tv PBS News Hour PBS November 4, 2015 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> ifill: good evening. i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: on the newshour tonight: a big win for conservatives at the polls; republican matt bevin easily takes the kentucky governor's race and ohio says no to legalizing pot. >> woodruff: also ahead this wednesday, looking back at the assassination of israeli prime minister yitzhak rabin twenty years later. how the event still shapes the mideast politics. >> ifill: and actor jeff daniels on bringing theater to his home town in rural michigan. >> you have to get them to not just go to the plays that have a happy ending. "is it a comedy? okay, it's not a comedy, when's the next comedy? i'll come to that."
>> supported by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. more information at macfound.org >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: there's growing talk tonight that a bomb destroyed that russian airliner over egypt's sinai peninsula. the metro-jet plane broke up and crashed saturday, on a flight from sharm el-sheikh to st. petersburg, killing all 224 people on board. now the associated press and others say u.s. intelligence believes islamic state militants may have planted the bomb. that follows similar reports out of cairo and london, as we hear
from alex thompson of independent television news. >> reporter: after days of inevitable speculation based upon not much, tday something altogether more substantial appears to be building. early this afternoon, egyptian media reports indicated the plane had suffered an explosion in one engine. they sourced this to black box flight recorder investigations, which continue. this afternoon in london, a statement from downing street that, as more information has come to light, quote, "we have become concerned that the plane may well have been brought down by an explosive device." >> as a precautionary measure, we've decided that flights due to leave sharm el-sheikh this evening for the u.k. will be delayed. and that will allow us time to ensure that the right security measures are in place for flights.
>> downey straight said it recognizes the moves will cause anxiety but the travel advice remains unchanged. the foreign office advises red sea resorts are fine, but many other areas, sinai in pwhere the russian plane came down, should be considered off limits. >> ifill: at least 36 people died in a cargo plane crash in south sudan today. the russian-built plane went down shortly after taking off from the capital juba. wreckage was strewn across a wide area along the banks of the nile river. early indications were that security officials may have allowed too many people on board. >> woodruff: in malaysia, disputes over china's claims in the south china sea dominated a meeting of u.s. and asian defense ministers. the gathering ended without a public statement, when china insisted there be no mention of territorial disputes. later, defense secretary ash carter played down the tensions, but acknowledged china's
neighbors are worried. >> i had no expectation that everyone would agree on the south china sea or any other issue. that's the reason for this forum is to discuss these issues, and that reflects i think the level of concern that was reflected in the conversation about activities in the south china sea. >> woodruff: carter also defended u.s. navy patrols in the contested waters. to underscore the point, he'll be on the u.s. aircraft carrier "theodore roosevelt" as it transits the south china sea on thursday. >> ifill: canada's new prime minister justin trudeau was sworn in today. he took office during a ceremony in ottawa, becoming, at the age of 43, the country's second- youngest prime minister ever. trudeau succeeds conservative stephen harper. >> woodruff: in the u.s. presidential race, the filing period opened for
new hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary, in february. donald trump was the first major candidate on the republican side to submit his papers and pay the $1,000 dollar filing fee. former maryland governor martin o'malley registered on the democratic side. he's been a distant also-ran, but he said voters are just starting to focus on the election. >> ifill: the chair of the federal reserve is suggesting again that short-term interest rates could rise before year's end. speaking at a house hearing today, janet yellen said the fed has yet to make a final decision. she told lawmakers it all depends on whether the economy is still "performing well", as well as other key factors. >> if the incoming information supports that expectation, then our statement indicates that december would be a live possibility, but importantly that we've made no decision about it. >> ifill: separately, yellen warned that the nation's biggest
banks still aren't doing enough to guard against serious financial shocks. >> woodruff: the latest look at europe's economy shows it's growing only modestly. a closely-watched monthly survey, out today, found that economic activity across the euro-zone isn't enough to make a dent in unemployment. that could push the european central bank to increase its stimulus efforts. >> ifill: volkswagen stock plummeted nearly 10% in european trading today, after a new revelation. the company acknowledged tuesday it under-stated dioxide emissions for some 800,000 cars, mostly in europe. and on wall street, the dow jones industrial average lost 50 points to close below 17,870. the nasdaq fell 2 points, and the s&p 500 slid 7. >> woodruff: still to come on the newshour: what yesterday's election results say about voter sentiment; why more middle-aged white americans are dying; capturing harmful methane emissions, and much more.
>> ifill: from a significant win in a key governor's race to a number of ballot initiatives; conservatives had a big day at the polls yesterday. >> ifill: it was one of the night's headline issues. supporters hoped ohio would be the first midwestern state to legalize marijuana for medical and recreational use. but, by nearly two-to-one, voters gave that a resounding "no." the same conservative wave cost kentucky democrats their long- time hold on the governor's mansion. attorney general jack conway lost to republican matt bevin, who opposed the federal health care law and gay marriage. >> i'm grateful that you all went to the ballot box. and those that are watching, and those that collectively decided
that we want a fresh start, that we want to turn the page. this is your kentucky. >> ifill: meanwhile in houston, an ordinance to curb discrimination against gays and transgender people went down to defeat. outgoing mayor annise parker, the nation's only lesbian mayor, lamented the outcome. >> i fear that this will have stained houston's reputation as a tolerant welcoming global city. and i absolutely fear that there will be a direct economic backlash as a result of this ordinance going into defeat. >> ifill: but the "family research council" and other conservative groups praised the result. council president tony perkins called it "a rallying cry for those tired of seeing their freedoms trampled in a politically correct stampede to redefine marriage and sexuality." in san francisco, it was freedom to rent that topped the ballot. voters handed a victory to the online site "air bnb", which was founded in the city by the bay,
refusing to limit how often home owners may rent out rooms. >> ifill: for more on last night's results, we turn now to stu rothenberg of the "rothenberg-gonzales political report," and molly hennessy-fiske, houston bureau chief for the "los angeles times." stu, the republicans or conservative causes had gains on issues. they had gains on candidates. let's start in kentucky. how did matt bevin confound the polls? >> well, gwen, you're right. almost all the pollsters got it wrong and there are a number of possible explanations. to some extent, they always had jack conway, the democrat, running in the mid-40s, but with a 2- to five-point lead. he ended up losing but also got in the mid-40ss, just what they predicted. on the other hand, i think it's more likely that it was a late break in cultural issues, social issues, issues like planned parenthood funding-- that's been a big issue. same-sex marriage, religious liberty. cultural issues seem to take
hold. and, also, there's one other thing i think you have to consider. that is kentucky has been moving republican over the past few decades. and it is now reliably republican federal races. state races tend to be different. the minority party, the wrong party, can sometimes win statewide offices. but in this case, republicans did go to the barack obama well again and again, and it may well be that these republicans voters decided they couldn't vote for a democrat for governor. >> ifill: you talk about trends. there was, obviously, a trend towards republicans in kentucky. but on social issues like in ohio, the marijuana legalization vote, there have always been-- we've always been headed in the other direction, and ohio said no resoundingly. >> well, in ohio it might have been just too much, too fast in terms of recreational marijuana usage. but it was more than that. it was the ballot measure itself. sometimes the actual structure of the measures matter. in this case, i think folks in ohio were unhappy that a select
group of growers and investors were going to get, in fact, a monopoly on this in ohio omarijuana. and that was a significant factor. and it's funny, there are people who supported legalization of marijuana who opposed this initiative. >> ifill: because of the way it was structured. >> the structure of the measure. >> ifill: you know, we don't pay enough attention to what happens in state houses, but in virginia last night there had been a big push for democrats to try to take control of the status and it didn't work out. >> it didn't because the republicans held their seats and the democrats held their seats, so the republicans still have a 21-19 advantage in the victor state senate. on one level, that's so what else is new? nothing's new, really. this was a bit of a black eye for the governor, terry mcauliffe, known as a great fund-raiser and a savvy political operative, a friend of the clintons, all the clintons. he could not work his magic and flip a seat so that the democrats control the senate. it doesn't-- i don't think it fundamentally changes the dynamic of the politics there. but it is an embarrassment for
the governor. >> ifill: molly hennessy-fiske, how did the houston discrimination ordnance, or antidiscrimination ordnance, how it dit rise and how did it fall? >> well, it lost pretty resoundingly, 61 to 39%. both sides had thought that it was going to be a very close race. the mayor had championed it, made it a personal cause of hers, mayor annis annise parker. the city council already voted for it and approved it and there was a protracted legal battle and political battle that led to it being placed on the ballot. so it was a pretty big victory for the conservatives who had petitioned and sued to get it put on the ballot, put to a vote, and now they'd like to have it all put to rest, but some folks are still vowing to fight for it. >> ifill: now, let's be clear, this was an ordnance that would have prohibited discrimination against gays and l.g.b.t. individuals. >> that's right. >> ifill: which hads passed in other cities around texas but this became defined differently.
let's listen to a little bit of one ad that we heard. it was a houston astros star lance berkman. let's listen. >> i'm lance berkman. i played professional baseball for 15 years but my family is more important. my wife and i have four daughters. proposition 1 would allow troubled men who claim to be women to enter women's bathrooms, showers, and locker rooms. it's better to prevent this danger by closing the room to men. >> ifill: this is about transgender issues and not antidiscrimination and it was redefined. >> well, it depends who is talking about it. i would say both sides would probably say it's more complicated than that. this measure did end up getting dubbed "the bathroom ordnance" as you heard in the ad by the former houston astro. but condition the conservatives who scored a victory with this said it means more to them than that. they felt like the other thing
that was at issue was religious liberty, that if, for instance, a florist was asked by a same-sex couple to do the, you know, flowers for their wedding, that if they said no under this ordnance, they could face penalties or be sued. and the pro-ordnance campaign said it was about way more than bathrooms. in fact, the mayor repeatedly said that the ordnance didn't specifically talk about bathrooms, and she felt like that was a lot of fear mongering and a scare tactic that spread a lot of misinformation and that today she even said at a press conference that she felt like the voters weren't really voting about what the ordnance was really about. >> ifill: but that's what redefining things does. in the end, they were also able to appeal to black churches, for instance, to take the side against the ordnance. you would think an antidiscrimination ordnance would be appealing to african americans. >> that's right, and i talked to some of those pastors as the
campaign was going on who were very upset, not just because of the ordnance and what it says and what they feared it might do but also because in the process of the legal battle, the city had subpoenaed some of their sermons, and they really got their backs up about that, felt like that was an inprivilegement on freedom of religion, and freedom of speech, and even though the city backed off they felt they were under attack and had to work to lobby against it. >> ifill: and there is a mayoral runoff which may get played out against in houston. stu, it's always possible to over-reach and over-interpret these from a national point of view, but i wonder what the parties, the individual parties and the wings of those parties are taking from all these results yesterday. >> well, the republicans, at least in their p.r. releases are saying something big happened, a string of republican victories in virginia. they're predicting this shows the turnaround, virginia's coming back the republican column. i'm hesitant to read very much outside of kentucky, the
particular circumstance circums. look, next year, we're going to have a different kind of election with a different kind of electorate, where the election will be about-- i'm not sure what it's going to be about, but it could be about hillary clinton or the republican nominee or the middle east or health care. and once we know sense on the ebb and flow of the campaigns and the general lay of the land of the election. >> ifill: stu rothenberg of the "rothenberg & gonzales political report," and molly hennessy-fiske of the "los angeles times," thank you. >> >> woodruff: death rates in the united states have declined steadily for decades. but a study out this week found a disturbing reversal in mortality rates for white americans between the ages of 45 and 54, who do not hold a
college degree. for that group the rate of death has climbed since 1999, even as rates for people of different ages, races and education levels have continued to fall. the causes of death driving the reversal were suicide, alcohol-related liver diseases and prescription opioids and heroin overdoses. i'm joined now by one of the study's authors, anne case. she is a professor of economics and public affairs at princeton university. and by dante chinni, a data reporter and director of the american communities project, a politicial science and journalism program at american university that uses data to look at social, political and cultural divides. and welcome to you both. professor case, let me begin with you. you have said that when you and your husband who is professor angus deeton, the winner of this year's nobel prize, he was the coauthor of this study, that
when you came across these numbers, you basically stumbled across this information, and he said you practically fell out of your chairs. it was that surprising? >> it is that surprising. after so many decades in which mortality rate fell at 2% a year, and the fact that in all of the sister countries that we compare ourselveses to, all the wealthy countries of europe and all the english-speaking countries-- canada, australia, new zealand-- with their mortality rates also falling at 2% a year, to suddenly see this reversal was really stunning, and it has been stunning to all of the medical people, the epidemiologists that we've talked to as well. >> woodruff: professor case, it's already being labeled by some as despair-related deaths. what is it particularly about this-- these-- this mortality rate that stood out to you? >> the fact that-- there are
several parts of this that are puzzles that we have to dig into further. the fact that it's men and wom women, mortality rates by suicide, by drug overdose, by alcohol-related deaths, rising for all-- for both men and women, the fact that it's not happening in the african american community. it's not happening in the hispanic community. and it's no not happening abroa. so all of those things stood out to us as puzzle pieces that we have to look into further to figure out what are the root causes of this? we know proximate causes -- drug overdose, availability of prescription open outside-- but i think the next round of research will be to look at the deeper causes. >> woodruff: dante chinni, how does this scare with what you've been seeing as you look at americans everywhere and you think about the cohort we're talking about-- middle-aged americans, 45-54, white.
what have you seen? >> well, the way i look at the country, the breakdown we coat the american communities project, there are large segments of america that are made up of large chunks of this population. so they tend to be rural, white, not high education levels, high school no bachelor's or even community college degree. and the places those populations are heavily base read the bible belt, what we called evangelical hubs, the aplatchian america, which is what we call working class country, and graying america, more based in north and west, but populations, again, more-- not elderly but older people and people without a lot of college degreeand overwhelmingly white. what do we know about those places? higher unemployment rates than the national average and other communities in the country. the other thing that sticks out, beyond the unemployment rate, there is the workforce participation rate. in these places you're talking about-- all the communities i just outlined -- 44%, 45% of the
population not in the workforce. now, look, some of that is probably due to people retired or they want to stay at home. but i think when you combine that with the higher unemployment rates in those areas, i think what you're really seeing is, in terms of difficulty of finding a way to make a living, right. it's a much-- it's a tougher life in these places now. i think a lot of it has to do with the decline of small manufacturing in these places. tougher rural life. >> woodruff: and professor case, you think about what's happened in this country to the economy over the last 15 years. we can't, of course, jump to any conclusions, but we know jobs-- there's been a huge change in the job picture. we know american manufacturing has taken a big hit. what sort of questions does all this raise for you? >> it's-- one of the questions is why it is the case that the employment-to-population ratio has fallen so dramatically, especially among women. in our surveys, we were able to look at morbidity, as well as mortality, so we can actually
find out how people are, what their general health is like, what their mental health is like, and there's been a doubling in this 15-year period among people aged 45-54 who report that they're unable to work. so this used to be the period of time when people were at their highest earnings capacity, and to see these people, upwards of 10% of the white population, saying that they're not able to work is really troubling. it used to be the case that with a high school degree, you could get a good job, you could get a job with benefits. you could get a job that was stable, that you had job security. and i think people's narratives of their own lives had in them having a job, and the fact that these jobs are gone and they're not coming back any time soon
leads people to despair. and they report themselves in worse health. they report lower mental health, a lot more stress, a lot more distress. and i think these mortality rates just reflect that. >> woodruff: dante chinni, you're nodding your head as she's saying all this. i mean, this does seem to dovetail with at least the circumstances that you find in your research. >> yeah, absolute. i mean, i can't-- i would love to get the professor's data and run a geographic analysis on it to see if we're seeing these things fall in line with what i'm expecting. but this is exactly what we're talking about. look, in a lot of these places, when you lose a job, particularly if you're in your 40s, there's not a lot of places to go. there's certainly not a lot of places to go to get a job similar to what you were earning before. maybe the benefits go away. maybe the health benefit goes away. if you go to some of the places, not just rurg america, but a category we call the middle suburbs. they're overwhelmingly white.
they're primarily based around pittsburgh, cleveland, detroit, milwaukee you see some of it. you have large white populations. a lot of these were high school-educated people who did make a really good living. they had a good life. their parent had a good life, they had a good life, and all of a sudden the rules changed and the idea that a high school education was good enough, it wasn't good enough anymore. it wasn't good enough to have the cabin up north anymore and it certainly wasn't good enough to have a job anymore. that's very hard to deal with. we have to take another of cut at the data and see what's there but it certainly does does fit the profile. >> woodruff: it's clear there is going to be more research, it looks as if there will be more research based on what you have done, professor case. thank you very much for joining us. professor anne case at princeton and dante chinni here in washington. we appreciate it. >> thanks. >> thanks very much.
>> ifill: stay with us. coming up on the newshour: the middle east conflict, 20 years after an israeli prime minister's assassination; and actor jeff daniels trades in the big apple for the midwest. but first, natural gas is often considered a cleaner fuel than coal. it emits about half as much carbon dioxide. but the main component in natural gas is another greenhouse gas: methane. as special correspondent kathleen mccleery explains, that's why both environmentalists and the energy industry are trying to find ways to capture leaks from oil and gas facilities. >> reporter: you can't see it with the naked eye, but methane gas is escaping into the air around this well pad in northwestern new mexico. >> oh yeah, oh boy, blowing up off the side of it here. >> reporter: you can see the methane, along with other emissions, with the help of an infrared camera.
this one operated by the environmental group, earthworks. >> there's a lot of leaking coming from those valve boxes. >> reporter: methane is the primary component of natural gas. it's also a greenhouse gas. like carbon dioxide, it traps energy in the atmosphere and according to the environmental protection agency, contributes to climate change. co2 is far more prevalent, but methane is much more potent. >> methane is about 25 times more potent a greenhouse gas on a 100-year horizon than co2. >> reporter: los alamos atmospheric scientist manvendra dubey was measuring carbon dioxide, not methane, last year when nasa released satellite images, including this one showing a 2,500 square mile hot spot centered over the four corners area where new mexico, colorado, utah and arizona meet. >> they showed that, over four corners, methane was enhanced. it was the, kind of, the hottest
methane spot in the whole of continental u.s. >> reporter: now, dubey and others are tracking methane through ground and aerial investigations aimed at finding the sources of the hot spot. some emissions seep out of coal beds here in the san juan basin. some come from agriculture, including cows. winds allow the gas to pool in the river basin surrounded by mountains. nationwide, the e.p.a. traces the largest amount, about 30%, to natural gas and petroleum. but the industry doesn't accept that figure yet. wally drangmeister, vice president of the new mexico oil and gas association, wants the ongoing research to examine all sources. >> there are natural outcroppings, there's coal mining. there's a lot of other activities, and so we'd really like to see the science completed so that we're not just the only industry, the only source, that's getting blamed.
>> we're in the middle of nowhere, but we're kind of in the middle of that hotspot. >> reporter: at devil's spring ranch, don and jane schreiber worry about the natural gas wells on their property. they took us along on a tour in their retrofitted school bus when the earthworks team visited recently. >> if you see leakage coming on this camera, there is leakage, and there's really no argument about it anymore. >> reporter: the schreibers' concern goes beyond climate change to the air they're breathing. because other chemicals like benzene are emitted along with the methane. >> it's got to be bad, and now we know it is, and it's in that cloud, and it's a very, very sobering thing. >> reporter: companies can drill here because of a law called split estate. the schreibers own the land above ground, but the mineral rights below -- in this case owned by the federal government -- can be leased to oil and gas companies. more than 120 wells dot the schreibers' ranch, just a fraction of the tens of
thousands in the nation's second largest natural gas field. >> we went to three wells today, every one of them were either venting, or leaking. and those were, you know, less than a mile from our house. >> there are 20,000 existing wells here now. most of them acting just exactly like the wells we saw today. >> reporter: the environmental defense fund has spearheaded multiple studies on methane emissions. its energy policy manager says the problem is not a tough one to solve. >> literally, the problem is being looked at by rocket scientists. but the solutions are largely plumbing. the...we were talking about fixing pipes, stopping them from leaking, at natural gas production sites, and that's stuff that we know how to do. >> anywhere you have methane usage, you would be concerned if you have leaks. >> reporter: industry is hunting and fixing methane emissions,
says tom mullins, who owns an independent oil and gas company in farmington. we met on the campus of san juan college's school of energy which offers hands-on training. >> we've been applying technology, you know, identifying leaks, you know, leaks that are out there, you know, we do that on a daily basis, as all good industry folks would do. >> reporter: for industry, doing green is nice. seeing green is even better. captured methane can be sold since it's essentially natural gas. that's good for companies and taxpayers. >> we're in the business of producing methane, and we would like to get paid for it, and we would like the public to get paid for their share of that methane. here in new mexico, basically the entire public school system, both at k-12, and then the higher educational system, is funded from the revenues from oil and gas royalties. >> reporter: the desire to
recoup emissions has sparked technological innovations. jason libersky's company, quantigy engineering, designs compressors that vacuum vapors off storage tanks. >> what we do now is basically provide suction to these tanks that just suck off the gases that would be normally be released to the atmosphere. >> reporter: so this essentially is a vacuum cleaner? >> exactly, a high dollar vacuum cleaner. >> reporter: that vacuum can cost upwards of $50,000. infrared cameras can be twice that. even this tiny control valve has a stiff price tag for small producers. >> the little item is a $400 item, so you can see there's two of those on this particular unit, so that's an $800 item. some of our marginal type wells might not make $800 profit in a year. >> reporter: oil and gas prices are low right now. but natural gas production in the u.s. is on the upswing, and is expected to grow more than
50% over the next 25 years. that means emissions are likely to increase, too, unless measures are taken to reduce them. last year, colorado, new mexico's neighbor to the north, became the first state to clamp down on methane emissions. now federal rules are in the works. proposed e.p.a. standards-- when combined with other federal actions-- could cut emissions from 2012 levels by 40 to 45% by the year 2025 and require semi- annual inspections of production facilities. the bureau of land management, which oversees public lands mostly in the west, has drafted a new rule aimed at reducing "wasteful flaring, venting and leaking of natural gas." but the details and timetable aren't known yet. industry doesn't want more regulation. >> a good example might be something like the fact that they call for using infrared
cameras many times a year on every well. well, that's something that could cause low producing wells that are late in their life to just become uneconomical and have to plugged. environmentalists ay the e.p.a. proposals are a good start but don't go far enough. >> it wouldn't cover a well like this because it's-- this is an existing well. it will only cover new wells. but you've got to get some kind of regulation in place in the first instance, and i'm real glad they're doing that. >> reporter: still, no matter the method, cutting methane emissions is a goal shared by industry, government and environmentalists. >> if you are concerned about climate change, it's important for those reasons. if you're concerned about waste of a natural resource, it's important for those reasons as well. it's really a win-win issue. >> reporter: i'm kathleen mccleery, for the pbs newshour in new mexico's san juan basin.
>> ifill: now, the elusive goal of peace in the middle east. two decades ago, there was a moment of hope. but as chief foreign affairs correspondent margaret warner reports, the assassination that shattered that momentum still resonates today. >> warner: twenty years ago tonight, israeli prime minister yitzhak rabin spoke at an evening rally in tel aviv in support of his peace accords with the palestinians. >> ( translated ): we know how to make peace, and not just to sing about peace. >> warner: moments later, he was shot by a jewish ultra-nationalist opposed to the peace initiative, and died 90 minutes later. the prime minister had been just months away from re-election, and was pressing forward with peace plans on several fronts. he'd already signed the historic oslo accords in washington in 1993, famously shaking hands with yasser arafat, the leader of the palestinian authority. for the first time, israelis and
palestinians had agreed to acknowledge each other's right to exist. >> we who have fought against you, the palestinian w you today, in a loud and clear voice: enough of blood and tears, enough. >> warner: a year later, rabin signed yet another historic agreement, this one with king hussein of jordan, to normalize land disputes, open borders and normalize trade relations. he faced a backlash from right- wing israelis and jewish settlers who viewed his actions as precursors to forfeiting the occupied territories. 27 years a soldier, he began with an elite jewish strike force in the 1940ss. and after israel's founding in 1948, he rose through the ranks to become the military's chief of staff. rabin went on to oversee israel's victory in the 1967
war, winning control of jerusalem, the west bank, and gaza. as defense minister in 1987, he put down the first palestinian intifada instructing his troops to use, "force, power, blows." he was elected prime minister in 1974 and in 1992, campaigning on the possibility of peace. >> i believe within six to nine months, it will be possible to reach an agreement with the palestinian delegation about establishment of autonomy. >> sreenivasan: that vision was paraded at his funeral attended by 80 heads of state, including hosni mubarak, president bill clinton, and king hussain of jordan. >> he had courage. he had vision, and he had a commitment to peace. and standing here, i commit before you, before my people in jordan, before the world, myself
to continue to do my utmost to ensure that we leave a similar legacy. >> but within six months, right wing party leader benjamin netanyahu became prime minister after campaigning on a promise not to hand back captured land to arabs. he began a second stint as prime minister in 2009. all post-rabin efforts to forge peace encouraged by the united states have foundered. last weekend, israelis marked the as sassination anniversary with a memorial rally in what is now rabin square are in tel aviv. thousands attended, including former israeli president shimon peres, and former president clinton. >> next steps elect determined by whether you decide that yitzhak rabin was right, that you have to share the future with your neighbors, that you have to give their children a
chance, too, that you have to stand for peace, that the risk for peace are not as severe as the risk of walking away from it. >> but with a new wave of palestinian-israeli violence under way, it's not clear that anyone will take that risk any time soon. for the pbs newshour, i'm margaret warner. >> ifill: we look at rabin's legacy today two, decades later, with dennis ross, a longtime middle east peace envoy, who served in republican and democratic administrations. daoud kuttab, a palestinian journalist based in amman, jordan, and ari shavit, an israeli columnist and author. ari shavit, 20 years later, do you wonder whether things could have been different had yitzhak rabin not been killed? >> yes, i think there is a chance they would have been different, but i think the romantic approach that we would have had a perfect ideal peace is somewhat flawed. let me say, first of all, as an
israeli, that rabin's murder is a traumatic experience in our nation's history. in the way it's a combination of the murder of abe lincoln, john kennedy, and martin luther king. rabin was not a saint. he was not a sacred man. he had flaws. but he had an amaze ago he was not only courageous, intelligent, and authentic person, but he really tried to end the conflict, the tragedy of the conflict, and he represented a benign, decent, benevolent israel, something we all yearn for so much today. >> ifill: daoud kuttab, what of that do you accept and what do you reject? >> mr. rabin, as ari said, was no angel. he was the person who spoke very towfl and acted very towfl against the palestinian intifada. he encouraged the soldiers to break the arms of stone throwers. he was a very tough military man, but he did clearly make a
conversion in his last days, and he was really interested in trying to find a peaceful solution, and he had that combination of a security man that has been converted and understood, the needs for a political resolution to the conflict. and in that sense, i think he was a rare species that we do not see in these days in the negotiations between israelis and palestinians. >> ifill: dennis ross, you wrote in an op-ed peace in the "los angeles times" that the last thing yitzhak rabin said to you, "dennis, expect anything." 20 years later, what did you expect that was fulfilled and what did you expect that was not? >> well, 20 years ago, i did not believe, "a," that he could be assassinated because i had a very hard time fathoming that yitzhak rabin, who was the embodiment of the israeli experience, who fought his whole life for israel, was someone who could be as sassinated by an
israeli, number one. number two, had i been able to fathom that, i would not have believed that 20 years from that moment, we would be where we are today. i would have believed that somehow, even if we didn't have an agreement, we would have found some kind of greater basis for coexistence, some kind of greater basis for separation of these two peoples. there are, after all, two national movements competing for the same space. and i suspect that some kind of greater basis of stability between the two. to be fair, i also didn't expect that we would be seeing within the middle east as a whole a breakdown of the state system, arab states themselves being really put at risk. the region as a whole is not what i expected at that point, certainly when i was thinking back 20 years ago. >> ifill: ari shavit, as you look back and you look forward, do you think israelis believe anymore, just in general eye know you can't speak for everyone-- that a two-state solution is possible?
>> i think that most israeliss still want a two-state way. they want to move forward. they want some sort of peace. but they are traumatized by the failures of all the previous attempts to bring about a comprehensive, complete, idealic utopian peace. and in this sense, the rabin legacy, so to speak, is really relevant, because rabin was not a utopia. the fact that he was a general, he was tough. he was a skeptic, he was-- he did not come with a kind of mother teresa approach to the conflict. that gave him a lot of credibility within israel, and i think that would have given him the ability to do much better with the conflict. and in a sense what, we need today in israel is the rabin-like leadership because the right became an extreme right, and the left endured some sort of romantic view of peace which most israelis do not buy. >> ifill: daoud kuttab, that's a tall order that ari shavit
laid out there. from the palestinian point of view, where is the leadership coming from, and does it-- can it-- it it achieve what we just heard outlined there or is that even something you want? >> my generation might still be interested in a two-state solution, but my son and their generation, they're not interested in two-state solution. they look at us as being stupid and being fooled by the israelis who kept us going for a long time and at the same time they were building jewish settlements. i mean, since rabin's death, we've had twice or three times the size of the jewish settlements. so they're saying there should just be one state and we should find some kind of a solution where there is equal rights for everybody. so there is a big problem right now among palestinians in the fact that they feel that the idea of two-state solution was just a farce, and that we were giving too many opportunities for this idea of peace talks,
and they of we are losing our land in the meanwhile. >> ifill: dennis ross you have been at more of these negotiation tables than you can probably count, do you harbor any hope of interest converging and does the u.s. play a role in that anymore? >> i'm pessimistic in the near term because in a sense, what daoud just described as a reality on the palestinian side in some ways is mirrored by the israelis side not in the sense of wanting a one-state outcome but in the level of disbelief that exists on the part of both populations. israelis don't believe that the palestinians will ever accept a two-state outcome that will accept israel's state of the jewish people. palestinians don't believe israelis will ever accept a genuinely independent palestinian state. and the starting point has to be change the realities on the ground, begin to restore a level of belief on each side that shows a two-state outcome actually could be possible. i think the u.s. can play a role, but i also think one of
the things that's going to have to change, given the weakness and dysfunction on the palestinian side, i think the arab states are going to have to play a different kind of role. they're going to have to play a role where they provide a kind of cover for palestinians to be able to make adjustments or compromises, and they also provide a response to the israelis, where the israelis feel if they make basic compromises or concessions towards the palestinians, the reciprocation will come as much if not more from the arabs than from the palestinians. it's a tall order, and basically, i don't think many in the region right now are looking at the u.s. administration to be able to manage something like that. >> ifill: dennis ross, daoud kuttab, and ari shavit, thank you all for sharing with us. 3-r >> woodruff: maybe you can go home again. actor jeff daniels did it, and even built his own professional theater company. jeffrey brown visited daniels in his michigan home town.
>> he's going to insist that if you want the part, you audition together or you go home. >> brown: in the new play, "casting session", two actors vying for the same role, desperate for any role, await their auditions. >> brown: the playwright is hollywood and broadway actor jeff daniels, who's known both the highs and lows of his profession. >> i've been in this waiting room where you're just trying to get the next gig, the next job that pays $125 a week, and maybe someone will come and see it and get you a better job, but you've got to get this one. >> brown: that was you. >> oh, god, that was me for years. the board believes you're no longer needed. >> brown: at 60, daniels is seemingly everywhere now, with major roles in two big new movies: "steve jobs" ... >> he's going to starve to death. >> brown: ...and "the martian." >> good evening, i'm will mcavoy. >> brown: he won an emmy two years ago for his starring role as a television news anchor on hbo's "the newsroom." >> you've been faking it for 20
years? >> brown: and last year, he reprised his role in the lowbrow comedy, "dumb and dumber to." >> if you're going to live in michigan in the middle of a movie career and try to sustain it, my theory was you better have range. >> brown: you went to cmu? early in his career, daniels and his wife, kathleen, made a decision about how they would live their lives. >> i knew it was a risk. and i had come back for three summers-- >> brown: a risk because you're leaving behind-- >> "why aren't you moving to l.a.?" >> brown: you're an actor, right? you got to be in new york or in l.a. >> "what do you mean you're going to michigan? why?" well, it's home. >> brown: daniels had grown up in the small rural town of chelsea, michigan, about an hour west of detroit. its major claim to fame: as home to jiffy mix muffins. a teacher first encouraged daniels to act in high school plays. he left college when he was accepted into an important apprenticeship program at the circle rep theater in new york, renowned for fostering acting
talent and showcasing new american plays. >> i got to speak to you. >> you mean me? >> brown: he had some success in films including, at age 30, in woody allen's "purple rose of cairo." but, daniels says: >> i didn't trust it. i never trusted it. i still don't. >> brown: meaning what? >> meaning you're absolutely brilliant, you're brilliant, oh my god, you have changed the way that actors should act. and you start to go-- >> brown: people said that. >> well, but the extremes. the extreme. not only the highs, but the "you're over, your career is over." there's no consistency there. this is consistent. >> brown: 'this' is the life daniels created by returning home to chelsea, raising three children here. and twenty-five years ago, building his own 'purple rose' - the 'purple rose theater.' >> initially people said, "your theater won't work. it just won't work. nobody's going to come." >> brown: because it can't work. >> it can't work.
forget it. >> brown: he renovated an old garage that his grandfather had once owned, and was later used for school buses. >> wally grossman's bus garage. i remember wally when i was in school here. he was head of the bus drivers. >> across from you is somebody who betrayed you badly. you've got to forgive them. >> brown: daniels built his own company of actors and technicians from nearby communities, and created a year- long apprenticeship program to train young people. guy sanville, the artistic director here for 20 years, is another michigan native who left for new york and came back. >> new york is a great place. but we wanted to raise our families here. we wanted to be able to put our kids on the bus when they go to school. and it's a little slower pace, but just as rich, i think. >> brown: all fine, but to survive, 'purple rose' had to build an audience in a small town with no professional theaters and little cultural life.
>> you have to create that. you have to get them to not just go to the plays that have a happy ending. "is it a comedy? okay, it's not a comedy. when's the next comedy? i'll come to that." and you have to get those people to take a chance once in awhile. >> brown: and how'd you do that? >> with comedy. you got to get them in the building. it's still a sale. 'art' out here is more often than not a guy who lives north of town. then they go to see tennessee williams and, whoosh, they get their ears pinned back. >> brown: it hasn't been easy, but 25 years later, purple rose is still here, a creative and economic engine in the town. >> they used to roll up the sidewalks at 6pm on a saturday night. well, now it's booming. it's not just the theater, but the theater has been a great draw. it's a town of 5,000 people and we draw 40,000 people a year. >> it's the role of a lifetime! >> brown: the theater commissions new plays from
contemporary writers, and daniels has made himself a playwright. "casting session' is his 16th play written for purple rose. >> you've got a slide thing on this right? let's keep that. >> brown: he's also developed another michigan-centered piece of his artistic life, as a musician and part of a traveling band. it's a family affair, including his two sons, ben, a guitarist, and luke, who serves as manager. we watched the band rehearse in a newly-built studio on what daniels jokingly calls "the family compound." ♪ >> always look for the good on the bad side of town. >> brown: and then, the next day some 150 miles away in three oaks, michigan, they performed at the acorn theatre, the first gig in a month-long road tour west and back, mostly playing in smaller cities and towns. acting in major films, writing
plays, founding his own theater company, and on the road playing music. it began with one big decision made early on to move back home. but nothing about this life, says daniels, was the slightest bit inevitable. >> i remember saying goodbye to my dad across the lake. and i remember driving down the road, tears in my eyes, because you're 21, you're from a small town, nobody is an actor. and i wish i could jump in that car and tell that 21-year-old, "look, you're going to have some success. it's going to be great. you're going to learn a lot. really not going to happen until your late 50's. so just hang in there, hang in there." >> brown: you're about 35 years out. >> just be patient. be patient. >> brown: hang in there and, maybe, succeed on your own terms. from chelsea, michigan, i'm
jeffrey brown for the pbs newshour. >> ifill: you can watch jeff daniels and his band perform an original song, "wicked world." that's at www.pbs.org/newshour. also on the newshour online right now, here's another thing to shop for this holiday season: a new medicare drug plan. as prescription premiums rise, you can use the open enrollment period to find the best option for you. learn how from our medicare expert, on "making sense." all that and more is on our web site, www.pbs.org/newshour. >> woodruff: tune in tonight: on "nova" on pbs, the first of a three part series on the geological forces that shaped our continent. hosted by kirk johnson, "making north america" takes a road trip through our tumultuous geological evolution. >> the landscape is breath taking and so much more. as a geologist, the grand canyon
is perhaps the best place in the world. it's this incredible 300-mile-long slice flew the earth, and you can see layer after layer after layer after layer of sedimentary rock. each layer is a time capsule with a slice of our continent's epic history locked >> woodruff: that's tonight's "nova." also on pbs, charlie rose sits down with francis collins of the national institutes of health, to talk precision medicine. >> woodruff: and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. join us on-line, and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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♪ >> 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. >> parts of his file, they've tossed in the wastebasket. >> do you have t d