tv PBS News Hour PBS February 8, 2016 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> ifill: good evening. i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff . >> ifill: on the newshour tonight: countdown to the new hampshire primary. we hear the candidate's final pitches a day before voting. >> woodruff: also ahead: why nato and the u.s. plan on beefing up military forces against russia. >> ifill: and miles o'brien on the ground in brazil, the center of the zika virus outbreak. >> trying to solve the medical problem won't be enough. you have to change the quality of people's life. otherwise, you will not solve this problem. >> woodruff: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour.
>> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> ifill: it is primary eve in what is, for now, the center of the political universe: new hampshire. political director lisa desjardins is in new hampshire. she kicks off our coverage of the candidates' high-stakes sprint to the finish. >> good to see you guys! >> reporter: they were in manchester, chatting with diners. >> let me, let me tell you, sir... >> reporter: ...and in plaistow, taking questions from veterans. republicans and democrats, favorites and long-shots: nearly all the candidates were going all out, seeking out undecideds and trying to turn their rivals' supporters into their own.
for republican marco rubio, that meant shaking off criticism that he came off as "canned" in saturday night's debate and pressing his message at a town hall in nashua. >> people keep the press, anyway, oh, "why do you keep saying the same thing about obama trying to change america?" i'm gonna keep saying that a million times because i believe it's true. >> reporter: for chris christie -- rubio's dogged debate night foe -- it meant keeping the heat on the florida senator, at a town hall of his own in nearby hudson. >> when the lights get that bright, you either shine or you melt. we cannot afford to have a president who melts. >> reporter: and for jeb bush, rubio's one-time-mentor-turned- rival, it meant taking up his own line of attack this morning on msnbc. >> he doesn't have a record. that's not to say he's not gifted. he is. he's a gifted person who will be a leader going forward. but he doesn't have a proven record. >> reporter: bush's campaign also put up an ad today hitting at another of his rivals: john kasich. >> the cato institute gave you a "d" this last year.
>> reporter: but kasich, at a town hall in plaistow, stood by his record on budget issues as ohio governor. >> we were way in the hole, now we're way in the black. >> reporter: in the meantime, the republican front-runner here, donald trump, has switched tactics after his runner-up finish in iowa. he tried his hand at retail politics in salem, instead of holding one of his signature rallies. >> i love these things, even more than making a speech, because i love to get the feedback. i get some good questions. >> reporter: and, on the democratic side... >> ...join with us in making that political revolution. >> reporter: next door neighbor, vermont senator bernie sanders, pressed his apparent advantage in the polls in new hampshire. he also drew ever sharper attacks from hillary clinton's camp. last night, in milford, it was former president bill clinton. >> for her, this is not about grand theories of revolution, this is about whether we can improve people's lives. >> reporter: the former chief
executive went further, accusing sanders supporters of "profane" and "sexist" attacks on his wife. and on saturday, former secretary of state madeleine albright chastised women voters who back sanders instead of clinton. >> just remember: there's a special place in hell for women who don't help each other. >> reporter: feminist icon gloria steinem went ever further on hbo's "real time with bill maher". she explained clinton's lagging support among young women by saying: >> when you're young, you're thinking "where are the boys? the boys are with bernie." >> reporter: steinem later apologized in a facebook post. the candidate herself steered clear of that fracas and stuck to a more traditional appeal, in manchester. >> imagine that finally women not only get equal pay but our rights to make our own decisions, that they are finally respected. >> reporter: of course, with 24 hours yet to go, some voters here already have gotten all the
politics they can handle. >> i will just be really glad when the primary is over. i am up to here with the ads on tv, and just you can't get away from it. >> reporter: but some candidates may "get away from it" for good after tomorrow, forced out of the race if they finish out of the money. >> reporter: late tonight some candidates had typical last requests for money but that includes some like carly fiorina who are needing a change in momentum. it seems certain both democrats running for president will survive new hampshire, but it looks like, of the nine republicans running for president, no one expects all nine will still be running on phi. from the snowy new hampshire, judy, back to you. >> woodruff: lisa desjardins, we thank you. in the day's other news, president obama says he will ask congress for more than $1.8 billion to fight the zika virus. it's part of the budget he rolls
out tomorrow. but top health officials today played down the chances of a major outbreak inside the united states. at a white house briefing, dr. anne schuchat of the centers for disease control and prevention counseled calm. >> we do expect to see infection in people who have traveled and are returning home, but we aren't expecting large-scale amounts of serious zika infection. the recommendations for pregnant women were so that we could reduce the chances that pregnant women would unknowingly step into harm's way. >> woodruff: the virus is suspected of causing birth defects in brazil and is spreading across latin america. and, there was word today that the u.s. olympic committee is now advising athletes that they should bypass the summer games in rio de janeiro if they're worried about zika. >> ifill: the political shock waves from north korea's latest missile launch are still reverberating. this japanese tv footage shows the missile in flight, shortly
after sunday's launch. but in comments aired today, president obama told cbs that it came as no surprise. >> i think that we have been concerned about north korea's behavior for a while. this is an authoritarian regime. it's provocative. it has repeatedly violated u.n. resolutions. >> ifill: north korea says it placed a satellite in orbit. u.s. officials say it's really cover for efforts to develop missiles that can carry nuclear warheads. >> woodruff: rescuers in taiwan have pulled four more survivors from the wreckage of saturday's earthquake. at least 38 people died in the quake that was centered in southern taiwan. more than 100 others are still missing. two of those carried to safety today were an eight-old-girl and her aunt who spent more than 60 hours trapped in a toppled apartment building. >> ifill: there's been more tragedy in the aegean sea. turkish officials say 27 people died in a shipwreck off northwestern turkey. the country's coast guard
recovered many of the bodies, with coffins waiting ashore for the victims. more than 370 people have died since january 1st, trying to make the crossing to greece. >> woodruff: a new syrian government offensive is driving thousands more refugees toward turkey. the syrians advanced again today, north of the city of aleppo, with the help of russian warplanes and iranian fighters. jonathan rugman of independent television news filed this report from inside turkey. some of the images may be disturbing. >> reporter: it was just after this syrian child had been carried in an ambulance in aleppo yesterday that another bomb fell. (bomb blast) the bombs don't discriminate, and the fighting for aleppo is now so intense that the turks say up to 30,000 syrian refugees are now camped out along their border.
from the turkish side, we can't see any of them. what we can see are tents and aid going across and ambulances coming out. turkish hospitality appears to have reached its limit, though the cross border trading coffins could become even busier. the turks are certainly letting these aid trucks into syria. they're just not letting the syrian refugees come out. the turks say they are full to capacity, that they're trying to prevent an even bigger refugee exodus. but there may be another motive at work here because, by keeping syrian civilians inside the syrian border, the turks are effectively creating a buffer zone between the turks and syrian government forces and kurdish forces and so-called islamic state. of course, millions of syrians were given sanctuary here before the border shut. they had assumed their relatives could join them, and now they can't. syrian rebels are sending
reinforcement also but now claim government forces are just 16 miles from the turkish border. although the rebels are themselves using heavy weapons, turkey and its western allies are laying blame for the latest exodus at the door of russian airstrikes. >> woodruff: leaders in germ and turk agreed toned fighting in e german chancellor angela merkel said she is "not just apalled but horrified" at the toll taken by russian bombing. >> ifill: back in this country, wall street started the week with a new sell-off as bank and tech stocks led the way down. the dow jones industrial average lost 178 points to close at 16,027. it had been down as much as 400, earlier in the day. the nasdaq fell 79 points, and is now off 20% from its peak last year. and the s&p dropped 26. >> woodruff: and peyton manning
and the denver broncos returned to the mile high city today, this time as super bowl champions. the broncos used a punishing defense to beat the carolina panthers 24 to 10 on sunday. tv ratings show almost 112 million americans tuned in for what was the third super bowl victory in the broncos' history. >> woodruff: still to come on the newshour: hillary clinton and bernie sanders court the middle class. campaign representatives and our "politics monday" duo break down what's at stake in new hampshire. brazil battles zika amid carnival. plus, what could be the biggest military build up in eastern europe since the cold war. >> ifill: over the years, it's become the mantra of nearly every presidential campaign: improve the lives of the
american middle class. political director lisa desjardin reports on how democrats bernie sanders and hillary clinton differ in their approach. >> reporter: for centuries, new hampshire's rivers and towns have watched the rise, and sometimes fall, of the american middle class. now, democrats here are focused on the economy today. >> we do have to take on income inequality. we do have to create more good jobs. >> we are going to create an economy that works for all of us, not just the one percent. >> reporter: joanne wood does not have time for a campaign event right now. >> and now we're discoverable to anyone nearby who needs a ride. >> reporter: the 25-year-old is looking for her first fare of the day as an uber driver: a new economy job for a relatively new worker. joanne is a decided bernie sanders voter because she wants the sea change for the middle
and lower classes that sanders is calling for. >> i think the economy is really up in the air. it's concerning, because there are so many people that are just in so much debt you know, myself and my family included. >> reporter: one ride at a time, she brings in up to $1,000 a week. >> so, i just got a request. >> reporter: but joanne is still far from breaking even. with $30,000 in student debt and bills left over from her mom's heart attack two years ago, she believes in sanders' aggressive economic rewrite. >> i don't have any specific sort of animosity toward hillary clinton. but i love bernie for his authenticity, and honestly, his policies. >> reporter: new hampshire has an enviably low unemployment rate -- just 3.1% -- but wages here, like in many parts of the country, have risen only slightly in the past decade. add to that the fact that granite state residents have
mountains of debt, the second highest student loan debt in the country. and per-person health care costs are in the top ten. >> how many of you would say that your friends are really knowledgeable about politics? >> reporter: andy smith directs the university of new hampshire's survey center. >> we are seeing the most important issue mentioned by democrats for why they're going to choose who to support are economic issues. >> reporter: he's been talking with his classes about the candidates. >> the problem with clinton is she is much, much further behind sanders than she was obama in 2008. >> reporter: sanders and clinton's middle class policies differ in scope. both would spend on infrastructure, a stimulus plan, to create jobs. clinton's plan is $275 billion, sanders $1 trillion. clinton aims to make public universities cost a lot less. sanders would make them tuition free. clinton: she'd cut out-of-pocket health care costs. sanders, he proposes government-
provided single payer health care for all. on the trail, a big rift has opened over the definition of the middle class. both candidates would raise some taxes on the wealthy. but sanders' would start at lower income levels, which clinton implies would hit the middle class. >> i'm the only candidate standing here tonight who has said i will not raise taxes on the middle class. >> reporter: sanders has said his health care plan will be a net gain for many. but it's not clear which income levels benefit and lose. he focuses more on income inequality in general. >> the concept of the weak economy. what does that mean? what it means is most people are working longer hours for low wages while at the same time almost all new income and wealth goes to the top one percent. >> reporter: smith at the university of new hampshire thinks the issue of economic struggle gives more leverage to one candidate. >> in my view, they are playing on bernie sanders's turf here, and bernie sanders is controlling the debate. i think clinton has moved much
more closely toward sanders' position. >> reporter: but even if sanders set the terms, clinton hopes to win on execution. and with voters like this one. tracy hahn-burkett is many things: a former civil rights advocate, a full-time mother and a freelance writer with a well- known new hampshire blog called "uncharted parent." from her den, she writes about teen angst, guns and sometimes politics. >> i try not to make it too political. but sometimes, if it's relevant... >> reporter: her family isn't worried about making the mortgage -- husband paul is an attorney -- and they're grateful. but tracy has multiple chronic health conditions and doctors bills. and while they are firmly middle class now, she does not feel secure. >> i think the middle class is in trouble. i think it's incontrovertible that the middle class is shrinking. and the middle class has always really been, it sounds like a clicheé to say it, but the midde
class has really been the backbone of the country. >> reporter: the family has a very particular concern creeping up in just four years. >> i don't know how we're going to pay for my kids' college. there's a part of me that says, "well, we're just gonna work it out, like everybody else does." but then i sit there and look at the numbers, and i see the way that the costs are going up all the time. >> reporter: when she looks at the democratic candidates, tracy sees two that she likes, but one that gets her vote. >> i think hillary clinton is best equipped to actually get things accomplished. that doesn't mean that i dislike bernie sanders or his policies. >> reporter: as tracy looks for middle class results, sanders supporter joanne is looking for big vision. >> i don't think that there's anything wrong with being an idealist. >> reporter: in new hampshire, democrats know there is a middle class question. but they're divided on which candidate has the answer.
>> woodruff: in recent weeks, we've been hearing directly from the campaigns. tonight, we check in with two of them, both with a lot on the line in new hampshire. first up, tad devine, a senior advisor to bernie sanders. he's in manchester. >> woodruff: tad devine, welcome. so senator sanders has been leading in all the polls since last summer. a loss for him would be lethal, wouldn't it? >> well, we have been hoping to win tomorrow, judy. we have been working very hard in new hampshire for months. i think bernie has a powerful message voters in new hampshire are responding to. he's talking about a rigged economy that sends too much wealth to top, held in place by a corrupt system of campaign finance. that message has resonated powerfully with people and i think tomorrow we'll see the rowflts that. >> woodruff: we all noticed that former president bill clinton unleashed his strongest criticism of senator sanders.
yesterday he accused him of being dishonest, misrepresented newspaper endorsements, making sexist attacks on secretary clinton, on and on, even brought up data that was taken from the clinton camp last summer. what do you make of all this? how do you respond? >> well, i think it's very unfortunate. you know, obviously, bernie sanders is doing well here in new hampshire and i think we've begun to see, after iowa and the closeness of that race, that he's doing well in other states, also. i think the clinton campaign hasn't quite figured out how they're going to deal with bernie. are they going to try to put her message up against his? i think they've clon clued that's not a winning exercise so i think they'll try for a while to get him off balance. now what bernie and the campaign is trying to do is ignore those attacks and make sure we keep talking about the issues like the economy, healthcare, like how we're going to deal with
climate change, the big issues people are concerned with and as long as we can keep talking about those issues, we think we'll stay on course and do well with voters. >> in talking art senator sanders' positions, president clinton said sanders is at one point hermetically sealed from reality. >> this is the fourth clinton campaign in new hampshire for president, so they have a lot of experience running for president here. i think they're getting ready to probably launch attacks elsewhere as well. but i think the reality that bernie sanders sees is the reality of the united states where it's leadership is no longer beholden the special entrance to fund their campaigns and if we want to have a new reality and an economy that doesn'thatdoes -- that works foe that doesn't send the wealth to
the top, that's changing the campaign finance system. if we can change that system, we believe we can change that reality. >> woodruff: looking ahead, tad devine, where does senator sanders compete well after new hampshire? we know there are a number of contests coming up in states that are far more diverse than iowa and new hampshire. what appeal does he make in places like south carolina, nevada and the long string of states to come? >> yeah, well, we're really excited about moving on to other states. in nevada which will be the next event after new hampshire, we built a strong campaign on the ground. we think bernie's policy resonates there, south carolina will be another early point of death of strengths with african-american voters and strength in the south as well and we think bernie sanders' story resonates well there as well. as a young man, active in the civil rights movement, came to washington to hear martin luther king speak, arrested as a
student protesting housing policies. if you look at the arc of his life, i think you can trace it back to those days in college where he made equal rights algd and civil rights the cause of his life. we think we have a lot overtargets, we think we can win in small and big states and do well, in places like texas windell dwats under the system of proportional representation,time dk party. we're recognizing bernie sanders is the strongest candidate for the democratic party, we can bring in young people who particularly responded well in iowa where he won 17-29 yl 17-29-year-olds. independents will be strong wales. we look forward to these states and think we can do well in a lot of them. >> woodruff: we'll watch closely in new hampshire with the rest. thank you. >> thank you. >> woodruff: tom rath is senior national advicer to
governor john kasich. we know governor kasich has had a lot of time, invested a lot of his effort in the state of new hampshire. you hear prognosticators say that he's either got to come in second or a very strong third, given that. will he? >> well, look, judy, i think this is such an incredibly different election than anyone we've ever seen that i'm not willing to put a do or die on any particular position. i think what candidates have to do here is establish that they are credible and that they can attract a significant portion of the electorate. frankly, i believe the polling has donald trump up around 30 and then from about numbers 2 through numbers 6 that you can cover them with a blanket, it's that close. so i don't know what that will say, if you miss your mark by a point or over-perform by a point. i just think this is a very
close race that's going to come down to the end. i do not see the middle coalescing behind anybody at this point. >> woodruff: let me ask you about that because one of your competitors, senator marco rubio, was seen as having a tough time in that republican debate saturday night. do you look at that as his being knocked off his game a few days or did that do more lasting damage to him? >> well, the problem with that is, in the world we live in, youtube and the videotape loops. marco rubio's problem goes beyond that. he has tried to be in two lanes at once, and that's why, when you get into a question that throws him off, the talking points, he's got to remember who he's going to orient himself to, whether the hard right, the id logic right as at the end with the abortion questions, or does he come across as someone who can bring people together. that threw him off. that will stay with him long
after the back and forth goes on, although, as i said before, those kind of things like, oops, for governor perry, tend to stay with you a long time. >> woodruff: i want to also ask you about jeb bush. john kasich has been lumped in with a group of governors seen as moderate competing with each other to achieve liftoff. who's going to come in ahead, governor kasich or governor bush? >> i think we have a good chance, we've worked hard here and va good ground game. i for months have said i do not believe the reports of the demise of the jeb bush campaign. he's a good candidate, he's well thought of here, his campaign has done well. i think it's a real battle for us with them. i think in the end we're going to finish ahead of them but i'm not going to take that to the bank there. we've got a lot of work to do now -- between now and 8:00 tomorrow night. >> woodruff: let me ask about the group of voters, the
undeclareds and independents in new hampshire, they can vote in either party. what do you expect them to do? >> well, i think they're going to do what they usually do which is, at some point, mystically, they make a decision and all go en masse to one or the other. it's like they send a secret message out. it happened with mccain twice and i think it sort of happened with hillary clinton the last time. they are hard to predict. they are terribly engaged. we did one of the last tow town halls with governor casics this morning and one william who was undeclared said this is the fifth tame she had seen them. they're paying attention and we hope to get a good share of them. >> woodruff: no prediction? i think we'll do all right. i would say 2-3 will be a respectable result and probably even if stronger in terms of celebration if things broke right for us. >> woodruff: tom rath working hard for governor john kasich,
we thank you so much. >> the thank you, judy. >> woodruff: the eve of the new hampshire primary is the perfect time for politics monday. i'm joined by tarm tamera keith of n.p.r. in manchester, new hampshire and amy walter of the "cook political report." tamara, i'm going to start with you because you are sitting in the cold in manchester, new hampshire and covering up close what looks to me like a collision between gender politics and generational politics involving bernie sanders and hillary clinton but mostly self-inflicted wounds from hillary clinton's people. >> absolutely. her surrogates and supporters said some things that are not going to make young fell -- feminists happy, that upset young feminists, in fact, and countered the message that hillary clinton is trying to get out there which is i know young women support bernie sanders, but she hopes, she says, to win them over. this is not a new collision
among jung feminists -- young and older feminists. it played out in 2008 and it's happening again. >> ifill: did gloria steinem and madline albright "step in it?" >> by shaming a woman is not the best way usually to entice someone. i do want to make a really important distinction which is we're talking about women in new hampshire and iowa right now who are overwhelmingly white. when you look at how bernie sanders does in new hampshire and iowa among young people, huge gap. but when i look at the polls taken in south carolina, a much more diverse electorate, hillary clinton holds her own among younger voters. i'm curious to see if this generational gender collision continues when we get into states that are a lot more diverse. that said, it's the challenge hillary clinton has had really
since 2008 which, is you know, they say you like to campaign in poetry and govern in prose, she campaigns in prose and governs in prose and there is very little poetry there and we saw that poetry problem again this week. >week. >> ifill: let's stick with the clintons. bill clinton, no stranger of the highways and byways of the manchester primary. he came out irritated at the idea bernie sanders would criticize his wife. >> yeah, i think bill clinton feels like bernie sanders has had sort of a garden path here, that bernie sanders hasn't been put to the same scrutiny as hillary clinton and it seems like bill clinton is saying, all right, well, if nobody else is going to do it, i'm going to do it. and again it's not clear how well this is going to play. the sanders' camp and sanders supporters are pretty upset with bill clinton. that is bill clinton's right to
do that and he did something with some similar things in 2008. i think that, as it's clear that hillary clinton is going to have -- i mean, in all likelihood, she is not going to win here, not even close. it's clear she has a tougher path. i think bill clinton is, as they say, the big dog might be getting off leash a bit. >> ifill: feels like we've had that very conversation, 2008 especially, and that's when he was critical of barack obama for the same reason, sheaing he felt like he hadn't gotten enough scrutiny. moving to the republicans. saturday night, big debate in the old town, and marco rubio was generally seen initially as not having done terribly well as he came off as somewhat robotic. was that real or kind of overblown, amy? >> we'll know a lot more tomorrow night. >> ifill: yeah. but, look, i think that where marco rubio was headed before that debate was in a big wave of momentum after iowa, and you talked to people privately, they
said they could see his numbers move up in new hampshire. it was all about closing strongly, all right, which is what he wanted to do is build that momentum and close strong and then maybe even win new hampshire, or at least come very close to donald trump. that momentum at best has been stalled, maybe he's even gone backwards. but i do agree that we sometimes make too much of these debates. it's not just the people watching them, it's a small subset, but many people in new hampshire are doing other things or thinking about other things -- >> ifill: including the super bowl, programs. >> perhaps. and what we think is really important -- -- or the thing the media thinks is important that he's robotic and doesn't change their message is not a problem with candidate. we talk about candidates needing to be disciplined. most voters are spending .00005% of their time listening and thinking about politics.
>> ifill: you talked about donald trump and his similar later to bernie sanders, talking about message and the things they actually say and their appeal, not just how they do a debate. >> right, and there are many things where they are nowhere near each other but there are surprising areas where they overlap like preserving or expanding social security, not cutting social security benefits, infrastructure, and simply the way they talk about this feeling that the american dream is maybe not within reach in a way it was in the past. they are tapping into many of the same things and use many of the same phrases to talk about those things, also trade. >> ifill: let's be completely clear about something and that's that we don't know what's going to happen tomorrow night. voting starts midnight. i love this part of the year. but there is a big expectations
game underway. 24 hours out, amy, what is the expectations game? >> ton democratic side it's bernie sanders wins but by what manager, and the republican side trump wins, again what margin, and what happens to the non-trump, non-sanders candidates. will one or more of the candidates drop out after new hampshire and then the rest coalesce around the one who's left? >> ifill: how does the expectations game field on the ground, tam? >> ted cruz today was acly trying to lower expectation which is is not something he did before iowa. of course, this is a very different state and less friendly territory for him, and hillary clinton has been for months saying, well, you know, bernie sanders is from a neighboring state. i think that the clinton camp is prepared to lose in iowa -- is prepared to lose here in new hampshire. it's not clear how much that will be by and also bernie
sanders is also tempering expectations saying you know new hampshire has been very friendly to the clintons. i think nobody wants to lose the expectations game. >> ifill: and they're perfectly aware of how volatile last-minute voting is in new hampshire. tamera keith get out with the voters, amy walter, start reading the exit polls. we'll talk to you tomorrow night. tune in thursday night 9:00 p.m. eastern when judy and i host a pbs "newshour" democratic presidential debate in partnership with facebook from the university of wisconsin, milwaukee. >> woodruff: now to the growing effort to rein in the mosquito- borne zika virus spreading through parts of south and central america. it is suspected to cause devastating birth defects in children born to women who become infected during pregnancy.
our science correspondent miles o'brien has been reporting on developments from brazil, which has been hard hit by the virus. tonight, he looks at ways doctors and scientists are racing to get ahead of the outbreak. >> reporter: it's carnival week in brazil, the raucous run up to lent when people take to the streets to party their worries away. but this year it's harder to mask reality, as a frightening epidemic also marches through the nation. >> they come to us asking many questions and we cannot say almost nothing is 100% sure. what we have to do is to support them. that's all we have to do. >> reporter: dr. adriana scavuzzi is an obstetrician at one of the largest hospitals in recife, the epicenter of a fast moving outbreak of the zika virus - a flavivirus - in the same family as yellow fever, west nile and dengue. in each case, the virus
hitchhikes on a tenacious day biting mosquito called aedes aegypti that has origins in africa and is now spreading throughout the globe. two month-old nicollas pereira has an abnormally small head - microcephaly. doctors at this hospital would normally see 10 cases like this a year. but starting in august, there were suddenly 10 to 20 a month. dr. ana van der linden is a pediatric neurologist. she says nicollas must contend with an array of permanent mental and physical problems. >> ( translated ): with this impairment, we see that reflex reactions are good, but voluntary actions that depend on better brain development will be impaired. he will have bad motor skills and mental development, he can also have abnormal vision, hearing disorders and bone malformation. >> reporter: his mother, elizangela says she developed a
rash while she was pregnant. as it turns out, she had the zika virus apparently after a mosquito bite. >> sometimes i worry, sometimes i wonder if he will survive, but i always believe that god will help. my only fear is losing him. but i'm at peace. >> reporter: elizangela's personal tragedy is part of an unprecedented global mystery. >> i think this is one of the most unexpected epidemiological situations, maybe in decades. >> reporter: laura rodrigues is an epidemiologist with the london school of hygiene & tropical medicine, who raced to her home country to help answer some questions in a hurry. even the numbers are a challenge. government health workers are investigating more than four thousand suspected microcephaly cases that might be linked to zika. >> there is so much we don't know, and one of the things we
don't know is exactly how many babies are affected. right now, there are pregnant women being exposed and possibly infected. it's very difficult to predict. >> reporter: zika's enigmatic history offers us few clues. it was first isolated in uganda, in 1947. it circulated in africa and a broad stretch of asia then popped up in the pacific, in 2007. the biggest outbreak, in 2013, was in french polynesia: an estimated 19,000 cases. but over the years, no one paid a lot of attention to zika because the symptoms are generally mild. in fact, four out of five never know they have it. no one is sure why it took such a vicious turn. >> it could be by genetic mutation of the virus and it could be that just once they escaped africa and got into urban, very densely populated areas, it was easier to transmit or it could be something else, the mosquito maybe. it's all happening very, very fast. >> reporter: making a smoking
gun connection between zika in mothers and microcephaly in their unborn children is a challenge for scientists. by the time infants are diagnosed, the virus is usually long gone. but here in recife, the case grew stronger last week. at this government lab, researchers used a new test and found zika antibodies in the spinal fluid of 12 babies with microcephaly, meaning the virus can reach a baby's nervous system and brain in utero. researchers believe the virus targets nerve cells as a fetus develops. >> so this is where we keep the virus. >> reporter: rafael franca is an immunologist here. he showed me the deep-freeze where they keep the zika samples for research that will lay the groundwork for a better diagnostic test, therapies and maybe one day, a vaccine. >> i cannot say that we have the situation under control. i believe now, the only way to control virus from spreading is
to use measures to eliminate the vector. >> reporter: that vector is the mosquito. in nearly every case, zika is transmitted by a mosquito bite. the brazilian government has deployed nearly 250,000 troops to wage war with the insects. they have been spraying insecticides and adding larvicides to standing water where mosquitoes lay their eggs. gaspar canuto is a recife government health worker. how much of this is to show the public you are doing something? >> ( translated ): 100% of this action is aiming to reduce the incidence of mosquitoes and also of the disease. >> reporter: efforts like this, while well intentioned, seem unlikely to stop the outbreak anytime soon in brazil or in other countries hit by zika, especially in latin america. the scale of the problem is mind-boggling. with mosquitoes, a single female can lay hundreds of eggs.
just this bit of water is enough for thousands. in fact, the amount in this little cup is all she needs. with all this in mind, the brazilian government is warning citizens that standing water can be dangerous. but in this slum in recife, there is no running water. >> can you imagine a family that they don't have even tap water, running water everyday? they have to keep water in containers. so it makes a perfect environment for the mosquito. trying to solve the medical problem would be enough. you have to change the quality of people's life. otherwise, you will not solve this problem. >> reporter: doctors here say the biggest frustration is they can't fix what ails these babies, all because of a single mosquito bite. it has dramatically changed elizangela's life. she had to quit her job as a farm worker to care for little nicollas. >> ( translated ): i think i'll be here at the hospital forever.
i do not know if he will be able to walk, i don't know, but i believe that god will help me. >> reporter: one woman's sad but hopeful prayer this carnival season. it's still a time to try and forget your troubles but in brazil this year a steady drumbeat of worry seems impossible to ignore. miles o'brien pbs newshour, recife, brazil. >> ifill: it's been a generation since the cold war ended, the standoff that dominated much of the 20th century. but now, echoes of that conflict are sounding again as the u.s. and its allies encounter a resurgent russia. chief foreign affairs correspondent margaret warner reports. >> warner: nato is planning its
biggest build-up in eastern europe since the cold war, all to deter a newly-assertive russia. >> we haven't had to worry about this for 25 years. while i wish it were otherwise, now we do. >> warner: last week, defense secretary ash carter proposed to quadruple u.s. spending on its "european reassurance initiative" to $3.4 billion. >> that will fund a lot of things: more rotational u.s. forces in europe, more training and exercising with our allies, more preposition and war- fighting gear and infrastructure improvements to support all this >> warner: this week in brussels, nato's defense ministers will discuss setting up outposts along its eastern front to do just that. but is this wise, or necessary? evelyn farkas just left her post as assistant secretary of defense for russia, ukraine and eurasia. >> this is something that i think we absolutely need to do. it is a sign of our resolve. it's a sign that the united states is there with our nato
allies. that we're there also to send a signal to russia. i mean it's clearly a deterrent effort. >> warner: but jack matlock, ambassador to the soviet union from 1987 to 1991, warns it will simply provoke russian leader vladimir putin into further aggressive moves. >> i think it's a bad idea. i think it's not necessary. i think it's going to lead to even more confrontation with russia. probably, simply they will move more of their military equipment to the border. >> warner: estonia's ambassador to the u.s., eerik marmei, echoes all three baltic nations in insisting they need the protection. >> it a very clear sign of the u.s. commitment to enhance the deterrence in europe, especially in the eastern part of europe in the coming years. >> warner: why do you need more? >> what we have seen in recent
years is the change of security environment in europe. we have seen that russia has violated main principles of international agreements, law. >> warner: he's referring to russia's 2008 invasion of the former republic of georgia, capturing two pro-russian territories. it triggered the deepest rift between russia and the west since the fall of the soviet union. tensions exploded anew in 2014 when russia invaded and annexed the crimean peninsula of the former soviet republic of ukraine. >> ( translated ): this strategic territory should be under strong and stable sovereignty which in fact could be today only russian. >> warner: the kremlin then provoked war in mainland ukraine's east between pro- russian separatists and government forces. with more than 9,000 dead, the conflict continues. also sounding alarms in the
west: russia's recent multi- billion-dollar military build-up with large-scale ground exercises, overflights of neighbors and a spike in submarine activity. nato's commander in europe, u.s. general philip breedlove, has issued repeated warnings. >> russia is blatantly attempting to change the rules and principles that have been the foundation of european security for decades. >> warner: but how far do putin's ambitions extend? it's one thing to reassert influence in one-time soviet republics, like ukraine, georgia and moldova. but would he really move against once independent countries taken over by the soviets during world war ii who are free again and now members of the nato alliance? >> this union of 12 nations became known as the north atlantic treaty organization or, more simply, nato. >> warner: nato was formed in april 1949, with 12 members, to defend themselves from the
soviet union based on the principle: an attack on one is an attack on all. but after the berlin wall fell in 1989 and the soviet union collapsed in 1991, many former soviet satellite states and republics sought and won the protection of nato's security umbrella. most galling to the russians was nato's 2004 incorporation of three tiny baltic states, former soviet republics where many ethnic russians still reside: lithuania, latvia, and estonia. >> we will defend our nato allies, and that means every ally. >> warner: in september 2014, after the ukraine crisis erupted, president obama went to estonia to reassure the baltics and to warn the russians. >> so if, in such a moment, you ever ask again, "who will come to help?," you'll know the answer: the nato alliance. >> warner: but is russia actually a threat to its baltic neighbors? >> absolutely.
you know all of the countries on russia's periphery have been either invaded by russia and occupied. this kremlin has a foreign policy that essentially asserts their right to have political and economic control over their periphery. >> warner: what do you asses is putin's intention vis-a-vis these countries? >> he wants to maintain as i mentioned this political and economic control. it doesn't mean he has to invade ever country. he can also try to undermine the countries by other means. >> i don't think there's any possibility of russia making an incursion in the baltic states. >> warner: former ambassador matlock says the russians are simply responding to what they see as nato squeezing them by expanding right up to the russian border. >> in their eyes, they have not committed aggression. they are responding to aggression from the west, particularly from the united states, which they accuse, think unfairly but sincerely, of trying to encircle them with military bases. >> warner: western leaders
concede they have little insight into what drives putin or what he intends. but mutual hostility is growing and, matlock warns, dangerous. >> there has been created an almost cold war atmosphere of hostility. in that atmosphere, you are going to make it very difficult to cooperate on bigger issues. >> warner: for example, he says, battling islamic state terrorism. and then there's the nuclear threat between two superpowers. >> you know very well that it would be a catastrophe to get involved in a war with russia. and it seems to me that you need to deal with a certain prudence. >> warner: do you think that we are sliding into some kind of new cold war in our relationship with russia? should it make us tread more carefully? >> we should always tread carefully, but if by that you mean that we shouldn't signal resolve to russia, i would say
no. >> warner: the next signal of that resolve should come in brussels later this week. in washington, i'm margaret warner for the pbs newshour. >> woodruff: tune in later tonight on pbs, a new documentary from "independent lens" showcases misty copeland, the first african american woman to be named principal dancer at new york city's american ballet theater, one of the country's most prestigious dance companies. here's a preview. ♪ >> it all kind of hit me at once, moving to new york, realizing i was the only african-american woman in a company of 80 dancers. i felt like i was sinking for a
while. i felt alone in a world that had become my home. there is just generations of white girls who can see themselves as ballerinas. it's, like, not even a question because everyone looks like them on stage, and it's like this psychological thing where, you know, we don't see ourselves up there so it's not something we think we can even dream. i think people think sometimes i focus too much on the fact that i'm a black dancer.
i've heard it from, you know, former principal dancers in major ballet companies who complain about my presence and my voice. i don't think people realize what a feat it is being a black woman. but that's so much of who i am, and i think it's so much a part of my story. >> woodruff: wow. that's something. >> woodruff: tune in later tonight to catch the full "independent lens" documentary, "a ballerina's tale."
you can check your local listings for the time. >> ifill: on the newshour online right now, american students learning arabic can get extra help practicing their skills by connecting with syrian refugees who need work. learn more about how one website is bridging worlds through conversation. all that and more is on our web site: pbs.org/newshour >> woodruff: and that's the newshour for tonight. on tuesday, special coverage of the new hampshire primary at regluar newshour time and 11 pm eastern. i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. join us online and a reminder: this thursday 9 pm eastern, judy and i will moderate the democratic presidential debate in partnership with facebook from the university of wisconsin, milwaukee. 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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america". >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, newman's own foundation, giving all profits from newman's own to charity and pursuing the common good, kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs, and hong kong tourism board. ♪ >> want to know hong kong's most romantic spots? i will show you. >> i love heading to repulse bay for an evening stroll. it's the perfect, stunning backdrop for making romantic moments utterly unforgettable.