tv PBS News Hour PBS November 5, 2015 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> sreenivasan: good evening. i'm hari sreenivasan. gwen ifill and judy woodruff are away. on the newshour tonight, britain's prime minster says a bomb is a possible cause in the mysterious plane crash above sinai, but russia and egypt deny those claims. also ahead, inside america's nuclear arsenal: we take a look at it's newest eight billion dollar upgrade. >> we're bringing this weapon to the 21st century. we're bringing it to 2015. we are updating its components, we're making it safer, more secure, and we're making it more effective. >> sreenivasan: plus, george h. w. bush reveals what he really thinks about dick cheney and donald rumsfield in john meacham's new biography on the former president. >> george h. w. bush said that he believed that cheney was
responsible for a good bit of that hawkish image-- that he wished cheney had not had as much influence. dick cheney should have had his "own state department." all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> and by bnsf railway. >> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. carnegie corporation of new york. a foundation created to do what andrew carnegie called "real and
permanent good." at carnegie.org. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> sreenivasan: the crash of a russian jetliner in egypt morphed into an international dispute today, on whether a bomb was behind it. all 224 people on board were killed when the plane broke up saturday, just 23 minutes after taking off from sharm el-sheikh. now, the leaders of britain, russia and egypt are openly disagreeing about the cause. >> we cannot be certain that the russian airliner was brought down by a terrorist bomb. but it looks increasingly likely that that was the case.
>> sreenivasan: british prime minister david cameron spent the day defending his decision to stop all british flights to and from sharm el-sheikh in egypt, pending the crash investigation. >> the reason we have acted before that is because of the intelligence and information we had that gave us the concern that it was more likely than not, it was a terrorist bomb. >> sreenivasan: russian officials insisted any talk that a bomb destroyed the "metrojet" airliner is just speculation. and, the russian foreign ministry urged britain to share any intelligence it has. >> ( translated ): honestly, what's really shocking is the realization that the british government has some kind of information that could shed light on what happened in the skies above egypt. that information, if it exists, and judging by the fact that the head of the foreign office pronounced it does exist, that information was never shared with the russian side. >> sreenivasan: the kremlin said president vladimir putin raised those concerns in a phone call with prime minister cameron. meanwhile, egypt's government maintained the crash of the
russian jet "was not a terror act." and, under a new law, news organizations there that report anything to contrary could face hefty fines. the egyptian president, abdel fatah el-sisi, was in london today to meet with cameron. el-sisi has warned against expecting much from the investigation anytime soon. but he said british security teams checked sharm al-sheikh's airport 10 months ago and would be welcome again. >> ( translated ): and i understand that the prime minister wants to be assured of his citizens' well-being. this is his right and we responded to all his requests that his teams come and check on the procedures we have in place at sharm al-sheikh airport. the security measures in place at sharm al-sheikh airport are enough and that the airport is safe to a good standard. >> sreenivasan: stepped-up security screenings were in evidence at the red sea resort's airport today. thousands of tourists remained stranded there, after ireland, germany and the netherlands followed britain's lead and also suspended flights. later, british carriers
"monarch" and "easyjet" announced they'll begin evacuation flights to sharm el-sheik tomorrow -- with official approval -- to bring the vacationers home. that process could take up to 10 days. in washington, president obama said u.s. officials are taking "very seriously" the possibility that a bomb destroyed the russian plane. >> sreenivasan: the death toll from a factory collapse in pakistan rose to at least 20 today. some 200 workers were believed to be inside the four-story building when it gave way overnight in lahore. rescuers painstakingly searched the rubble for signs of survivors and used heavy machinery to clear debris. some of those trapped used cell phones to call for help. so far, 102 people have been pulled out alive. survivors say cracks had appeared in the walls after a powerful earthquake last week. the european union made a striking forecast today: that another 3 million migrants could arrive next year. that came as an estimated 25,000 people waited on lesbos and other greek islands, hoping a ferry strike will end. lindsey hilsum of independent television news filed this report from lesbos.
>> reporter: the greek prime minister and the president of the european parliament landed in lesbos this morning and were immediately confronted with the reality of the situation. >> just as we were arriving here with mr. tsipras, we saw boats coming across the sea. people were jumping into the water and swimming to the beach. we're truly facing a dramatic situation here. >> reporter: they went to see a so-called hot spot, where new arrivals are supposed to be registered and sent on to other wealthier e.u. countries. >> these people take the boat of death and take the risk in hope that some day they will have the chance to live in europe.
>> reporter: a few yards from the airport we met this family from damascus. they looked as they might be on hliday. 77-year-old omar is getting pretty good at skimming. hard to imagine what they were going through night before last as a smuggler crammed them into a boat on the turkish coast. >> he told us 30 people only. then maybe 50 people, 70 people, i don't know. >> reporter: so you were really crowd. >> yes, yes, yes. he told us, no, it's very, very dangerous. he shot his gun, pow, pow. >> reporter: so he threatened to shoot you? >> yes, yes! >> reporter: around the port, we found hundreds of the people stranded because of ferry
operators being on strike since monday, so there's no way to get to athens. they sleep in tents or on the streets. the people here are hoping to get on the ferry to athens tomorrow when the strike is over, but that's not going to be an end to the problem. five or 6,000 refugees and migrants are turning up on the greek islands every day, still. 100,000 here in lesbos just in the last three weeks. in the background, lesbos' own statute of liberty, the brain child of a local man who went to new york years ago. he can't imagine that 85 years on, the huddled masses would come to his home island. >> sreenivasan: the united nations warned today that even rough winter seas are not likely to stop the waves of migrants trying to reach greece. the u.s house overwhelmingly approved a $325 billion dollar highway bill today. it maintains current levels of spending over six years, amid concerns that aging roads and
bridges will need more funding. it also includes a provision to reauthorize the export-import bank. the house version must be reconciled with the senate's highway bill. the u.s. and 11 other countries released the text of a sweeping pacific rim trade deal today, setting up a fight in congress. the "trans-pacific partnership" was negotiated for more than five years. the white house says its eliminates some 18,000 taxes that other countries impose on u.s. exports. it also contains provisions to discourage forced labor and provide rights to workers overseas. at the u.s. capitol, the new house speaker, paul ryan, said lawmakers need time to digest the thousands of pages. >> i'm pleased with the process we have coming before us. open, transparent, people get to see it, members of congress get to see it and then we'll decided independently after consulting with our constituents and conscience what our position on anything like a trade agreement will be. >> sreenivasan: on the democratic side, presidential hopeful hillary clinton and others have already come out against the deal. the reform jewish movement in
the u.s. passed a far-reaching resolution today in support of transgender rights. meeting in orlando, members of the "union for reform judaism" voted for gender-neutral bathrooms and language in their congregations. the group has 1.5 million members. other religious bodies-- like the episcopal church and the united church of christ-- have approved transgender resolutions, but none has gone as far as this one. wall street had a quiet day, ahead of the october jobs report being released tomorrow. the dow jones industrial average lost 4 points to close at 17,863. the nasdaq fell 14 points, and the s&p 500 dropped 2. and the national toy hall of fame has announced its class of 2015. the new inductees include the classic party game "twister," which sears initially deemed too racy to advertise, in 1966. the high-powered "super-soaker" water guns also made the hall, along with the puppet, a toy that goes back thousands of years. the board game "battleship" came up short this year. so did wiffle balls and teenage mutant ninja turtles. >> sreenivasan: still to come on the newshour: rising tensions in
the south china sea; upgrades to u.s. nuclear weapons; a new book reveals president george h.w. bush's criticisms of his son's administration, and much more. >> sreenivasan: naval activity by the united states prompted another negative reaction from beijing today, as pentagon chief ashton carter went on an unusual voyage with a u.s. ally. the fighter pilots on the u.s.s. theodore roosevelt went about their business today. but this time, defense secretary ash carter and his malaysian counterpart were on board watching, as the aircraft carrier plied the south china sea. the ship and its escort group were moving some 150 nautical miles south of the spratly islands. they fall in a vast area that's claimed by beijing. china also claims a 12-mile "territorial zone" around artificial islands in the
spratlys, including airstrips and other military facilities. a u.s. navy destroyer challenged that 12-mile zone last week. today, the chinese foreign ministry again criticized the american actions. >> ( translated ): china has consistently respected and safeguarded all countries' freedom of navigation and overflight enjoyed under international law. what we oppose is waving the banner of freedom of navigation to push forward the militarization of the south china sea and even provoke and threaten other countries' sovereignty and security interests. we hope the relevant actionsand intentions of the u.s. can be made more open and transparent. >> sreenivasan: just yesterday, defense ministers from southeast asia ended a meeting in malaysia, without issuing a final statement. it was scrapped after china objected to mentioning the sea dispute. secretary carter was there. >> i reminded everyone that the united states does not take sides in these maritime disputes, but we do take the side of peaceful resolution under international law.
>> sreenivasan: today, carter said his carrier visit is a response to regional fears about chinese behavior. he called it: "...a sign of the critical role the united states' military power plays in a very consequential region...." u.s. officials say the navy means to continue challenging the chinese territorial claims, on a regular basis. >> sreenivasan: joining me now to help us understand the united states' recent activity in the south china sea and what it means, is bonnie laser, director of the china power project at the center for strategic and international studies in washington. so first, how big a deal is this if ash carter gets on a very nice ship and decides to take a cruise in territorially-disputed sphwhearts. >> well, secretary carter has done this previously when he attended a shangri-la dialogue in june this year. he was on a h.p. surveillance aircraft flying over the moroccan straits. so it's not unusual for the united states secretary of defense to be on a military
platform in the south china sea demonstrating the united states has an abiding interest in peace and stability in the region. >> sreenivasan: is it a provocative act to be in this place at this time? >> undoubted through chinese see it that way, but the others in the regions do not. malaysia, vietnam, the fill bones, other claimants, they are very happy to see the united states flag shown in the region. they supported the united states exercising freedom of navigation around this reef which is the elevation, the low-tide elevation that the u.s.s. destroyer conducted a freedom navigation operation not long ago. this is what the u.s. supports generally. >> reporter: the freedom of navigation idea, use it or lose it? is that what we're expressing here by having carriers go
through? >> the united states has been doing this for centuries. since 1979, it had a freedom of navigation program. in fact, this is the seventh what we call op that has been conducted since 2011 in the south china sea. and i think, yes, if u.s.'s navy, australia and japan's navy does not sail through waters that are high seas, that they are not territorial seas of other countries, even in territorial seas, we can sail through making innocent panels, and that is what we did in this case, we sailed through a territorial sea of china's reef. so you have to exercise it or other countries may claim it and try to exclude other navies. >> reporter: speaking of other claims, what are the other countries in the region who have vested interests in these waters, what if they been doing
instead of getting china and the united states pinned in this conversation? >> the fill phones is stright conduct better maritime demeanor awareness, to know what's going on inside it's 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone and japan and the united states has been providing capability. the same is true with vietnam. and the thinking is if other claimants know what's going on inside their waters that the chinese will be less apt to use coercion against them. diplomatically, there is also steps being taken. the philippines has taken a very important case to the court under the u.n. convention of the law of the sea, and there was just an announcement today that the merits of that case will be heard at the end of november. the court already found jurisdiction on the number of the counts. next year there is going to be likely a ruling that will come down and that will also have implication force the behavior of china and other countries going forward.
>> sreenivasan: does china respect the decision of that court? >> china already said this court does not have jurisdiction and it will reject the finding. but i think china cares about its international reputation so there is a possibility china will reconsider that as we go forward. other countries have imposed cost on china particularly in terms of its coarsive strategy in the region so it canñi convie the chinese they're playing at an ineffective game. thaiived -- they should have good relations with neighbors rather than exert sovereignty claims over the rocks and reefs in the south china sea that i think are less important to china's interests in the long run. >> reporter:. >> sreenivasan: we had video of newly developed air strips on some of these islands and even military armaments that are ramping up.
are others claiming? >> the chinese see themselves as playing catch-up because others already have a strip. they're taking a land feature and making it bigger. the chinese dredged an enormous amount of sand and built very large artificial islands, so now the chinese occupy the largest land feature, three times larger than the largest natural-produced island in the area. the chinese, the scope of what they have done and now they will have four air strips in the south china sea, their capability likely outstrips every other claimant. >> sreenivasan: all right, bonnie glaser, center for strategic and international studies in washington. thanks for joining us. >> thank you. >> sreenivasan: during the cold
war, the united states built tens of thousands of nuclear weapons. now that it's over and with arms control treaties in place, the arsenal has shrunk significantly. the departments of defense and energy say the remaining bombs need to be rebuilt, but critics say those departments are building new nuclear bombs and spending too much money. veteran correspondent jamie mcintyre, now al jazeera america's national security correspondent, went on special assignment for the newshour to examine the claims. the story was produced in partnership with the pulitzer center on crisis reporting. >> reporter: at eglin air force base, a solitary f-15 takes to the skies over the swamps of western florida, on a mission that harkens back to the cold war. >> reporter: it looks like any old-fashioned gravity bomb, as it falls to earth. but what you're seeing is one small part of an $8 billion project-- the most extensive and expensive improvement ever to
the b-61 nuclear bomb ever. it's a nuclear test of sort without a mushroom cloud-- because what's being tried out is a new guidance system to increase accuracy. the first test mission was flown by pilot jeff searcy: >> we are able to enter in coordinates into our system and then transfer those coordinates into the weapon now. and the weapon is built to be able to guide to those coordinates. >> reporter: the b-61 was designed and first built in the early 1960's. as this vintage air force film shows, it lacked any of today high-tech guidance, relying on a parachute to give a plane time to escape the blast. a half-century later, it's still the mainstay of the service's nuclear arsenal, long overdue for an overhaul argues air force major general garrett harencak.
>> these components do age just like any component would in an automobile or in an appliance, and it has certain aspects of it that just have to be modernized. >> reporter: the pbs newshour was given exclusive and unprecedented access to the labs and facilities across the country involved in the multibillion-dollar makeover, like the national security campus in kansas city, where crash tests help determine the durability of key components. the b-61 is just/one/program in a $100 billion effort, dubbed "stockpile stewardship," an ambitious plan that includes modernizing america's remaining arsenal of 1,500 nuclear bombs and warheads. at sandia national laboratory, in new mexico, senior engineer brad boswell showed me the obsolete analog innards of the old 1960s version of the bomb: so one of the things that was surprising to me was that we
still hae nuclear weapons using vacuum tubes like the ones we had in the old tvs. >> that is correct. >> reporter: and so this kind vacuum tube is now part of this printed circuit board? >> that is correct. if you look at this printed circuit board, vacuum tubes like this are replaced by the smaller, commonly used electronic, discrete components that you see on these board today. >> reporter: while many of the components of the b-61 are being upgraded and modernized, the big change is the addition of this tail fin kit, which allows the bomb to be guided to its target, a big improvement over the old system that deployed a parachute, which floated the bomb to the ground. it won't make the bomb as precise as a gps-guided smart bomb, but it will increase its accuracy. you might think that with all their destructive power, nuclear weapons wouldn't need to hit a target dead center. but the b-61 has a feature dubbed "dial-a-yield" which allows its explosive force to be reduced.
and when combined with better accuracy, that results in a weapon war-fighters might actually be tempted to use on the battlefield. in his washington office, hans kristensen, with the federation of american scientists, called up a website to show me an example. >> here you have, the white house itself is gone, and so is much of the downtown area, but a much smaller radius we see the >> reporter: smaller blast area, less radiation, fewer casualties: all add up to a more palatable last-resort option, argues kristensen, making the b-61 less deadly, but perversely more dangerous. >> it's more likely that a military commander will go to the president with this weapon and say, "mr. president, all our other options are out of the question, but we have a good one here that doesn't pollute a whole lot." >> reporter: it's one thing for a arms control advocates to make that case. but another when the former top commander of america's nuclear forces to agree. retired vice chairman of the joint chiefs, marine gen. james cartwright supports the b-61
upgrade, but can see how it could change the calculus in a crisis: >> if i can drive down the yield, drive down therefore the likelihood of fallout et cetera, does that make it more usable in the eyes of some, some president or national security decision- making process, and the answer is, it likely could be more usable. >> reporter: the pentagon argues making nuclear weapons more usable, makes them a more realistic threat, thereby increasing their deterrent value, and decreasing the risk of miscalculation. donald cook is a deputy administrator at the national nuclear security administration, which is overseeing the b-61 project: >> if we have a weapon that is lower yield and greater accuracy and our adversaries know that, it's my own belief that that weapon then is a more effective deterrent and is, therefore, less likely to ever be used in anger.
>> reporter: the pentagon is careful to portray the new b-61 as basically the same old bomb, with just a few more-modern parts. that's a key point since the obama administration had pledged not to build new nuclear weapons. but officials also stress they're making the bomb safer and more reliable. at los alamos national laboratory, engineers are testing a new high-explosive material that's used to trigger the nuclear chain reaction in the b-61 warhead. it's called insensitive high explosive-- insensitive because it's really hard to get it to go off. just what you want in a nuclear warhead. the standard for nuclear weapons is "always/never." as in, they must always work when they should, and never when they shouldn't. critics of the b-61 say they have no objection to making nuclear weapons safer, but they allege the energy department labs that rebuild the weapons
have a financial motive-- lobbying congress, sometimes with government money, to approve lucrative contracts. jay coghlan is with nuclear watch new mexico, an anti- nuclear watchdog group. >> the american taxpayers should know that the directors of these nuclear weapons laboratories that are pushing these extreme proposals, actually have an inherent conflict of interest. they're both the lab directors but at the same time they're the presidents of the liability corporations running the labs. it's in their-- it's in their interests, and uh, to their bottom line, to be able to have these life extension programs. >> reporter: at sandia, deputy laboratory director steve rottler said his people believe they are performing a vital national security function: >> we very much view what we're doing as a public service, we approach it with objectivity, we approach it with the sober understanding of what we're doing and the impact of what that could mean if these weapons were ever used.
>> reporter: critics like to point out the estimated $20 million price tag for a single retooled b-61 is more than if the 700-pound bomb were made out of solid gold. and they argue the billions could be better spent on more conventional arms-- weapons that will be used every day. that argument rankles air force gen. harencak, who says deterring potential adversaries is a real return on investment: >> $8.1 billion is a lot of money, but what you can't do is just take the number of missiles and divide it by whatever and say okay, this is the cost. this is a weapon that is going to be used every single day in deterrent missions. and when you add that over 40 years, i think you come to the realization that it's a pretty good bargain for the american people. >> reporter: the cost of the program has already doubled once from the initial estimate, and one internal pentagon review back in 2012 suggested the final cost could end up even higher. whatever the final price tag, the b-61 will be the pentagon's "most expensive bomb project ever."
for the pbs newshour, i'm jamie mcintyre, eglin air force base florida. >> sreenivasan: there's a lot more about the remaking of america's nuclear arsenal on our web site. we have extended excerpts of all the key interviews plus a photo essay. all that, at www.pbs.org/newshour. >> sreenivasan: stay with us. coming up on the newshour, making sense of co-working spaces, in a freelance economy; and the first president bush slams donald rumsfeld and dick cheney, in jon meacham's "destiny and power." but first, it's been more than a year since actor and comedian robin williams died. but new details shared this week by his widow are calling attention to a form of dementia that has received little public focus until now. william brangham has the story.
>> brangham: after robin williams took his own life his press representative said williams was battling severe depression and his widow said he was struggling with depression and early stages of parkinson's dise@qe. this week mrs. williams said the autopsy revealed he had lewy body dementia. she described battling the mysterious symptoms for a year. "they present themselves like a pin ball machine, you don't know exactly what you're looking at. i have been spending a year trying to find out what killed robin. we didn't know." dr. galvin, thank you for joining us. it seems that before this news about robin williams broke, most of us had never heard of this disease. can you tell me a little bit more about it?
>> sure. so lewy body dementia may be the most common disease you've never heard of. it's the second most common cause of memory problems after alzheimer's disease and affects over 1.3 million americans. its predominant symptoms are a progressive change in memory and other thinking functions, signs of parkinson's, so slow movement, stiffness, balance problems, visual hallucinations, seeing things that aren't there, like little people or furry little animals, fluctuations in levels of attention and concentration and, lastly, a sleep disorder where people act out their dreams. >> brangham: among the huge array of symptoms, i'm curious about the particularly visual hallucinations you described. is that common for a certain type of dementia to have specific hallucinations? >> it's common in lewy body dementia. if other memory problems develop
hallucinations, they're not till much later in the course of the disease, and the hallucinations are not so well-formed. what's particularly characteristic of lewy body dementia are these very well-formed hallucinations. they're usually not frightening initially to the patient, but they are very well-formed. they usually can describe exactly what they're seeing. >> reporter: is it partially because they sound like the symptoms seem to mimic alzheimer's and other diseases, is that why this is so difficult to diagnose? >> that's exactly rye. early on, some of the symptoms may mimic other diseases, like alzheimer's if it's just the memory, parkinson's if it's just the movement, or psychiatric disease if it's schizophrenia and the hallucinations. it takes an experiencedcally nation to put the pieces together and come up with the diagnosis. >> brangham: is there any cure? does it get worse or is there any prognosis that is a hopeful
one? >> it is a progressive degenerative disease and we do not have a cure for it yet. we can effectively treat many of the symptoms using medicines for other diseases. for example, we can use the medicines used in alzheimer's and parkinson's and schizophrenia to treat the individual symptoms, but i think it takes a careful, individualized approach to decide which is the best regimen of medicines for each patient. >> brangham: robin williams' widow described it akin to playing wack a mole. is it very missterrous so you don't know what's coming at you? >> it can be very mistorous and challenging for the families and clinicians. as the symptoms appear, it takes a while to sort it out. with the lewy body dementia, we conducted a survey over 950 caregivers who tried to
understand the diagnostic experience, and we found up to an 18-month delay with patients seeing multiple doctors over multiple visit before finally getting a correct diagnosis. >> brangham: i understand there is some question about whether people who suffer from lewy body dementia might be more at risk to harm themselves or commit suicide. can you tell me a little bit about that? why would that be and is that true? >> well, there's no evidence that any of the dementias, lewy body dementia or alzheimer's disease, for that matter, by themselves increase the risk of people committing suicide. now, for some individuals, when they hear they have a chronic disease and they're trying to maybe the diagnosis isn't given or correct at the time and their symptoms aren't responding, people can make decisions to harm themselves. but the disease is not associated with the higher risk of suicide. >> brangham: i see. so looking forward, i mean, is there any optimism that we're at the cusp of a treatment for this type of a disease?
>> well, i think there is great room for optimism. we know more and more about the disease. we understand more and more about the abnormal proteins that aggregate or clump together, that cause the changes in the brain. so now this is beginning to allow us to go medications that may have some effect. very recently, some companies made announcements they're beginning specific clinical trials to treat lewy body dementia and these will be the first medicines specifically indicated for treating lewy body diseases. i think there is great optimism. families need to stay engage in advocating for loved ones so we can get more research funding to develop new treatments. >> brangham: dr. james galvin of florida atlantic university. thank you so much. >> thank you.
>> sreenivasan: the latest jobs report is due out tomorrow, and once again, it's expected to show a large percentage of people who are now self-employed. a new york-based start-up has come up with a new business model that rents office and work space to freelancers and others. and it's growing. the company announced a new round of fund-raising this week as it opens more locations around the country as well as in england, israel and the netherlands. but the company's premise also raises some fundamental questions about the transformation of the workplace. economics correspondent paul solman has the story as part of our weekly series, "making sense," which airs every thursday on the newshour. >> reporter: entrepreneur jonathan smalley and cinna, short for "cinnamon," at smalley's washington d.c. "office" -- space he rents by the month from what may be the hottest new landlord in america. >> if you're having a tough day, being able to cuddle up with a cute dog really makes things all that much better. >> we actually put any type of
photo, logo or message on top of the cupcake so here's some for you. >> reporter: lily brynes runs "lily spots n.y.c.," whose mini cupcakes can be topped with edible images of literally anything. so i can eat the picture of myself? >> bottoms up. >> reporter: you work out of this facility? >> we are e-commerce for now. and we are based here at wework on the second floor and it's just our office. we have two kitchens, but we do all of the backend work here. >> reporter: developer of cloud- based math tutoring software dave joo has a manhattan nook too. >> i think they have really discovered the secret sauce and how to make this place feel hip, feel new, feel innovative. having the guests come into this environment actually adds a real sense of "hey, we're a bigger company than we actually are." >> reporter: these folks all rent office space from wework, co-founded by designer miguel
mckelvey in 2010. the thinking was that, given the swelling ranks of the self- employed, why not lease and then spiff up empty buildings, subdivide the space and sublet it, in units as small as one desk, while providing amenities and camaraderie to attract contingent workers? >> if we unite them together, bring them together, that creates an energy that motivates everybody to do better, to do more, to be excited about both work and life. >> reporter: plus, it gives them a legal address for mail and the like, an instant network of fellow freelancers, a large enough pool of people to buy into group health care plans. mckelvey's is the sunny spin on housing the free-to-be-you-and- me workforce. but brooklyn college humanities dean richard greenwald takes a dimmer view of the growing trend. >> more and more companies are hiring freelancers. right now, we have 40% of the workforce working contingently without any safety net. >> reporter: greenwald is a
historian of the workplace and has been studying the new economy for an upcoming book called "the death of 9-5." almost half of all current american workers, he has discovered, now get the bulk of their income from freelance work, benefit-free. >> i'm hard pressed to see a sector of the economy where outsourcing isn't having a huge impact. and, i think for many americans, they think of it as a temporary thing. eventually, people are gonna have to recognize that this is not an in-between stage. this is the new normal. >> reporter: but to greenwald, the insecurity of contingent work without benefits isn't normal at all. the premise of wework, however, is that if outsourcing is inexorable, at least the outsourced have a cool and convenient place to set up shop. anastasia morozova does marketing for a start-up real estate firm. why doesn't she telecommute for free at home or starbucks?
>> too many distractions. one could say that they're distracted in some space like this, but they're the good kind. it's everyone working. it's coffee and spa water on draft, beer after five. it's a good space to feel energetic and inspired. >> reporter: am i being too negative to think that what you're doing is providing community, for people who would otherwise be lonely, as opposed to inspiring people and giving them meaning whereas they couldn't come up with meaning on their own? >> well, certainly there is components of both of those things but, as an entrepreneur who'd spend time working at home, i could have all the ideas in my head and they could all be incredibly genius, amazing things that inspired me all day. but without someone to share that with, where does it go? >> reporter: so wework chose
spaces to maximize mingling. >> most of our buildings are on corners. we choose buildings that have great daylight, because it makes people feel good. >> reporter: and then mckelvey designed the spaces to further spur interaction. >> at the expense of convenience, we'll sometimes make, you know, people walk further. make people walk through a space in order to just, potentially have the opportunity to just see more people, doing different things. maybe there is someone doing a whiskey tasting over there or there is a cold brew thing here or there is someone presenting on the screen over there. maybe i'll take a minute and go check that out. >> reporter: and so, glass- walled offices, festooned with funky furniture; the inevitable ping-pong table; fusball; a "quiet room" when it all becomes a bit much. free coffee all day, of course, and beer on tap at "beer hour," which kicks off at 5 pm. so the coffee is to keep people working hard and stay awake but the alcohol is to make
everyone... >> lubricate. >> reporter: to lubricate. to lubricate community? >> yeah. >> reporter: wework isn't the only firm housing the self- employed these days. not long ago, i flailed away against real estate developer ashish dua of acumen capital, which buys and refurbishes manufacturing buildings like this former pfizer pharmaceutical plant in brooklyn. it now houses a host of artisinal food vendors, a maker of handmade dog leashes. but wework targets office workers and it's a phenomenon, growing exponentially: 56 locations in 17 cities as disparate as london and tel aviv. the company added two more sites just during the week we were shooting. the company was valued earlier this year at $5 billion. but within 6 months, the valuation doubled to $10 billion. as bloomberg magazine points out, however, you could build
and own the world trade center building, with three million square feet of office space, almost as many square feet as wework temporarily leases, for only $4 billion. wework owns no space of its own and took out leases when rents were cheap. what happens to its costs when it has to renew in a hot rental market? what about just collecting the rent, given the fact that most start-ups fail? in other words, a contingent workforce could be a problem for wework, and perhaps, says professor greenwald, for us all. >> if we're moving to this entrepreneurial utopia, where everyone's their own boss, those who are lucky can be successful and march up the chain. but, most of america is not going to be, and that's what i'm troubled by, is this pattern continues. >> reporter: but for the moment, wework tenants like lily brynes
embrace the new freelance economy. do you feel vulnerable being a member of the contingent workforce that is, you're a freelancer? >> i don't necessarily feel vulnerable. if anything, i just try to capitalize on being around all of these other freelancers. because my business is all edible marketing. and when you are in an environment full of companies and people looking to gift people with unique things like this, it just always works in my advantage. >> reporter: meanwhile, what's next for mckelvey and his team at wework? this building in arlington, virginia is being repurposed for micro-apartments, 360 square feet or less, with common kitchens and living space, branded as welive, and a brand- new wework space will be in the same building. a lot like a college dorm. in new york, new york, this is economics correspondent paul solman-- still with a full-time job-- reporting for the pbs newshour.
>> sreenivasan: now, biographies don't always make news, but a new book on president george h. w. bush is garnering headlines across the country today, for how bush 41 felt about his son's response to the 9/11 attacks and subsequent invasion of iraq, among other things. the book will not be published until next week, but we have an early look. for "destiny and power: the american odyssey of george herbert walker bush," jon meacham, the executive editor at random house, relied not only on extensive interviews of the president's family, staff, and friends but also on the nearly daily audio diaries the president recorded while in the white house. judy woodruff talked with him earlier this week for the newshour bookshelf. >> woodruff: jon meacham, welcome. >> thank you, judy. >> woodruff: you had extraordinary, maybe unprecedented, access to this president-- all of his diaries, barbara bush's diaries, the ability to interview almost everybody in the family. why do you think they trusted you with all this? >> well, i hope they thought
that i'd call it like i saw it, which was the-- sort of the mandate from the president. >> woodruff: he-- a life of privilege. i mean, he certainly grew up in his family involved in politics, great wealth, but he also had a sense of responsibility from a very early age. what do you think shaped him? >> well, you know, he comes out of the same world of noblesse oblige that shaped theodore roosevelt and franklin roosevelt, and, frankly, some of the founding fathers. you could argue that culturally and temperamentally, george h.w. bush has more in common with the founders than he does with his successors-- generationally, in terms of their life experience. you know, his mother was hugely important as she was very religious and very competitive in equal parts, i think, it's safe to say, and he believed in the doctrine "to whom much is given, much is expected." what's really interesting, i think-- and i hadn't realized this until i got into mrs. bush's diary-- is that there was
an expectation; there was a sense that he could be president, that that possibility was within the realm of the probable as early as the 1950s. >> woodruff: you-- there's so much about him and his relationship with his family, with ronald reagan, who he was vice president to reagan for eight years. and of course, his son went on to be president for eight years. but he was very different from them and this touches on what you said a minute ago. i mean, his view of politics was a-- more of a-- pragmatic rather than an ideological. >> absolutely. absolutely. "labels are for cans," he used to say. and you know, you look at where we are now, and he was part of this for a half century. mrs. bush said in 1963, right before he first ran for the senate in 1964, that the nuts will never love him-- and they were talking about the john birch society back then. the republican base was always wary of george h.w. bush. in 1980, he called reaganomics "voodoo economics."
>> woodruff: right. >> in 1988, he lost iowa. you know, the party had always-- the conservative part of the party had always been uneasy with him. >> woodruff: and he was the one after saying during the campaign "read my lips, no new taxes," he went on to be elected president, but when he saw the budget deficit was out of control, he raised taxes. >> right. mike dukakis told me a great story. when they met after the election, bush said "well, i won't be able to raise taxes in the first year." and dukakis thought, "in the first year? i just lost to this guy saying he'd never raise taxes." >> woodruff: you, you are-- it was interesting, you talked to him, of course, about what happened in his presidency and how he was devastated by the loss. i mean, he thought, i guess understandably, that this was a reflection of him. >> he thought he was a failed president. i opened the book on election night 1992, and i'd argue in many ways the 20th century ended on november 3, 1992, when bill clinton, the first baby boomer president defeats george h.w. bush, the last world war ii president.
and bush really just doesn't quite get it. not in the sense that we all remember he was out of-- seemed out of touch about the economy. that, that-- that's not true. in fact, he knew the economy was going to be a hugely important issue, but he says to his tape recorded diary by himself, sitting in the houstonian hotel, "duty, honor, country-- i always thought that's what americans were made of, but, quite plainly, it's not." he was just subsumed with anguish that he had not been able to finish the job. you get him to talk about how he was uncomfortableñi with too muh hawkishness. he didn't like the axis of evil. >> right, he said, historically, i don't think that will benefit anything. he did not like the swaggering
rhetoric of his son's administration. >> woodruff: and, and-- and then the dick cheney. >> right. >> woodruff: you know, who he, turns out, felt was-- had too much influence in his son's administration. >> george h.w. bush said that he believed that cheney was responsible for a good bit of that hawkish image, that he wished cheney had not had as much influence. dick cheney should have had his "own state department," and that vice presidents shouldn't do that. when i took that to vice president cheney, he read it and said, "fascinating." >> woodruff: but when you took it to president bush 43, george w. bush, what did he say? >> well, he said that he never-- his father had never said that to him. he said it would have been out of character for his father to say "hey, you've got to rein in cheney. he's ruining your administration." that that conversation never took place.
>> woodruff: he was publicly supportive of going into iraq, the decision to invade iraq in 2003, but he clearly had misgivings about it. >> he had what a friend called anxieties. he was anxious about it. he also privately wrote, saying that if the man won't comply-- meaning saddam-- then you have to do what you have to do. and one of the things about that i think, historically, is important is george h.w. bush had his own war with saddam in which he was quite unilateral. he was willing-- one of the things that emerges in the president's diary is that on five or six different occasions, he talks about how he would be willing to be impeached, that even if the congress said in 1990-'91, "we're not authorizing the use of force," he was willing to go. and the first bush to talk about saddam in terms of good versus evil was not george w. bush... >> woodruff: right. >> ...but bush 41. >> woodruff: was, was-- was this-- was the father. yet he went on to have, as you said, anxieties about what his son did after 9/11.
>> one of the key things about bush 41 is this sense of deference to whomever the president happens to be at a given moment. he believed that his son was confronting something that no president since lincoln had done, which was warfare on american soil. >> woodruff: and you've talked to him a lot since he last left offce-- which was, what, 23 years ago? what does he say about the hyper-partisanship in washington right now. >> it worries him enormously because he-- and he saw it happen as he was governing. it happened right around him. i mean, the rise of gingrich, the rise of freelance partisanship happened when he was willing to take the political heat, break the "my lips" pledge and do what he thought was best for the country. that's one of the key things about george bush. his-- no matter how you feel about him, he campaigned, and he was a tough campaigner. in fact, he talks in his diary about "i'm stronger, i'm tougher, if i'd kept letting the press define me as a wimp or a
loser, i wouldn't be here almost winning" in 1988. but once he was in office, he tried to put the country first and he acted against his own political interest. the great example is the 1990 budget deal. he had run against raising taxes, he got into it, he saw he needed to, and he did that. and he knew at the time that it could cost him reelection. >> woodruff: you said to me, just finally, a moment ago that this may be the last time a president gives this kind of access while he or she is still alive. >> it's possible. these kind of diaries are unique. he kept audio diaries throughout his-- episodically as vice president and then fairly regularly as president. there are all sorts of legal issues with that and who listens to them. but this is as close as many of us, i think, are going to get to actually sitting in the oval office.
this is him talking at moments of great triumphs, at moments of tragedy. it's a remarkable historical document, his presidential diary, because as high politics really is, but we so rarely get to see. and here, we do. >> woodruff: the book is "destiny and power: the american odyssey of george herbert walker bush." jon meacham, thank you for bringing it to us. >> thank you, judy. >> sreenivasan: on the newshour online: this week on our podcast "shortwave": a reuters investigation uncovers what it calls a covert radio network here in the u.s., that features china-friendly news allegedly engineered by the chinese government. it's part of what one expert calls china's "soft power push." listen to the report-- we have a link to the podcast on our home
page. and join us tomorrow for a twitter chat on your wildest dreams. we'll have a panel of sleep experts answering questions on why we dream and how it affects our sleep. find us on twitter at 1:00 pm eastern. details are on our home page, www.pbs.org/newshour. tune in later tonight. on charlie rose, director sam mendes and actor daniel craig offer a sneak preview of "spectre," the 24th film in the james bond franchise. and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm hari sreenivasan. join us on-line, and again here tomorrow evening with mark shields and david brooks. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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♪ >> this is "bbc world news." >> 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. >> what is our next move? >> i might have something for the election. >> the president may have gone awol. >> he never even showed up. >> parts of the file were being tossed into the wastebasket. >> do you have these documents? >> tonight, we have new information. >> the memos can be re-creat.