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tv   PBS News Hour Weekend  PBS  January 31, 2016 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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captioning sponsored by wnet >> stewart: on this edition for sunday, january 31st: candidates make a final push in iowa on the eve of the first votes of the 2016 presidential race. and in our signature segment: how oklahoma has become the nation's earthquake capital. next on pbs newshour weekend. >> 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--
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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, this is pbs newshour weekend. >> stewart: good evening and thanks for joining us. presidential candidates are rallying supporters to turn out at tomorrow's iowa caucuses, the 6first votes that count in the 2016 race. the final "des moines register" poll, released last night, shows the first choice of likely republican caucus-goers is: donald trump, 28% ted cruz, 23% marco rubio, 15% ben carson, 10% rand paul, 5% and chris christie, 3%. jeb bush, john kasich, carly fiorina are at 2%, along with the past two caucus winners,
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rick santorum and mike huckabee. on the democrats side, hillary clinton is the first choice of 45% of likely caucus-goers, and bernie sanders is favored by 42%. martin o'malley is at 3%. today, the candidates made their final appeals to iowa voters. in his first time on the ballot, businessman donald trump is as confident as he is brash. >> we have to get out there and caucus and do all of the things that we have to do or we've all wasted our time, folks. >> stewart: texas senator ted cruz hopes iowa's white evangelicals help him close the gap with trump. >> six weeks ago, everyone's shooting at trump. now all the republican candidates are shooting at me. >> stewart: florida senator marco rubio says he is more electable in november than either trump or cruz. >> i know that i am the candidate that can best, most quickly unify the party, unify the conservative movement, and grow it. >> stewart: among the democrats, hillary clinton positions herself as the rightful heir to
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president obama, as a former member of his cabinet. >> i don't think president obama gets the credit he deserves for making sure we didn't fall into a great depression! ffords to argue her record ond n safety is stronger than bernie sanders'. >> come january, i want to say these two words: madame president. >> stewart: the vermont senator is counting on the youth vote to close his gap with clinton. >> how would you like to make the pundits look dumb on election night? ( cheers and applause ) >> stewart: sanders is also selling himself as the most committed to tackling income inequality. ♪ >> stewart: our own judy woodruff is on the campaign trail, and once again, she joins us from des moines. so juzy, a likely republican caucus go ires, 47% identify as evan gel kl or born again christians. that led huckabee and san
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tor up to victory but they are nowhere near frontrunners in 2016. so what effect will religious conservatives have on tomorrow's results. >> woodruff: the last go around evangelicals were 57% of the republican caucus turnout which is significant this time, they're showing under 50%. but the bottomline is evangelicals will have a huge impact on the result. will they be determine tiff in terms of is it going to be the person who has most of the evangelical vote? probably. but there are republicans in the state who don't self-identity that way and they will play a role that way swsm and donald trump is coming in second among evangelicals. ted cruz is garnering most of the vote but donald trump is holding his own. and he's doing far better than cruz among those who are not evangelicals. >> stewart: speaking of mr. trump and senator cruz, they are clearly the
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frontrunners. the rest of the field there is just a group middling, out of that group, out of that field, who can afford not to win big tomorrow? >> woodruff: nobody wants to come in with 2% of the vote swi frankly what that poll that we've been discussing is showing. that several of these candidates are all running at just 2, 3%. it's not good for them. and i know the argument is made, well you can come in fourth or fifth in iowa and go on. but history shows if you don't come in somewhere in the top three, you're going to have a tough time. that's one reason marco rubio is working so hard not only to pull out his vote, but to begin to persuade people supporting the other so-called mainstream candidates like crist christie, like jeb bush, like john kasich, that those folks should not, quote, waste their vote. and they should come on over and support marco rubio. but we'll see how that works out tomorrow night. >> stewart: on the democratic side clinton and sanders are running neck and
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neck. however hillary clinton pulls ahead in voters 65 and older. given past caucuses what does that code for tomorrow? >> well, older voters traditionally do turnout more faithfully on caucus night. it's just part of their dna, you might say. they've been going to caucus for years. and they will likely do that on monday night, barring something unfore seen. so that should help hillary clinton. what bernie sanders is counting on though is that first time caucus goers, younger caucus goers are going to be turning out in big enthusiastic numbers for him. so far, hillary clinton's people are pretty confident they're going to be okay. but you can bet that they're watching the sanders turnout a lot. >> stewart: judy woodruff, thanks as always. >> woodruff: great to talk to you. >> stewart: isis is claiming responsibility for bombings that killed at least 45 people near
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the syrian capital of damascus. the bombs detonated today in a shiite muslim district south of damascus known to support the government of syrian president bashar al-assad. syrian state-run media said the attackers first set off a car bomb in a bus station, and then two suicide bombers blew themselves up as rescuers rushed to the scene. the bombings occurred as united nations-brokered talks continued in geneva to end syria's five year civil war that has claimed 250,000 lives and displaced 10 million syrians. austria plans to deport migrants to countries it deems safe for them to return to, and pay them to leave. today, the austrian government declared morocco, algeria, and tunisia safe and said it will pay rejected asylum applicants up to 500 euros -- about $542 -- if they agree to go home. over the next four years, austria plans to limit the number of asylum seekers it will accept to 127,000, about 1.5% of its total population. at the same time, austria expects to deport 50,000 migrants. last year, austria received
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90,000 asylum applications and deported 8,000 migrants. >> stewart: in the continental united states, oklahoma now experiences the most earthquakes that can be felt, outpacing even california. as the newshour's stephen fee reports in tonight's signature segment, there's a fierce debate in oklahoma about the causes of the quakes, and how to prevent them. >> reporter: when julie allison moved to oklahoma in 2002, she knew tornadoes, ice storms, and droughts came with the territory. but she didn't expect earthquakes. >> the sensation of an earthquake is something you don't forget. it's a sensation of just really helplessness. >> reporter: last december, a magnitude 4.3 quake rattled her
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home in the oklahoma city suburb of edmond that was followed by a flurry of smaller tremors-- enough, she says, to crack her foundation and shake up her living room. >> this entire room was in disarray. >> reporter: generally speaking, 3.0 earthquakes can be felt. 4.0 earthquakes can be damaging. before 2009, there were only a handful of earthquakes in oklahoma over magnitude 3.0 each year. in 2015, there were more than 900. >> it was a little mysterious at the very beginning. >> reporter: oklahoma state university geology professor todd halihan says the likely culprit is water that's injected deep into the earth as a result of oil and gas drilling. >> if you look at most oil wells, they're a salt water well that has a little bit of oil and gas in it. and so you have to do something with that by-product which is sometimes the main product, which is salt water. >> reporter: for decades, oil and gas companies in oklahoma have been getting rid of that water by injecting it back underground. in recent years, oil production
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has been on the rise in oklahoma, partly due to technologies like fracking, a method of bursting rock formations to extract oil and gas. at some oil and gas wells, for every barrel of oil that's produced, 20 barrels of salty wastewater bubble up as well. >> the problem is that in recent years, our rates and volumes have increased both the total amount and the intensity at which we pump it into the sub- surface. and we've gotten above levels that are causing seismicity. >> reporter: last year, energy companies in oklahoma injected one-and-half billion barrels of wastewater back into the earth. halihan says all that that water reduces friction between faults, or cracks, deep underground, releasing pent up energy and causing the earth to shake. there's no question the energy industry has always played a huge role here in oklahoma. in fact, up until the 1980s, there were active oil wells here on the state capitol grounds in oklahoma city. but constant quakes are posing
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tough questions for an industry responsible for one in five jobs in oklahoma and nearly a third of the state's economy. last year, oklahoma's republican governor, mary fallin, said she believes there's a "direct correlation" between the increase in earthquakes and wastewater disposal wells. and critics of the industry, like democratic state representative cory williams, say there should be a moratorium on wastewater injections in seismically-active areas. >> all of the actual science-- the peer-reviewed literature that it out there, that is getting published in the scientific press, all draws the same conclusions. "yes, you are inducing seismicity. yes, you are growing to a bigger and bigger seismic activity. and yes, you need to stop." >> reporter: but chad warmington, president of the oklahoma oil and gas association, hesitates to say the injections are actually causing quakes. >> yeah, i think it's one of those issues where over the last few years, we've been really struggling to figure out what the connection is.
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and there certainly appears to be a correlation, in terms of the amount of wastewater that's been injected over the last four years and the increase in seismicity. >> correlation though is not cause? >> i think that's correct. i think that there are a lot of things we don't know. there's a lot of things that we can't explain. so what that leads us to believe is there's just a lot more science that we need to get to. we need to get to the bottom of what's going on. >> reporter: the industry still disputes the link. why do you suppose that is? >> well i think they have billions of dollars, or reasons, why. i mean, i think the incentive for them is to continue to drag their feet as long as they possibly can, so they can inject at the same rates and extrapolate every last possible resource they can out of it before we actually implement real change and real regulation. >> reporter: after an earthquake strikes, the state's oil and gas regulator-- the oklahoma corporation commission-- often directs companies to slow or stop wastewater injections at particular wells. tim baker heads the commission's
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oil and gas division. seismologists tell us what the highest risk scenarios are and that's what we're focusing our efforts on. managing the risk, lowering that risk, and hopefully that will have some result in the number of earthquakes declining over time. >> reporter: although oil and gas companies aren't required to follow his office's directives, they usually do. but last december, one of the state's biggest oil companies, sandridge energy, refused an order to cut back wastewater injections, saying more scientific analysis needed to be done. the company relented earlier this month, agreeing to close seven of its wells-- but the
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incident raised concerns about the effectiveness of the commission's orders. i mean, there is an opening here for companies to say, "actually, we're not going to listen to rward?be cooperative goingk >> everyone i've spoken to, and we've had countless meetings at this point, all want to cooperate. and if someone refuses to cooperate, we still have jurisdiction to file an application and either amend or vacate their permit. >> reporter: so far baker hasn't had to take that step-- which would involve a drawn-out judicial process. as the number of earthquakes in oklahoma has increased, the state legislature has cut the budget of the commission, the only state agency with power to regulate drillers, by 14% from $12.4 million in 2009 to 10.7 million last year. >> we don't have the resources to stay up with every earthquake that happens in the state. we focus on-- the 4.0's. at that point we know that's a trigger in which we can take response. but do we make a scientific assessment of every earthquake
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that happens in the state? no, we don't, 'cause we don't have the resources to do that. >> reporter: they call cushing, oklahoma, the pipeline crossroads of the world. and last october there was a magnitude 4.5 earthquake near here. and it got folks worried that not only do these earthquakes pose a risk to life and property, but also to the country's energy infrastructure. oil and gas companies rely on giant storage tanks in cushing to hold up to 85 million barrels of oil. if an earthquake were to compromise those tanks, it could disrupt oil markets worldwide. october's quake was the fifth near cushing greater than magnitude 4.0 in just a year. last fall, the corporation commission ordered companies to slow or stop wastewater injections nearby in part to protect those oil tanks. do you feel that those facilities are able to withstand the increased seismic activity we're seeing in oklahoma? >> i do. >> reporter: michael teague is oklahoma's secretary of energy and environment. he says the industry and federal inspectors regularly check those tanks.
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>> i'm also comfortable that if there was an area that's got to focus on it for the corporation commission that they'd be very quick to react if there are any earthquakes, it's cushing. >> reporter: teague says he is confident the corporation commission's voluntary directives will keep earthquakes in check in cushing and elsewhere in the state. but it does, at the end of the day, seem very reactive. they watch a seismic event happen. and then they follow up with a directive. isn't there some way to prevent these earthquakes before they happen? >> it's very reactive. and i don't know how to make it proactive, because we don't know what that trigger is. >> reporter: the office of the corporation commission, tim baker, tells me they don't have all the resources they need. they've seen their budget get cut back. your head seismologist at the oklahoma geological survey left last year. >> he did. >> reporter: are you equipping your chief regulator with enough resources to do their jobs? >> i don't think we have yet. and i think we've been slow to
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get there. i think very, very soon you're going to see additional resources go to both agencies. >> reporter: as global oil prices have fallen from $100 a barrel to around $30, so have tax revenues in oklahoma. the state faces a $900 million budget shortfall this year. state representative williams says legislators must provide more funding for regulators and researchers to do their jobs. >> you've got to open up your checkbook. you've got to give them the staffing and the resources to be able to actually do the thing that they need to be able to do. heck, we don't even have a seismologist on staff anymore in the state of oklahoma. and nobody seems overwhelmingly concerned about that. >> reporter: oklahoma oil and gas association president chad warmington says he and his members are concerned. >> i live in edmond. i, you know, i feel these quakes. i live here. it's not like i'm not a part of this. and i would like it to speed up quicker. but i do believe in the process the commission has. and we're getting on top of it. not as quickly as we'd like is probably not a very good political answer. but it's the right science-based
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answer. >> reporter: you know a skeptic could be sitting here listening to you say this and, fair or unfair, think, "this is just the industry covering its butts." >> sure. >> reporter: they don't want to say this because they don't want to open themselves up to being blamed for earthquakes. what do you say to those people? >> as long as the commission, the state is working to use science-based determinations of what's causing these quakes, we're gonna be fine with the outcome. we're gonna participate in the investigation. and we're gonna do everything we can to help bring an end to, or definitely slow down the amount and the magnitude of the earthquakes in the state. >> reporter: but geologist todd halihan says before that can happen, the state has to invest more in the commission and scientific research. >> they barely have enough money to analyze the quakes that have happened or to analyze which injection wells are doing what. that's the funding level. and so the sense that there is analysis going on, that's not happening. >> reporter: on thursday, governor fallin announced she would direct $1.4 million in state emergency funds to the corporation commission and the state geological survey.
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>> stewart: read our report on why the natural gas industry is facing scrutiny over methane leaks across the country. visit pbs.org/newshour >> stewart: after its founding in 1636, harvard became a vast repository for original documents and materials related to american history. as the newshour's megan thompson reports, harvard is now digitizing its colonial collection to make it more accessible. >> reporter: for hundreds of years, viewing items in harvard university's archives required that you show up in person at one of the school's libraries. harvard archivist megan sniffin- marinoff is leading a project to change that. the colonial north american project will digitize almost half a million items and make them available online. >> our sense was that we had something unique here that might not have been a part of the larger story of colonial north america before.
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>> reporter: the project's focus: materials from the 1600s and 1700's. the collection holds everything from diaries and letters to drawings and documents. >> this is one of the earliest items that we've digitized thus far. it's called college book one. >> reporter: it's a ledger from the 1600's that kept track of life at harvard. small details, like a list of utensils in the school's kitchen, and evidence of controversial treatment of native americans. >> and what we notice in 1665 is the name written in, "caleb cheeshahteaumuck." the first native american to graduate from harvard. this was a big part of the charge of the institution, mission of the institution, initially to convert the native americans over to christianity. >> reporter: the collection also contains a small globe from around 1755. >> you get a sense of the obviously, the world at that time. if you look, for example, at australia, you will see it listed as new holland.
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>> reporter: some items belonged to important american revolutionaries. declaration of independence signer john hancock went to harvard in the 1750's. >> the first is a letter that he wrote to his sister in 1754. >> reporter: hancock was apparently annoyed his sister hadn't written to him. >> "dear sister. i believe time slips away very easy with you. i wish you would spend one hour in writing to me. p.s.: i give you much joy, but shall have more reason to so after receiving a letter from you." >> reporter: there are the diaries of math and science professor john winthrop, a descendant of the john winthrop who was the first governor of the massachusetts bay colony. he took detailed meteorological notes about things like wind and snowfall. >> this material is fascinating. it's some of the earliest weather information that we have in the country. >> reporter: as the colonies headed toward revolution, winthrop began to write about more serious events. in 1770 british soldiers fired
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on an unruly crowd of colonists, an event later known as the boston massacre. >> "1770, 5th march, eve. a most shocking massacre in boston. a party of seven soldiers, under the command of one captain preston, being pelted with snowballs, fired upon the people in king street. killed three on the spot. wounded seven others, one of whom died next day, another on the 15th of march." >> reporter: winthrop also recorded one of the revolutionary war's first battles, at bunker hill in boston where british soldiers defeated colonial forces. >> and you see on his listing june 7 the battle of bunker hill. and on the 21st of june as well, you see the selection of counselors at concord happening. so there is this progression of the american revolution happening that is absolutely forming the backdrop of this daily diaries. >> reporter: an eyewitness to an extraordinary time. harvard's already completed about a third of a project, and plans to finish the rest over the next few years.
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>> stewart: islamic militants killed dozens of civilians in a nigerian village last night. the attack occurred near nigeria's northeastern city of maiduguri. nigerian officials say the group boko haram killed more than 80 people when attackers opened fire on villagers and set fire to homes, and three female suicide bombers blew themselves up among those trying to escape. this was the third boko haram attack in nigeria in the past week. boko haram, the group that kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls in 2014, has been carrying out terrorist attacks for six years in an effort to establish its version of a strict islamist state. its insurgency has killed an estimated 20,000 people. 22 alleged members of mexico's biggest drug cartel are in custody and two are dead after a joint u.s. and mexican operation along the arizona-mexico border. a spokesperson for u.s.
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immigrations, customs and enforcement says the high-level members of the sinaloa cartel were arrested friday. the agents also seized hundreds of pounds of drugs and assault- style weapons. u.s. officials say they will seek extradition of the alleged cartel members, who are now in mexican custody. the cartel has been led by joaquin "el chapo" guzman, who was recaptured earlier this month. tanzania has arrested three elephant poachers who allegedly shot down a helicopter that was tracking their illegal hunting activity. the incident occurred friday in a wildlife reserve near serengeti national park. tanzanian officials say the poachers fired an ak-47 at the helicopter, which crashed, killing the pilot. tanzania's minister for tourism said park rangers discovered the remains of three dead elephants nearby. poachers who kill elephants for their ivory tusks are blamed for reducing tanzania's elephant population by 60% since 2009. the demand for ivory is
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strongest in asian countries, where it is used for jewels and ornaments. and finally, myanmar, nobel peace prize winner and aung song suu ki who spent the better part of two decades under house arrest takes over the new parliament elected in november. on wednesday in maryland president obama makes his first visit as president to an american mosque. and make sure to join us on the newshour tomorrow for more coverage of the iowa caucuses. that's all for this edition of pbs newshour weekend. i'm alison stewart. thanks for watching. captioning sponsored by wnet captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org >> pbs newshour weekend is made
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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.
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