrick moynihan was dealing with in that report we basically outsourced to our prison system instead of our normal social service system. and the piece is ball why we did that. and regrettably, some of that-- some of the reason we did that can be keen seine within the history of daniel moynihan
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himself. >> ifill: you make the connection between the tangle of pathology, that he famously wrote about, and the tangle of perils that african american men mostly face now. >> right, right. and i wanted to be clear about the difference. you know, the pathology, notions of a diseased patient, somebody that is afflicted and for me whenever i'm writing about racism-- again, through all three of these pieces, i think people should not lose sight of the fact that it's a done thing. in "the tangles of peril" i felt i conveyed the notion that people had done certain things, we made decisions about housing in this country, that we made certain decision about how we punish people in this country, and how we invest our resources in this and i have and that has effect glfs you make a connection between the efforts we took to fix yiem-- whether it was three strikes you're out, or whether it was just the war on drugs -- and you made that connection to that, and mass incarceration as we see it now.
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>> yes. what we-- we had certainly you can't get away from the fact that we did have a crime rise in this country, beginning in the 70s and proceeding into the 80s and leveling off in the 90s until it started to really plunge in the late 90s and 2000s. that's the argument we gave about how we ended up with so many people in jail. the problem is the crime rise and subs subsequent fall that happened actually is an international phenomena. the same thing happened in canada and great britain and across much of europe. america is unique in mass incarceration, never the less. everybody did not choose that the answer to how to deal with policy. we made that decision and my argument sucan't divorce that from the history of looking at black people as though they have some sort of predlication towards criminality. >> ifill: this wont be the first time you have been asked this question. what about personal
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responsibility and the statistics that seems african americans commit more crimes. >> african americans do commit more crimes as a percentage of the country. there's no way to get away with that. >> sreenivasan: why is it the nation to fix it when the community won't itself? >> the conversation can't end there. it can be said that african american communities are the same as all other communities? can it be said african american communities have the same resources as all other communities? can it be said other communities like african american communities have the same history of people extracting resources out of their community? if you look at the policy, what the policies have been, towards the african american community, historically in this country, that there's more crime crimein african american communities does not, you know, come as a surprise. african americans in general tend to live in more criminalgenic conditions than other communities. so the fact that, you know, crime actually occurs, you know, more likely in those communities should not come as a particular surprise to anyone. >> ifill: what are the solutions? >> well, i think the first thing
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to do is reparations. it doesn't sound like a solution to everybody because it can't be done right now. i believe it's a long-term solution, because the basic problem in this country with black people and white people is you have a huge discrepancy in wealth. and the easiest way-- though not the only way i can demonstrate that-- is the huge wealth gap. for every dollar of wealth a white family has, african american families have a nickel. that is not a mistake. that is not the result of magic. that is the result of done policy. that is the result of, you know, a long history of enslavement in this country, followed by jim crow, which was the extraction of resourceses, followed by loan policies that african americans were not given access to. safety policies african american were not given access to. it makes no sense that you have that and not do anything and expect everything will be all right. >> ifill: ta-nehisi coates, congratulations on the honors you have knotten recently and
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thank you for talking to us. >> thank you. >> ifill: on tomorrow's program, we continue our look at mass incarceration. this time, from the prisoners' perspective. the newshour's william brangham was granted rare access to a maximum security jail in maryland, where a unique pilot program is trying to put a stop to the revolving prison door. >> this idea that solely, solely taking someone's freedom away changes behavior, in many cases it changes it for the worse. and that's not what america's correctional facilities were founded on. >> woodruff: california's historic drought has created a long list of problems for the golden state, including killing millions of trees in the sierra nevada mountain range. now, even the iconic giant sequoias, which can live thousands of years, are starting to show signs that they're not getting enough water.
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our colleagues at public tv station kqed in san francisco joined a team of biologists from the university of california, berkeley, as they climbed 50 of these giant trees this summer in sequoia national park. this story was produced by gabriela quiroós and narrated by scott shafer. >> reporter: anthony ambrose is climbing this giant sequoia to find out how it's faring after four years of drought. >> we are at about 240 feet at the top of a giant sequoia tree. >> reporter: these leaves will tell him how stressed out the tree is due to the lack of water. >> you need to measure them kind of at the most relaxed time of the day, before the sun rises, before they start to lose water to the atmosphere. they require an enormous amount of water, way more than any other tree that's ever been documented. >> reporter: his colleague wendy baxter is near the top of another giant sequoia.
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>> giant sequoias are just such special trees. they've been able to persist and live in this exact place maybe for thousands of years. some of them live to be 3,000 years old. >> reporter: over the course of their long lives, sequoias can grow as tall as a 30-story building. >> there's a beautiful view up here. >> reporter: even at these great heights, leaves contain water. >> there is higher concentrations of water in the soil than in the air. so that gradient is actually pulling the water up through the tree. >> reporter: inside each of the trees' cells, water gets pulled up to the top as if it were being sucked up through a straw. researchers can determine how much tension the water is under as it travels upward and into each leaf. >> when we clip it, the water retracts back into the stem, kind of like a rubber band. >> reporter: researcher ken schwab places the leaves in a
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pressure chamber. >> when we put our stem into the pressure chamber, the amount of pressure that it takes to force the water back out is an indication of how much tension it was under. >> i'm beginning to see darkening and water. >> reporter: the higher the pressure required to push the water out, the more stressed the tree is. >> the trees are definitely as stressed as we've ever measured giant sequoia. we've been measuring giant sequoia water status periodically over the last few decades, under non-drought conditions and most of the trees seem to be kind of at that level or exceeding it. >> reporter: trees move water from soil to the atmosphere, which helps create rain and snow. when little water is available, the pull of the dry atmosphere breaks the water column. air in the water forms bubbles, which prevent water from moving up. if bubbles stop water flow in cell after cell, the tree dies.
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>> so nate. >> reporter: biologist nathan stephenson says sequoias' main water source is snow. >> so the last two winters here have been by far the warmest on record, and what that's meant is there's been almost no snow on the ground. >> reporter: the weak snow pack has led to new signs that the giant trees are under stress. >> i looked up and i saw a big, mature giant sequoia and its foliage was turning brown, at least half of its foliage had gone brown. no one has ever reported that before. >> reporter: while only a handful of the park's sequoias have recently perished, the forest service says the drought is taking a toll on more than six million trees of other species in the sierra nevada mountain range. >> we're seeing firs, pines, incense cedars and oaks are all dying at a rate we've never seen before. even during the 1977 drought in california we didn't see this many trees dying.
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>> reporter: in sequoia national park, koren nydick says the giant trees are causing concerns. >> a lot of our sequoias are still appearing healthy, still doing well during the drought. but there are some that are showing symptoms, and we want to learn more about that and be able to track that stress. >> reporter: to help researchers study the effects of the drought on the tens of thousands of giant sequoias in the sierra nevada, scientists aboard the carnegie airborne observatory use instruments to measure trees' water content. blue trees are getting the most water, followed by yellow, orange, and red trees, which are getting the least. the park has several options for helping the most vulnerable giant sequoias. burning part of the forest would reduce the number of overall trees, and since sequoias are resistant to fire, more would survive. >> there's less competition for the larger trees that remain behind.
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so the larger trees have more access to water and nutrients, and helps them get through the drought. >> reporter: if the trees' health continued to deteriorate, nathan stephenson of the geological survey says humans may need to intervene more directly and provide trees with drip irrigation. >> if humans continue to warm the climate by adding greenhouse gases to it, we might have to consider some unnatural actions. >> reporter: for the pbs newshour, i'm scott shafer. >> ifill: tonight, we conclude our series "congo's hope" with the story of park ranger emmanuel de merode. pbs newshour contributing editor soledad o'brien visited the congo's virunga national park, where she learned just how dangerous-- and at times fatal - - it can be to protect the park's gorillas.
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>> reporter: emmanuel de merode is an anthropologist, a belgian prince, and chief warden of the virunga national park, in the democratic republic of congo, one of the most fought-over national parks on the planet. once a draw for tourists, the park's animals and resources have been depleted by poachers and a civil war. the park's story was chronicled in the oscar-nominated film "virunga." de merode commands a force of 680 rangers. he's lost 140 protecting the park. and survived an attempt on his own life. we spoke to him about the fight to preserve the park, and its rare and special creatures. you're an anthropologist by training. what made you want to dedicate your life to the mountain gorillas? >> i'm very attached to this
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country, to congo. i came here 23 years ago as a volunteer, as a researcher. it was the simple fact that congo has the richest, some of the richest wildlife, some of the most spectacular natural landscapes in the world. >> reporter: how big is the park? >> it stretches on for 300 kilometers north. it's a very big park. what's special about it is it's incredibly diverse, so there's probably no park on earth that has such an incredible range of landscapes. they go from the summit of the rwenzori mountains, which is right up in the north of the park, and that goes up to 17,000 ft. so you have glaciers on the equator. and then all the way down to about 3,000 feet. and in between, just the most incredible range of utterly different landscapes. and because of that, you've got this incredible range of species. >> reporter: what kind of species? >> so we've got the mountain gorillas that we have here, lowland gorillas, and chimpanzees. but also, all the savannah species, they're so classically african. the elephants, the hippos, this incredible assemblage. there's no park probably in the world that has so many species
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of mammals, reptiles, and birds as virunga. so that's what makes it so special. there's nowhere else in the world that i'd like to live. it has everything for me. >> reporter: where are we right now? this is the walls of the orphanage. >> so this is the senkwekwe center. so it's a sanctuary that we built a few years ago with the help of howard buffet. it was built to provide a home for the mountain gorillas that were rescued after these terrible massacres that happened in 2007. >> reporter: and these orphans, will they live in here forever or do they go out into the bigger habitat at some point? >> you know the ideal thing would be to re-introduce them into their natural habitat so that they can live a complete life as wild gorillas. but that may not be possible for all sorts of reasons. they may find it impossible to adapt back into the natural world. >> reporter: what can gorillas teach us? >> well, there's an enormous amount, and it's not just the science. they're the window in a sense to
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launching a healthy economy in this region thanks to the tourism industry that's developing. but in themselves, they're absolutely wonderful animals. there's nothing quite like mountain gorillas. because they're so powerful, they're incredibly gentle by nature. their whole ecology, and their whole social structure is very family based. and they take on the very gentle side of primate life in a sense. and so because of that, we were able to spend a lot of time with them, because they welcome human beings into their groups. and over the years we've developed a very rich literature, a very rich scientific knowledge on gorilla ecology, and gorilla social systems, that actually teach us a lot about ourselves. >> reporter: how close is a gorilla to a human being? >> well in terms of their genetics they're about 98% the same as we are. and so it's just an accident of evolution that we are here and they are here. they of course tend to take the
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more positive aspects of our condition. and we tend to sometimes be more destructive. >> reporter: is the story of virunga essentially a battle over resources and, and who owns them and who, who steals them? >> it's exactly that. there've been four catastrophic wars over the last 20 years. every single one of those wars has started either in or immediately around the national park. those wars collectively have, have caused the death of over six million people, so it's a very, very serious issue, and it's all about access to resources. >> reporter: what would you like people to know? i mean, there'll be a bunch of people who, who have followed the conflict over the years, what's your message for them? >> well, what, what we'd like is really to demonstrate that it's not just about a humanitarian crisis. there actually is an incredibly dynamic young population in congo that really wants to work, and that really want to take hold of, you know, get control of their future by rebuilding the industry.
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what that means for people outside is that congo is actually a very, very interesting place to invest in. here you can really get the full picture of how it all works. >> reporter: wow. >> this will generate electricity for about 100 years. that's the lifespan of this plant. it generates 13 megawatts which is basically three times what the whole city of goma is getting at the moment. >> reporter: so the whole point of creating power is to drive industry locally. >> yea. >> reporter: we saw a woman putting bananas onto her truck, or there were boys carrying sugar cane, what happens? what's the process now? >> well, that's really the tragedy of congo is that it's incredibly rich in resources, but they're all being exported. >> all the money is lost in transport, and none of it is retained for the people of congo, and so really that's what we need to turn around, to be able to do it the key is electricity. >> reporter: could you create an industry once you have power that would process the sugar
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cane, or process the bananas that these women are, are hauling? >> so when we built our first hydroelectric plant it was a very small one, a few hundred kilometers north from here. before we'd even finished the plant, some investors came and built a soap factory, and that soap factory now employs 400 people. it also has increased the income for 10,000 farmers, producing palm oil, and it's reduced the price of soap for about 5 million congolese consumers. >> reporter: so a win for the people, a win for the workers, all out of one hydroelectric plant. you've had to put your own life on the line as well? >> yes, at times i think we all have, those of us who work here. >> reporter: can you talk about, as much as you'd want to, the incident where you were shot? >> there are waves, there are periods of violence and one of those was last year. and i was driving back towards
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the park, i happened to be alone in the vehicle, with hindsight that was probably a mistake. as i was driving through the forested park up the road i saw in the distance a man with a rifle. as i got closer, he raised his rifle and he opened fire on the vehicle. i realized i had to get away from that situation as quickly as i can so i took the rifle i had with me in the car and got out of the vehicle, at that point i got hit in the chest and through the stomach. i was able to breathe and get into the forest. and then what i remember is a very wonderful thing, there were two farmers who had came, they saw what happened. they came with a motorbike and they picked me up. >> reporter: did it ever make you think maybe i should stop? >> umm no, i think that's really a decision you make when you start. you know i've lost many of my staff, 140 of our rangers have died since the war started and
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23 have died on my watch. they died on the orders that i gave. so it would never occur to me to stop. >> ifill: soledad will answer your questions about her reporting from the democratic republic of congo friday at one p.m. eastern in our weekly newshour twitter chat. send your thoughts and questions using hashtag #congoshope or #newshourchats. >> woodruff: finally tonight, an eye for fashion in the every day. jeffery brown has our look. >> brown: a casually stylish woman on a soho, new york street. and scott schuman is there to grab the shot.
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it was one of many photographs he would take this day. examples of 'street style' that schuman captures around the world. not fashion trends or brands exactly, but something more individual and personal. >> oh cool. i'll have you stand right on the edge a little bit, i'll have you turn towards me. something schuman saw, for example, in this blue-haired young man. >> the first thing that caught my eye was this. color is one thing, but there was also a lot of nice texture, the shirt, the hair, and you know there was something sweet. at the end of the day there was just something sweet about him. there was something that you thought you could capture, i mean, look at the quality of the expression on his face. >> brown: later, a photo of the young man showed up on "the sartorialist," the blog schuman launched ten years ago that's become a go-to, must-see site for millions around the world, both in and out of the fashion industry. schumann, now 47, didn't pick up a camera in a serious way until
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he was a 31 year old stay-at- home dad taking photos of his kids at the park. he'd worked in the fashion industry for many years, an interest that started early, as a teenager in the suburbs of indianapolis. >> there was an armani ad of a guy in a suit, and i thought, my dad doesn't look like that in a suit. when my dad puts on a suit on, he looks very stiff and very serious, this and that. this guy looks totally relaxed, and he looks like he could just go jump on the back of a motorcycle in a suit. >> brown: the armani ad did it for you, huh? >> it totally did. it opened my eyes in a way that i just thought i didn't know people lived this way. and so in that same kind of romantic way that i fell in love with fashion when i was 15, is still the way that i like to shoot. >> brown: the clothes tell you something about who they might be. clothes as a sort of identity? >> kind of. you know, like a costume. to me it's also more like a costume, like the way a director would have costumes in a movie and how the clothes kind of--
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because i never assume that's who they really are or that they can really tell you anything about that person. but it helps you imagine who they might be. i don't consider myself a photojournalist, mine are really just my kind of take on who that person is, and how the clothes kind of help create the image. >> brown: but the photos are just a starting point for the real action, schumann says, which is found in the give and take from his online audience around the world. >> when i started i was listening to a lot of sports talk radio. >> brown: yeah? >> and people, you know, they talk about sports and their point of view and they call in and really have a discussion, and somehow it clicked in my mind that you could do something similar to that in fashion. i could go out and take pictures on the street, put it on the blog, and then people could have their comments. 'i love the way that looks' or 'that looks horrible'. 'who is this person?' i never worry about if i'm telling the story of who this person really is.
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it's totally my perception, how they make me dream. >> brown: it's your story. >> it's my perception. then, and this is where the internet comes in, it's my perception of this picture, it's my picture, but then when you share it on the internet, then everybody gets to have their take on what their story is on it. >> brown: this was fashion week in new york. and for part of the day schuman joined the scrum of photographers snapping photos outside a lacoste show, and then had a front row seat for the runway action. most days though he does this: rides his bike around new york and other cities looking for subjects. nice work if you can make it work-- which schuman does through ads on the blog and through collaborations with designers. he's a self-described "shy" guy stopping total strangers on the street. >> good, good, can you put your hands in your pocket? >> i think that shyness makes me very understanding of other people. i can put myself in their position, the way that i have to approach a straight guy, and walk up to some straight guy on the street and say, hey, you
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look great, can i take your picture. >> brown: right. >> and make him feel that i'm not trying to hit on him. and same thing if i walk up to a girl who looks really cool and say, oh, you look really great, can i take your picture, i have to make sure she understands i am not trying to hit on her. >> brown: the challenges of your trade, eh? >> totally the challenges, and totally, it comes from being sensitive to myself, to trying to put myself in their position. >> brown: the blog led to books- - a new one coming this fall is titled "the sartorialist x," featuring street style around the world. italian men smoking outside a trattoria; a mother at an outdoor market in peru; a young man on a moped in bali, and much more. is there such a thing as a global style? are you seeing a global style or a diversity around the world? >> oh it's total diversity. a great example is, i was in soweto in south africa, and there was a young guy there, and he had on a suit that he bought at a second-hand store, so when
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i shot him i pulled back far enough that you get the context of who he is, the way he's dressed and the place where he lives. and to me that's what really makes the photograph so endearing, is that you've got this kid who felt, talking to him i felt like i was talking to myself. he was another 15 year old me. he had a dream of the outside world, and was trying to figure out how to fit into that outside world while he still lived in his place. the day, is hopefully, first of all, they're nice portraits. hopefully, they're beautiful portraits. >> and on our walk through soho, he was ever on the lookout for the next bit of style to catch his eye. from the streets of downtown manhattan, i'm jeffrey brown for the pbs newshour. >> woodruff: on the newshour online: medicare's annual open enrollment begins tomorrow, and so we kick off a series with our
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benefits expert, phil moeller, who breaks down everything you need to know to get started. for the next few weeks his "ask phil" column will also answer your questions. read phil's guide, and find out how to leave your question, on our home page, pbs.org/newshour. >> ifill: tune in later tonight, on "charlie rose": "the new york times" maggie haberman and clinton advisor roger altman analyze the democratic presidential debate and the outlook for the candidates. and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm gwen ifill. and i'm judy woodruff. join us online and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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>> bnsf. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
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