Skip to main content

tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  October 21, 2015 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

3:00 pm
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: on the newshour tonight: >> while i will not be a candidate, i will not be silent. >> woodruff: vice president joe biden ends months of speculation. what his decision not to run means, in the race for the white house. >> ifill: paul ryan says he will run for speaker of the house, but on his own terms. >> woodruff: also ahead this wednesday, the push to reduce the nation's prison population gains unexpected allies-- police and prosecutors call for fewer arrests. >> ifill: and a pioneering project to uncover the genetic roots of autism. >> i called blair at work, and i immediately burst into tears, and i said, "this changes
3:01 pm
everything, and nothing." >> 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.
3:02 pm
>> supported by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. more information 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. >> ifill: for democrats, a season of uncertainty is at an end: vice president joe biden will not join the presidential race after all. he'd pondered the possibility at least since summer, and announced his decision today in the white house rose garden. joined by his wife, jill, and president obama, he said he and his family took the time to consider all political options after his son, beau, died of cancer in may. >> unfortunately i believe we are out of time.
3:03 pm
the time necessary to mount a winning campaign for the nomination. but while i will not be a candidate, i will not be silent. this party, our nation, will be making a tragic mistake if we walk away or attempt to undo the obama legacy. the american people have worked too hard and we've come too far for that. democrats should not only defend this record and protect this record, they should run on this record. >> ifill: the vice president urged his party to oppose the influence of unlimited campaign contributions, and to support making college more accessible. he also warned against a partisan divide that he said is ripping the country apart. >> it's mean spirited, it's petty, and it's gone on for much too long. i don't believe, like some do, that it's naive to talk to republicans.
3:04 pm
i don't think we should look at republicans as our enemies. they are our opposition. they're not our enemies. and for the sake of the country, we have to work together. >> ifill: the biden decision removed a potential challenge to democratic front-runner hillary clinton. she, in turn, praised him as "a good friend and a great man". we'll look more deeply into the decision, and its implications, after the news summary. >> woodruff: syrian president bashar al-assad has made a surprise visit to moscow, his first known trip abroad since civil war broke out in 2011. russia and syrian officials now say assad held talks yesterday with russian president vladimir putin, and voiced gratitude for russian support, including from warplanes and military helicopters.
3:05 pm
>> ( translated ): to begin with, thank you to the country of russia. terrorism which we see spreading today could have been more widespread and more harmful if not for your decisions and steps. with all certainty, a political solution decided upon by the people of syria is the future of syria in the way that we envision, and this is everyone's goal. >> woodruff: news of the visit was not confirmed until assad was safely back in damascus. also today, the russians announced that foreign minister sergei lavrov will meet with secretary of state john kerry on friday in vienna. they'll be joined by counterparts from saudi arabia and turkey. >> ifill: israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu drew a storm of criticism today for linking the holocaust to a palestinian leader from world war ii. in jerusalem yesterday, netanyahu cited a 1941 meeting involving the grand mufti of jerusalem-- a known nazi sympathizer: >> he had a central role in fomenting the final solution. he flew to berlin, hitler didn't want to exterminate the jews at the time, he wanted to expel the jews.
3:06 pm
and haj amin al-husseini went there and said, "if you expel them they'll all come here." "so what should i do with them," he asked. he said, "burn them." >> ifill: palestinians, along with holocaust experts and survivors, charged the comment was factually wrong, and could incite violence. today, as netanyahu left on a trip to germany, he said he's not absolving hitler, but he argued it's "absurd" to ignore the mufti's statements. >> woodruff: president obama called today for better physician training and other steps to battle an "epidemic" of prescription drug abuse and heroin use. he traveled to charlestown in west virginia, the state with the highest rate of overdose deaths in the country. there he said he'll press for expanded treatment for addicts. >> ifill: toyota has ordered a new recall-- this time, for a faulty power window switch that can overheat and potentially cause a fire. the auto maker says more than six-and-a-half million vehicles worldwide are affected.
3:07 pm
some two million of those are in the u.s. toyota was hit by fines in the u.s. after a 2009 scandal over faulty floor mats, brakes and gas pedals. >> woodruff: and wall street had another down day, after another batch of disappointing corporate earnings. the dow jones industrial average lost 48 points to close at 17,168. the nasdaq fell almost 41 points, and the s&p 500 slid nearly 12. still to come on the newshour: joe biden, what does it mean that he's not running? paul ryan says he'll serve as house speaker, but only if... colder weather brings more trouble for thousands of migrants, and much more. >> ifill: it has been a months-long waiting game, but now we know vice president biden will not make another run for the white house.
3:08 pm
what drove his decision, and what does it mean for the rest of the 2016 field? glenn thrush, the chief political correspondent for politico has been covering this, and in many ways was able to see around the corner, in this magazine profile earlier this year: "joe biden in winter" glenn joins me now. so after all the ups and the downs and speculations, no go, why? >> no g there is a number of reasons. sort of by fur kateed between his emotional life and the terrible tragedy he suffered with the death of his 46 year old son beau in may, but also there was really no political path. biden is sort of a political procrastinator. very improvisational politician and he really waited too long. hillary clinton's performance in the first debate and the commence rat rise in the polls she saw afterwards left him with no path. >> ifill: the story you posted you quet as someone is saying that all the meetings, all the speculation, all the ways you were running trapses with more fantasy football than football.
3:09 pm
>> yeah, i think he was really confined to a small group of advisors. shouldn't surprise folks to know the way biden operates. a lot of his family, his son hunter, his remaining son was really pushing him for this, also mike donalan a long time aide fromñr delaware was pushing this. the rest of the family was ambivalent and the circle of advisors were facilitating what he wanted to do i think many of them over time came to believe he ultimately would not go for it. >> ifill: another thing you wrote in your earlier piece, it talked about one of his frinds and advisors saying that in his career joe biden had climbed almost all the way to the top and then someone moved the ladder. >> can you imagine what that must feel like. this is a guy who has done everything, quote unquote, right. the problem is at some point he reached, i think, his own ceiling. the 1988 presidential campaign which was disastrous for him, he was accused of plaj rising-- plajerrizing neil kinic's speeches, that was his
3:10 pm
moment n2008 he ran a padz campaign. i think biden is really an example of when a politician has a moment and they cannot capitalize on that moment, the rest of their career really is a post script. >> ifill: what is the significance of doing this in the rose guard when not only his wife but president obama by his side. >> the initial sition for those of us that knew what was happening. he knew he would say no, he wouldn't say yes next to the president. i think the sition is he views himself as a family man as symbolized by his wife. getting jill on board was one of the big challenges for this. he never quite closed the deal with his own wife. but the more important point here is he views himself very much as a partner with president obama, and that relationship which really had its ups an downs in the first term has really deepened into something more personal. >> ifill: he went out of his way to embrace that legacy today. >> and apparently after this they embraced in the oval office, a tearful moment. and the president, i am told,
3:11 pm
las been very, very concerned about biden's state of mind subsequent to beau biden's death. this is something that really weighs on everyone. >> ifill: so he said today the window had closed. was had hill c.e.o.-- hillary clinton basically closed the window. >> she sort of slammed it on his fingers. if hillary clinton had performed badly in the first debate or there had been more damaging revelations about the e-mails, i think we might be dealing with a different fact set. but my sense is that really did it. >> ifill: she went out of her way, we can take a look, to be very gracious in her response to him. she said among other things joe biden say good man and a great vice president. i'm confident that history isn't finished with joe biden. as she said today, there is more work to do and if i know joe he will always be on the front lines, always fighting for all of us. now let's just talk polls. with joe biden out of the race, hillary clinton afford to be a as gracious as she is. >> absolutely. it is a good day, i'm sure she had a nice cup of tea and watched this several times.
3:12 pm
look, in all of the polls we have seen, biden takes away from hillary clinton's support in battle ground states and nationally as well. so what this means is i think it's quite likely we will see a bump in the nationalin new hampr hillary clinton. >> ifill: no bernie sanders bump out of this? none of the people supporting bernie sanders would have drawn toward biden?>> yeah, biden is i centrist, you could make the argument that joe biden, in the longer span of his career has been more conservative than hillary clinton on a lot of things. he has tacked to the left as a lot in the democratic party has recently, but biden's affiliation is with the white working class voters. and bernie sanders much more appeals to the coastal elite. i think sanders will see a little bump because i'm sure some supporters will flock to him. but i think hillary clinton is the one without will be the predominant recipient. >> ifill: finally the vice president signaled this is not the end of his career. he still wants to be heard. do we have a history of a second term vice president who is not running for president being
3:13 pm
heard after finally withdrawing. >> i think you make a good point. his moment of maximum leverage has passed. ed one thing that is left is an endorsement. as we know and i covered hillary clinton in 2007 and it 008, there are a lot of bumps left in the road and she will need to pull some endorsements out of the pocket during times of need. i think the final card he has to play is an endorsement. >> ifill: we'll be waiting for that, that it will have a huge impact. perhaps, perhaps not. that glenn thrush of "politico," thank you very much. >> take care kaish. >> woodruff: from a decision made to another one pending. wisconsin congressman paul ryan has told his fellow republicans that he is willing to be speaker of the house of representatives but only if divided groups of
3:14 pm
conservatives endorse him first. political director lisa desjardins reports on a busy day in the search for a leader. >> reporter: the could-be speaker laid ouhis demands tuesday night: unified party backing and family time. >> i have shown my colleagues what i think success looks like, what i think it takes to unify and leads and how my family commitments comes first. i've left the decision in their hands. >> reporter: reporters surrounded lawmakers in the conservative house freedom caucus, the rebellious group ryan says must sign on for him to run. but members like alabama's mo brooks were cool to the idea. >> i don't think there is any question that a significant number of members of the republican conference have coerced, cajoled, induced paul ryan to run for speaker of the house when he does not want that job. >> reporter: idaho's raul labrador is another freedom caucus member. >> there's a lot of people who can do it. jason chaffetz would be a very good speaker of the house.
3:15 pm
>> reporter: while many members avoided questions and sought out the elevators, current speaker john boehner pushed for stability... and ryan. >> listen, i think paul is going to get the support that he is looking for. i thought he laid out a clear vision for how he would run the speakership. and i thought the members responded well to it. >> reporter: moderate peter king of new york was less sure that ryan would get enough support, and therefore more worried. >> i don't see who else it could be. if it's not paul ryan, then i think it's a disaster. >> reporter: already, some outside conservatives are on the attack. a group called the tea party patriots released a video highlighting ryan's support of the 2008 stimulus bill. >> this bill offends my principles, but i'm going to vote for this bill. >> reporter: that underlines the divide for republicans, who face a friday deadline set by ryan. the wisconsin rep is using his leverage to see if he can take command, without becoming a political casualty. >> what i told members is if you
3:16 pm
can agree to these requests, and if i can truly be a unifying figure, then i will gladly serve. >> woodruff: and lisa joins us from the capitol. ñi so lisa, this does not sound like a done deal. it's nietd fall there what are you hearing that's right. the members of the house freedom kaw cause -- caucus just got out of a meeting with paul ryan. congressman ryan had little to say but he told our producer here the meeting went well. he said it was a nice meeting. but that's it we did get more information from the freedom caucus members and i think you put it the best way there, this is still up in the air, judy. they will meet again later tonight. they may vote tonight and that vote may be the most significant part of this fight this week, the voteñr could be tomorrow as well. the reason that vote is very difficult for mr. ryan is the house of fre dom caucus has their own internal rules. they will only support a candidate if 80% of their members agree to do so. you are talking aboutñi 80% of e
3:17 pm
most conservative members of the house of representative, the members who wan)%" john boehner out and some of whomçó are openy saying they are not so sure about paul ryan either. >> woodruff: we know the rest of the republican membership in the house of representative supports paul ryan but how influential is anybody in the outside with these freedom caucus members? i mean who do they listen to? who can influence them? >> i think these are members who listen most of all to their core constituency. but that does include not just the voters am their districts who do skew very conservative, that is why they have been elected. but they also listen to, say, conservative talk radio and the tea party as we put in the package, some tea party groups have already come out against paulñi ryan today. and that's something that is a factor in these members' decisions in the next c]ulsel elf days. >> woodruff: lisa, you were telling me just a faw minutes ago that there is now some discussion about trying to deal with raising the debt ceiling before there's a vote on a new speaker.
3:18 pm
what about that? >> this is a very tricky game of chess happening right now. not only is the house trying to bring in a new leader, but they're also trying to manage three different crises coming soon. and speaking to a top republican aid err in leadership currently told me tonight that they would like to pass an increase in the debt ceiling before there is a new speaker, before next week's vote which may include mr. ryan. and that vote, judy, on the debt ceiling could come as soon as this week. it's something that they want to do before any new speaker comes intoñi power. >> woodruff: we also know it's0e freedom caucus, most conservative members, presumably, would not want. >> that's right. here is where you get into the complexity of this situation. the house fre dom caucus realizes that they don't have potentially another viable candidate outside of paul ryan but at the same time, they're trying to get, i think, as much out of the situation as they can. trying to get as many guarantees as they can from him about their own agenda.
3:19 pm
and that includes trying to get as many concessions from democrats on the detdçó cehning. so it's complicated. the debt ceiling might be a factor here in their discussions with mr. ryan am but moreover, they're questioning whether they think he will actually change things in the house. one congressman said to me and other reporters, you know, we all like paul ryan but this isn't about personality. we're just not sure he can change things because he hasn't changed things yet in the house. you follow that line of thinking, if you are outside of that conservative caucus, judy, and it still doesn't make it clear what the end game. is i think tonight could be an important night. we'll see what the freedom caucus does. and of course friday is the deadline that mr. ryan set as to whether he will be viable to run for speaker. >> woodruff: lisa desjardins watching it all very closely at the capitol, thank you. >> thank you. >> ifill: as winter approaches
3:20 pm
across europe, migrants and refugees desperate to enter the e.u. face even bigger challenges. hari sreenivasan reports from greece. >> sreenivasan: billowing smoke signified the latest threat to the thousands crossing southern europe: fire. it erupted at a camp along slovenia's border with croatia and jumped from tent to tent, likely sparked by bonfires, as migrants struggled to keep warm. there was no word of casualties. the camp is one of many that slovenia has filled to capacity since thousands began arriving croatia over the weekend. a number of people in the camp had just arrived, after a brutal 24 hours. during the night, a train from croatia released them near the frontier. then, in near-freezing temperatures, they were forced to wade across a river.
3:21 pm
>> sreenivasan: after the fire, many in the camp were taken away on buses headed north to austria. elsewhere today, hundreds waited in fields, guarded by slovenian authorities, as they waited to be told where to go next. >> sreenivasan: the slovenes have appealed to the european union for help. and early today, their parliament authorized a greater role for the army, guarding the border with croatia. thousands more migrants have trekked through greece and macedonia to serbia, where they're pressing to continue their own journeys into western europe. overnight, some 3,500 spent the night in the freezing cold at the serbian-croatian border after croatian officials closed the gates.
3:22 pm
>> sreenivasan: scuffles broke out as the frustration of waiting proved too much for some. as before, others took matters into their own hands, crossing fields and orchards at dawn, evading police where they could. meanwhile, in vienna, the head of croatia's police met with his counterparts from hungary, slovenia and austria. >> ( translated ): the daily influx from macedonia and serbia into croatia is about 10,000 migrants. they are transferred every day towards the slovenian border, and slovenia moves them towards austria. we must stem the migrant crisis as soon as possible, so that we reduce the number of migrants arriving to europe. >> sreenivasan: to that end, the president of the european commission called a sunday
3:23 pm
summit of the balkan states and others. but, the human surge showed no signs of abating. in greece, three giant ferries a day are bringing refugees to athens' main port of piraeus from the greek islands where they landed. this ship-- which arrived just before dawn-- carried roughly 2,000 people. most of them headed on to buses to take them northward. by now, though, some-- like mohammad ghunaim, a syrian medical student-- have tempered their enthusiasm. >> sreenivasan: many more were following that dream across the aegean sea from turkey today, despite the mounting hardships. more than 500 people survived heavy rains and thundershowers to make it to the island of lesbos on flimsy boats. when they got there, there wasn't enough shelter left. volunteers had run out of rain covers, leaving babies and children standing in the rain. these migrants and refugees know the weather is only going
3:24 pm
to get worse. but they're also concerned about the climate, an increasingly uncertain climate toward migrants across more and more of the european union. >> woodruff: stay with us. coming up on the newshour: what to know before hillary clinton testifies on benghazi; the search for clues to the causes of autism; and finding inspiration in the natural world. but first the latest in our broken jus ti series. we have done a number of stories of calls of reform. tonight we hear a new call from top law enforcement officials themselves. today more than a hundred-- 130 of them including police chiefs and prosecutors came to washington to push for changes to incarceration and policing
3:25 pm
practices. one of the key reforms they want to see, reducing or eliminating prison time for nonviolent offenses and some drug possession charges. garry mccarthy is the superintendent of the chicago police department. he's cochair of this coalition. and benjamin david is the district attorney for new hanover and pender counties in eastern north carolina. and welcome to both of you. >> thanks. >> so superintendent mccarthy, let me start with you. you said today among other things, you said we incarcerate the wrong people. we measure the wrong things when it comes to the criminal justice system, what are you referring to? >> i'm referring to the fact that the violent offenders, repeat offenders are too frequently on our streets causing problems. about two months ago i came down to dc again with about 30 different jurs dictions across the country that all have increases in violent crime this year. and the one commonality that we had, repeat offenders over and
3:26 pm
over again. so there are some people who, i'm sorry, do not deserve to be out in our society. they're dangerous. there are other people who can't actually be reformed. what we find over and over again is the low level nar cottics offender is sometimes incarcerated at a greater rate than the violent criminal in cook county in chicago, which is in cook county, 28% of the inmates who are incarcerated in cook county jail are there for nar cottics-related offenses. yet less than 4% are there for gun possession. and these are folks with violent criminal histories. that's endangering our streets. >> woodruff: district attorney david what is an example of an a foans-- offense-- we just heard it has to do with nar cottics, for example. so if somebody is carrying around a small amount of heroin or cocane, they shouldn't be arrested? what should happen to them? >> they should be arrested. but to be clear, justice reinvestment in north carolina where i serve as the district
3:27 pm
attorney, we make it mandatory that they are going to receive probation for a drug possession case and to have the opportunity for a deferred prosecution. we went one step further and also made it where you could expung the nonviolent criminal history of a felon or someone with a misdemeanor for that one time offense so they could stay eligible for public housing, student loans, military service, and they don't have that scar let letter on them when they are troying to get a job. that is really what we are talking about. the second that we put them into the system, they're on a different statistical path. >> woodruff: so are you saying, in effect, superintendent mccarthy, that somebody who is out there who, say they have an open container of alcohol or, you know, we mentioned carrying around drugs, you are assuming that that is not on the pathway to committing more violent offenses. >> well, you know, i'm not going to make that leap. but what i can tell you is that there are people who have violentñ2h(ársrgal histories tht need to be incarcerated. and those individuals who don't, may not be-- may not need to be
3:28 pm
incarcerated. different prosecution, different method of dealing with it. it doesn't mean we're not going to make the arrest. but what happens once that arrest is made when that individual goes into the system. can they get deferred from prosecution into drug treatment programs or something along those lines? there is a difference between carrying a gun an illegal gun and getting caught with some heroin. a total difference there. >> woodruff: i understand that. but i want to clarify this. so are you saying, both of you saying, district attorney david, that, for example, that all those years of arguing, just say no, that drugs, stay away from drugs, that they are a pathway, to getting addicted to hair wayne? that all those messages were the wrong message? >> no, i don't say that at all. i still say stay away from drugs t brings the wfl to the door, it feeds-- st the very gasoline for the engine of crime. what we are really saying is
3:29 pm
that we need to have the right people in custody. and mentally ill drug addicts are not who we want to clog up the prisons and jails with. it is a scairs refowrs when are you talking about those beds and we want to put the career and violent criminals in those places. >> but this is going to be a more expensive approach, isn't it, superintendent mccarthy, you will require people with experience in handling people with drug addiction, getting people therapy. >> right. >> you're going to require-- it's going to require more people, more man hours, woman hours to deal with it. >> i don't believe so. because if you think about it, we're not changing the behavior of the drug-addicted individual by incarcerating them. we may change behavior of the gun carrier by incarcerating them because he's not addicted to the gun like the heroin user might be addicted to the heroin. it is the wrong medicine for what ails us. we want to correct the behavior. the way you correct the behavior of a drug user is to get them
3:30 pm
drug treatment, not incarcerating them. the way you change the behavior of a bad guy who carries a gun, you put them in jail. this prevents them from committing another crime while he is in there and maybe he won't do it again when he comes out. >> woodruff: what is involved, david, in changing the laws to make this happen, what you are describing? >> well, first of all, it is outreach effortsnd and understanding who we are really talking about now, with the biggest victims of violent crime are also from the same high-crime neighborhoods. and when you have a business model where 98% of the people we are putting in prison are getting out and they're not getting out better, and 66% of them are back in that prisonñi cell within three years charg with new offenses, what we're doing is notñiñi protecting the community in the way that we can. and so what we really have to do is, when you are talking about funding, we're going to save money by closing some prisons and not having to build other ones. that is-- we are going to use that money, reinvest it into drug treatment, into mental health reform, into having some
3:31 pm
of the things that we can do to divert these cases out of the criminal justice system. it involves not only government, but the business community, getting people jobs, and getting schools to stop the school to prison pipeline we could talk about. there are so many people in a community other than law enforcement. because this is bigger than police and prosecutors can handle on their own. >> woodruff: and one other philosophy, i guess that has been behind us, seuptd, mccarthy, the so called broken window approach. going after people who have committed minor offenses because you are afraid they are going to do something worse. is that saying that whole approach was the wrong approach. >> no, same issue. it's not that we're not going to address those conditions. as a matter of fact, broken windows is the number one complaint that our community meetings from the people who live in the community. they want us to address those low-level issues. the question is, how is it that we address them? if we were putting people in prison for 20 years for public consumption of alcohol, that law would change very quickly.
3:32 pm
what we are doing is we are putting people in for extended sentences for low-level amounts of nar cottics. and that just doesn't work. you can issue somebody a ticket for drinking a beer in public versus arresting them. you can also take their drug user and divert them into a program instead of incarcerating them. >> woodruff: superintendent garry mccarthy from chicago and district attorney ben david from north carolina. we thank you both. >> thank you. >> pleasure, thank you. >> woodruff: we recorded that interview late this afternoon, and i also asked superintendent mccarthy about published allegations of a pattern of abuse at a police detention center in chicago. he says those allegations are false. you can watch his comments online on our website, >> ifill: the 2012 attack on the u.s. consulate and c.i.a.
3:33 pm
compound in benghazi, libya, has sparked a firestorm of recrimination and accusation touching on policy and politics. as former secretary of state hillary clinton prepares to testify before a congressional committee about the attacks tomorrow, chief foreign affairs correspondent margaret warner catches us up on the facts of the case. > warner: the fiery scene at the u.s. consulate in benghazi, libya happened three years ago, but it sparked a political war of words that's still being fought. 13 months after the fall of dictator muammar qaddafi, benghazi was lawless and awash with guns. the u.s. mission was protected by one local militia and unarmed contractor guards. on the anniversary of 9/11, around 9:40 p.m., heavily-armed men stormed the compound, opening fire and torching some of its buildings.
3:34 pm
hours later, a c.i.a. annex less than a mile away came under mortar attack. u.s. ambassador christopher stevens died in the main compound, along with foreign service officer sean smith, apparently of smoke inhalation. two contractors, ex-navy seals tyrone woods and glen doherty, died at the annex. then-defense secretary leon panetta said u.s. commanders had no intelligence that an attack was coming on the benghazi mission, and u.s. forces were too far away to help when it did. >> unfortunately, there was no specific intelligence or indications of an imminent attack on that, on u.s. facilities in benghazi. and frankly without an adequate warning, there was not enough time, given the speed of the attack, for armed military assets to respond. >> warner: in the aftermath, the military did deploy elite teams of u.s. marines from rota, spain; one to benghazi to evacuate personnel, the other to fortify the u.s. embassy in tripoli. the benghazi assault followed anti-u.s. protests that day in a half-dozen islamic countries.
3:35 pm
in cairo, a mob breached the walls of the heavily-fortified u.s. embassy, tearing down the u.s. flag. no americans were harmed. all those protests were against a u.s. citizen's online movie mocking the prophet mohammed. five days later, on the sunday news shows, then-u.n. ambassador susan rice pointed to a linkage. >> what this began as was a spontaneous, not a premeditated response to what had transpired in cairo. >> warner: but republicans charged the white house knew almost immediately benghazi was a terror attack, and concealed it to protect president obama's re-election campaign. the administration said ambassador rice was speaking from the best information available at the time. four months later, in january of 2013, then-secretary of state hillary clinton took on senate republicans at a hearing. >> the fact is we had four dead americans, whether it was because of a protest or because there was some guys who went out for a walk one night and decided they wanted to go kill some americans. what difference at this point does this make? it is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever
3:36 pm
happening again. >> warner: the incident launched parallel investigations by the f.b.i., the state department, and congress to do just that. one was by an independent "accountability review board" appointed by secretary clinton and headed by retired former ambassador thomas pickering. in december, it issued a stinging report on what happened that night. it called the consulate's security posture "inadequate for benghazi and grossly inadequate to deal with the attack." >> it was deficient in security supplies. it was probably deficient in the security manning of the post. there were ongoing security problems in benghazi, which we felt should have alerted the department to deal with those issues. many of the questions presented to the department were answered in the negative when they probably should have been positively responded to.
3:37 pm
>> warner: and are you saying there were requests for additional security there and they were denied? >> there was an ongoing request for additional security and a number of them were not responded to properly and positively, yes. >> warner: the pickering review cited: "systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies" at the state department. a consulate that was "severely under-resourced with regard to certain needed security equipment." and a short-term staff rotation that "resulted in diminished institutional knowledge, continuity and mission capacity." pickering said the review board closely examined whether the u.s. military could have scrambled forces elsewhere to the attack site. >> it was very clear to us that the nearest assistance was called upon right away, but the requirement to mobilize aircraft and move those marines in spain was not sufficient to get it there in time. >> warner: three state department officials resigned immediately after that report. the report did not fault
3:38 pm
secretary clinton. did you try to follow the chain of command as it were, the chain of responsibility all the way to the top? >> absolutely. >> warner: so did it ever go to the secretary of state? >> i had no indication that any of these decisions went to the secretary of state. >> warner: and do these decisions normally go to the secretary of state? >> no, they would not normally go to the secretary of state. these were decisions about should we provide x kind of money to build a wall? >> warner: meanwhile, the man charged as a ringleader of the benghazi attacks, ahmed abu khattalah, faces a federal trial in washington after being captured by u.s. special forces last year. i'm margaret warner, for the pbs newshour in washington. >> woodruff: one in 68 children in the u.s. is diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. it's long been known that genetics plays a role in the
3:39 pm
neuro-developmental disorder. now, scientists believe they have the tools to identify which gene variants trigger autism and with that information diagnose and treat much earlier. a project called mssng has brought together an unusual partnership and is giving hope to affected families. special correspondent jackie judd reports. >> what's the highest you can go? >> reporter: in the cloud, he is known only by eight digits, attached to a map of his d.n.a. >> you can go high. >> reporter: on the ground, at his home outside of toronto, jonathan wilson is known as a bright and sometimes aggressive 14-year old. >> from day one, and literally i mean day one, he was very different from my other newborns. >> i remember with the other children, i'd hold them over my shoulder and cuddle with them, and john would just arch his back. wouldn't want to be held.
3:40 pm
>> reporter: it was not until jonathan was almost three that he was diagnosed with autism. that was based on what doctors could observe-- his behavior and the absence of typical developmental milestones. >> it's hard for me to know when to speak, or when you, hard to communicate. >> watch where you're shooting. >> reporter: but, it was only recently, that lisa and blair wilson learned, with great precision, why their son is autistic: a spontaneous genetic mutation on chromosome 16. >> i got the phone call, and it stopped me in my tracks, and i called blair at work, and i immediately burst into tears, and i said this changes everything, and nothing. nothing changes about how we live our lives, and how jonathan will live his life. but he, now, is able to say, definitively, "i have autism. i was born with it.
3:41 pm
it's genetic." >> these machines are able to sequence millions and millions d.n.a. >> reporter: the 'call' came from researchers here, at toronto's hospital for sick children, which is a partner in a pioneering project to identify genetic variants responsible for autism. jonathan, his parents and his three brothers all had their entire d.n.a. mapped or sequenced, so researchers could see the most minute deletions or duplications. >> every time a new genome comes in, we can run a dynamic assessment. >> reporter: dr. stephen scherer, whose team reviewed jonathan's genome, is one of the world's leading geneticists. >> now we have the capability to do the ideal experiment, and that is to sequence the entire genome, the entire compliment of d.n.a. of all of these families, and decode the underpinnings of autism. >> reporter: and from that, diagnose and treat autism possibly from birth. as well as identify other health problems often associated with the disorder.
3:42 pm
autism speaks began the mssng project with the audacious goal of completing the d.n.a. mapping of 10,000 people affected by autism and making that information widely available in a single place. rob ring is the advocacy organization's chief science officer. >> in that database will be families, individuals touched by autism, their siblings, parents, all their genomes. that is a massive dataset. >> reporter: how massive? >> it's huge. it's the equivalent of watching a high definition tv show, streaming continuously, for thirteen and a half years. >> reporter: autism speaks had the will and the resources, $50 million, to initiate the project. the hospital for sick children had the expertise to map an individual's d.n.a., which now costs only $1,000 and takes only a couple of weeks to go from
3:43 pm
blood sample to complete gene mapping. what to do with that massive amount of data being generated, led them to a third partner not known for its work in genetics. it led them to google. most consumers know google as the go-to search engine that sorts information for everyday things like restaurant rankings or weather patterns. for the mssng project, google stores participants' genomes in the cloud and applies its vast analytic power to questions from researchers. david glazer heads google's growing genomics division. >> what we realized a couple years ago is that the world of biology has started to generate a lot more information than they historically had tools to work with. and that's what we at google are really good at, is taking large amounts of information and finding the value in that. what we're doing with the mssng
3:44 pm
project is saying you guys are generating and gathering, from all the volunteer families, this really valuable set of information. information as valuable as possible so the families get as much value from it as they can. >> reporter: so far, 76 researchers from six countries, exploring the causes of autism, including environmental factors, have gained entry to the new portal. and they are posing questions that only powerful search engines could process. >> we had to build tools that could work with data sets that were trillions of rows of information. that's trillions with a t. that tool is good at working with lots and lots of information and finding patterns in an interactive way. right away, we get some information that helps in developing new diagnostic tests. and secondly, we can think about new medicines. this is the problem right now, the challenge is for the core features of autism, there's no effective medical treatment. >> reporter: researchers applying for entry to the d.n.a.
3:45 pm
library-in-the-cloud pay nothing if approved. that is unique in a field where access to data can be closely guarded and expensive. >> our central thesis, if you will, around mssng is the more eyes we can get on a dataset like that, the greater the probability that discoveries are going to be made, discoveries that have the potential to transform how we think about autism, and how we diagnose it, and ultimately how we treat it. >> reporter: the optimism of mssng's founders about the potential for unlimited discovery is apparent. and, they believe that what works for autism may work for any number of other diseases. >> they will all build on each other and the success of one will help all. >> reporter: in fact, google already is exploring a project in the cancer field. >> the model is in the pattern of how to take this kind of information and allow scientists to ask the kinds of questions they want. there are thousands of very rare
3:46 pm
diseases that would benefit from having a deeper genomic understanding of their condition. lisa and blair wilson hope their contributions to mssng spare other parents some of the anguish they experienced when they knew 'something' was wrong with their little boy, just not what. >> i think starting intervention at age three was very late compared to how early our concerns began about him, and if he, if we could have intervened earlier in the trajectory of his development, we could have influenced it sooner. >> i think that would have really helped him along his journey. >> reporter: so far, mssng has put the genomes of 2,300 people in the cloud and all 10,000 are expected to be up by next spring. among them, the complicated map of a canadian teenager with the simple hope of one day living an
3:47 pm
independent life filled with family and friends. for the pbs newshour, this is jackie judd in toronto. >> ifill: whether it is the vibrant colors of autumn leaves, or the smell of crisp mountain air, nature has inspired poets for centuries-- including one of this year's macarthur grant winners. ellen bryant voigt takes us on a journey through her poetry, and the countryside that serves as her muse. >> my name is ellen bryant voigt. i'm a poet and teacher. i live in rural vermont. i've been here since 1969. when i look back over all the poems that i've written, i've noticed a couple of concerns or obsessions that kept recurring. and one of them has to do with the relationship between the individual soul and the
3:48 pm
collective. however you want to define the collective. you might define that as family. you can define that as a small town, the world, the natural world. and very often that individual soul is in conflict with the larger one. and that, i think i can trace that back to coming from lots and lots of relatives close by in a small area. a small town that knew all of your business. (laughs) if you've been, let's say, a glass-half-empty kind of girl, you wake to the chorus of geese overhead. forlorn for something has softened their nasal voices, their ugly aggression, on the ground they're worse than chickens. but flying one leader, falling back another, moving up to pierce the wind. no one in charge or every one in
3:49 pm
charge, in flight, each limited goose adjusts its part in the cluster just under the clouds. do they mean together to duplicate the cloud? i have a great interest in the rhythms of the natural world. i try to observe it. then i try to come to some understanding that i didn't have before. poetry allowed me to observe it. and then to try to find the language that is precise enough for the complexities around that world. i think i have always looked for a high degree of solitude. music was a wonderful haven for me as a child. as a place where i could find that solitude and find something i was passionate about. music to my mind is a crucial
3:50 pm
part of all poems. the rhythm of it, the rhythm of the line. the long vowel, the short vowel. if i can hear a line that is intriguing and is interesting rhythmically, then i can follow it toward my 50 to 100 drafts, which is about how long it takes me to do a poem. "storm" "one minute a slender pine, indistinguishable from the others. the next, its trunk horizontal still green. the jagged stump a nest for the flickers. one minute high wind and rain, the skies lit up the next a few bright winking stars the lashing of the brook. one minute, an exaltation in the apple trees, the shadblow trees. the next, white trash on the ground. new birds or the same birds crowding the feeder."
3:51 pm
to write poems, i have to remind myself sometimes to go out into the world. i love the natural beauty. i love living in the country. i love the solitude. but to only do that, to live on the mountain top, would not be good for poems. i think that poetry has become more visible and more a part of the fabric of the culture than is often referred to. more books of poetry are being published now than ever before. i think there's a great hunger for that. we get a lot of information. we're bombarded with information. but i think especially in this country, there are very few ways we can process any of that or think hard about that. we need to slow down in order to think hard about it. and the poem will slow us down. it will slow us down.
3:52 pm
>> woodruff: finally to our "newshour shares." today's it one of our online videos. and it's about the personal testimonies of drug addiction and its impact in west virginia. as we heard earlier, president obama traveled to that state today, where he took part in a community forum on those very problems. high schoolers from our student reporting lab in richwood attended the event. they interviewed members of the community affected by these problems. here's an excerpt. >> i got a sister that died a few months ago that was a few years younger than me, because she became addicted to medications that the doctors had prescribed to her. >> i started using drugs when i was like 12. probably smoking weed, probably just to fit in. >> i got arrested on two felony delivery charges.
3:53 pm
i got arresteds on two felony delivery charges, and as part of my bond stiplation i had to do-- i have been in there 13 months. >> and i just didn't know how to live without drugs. how i felt i had to have them to get up in the morning. i had to have them to do anything. i had to have them to live. >> when it is happening you don't really realize that the drugs are taking over your body and your mind. you think that everything is still okay. >> i tried a lot but heroin but have i done my shaimplet it's not something i'm proud of. it's wrecked my life. >> i have two children. have i a ten year old and a 13 year old. and for those two years, i didn't wake up thinking, i got to get my kids up for school or i got to do. this i woke up thinking, how am i going to get high today. >> what i learned today is that addiction is a disease and it kills people.
3:54 pm
it really does. >> my boy one day we were at wal-mart. he said will you buy a chocolate money. i said i don't have enough money to. but hi 50 bucks in my pocket and i went and bought a pill with it. >> i would take him to my mom's house and leave him there for days at a time. sometimes weeks. >> so for me, you know, it is heart-wrenching because i have seen so many people that i absolutely just love have their lives ruined because of it. >> woodruff: very hard to much what. >> woodruff: you can find more videos from our student reporting labs at >> ifill: on the newshour online right now, global warming might tighten your wallet no matter where you live. that's according to a new study from stanford university that pinpoints the optimal annual temperature for economic productivity. what happens when temperatures rise? find out on our web site, >> woodruff: and that's the newshour for tonight.
3:55 pm
i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. 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: >> and by bnsf railway. >> supporting social entrepreneurs and their solutions to the world's most pressing problems-- >> 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.
3:56 pm
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh
3:57 pm
3:58 pm
3:59 pm
♪ >> this is bbc "world news america." >> funding of this presentation is made possible by -- the freeman foundation, newman's own foundation -- giving all profits from newman's own to charity and pursuing the common good, kovler foundation -- pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs, and sony pictures classics -- now presenting "truth." >> ladies and gentlemen, dan rather. [applause] >> what's our next move? >> i might have something for the election. >> the president may have gone awol? >> he never even showed up. >> those parts of this file they don't like, they've tossed in the wastebasket. >> do you have these documents? >> tonight, we have new information. >> these blogs are saying the memos can be recreated. t


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on