tv PBS News Hour Weekend PBS November 14, 2015 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
captioning sponsored by wnet >> sreenivasan: on this edition for saturday november 14th: france's president orders a national state of emergency, tightens borders, and vows to retaliate for yesterday's terrorist attacks in paris. as isis claims responsibility for the attacks; the military campaign against isis in the middle east intensifies reports and reactions from paris. next on pbs newshour weekend. >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: lewis b. and louise hirschfeld cullman. bernard and irene schwartz. the cheryl and philip milstein family. judy and josh weston. the citi foundation. supporting innovation and enabling urban progress. sue and edgar wachenheim, iii. corporate funding is provided by mutual of america--
designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we are your retirement company. additional support has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. from the tisch wnet studios at lincoln center in new york, hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: good evening and thanks for joining us. french president francois hollande says france will be "ruthless in its response" to what he calls "an act of war." nearly simultaneous bomb and gun attacks in six locations in paris last night killed at least 129 people and wounded at least 350 more-- more than 100 of whom remain hospitalized in critical condition. seven terrorists killed themselves in the suicide bombings, and one was shot and killed by french police. none have been publicly identified, but french police said one terrorist carried a syrian passport.
a greek official says the passport matches the name of a syrian migrant who arrived on the greek island of lesbos six weeks ago. president hollande is blaming the militant group isis, for the coordinated attacks. isis also claimed credit for the attacks, saying in a statement posted online that france will remain on its target list as long as the country is part of the western military coalition fighting isis in syria and iraq. today, france deployed 15,000 armed soldiers to patrol the streets of paris and protect government and cultural sites. markets, museums, stores, and schools normally open on saturday were closed, as was the eiffel tower. last night's attacks unfolded over the course of three hours. the attacks began at the national sports stadium, where france was playing germany in an exhibition soccer match. ( explosion ) the first explosion was heard around 9:20 p.m., when a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a stadium entrance. 10 minutes later, a second suicide bomber blew himself up near another entrance.
french police recovered a syrian passport by one of the bomber's bodies. french president francois hollande and germany's foreign minister were among the 80,000 spectators in the stands. hollande's security detail whisked them away without incident. as police closed the stadium entrances, spectators swarmed onto the field, and later, sang france's national anthem. a third bomber blew himself up at a fast food restaurant outside the stadium. as the stadium attacks were underway, about four miles away, gunmen began opening fire at three restaurants, shooting diners as they sat outside on a friday night. on the terrace of the popular cambodian restaurant, la petit cambodge, at least 15 people died and 10 were severely wounded. witnesses described hearing sounds like fireworks, before they realized what was happening and tried to hide or flee. >> this seems to be someone who knew, some people knew exactly how to use guns because they
didn't shoot like... they shoot slowly. and people were falling, strange thing. >> sreenivasan: seven minutes later, at a nearby pizza cafe and bar, gunmen shot and killed at least five more people and wounded eight. moving on to the cafe-filled street rue de charonne four minutes later, gunmen shot and killed at least 19 people at la belle equipe. nine other people were also shot and wounded. witnesses said the gunfire on the restaurant lasted two to three minutes. one woman described encountering an attacker as she was driving down the street. >> ( translated ): he turned around, and the four of us immediately saw his weapon, a kalashnikov. he started firing it towards us. it's really horrible the moment when you see him, and he's looking at you, and you know he's going to fire and shoots at you. at that moment, i sped up, and we ducked low. later, my friend told me i've been hit in the head. >> sreenivasan: inside a fourth restaurant, a suicide bomber
blew himself up, severely injuring one other person. in 20 minutes, the terrorists had inflicted a terrible toll, but the worst was yet to come. at 9:40 p.m., four gunmen burst into the bataclan concert hall, where 1,500 people were watching the california rock band eagles of death metal perform. the gunmen opened fire on the crowd with ak-47 machine guns. audience members said gunmen shouted the arabic phrase allahu akbar, meaning god is great. some heard references to syria and iraq. >> ( translated ): we were by the bar, so we heard firecrackers, or what we thought were firecrackers. we turned around, and then i saw two young men, no older than 25, with kalashnikovs. they told us to lie down, there was one who kept gesturing for us to get down. we all lay down, the whole room lay down. i was completely under other people, and they kept shooting, but they would stop from time to time. >> sreenivasan: after a 2.5 hour standoff, french police stormed the concert hall.
three gunmen blew themselves up with the same kind of suicide vests worn by the other bombers. police shot and killed the fourth attacker. survivors who had been hostages were led out of the music hall to safety. inside bataclan, 89 innocent victims lay dead. >> sreenivasan: following the tragic events last night, many parisians gathered at one of france's most famous public plazas. the newshour's christopher booker has more. >> reporter: said the city is quiet, and streets are deserted, the police telling people not to gather in large numbers. the empty streets indicate compliance, here add place de republique, people gathered after hours. they honored victims of january's "charlie hebdo" massacre. >> the only thing we can say that people can be forgivers and we just need to stay together.
>> muzz lums against french people, because of terrorism and political problems. >> if there is violence upon violence, we know in 50 years, these cities are going to be all battle fields. >> i am french. my country today, she cry. sorry, we are afraid. we are afraid. >> sreenivasan: newshour special correspondent ba malcolm brabent is in paris. >> it's no paneleration to say this is a city that has been completely traumatized by the events of last night, driving
into paris today, you get the sense it was completely erie. people were completely off the streets. they were taking the advice of the police to stay home and that's because of the complete uncertainty that this may still be some terrorists out there. that has been ramped up during the course of the day because there have been isis people issuing threats urging muzz lums to come out and attack targets here, trying to capitalize on the fear there is in the city. behind me, you can see the people are lighting candles close to the concert hall where nearly 90 people were slaughtered. and people are completely stunned by what has happened. they thought that "charlie hebdo" was absolutely terrible, but this is membership times worse. >> sreenivasan: i see traffic and i see people on the streets, but have the shopkeepers decided to stay closed or is it slower than a usual weekend right now? do you see more police presence?
>> reporter: this is normally a bustling city and coming into the city was a complete shock to see how many stores were closed down. it was almost like a sunday with nobody on the streets at all, just convenience stores, things like that. the place where's there have been queues have been blood donation centers where parisians have been coming out to show solidarity with the 90 people who are critically injured, and they have been coming out in such large numbers, that the blood centers have had to turn them away and send tnem torg places. there have also been people at the hospitals coming trying to find lost ones, trying to identify people who are, you know, missing. it's-- there's still-- i mean, gradually i think paris is coming to terms with what has happened but there is still a huge sense of shock here. >> sreenivasan: we heard there were military forces on the street. are you seeing increased police
presence in most of the neighborhoods you're traveling through? >> reporter: i have to say, i'm quite surprised that i haven't actually seen this many policemen as i have expected to, although there have been about 1500 soldiers who have been deployed to paris. but what is quite significant is that area where's you'd expect people to come together have been closed down, monuments such as the louvre, the eiffel tower. these places have been closed down. the police have been urging people not to gather in groups because of the potential for causing a target for other potential terrorists who might be here. but people are deifying that order in various places, such as the place de republique, a place which is symbolic of france and they've been gathering around the monument there, also, lighting candles and talking in terms of what needs to happen to france and basically people on the streets are saying they need to be unified. they can't start to hate because that's what the terrorists are trying to create with the
actions they carried out yesterday >> sreenivasan: malcolm, you mentioned they are still recovering in some ways from the "charlie hebdo" attack. what is it that they think needs to be done to try to keep thenselves secure? >> reporter: i think that people are completely confused about that-- that question. i don't think people know how you do generate security. i was talking to one man at the place de republique, and he said you have to love people. but the problem is that people here think that this, perhaps, is the start of some kind of horrendous war that is not one that is defined by sorts of international wars we've had before, but ones that are going to be carried out in terms of terror attacks in places all across europe. perhaps there is-- there is a sense that perhaps this is start of something else, the islamic state is trying to hit other places in the future, not just
paris. they do seem to say in their messages that they put out today claiming responsibility for this, that they have a particular gripe against france, and they say they will continue to hit france. and so people here aren't necessarily feeling secure. >> sreenivasan: newshour special correspondent malcolm brabent joining us from the streets of paris tonight, thanks so much. >> sreenivasan: learn how parisians are using social media to help survivors of last night's terror attack. visit us on our website at www.pbs.org/newshour. >> sreenivasan: france is participating in the u.s. led air war on isis targets in syria, including targeting oil fields from which isis derives revenue to fund its military efforts. complicating matters at home, the french government believes as many as 15,000 french citizens and residents have traveled to syria and iraq to fight with isis and similar "jihadist" groups. the pentagon announced today the u.s. has carried out its first air strike on isis in libya yesterday, killing the senior leader of isis there.
for more perspective on the war on isis and the terrorist attacks in france, i am joined from washington by anthony cordesman, from the center for strategic and international studies. anthony, i'm assuming like the rest of the world that was watching what happened last night, this is a game changer for isis, the ability to pull off these coordinated attacks. >> reporter: i think we need to be very, very careful because as you pointed out, france has been one of our key allies in the air campaign, certainly one of the most kent. isis has had weeks, perhaps months in which to try to assemble and put together cells in france. you had previous terrorist attacks there, as you have in other european countries. and horrifying as these casualties are, they consist essentially of attacking undefended civilian areas chosen almost at random out of all the
activities in a major city. now, isis did formally declare war two days ago as a result of the step-up in the campaigns along the kurdish areas. but we shouldn't exaggerate that this is some kind of game changer. isis has had ties to external movements and extreme groups in europe or the united states fair long time. and this is a moment in which it has reason to try to activate these forces. >> sreenivasan: is this a sign that it's feel the pressure, that perhaps the attack attacksm the u.s., the coalition force, maybe even parts of the russian air campaign are affecting it? >> they may well be under pressure. part of it is probably the air campaign which we lead, again with french, australiaian, british and other participation.
part of it is that on the ground, the kurds have made significant gains in places like sinjar. part of it is, i think, quite frankly, they need demonstrative action in terms of it fund-raising, the kind of media-grabbing political action you get through this kind of almost random, very, very visible bloody attack in a city like paris. so all of these factors come together, and there are reasons why it should act now. >> sreenivasan: does this help in their recarruth effort to not just say as you mentioned high-visibility attack but to try to figure out whoever is on the bubble in these countries and radicalize them. >> you raise a very good point because, yes, it sounds in some ways almost like it should be the opposite. but it is true that people who are alienated, people who already are on the edge are
being willing to join a movement like isis. they're already going to be motivated in seeing this kind of very high-profile event, not only leads to more volunteers. it leads people to contribute money. we're talking a very, very small margin of people. sometimes when we talk about these numbers of volunteers, people talk about them being so high. in comparative terms, they're almost incredibly small compared to other ideological movements and their ability to attract young extremists. but they're still high enough to create the kind of nightmare we've seen in paris >> sreenivasan: does this change the coalition or the west's response to isis to see something like this happen in a major city? >> the problem is you can't suddenly defeat isis in syria and iraq in the first place.
and then the second, the more you step up your military action in syria and iraq in the short run, the more isis may actually act out by triggering whatever resources it has in other countries. and there the only thing that really counts is the counter-terrorism campaign and how effective those counter-terrorist forces are. they are nothing to do with stepping up the offensive in iraq and syria >> sreenivasan: anthony cordesman joining us from washington, thanks so much. >> thank you. >> sreenivasan: leaders from the u.s., russia, iran, saudi arabia and turkey are meeting in vienna, austria, this weekend to discuss ways to end the war in syria and a post-war transitional government. though no delegation from syria is at the negotiating table, secretary of state john kerry said today there could be new elections in syria within 18 months. he referred to the terrorist group "isis" by its arabic name, "dash." >> the impacts of this war bleed into all of our nations, from
the flood of desperate migrants seeking refuge within the region or in europe or beyond, to the foreign terrorist fighters who make their way into syria to join the ranks of groups like daesh, to self-radicalized fighters living among us. >> sreenivasan: "new york times" reporter julie davis is covering the syria peace talks and joins me by phone from vienna. how significantly has last night's attacks played into the conversation? >> reporter: well, i think it really stiffens everyone's reswrorl, as john kerry said, to come out with something concrete from these meetings. everyone took a moment of silence in the beginning of the ministerial. everyone was very solbell and very determined to make some headway here in light of the attacks that really underscored the challenge they're facing, trying to confront the islamic state and, you know, its effects on the region but also,
obviously, well beyond the region. it did did lend a sense of urgency, and they made some headway, but i would say they were looking for a lot more momentum than they maybe were able to get because there are still some pretty significant remaining issues >> sreenivasan: what are they hoping to accomplish and what's standing in between today and that point? >> well, they did come up with a timetable for action on a political transition in syria, which is important. it's a pretty optimistic timetable. they want to get opposition groups together by january 1, and get them talking with the government of syria and the bashar al-assad in the next six months after that, to try to come up with a unity government and constitution and then elections in 18 months. that's a pretty ambitious timetable, and secretary kerry acknowledged that, and everyone at the table i think acknowledged that it's a long shot but that's a concrete timetable and that represents progress here.
and they also, you know, agreed they in parallel seek a cease-fire. but again, for that to happen they're going to have to figure out what the fate of bashar al-assad is going to be, what role he's going to play. and they have to identify who they're going to treat as a terrorist group and who they're going to treat as a legitimate opposition group that gets to have a seat at the table in the transition talks. and those are very big tasks that they accept for themselveses in the next six months >> sreenivasan: and there isn't anybody from assad's government at this table in these conversations. is rush hour supposed to be the proxy that takes the message back? >> that's right, they're not at the table and they haven't been at the table. the group is going to meet again next month, and it's not clear if they will be at the table at that point. they are-- the u.n. envoy, special envoy to syria was here, and he is going to be spearheading the process of trying to get the opposition groups and assad to the table to try to start talking but until they're in a position to do that, they're not going to be a part thieves talks and that's a
big impediment. secretary kerry said we're not trying to impose a solution on anyone but as long as they're not at the table and we have interests in syria that we're trying to execute on-- namely, that assad must go-- and the russians have interests that they're teague to execute on and they say that assad is not the problem here and he can be part of a solution, it's hard to see them making a much more significant headway >> sreenivasan: is there any part of this conversation that includes perhaps increased coordination of military activities between the russian airstrikes happening and the u.s. airstrikes happening in syria? >> they did talk about that. it came up, and basically they have been involved, as you know-- they're basically not bombing at each other or flying at each other. but there still is a level of coordination i think that russia is seeking that they're not getting for the united states and, you know, i think that's also a key stick point here, and a reason that they're not making as much progress as they want to on the other piece, on the diplomatic piece because there
is a feeling there could be more coordination and russia and has officer, the foreign minister, said at the end of the talks that would be in everyone's interest if there was more coordination between them and the united states and the rest of the coalition >> sreenivasan: besides the military posture of all the countries involved what, about the humanitarian aid, and perhaps any agreement on what these countries are going to do to try to help the people of syria that are still there. >> that's an element they talked a lot about, and a piece of really trying to figure out a way towards this political process. i think they acknowledge in order to get the opposition groups to the table and ford have a legitimate process that everyone feels is in the interest of the syrian people, they're going to have to do more of that. and they did actually agree in terms of the political process that the diaspora should be part of the ultimate elections that take place, which is a major element here, and i think it speaks to their desire to have this not look like it's an outside solution being imposed
from above, from outside of syria >> sreenivasan: "new york times" reporter julie davis joining us on the phone from vienna. thanks so much. >> thank you. >> sreenivasan: as france begins to mourn its losses, many in the country and beyond are showing their support. the newshour's stephen fee has more. >> reporter: across france, the mood was somber as people left their homes to pay their respects to the deceased. outside the le carillon restaurant, the scene of one of the six attacks, a temporary memorial has already sprung up. many left flowers. some could not hold back the tears. flags throughout the country flew at half staff. black ribbons were on display, as a sign of mourning. cities around the world are also paying tribute to the attack victims. from berlin. to copenhagen...to delhi. 10,000 miles from france, in
australia, the sydney opera house displayed the colors of the french flag-- in solidarity with france. in new york, the world trade center's spire was also lit with the flag's colors-- blue, white and red. before soccer matches began today in england, stadium crowds paused for a moment of silence. in seoul, south korea, people gathered in front of the french embassy to light candles, lay flowers, and pay their respects. the scene was the same in moscow. >> i am here to support. france is always in my heart and paris is always in my heart. >> ( translated ): i think france will find strength and come up with a proper response. >> sreenivasan: one american has been identified as a victim of the paris terrorist attacks. nohemi gonzalez was a 23-year-old junior at cal-state long beach studying abroad in
france this semester. after a meeting today with his national security council, president obama left for turkey for a 20-nation economic summit. the president will also go to the fill teens peens and moore during his 10-day trip. belgian authorities have arrested several people suspected of links to the attackers, a car with a belgium license plate was spotted outside the music club where 89 people were killed. join online from 9:00 to 11:00 eastern as the democratic presidential candidates meet on the debate stage in iowa. follow our live blog and share your views at newshour on twitter. that's all for this edition of pbs newshour weekend. i'm hari sreenivasan. have a good night. captioning sponsored by wnet captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
>> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: lewis b. and louise hirschfeld cullman. bernard and irene schwartz. judy and josh weston. the cheryl and philip milstein family. the citi foundation. supporting innovation and enabling urban progress. sue and edgar wachenheim, iii. corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we are your retirement company. additional support has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
i'm stanley tucci, your host of "independent lens." native americans have maintained a special bond with horses for centuries. today tribes from around the country celebrate this connection in a sport known as indian relay. it's a harmonious combination of tradition, modern sports culture, and adrenaline-fueled action, and if you hope to make it to the finish line as a competitor or a fan, you better hold on tight. man: i think this is one sport where you get to prove yourself against other tribes. this is a good way to show your horsemanship. tucci: independent filmmaker charles dye worked with riders from several tribal nations to record this rarely seen view of modern native american life. we follow 3 teams as they compete to win a national championship. like all competitions, there are underdogs and shoo-ins,