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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  October 15, 2015 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> sreenivasan: good evening. i'm hari sreenivasan. gwen ifill and judy woodruff are away. on the newshour tonight: nearly 10,000 troops will stay in afghanistan through 2016 as president obama pledges to keep that country from becoming a safe haven for terrorists. then, following a recent "frontline" investigation, authorities have identified two new suspects in the 1988 bombing of a pan am jet over lockerbie, scotland. also ahead, a program to help inmates stay out of prison. >> how do i live my life when i go back into the same community where i may have been selling drugs and making $1,000 a week and now you're sending me out there to make $8.25 an hour? >> sreenivasan: we follow three prisoners on a journey to get out of jail. plus, you might not need as much sleep as you think.
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there's been speculation that humans basically used to sleep when it got dark, which would mean they'd sleep 10, 11, even 12 hours. it turns out that that's not the case. >> sreenivasan: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> bnsf. >> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century.
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>> support also comes from carnegie corporation of new york. a foundation created to do what andrew carnegie called "real and permanent good." celebrating 100 years of philanthropy at >> 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: president obama announced today he'll keep american troops in afghanistan through the end of his presidency, extending america's longest war. the policy reversal comes after weeks of worsening violence and significant gains by taliban fighters. we will have more on the details of the decision right after this news summary. meanwhile, the associated press revealed new details today about the u.s. airstrike that killed 22 patients and staff at a doctors without borders hospital in afghanistan.
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it said u.s. special operations analysts knew the kunduz clinic was a medical site, but believed it was being used by a pakistani operative coordinating taliban activity. doctors without borders has disputed that claim. at the white house, press secretary josh earnest said he was not aware of the a.p.'s report, but pledged a complete investigation. >> the president's expectation is that he'll receive a full accounting of these facts and in the context of a thorough objective and transparent report from the department of defense. >> sreenivasan: pentagon officials initially said the strike aimed to protect american troops during a firefight. but the top u.s. general in afghanistan has since acknowledged the strike was a mistake. former house speaker dennis hastert will plead guilty in his federal hush-money case. his attorney said the plea agreement will be submitted to the judge monday, but stopped short of detailing the specifics. the 73-year-old illinois republican is charged with violating banking laws and lying
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to the f.b.i. in an effort to pay someone $3.5 million in a cover-up. multiple media outlets reported the payments concealed claims of sexual misconduct with an unnamed male decades ago. in economic news, stocks on wall street recorded their steepest gains in nearly two weeks today. that was due in part to strong bank earnings and speculation the federal reserve will hold off on raising interest rates until next year. the dow jones industrial average soared 217 points to close at 17,141. the nasdaq rose 87 points, and the s&p 500 added 29. in syria, government troops launched a major new offensive against rebel forces today. they targeted strongholds in central homs province and captured the town of khaldiyeh, near hama. the push was backed by days of russian airstrikes in the region. amateur video today showed plumes of smoke rising above towns while residents sifted through wreckage. israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu said today he's "perfectly open" to meeting with
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palestinian president mahmoud abbas in an effort to end weeks of bloodshed. that came a day after abbas claimed israelis "executed" a 13-year-old palestinian boy involved in a stabbing attack earlier this week. the israeli prime minister sharply refuted that allegation today in jerusalem, insisting the boy is recuperating in an israeli hospital. >> i think president abbas has to stop this incitement. you just saw examples of him lying. bare faced lies. an innocent child executed by israelis. no, he's not innocent and he wasn't executed. he tried to murder innocent people, almost succeeded. that's a lie. >> sreenivasan: at the same time, the israeli military announced today it will deploy hundreds more troops throughout jerusalem in the coming days in an effort to boost security. meanwhile in the west bank, palestinian protesters clashed with israeli troops in
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bethlehem. demonstrators threw stones as israeli forces fired back with tear gas. back in this country, there's word the f.b.i. has begun an inquiry into the business practices of the multi-billion dollar daily fantasy sports gambling industry. last week, an employee of the website draft kings won $350,000 on rival site fan duel, spawning allegations of insider trading. "the new york times" reported the f.b.i. probe will also assess whether the sites encourage bets from players in states where the contests are illegal. the preservation group "world monuments fund" announced its biennial watch list for endangered world heritage sites today. the 50 places, spanning 36 countries, include: a spanish mission in new mexico badly in need of restoration. an ancient underwater city in southern greece, at risk of pollution from passing ships. and the entire country of nepal, struggling to protect its heritage in the aftermath of april's devastating earthquake. still to come on the newshour:
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a new timeline for troop drawndowns in afghanistan. a fresh lead emerges in the 27- year-old lockerbie bomber case. can a prison break the cycle of incarceration? and much more. now, a change of course in afghanistan and a call for the united states to stay. >> sreenivasan: it's already the longest-running war in american history, and now u.s. troops will be in afghanistan even longer. the word came today from president obama, during a speech in the white house roosevelt room. >> i have repeatedly argued against marching into open-ended military conflicts that do not serve our core security interests. yet, given what's at stake in afghanistan, and the opportunity for a stable and committed ally that can partner with us in preventing the emergence of
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future threats, i am firmly convinced that we should make this extra effort. >> sreenivasan: the new war plan calls for keeping nearly 10,000 troops in aghanistan through most of 2016, drawing down to 5,500 in 2017. >> now we're finishing the job we started. >> sreenivasan: today's announcement is an about-face from the plan laid out last may, to leave afghanistan completely by the end of next year. it would have left just a small, embassy-based military presence in kabul. but in the last few months, commanders have signaled that the afghans need more help to beat back the taliban, and hold onto gains made over the last 14 years. kunduz, in northern afghanistan, is a case in point. tabiban fighters briefly took control there last month. the new york times compiled u.n. data with on-the-ground reporting that shows the insurgency has spread through more of afghanistan than at any time since 2001, and more than half the country's districts face a substantial, high, or
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extreme risk of attack. there are also now concerns about the presence of islamic state militants. defense secretary ash carter: >> we're adjusting our presence based on conditions on the ground. to give the united states and our allies the capability to sustain a robust counter- terrorism platform, denying a safe haven for terrorists and violent extremist organizations. >> sreenivasan: u.s. forces will be stationed in four locations: kabul, bagram, jalalabad and kandahar. president obama said it's the right thing to do. >> this decision is not disappointing. as i have continually said, my approach is to assess the situation on the ground, to figure out what is working, and figure out what is not working, and make adjustments where necessary. this isn't the first time those adjustments have been made and this probably won't be the last. >> sreenivasan: the move puts the decision on how to go forward in afghanistan firmly in the hands of mr. obama's successor after 2017. we get more on today's announcement from "washington
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post" reporter greg jaffe. gregg, how did it get to this decision? >> you know, in the spring they started a review to decide what they were going to do. the plan had been to go to essentially a kabul-based force, a small force. and i think most in the administration, especially the president's inner circle, seemed to think that's where they were going to land. the discussions carried on through the summer. in august, general dempsey came forward, then the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff-- he just recently stepped down-- with a plan for a sustaining force of about 5,000 focused on counter-terrorism. and was then, it seemed to me, that the debate changed, and the president seemed open to that. >> sreenivasan: so what were the tensions here? is this partly the political pressure of making a campaign promise to get the country out of this war, and then the military reality on the ground where all his top visiers are saying something different? >> you know, i don't think politics played a big role in it. i think the president has a real skepticism about military forces' ability to effect solutions in places like
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afghanistan, so he's a really hard sell on these sorts of issues. just because he doesn't think military force fixes the problems, that they're really political problems. no military solution has sort of become a mantra. it took a lot of convincing to bring him around, i think. >> sreenivasan: so if you have insight to this, what was the menu card of options that the generals presented him-- here's "a," here's "b," here's "c." what were his choices? >> i think the main choices, as i understand them, were there was an option to essentially stay at 9800 where they were indefinitely. the real choice and the real focus of the debate in terms of a sustaining presence beyond 2016 into 2017 was really this 5500 option. that was the one that sucked most of the oxygen in the room. that was the one that they really focused on. >> sreenivasan: so what were the costs and benefits of doing either one plan or increasing it to 10? >> you know, well, 10 is where we are now, so i think 10 felt to a lot of people lets you do things you can't do with five. >> sreenivasan: for example?
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>> yeah, i think in terms of counter-terrorism, i think you can pretty much do the similar things with both. what the extra 5,000 gets you is it gets you out in the field with afghans a little bit more. you know, we've been using them-- up in ciewndus, special forces helped retake that city by calling in airstrike and offering advice. i think we were all shocked by how fast the iraqi forces crumbled and collapsed. on paper they looked pretty good. on paper the afghan forces sometimes look pretty good. but things like will and resolve are really hard to measure. if you're present, you can get a much better sense of those things than you can if you're, you know, hundreds of miles or thousand of miles away. >> sreenivasan: is part of this that nobody has figured out the equation on how to train up afghan forces well enough? >> yeah, i think not just afghan forces but all of these kind of indigenous forces in these
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broken society where's governments are corrupt or deeply flawed. general dempsey said in an exit interview-- i thought it was fascinate ago he essentially asked him in this exit interview with "joint forces quarterly," "can we do this mission?" and he answered his own question, "i don't know but i'm not sure we have a choice." >> sreenivasan: what are the next steps. are there going to be deployments of special forces in certain cities? >> i think if there are problems like you saw in kunduz, where you have talibans taking the cities and the afghans have to retake it, i think you could see special forces units embedded with afghan units to retake those kinds of places. you know, i think, it's interesting way the president talked about the 9800 or essentially 10,000, he said that will be the force through late 2016. you know, by late 2016, his successor will be in place. i think he could be signaling some flexibility there, too, that rather than go down to 5500, if his successor were to
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say i would be much more comfortable at 10,000, i think it would be hard for him not to stay there. >> sreenivasan: all right, greg jaffe of the "washington post" thanks so much. >> yeah, thank you. >> sreenivasan: scottish prosecutors announced today that they have identified two libyan suspects in the 1988 bombing of a passenger jet over the town of lockerbie. scotland and u.s. authorities are asking the libyan government to allow scottish detectives and fbi officers to interview the suspects in tripoli, libya. the washington post is reporting, according to a u.s. official, that the two individuals are abdullah al- senussi, a former intelligence chief for ousted libyan leader mooammar gaddafi and abu agila mas'ud, an alleged bombmaker. jeffrey brown has the story. >> brown: the development comes just two days after "frontline"
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aired the final installment of "my brother's bomber", a three- part documentary by ken dornstein that went back and re- examined the files from the lockerbie case. >> in libya, a trial has begun for the sons of moammar gaddafi, and more than two dozen of his exofficials. >> at the same time in tripoli, the new government was continuing its trial of former gaddafi officials. >> abdullah al-senussi was among the defendants fenced off behind bars. from corruption to war crimes related to the 2011 uprising. >> reporter: the libbians were interested in crimes during the revolution, but i was listening at home for details about the men on my list. then, in the middle of the trial, a photo arrived by e-mail. it was poor quality and came with no explanation, but in the
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center of the frame was a dark-scib skinned man. the blue jumpsuit and prison bars made it pretty clear he was one of the men on trial in tripoli, so i went looking for every photo i could find of these men on trial. and there in one of them, behind abdullah al-senussi, the former intelligence chief, was the dark-skinned man. the more i looked, the more photos i found of him. i captured these images and sent them to berlin. he said this was indeed will bob expert 100%. it was hard to believe i was now looking at the man i'd been trying to find for so many years. but i still wanted more confirmation. so i connected with a human rights worker who'd been monitoring the trials in libya. >> hi ken. >> dornstein: hey, how are you? >> we can attempt cameras, but
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i'm not sure it's gonna last. >> dornstein: i told her who i was looking for. at first, she couldn't find abu agela's name on the list, but then... >> wait, wait, wait. i have a name. it's just written slightly differently. >> dornstein: what does it look like to you? >> i think it's defendant number 28 in this case. so his first name is abu a'ujilah. that would be his first name. and, to my understanding, the biggest case against him seems to be bomb making in relation to the 2011 conflict. charges of setting up bombs in vehicles. >> dornstein: wow. well, that sounds like him. >> yeah. i would say that's for sure the same person. >> dornstein: the main trial of these guys, there's 36, 37 of them, and they're there for what is more or less a show trial. >> right. >> dornstein: that's abdullah senussi. but if you look behind abdullah senussi...
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>> there's a dark-skinned man. >> dornstein: there's a dark-skinned man. you pull all the images, and you keep finding a dark-skinned man. >> right. >> dornstein: but i still would like to know more. so, i said, "there's 36 men on trial. is there a charge sheet here?" >> yeah, what are they charged with? >> dornstein: number 28 on the charge sheet. and i translate it, and you can even grab it, and put it into google translate, and it's "a'ujilah masoud." and the charge is bomb making. >> my goodness. >> reporter: up until now, only one person has ever been convicted in connection with the lawr bopping. to talk about today's bombing is writer and filmmaker ken dornstein. his older brother was killed in the attack. so, ken, two new suspects but not officially named. do you have any information that links them to the two people that you identified that we just saw in that clip? >> i don't have any information from the scottish government or from the u.s. government, but
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everything i know about the investigation and everything i know about the 36 men being held by the libbians would suggest to me that the two men who have been alluded to in today's news are abdullah senussi, and the man who i identified as the bomb expert for the lockerbie case, abu agila mas'ud. >> sreenivasan: tell us a little bit about them. first the latter, the bomb expert. what do you know about them. >> this is a figure who was a mystery, was a ghost. the original lockerbie investigators had gathered information about mim. there was information about him from a c.i.a. informant who was speaking to the c.i.a. in the months before the bombing, and in the cables that were produced from the-- from the time with that informant, this person was named. and this person was named in named in cekd with abdelbaset ali mohamed al megrahi, the one person convicted of the bombing. hhe was tied with him including
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records indicated that he had been at the airport in malta where the bomb was said to have originated on the morning of the bombing. the c.i.a. thought he was a technical expert. that's what you find in the c.i.a. cables. beyond that, they didn't know. they had his landing card when he landed in malta and it had his fingerprint on it and there was a passport number. as any of us who travel to a foreign country have to fill out landing card where's you say the flight you came in on and the passport information and the passport information is what i dlowng, to match the fingerprint and passport number to a flesh and blood real person who i felt if i could prove he existd and fully flesh out who he was, i thought i would solve any of the remaining questions there were about who carried out the bombing. >> and the other figure, abdullah senussi, was a more known character, right, as head of intelligence in libya? >> yeah. abdullah senussi is a very well-known figure.
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he is the brother-in-law of moammar gaddafi. he was the second most powerful man in the country at the time, at the end of the regime. he had been linked to many crimes against libbians themselves, including a massacre at a prison in the 90s that killed 1500 people. he also was linked to a number of foreign attacks, including the bombing of a french passenger plane. he was tried and convicted in cn absentia by the french for bombing a french passenger plane or helping conceive of that. the list of charges against senussi is long. the list of parties who are interested in having senussi tell them the full truth is also long. and he was well known. and the u.s. government may or may not have already spoken to him. he's been in detention in various forms for a number of years, but it's abdelbaset ali mohamed al megrahi who really was the target of what i did and what "frontline" just put out. >> you went back to look at this in part because of the personal connection, i assume, but also a sense that this was incomplete.
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what happened to the investigation? do we know whether either of these characteres were ever spoken to, were ever investigated? >> they both came up in the original investigation. that's not new to me. i started, from a sense, from the original investigators, most of whom are now retired, a sense from them of how unresolved the whole case was. they had a number of people in theirsitis. they were only able to indict two, and after that indictment, which was way back in 1991, the f.b.i. would continue to say it's an ongoing investigation but there had been no other public announcements. there have been no other indictments in the 25 years. i think that was a source
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>> sreenivasan: there's perhaps no greater bipartisan push today than the effort to reform the american criminal justice system. one of those reforms is trying to cut back on recidivism, where criminals serve their time, but then wind up back behind bars soon after their release. for the past few months, the newshour was granted rare access to a maximum security prison in maryland, where a unique pilot program is trying to stop the revolving door from spinning. william brangham has the story. >> mostly i'm a thief. a car thief. i mean, i'm not 100% proud, but at the same time i had a good run. >> i was arrested for prostitution, possession of paraphernalia, possession of
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heroin, possession of marijuana, issuing false documents, felony theft, misdemeanor theft and forgery. >> conspiracy to commit robbery. wrong place, wrong time, so i got conspiracy for it. like most prisoners, they will be released back into society, so making sure they're ready and that they won't commit more crimes has become a huge public policy issue over the last few months, we followed these three prisoners-- jordan taylor, carlos colon, and ashley wilson -- to see whether one pilot program can defy the odds, and stop them from ending up right back in jail. >> in this facility today, we have 500 or so individuals that it could be a lower level misdemeanor crime, driving while intoxicated, something of that level, to individuals who have allegedly killed multiple people.
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>> brangham: robert green is the director of the montgomery county maximum security facility in rural maryland. he's been in corrections over half his life, and he's the driving force behind the program to try and stop prisoners from going right back to a life of crime. >> 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. why would you not want to put people back on the streets of your community better than they came in the door? >> brangham: he oversees a program in the jail called the "american jobs center," it's received some pilot federal funding. it's based on research that shows that one of the best ways to reduce recidivism is to help prisoners find legitimate work immediately upon their release. so, they're taught how to write an effective resume... and how to handle a job interview. >> so tell me what job you're looking to interview for today? >> brangham: in this program, inmates are called "customers," and the program leaders are "coaches."
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>> they actually treat you like a human being. >> we're helping to go from job ready to life ready cause getting the job is not the most difficult part. the hard part is the life ready piece. how do i live my life when i go back into the same community where i may have been selling drugs and making $1,000 a week and now you're sending me out there to make $8.25 an hour? >> brangham: the grim details of ashley wilson's life give you a sense of the huge challenges she's going to face when she gets out. >> i was like a really good student and all that. so perfect poster child right? but i had some traumas in my childhood and some problems within me. >> brangham: like three out of four incarcerated adults, ashley has a history of substance abuse. she was ten when she started stealing her parents' vodka. she left home at 15. a year later, she was shooting heroin.
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>> first time i had someone inject it to me. and from there it was just off to the races. >> brangham: she began having sex for money to pay for her habit, and she overdosed, twice, in between stints in rehab. pregnant at 18, she tried to stay clean for the baby, but she relapsed again. >> i had a young infant, no job, behind on rent, very little support. >> brangham: police caught her in a sting at 19 and a judge sentenced her to 18 months in jail. ashley's incarceration was part of the nation's war on drugs. an unprecedented, ten-fold increase in arrests and prosecutions for non-violent drug crimes. but now, because of good behavior, ashley will soon be transferred to a halfway house where she will serve the remainder of her sentence. >> so what plans do you have? >> i need to get a job, i need to maintain that job, maintain my sobriety, get a good sober support system to help me.
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>> brangham: staffing a jobs center, educating prisoners, treating their addictions. it's labor intensive work. and while there's a growing, bipartisan support for these types of programs, getting prisoners ready for life after prison is not cheap. i've got to imagine there are plenty of people outside these walls who look at the services you offer and think, "i would love that in my community college, i would love that at my public school", and yet you're here giving it to people who have done real harm in the community. what do you say to that? >> if we lessen the burden of the criminal justice system, doesn't that give us more money to put into our schools? doesn't that give us more money to put into education and our community? >> i consider myself a normal person just played sports growing up. i went to school like everybody else did. got into some trouble just like everyone else did. >> brangham: jordan taylor is near the end of his one year sentence.
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he violated probation after serving time for conspiracy to commit armed robbery. two-thirds of young black men who don't finish high school will serve time in jail. and jordan became another one of those statistics. he was arrested just three weeks before his high school graduation. >> you realize who you are when you're in the cell. you have nothing but time. time to think about things you'll do when you're out, or time to think about...anything. >> brangham: jordan's been part of the jobs program for two months. his release date is just days away. he says he wants to get his g.e.d., a job on day one, and long term study to become an electrician like his grandfather. unlike a lot of prisoners, jordan has two loving parents, and a home to live in, when he gets out. >> some people don't have nowhere to go who leave here. especially my case if you look at it. so i have to depend on me to take care of what i got to do. >> brangham: carlos colon has been in and out of the correctional system since he was nine years old. he's now serving a three year- sentence for second-degree assault and burglary. he was a car thief.
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he says he was a good one. but those are skills that, along with his long rap sheet, don't make him very appealing to possible employers. carlos works in the jail's kitchen and housing units, doling out meals to inmates. it's unpaid work, but he can put it on his resume. one of the key things this jobs program does is get inmates interviews with companies even before they're released. interviewing carlos today is a national firm most of us have heard of, but they would only let us film if we didn't name them: they don't want their brand publicly associated with convicts. >> do you want to do it? >> i definitely want to do it. i would love to do it. i honestly mean it. like i do need it. i don't get these types of opportunities. >> we realize and the data tails us and the research tells us for every day of employment we lose for that individual, the opportunity for recidivism, and returning to bad choices, bad behaviors, is >> brangham: for carlos, ashley and jordan, the odds aren't in their favor. more than two-thirds of prisoners are back behind bars
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within three years of their release. carlos isn't sure where he'll go when he gets out. several halfway houses rejected him because he escaped from another prison. plus, he's broke. you know you have these criminal skills, you're a good car thief-- >> yeah, i already thought about that. i already thought about that. >> how are you going to resist that? >> i'm going to resist it for longs i can but it's not guaranteed. the time comes and i'm struggling, i'm not going to be like-- you know, i'm not going to be struggling for long. if i have to steal a car, >> brangham: tomorrow, we'll show you what happened to these prisoners when they got out. for the pbs newshour, i'm william brangham in montgomery county, maryland. >> sreenivasan: for an early look at what happened next, go to our website. our multi-media project has additional video, and an in- depth look at ashley, carlos and jordan's stories. find that on our homepage,
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stay with us. coming up on the newshour: a new book details how entrepreneurs seek to change the world for good. what our ancestors can tell us about how much sleep we really need. and john merrow reflects on the future of education. but first, just how much sleep do you really need? there's been plenty of concern as people spend more time looking at their screens ever later into the night. previous research has shown that a lack of sleep is associated with a series of problems, ranging from lack of concentration to health effects like obesity and heart disease. but a new study out today finds seven or eight hours a night may not be as essential as we think. i went to california to learn more. >> sreenivasan: they are among the last hunter-gatherers in the world. the hadza of northern tanzania, the san of namibia's kalahari desert, and in the andean foothills of bolivia, the chimane. by studying the sleep habits of these three indigenous groups,
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who still live the way humans have for thousands of years, a team of scientists led by u.c.l.a.'s jerry siegelis is challenging conventional wisdom about how much sleep we need. >> it's absolutely incorrect to think that the more you sleep, the healthier you're going to be. >> sreenivasan: the study, reported today in the journal "current biology," says we in the industrialized world are no more sleep-deprived than our ancestors. >> there's been speculation that humans basically used to sleep when it got dark, which would mean they'd sleep 10, 11, even 12 hours. it turns out that that's not the case. these groups sleep five, six, seven hours. none of them average over eight hours of sleep. >> sreenivasan: just like us, when the sun sets, these indigenous people do not go right to sleep. >> there's a thin yellow line here that indicates the light level and you can see also that they remain awake. >> sreenivasan: in fact, regardless of what time they go to bed, all three groups, on different parts of the planet, wake up exactly when one very
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specific thing happens-- and no, it's not the sunrise. >> they're sleeping as the temperature falls and they seem to quite consistently wake up at the lowest point of temperature in the day. when the temperature stops falling, that's when they wake up. there's been a lot of emphasis on light and the effects of light, and there's no question that light affects sleep, but light may have been connected to sleep largely because of its connection to temperature. >> sreenivasan: temperature swings are a thing of the past, now we just have to turn a dial. the connections between sleep and many things have been thoroughly studied. thanks to a smart watch i've been an amateur student for the past year and a half. trying to figure out ways to get a better night's rest between hotel rooms and early morning flights, i've become a lousy sleeper. my smart watch tracks when i'm in deep sleep, light sleep, r.e.m. sleep, when i move around, and how many
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interruptions i have, and it even gives me a score for the night. but there are much more accurate ways to measure sleep in a lab. so for the good of the story, i donned a hospital gown and pajamas and got wired up at the u.c.l.a. sleep disorder center. that's a lot of wires >> yeah >> sreenivasan: lab manager joel rector placed sensors on specific parts of my head to measure electrical activity in my brain, stuck some near my eyes and on my legs to measure even the slightest twitches, and strapped sensors around my chest and stomach to gauge my breaths. and i did something i've never done for work-- i tried to fall asleep on the job. this is measuring my breath and oxygen and this is measuring how much i'm moving here and in my legs. and this is measuring my oxygen.
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>> right. >> sreenivasan: while i napped, rector monitored my patterns. >> he's in stage 2 sleep, which is what most people are in the majority of the night; he's sleeping quietly. >> sreenivasan: when i woke up, i had a chat with neuroscientist alon avidan, who runs the sleep disorders lab, to tell me what he saw. >> typically when we ask someone to fall asleep we don't see them fall asleep in less than eight minutes. you fell asleep in less than two minutes. >> sreenivasan: oh, wow. >> it means that you are probably sleep deprived. >> sreenivasan: what could happen if you're chronically sleep deprived? >> the data shows that people who are chronically sleep deprived, the immune system doesn't work as well. you're more prone to develop obesity, diabetes; cognitive
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function tends to become depressed. >> sreenivasan: but what constitutes sleep deprivation? max hirshkowitz is chair of the national sleep foundation, and a guest lecturer at stanford medical school. he recently convened a panel of experts to recommend how much sleep we should get. >> seven to nine hours. it's a range. now, six may be appropriate under unusual circumstances; but otherwise seven to nine-- somewhere in there. >> sreenivasan: there are no shortage of pills that try to deliver those seven to nine hours. >> there's a land of restful sleep. we can help you go there, on the wings of lunesta. >> sreenivasan: and that concerns siegel. >> the thing that alarms me is this thought, and this was the motivation for undertaking the study, to find out if this true, that we used to sleep much more and that we need to increase our sleep from whatever number we get to be closer to ten, 11
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hours of sleep. the data that we've gathered indicates that's not the case. >> sreenivasan: in fact the indigenous people jerry siegel studied average less than six- and-a-half hours-- and they seem fine. >> in general, the adults are more healthy than those in our society. they may for some reason need less sleep, but there certainly doesn't seem to be any negative consequence resulting from their sleep pattern. >> sreenivasan: the indigenous people also don't appear tired during the day. they hardly nap and they sleep soundly when they do. >> one thing we found is that these groups have very little insomnia, maybe at a tenth the incidence we have, and so there's something different there that's going on. >> sreenivasan: that something will take more research to figure out. so, back to the lab or in this case, back to bed.
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now, a look at how individuals are tackling social issues around the globe through innovative programs, the concept of social enterpreneurship. it's the focus of a new book, called "getting beyond better: how social entrepreneurship works". the co-author is sally osberg, president and c.e.o. of the skoll foundation. for the record, the skoll foundation is an underwriter of the newshour. our economics correspondent, paul solman, sat down with her in new york. part of our weekly series, "making sense," which airs every thursday on the newshour. >> reporter: sally osberg, welcome. >> thank you, paul. >> reporter: you write about the key to social entrepreneurship being an equilibrium shift. what do you mean? >> it's a status quo which affects everybody. but it takes the entrepreneur to see how to shift that status quo. think of larry page and sergey brin. there's this internet full of information, and yet there's no ability for the ordinary person
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to search out and retrieve what she or he wants to know. they develop a search engine, google, the rest is history, right? the difference is that the social entrepreneur also understands that this equilibrium, this status quo, is affecting some marginalized population in some very significant way, and that population very rarely has the power or the means to affect the transition on its own. enter the social entrepreneur. >> reporter: like molly melching, whose organization, tostan, has been working in west african villages for 30 years now on human rights issues: most notably, eliminating the painful and dangerous 2000-year old practice of female genital mutilation. >> something that seems pretty horrific to many of us in the west. >> reporter: oh, disgusting even, i mean-- how dare you, you're doing what? >> yeah! but we don't get there by wagging our fingers at this population and saying, "how
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could you?" it's up to those people themselves to decide whether they're going to cut their daughters or not. >> reporter: and, what's the key to changing peoples' attitudes or empowering women? >> it wasn't until molly melching realized that senegal had actually signed onto the conventions to eliminate all forms of violence against women that she realized that these people had rights they weren't even aware of. once they understand they have these rights, they can begin to poke their heads up from this equilibrium, from this status quo, and determine what's in their best interest. >> reporter: another custom moving quickly from locally accepted to globally rejected: child labor, an illegal but persistent practice in india's rug industry. >> ( translated ): we work from 8 am to midnight. >> reporter: engineer-turned- children's-rights-activist kailash satyarthi, who shared
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the 2014 nobel peace prize, had been rescuing children from virtual slavery for decades. but says osberg: >> kailash understood that rescuing children wasn't gonna do the job, 20 kids at a time, when there were 200 who were being trafficked and brought into these camps their tiny little fingers you know, tying the knots in these rugs? he came up with the idea for a label that would send a clear signal to consumers that this rug was made without child labor. target, for example, has just committed to sourcing all its hand-woven rugs with the goodweave label. that's an equilibrium change in motion. >> ( translated ): i am free! >> in fact, child labor in the hand-woven carpet industry in india has come down from a million children to something around 200,000.
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they were among the first to create a technology platform for microlending, creating that opportunity for ordinary people to invest $25, $100, in the microentrepreneurs who were bootstrapping themselves out of poverty in the >> and that actually is what enabled kiva to scale. >> reporter: scale, you mean to go from small to-- >> right. >> reporter: --big with a huge impact. >> from 20,000 people on the platform, to today millions of people on the platform. millions of lenders, millions of borrowers, and of course, dozens and dozens of micro-finance institutions sitting in the middle. >> reporter: and speaking of scale, consider apopo, the lifesaving non-governmental organization that grew out of bart wait-jen's childhood fascination with rodents and his grownup realization that the
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african giant pouched rat could be trained to detect landmines. but these are suicide rats? >> actually, they're not. because the rats are much lighter than, for example, dogs, who also do this wo, but are, who are heavy enough to set off the explosives. or humans, who are exposing themselves to risk with you know, hand-held mine detectors. >> reporter: so, there are economies of scale to raising trained rats? >> there are indeed, because rats multiply quickly, which is why this solution is scaling, and why it's gotten to the point that a country like mozambique has declared itself just this past september mine-free. >> reporter: as i understand it, the movement within development these days is to be able to measure whether or not a project is successful. how do you measure your projects? >> actually, we rely upon the
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social entrepreneurs to measure the difference that they are making. so, a molly melching, 7,000 senegalese villages who have publicly renounced the practice of female genital cutting. that's evidence. apopo's unit of analysis, a cleared square meter of mined land. that's evidence. >> reporter: but, if you're relying on the social entrepreneurs, and they're asking you for money, aren't they gonna tell you what you want to hear? >> they don't. people think there's no accountability for philanthropy. but when you're working with social entrepreneurs, they will tell us when we're under- capitalizing them, they will tell us when our expectations for measurement or for-- for documentation are out of line. they give us feedback, no-holds- barred. >> reporter: is that because they already know they're doing something so virtuous that they don't need to be defensive in asking you for more money for
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it? >> actually, they understand that there is no argument for philanthropy without what they are doing, without their work on the front lines driving change. and they're right. >> reporter: sally, osberg, thank you very much. >> thank you, paul. >> sreenivasan: finally tonight, a career of covering education and some of the observations learned along the way. john merrow has been a special correspondent for education for the newshour for the better part of three decades now, covering everything from the importance of reading to young children to battles over reform to the rising price of higher education. he's now retiring. and judy woodruff sat down with him recently to discuss his career. >> woodruff: john merrow, welcome. >> thank you. >> woodruff: so you have had quite a career. take us back. how did it all begin? you were a teacher.
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>> i was a high school teacher. i went off to graduate school. i got hired by a think tank in washington. i don't have the capability of sitting around thinking. my boss said start a forum, told me i could spend $10,000. i knocked on the door of national public radio which was brand new. they said, "come on in." i stayed for eight years and ended up coming over here and stayed here for a long, long time as well, 41 years altogether. >> woodruff: it's an amazing journey, john merrow. you have done so many extraordinary reports for the newshour. as i think about, if there's been any kind of a common theme over that time what, would you say it is? i think of reform. >> reform is it. >> woodruff: something that keeps coming back. how do you think about that? >> i think you're absolutely right. we started the first real wave of education reform in 1983 with the publication of "a nation at risk" that warned we were drowning in a rising tide of mediocrity. we have been reforming ever
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since. i'm writing a book, "addict to reform," a 12-step program to get us out of that. and we've make some great improvements. education law, handicapped children act in 1975, changed things for millions of children. we have a long we wayto go yet, but that's a great improvement. people forget we have made a lot of improvement glgz back when the term was "handicapped." >> yes. >> woodruff: handicapped children. it's changed since then. there are so many milestones along the the way. i think of no child left behind, 14 years another under president bush. what do you think about when you think about milestones. >> that law expired a long time ago but the congress is so divided they're unable to create new legislation. they're still trying. that law has done a lot of damage because it said everybody is going to be proficient by 2014. well, nowhere near, but then they started imposing penalties.
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the current secretary of education has been granting waivers, saying, "you don't have to follow that, "but he has said, "you have to do these things" which has created a whole new thing called "race to the top," which with the common core, i mean, and we're so polarized now, that these are stories that reporters are going to keep on telling, but i don't think they're really helping schools in a lot of ways. >> woodruff: we do seem to be talking about education more, though, today as a country. we don't-- we don't seem to take it for granted the way we used to. >> we talk a lot about it. i think, judy, that we we ask the wrong question fundamentally, and this is sort of a bumper sticker way of thinking about it. but i think the system looks at each child and says, house, intelligent are you? how intelligent are you?" and then tests. whereas the question we really, it seems like we ought to be asking is, "how are you intelligent? how are you intelligent?" and then figure out a way to build on the strengths that kid
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has, which you can do with technology today. i mean, we have the potential to transform public education. whether we do it is an open question. okay, you ready to read this story? >> woodruff: you have been in so many classrooms around this country. is there a moment or moments you think more about than any other? >> i think back on-- we followed for the newshour back in 2000, followed five first-year teachers for a whole year. jim lehrer used to call it the pbs version of "survivor." and there were some remarkable times then as those young people did their best without much training. >> i want everyone to raise their hands now! you guys don't want to learn much of anything, do you? >> we followed new orleans, since katrina actually for six years. followed michelle rhee in washington, d.c. for three
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years. >> i'm terminating your principalship now. >> i think when you're doing the kind of work i'm doing in public education, where the lives and futurees of children hang in the balance, you cannot-- you can't-- you can't play with that. >> she became the face of a kind of what you'd call "test-based accountability," which is using test scores to judge teachers. most countries use test scores to judge students, and tests are designed to measure what students are doing. but we, i think alone among advanced countries, use them to fire or hire or evaluate teachers. >> woodruff: i think the question a lot of people would like to ask you, john merrow, given all the time you've spent looking at our schools is, is are they as bad as the worst critics say they are? >> no. >> woodruff: or are they as good as some of their fierce defenders say they are? >> judy, i would say probably a third of our schools are better than schools have ever been in this country.
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but that creates a real problem. we tend to focus on the achievement gap, and we say, "well, you know, there's this big difference between whites and non-whites and so on." it would be useful if we talked. an opportunity gap, and maybe even an expectations gap because if you close the opportunity gap and the expectations gap, i have a hunch the outcomes would take care of themselves. >> woodruff: what should the focus be for the future? i mean, as you go off to do other projects, what should parents, what should schools what, should the priority be now? >> i think-- there are two terms that are floating around. one is called blended learning, which is excellent teachers using technology. and the other is called deeper learning, which is really digging deeply into things. kids-- you and i, even our own children, went to school, you had to go to school because that's where they kept the knowledge. today's kids are growing up in a sea of 24/7, but it's information, not knowledge.
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so schools need to be teaching kids how to ask questions. how do you figure out what's true? instead, too many of our schools get kids regurgitating. so what we have to do is get away from regurgitation. it's aristotle-- we are what we repeatedly do. if we repeatedly fill in bubbles, that is not much of a preparation for the future. kids need to be taught not to be cynical but to be skeptical, to look for evidence. they need to be taught to be a good journalist. >> woodruff: john merrow, you have taught us so much about education. thank you. it doesn't do it justice, but we thank you. >> this has been a great ride, judy. the newshour is the best. thank you very much displg we're going to miss you. >> sreenivasan: although john is retiring, the newshour's coverage of education issues continues, of course, and that includes a new partnership with "education week." john's colleagues at learning matters have joined "education week" and will bring regular
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reports from the nation's classrooms and communities on important issues from kindergarten up through higher education. >> sreenivasan: on the newshour online: astronaut sally ride showed millions of young girls and boys that they, too, could reach the stars by learning science. but behind the icon, was a private person with a curious nature, and that is part of a new photo-biography by tam o'shaugnessy, ride's life and business partner. we spoke with tam, who shared many photos from the collection, and you can see those, on our home page, and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm hari sreenivasan... join us online and again here tomorrow evening with mark shields and david brooks. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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>> this is bad. >> you've got to make your case. you have to fight. >> this isn't a trial. >> they did not get this for asking the questions. >> "truth" -- rated r. opens in new york and l.a. friday. >> and now, "bbc world news." >> reporting from washington, i am laura trevelyan. extends its military mission in afghanistan. president obama announced troops will stay beyond his time in office and why it is called for. president obama: i believe this mission is vital to our national security interests for preventing terrorist attacks against our nation. scottish prosecutors say two libyans have been identified as suspects in the bombing of pan am flight 103 over lockerbie. ♪ laura:


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