tv PBS News Hour PBS May 12, 2016 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. >> sreenivasan: and i'm hari sreenivasan. >> woodruff: on the newshour tonight: >> we talked about what it takes to unify, where our differences were and how we can bridge these gaps. >> woodruff: in a bid for party unity, house speaker paul ryan and other top republican leaders meet with donald trump. >> sreenivasan: also ahead this thursday, brazil's unpopular president dilma rouseff is suspended, and could be removed from office, in the wake of economic and political turmoil. >> woodruff: and, we head to puerto rico where the island battles to contain an outbreak of zika virus. >> there's a lack of understanding is when we talk about sexual relationships. the sexual relationships, that you can transmit from the father to the mother and the biggest misconception is that we don't
need condoms. >> sreenivasan: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> lincoln financial-- committed to helping you take charge of your financial 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 rockefeller foundation. promoting the well-being of humanity around the world by building resilience and inclusive economies. more at rockefellerfoundation.org
>> carnegie corporation of new york. supporting innovations in education, democratic engagement, and the advancement of international peace and security. at carnegie.org. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: and individuals. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: the republican presidential drama shifted today to a new stage: washington. the man who's now all but
certain to be the party's presidential nominee went behind closed doors with party leaders who had wanted someone else. john yang has our report. >> reporter: this morning, donald trump went to the headquarters of the institution he's shaken to its foundation: the republican party. he sat down for about an hour with house speaker paul ryan, who has yet to endorse trump, chaperoned by party chair reince priebus. >> it was cooperative, there was a good spirit in the room. so, i'm, i'm very hopeful, i thought it was great. >> reporter: in a joint statement, trump and ryan struck a conciliatory note, calling it a "great conversation... while we were honest about our few differences, we recognize that there are also many important areas of common ground... it was a very positive step toward unification." >> here's what we agree on. a hillary clinton presidency would be a disaster for this country. it's effectively a third obama
term, and the other thing we all know is most americans do not like where this country is headed. >> reporter: while there was still no endorsement, ryan said it was a good beginning to try to meld trump's populous followers with ryan's small-government brand of conservatism. >> the question is, what is it that we need to do to unify the republican party and all strains and wings of the republican party. we had a very good and encouraging productive conversation on just how to do that. >> reporter: later, trump tweeted: "great day in d.c. with speaker ryan and republican leadership. things working out really well!" in his news conference, ryan made clear there are principles hd will not abandon. >> look, there are just things that we really believe in as conservatives. we believe in limited government. we believe in the constitution. we believe in the proper role of the differences in the separation of powers. these are things that are important to us. and so we just had a good exchange of views on the issues. >> reporter: ryan's reluctance to fully embrace trump reflects concerns among republican
lawmakers who have to face the voters in the fall with trump at the top of the ticket. norman ornstein is a scholar at the conservative american enterprise institute. he says ryan is walking a tightrope: >> ryan is a smart guy who understands that the trump candidacy for an awful lot of voters is radioactive and he's so partly what ryan was doing was giving a little cover for his colleagues in the house when they go out there to run showing that you can get a little distance from trump without completely trashing him and alienating his own backers. >> reporter: outside today's meeting, a crush of cameras and protests over immigration created a circus-like atmosphere. >> when our communities are under attack, what do we do? stand up, fight back. >> reporter: congressional democrats seemed to relish the republicans' apparent disarray, senate minority leader harry
reid jabbing majority leader mitch mcconnell, who also met with trump. >> since senator mcconnell has so enthusiastically embraced trump, we can only assume he agrees with trump's view that women are dogs and pigs. we can only assume that republican leader is not repulsed by trump's vulgar behavior towards women. >> reporter: but the democrats presidential contest continues to threaten their own party unity. frontrunner hillary clinton was in new york, and bernie sanders and his underdog campaign traveled to mount rushmore, where south dakota holds its primary on june 7th. for the pbs newshour, i'm john yang, on capitol hill. >> sreenivasan: in the day's other news, a federal judge in washington struck down federal spending to subsidize health care for low-income americans. it comes to $175 billion dollars over a decade. house republicans argued the obama administration is spending the money without congressional approval, and the judge agreed. the white house plans an appeal.
>> woodruff: islamic state suicide bombers struck again in iraq today, just a day after killing nearly 100 people in baghdad. this time, they blew up two truck bombs in the recently liberated city of ramadi. 17 iraqi solders were killed. back in baghdad, prime minister haider al abadi visited victims of yesterday's attacks. and two more bombings in the city killed five people today. >> sreenivasan: in syria, a cease-fire expired in aleppo, and fighting flared north of the city. government forces battled rebels for control of a district just north of the city. it sits on the supply route to rebel-held portions of aleppo. >> woodruff: the u.s. powered up an $800 million dollar missile shield in romania today, drawing the ire of russia. the site has been in the works for years to stave off potential ballistic missiles fired toward europe. u.s. and nato officials attended today's ceremony at the remote romanian site.
deputy defense secretary robert work insisted the focus is on iran, and not moscow. >> it was never, ever about russia. we have offered to the russians to show them the technical specs, we have done everything we can to try to make sure that they understand the capability of the system and why it does not pose any type of a threat to their strategic deterrence. >> woodruff: even so, a senior russian foreign ministry official called the shield part of the "military and political containment of russia." he said the move will hurt efforts to repair ties with nato. >> sreenivasan: turkey lashed out at the european union today over letting turks travel within the e.u. without visas. it's part of an agreement to curb the flow of migrants. but the e.u. says the deal also calls for turkey to reform its terrorism laws, and not to target journalists and political opponents. in ankara today, turkish president recep tayyip erdogan said that issue is an internal matter.
>> ( translated ): you see the e.u.'s attitude. what is it? the e.u. says we should soften our stance in fight against terrorism and against terror organizations. since when have you started to govern turkey? >> sreenivasan: since the migrant deal took effect, the numbers crossing from turkey have fallen dramatically. still, the e.u. today allowed five member countries to maintain new border controls for another six months. >> woodruff: the government of malaysia says two more pieces of debris have been found from malaysian airlines flight 370. the jetliner disappeared more than two years ago off western australia, with 239 people on board. the latest debris was discovered in south africa and on rodrigues island off mauritius. but they offer no clue to what happened to the plane. >> sreenivasan: back in this country, senate negotiators have agreed on $1.1 billion in emergency funding to fight the zika virus. that's less than president obama wanted, and it's likely to be reduced further in the house.
zika is linked to severe birth defects and has spread across the americas. but, health officials are not predicting widespread outbreaks in the united states. >> woodruff: u.s. energy companies are going to have to find ways to cut methane emissions by nearly half over the next decade. the environmental protection agency issued a final rule today. it says producers have to repair leaks at wellheads and capture gas that escapes during hydrauling fracturing, or fracking. the mandate takes effect this summer. >> sreenivasan: wall street had a lackluster day. the dow jones industrial average gained nine points to close at 17,720. the nasdaq fell 23 points, and the s&p 500 slipped a fraction. >> woodruff: and, pope francis is signaling openness to a greater role for women in the roman catholic church. he agreed today to have a commission study whether to allow female deacons. they'd preside over weddings and funerals, plus other functions. but the pope gave no indication that he'd consider admitting women to the priesthood.
>> sreenivasan: still to come on the newshour: brazil's president suspended amid corruption charges. new details in the doping charges against russian athletes. puerto rica learns to cope with zika. making sense of grit and what it takes to succeed, and much more. >> sreenivasan: months of political turmoil in brazil reached a divisive climax early today as dilma rousseff, president of south america's largest nation, found herself on the losing end of a vote in brazil's senate that could ultimately remove her from office. dilma rousseff emerged from the presidential palace in brasilia this morning, to throngs of cheering, flag-waving supporters. she greeted the crowd, and declared her defiance. >> ( translated ): this process is a coup because it's an impeachment without a crime. i did not commit crime of
responsibility. i am being the target of a great injustice. i'm a victim of a great injustice. >> sreenivasan: rousseff's impassioned speech came just hours after brazil's senate voted 55 to 22 to remove her from office, at least temporarily. her critics included another former president who was impeached in 1992. >> ( translated ): we arrived at the peak of a crisis, we have arrived at the ruin of a government, at the ruin of a country. the greatest crime of responsibility is in the irresponsibility and disregard of politics, the irresponsibility for the deterioration of the economy, of a country. >> sreenivasan: supporters of rousseff, including brazil's attorney general, branded the move a historic injustice. >> ( translated ): an honest and innocent woman is, right at this moment, being condemned; a judicial pretence is being used to oust a legitimately elected president over acts which have committed; an innocent person is being condemned. >> sreenivasan: demonstrators briefly clashed with police.
but in cities across the country, there were fireworks celebrating the vote. the divisions were evident everywhere. >> ( translated ): i used to like dilma a lot but at this moment i think brazil should be congratulated, and i am sure things will get much better. >> ( translated ): it is very saddening, to know that an honest woman was judged by and will lose the presidency and was judged by criminals. >> sreenivasan: the drive to take down rousseff began last year as anger spread over an extensive corruption scandal at "petrobras", brazil's state- owned oil company. rousseff herself was never implicated in the corruption. instead, she was charged with manipulating government accounts to cover up the country's deficit. she insisted her decisions were entirely legal. >> ( translated ): i carried out those actions. these actions have been taken by all the presidents of the republic who have been in office. >> sreenivasan: even so, the impeachment process morphed into a referendum on rousseff's entire presidency, as the worst downturn in decades laid waste to the country's economy.
simon romero is the brazil bureau chief for "the new york times." >> there was a booming economy back in the previous decade. it was an emerging powerhouse on the global stage. but brazil's own recession has just become so severe and the wounds on the economy were self- inflicted by the policies delma rousseff was chanting a few years ago, that really her government just became unsustainable at that point. >> sreenivasan: rousseff was elected president in 2010, the first woman to hold the office. she'd once belonged to a marxist guerilla group and was tortured during years of a military dictatorship. but she endured, and ultimately became chief of staff in the administration of popular leftist president luiz inacio lula de silva during which 30 million people were brought out of poverty. rousseff was his handpicked successor. now, the senate has 180 days to hold a trial, and decide whether
to make her removal permanent. she insisted today she's far from finished. >> ( translated ): we will remain united, united, mobilized, and peacefully. we are those that know how to fight the daily fight. >> sreenivasan: for now, the 75- year-old vice president, michel temer, is acting president. he's promised to cut spending and privatize many state- controlled sectors, but he's also been implicated in the petrobras scandal. >> the most recent poll by one of the country's biggest polling companies put his approval ratings in the single digits and only two percent of the respondents in that poll said they would vote for him for president. so he's really starting with low expectations at this point. >> sreenivasan: all of this, as brazil is struggling with the zika virus. and in just under three months, rio de janeiro will host the olympic games.
>> woodruff: now, new revelations about an elaborate scheme of alleged doping at the 2014 winter olympics. a top russian olympic official says his government orchestrated a plan to supply dozens of athletes with performance- enhancing drugs. the head of russia's anti-doping lab during the competition in sochi, russia, grigory rodchenkov, told "the new york times" he created a cocktail of drugs for a state-run doping program that included 15 medal winners. among those alleged to have received drugs are members of the cross country ski team and two bobsledders who won two gold medals. russian officials deny the accusations. rebecca ruiz is one of the times reporters and joins me now. >> rebecca thank you their
joining us. there have been rumors about banned substances being used by russian athletes. what exactly did you learn? >> not just rumors, judy. it's fascinating because russia does lead the world in doping violations. he provided details that in many ways validated a report that ciem out last fall. it was published by the world anti-doping agency, and it was the result of an almost-yearlong inquiry. he confirmed a lot of what the wada report had said broadly. the wada report said at the olympic laboratory in sochi in 2014 there had been a police presence, the f.s.b. officers, the russian police had been present and on site in the laboratory. some had been seen in lab coat.
he provided details that some of those agents he worked with every night to substitute out the tainted urine of tom athletes expected to medal at the games. he said the sports ministry executed the orders to win at any cost. >> woodruff: why is mr. rodchenkov coming forward? why is he talking? >> ahead of the summer games in rio, which are in three months, mr. rodchenkov said he wants it known that there is state-sponsored doping in russia, that a lot of these athletes who are due to compete in rio, he said, without providing names of those competing in the summer games, that they have been on his three-drug cocktail in year past. and, meanwhile, track and field athletes, russia's track and
field athletes were suspended from global competition in the wake of the report last fall. so currently, officials are deciding whether or not weather that ban will be lifted in advance of the olympics in august. >> woodruff: we saw that the russian government is saying it isn't true. he said it is a continuation of the information attack on russian sport. >> yes, that's what officials told us as well, and we absolutely included their denials of allegations. we reached out to the six sports federations whose athletes were implicated, whose names we had in this spreadsheet that showed dozens of athletes who competed at the sochi games who mr. rodchenkov says doped throughout the games and many of whom captured medals. >> woodruff: is mr. rodchenkov safe in the united states? i ask because you report that two of his former close colleagues back in russia died unexpectedly a few months ago, just within a few weeks of each
other. >> that's correct. he departe departed in november. he fled to the united states fearing for his safety. he went to los angeles. we're not giving any specifics about his location beyond that. but two of his close colleagues from the anti-doping world did die unexpectedly, suddenly, in february within weeks of each other. >> woodruff: and just finally, rebecca, is the international olympic committee, is anyone investigating this now? >> we contacted the international olympic committee today. they said that they were worried about these very detailed allegations, and they called on wada, the world anti-doping agency, to act and to investigate his specific claims. wada, meanwhile, has had board meetings today in canada, and we have been unable to connect with any wada official by phone and to get specific answers to our questions. but they have said that they are looking into allegations of
doping by russian athletes throughout the olympic games in sochi, not just before the games in the lead-up to the games, as mr. rodchenkov also said happened at past competitions, leading up to beijing, leading up to london. he said throughout the entirety of the sochi games, russian athletes were doping. >> woodruff: quite a story. rebecca ruiz who reported on this for the "new york times." we thank you. >> thank you very much, judy. >> woodruff: now, the second in our two-part series about puerto rico's major troubles. the zika outbreak is hitting the island sharply this spring. and it's expected to get worse, a source of major concern for women living and visiting there. jeffrey brown recently went to puerto rico to see how officials are grappling with the zika virus. >> brown: at the emergency
operations center in san juan last week, it was day 90 in the island's battle with zika. >> the areas in red have from 26-50 cases. >> brown: this center is used to dealing with hurricanes and other emergencies. but priority number one now is the mosquito-borne virus that' been spreading here since last december, with some 785 cases so far. deputy director hector colon showed us how teams stay in touch with hospitals, and call individuals to offer counseling and information on how to protect their families. the most urgent focus is on pregnant women. >> we monitor especially the pregnant women that test positive for zika. we offer them to do a test. and the ones that test positive, we monitor them very closely once they give birth. >> brown: the fear is that puerto ricans will experience what was first seen in brazil:
babies born with abnormally small heads and brain damage, a condition known as microcephaly. mysteries abound with zika, including why birth defects occur and who is most susceptible. most adults who get the virus have few or no symptoms. puerto rico, with its warm and wet climate, its economy in a shambles, is a prime breeding ground for mosquitoes and the virus they bring. no cases of microcephaly have been reported here so far, but there has been one death associated with the virus, and the centers for disease control predicts that an astounding 20% of the island's 3.5 million people will likely contract zika this year. all this while the government is defaulting on its debt and cutting back on services. in san juan, we found a range of reactions. >> i'm not afraid of zika. >> brown: why not? >> i guess because it hasn't been near by me. i have never met anyone who has
been sick of zika or any kind of danger about the mosquitos. >> it's dangerous. >> brown: are you afraid? >> yes, i'm a little afraid because the women that are pregnant have a lot of consequences because of the mosquito that bites and has the virus, the zika. >> brown: mosquito-borne diseases are not new here. but zika presents major new challenges-- to understand it, prevent it, educate people about it, all while avoiding fear and panic. we watched a counseling session for two pregnant women at a wic, women, infant and children, center in san juan. neither katherine merced nor nicole ramirez has contracted zika, but they told us they had plenty of questions.
>> it could be sexually transmitted to me. > >> brown: in fact, says nutritionist amarilys alvarez sanchez, repellents such as off are safe, but zika can still be transmitted sexually. >> the most surprising thing is when we talk about sexual relationships. the sexual relationships, that you can transmit from the father to the mother and the biggest misconception is that we don't need condoms. >> brown: condoms must be used, that is, even after a woman is pregnant. in a nearby room, c.d.c. behavioral scientist melissa mercado conducted a focus group to learn what women know about zika, what questions they have, and where public education efforts might reach them. >> we are trying to reach to the women so we also need to know what types of media they are using so the message actually gets to her and to them, in a way that it's most accessible
and clear. we want information to be clear in what they need to know to protect themselves and their babies. >> brown: meanwhile, research goes on at c.d.c. labs on the outskirts of san juan. roberto barrera heads a team in the entomology and ecology section that's studying zika- transmitting yellow-fever mosquitoes to better understand how to eradicate them. it's a big problem, since they've built up resistance to permethrin, the most commonly used insecticide. dr. barrera showed us a strain raised in the lab. >> so you compare the response of a local mosquito with this mosquito that has been in a lab for so long. and you compare and you can evaluate the degree of resistance to the insecticide you're testing.
>> brown: field workers set traps like these around the island to gather mosquito eggs, which are then raised in the lab. in a separate trailer, barrera and other researchers try out different insecticides and used timers to measure the effect. >> the idea is to raise the survival or mortality. >> brown: higher tech equipment was being used in the diagnostic laboratory next door, where scientists study samples of virus to distinguish it from other mosquito-borne illnesses, such as dengue, that are also endemic to the island. >> what made me worry was the diagnostic of the disease. we knew that separating zika from dengue is difficult in the laboratory. we need a specific test to be able to separate them, to tell them apart. >> brown: munoz says his team has developed a test that's being tried out in labs around the caribbean region.
but it's just a beginning, with much still to learn about the disease, its impact, and how to treat it. as of now there is no vaccine. but do you worry as a scientist? you see what happens in the public, right, there gets a sense of panic. and that could overrun the science. or the pace of the science. >> yes it put us a test. we need to react and provide solutions very, very quickly. >> brown: puerto rico governor alejandro garcia padilla expressed his concerns to me about fears he said were overblown and based on ignorance. >> anyone can travel to puerto rico. the u.s. olympic team will go to rio in a couple of months. and that's the mecca of zika. so it's safe to travel here. but if the woman is pregnant or trying to, then they should avoid to come to puerto rico or to go to central florida.
>> brown: a not-so-subtle reminder that concerns such as the ones these pregnant mothers have may soon become more common on the mainland. from san juan, puerto rico, i'm jeffrey brown for the pbs newshour. >> sreenivasan: stay with us, coming up on the newshour: new evidence of the shrinking middle class. what a political journalist learned by taking his son to work. and music concerts for animals. but first, what drives a person to become successful? that's the question behind macarthur genius fellow and university of pennsylvania psychology professor angela duckworth's research. she pins it on "grit"-- an intangible, but essential, trait. economics correspondent paul solman spent a day with her in philadelphia to try to figure out what that trait is made up of. it's part of our weekly "making sense" report, which airs every thursday on the newshour.
>> as the sound opens, we have to have the vibrato open more, see? >> reporter: world-renowned violist roberto diaz. diaz now heads the tuition-free curtis institute of music in philadelphia, the hardest college in america to get into, where he's taught for years. what sets diaz, d his students, apart? >> what we do here is teach students how to motivate themselves over a very long period of time. >> reporter: that pretty much defines "grit"-- the catchword concept of psychologist angela duckworth and subject of her new book "grit: the power of passion and perseverance." >> nobody gets to be good at something without effort, no matter what your aptitude is. and grit is about the effort part of the equation, right?
grit says, you know, whatever your talent is, you're going to have to invest effort in order to develop skill. >> reporter: for years now, professor duckworth has been on a mission: to teach grit to those who lack it. when duckworth began her career as an inner-city teacher... >> it struck me that the gap between my highest achieving and my lowest achieving kids was yawning. how can we get kids to do better, and in particular the kids who i could tell from interacting with them had the aptitude, had the talent, to learn what i was asking them to learn, but weren't. >> reporter: ...so duckworth became a psychologist, working in recent years on a grit curriculum at kipp charter schools. >> clap twice, put up your left hand, put up your right hand. >> reporter: like the infinity middle school in new york city's harlem that we visited not too long ago. is grit a function of nature or nurture? to duckworth, it's a silly question because it's like most traits. >> it's partly genetic. but human beings could learn to
be grittier. >> reporter: but to teach grit, duckworth thinks, you first need to understand it, see it in action. so we spent a day in her home town of philadelphia. what could kipp kids learn from a viola virtuoso about grit? passion. perseverance. payoff. even if only to yourself. >> many of these details that we spend countless hours on may not be noticed at all. ♪ ♪ >> it's connecting a note, a certain way from here to there, and then that one to the next one, the emotional content in that phrase is what will actually make a difference to you. and this is the kind of detail that kind of work never ends. it never ends.
>> if you look at true experts, they never get bored, right, because what they find is ever, ever greater nuance in what they do. >> reporter: they become immersed, says duckworth, and then grit isn't a grind, but more like an act of grace. that ducks the big question, though. >> why do some people try, try again and why do some people not? that's what i'm after. >> reporter: looking for an answer, duckworth developed a quiz called the grit scale, and tested it out at west point. she found that grit mattered more than intelligence, leadership quality, even physical fitness, in predicting which entering plebes would finish boot camp. local super-chef mark vetri confirms it. which young cooks will survive his kitchen? their grit helps him spot them faster than pasta reaches al dente. >> it's not always the sharpest guys. it's not always the guys with the most skill.
it's just the guys or the girls that have the biggest work ethic. and that's the grit, i think. >> say when, chef. >> reporter: vetri's grit has certainly paid off. he recently sold five of his restaurants to philly-based urban outfitters, vetri started out gritty. >> but you did get more gritty, more passionate, more resilient? >> life, things happens, right? your experiences, right. and once they start to work for you, hey, that worked. maybe i really need to start acting like this more often. >> reporter: duckworth is trying to promote the early teaching of restraint, self-control, delaying of gratification. long enough so their benefits become apparent. >> this mural was created three years ago. >> reporter: jane golden, who heads the city's mural arts program, may be, says duckworth, the city's grittiest individual. >> my father used to say your dogged, you're like a dog with a
bone, you're, you know, failure is not a permanent state, it's just not. >> reporter: golden took us to see "family interrupted" made in a prison, then transferred to this wall. the lead artist for the mural, eric okdeh, also worked with the prisoners to show the impact of their incarceration. q.r. codes are used to tell their stories in their own words. >> i said man, you know what? i'm ashamed to be in here. i ain't got no reason to be in prison. i'm smart! i'm capable! i'm sitting up in prison. i'm ashamed of myself. >> every person we keep out of the prison system is a victory. every young person who graduates from high school, and moves on to higher ed, that is fantastic. >> reporter: turning negative energy into positive energy, through passion and purpose, the so then is grit also the answer to economic success, a gratifying life? >> there's a very big difference between helping kids to decide whether and when to be gritty, and to deify, or romancize the
concept of grit as inherently valuable. >> reporter: educator alfie kohn is a grit skeptic. >> i don't want children, or adults for that matter, to be fearful that if they say this isn't working, i don't derive pleasure from this, i'm going to move on to something else, that they will be accused of not being sufficiently single minded, or having enough stick to it-ness. >> reporter: moreover, says kohn: >> these concepts have the effect of blaming kids in dire circumstances for their circumstances, instead of looking at how poverty, and racial discrimination holds kids back. >> reporter: duckworth concedes the point, to a degree. >> i think grit is a very important thing to being successful, but it's also important to have a situation have a, have a life that has opportunities for you to do well, right? and, and that's separate from your grit. and the other thing i would say grit is not a substitute for is
having you know values, you know, empathy for other people, um, other aspects of character. so, grit is an important thing, but i don't think it's the only thing. >> reporter: for the pbs newshour, this is economics correspondent paul solman, reporting from philadelphia on a story that required no delay of gratification at all. >> sreenivasan: we've spent much time this year talking about the travails of the middle-class. now, a new analysis shows how it's shrinking in most u.s. metro areas. from boston to goldsboro, north carolina. to midland, texas to seattle, there are fewer adults living in middle-class households across the country than there were in 2000. the analysis by the pew research center found that in 160 metro areas, there was an increase of lower-income households. and 172 metro areas saw a rise
in upper-income households. this year, we're teaming up with american public media's "marketplace" and pbs's "frontline" on how economic forces are affecting americans. it's called "how the deck is stacked." and the host of "marketplace," kai rysdall, joins us again. kai, just so we're all on the same page, who is really middle class versus who thinks they're middle class? >> so for the purposes of this study, hari, it goes like this-- anybody making from two-thirds to twice the median inco in this country. so it's $47,000 to about $125,000, if you want to run the numbers. >> sreenivasan: so those are the folks that are actually in the middle class. but we kind of feel like there are a lot of people in the middle class, a lot of people who would want to self-identify as a member of the middle class, the average joe. >> right, that's what we are in this country. we are aspirational. we want inclusive prosperity. if you stopped 10 people on the street, probably seven of them would say i am the middle class.
that's why this study matters. what happens in this economy is the middle class drives it. the middle class are the consumers. their upper ends are the investors, the lower end are getting by. the middle class are the consumers in this economy. what this study really says is this is bad news for the future of economic growth in this country, and that's why it matter glz as we pointed out, there were some places where the middle class got smaller because people got richer and there are other places the middle class got smaller because people got poorer. a couple of examples. >> if you look at goldsboro, north carolina, it used to be a railroad junction. it used to have a big air force base by it. it is an old economy town. it is a town seeing the economy go away from it, and right in that town, you see more people sliding from the middle class to the lower class. they're vague tougher time getting by. if you look at a place like mid-land, texas, midland texas is an energy economy.
the energy economy in the last 15 years in this country has been doing really well, so people there are moving from the middle class to the upper class. it's not a zero-sum game but this economy is changing and that's what's driving this entire study and the fate of the middle class. >> sreenivasan: we have heard of the middle class decliepg in the rural area. is there a difference when we see this as such a big deal in metro areas as well? >> the root of this study is income inequality, and we have known about it for a long time in the rural areas. it is now coming to these things called met potan statistical areas, the centers of population where the bulk of the population in this country lives. wages have been stagnant in this economy for decades now. which means incomes and household wealths are stagnant, which means there is more income inequality. and when you have income inequality, you have more going to the low end, more going to the high end, and those drives of prosperity in america are getting, you said in the beginning, hollowed out. >> sreenivasan: how does this
square with the people you have been talking to the series you're working on as you report this? >> here's the thing, i'm going out in the field next week to talk to a towm coum we first met a coffee shop about six months here in downtown los angeles. they're both teachers. one of them has a master's degree. they are literally the epitome of the middle class. you think if they can't make it on a teacher's salary something is up. we were chatting over a cup of coffee and a piece of pie and the husband said, "we have given up. we know we're never going to own a house. we're buried in student debt. we don't know if we will be able to afford to send our child to school." they have given up, and that tells what you is at root in this study. >> sreenivasan: all right, "marketplace's" rid, thank you very much. >> you bet. >> woodruff: in the latest addition to the newshour bookshelf, a diagnosis of
asperger's syndrome leads one father to consider what kind of role he should play in his son's life. i recently spoke with ron fournier, journalist and senior political columnist for the national journal, about his new book, "love that boy: what 2 presidents, 8 road trips and my son taught me about a parent's expectations." ron fournier, welcome. >> thanks for having me. >> woodruff: your book has struck a nerve. i think it may be because you bring us along on your journey to understand your son. how did you decide to do that? >> my wife said, "you're going to do this." my wife, laurie, is a remarkable woman who-- literally, the day we got him diagnosed, we were walking up on the of the doctor's office and all i was concerned about is how this was going to affect me, and can my boy not play sport and all the things a self-involved father might and laurie said, "it's time to step up. you have to step out and get him
out into the world, and you have to get him learning things-- he was 12 at the time-- things that we thought were uncomfortable to him. i spent a lot of time, as we do in this town, i'm on the road, away from the family. so she said, "get out. i want you to go to presidential libraries, presidential sites." his fix aegz at the time was history, and that was the job, covering the presidency, that kept me away from him so she sent me out on these road trip glz people are familiar with alsoatism but not asberger's. >> these are young men and women who are fairly functional, but they don't have the social graces that we're born with. they don't know naturally how to make eye contact, how to modulate your voice, how to shake hand, how to hold a conversation and read the social clues coming off of somebody. >> woodruff: and why did your wife, laurie, think that taking tyler, your son, around to
visit-- your work. why did she think that would make a difference? >> well, she knew that i had to be more involved in his life, in our children's life. i had spent a lot of time working. and we had just learned from the doctor that although the social graces aren't inherent in aspes-- which is what they're called-- they can be learned. for one thing, these kids happen to be off-the-chart smart. if you repeat, here's how you shake hands here's how you look poem in the eyes here's how you have a conversation, they can learn those things. we were in the process, literally within the first 15 minute, she said get him out in the world. >> woodruff: you had your son meet presidents and former presidents but do you it in a very natural way. what do you think makes these encounters these sessions tyler has with, say, bill clinton, feel like a real conversation? >> i don't think it was me. i think it was bill clinton and george bush, and tie briefer
extent, he had a brief meeting with a gripping grin at a christmas party with the obamas. it says something about the three of them, those three couples, the three presidents and the first lady, mechelle obama. i can be awfully cynical in my job, and i love holding powerful people accountable, and i'm proud of what i've done, but it's easy to forget these are human beings who are public servants. and president bush and clinton, to different degrees, wanted to connect with tyler. they were doing a favor not for me-- neither one of them had anything to gain from me-- but this was a young man who was struggling with autism, who had a fascination with the presidency, and so they did their best to connect with him. i think i have to give them the credit. >> woodruff: you could argue, of course, this is a book for parent of children with special need, to some extent. but it's also really for parents of all kind, parents with all kind of children. because you write about parents today want their children to be successful, want their children to be happy. >> right. >> woodruff: that really comes
through loud and clear, that you're saying to these parents, wait a minute. stop before you get carried away here. >> what i try to do here was understand that my problem wasn't tyler's autism. my problem wasn't tyler. my problem was me. i had certain expectations for my son that he couldn't meet because because of his condition. actually, he couldn't because he's not me. i have to help make him the best that he can be. the more parent i talk to, the more child development experts i talk to, i realized partly because of who we are and the baggage we carry, we have certain expectations, certain pressures we put on all of our kids. we want them to be geniuss. we want them to be popular. we want them to have successful careers. we want them to follow us into our education paths. we want them to be happy, whatever that means. and the problem is, those expectations, if they're misplaced, don't just shape our kids.
they can misshape our kids. >> woodruff: and the desire that they all go to harvard, that they have lot of friend, they're popular. >> social scientists would tell you, the science would tell you you don't want your kid to be popular, you don't want your kids to have a big number of friends because it often puts them in social situations, puts pressures on them to say in that "a" list category that leads them down the wrong path. >> woodruff: finally, i want to ask you, how is tyler doing today and what does he think about the book? >> thank you for asking. he's doing great. he is going to graduate from a public school in arlington and looking forward to the next steps in his life probably a couple of community college classes, community service. it will take him a little longer than a normal child to make it on his own, but we think he's going to get there. with the book, you know, he's a typical-- first of all, he's kind of a typical teenaged boy. he's just involved in his open life. but it's even more so with an aspy. he's really into the present.
so he appreciates the book. he had full veto authority over the book. he likes some of the attention he's getting around it. we had a book party in our hometown of detroit last and he got a kick out of taking part of that. but he doesn't want to be a whole lot of attention. he jokes he wants to be a covert celebrity, whatever that means. so he's doing good. thanks for asking. >> woodruff: did he end up vetoing anything? >> yes, there were a couple of passages in the original manuscript. but mainly they were stylistic where he thought i was making myself too mart. >> woodruff: i won't ask you what you left out. ron fournier, the book is "love that boy," a remarkable book. >> thank you so much. >> >> sreenivasan: now, the latest edition in our brief but spectacular series. tonight, laurel braitman on the emotional depths of a howl. a writer-in-residence at
stanford medical school, braitman's book "animal madness" explores mental illness in all creatures. and her latest project discovers how music can be good for even the wildest souls. >> i think communicating with other animals is exactly like communicating with other human animals. the way to woo a dolphin is usually just to be like super sexy and really outgoing. dogs too, you know, they'll seem to be the most curious and most attracted to the person that's least interested in them. humans and animals can have really similar behavior and even emotional experiences. animals can have almost all of the same kinds of mental illnesses or at least similar to those in people. everything from post traumatic stress disorder to mood disorder to depression also anxiety disorders. lots of other creatures have also wound up on these drugs. zoloft, lexipro. all kinds of anti-anxiety, anti- depressants. even anti-psychotic drugs. and a few great apes even in the
united states even have their own psychiatrists. we think about them as entertainment, so like going to the zoo and looking at the gorillas or going to the circus and watching the elephants and one thing that makes me sad is that we don't usually think about what entertains them. one of my favorite emotional experiences is to listen to music. i wanted to put on concerts for other animals because i had a feeling that there was a lot that we could learn by watching other animal listen and respond to music. the first music for animal show i did was actually for a very lonely, very unhappy miniature donkey. he hated it. he ran away. he ate thistles and he only came back when we started playing bluegrass standards and nina simone. there's really only two rules one of the most recent concerts was for wolves at wolf haven sanctuary in southern washington. and that one was awesome because these wolves, most of them they spent more than a decade on a ten foot chain, they were part of a roadside attraction in alaska. i thought these wolves deserved a concert so i worked with the
band black prairie and they came my collaborate aubrey burner clark made a beautiful film of they came from very far away to as close as they possible could be to see the band and then at the end the band howled and the wolves responded and it was incredible. ( howling ) i'm just fascinated by all this stuff. i think it makes us better people to realize that we're animals just like everyone else. by looking into their eyes and seeing what they're doing we really begin to understand ourselves. my name is dr. laurel braitman and this is my brief but spectacular take on animal madness. >> sreenivasan: maybe they'll end all their concerts like that with a howl. >> woodruff: i was going to
say they can't applaud but they can and you can find more of our brief but spectacular videos online at pbs.org/newshour/brief. >> woodruff: and, finally tonight, our newshour shares: something that caught our eye that might be of interest to you, too. scientists often travel to the ends of the earth in the name of research, but p.h.d. student kiya riverman's work requires her to climb directly into the heart of glaciers. we spoke with riverman by phone recently about exploring caves of ice on svalbard, a set of islands north of iceland, and asked what she hopes to discover. >> my name is kiya riverman and i am a graduate student at penn state university where i study glaciers and ice sheets and how they might contribute to sea level rise. in a warming world. there's this potential for ice to flow out into the ocean and contribute to sea level rise. and so understanding what controls the way that ice flows and how that changes is really of importance.
when i am out in the field, i am first and foremost interested in understanding you know what is the geometry of this glacier. how thick is the ice, what's underneath it. because, in order to understand how it might change in the future, i have to have a good ense of what it looks like right now. inside the cave systems, the main thing that i'm interested in studying is where there are waterfalls. so where water exists under ice, it can have a big impact on how the ice moves. there haven't really been good descriptions of why there are waterfalls inside of glaciers. and so i map where they are and how they change through time. and so i'm specifically answering these little questions about how water cuts through glaciers, in order to say something about how increased amounts of water in the future, will speed them up or slow them down. every time i go in the system, i'm learning something new about
how water flows through glaciers. and it's also just a fun physical test of what can i take and learning the limits of both the science but the limits of my own body and my ability to be in this harsh place. >> sreenivasan: a couple of news updates. there is word special operations troops have been stationed at outposts in libya since late last year. according to the "washington post," fewer than 25 troops are trying to enlist local support for a possible offensive against isis. and the u.s. navy has fired the commander of 10 american sailors who were captured after warning into arabs waters this past january. the navy said in a statement it lost confidence in the commander's ability. that's the newshour for tonight. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. join us online and again here tomorrow evening with mark shields and michael gerson. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you and good night.
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this is "nightly business report" with tyler mathisen and sue herera. apple sags. the stock that's a big piece of many portfolios sees its lowest close since 2014. so what should you do when your blue chip turns a little gray? powerful ideas. the ambitious energy goals of some of the nation's biggest cities. brave new world of recruiting. why that mobile video game could be just the thing that helps you land your next job. all of that and more tonight on "nightly business report" for thur >> good evening. a virtual tie at the top. the top of the list of the most valuable companies in the world. apple no longer comfortably number one, it's