tv PBS News Hour PBS April 18, 2016 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff.dr and while gwen ifill's away, we welcome hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: thanks, great to be here. ser >> woodruff: on the newshour tonight, devastation in ecuador: a powerful earthquake flattens coastal villages and towns, leaving thousands injured and a rising death toll in its wake. w >> sreenivasan: also ahead this monday, the supreme court takes on president obama's controversial immigration actions which prevents millionso from deportation. >> woodruff: then, as the u.s. braces for a rise in cases of the zika virus, women and health officials grapple with tough questions.n >> sreenivasan: and, how hindu's long held belief in treating cows as sacred is part of a bigger divide in india's culture and politics. >> it's high time that the
government realize that they're making asses of themselves and discrediting an enormously plural and diverse civilization. >> sreenivasan: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour.s >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ love me tender >> we can like many, but we can love only a precious few, because it is for those preciou few that you have to be willingh to do so very much. you don't have to do it alone. lincoln financial helps you provide for and protect your financial future because this is what you do for people you love. lincoln financial-- you're in charge. >> fathom travel. carnival corporation's small ship line.
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>> woodruff: the death toll in ecuador's devastating earthquake rose to 350 today. hundreds more are missing, but three people were rescued, after being trapped for 32 hours. john yang reports on the day's developments. >> reporter: all through a second night, crews searched for survivors in the rubble. n families of the missing watchedn anxiously. >> ( translated ): no, i didn't sleep last night and i won't bet able to sleep today because i am distressed with the desperation to find them, to see them, to know they are ok. >> reporter: as daylight broke, more bodies were pulled from the debris, and the devastation from saturday night's disaster lay everywhere.
stephen kueffner, of "the economist," is watching inch quito. >> you start hearing the window frames cracking, you feel the ground shake and then you look up and see the lamps moving. then you realize that this is not going to be over quickly. >> reporter: the quake had a magnitude of 7.8 and struck about nine miles off ecuador's coast in the pacific ocean, and about 100 miles from the capital city, quito. it was the strongest tremor in decades to hit the andean nation of 16 million. drone footage over the provincial capital of portoviejo shows multi-story buildings completely askew and a ruined infrastructure. cars were crushed, homes teetered at precarious angles, and families slept on the streets, on edge after hundreds of aftershocks.ed >> ( translated ): hopefully we
get the support and help we need, because we slept in at field all night. >> reporter: faced with the disaster, ecuador's president, rafael correa, flew back sunday from a trip to italy. the priority of priorities is to save human lives but, of course, there's a lack of basic services, lack of water,e' >> reporter: there's almost nothing to work with in some of the hardest hit places. again, repoter stephen kueffnerm >> in the beach town of kanoa the situation is so grave that there are about 400 homeless people including 150 homeless children with extremely limited supplies and bodies are being taken to the local park as they have nowhere to put them. >> reporter: relatives consoled each other outside portoviejo's morgue this morning, as more and more bodies arrived.
the injured were tended to in makeshift tents set up by the red cross, with more than 2,500 people hurt in the quake. diego castellanos is with the red cross in quito.la >> they don't have water. they are looking for relatives all the time. during the day. during the night. some of the work or the job that we are trying to do with them iu just to give them the support. and also to give them the food and the water and all the support that we can. >> reporter: meanwhile, aid has begun to trickle in from neighboring countries, including bolivia. and a plane loaded with a 47- member spanish rescue team left madrid today to help with the search effort. it also carried 15 tons of humanitarian aid. >> sreenivasan: in the day's other news, thousands of rescue workers in japan kept searching for survivors from two earthquakes last week. they hit the southern island of
kyushu, on thursday night and again early saturday, killing 42 people.rl the u.s. military lent its support today, with tilt-rotor osprey aircraftft delivering aid. landslides and damaged roads have left hundreds of people stranded on parts of the island. >> woodruff: here in the u.s., parts of houston are under water today, after more than a foot of rain hit the nation's fourth largest city. some 110,000 homes and businesses lost power, schools closed and hundreds of flightsun were canceled. people waded through waist-deep water in scores of subdivisions, and some used anything that would float to seek safety. the city's mayor warned there's more to come. >> the heavy rain appears to be sagging out of the area for right now but if you look on the radar system we can anticipatepa some additional heavy rain probably into late tonight going into tomorrow morning so this >> woodruff: the flood watch also extended into western louisiana and arkansas.so
>> sreenivasan: this was presidential primary eve in new york state, with therye frontrunners hoping for big wins tomorrow.ne republican donald trump and democrat hillary clinton are well ahead in delegates, but both have suffered a string of recent losses.er meanwhile, 300 people were arrested at the u.s. capitol. it's the latest in a week's worth of protests against big money in politics. we'll return to the presidential race, later in the program. >> woodruff: the united states will send another 200 troops and for the first time, attack helicopters, to battle the islamic state group in iraq. in baghdad, defense secretary ash carter announced the advisers will be closer to the front lines. but the white house insisted it is not "mission creep." >> this has to be a fight that is lead by local forces with th support and assistance of unitet states and our coalition partners.nd and that's exactly what we've done thus far and that hasn't changed based on the enhancement that were announced today.se
>> woodruff: the announcement comes as iraqi forces are gearing up to try to push isis militants out of mosul, the country's second largest city. >> sreenivasan: in ethiopia,ni government troops are hunting gunmen from south sudan who killed more than 200 civilians in a raid on friday. they also abducted more than 100 children.ct it happened in an eastern region, close to the country's border with south sudan. the ethiopians have now crossed that border, in pursuit. >> woodruff: a bomb set fire to a bus in jerusalem. no doubt it was a terror attack, police say. two people were seriously wounded and the rest of the victims were in another bus and camp. such attacks have been rare. in recent years. >> sreenivasan: the >> sreenivasan: the syrian peace talks hit a new snag today, when the opposition suspended itsp formal participation. only three delegates from that side attended a meeting with a u.n. envoy in geneva. a senior negotiator pointed to new attacks by government forces inside syria.
>> ( translated ): the humanitarian conditions and regime attacks and violations of the cease-fire, negatively affect the political process. we need clear and concise answers, and we need an agendada reflecting real political transition in syria. we want real negotiations, not farcical ones.eg >> sreenivasan: meanwhile, yemen's shiite rebels backed out of u.n.-brokered peace talks in kuwait. they complained of cease-fire violations by saudi arabia and other supporters of yemen's government.r >> woodruff: back in this country, the pulitzer prizes were handed down for the 100th time. the "associated press" won the public service prize for its investigation of slave labor in seafood, in southeast asia. the "los angeles times" was honored for its breaking news coverage of the san bernardino shootings, and the hit broadway musical "hamilton" won the prize for drama. >> sreenivasan: wall street started the week on a high note, the dow jones industrial average gained 106 points to close at 18,004, the nasdaq rose 21
points, and the s&p 500 added 13.po >> woodruff: and, on this boston marathon day, runners from ethiopia swept the men's and women's titles, ending kenya's dominance. some 30,000 people took part, including victims of the bombing three years ago that killed three people and wounded more than 260 others. some ran with prosthetic blades. still to come on the newshour: the fate of four million undocumented immigrants beforeor the supreme court. the candidates' final push to win over voters in new york. brazil's president facing impeachment, and much more. >> sreenivasan: there was justen one case on the docket today for this short-handed supreme court. but that case happened to be one of the biggest of the term: a dispute over immigration, ander the scope of presidential power.
the arguments inside the court drew hundreds of pro-immigration demonstrators outside, chanting "yes, we can" in spanish. they were there supporting the president's program known as "dapa"-- "deferred action for parents of americans." it shields some four million people from deportation. >> my dad travels all over theda state of texas. every time he goes out we live in fear that he's going to be deported and families shouldn't live like this. >> sreenivasan: congressional supporters also turned out, to defend the president's acting without congress' approval. >> the president of the united states has taken actions that were clearly established today in the court that ronald reagan took.ha that george bush took. >> it was made abundantly clear the ability of the president to grant deferred action is of long standing and based in statute
and regulation. to deny that at this point would be an extraordinary departure from law and history. >> sreenivasan: but texas and 22 other states have mounted the legal challenge to dapa. they argue the president did overstep his constitutionalit authority. >> if we allow a president, whether it's this president or a future president, no matter what political persuasion or their party, to make changes in their law without congressional approval, then we will end up with a perverted constitution. >> sreenivasan: a small group turned out today to support that position, including several from congress. it's very clear that even from the beginning they created groups or classes of people that would blanket amnesty under the directive given by the president. >> sreenivasan:. >> sreenivasan: lower courts have put the program on hold. but, with the death of justice antonin scalia, a 4-to-4 split on the high court would leave the program in legal limbo.on
we get more now on today's arguments from someone who was in the courtroom today: marcia coyle, chief washington correspondent for "the national law journal" and a "newshour" regular.na what's at the core of the dispute? >> there are a number of issues before the court that texas raises about this program but the arguments today really focused on mainly two. the first issue has to do -- it's a threshold issue, does texas actually have the right to be in federal court suing the government over this program?m? this is what we call "standing to sue." texas argues that it does have standing because it will suffer an injury, a financial injury, and what it's going to cost to deliver license -- driver's licenses to these immigrants. the government contends they don't have standing, that this is not the kind of injury, it'ss an incidental injury. texas could easily change its own law which provides these licenses to not give them to
this category of immigrants. so when the issue was addressed right away two the start of the arguments, and here you had the chief justice and justice alito for the most part asking the most skeptical questions of the obama administration's lawyer, solicitor general donald varili. chief justice roberts said, for example, isn't money the classic standing injury? and mr. virili said, not in this case, it's a case where it's almost hypothetical, the program hasn't begun, texas hasn't incurred an injury yet. let them change their law. and the chief justice responds well, if they change their law not to give licenses, won't you sue them? again, mr. virili said something hypothetical. that's the first. then you had the more liberal justices standing to the --
turning to the standing question with texas' lawyer scott keller and justice breyer said your view of injury here is so broad that every time the state has a political disagreement with theh federal government, it would sue the federal government, we could have a flood of litigation. >> sreenivasan: so those are the two big issues. >> that's one issue. >> sreenivasan: just one issue. >> yes. the second issue is the fundamental issue, is this program legal? does it violate the law? did the president go a step too far? there again youo saw almost the ideological breakdown. the government said we're exercising enforcement discretion. there are eleven million immigrants, congress never appropriated enough money for us to deport all of them but congress does give us this enforcement discretion that presidents have been exercisingg for decades.s. texas says, huh-uh, this is a different type of program, by giving deferred deportation to a whole class of illegal
immigrants, you are actually changing their legal status, and you can't do that without a congressional act. there again you saw justice kennedy saying to the obama administration lawyer, you seem to be setting policy and asking congress to follow along. that seems upside down. >> sreenivasan: so does the absence of justice scalia increase the likelihood this is a 4-4 just by the way you're telling us where the justices were pointing their questions? >> absolutely, it does, and when i came out of the arguments, i think it wasn't clear to me, at least, how the court was going to resolve this. if they decide 4-4 that they're on standing, for example, or even if they decide 5-4 -- i'm sorry, 5-3 that there is no standing, that's the end of the case for texas. texas loses. but if there is a 4-4 split, the case will go on. it will go back to the districtr
court in texas for a full trial. this was just a preliminary nationwide injunction that is holding up the program right now. the district court has not ruled on all the merits yet. >> marcia coyle, "national law journal," thank you so much. uc >> woodruff: and as we heard earlier, tomorrow marks the new york primary, a critical contest for both parties. the two frontrunners, republican donald trump and democrat hillary clinton, both claim ties to the empire state. today, they jabbed opponents for different versions of their new york values. >> you know, we love this city. you look at the other folks that are running. they couldn't care less about new york. we do care about new york, and we care about new york a lot. and we care about new york values.d
>> i will not let someone like donald trump or ted cruz say >> woodruff: to dissect that new york brawl, and all the week'sdi politics, it's time for "politics monday." that's analysis from amy walter of the "cook political report," and tamara keith of npr. p and welcome back to both of you. so let's talk about new york. tamara, you're there. you're in new york city. what's th the state of the democratic race? >> ththe state of the democratic race is they are both running hard. bernie sanders a little bit later tonight has likely to be a very large rally. he's been having record-breaking crowds at hisñr rallies. meanwhile, hillary clinton is c racing from borough to borough doing small, retail politicsli kind of events, more of a traditional way of running in new york. the polling would indicate that
hillary clinton, this is the state she was elected to twice in the senate, that she is favored. the sanders campaign is in their fundraising e-mails saying we don't axe have have to -- actually have to win, we just have to windell gats so the sanders campaign is trying to set expectations and the clinton campaign says this is closer than the public polls have you indicate. it's a race, but all indications are that clinton has the stronger position in new york heading into the voting. >> woodruff: amy, what do you make of it? bernie sanders is drawing huge crowds, 20-some thousand last night, but hillary clinton's ahead in the polls. >> new york is really a question of whether hillary clinton be able to get her group back and she's been on the defensive the last few weeks here. bernie sanders has won eight of the last nine contests, outraised her in fundraising, put her on defensive on a whole
host of issues, whether she will release the transcripts she gave to goldman sachs. it has not been a good couple of weeks to be hillary clinton.y this is her chance to reset the race and narrative especially if she wins by a significant amount. she will getnt to focus on thins she likes talking about more, like the math and how difficultu it will be for bernie sanders to catch up. if close, she still gets the most delegates, still is on then way to locking up the nomination, but gives bernie sanders the argument that the momentum is still behind him, the race is closing, had a new poll out today, national poll of democrats showing hillary clinton upng by two points. national polls don't mean anything when you have regional primaries but the race has tightened a great deal over the course ofa the campaign. >> woodruff: how could the dynamic change?e? bernie sanders continues to talk about how much money hillaryil clinton is raking in from big money sources and george clooney the actor who with his wife gave hillary clinton a highly
publicized fundraiser over the weekend, i guess the big tickets for $350,000 a person or a couple. clooney himself said over the weekend, these are obscene amounts of money. does this hurt hillary clinton or what? >> this is certainly an area where bernie sanders has some strength.th he's been, as we know very well, $27 at a time, been able to outraise hillary clinton. and his fundraising isn't just about money, it's about his message. the money is the message for bernie sanders. just today, his campaign sent a letter to the dnc complaining about and saying that maybe some sort of violation had happened in how hillary clinton is raising money with the dnc at this fundraiser at clooney's house where they were able to raise this much money, it's through the hillary victor fund, a complicated system.
sanders is pointing to it saying this is somehow a violation, the clinton campaign is firing back saying, look, hillary clinton is raising money for down-ballot races. they are fighting about fundraising and that is really better territory for bernie sanders because he has a story that he can tell, a story $27 at a time.ti >> woodruff: is this something with traction, amy? everybody hearing about it for so long. >> the real question in my mind is what happens when this race is over. if hillary clinton continues to pick up delegates, stays on the path, wins the nomination, does she bring these voters back?c this is always a debate we have, judy, every single election. is the primary good or bad for the party? are you going to have disappointed, disaffected bernie sandersis supporters who do lisn to his attacks on her fundraising, having taken that to heart, are they going to beo open to coming back? this is the fine line she's had twiewk for the last few weeks
and months now which is making sure she makes her case to the public and democratic primary voters without alienating bernie sanders supporters she'll need when we hit november. >> woodruff: i don't know if on the republican side there is this worry about alienating the other guys' supporters. there is still a race but donald trump is still pretty far ahead. what are we going to learn from new york on the republican side? >> every time there is voting in the republican race we say, oh, my gosh, is this a trend or a one-time blip? well, this is donald trump's home state and he is expected to do quite well here. i think that what we learn is how well he does, and if donald trump is able to continue adding up delegates, this is important for donald trump. if ted cruz and john kasich aree able to chip away at that and get a few of the delegates from
the state, that's just a few delegates that keep donald trump away from getting that elusive 12307, the number -- 1237, the number of delegates he needs to clinch the nomination. >> woodruff: meantime, ted cruz has been racking up delegates in state after state when they're picking people to fill the delegate slots. he's been able to pick up some at least p.r. points, you were writing. >> yeah, my argument is where ted cruz is very good is at the nuts and the bolts of the campaigning, the grassroots organizing, the hard work it takes to get the delegates in these states at these conventions. donald trump is terrible at nuts and bolts, he's been terrible at picking up the delegates. his team has only come on in the last couple of weeks trying to get in the gamings but he's very good at the p.r. in theth marketing. thein marketing campaign forfo donald trump is this game's rigged, i'm the biggest winner. if donald trump comes out in new york with a big head of
steam, he wins all or most of the delegates. we go in april 26th in states where he also should be successful, he continues winning, it makes his argument most salient that i'm the winner, i'm the most, this 1237 number is sort of arbitrary, this getting the delegates thing seems rigged, and the recent polling we've seen in "the walle street journal," the majority of reps is with donald trump. they say the person who has the most delegates and votes coming into the convention should be is no, ma'am nuclear agreement this is a battle between the p.r. and the grassroots organizing we'll continue to see. >> woodruff: well, s it's gotten to the point where, if we keep hearing about small numbers of delegates, we don't know where this is going the head. but tomorrow night will be important. >> yes. >> woodruff: amyrt walter,te tamara keith, thank you both. >> you're welcome, judy.ud >> woodruff: more election coverage including the crucial new york primary tomorrow night.
>> sreenivasan: stay with us, coming up on the newshour: on this tax day, the i.r.s. commissioner talks cybersecurity and budget fights.is what happens when india's sacred cows become political. and as summer nears, the growing threat of zika here at home. but first, the overwhelming vote to impeach brazil's president, dilma rousseff, has deepened the crisis in south america's largest nation. we begin with this report from guillermo galdos of independent television news.ga >> reporter: political goals don't come much bigger. >> we've been working on this for a long time, believing that something had to change. >> reporter: as with any win, there is always a loser. and for the president's supporters, those trying to remove dilma rousseff are
playing a dirty game.eps wr.or d >> ( translated ): this fascist congress wants to lead a coup d'etat on brazil's democracy.: we will resist and always fight for democracy.cy >> reporter: from the streets or the capital to congress, brazil is now a house divided. rousseff stands accused of fiddling the national accounts to hide the budget deficit before her re-election in 2015. yet a third of brazil's lawmakers, many of them baying for blood, are being investigated for corruption themselves.fo having ruled for 13 years, c brazil's workers party, the p.t., is now on the ropes. after her election in 2011, dilma once enjoyed 90% approval ratings.nj those days are long gone. even her popular predecessor, lula da silva, is now mired in his own corruption scandals.
>> ( translated ): i heard people saying is she going to resign?le is she becoming weak? several times. no, a person who believes in aie cause fights on until the end,il to have it written in history that she was not a coward. >> reporter: brazil is facing its worst recession since the 1930s and 60% of the country is now against her.ry >> sreenivasan: for more on the tumultuous events in brazil, as the country deals with the zika virus and the upcoming summer olympics, i'm joined by lourdes garcia-navarro, the brazil burea chief for national public radioa she joins me tonight from npr's headquarters, here in washington. first, how do we get to this? is it the old phrase, it's the economy? >> well, i think that's certainlyport of it. the economy in brazil is doing extremely badly. it contracted by 3.8% last year alone and expected to contract by the same this year, losing jobs at an alarming rate. people are anxious and taking
out on the leader president dilma rousseff. she has record low popularity. only about so% of the country approve of her leadership and 60% want her impeached. the economy is a key factor.r. there are other things like massive corruption scanned engulfing the government, and that has also affected very much her presidency and led to this right now. >> sreenivasan: as far as corruption scandals go, how bad is this compared to what might have happened to her predecessors or in the political climate of brazil? >> it's hard to know because i think what's interesting about this corruption scandal is that for the first time it's coming to light and it really shocked the brazilian population which really felt i think up till now imured to corruption, they didn't think much about it. but this shocked them. it's about the state oil company. the state oil company is theny
crown jewel for the government,n a massive source of income. what was uncovered was a scheme by which politicians and businessmen were bilking it for billions and billions of dollars and it was shocking to many people and that has had wide-ranging effects. many people have been implicated. billionaires put in prison, politicians under indictment,nd it's a corruption standing thata shocked and engulfed brazil. >> sreenivasan: howa likely is rousseff, then, to be removed from office? >> at this point, extremelyme likely. the government was very disheartened, of course, by what happened on sunday night. it went much worse than had originally been expected. but you also have to understand that what's happening in brazil is very, very difficult for the population. even though most people in brazil want dilma rousseff gone, they look at the people who might succeed her and are very acceptable of them, too. the vice president has approval ratings similar to dilma
rousseff. about 50% of the population do not like him. after that the speaker of the house has been implicated in the massive corruption scandal, accused of having embezzled millions of dollars and having secret swiss bank accounts where he stashed it all. the political class in brazil, the ordinary brazillians don't see hope there.. >> sreenivasan: are people concerned for theñi long-termrm stability for the region because of how powerful brazil is? >> brazil is extremely powerful, the largest democracy and economy in south america and central america, so it is extremely worrying for many people and instability is a big concern. the economy is in a free fall, as we mentioned, but the political class seems to be frozen and let's not forget they're dealing with the zika virus, they don't have the alth inminister now.
they are dealing with the olympics. they had to replace the ports minister. if the new government comes in and rousseff is removed from office, how much legitimacy will a new government have especial after the political class look at who enacted the impeachment proceedings and see themselvesse many are themselves being investigated. >> sreenivasan: yesterday it was almost like a soccer team, people painted with flags, i'm with this or the other team, but as you mentioned there are deep systemic problems. what are the people on the street you speak to concerned about? this particular problem is solvable. let's see we get this particular person out of office, then what. >> is this it's a very difficult situation. i recently traveled to the north of the country.t this is the place where the ruling party dilma rousseff and her pre predecessor, it was ther bastian of support, the poorer,
black part of the country and has been helped a lot by the ruling party and social policies, but many people said they lost faith in the government, that they were supporting the removal of dilma rousseff and that is becausese many are facing a loss of jobs,s they have no money and they don't really have a lot of hope in the future, and that has really i think been the fatal blow to this administration.ni >> sreenivasan: lourdes garcia-navarro, national public radio, thank you so much. >> you're welcome.uc >> woodruff: this is the day that the tax man cometh. or more accurately, the day when millions of americans will finish filing their taxes. the i.r.s. is never popular anyway. but this year, it's facing ever tougher scrutiny, especiallysc from republicans in congress. last week, lawmakers repeatedly
pressed i.r.s. commissioner john koskinen on why the agency wasn't moving faster to improve cybersecurity. the i.r.s. has acknowledged hackers were able to breach its computers last year and swipe sensitive information about hundreds of thousands of taxpayers. john koskinen joins me now. mr. koskinen, thank you for being with us. >> delighted to be here. >> woodruff: what is it goingt to take to retore store the confidence of the american people in the i.r.s.?? >> first we have to demonstratet it's a fair system. if you hear from us, it's because of something in your return, not because of who you voted for, what party you belong to or what church you go to. also, our systems are secure. the problem has been that criminals organized around the world have a vast amount of personal information available to them and they are increasingly successful at masquerading as taxpayers and when they've gotten into our
information it's because they've stolen the information somewhere else and could pretend effectively they were the taxpayer. >> woodruff: and when members of timent r.s. and the country come to you and say, why aren't you preventing this kind of thing, is it not doable? >> no, we are continuing to increase the levels of security, the authentication we have from taxpayers before they have access to applications we're continuing to develop and roughing out. >> woodruff: that's it?ro that's it. i think we've taken down the applications -- two applications that wereti accessed by criminas masquerading as taxpayers and will bring them back up with higher levels of authentication, but unfortunately while it makes it more difficult if not possible for the criminals to get through, it will be a little more difficult for the taks payers to get through as well. >> woodruff: many look at your agency and say they feel it's been dogged by one thing or another. a controversy over the years ago
over the appearance that the i.r.s. was holding up approval of tax exempt status for conservative nonprofit groups. then the breech of security.y. i'll ask in a moment about the panama papers. question -- is the i.r.s. in a situation where it can't win where there will perpetually be one problem after another gripping this agency? >> i think there are always challenges in this day and gauge for agencies.e i think ultimately the i.r.s. does a remarkable job of processing tax returns efficiently, effectively and promptly, dealing with taxpayers.ay if we have the funding, we provide good levels of service for taxpayers. we continue like all financial institutions to have challenges particularly with the organized crime syndicates we're dealing with around the world. our systems are attacked over a million times a day by people trying to get access which fortunately they haven't been able to get as far asy our basc
systems. >> woodruff: you mentioned adequate funding. it's something that many americans look at the i.r.s. and say why do you need more money? you already have so much. you know, why can't you make do with what you have? >> our budget was cut for five years in a row from 2010 to 2015 by over $1 billion which means we lost 15,000 to 17,000 employees over that time frame. while weeed to be more efficient and are working to do that, at some point, we have 10 million more taxpayers than we had, at some point you destroy the effectiveness toec have the agency. so whether the service, enforcement or protection of the database, as we struggle for funding, we continue to be at risk. >> woodruff: what does that mean for the american people is this. >> it means we are collecting 4 billion to 5 billion less a year than we had, 5,000 revenue agents, officers and criminal investigators we used to have more than five years ago.
congress gave us additional funding for 2016 for taxpayer service and the level of taxpayer service on the phones doubled. instead of only 30% getting through, over 70% got through. it's a direct line of if you give us money, we can hire people and they'll answer theú33 phone. if you don't give us money, we can't -- it will be much harder to get an answer on the phone. >> woodruff: some say we need a one postcard sized filing form for every american or virtually every american. could something like that be ane answer for the i.r.s.? >> clearly life would be simpler for taxpayers and for us if the tax code were simpler. not even necessarily to a postcard, but it is, obviously, overly complicated for everyone at this point in time. we have been great supporters of tax simpl simplification. we do tax administration, but the tax administration would beb easier and more effective and efficient if the code were
simpler and so whatever we can do to support that, we're happy to do. >> woodruff: let me ask you about the panama papers, the news report that came out about thousands of wealthy people around the world including some americans who put their money in offshore bank accounts in an effort to avoid paying tax. is this something the i.r.s. knew about ahead of time or did you only learn about it because of this really over a year of very complex reporting that was done by a number of news organizations working together? >> we did not know about this particular set of data until we heard about it through the press. we obviously had had a full court press for the last four or five years on offshore tax evasion. we've had agreements with numerous swiss banks that have revealed untold numbers of accounts. we've created a voluntary disclosure program that over six or seven million americans have taken advantage of. so hiding your assets and
avoiding taxes anywhere in the world is getting a lot more difficult. >> woodruff: do you find that it's now much easier to go after these individuals because of this kind of reporting, or how much difference does this make? >> well, i think this reporting will help. we're working with a number of tax administrations around the world to collect this particular data and cooperate on following through with it, but i think what's happening for compliance generally is increasingly, i think, wealthy investors and taxpayers around the world is discovering there is a growing global coalition focused on ending tax evasion through foreign accounts. >> woodruff: on that note, we will leave it. john koskinen, commissioner of the internal revenue service on tax day.al thank you for joining us. >> thanks for inviting me.
>> sreenivasan: india's history is punctuated by spasms of religious violence. the trigger for recent incidents has been over the consumption of beef, an age old controversy that traces itself to the sanctity of cows in hinduism. from new delhi, fred de sam lazaro reports. d >> reporter: last october, in a village not far from india'sag capital, delhi, a 56-year-oldea muslim man was beaten to death and his son gravely injured by an allegedly hindu mob. his alleged crime? a rumor that he'd butchered a cow, an animal considered sacred to hindus. mohammed akhlaq's home was ransacked, including contents of the refrigerator, before the police arrived. it was perhaps the most egregious in a spate of recent such incidents widely reported they have alarmed many liberals and especially leaders of the significant muslim minority who fear a rising intolerance in this largely hindu nation.
>> ( translated ): the psyche that spawns an incident like this is against india's secularism and brotherhood. it is thinking that looks down upon muslims with distrust. this incident was not triggered by the beef issue, they murdered him on religious grounds. >> reporter: it turns out the meat found in aklaq's refrigerator was mutton, notto beef. but the beef issue has been a political hot potato, one that's endured even as the country has entered the globalized economy. you won't find beef in a burger king anywhere in india, for example. or a mcdonald's. here burgers come from sheep or chickens but not cows. paradoxically the animals roam freely on the street-vulnerable to poisonous garbage and to being captured and taken to slaughter at night, though there are efforts now to crackdown on this illegal practice and to herd cows into shelters.
>> ( translated ): we don't evev believe that the cow is an animal, we see it as a manifestation of god. our magazine tries to educate people about the cow mother about the benefits of the cow. >> reporter: hindus-- 80% of india's 1.2 billion people-- have long venerated the cow. it is the favorite animal of thi deity lord krishna and that reverence in turn is likely linked to the animal's utlity. devender nayak edits a magazine dedicated to improving awareness of the cow's significance. >> ( translated ): a poor family can sustain themselves, they don't even need outside employment if they have just one family of cows. i they can sell the milk, use the dung and the urine, which has many medicinal properties. t >> reporter: whether that reverence should mean an outright ban on beef has been a vexing issue ever since independence in 1947 from beef- loving british rulers. the father of modern india, a hindu, professed his love for the cow but mahatma gandhi said he would not impose his views on muslims, christians as well as
hindus in some regions who do consume beef. nonetheless, india's constitution, while not outlawing cow slaughter, urges individual states to do so. >> india is a federal country so many states have gone ahead and outright banned cow slaughter. >> reporter: shashi tharoor is an author and member of the opposition congress, the once powerful party of gandhi and nehru. for years under congress rule, there was an accommodation of beef consumption in minority and many urban communities. but that changed with the election in 2014 of a hindu nationalist bharatiya janata party or b.j.p. led by charismatic prime ministerme narendra modi. >> the b.j.p. has essentially encouraged a more proactive andr aggressive form of hindu chauvinism that's the sort of polarization that could be deeply damaging to india's i stability and india' future. >> reporter: in a recent speech in parliament, tharoor said the
frequent reports of vigilante groups targeting minority communities, of rising intolerance is coming at the cost of india's reputation. >> a bangladeshi friend of mine who was visiting delhi last wees and he told me that islamic fundamentalist in his country were having a field day attacking india as a place where its safer to be a cow than a muslim. >> reporter: is that a bit of hyperbole? >> it is a bit of hyperbole. i think its high time that the government realize that they're making asses of themselves and discrediting an enormously plural and diverse civilization. >> reporter: for his part, prime minister modi though allied with hindu nationalist groups, has not involved himself in their key demand that india declare itself a hindu nation. modi has stuck to the pro- business, economic development theme he's struck ever sinceom ascending to office. >> ( translated ): our country
can only prosper if hindus and muslims unite to fight against poverty and we defeat poverty.dv >> reporter: coming several days after the murder of mohammed aklaq, modi was criticized for saying too little too late, ando for not reining in vigilante groups and some members of his party who made statements appearing to support them. but modi's supporters say it is the opposition that is using divisive religion politics for their own gain. >> ( translated ): the prime minister has repeatedly said that the country should remain united, everyone will have toe walk hand in hand for development. but there are certain politicians that promote pseudo- secularism and are not ready to hear his message.d >> reporter: the key question is whether the so called beef issue represents the normal ebb and flow of a vibrant-if violent- democracy, or whether that democracy faces a new real threat. for religion and ethics
>> woodruff: fred's reporting is a partnership with the under-a told stories project at the university of st. thomas, minnesota. piv a version of this story aired on the pbs program "religion and ethics newsweekly."n pb >> sreenivasan: finally tonight, worries over a potential zika outbreak in the u.s., and who may suffer a bigger impact. public health officials have been increasingly concerned about the virus spreading viain mosquitoes this summer. one report even suggested government officials were splitc over whether to advise women to avoid pregnancy in areas where zika is circulating. in an op-ed titled, "zika is coming," doctor peter hotez focused on some of these questions and what it might mean in some cities in the southern parts of the country.cint he's the dean of the national school of tropical medicine at baylor college of medicine and a pediatrician and microbiologist at texas children's hospital. i interviewed him from our new york studios.
i want to read you the first sentence of the open ed you wrote in the "new york times," if i were a pregnant woman living on the gulf coast in an impoverished neighborhood like houston, new orleans, biloxi, mississippi or mobile, alabama, i would be nervous right now. explain. >> well, the reason i made that statement, hari, is because what we know, where this terrible birth defect microcephaly is happening, it happens when pregnant women are bitten by the via mosquitoes. the other component is people crowding in poverty. women living there have increased exposure because of broken window screens, collected garbage. degradation near the home that breeds mosquitoes. so what youoe have on the gulf coast of the u.s. is the perfect storm of all three factors, the
mosquito, the extreme poverty and crowding that you would find in northeastern brazil the epicenter of this epidemic or what we've seen moving into colombia. reasons we're seeing microcephaly cases in brazil and colombia we'll see on the gulf coast, especially moving into the warmer months as mosquitoes start to rise. so we're finding the affected mosquitoes on the coast and in houston but i'm worried going into the summer the numbers will climb and close on the gulf coast, houston, new orleans and others will really be affected by zika. >> what's the timeline of progression? not all have zika. it willa. take some time for thm to get zika, some to bite people, some people to have symptoms, and some symptoms to
be severe. >> the virus transmitted by mosquitoes is not new to the gulf coast. in 2003, houston experienced an epidemic ofñi dango fever and we started seeing the outbreak in 2003. so i would expect zika will strike the gulf coast, if it does, going by a similar play book beginning may, june and summer months is when we could see thel vehicla transmission oi the gulf coast. >> should local health officials be advising women to delay pregnancy? >> itre depends really where wee talking about. right now, zika is rampaging through puerto rico. according to the cdc, maybe half or more of the island will be infect bid the zika virus within the coming weeks and this is how zika goes.
it affects the immune logically naive population and sweeps through it quickly over a period of months. we saw this in micronesia and french polynesia and brazil and porpuerto rico. during that time period, i'm of the opinion if it's possible to try and delay pregnancy during that time when large numbers of women are getting exposed to the zika virus. having said that, it's easier said than done. we have to remember the problem of advising women to delay pregnancy, who is zika affecting? it's affecting predominantlyly women who live in poverty, not exclusively, but disproportionately affecting women who are impoverished.is so it's a very tough call. right now we do not have zika virus transmission on the gulf coast, so i would not make that recommendation, but it's something that we're going tot have to revisit as we get into the warmer months.s. >> sreenivasan: what about the idea of false positive cases
that have happened in brazil and that so many zika infections don't even lead to the equivalent of a cold or mild fever? >> well, we're starting to change our opinion on the virush you know, we used to say 80% of cases are without symptoms, asymptomatic. that's probably an overestimate. the real question we would like to know is if you're a pregnant woman and you become pregnant with the zika vierks what's the likelihood you're going to give birth to a baby with microcephaly or other terrible congenital birth defects? so the stakes are very high. i think for now we have to assume if a mother is infected with the zika virus, the likelihood that she'll give birth to a baby with microcephaly is significant and we havefi to plan accordingly. >> sreenivasan: dr. peter hotez from texas children's hospital and baylor college of medicine, thank you so much.
>> thanks for having me. >> woodruff: on the newshour online, genetic testing can help diagnose a disease and estimate your future risks, based on d.n.a. but the number of genetic counselors, the people who help both doctors and patients make sense of these tests, hasn't expanded enough to keep up with demand. read why this type of care is more popular than ever. all that and more is on our web site, pbs.org/newshour. >> sreenivasan: later tonight, charlie rose talks withaks actresses susan sarandon and rose byrne on their new film "the meddler." and that's the newshour for tonight.at on tuesday, as new york state voters go to the polls, we'll look at where things stand in the republican and democratic presidential primary contests. i'm hari sreenivasan. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff.re join us online, and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you and good night.
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>> this is "bbc world news america." >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, newman's own foundation, giving all profits from newman's own to charity and pursuing the common good, kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs, e-trade, and cancer treatment centers of america. >> proper nutrition can help maintain your immune system during cancer treatment. that is why here, dietitians are part of every patient's care team. integrative cancer care lives here. learn more at cancercenter.com.