tv PBS News Hour PBS May 2, 2016 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> sreenivasan: good evening. i'm hari sreenivasan. gwen ifill and judy woodruff are away. on the newshour tonight: as candidates storm indiana ahead of tomorrow's primary, both party's frontrunners aim to finally shake their rivals with enough hoosier state delegates to clinch the nomination. also ahead: it is the fifth anniversary of osama bin laden's death. what the raid of the al qaeda leader and mastermind of the 9/11 attacks means for the u.s. today. plus, how farmer and philanthropist howard buffett is improving agriculture both here and in africa's most devastated areas. >> well, you gotta have a goal. we're not going to end world hunger, but you know, i think every step we can take in that direction is something positive. >> sreenivasan: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour.
possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> sreenivasan: it's the eve of the presidential primaries in the hoosier state. 57 delegates are at stake for republicans and ted cruz is trying to wrestle whatever he can away from his rival donald trump. john yang has our report. >> you are the problem, politician. you are the problem. >> reporter: ted cruz went for broke today, trying to pull off a crucial primary win in indiana. this afternoon he faced off with backers of republican frontrunner donald trump. >> i think anyone that wants to be president owes it to the people of this state to come in front of you and ask for your support. and i'm running to be everyone's president-- those who vote for me and those who don't. >> we don't want you. >> well, you're entitled to your views, sir. and i will respect it... >> do the math. you asked kasich to drop out-- it's your turn. take your own words. >> reporter: but the words "drop out" don't seem to be in
cruz's vocabulary-- not yet anyway. >> i am in for the distance as long as we have a viable path to victory. i am competing to the end-- and the reason is simple. listen. this isn't about me. it isn't about donald trump. it isn't about any of the candidates. this is about our country and our future. reporter: an "associated press" analysis has cruz trailing trump in the race for the nomination, by more than 400 delegates. unable to win the delegates he needs to win on a first ballot, cruz is trying to keep trump from locking up the nomination before july's cleveland convention. trump spent the day making his final pitch in the indianapolis area. >> honestly, if we win indiana, it's over. it's over. and if we don't, we'll win it next week, or the week after, or the week after, that's fine because they have no path, whereas i have a very easy path. i mean, we'll win it on the first ballot. >> reporter: farther south in evansville, democrat bernie
sanders was whipping up support. not just for the indiana primary, but also for his effort to keep his campaign viable until the convention. >> the way the system works, you have establishment candidates who win virtually all of the superdelegates. it makes it hard to make insurgent candidacies like ours to win. but you know what, we're going to fight for every last vote. >> reporter: hillary clinton has a commanding lead in delegates and seemed to be looking beyond the convention. today she campaigned in kentucky. >> here in eastern kentucky, and obviously west virginia, and southeast ohio, appalachia coal has taken a huge hit. it's something that i'm really worried about-- because, talk about a ripple effect, it is just decimating communities. >> reporter: late today, she paid a visit to west virginia. for the pbs newshour, i'm john yang. >> sreenivasan: we'll take a deeper look at the presidential
campaign with politics monday right after the news summary. in the day's other news, the u.s. said progress is being made toward restoring a truce in syria. that came as the syrian military extended its own, unilateral cease-fire in some areas, including damascus. but violence continues to rage farther north in aleppo. u.s. secretary of state john kerry was in geneva today meeting with the u.n.'s envoy for syria. kerry expressed optimism, but stopped short of detailing truce proposals. >> we are working over these next hours intensely in order to try to restore the cessation of hostilities and at the same time to raise the level of accountability that will accompany the day-to-day process of implementing this ceasefire. >> sreenivasan: to that end, kerry-- who later spoke by phone with his counterpart in moscow-- said the u.s. and russia agreed to station personnel around the clock in geneva to better monitor a new truce.
an "islamic state" car bomb killed at least 18 people and wounded dozens more in southwestern baghdad today. workers used shovels and water hoses to clear debris following the blast. many of those killed were shi- ite pilgrims commemorating the death of a revered eighth- century imam. puerto rico has defaulted on a $422 million bond payment that was due today. its officials warned the u.s. territory's debt crisis could soon worsen, without the help of congress. in washington, white house spokesman josh earnest said he hopes this creates a "new sense of urgency" for lawmakers, to restore puerto rico's debt restructuring authority. >> i don't think there are any good options for the puerto rican government at this point. and that's exactly why this restructuring authority is badly needed. you might even say that it's overdue and it's also why, you know, a set of financial reforms is overdue because there clearly are some significant problems that are plaguing the puerto rican government's budget.
>> sreenivasan: the island's default will likely prompt lawsuits from creditors, and could foreshadow more problems to come when a much larger payment is due july first. nearly all of detroit's 97 public schools were forced to close today after teachers staged their latest "sick-out". they protested the possibility that some of them won't get paid through the summer, if the debt- stricken school district doesn't receive more funding from the state. cancer researchers today issued a warning to new england residents who get their drinking water from private wells. a study from the national institutes of health found a correlation between bladder cancer and arsenic levels in maine, new hampshire and vermont wells. bladder cancer incidence in the region is 20% higher than the rest of the country. the risk is even greater if wells were dug before 1960, when arsenic-based pesticides were common. the person behind the digital currency bitcoin may have finally been identified, after years of speculation. craig wright-- an australian entrepreneur and computer scientist-- told several news agencies today he invented the currency back in 2009. bitcoins allow consumers to purchase goods or services and exchange money anonymously without involving banks or other third parties. in an interview with the b.b.c, wright said he came forward with reluctance.
>> i didn't decide, i had people decide this matter for me. and they are making life difficult, not for me, but my friends, my family, my staff. i have staff here in london, i i don't want money, i don't want fame, i don't want adoration, i just want to be left alone. >> sreenivasan: but several publications have questioned wright's claim. earlier today, i spoke to andy greenberg, a senior writer from "wired" via google hangouts. he said today's revelation has raised even more questions. >> this has only gotten hairier as a story. it was unclear at first whether this was a hoax or whether we had found the creator of bitcoin and i think we've only gone further down the rabbit hole. >> sreenivasan: for our full interview with andy greenberg, visit our website: pbs.org/newshour. on wall street today, stocks bounced back after last week's losses. the dow jones industrial average gained 117 points to close at 17,891. the nasdaq rose 42 points. and the s&p 500 added 16.
the first u.s. cruise liner in nearly 40 years docked in cuba this morning. passengers waved to locals as the 700-passenger ship-- operated by carnival cruise subsidiary fathom travel-- pulled into havana. the arrival follows president obama's restoration of ties with cuba in late 2014. for the record, fathom travel is a newshour underwriter. and some history was made in english soccer today. leicester city has won the barclays premier league, after overcoming 5,000 to one odds. the foxes finished near the bottom of the league last year. but lost only three times this season, and clinched the title today, when second-place tottenham played to a tie. it's leicester's first championship in the club's 132- year history. still to come on the newshour: politics monday-- a look ahead to indiana's make-or-break election for ted cruz. then c.i.a. director leon panetta on the fight against al
qaeda-- five years after osama bin laden's death. how warren buffett's son is helping africa feed itself, and much more. >> sreenivasan: all eyes are on indiana in the race for the white house. we examine the heightened significance of the hoosier state in 2016 with our politics monday team-- tamara keith of n.p.r, and amy walter of "the cook political report." so, one of the things we saw ted cruz say in the earlier piece was a viable path to the candidacy, that he's in this till it ends. does it end tomorrow night for him? >> i think it's already over. i think the race effectively ended last week with the primaries up and down the northeast corridor and donald trump putting up such big numbers. he's ahead in the polls now in
indiana. he's ahead in california. it's going to be i think all but impossible for him to be stopped before we get to the convention, and even then i think he's going to get the 1237 votes he needs before the convention, i just think the momentum is strongly behind him, cruz never caught on. the stop trump movement always had an antagonist, which was donald trump, but never had a protag nighs, which was its biggest challenge. there was never a challenge to voters as to what to support, it's always what you can be against. voters like supporting someone and a winner and now looks like donald trump is a winner. >> sreenivasan: what about the stop trump folks. are they in denial? is it an inevitability? >> they're still working it and ted cruz is campaigning extremely hard. his campaign between his various surrogates, his vice presidential pick, carly fiorina, they had ten campaign stops in a single day. at a are working very hard in
indiana but seems like if donald trump wins in indiana after this disarmament pact was announced with john kasich and, really, ted cruz has had donald trump to himself mostly, if he can't win, donald trump's going to be able to make a very strong argument, what are you doing if you can't win in indiana? if donald trump is able to win all the delegates in indiana, he'd be 85% of the way to clinching. that's quite a long way toward clinching. >> sreenivasan: this appliance between kasich and cruz, it was on on a tuesday, off by a saturday. is it still an? kasich wasn't campaigning in indiana today. >> no, he wasn't, but the stop trump movement has spent almost as much money on television, the outside super pacs, in indiana as wisconsin where ted cruz was successful. i think voters are desperately looking for this is one to vote for.
this idea of voting against donald trump really not catching fire, plus, the one getting the momentum beyond what you're seeing in the polling data is the endorsements. donald trump picking up endorsements from royalty in indiana. everybody from lou holtz, the former notre dame coach to bobby knight the former indiana coach, the basketball ring very big in indiana. >> sreenivasan: shifting gears to the democratic side. >> yes. bernie sanders still fighting it out. is this as much of a race now in inn snin. >> bernie sanders -- in indiana, bernie sanders is demographically favored. the state looks good for him in that way. polling shows him trailing somewhat. shows clinton ahead. but if talking to the campaigns, you get the feeling they don't really trust the polling and think bernie sanders could win in indiana, and the challenge there, though, is he could wake up wednesday morning and be
further behind in the chase for pledge delegates than he was when he started. what i mean is that he at this point needs to win every remaining contest by about 25 points. that's a lot. if he wants to catch up to hillary clinton and pledge delegates. that's why he held a press conference yesterday and started pitching the idea publicly of flipping superdelegates. he proposed having superdelegates support the will of the voters in their state. if that were to happen, we did the calculations, and sanders would still be behind by about 500 delegates, combining superdelegates and pledge delegates. >> and the argument doesn't work very well. it's not very consistent with the bernie sanders message which is i'm one of you, the people, the people are standing up. now the people are voting for hillary clinton. he's losing the popular vote, only about 41% compared to her
556%, the pledge delegate count is behind, so to argue i'm going to win by getting the insiders and establishment to pet me over the top rings hollow for the guy working to break up the establishment. >> sreenivasan: we've seen hillary clinton pivot toward a general election posture. >> exactly, she's campaigning the appalachia today, tomorrow, a driving tour of these states. what she's doing is a combination. she's definitely campaigning for these states in these states but she's using messaging and talking about issues she thinks will carry her into the general election. the other thing, she is also fighting with donald trump, and there was the woman card comment that donald trump made -- he's immediate it repeatedly but also made it primary night last tuesday, her campaign announced they raised $2.4 million in
three days on the woman card, 42% of those new donors. >> sreenivasan: so she has two flanks she's battling on. >> yes, although i would argue she's focusing on the general campaign and she said to bernie sanders i hired campaign managers in the big swing states. yes i'm campaigning for the primary still but the general election really has started. >> sreenivasan: amy walter, tamera keith, thank you so much. >> yes, ma'am r you're welcome. -- you're welcome. >> sreenivasan: five years ago u.s. special operations forces launched one of the most daring raids in history. they invaded a u.s. ally to kill the most wanted man on the planet. i recorded this conversation last week with a reporter who visited the scene shortly after the battle. with nick schifrin who visited the scene shortly after the battle.
nick schifrin was the first western reporter to adrive in abbottabad pakistan and delivered exclusive video, images inside the compound hours after bin laden was killed. at the time nick was abc news correspondent in the region and now a "newshour" special correspondent and joins me in the studio. what did he r we see in that did video? >> we saw how the world's most wanted man lived and died. in terms of how he lived, we see a bedroom, a large bed bigger than anywhere else in the house. we saw the medications he was on -- simple medications available at the local pharmacy. we saw a pantry where there was a week's worth of food stored up. we saw so many signs of children. there was a red wagon outside in the backyard, there were 12 kids living there, half were bin laden's. we also saw a satellite dish outside, a one-way communication device. he us to watch tv on the dish but never used it to communicate
with the outside world. we saw how he died, the pools of blood in his room, the room of his son and the mess navy seals left when they ransacked the rooms for the computers with what intelligence commercials confirmed were th the abbottabad files. >> sreenivasan: explain the shift from al quaida. >> al quaida's kind of become microsoft. it's still got a decent share of the market but it's not preeminent, it's not seen as cutting edge and doesn't really appeal to the younger generation and that is because of what we call core al quaida, the al quaida leadership as was defined in 9/11 and the years after has been decimated, and that started before bin laden was killed, about two or three years before, probably 2009, the c.i.a. moved a lot of assets and technology into the region and drones started picking off the
leaders. >> sreenivasan: what about the al quaida affiliates that spread in other parts of the world and are active, franchise operations? >> exactly. there was a reason they were killed before bin laden was killed because core al quaida was on the run so you had to have these affiliates and they still have some scuks and that's still the threat of al quaida today. the most prominent al quaida arabian peninsula based in yemen, the group that's come closed to attacking the west. the understoodwear bomber, the print cartridge bomb that didn't go off, a member of the team that attacked "charlie hebdo" in paris probably got training from al quaida. but one of the core tenants is ingratiating the population, something i.s.i.s. doesn't do. they're gaining ground in yemen. right now they actually doing
quite well in yemen. three more affiliates, the most prominent al-nusra in syria, again also working with the local population, working with other groups that fight assad, no longer only focused on the west. a.k.i.m. in west africa is grabbing head lines and al-shabaab, totally focused on the somali government and kenyons who have come into somali. al quaida still fields the team, still on the field, but not a lot of long passes or touchdowns, trying to gain two or three yards at the time and while the koch isn't liked well by the players, can't communicate well, the bench is still weak but a threat. >> sreenivasan: thanks.
> the raid by blanden's compound was watched closely by president obama. among them leon panetta watched the raid unfold in real time from the agency's langley headquarters and joins me now. secretary, what was that day like for you? it was a culmination of a lot of work that went into it for years. >> it was. it was an awful lot of work that stretched back ten years almost to 9/11, and an awful lot of people deserve tremendous credit for that -- the c.i.a., the intelligence agencies, those involved with the special forces operation. there were just an awful lot of people who did various pieces of the intelligence effort and the military effort that resulted in the raid itself, but it was something that, as an individual responsible for kind of overseeing the operation from
the c.i.a., it was a remarkable operation and a lot of tribute goes to the brave riand courage of those who conducted it. >> sreenivasan: where is al quaida now, meaning is the infrastructure, the network oz blinn exploited, does that still exist? >> we've done a good job at decimating al quaida's leadership, particularly in pakistan, and i think, obviously, the bin laden operation was kind of the primary effort to go after the spiritual leader of al quaida. so i think, generally, a good job at decimating their leadership, at the same time al quaida's probably metastasized, as we've seen with other terrorist operations in the middle east. there are variations of al quaida that are still operating very much in the middle east and north africa. >> sreenivasan: have we
succeeded to degrade their network to almost zero or as you mentioned they spread out in different branches in other parts of the world? >> the reality is terrorism remains a threat. it's metastasized into i.s.i.s., into boko haram and al-shabaab, and, so, it continues to be very much a threat that the united states and other countries in the world have to focus on. this is a long-term effort. we've had some success, there is no question about it. we've gone after their leadership. we've done well to prevent another 9/11 type attack, but there remains an awful lot more work to be done to protect the country. >> sreenivasan: five years on, have we fully understood the complicity of pakistan in all this? >> it's been a challenging period to develop the relationship with pakistan. obviously, pakistan was helpful
in being able to work with us in many areas, certainly in the intelligence area we worked together on military efforts we worked together, but at the same time pakistan was difficult because they had a close relationship to various terrorist networks, and you were never quite sure just exactly where their loyalties would lie, and it was for that reason, very frankly, that when we were looking at the bin laden operation which we would have preferred to work with pakistan, but there are so many questions raised about whether or not we could trust them that the president decided we should do it alone. >> sreenivasan: when you look at the landscape from your vantage point, seems like the terrorists learned more from us about how we hunted down bin laden and went after their leadership infrastructure and now we're in an era where they operate singularly in cells and
it's hard to find a perp who runs anything that we can go after leon panetta well, you're right in the sense that as we've learned how to confront terrorist groups and try to track them and go after their planning for possible attacks in this country, they've learned as well. they've learned, you know, a lot of our technology, our process, how we operate and the result is that they operate much more in a lone wolf fashion in the sense that, you know, they do outreach, they have individuals that are well placed, but they minimize the contacts, they mine mise the planning -- they minimize the planning and that makes them a greater threat. >> sreenivasan: secretary leon panetta, thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you very much.
>> sreenivasan: stay with us. coming up on the newshour: katie couric's exclusive interview with the refugees pope francis brought back from greece. and does malia obama's decision to take a gap year before college mean the trend is going mainstream? but first, africa has vast agricultural potential, yet over the past half century its per capita food production has declined drastically. in fact, it's gone from being a net food exporter to now importing much of its food. the reasons are complex, but they include rapid population growth, political strife and weak institutions. as part of our ongoing collaboration with the atlantic, we profile an american farmer and philanthropist who has made it his mission to reverse the trend in africa. >> woodruff: howard buffett is a serious farmer. he is a conservationist, intent on finding better, more sustainable ways to grow food. and he is a teacher, sharing what he knows with farmers in
africa, giving them tools to better feed their people. he is also a man with a lot of money to spend on making those things happen. it's been described that one of your goals or your main goal is ending world hunger. >> well, you gotta have a goal. we're not going to end world hunger, but you know, i think every step we can take in that direction is something positive. >> woodruff: so now, what do you call this machine? >> 82-25-r, john deere, it's a tractor. >> woodruff: howard buffett loves his toys. >> my mom always told me i didn't have enough tonka toys when i grew up, so i think i have them now. >> woodruff: mom would be the late susan buffett, who died 2004. and dad, you guessed it, is warren buffett, one of the world's richest men. you grew up in nebraska.
what was it like, what do you remember about being in this family? >> i think people think it was different because of my dad, and the truth is, when i was growing up, my dad wasn't well known at all. we grew up in a very normal environment. went to public schools, walked down to the bus stop and went to school. >> woodruff: at the same time, your dad, because of your dad's success, you were leading a pretty-- you had pretty comfortable upbringing. >> we didn't have to worry about anything. and we were always told that if we wanted to go to college, it would be paid for; if we wanted to go to medical school, it would be paid for. which is kind of funny, because none of the three of us actually finished college. we all started, but we never quite made it all the way through. i just had a hard time adjusting in college. so i went out and i bought a bulldozer and i started building terraces on farm ground and taking out trees and building basements. it was something i always wanted to do, so i went out and did it. >> woodruff: and what did that lead to next? >> well ultimately it led to the fact that i'm sitting here.
because i had some experiences with neighbors who are farmers and who let me get involved in some of the field work and some of the things that they did. and i really fell in love with farming. we have a total of 4,500 acres. >> woodruff: buffet's illinois farms can produce more than 8,000 tons of corn and soybeans in a year. but they're also living laboratories-- part of research funded by the howard g. buffett foundation, to improve agriculture both here and overseas. >> so what we have in this field, the first thing i want to point out is all the corn stalks from last year, we do no tillage in this field, zero. >> woodruff: why not? >> because it helps build soil health, you save fuel because you only make one pass over this field, instead of maybe three or four. >> woodruff: so, but you just let the stalks rot, is that basically it? >> exactly. so we'll plant straight into here.
so if you want to look at like, what, i'm going to try to pull up a little bit of this grass. so if you pull this up, see the earthworm right here, and the earthworm right there? >> woodruff: oh my gosh, yeah, right there. >> so any gardener will tell you this, worms are the best thing you can have. but if i take that shovel and i go to dig up a shovel worth of soil across the road, where they've tilled it, year after year, finding these earthworms, it's pretty unlikely. >> woodruff: the howard g. buffett foundation plans to give away an estimated $4 billion over the next 30 years, most of the money coming from shares of berkshire hathaway, the company founded by the senior mr. buffett. >> my dad gave us this great opportunity with the foundation, and it was natural for me to look at small holder farmers and see well how do we improve agriculture, and how do we make it so the farmers feed their families better. >> woodruff: buffett has immersed himself on the african continent as few other philanthropists have. >> my dad has said go out and don't try to hit the ball out of the park every time, but don't be scared to swing. and swinging means you're going to miss, and it means that you're going to fail some of the time. >> woodruff: the foundation has
invested heavily in the strife- ridden democratic republic of congo. >> we're building three hydro plants in eastern congo. and we started the first one in 2012, 2013, in the middle of very intense conflict with the m23 and the congolese government. and we had the site when we started, it was shelled by r.p.g's and everything else. >> the democratic republic of the congo is an area where not many donors are interested in operating. so he's taking very high risks in going to those areas. >> woodruff: harvard professor calestous juma says buffett's willingness to take those risks has brought him respect across the continent. >> he's visited all the african countries. he's looked at what happens, what's happening on the ground. he is a farmer himself. >> woodruff: most other foundations wouldn't dare go into a country where there's that level of conflict, where you could see fighting break out.
>> to me, those are the people who need the most help. i mean you're looking at the most devastated populations. you're looking at devastated infrastructure, no governance, no rule of law. if you want to talk about helping the most impoverished populations, you're talking about going to where conflict is. there's no doubt about that. >> woodruff: yet one of buffet's most ambitious projects is in one of africa's currently most peaceful nations-- rwanda, where the foundation will spend half a billion dollars-- principally to train young rwandan farmers. >> you would have young adults graduating with degrees, four- year degrees in agricultural processing and plant science, and things that today they don't really have access to. >> woodruff: and why is that important? why does it matter? >> if you want to advance agriculture, i mean look at what we did in this country. the university system is what built our agriculture into a powerhouse originally. >> historically, african agriculture was considered to be
something that peasants did, therefore did not require training. >> woodruff: back in illinois, we see yet another aspect of the farmer-philanthropist: auxiliary deputy sheriff howard buffett. for the past four years he's volunteered for a job it's safe to say few other foundation heads have held. >> the one thing that i've gotten out of being an auxiliary sheriff, deputy sheriff, is seeing a whole underside of this country that i had no idea existed. i mean the poverty, the domestic abuse, the substance abuse, the attitude of people about a lot of things. i mean i've been-- it's hard to surprise me, but i've been surprised at some of the things i've experienced and seen as a deputy sheriff. >> howard buffett is probably
more prepared than a lot of other, younger deputies coming on. >> woodruff: macon county sheriff tom schneider sings his praises. >> the amount of hours that he has put in with deputies, it is basically surpasses everybody else. he goes through training on a daily basis, and he's always educating himself to see how he can perform at a higher level. >> woodruff: so here you are, somebody who's seen the world, who's seen a lot, and yet this is something that only in the last few years you've been able to witness up close. >> i've witnessed in a way that a civilian, a normal citizen would not be able to witness it. you see it every single day. and you're making decisions about how to deal with it, which makes it very real. >> woodruff: well my question is then how do you decide where's your greater passion? because you clearly have that great passion to make changes in a place like rwanda, but you also clearly have a passion here. >> well your first obligation is always at home. i mean you can't ever walk away
from the responsibilities that you have at home. but i also think we have a huge responsibility internationally because we are a leader. and we need to maintain that leadership. and so for me, i don't see-- you can't separate them. they're both critical. you cannot-- you can never walk away from your responsibilities at home. >> woodruff: does it bother you that you're known to so many people as warren buffett's son? >> never bothered me ever, never, no. i don't think about it that way. i feel like i'm doing what i can do. and the truth is i'm ablto do so many things because of my dad that i couldn't do otherwise. he's been an amazing father. >> i see him as someone who has brought his own personal experience and integrity to probably one of the world's largest and critical challenges, which is making-- being able to generate food security for a billion people. and i think that takes incredible courage and
commitment to be able to do something of that kind. >> here within the last week he was out with an officer that had did an arrest, and the individual was cold, he offered up his coat to that individual so that they would be warm. the individual said, "boo-fay." and he goes, "yeah, some people say that, well, or buffett." "like warren buffett." and he goes, "yeah, yeah i've heard of him," he goes. and the individual sits back and goes, "well, you kind of look like him." "yeah, i've heard that." never once did they realize that it was howard buffett, his son. >> sreenivasan: we want to note, that b.n.s.f railway, an underwriter of this broadcast, is owned by warren buffett's berskhire hathaway. that connection had no impact on the reporting of this story. >> sreenivasan: two weeks ago, pope francis visited refugees on
the greek island of lesbos, a way station on the migrant trail into europe. though he was there but a few hours, the pontiff made headlines the world over when he left the island with three syrian families-- 12 people in all-- bound for rome. late last week, yahoo news global anchor katie couric sat down with four of the refugees at the vatican. here is a brief portion of that interview. >> reporter: it must be wonderful to be safe, but it also must be hard to leave your country. >> yes. no doubt, god willing, we will adapt to this country and, most importantly, we will learn italian. >> reporter: is it hard to leave your home, though? >> we try and forget that moment. >> reporter: it must be nice not to be frightened every day. >> yes. because for a moment, i was afraid from the sounds of things. i was very afraid. >> reporter: if you had a chance to see the pope -- have
you been able to see him at all, pope francis? >> we hope. to meet him. >> reporter: you met him when you traveled with him? >> yes. >> reporter: and you met him in lesbos? >> yes. >> reporter: joust before you got on the airplane? >> yes. >> reporter: what did you think of him? >> he's very kind, ma'am, and he's a real human being. i appreciate him more than any islamic leader or islamic courageous man or any arabic leader because nothing has been done by these men like him, by arabic leaders or muslim leaders. >> reporter: no one has done. no one has done these things. no one has shown the suffering people like them him, no one has thought about us, although they
participate with us with the same language. >> reporter: what did you think about the pope? >> his actions did not have anything to do with our skin color or religion and proves humans are like other human beings. >> reporter: if you had a chance to say something to the pope what would you say? >> i would thank him from the bottom of my heart and hope all western and arabic countries do the same. >> reporter: what about you, what would you say to the pope? >> i will say to him thank you, because of him hope came back. we've come back to life and we're living our lives for those we lost in syria. >> reporter: and what about you? >> i would like to say to him, also thank you for giving me this opportunity and for giving obscurity, for giving life for my son and a new life for my son, a stable life for my son,
and i thank him for all he has done for the refugees. >> sreenivasan: joining me is katie couric. katie, this is almost a lottery ticket the pope gave to the families. how were the families chosen? >? the pope took this trip to lesbos and gives claim to a top advisors and the devine being for inspiring him to go ahead and take these three families with six children in total with him back to rome, and obviously for secular reasons, they had to make sure that their papers were in order, so they had to deal with the italian and greek shorts to make sure -- greek authorities to make sure they qualified for asylum. it was rdally the luck of the
draw that the three families did, in fact, qualify, and the pope said, please come with us. but they didn't realize until they were getting ready to board the papal plane that in fact they were going with the pope back to rome. so they described it as an alice in wonderland experience. you can only imagine how thrilled they were to leave lesbos where i think the conditions are quite difficult and finally get to rome. >> sreenivasan: so what was the back story of these families? were they supporters of either the rebels o or assad. >> they were caught in the proverbial crossfire. the younger couple, as han and nor, were live engineers working outside. they lived in a suburb of damascus working for the government but not sympathetic to the assad regime, so they were caught between all these different groups that are against the assad regime,
anti-assad groups and i.s.i.s. and all kinds of different individuals, and they have a two-year-old son, so, clearly thairvetle very un-- clearly, they felt very unsafe on a daily basis and because people who worked for the government would think they were sympathetic to assad which they were not at all. meanwhile the other couple, sahila and rami, he's a teacher and she's a tailor, and they lived in a city close to the iraqi border surrounded by i.s.i.s. there was a lot of hunger, people dying from starvation, people stranded there and, again, they were caught between these two different worlds, the pro assad forces and the anti-assad forces, specifically i.s.i.s. so they feared for their lives and decided they should leave with their children, who are 18, 16 and 7. plus, i should mention, hari, both hasan and the 18-year-old son of suhila and rami were being drafted to fight in the
war and that's another reason they wanted to leave the country because they thought that would lead to certain death. >> sreenivasan: how did these families get to lesbos to be picked by the pope? >> first they had to make it to turkey and hasan and nor stayed in turkey three months just waiting to make the treacherous journey across the aegean sea to lesbos, and they had to try on four different occasions. they were caught by the turkish authorities twice. once they didn't want to get if because they thought it was too difference. you can only imagine making this journey with a 2-year-old child. but they finally made it on the fourth try. the other cupping, rami and suhila were able to get a rubber boat but the motor stopped working in the middle of the aegean sea and they had to wait for an hour and a half before it started working again. you can only imagine how stressful this is. one of the couples whe who wasnt
able to join us had two small children, one to have the children stopped talking for a period of time because that child was so traumatized and another wakes up in the middle of the night. so this is really the human cost of this refugee crisis, and i think hearing from these families personally, i think that brought that home in a way that, you know, is -- in a way that we don't often hear, so i likely was grateful that we were able to hear about their experiences firsthand. >> sreenivasan: what are that are plans now? are they going to stay in italy? >> they are in italy, their children are in school or daycare and they're hoping to find employment. unemployment is 37% for younger people, so they were hoping to go to france or germany. but because they have been so embraced, catholic chaiforts is caring for them, have given them a place to stay, they're so grateful for their security, i
think they're going to try to build a new life in italy and hopefully, they say, return to syria one day if they can. >> sreenivasan: yahoo news global anchor katie couric, thanks for joining us. >> thanks, hari. >> sreenivasan: as you've likely heard by now, malia obama has decided to take a so-called "gap year" before she attends harvard university in 2017. it's an idea that's taking hold among more students, often at elite schools, but not only those. william brangham looks at the broader trend. >> it's estimated that every year in the u.s. 30,000 to 40,000 students are now trying out a gap year. and that's a 20% jump from the previous year. so what are they and why the growing interest. to help fill in the picture i'm joined from boston by joe o'shea. he's the author of "gap year: how delaying college changes people in ways the world needs." and the director of the center
for undergraduate research and academic engagement at florida state university. so, joe, welcome. i think a lot of our viewers have a stereotype that a gap year is for rich kids to put on a backpack and travel around europe and find themselves. i know that's not totally true, so, tell us, what is a gap year? >> sure, there are so many misconceptions about what a gap year is, and some people just think it's waiting around in your home community, maybe sitting on your parents' couch can and taking a year off from school, but we think of gap year as a powerful educational experience, it's a structured, deliberate and purposeful experience in which students challenge themselves outside their comfort zones, often that involves traveling or working or interning, sometimes overseas, sometimes domestically, but designed as an experience that accelerates their personal growth and appraiser them for college. >> can you give actual examples of gap year activities people are doing? >> one in the u.s. where our
students work in inner city schools is powerful and popular. many students go overseas. an organization, global citizen work with local community based organizations in developing communities around the world and students will intern there. maybe doing something with young people, community roles or public health work but it really runs the spectrum. >> brangham: is there research indicating what effect gap year has on a student? >> we've done research in the academic world and what's clear is wean students take struck chiewrld, deliberate gap years, their growth is accelerated across the a number of ways. they become better thinkers, people and citizens and perform better when they feet to college, are more likely to go to college, retain, graduate and get higher gpas. >> brangham: i realize this can vary but there has to be a cost associated with this. what does it cost to take a gap
year? >> it depends on hat you do. gap years can cost as much as $30,000 a year, but they can also cost very little. there are some programs like umper cash which works directly with nonprofit organizations around the world and some are free room and board for up to a year. we're seeing gap year organizations provide scholarships to support low-income students and many universities, like mine, florida state, subsidizing gap year experiences. with rededicating $50,000 in scholarships to support low-income students in their gap year experiences. >> brangham: why would a university, which i understand they are increasingly interested in this, why would colleges and universities want their students to do this? >> we now know very clearly this is a transformational educational experience. from our side we know we'll get good and motivated and purposeful students when they come back to florida state, and many in the universities are
beginning to recognize this and see it as a powerful educational intervention. the students will retain better, graduate from the university and we want to spearhead this and help signal to students and families and other stakeholders and jakes system that gap years are an important part of the educational system. >> brangham: i understand there are scholarships available for low-income students but isn't this still the providence of wealthier students. >> it's still done by the middle class and above, and that's a big problem in america especially since we know how beneficial gap year can be for students to. get that to scale, we'll need institutions and government at the federal and state level to recognize gap years and to federally and subsidize those experience force students. >> brangham: joe o'shea, florida state university, thank you very much. >> thank you.
>> sreenivasan: finally tonight, as part of our broken justice series, we have a newshour essay. paton blough opens up about his bi-polar disorder and frequent encounters with law enforcement. i have two labels i'll carry the rest of my life, bipolar and convicted felon, not mutually exclusive. i have been arrested six different times, all the while in a delusional, paranoid state of mind cause bid my illness. what you know about society and how people typically behave doesn't apply to me. i enter a department store and if it feels right, immediately take off my shoes. i'm convinced the government is plotting to control me, playing selected songs on the radio to persuade me to make a certain decision so i change the station just to spite them. i throw three fingers up at a public security camera and tell president obama to read between the lines.
now the rules of society don't apply to me, not when i'm having one of my episodes. >> i just raise my hand like this -- >> my episodes which are rare can happen at anytime and take many forms, from creating a piece of art to aggressively accusing ups employees of being government workers smuggling wednesday through delivery routes. i'm able to show you these pictures because my wife documented the episodes so we can learn more about myself and help others. >> my gosh, this is a mess. i created a studio up here. you look like an artist. >> i'm not alone. more than half of all prison and jail inmates have a mental health issue. you can imagine a reaction someone like me might have when delusions trigger an incident where a police officer wants to engage or arrest me. three of the six arrests went wall with police getting me into custody safely. the other were extremely violent
because i was afraid for my life in my head. i was tasked and in the back of a car with leg irons on. one of charges was destruction of public property because of the leg irons. i was asked to share my experience with officers in crisis intervention tranching. most officers want to help but often lack to train together know what the do in these tough situations. one time i was arrest bid an officer who i believed naturally possess many of the things we trained. he slowed down and didn't force the issue when i accused him of being an undercover agent. he waited for my brother to come from across town to bring my meds. when i accused him of giving me a poisoned bottle of water so i could take my pills, he middle east offered to take a sip to prove it's fine. no doubt we need more officers like this today. i came up with a training sheet that describes thousand to deal with someone like myself.
let the person think they're in control. slow down and stay calm. one thing, imagine the person as their brother, mother or good friend. the biggest shame of my life has been my criminal record but now i get to take those experiences and help my community. >> sreenivasan: on the newshour online: in east jerusalem, where tensions between arabs and israelis can be high, there's at least one space where children can leave their anxieties at the door-- on the basketball court. peace-players international unites children from all backgrounds while they learn the lessons of teamwork and competition. read more about this organization that bridges cultural divides, on our home page. all that and more is on our web site, pbs.org/newshour. and that's the newshour for tonight. on tuesday we hear from parents whose children fled home to fight for isis. i'm hari sreenivasan. join us online and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
lincoln financial is committed to helping you take charge of your future. >> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. >> supported by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. more information at macfound.org >> and with the ongoing support
this is "nightly business report." with tyler mathisen and sue herera. >> warren's wisdom. what the world's most respected investor has to say about the economy, his biggest investments, and the race for the white house. history at sea ask even more so in port. an american cruise ship does something that hasn't happened in decades. obstacles and opportunities. why doing business in iran will be anything but simple. all that and more tonight on "nightly business report" for mond >> good anni ievening and welco. a triple-digit gain to start the week and the month of may. we begin with warren buffett. thousands of investors made the annual pilgrimage to omaha this weekend for berkshire's annual