tv PBS News Hour PBS May 26, 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, president obama says world leaders are rattled by the newly named republican nominee. a look at the international response to donald trump's success. >> sreenivasan: also ahead this thursday, rebuilding ecuador: a month after a devastating earthquake flattened buildings and left thousands homeless, how the country is recovering. >> woodruff: and, we get a backstage pass to one of d.c.'s top music venues: the 9:30 club, the spot for a new music variety show. >> we really are curating this for everyone. i have this fantasy vision of three generations sitting around the couch because live at 9:30 is coming on.
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>> 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: donald trump has now cemented his status as the republican presidential standard bearer in the fall. he clinched the delegates needed for the nomination today, even as he took fire from the man who holds the job now. john yang begins our coverage. >> the folks behind me got us right over the top, from north dakota. >> reporter: the now-certain nominee celebrated his status at a news conference in bismarck, the associated press reports one of them has now given trump the
1,237th vote he'll need at the g.o.p. convention. on the same day that president obama used his own news conference in japan to warn that world leaders are worried about a president trump. >> they're rattled by him and for good reason, because a lot of the proposals that he's made display either ignorance of world affairs or a cavalier attitude, or an interest in getting tweets and headlines >> reporter: trump dismissed the president's criticism, and had >> many of the countries in our world, our beautiful world, have been abusing us and taking advantage of us. if they're rattled in a friendly way, we're going to have friendly relationships with these countries. but if they're rattled, in a friendly way, that's a good thing, john, not a bad thing
if he faces nomination, trump faces turmoil. rick wiley is out, just six weeks after he was brought on to help professionalize the trump effort. in a statement last night, the campaign insisted wiley was always a short-term hire. trump seemed delighted by the fact that his nomination, once thought improbable, was decided before the democrats. >> and here i am watching hillary fight and he can't close the deal. >> in fact, hillary clinton is within 78 delegates of locking up her party's nomination, but a new poll shows her in a virtual tie with bernie sanders in the california primary less than two weeks away. today, clinton reacted to trump going over the top. >> that means an unqualified, loose canon is within reach of the most powerful job in the world. >> clinton also dismissed a state department watchdog report that found she violated policy by using a private email server as secretary of state. she told a univision affiliate
last night, i will continue to be open, and it's not an issue that's going to affect either the campaign or my presidency. >> here's the question from bernie -- >> sanders, meanwhile, used late night talk show host jimmy kimmel to challenge trump to a debate. trump says he'd do it -- for a price. >> oh, i'd love to debate bernie. he's a dream. well, i said and i said last night on jimmy's show, the question that was posed, i said, i want to debate him but i havet a lot of money put up for charity soar if we can raise money for women's health issues or something. >> if we raise $10 million, you will get on a debate stage with bernie sanders? >> i'd love to. today bernie sanders says he can't wait. >> i'm very excited about it and i think we're going to str goint the the largest stadium you have in california. >> sanders asked clinton to debate but she declined. for the pbs "newshour", i'm john yang.
>> woodruff >> woodruff: we'll focus on how foreign capitals are reacting to the rise of donald trump, after the news summary. >> sreenivasan: in the day's other news, a fight over l.g.b.t. rights sank a major energy spending bill in the u.s. house. last night, democrats attached an amendment that bars discrimination by federal contractors. today, republican conservatives overwhelmingly voted against the overall bill. most democrats did as well, over a separate provision that defends north carolina's law against transgender bathrooms. >> woodruff: congress came under new pressure today to approve funding for fighting zika. the head of the centers for disease control and prevention spoke in washington as lawmakers began a two-week, memorial day recess. dr. tom frieden urged action to protect pregnant women from infections that can cause birth defects. >> we have a narrow window of opportunity to scale up effective zika prevention measures, and that window of opportunity is closing. congress did the right thing with ebola.
i hope they will do the right thing with zika. president obama is asking for $1.9 billion to fight zika. the senate approved 1.1 billion, the house voted for >> sreenivasan: more than 4,000 migrants were rescued in the mediterranean sea today, as calmer weather brought more sailings, and sinkings. they were trying to reach italy from libya, just one day after hundreds died trying to make the journey. matt frei of independent television news narrates our report. >> what actually happens when a migrant boat sinks in the med, this is what happens. filmed yesterday in searing silence by the cct camera of an italian navy ship. the navy ship sent a small advance boat. it takes away a handful of those on board. ten minutes later, with the prospect of a rescue for everyone, the passengers on deck have started to move. first to one side, then to the other. this is their title mistake --
their fatal mistake. this is what happens far too often. within seconds the fishing boat carrying at least 570 people lists and now turns over. what should be a rescue is turning into maihem and tragedy. at least seven people have drowned, but no one can be sure how many more are trapped in the hull or, indeed, how many of them can swim. that was yesterday. this was today. another sinking off the coast of libya, here at least 20 drowned. every week, sometimes every day, another boat without a name sinks in the med. the people who survived this disaster looked as if they were many arab, not african. they arrived in sicily this afternoon, and if it turns out they were from syria, they will be classified as refugees and
probably be allowed to stay. a europe that is willing to take them in despite their many ordeals. since monday 6,000 lives have been saved but we have no idea whether the number of coffins represents the true number of those who have died. >> sreenivasan: the waters between libya and italy have become the focus of migrant attempts, now that the route from turkey to greece is largely closed. >> woodruff: violence escalated in france today as labor protests gripped the country. clashes erupted in paris between demonstrators and police, who fired tear gas to disperse the crowds. thousands of union members also marched in the port city of le havre. the strikes have choked off much of france's fuel supply. at issue is the government's plan to make the work week longer and layoffs easier. >> sreenivasan: a dire warning today for the world's top economies. japan's prime minister shinzo abe told his fellow leaders that
conditions now resemble those before the 2008 financial meltdown. he spoke at a group of 7 summit in japan, and said his counterparts agreed on the need for new stimulus efforts. >> ( translated ): we rigorously debated the global economy this time, and we agree that it faces a great risk, at this moment. it was a great achievement that we were able to put together and agree to an economic initiative to face those very risks. >> sreenivasan: a top aide to abe said later that g-7 nations will decide on their own about the timing and size of any stimulus. >> woodruff: back in this country, new federal guidelines issued today aim to give states more flexibility in identifying failing schools. the department of education is proposing the decision be based on a mix of test scores, academic growth and absenteeism. last year, congress revamped the "no child left behind act" to give states more control over education policy. >> sreenivasan: baylor
university confirms that kenneth starr is out as president, for failing to do more about sexual abuse complaints against football players. the school also fired head football coach art briles today. starr is being demoted to chancellor. he's the former independent prosecutor who investigated president clinton in the 1990's. >> woodruff: wall street put up mixed results today. the dow jones industrial average lost 23 points to close at 17,828. the nasdaq rose nearly seven points, and the s&p 500 fell a fraction. >> sreenivasan: and, the nation's memorial day observances opened today, with an event known as "flags in." at arlington national cemetery, outside washington, some 1,000 soldiers placed american flags on more than 230,000 grave sites of fallen servicemen and women. the flags will be removed after monday. still to come on the newshour: what the rest of the world thinks of donald trump. how preparing for a volcanic eruption helped ecuador respond to another disaster.
researchers find a superbug resistant to all antibiotics in a patient in pennsylvania, and much more. >> woodruff: we turn back to the race for the white house. but tonight, we get some global insight into how donald trump's rise to become the presumptive republican party nominee for president is seen around the world. for that we're joined by geoff dyer, u.s. diplomatic correspondent for the "financial times." he has reported from london and used to be his paper's beijing bureau chief. joyce karam is washington bureau chief for the pan arab newspaper "al-hayat." and alan gomez focuses on latin america and immigration issues among other things for "usa today." and we welcome all three of you to the "newshour". thank you for being here.
geoff dyer, let me start with you. as you said you've reported from europe, based in the u.s. now but also reported from asia. let's start with europe. we heard the president's comments today, said world leaders are rattled by what they're hearing from donald trump. donald trump said it's good people are rattled. what are you hearing from the europeans? >> several european leaders came out publicly criticizing one of the main candidates to be the president to have the united states. that is a rare thing that doesn't happen very often. david cameron called donald trump's plan to ban muslims divisive and stupid. the italian prime minister said he would vote for hillary clinton, even angela merkel has come out of her way to say how much she admires working with hillary clinton. this is an unusual situation. politicians are not usually so critical of the candidates. the ban on muslim, politicians
say this will give a victory to i.s.i.s. n.a.t.o. said perhaps the u.s. should pull out of n.a.t.o. in some way, that has europeans anxious, especially looking at vladimir putin and russia. the idea he'll tear up the paris climate change has people worried. >> woodruff: but the obama administration hasn't been universally loved by many of these leaders, has it? >> that's fair to say as well. obama is still pretty popular in europe and went to london recently and had a significant intervention into the british debate about whether to stay in the european union. he wouldn't have been invited if he with respect popular. but he's criticized n.a.t.o. as well. he and others said european government should spend more mon in on n.a.t.o. and increase defense spending, and that's part of donald trump's message but went one step further and
raised the idea maybe the u.s. should pull out of n.a.t.o., and that's a bigger step. >> woodruff: i know it's hard to talk about the entire middle east, joyce karam, because there are so many different countries and sets of interest, but based on your reporting, how would you say leaders in this part of the world is looking at this election and donald trump? >> when donald trump announced his candidacy, many have dealt with him and done business with him. the trump hotel is to open in dohar next year. so they know him on a personal level. but the rhetoric heard from donald trump, his campaign, the ban on muslims, and torture, this is all fueling a level of anti-trump mood in the middle east. people went from being bewildered and perplexed by donald trump's rise in american politics to being alarmed and
terrified today. is he really going to take the oil from iraq? is he really going to bomb i.s.i.s. families? is he going to ban muslims from entering the united states? these are all valid questions that you hear in dubai and beirut and wherever you go around the middle east, so there is a sense of high concern that america -- that many love and admire has changed. it's a big open question. >> woodruff: he's also talked as we know about undoing the iran nuclear treaty. he sounded for the most part pretty pro israel, wanting to support israel's defenses. how is that seen? >> that also is not sinking well with middle easterners and arabs. for me, growing up in lebanon, seeing how america is portrayed,
donald trump is confirming the arabs' worst fears about the united states, about the u.s. policy, we hear conspiracy in the middle east, that the u.s. is very pro israel, does not care about the palestinians, the u.s. is in the middle east to take the oil, the u.s. is greedy and material. unfortunately, today, it matches the rhetoric we hear from donald trump. will donald trump change as a president? perhaps, but for now that's what arabs are hearing and reacting to. >> woodruff: alan gomez, let's talk about latin america. we've already heard reactions just now from joyce and geoff, from the other parts of the world, regarding his comments about muslims. what about the other border he talked so much about, about building the wall and mexicans and others from central america coming across the border, being
criminals, murderers, rapists, so forth, how would you characterize the reactions to him south of the border? >> the reactions have been pretty well established since he originally made those comments way back last sum when were he was announcing for president. the speech he gave when he talked about drug dealers and rapists coming from mexico into the u.s. pretty much shored up the opinion of donald trump throughout latin america because even though he was talking specifically about mexico, i think latin americans took it as a collective insult. so you had the latin american president talking about donald trump's rhetoric being racist and war-like. you had mexican president likening trump's rise to that of mussolini and hitler, and that's really permeated throughout all levels of latin america, from government to the people. it's almost a running joke throughout the region. in average thety narks they have been airing tv ads where they're showing clips of donald
trump's speeches talking about building the border wall, protecting the americans from foreigners and interspersing that with argentina's soccer team and saying they're on their way to play in corporate america, a soccer tournament in the u.s. next month and, so, yeah, they should be worried about us. it's almost a joke at this point how he's viewed by latin americans. >> woodruff: it's tough to cover every part of the world in a few minutes. geoff, let's ask about asia where president obama is now, where all this has risen. of course, trump has spent a lot of time talk about the chinese and how they're taking the americans for granted, getting the benefit of trade deals. what's the view of him on the asian continent? >> i suspect the chinese are a little a ambivalent. donald trump talked about starting a trade war and starting tariffs on china and made comments about stealing or taking man made islands in the
china sea that's gotten their attention. the chinese are very suspicious of hillary clinton, they see her as secretary of state who endowrnlgd administration to take a much more aggressive approach towards china, so they're not a big fan of hillary clinton either. in asia the biggest reaction is from japanese and south koreans, america's keyle allies in the region, and donald trump said he might consider pulling american troops out of those countries and thought it's a good idea for them to have nuclear weapons. both of those ideas would completely overturn the basic understandings in those countries, how they manage their security and think about their future in the next couple of decades. these are huge deals for those countries. >> woodruff: in the short time we have left, joyce karam, views of hillary clinton in the middle east. >> i think hillary clinton is a known quantity in the middle east. the name recognition is big in the g.c.c. countries and across the region. they know some of her advisors, people that she would bring if
she's to be president with donald trump, who has the opposite problem. we know from secretary clinton's trip in the region that she held very long meetings, she will be well received in saudi and other places. >places. >> woodruff: alan gomez, hillary clinton, the view of her in latin america? >> good because she said she would expand programs to prevent deportation. things are trickier because of her ten years as secretary. honduras is upset she didn't fight back in the 2009 coup. haiti has problems with her following the earthquake there and all problems around the region because to have the militarization in the region to fight the drug war so there is a lot of concern about her specifically. but trust me, ask anybody,
hillary or donald and it's a very clear choice. >> woodruff: it's hard to ask you to condense the views of the entire world in a few minutes but we appreciate you giving yours insights. joyce karam, geoff dyer, alan gomez, we thank you all three. >> thank you. >> sreenivasan: it's been just over a month since a major earthquake devastated swathes of countryside and towns on ecuador's pacific coast. 663 people are officially confirmed dead, and as thousands more face the loss of their homes or workplace, videographer bruno federico and special correspondent nadja drost bring us this report from manabí province on ecuador's coast, where people are trying to re- build their towns and lives.
>> ( translated ): that night was unforgettable because what i was bringing up the net, when suddenly, i felt the boat vibrating, too much. it was like the floor burst open. >> reporter: it's the first time that fisherman alfredo jama has dared to return out to sea since an earthquake caught him by surprise on april 16th while he was fishing. >> ( translated ): when i looked around, i saw an explosion that left us without light, everything dark. the sea bellowed from beneath, it was like there was a beast coming up from under. when i returned to the house, everything was a disaster. >> reporter: jama's wife paola farias walked us through what used to be the two-story home of their extended family, which she also used for her nail salon. >> ( translated ): when i said 'don't worry, it's over,' was when the movement started more strongly. the walls started falling, we managed to leave the house. it was terrible because imagine
how one works so hard for one's things, and from one moment to another, nothing. >> reporter: farias is one of at least 250,000 ecuadorians directly affected by an earthquake that knocked down thousands of buildings and left it also set off an outpouring of support from fellow ecuadorians. like karla morales, the director of local human rights group kahre. she was at home in the city of guayaquil, over 150 miles south of the epicentre, the night the quake hit. >> and in that moment, i just sent a tweet. >> reporter: bring supplies to my house tomorrow, karla wrote, and she'd drive them north to the earthquake-affected region the next afternoon. >> i didn't expect that people were so interest in helping and with so much compassion and solidarity. there were like 600-1,000 people in my house, bringing help and organizing donations that we were receiving in the moment.
>> reporter: morales ended up sending 23 large truckloads of materials that day. since then, her team continues to distribute donations-- from water filters to mattresses-- to rural areas where help has been slower to reach. ecuador hadn't expected an earthquake, but preparing for a different emergency-- a volcanic eruption and flooding-- helped it respond quickly, says tim callaghan of usaid. >> many of the countries in this region, peru, paraguay, and including ecuador, obviously were planning for potential negative impacts from el niño flooding. thankfully hasn't been as severe as forecast, but it did force ecuador and other countries to plan for emergencies. >> reporter: and that meant ecuador's government already had a certain level of resilience and emergency coordination to activate search and rescue and channel aid to people, he told us. after getting frozen out of ecuador two years ago for
political reasons, usaid is one of many international groups sending experts in; the u.s. has donated nearly $3 million of humanitarian aid towards relief efforts. the needs are still great: callaghan points to water, sanitation and shelter as the most pressing. over 28,000 people are living in shelters, most run by the military. others are living in parks or makeshift refuges, where aid is harder to come by. its scarcity led to this near- brawl in manta after people outside the neighborhood tried to claim rations. >> fuera! >> reporter: but as it looks towards renewal, ecuador first has to ask some tough questions over why the destruction was so extensive. as municipal employees in the city of portoviejo fly drones to evaluate the damages, they reveal a devastating picture of what went wrong. and that's a lot, says patricio
velez, the head of territorial development for the city of portoviejo. >> ( translated ): there was a lot of informality, constructions without permits, people would add on a third floor. it took us by surprise, there were new buildings that collapsed and old ones that stood up. >> reporter: ecuador is used to plenty of small quakes, and its building code has developed over the years to include seismic considerations, says jaime argudo, a structural engineer. but he says that up to 85% of buildings are constructed without planning for an earthquake. >> there is also a major issue in our country, and many countries around the world, that building codes are not properly enforced. >> reporter: now, the consequences of poor building materials and construction is devastatingly obvious. in portoviejo, a city of 300,000 people, the area hit hardest by the earthquake was also the city's economic center and downtown.
here, in what's being called the city's 'ground zero,' everything is shut down. two-thirds of buildings inspected so far are either collapsed, or severely damaged, and demolition is in full swing. now, this battered city faces rebuilding its economy, and its future. as velez points to how much of ground zero will be leveled, he also sees a clean slate, an opportunity for portoviejo to re-invent itself and become more resilient. >> ( translated ): as the city grew in a disorderly fashion, without planning, we should take advantage of this moment. >> reporter: but to carry out new urban plans and re- construction across the region will take big money, just as ecuador's economy struggles against plummeting oil prices. president rafael correa, an economist, estimated it could cost $3 billion. as he surveyed the damages of a neighborhood outside of manta, we asked how he plans to make that happen.
>> ( translated ): we have a contingency loan from the world bank and the i.d.b. for over 600 million, we'll probably reach over a billion, and we've taken a line of credit that will give us another billion dollars. if all the lines of credit work out, we'll have over $2 billion for reconstruction. however, i think we're going to need more, but for the short- term it's a significant amount. >> reporter: the government has taken several special measures, such as raising the national sales tax and getting higher- income earners to forego part of their salary, to build up earthquake recovery funds. some communities have already had to rebuild following a natural disaster. here in the town of san vicente, farias and jama's house was first destroyed by an earthquake in 1998. after they re-built it, floods from el niño washed it away. >> ( translated ): and now, it fell, including the roof. three disasters have happened to us, and thank god we're alive, and we have to keep going and start re-building.
>> reporter: but recovery will take more than reconstruction. re-viving local economies and people's livelihoods is a pressing challenge, yet slow to realize. but in trying to figure out how, many residents are thinking bigger, says morales. >> i think this has been an earthquake that destroyed houses but rebuilt minds, in the suffering, they are very hopeful. they are like, "teach me. i want to learn something else." >> reporter: while many look for new ways to make a living, others want to re-start their business. for farias, that was her nail salon. >> ( translated ): when the house fell, you had to survive, one way or another. when i saw there was something left of my business, i decided, okay, i'll start from zero. and here we are. >> reporter: farias and her family want to move to a new lot. it appears they already know how to re-build. from manabí province in ecuador,
reporting with bruno federico, i'm nadja drost for the pbs newshour. >> woodruff: on our website, learn about a special mapping project that's helping in ecuador's relief effort. >> sreenivasan: stay with us, coming up on the newshour: making sense of patent trolls: are they protecting or stifling innovation? the launch of a brand new musical variety show. and a comedian's take on why people should pay for the media they consume. but first, a sobering new development with superbugs and public health concerns about the limited effect of antibiotics. for the first time in the u.s., a person has been found to be carrying a strain of e-coli that's resistant to antibiotics of last resort. the "washington post" reported the strain was discovered last
month in a 49-year-old pennsylvania woman. she was resistant to colistin and researchers said it "heralds the emergence of a truly pan- drug resistant bacteria." doctor beth bell is with the c.d.c., which is now working with pennsylvania officials. she's the director of the national center for emerging and zoonotic infectious diseases what is distinctive about these findings. >> colistin is used as a last beeline. it's our drug of last resort. when patients are infected with some of the superbugs we've talked about before where the strain is resistant to pretty much every antibiotic, we rely on colistin as the last resort. what we find here in this patient, the bacteria that infected this patient is that her strain contains one of these mobile genes that confers resistance to colistin. so because bacteria can spread
these mobile genes among themselves, it sets off a situation where we see a bacteria that's resistant to every known antibiotic and, of course, that is a very frightening prospect for all of us. >> sreenivasan: when i am prescribed zit roug zithromiacid there is nothing after this, that means the patient is untreatable and there is a greater chance they might die because of this? >> we luckily haven't seen bacteria that are resistant to every single antibiotic here in the united states, but there are reports of this in other parts of the world, and these patients have a very high mortality rate. it's extremely difficult to treat them. again, this raises a inspector of post-antibiotic era. >> sreenivasan: how do bugs get this strong? >> bacteria are really smart.
microbes have learned how to evolve over centuries and centuries and they have a number of different methods for outwitting antibiotics. and because bacteria reproduce so quickly, by chance sometimes there will be a mutation that allow as certain strain to outwit an antibiotic and that, therefore, means that that bacteria grows preferentially, and that's how these bacteria develop resistance and, of course, that points out the importance of using antibiotics only at the right time and the right dose because overuse of antibiotics, of course, can spur these bacteria to develop these resistance mechanisms. >> sreenivasan: what can we learn from what happened to this specific individual in right now it's just one person, but what do we know? do we know anything about how she contracted this or perhaps if her immune system was already suppressed? >> we don't know much yet about how she contracted it.
it doesn't sound like she's traveled outside of the united states, but we don't have the specific information we would like. we're working directly with the pennsylvania department of health right now to do that indelt investigation that will help us figure out why she might have gotten it, whether any of her household contacts also had the bacteria, and to just give us the information we need about how widespread the bacteria might be in this particular situation. >> sreenivasan: in the past several months the c.d.c. has been talking about so many different infectious diseases. elba, zika. this is different. i can't get this just by being in the same room with you, right? >> the mode of transmission of communicable diseases vary by the bacteria but certainly with some of the superbug strains we see them transmitted certainly in healthcare settings and that is why prevention is so
important, prevention in terms of antibiotic stewardship, using antibiotics correctly, and infection control, using the kinds of strategies that prevent environmental contamination in hospitals and spread of bacteria among patients. >> sreenivasan: dr. beth bell from the centers for disease control, thank you so much. >> thank you so much for having me. >> woodruff: patents are often called the building blocks of innovation. but in recent years, a broad fight over the enforcement of patents, and what should qualify as a true invention, has drawn players from every corner: inventors, lawyers, giant technology and pharmaceutical companies and universities. economics correspondent paul solman took a look at the issue, as part of his weekly "making sense" series, which airs every thursday on the newshour. >> so here's amazon jungle. >> reporter: that's todd moore's
"white noise" mobile phone app, which generates the call of the wild, and pretty much any other sound you can think of, to lull the sleep-challenged to la-la land. and this is frogs? >> yeah. don't you just want to fall asleep? >> reporter: i'm getting slightly drowsy. it was such a basic idea, moore didn't even bother to apply for a patent. and yet he himself was sued, for patent infringement. >> they were claiming a hyperlink inside the white noise app, that you would tap it and go to the internet. that was infringing on one or more of their patents. >> reporter: but doesn't almost every app have a hyperlink of some sort? >> yeah. if you're using the internet it does, so how can they say that's infringing on a patent? >> reporter: and all they were asking to go away: $3,500. welcome to the world of so- called "patent trolls." >> a patent troll is someone that makes their money by filing
frivolous lawsuits against companies with the hope that these companies will pay a fee to settle rather than go to court. >> reporter: the house judiciary committee, which put out this cartoon, passed an anti-troll bill last summer. >> they don't manufacture anything, they don't create jobs. instead, they're siphoning money from companies that do. it's nothing more than legalized extortion. >> reporter: the company suing moore was lodsys. when we called for comment, a phone number for its c.e.o. was disconnected; its website domain name no longer operative. in its prime, though, the company was what's known as a "non-practicing entity," or "n.p.e.," because it didn't create inventions of its own. it amassed those of others and sued-- a common practice for years now. and the numbers show the scope: about two-thirds of all patent lawsuits in district court last year were filed by non- practicing entities. >> it's happening all the time
and there's nothing we can do about it. we just have to write them a check so they'll go away >> reporter: so this is like a 'we work' space? certainly moore, who had only three employees at the time, couldn't afford to stop them in court. but he lucked into a pro-bono lawyer spoiling for a troll fight. so when lodsys asked for its measly $3,500... >> i said no. and then they came back and said, 'well would you pay us $2,000?' and i said no and then they came back and said 'what will you pay?' and i said nothing and they said ok we'll take that. as long as you promise not to sue us, which-- that's not my business model. that's theirs. >> our patent and patent enforcement system has gotten to the brink of no return. >> reporter: harvard business school professor lauren cohen has studied the economic impact of trolls. >> this is an overused phrase. the future of the u.s. economy depends on this. right? you'll hear people say the future of the u.s. economy depends on seashells or on pickles, right? but, the future of the u.s.
economy really does depend on innovation. >> reporter: and yet shakedown artists may be putting the squeeze on america's innovators. >> we're in this business to make money. >> reporter: chip harris is director of acacia research, a decidedly non-practicing entity which started out as a venture capital firm, investing in the "v-chip," a parental control technology for tv sets. when it didn't sell, acacia decided to use the v-chip patent it owned to sue tv makers who, it claimed, had applied the idea without paying for it. and pay they eventually did. ever since, acacia's business has been, says harris, to "protect patent owners." >> some of the big companies out there have done a wonderful job of re-framing the argument. and they say well you're a non- practicing entity or you're a patent troll. to me it's a little bit like saying well if you built your house you can rent it. but if you bought it from somebody else you can't rent it. >> reporter: so is acacia a patent protector or a patent troll?
and how many books have you got here? >> about 25,000. >> reporter: what about an even bigger player, jay walker, whose practicing company, "priceline," fully protected by patents made him a fortune. walker's "library of the history of human imagination" at his connecticut home is a world- class museum featuring the inventions of the past. >> this is one of the few surviving working enigma machines in the world. >> reporter: he even showed me the famous nazi invention whose code the brits helped crack in world war ii, made famous again recently by the movie the "imitation game." >> it's beautiful, it's the greatest encryption device in history and the germans use it for all communications. >> reporter: walker's own invention record is none too shabby. he's named on more than 500 u.s. and international patents. but for protecting them, by filing suit against microsoft, google, apple, sony, and others, for infringement, he's been called a patent troll. slander, he says.
>> people want to say 'well he took me to court, he shouldn't have taken me to court. he's a troll.' what i really want to do is to say to somebody look: you're using my patent, pay me a reasonable license and we're done. >> reporter: but are all of walker's patents themselves reasonable? or as has been alleged, were some "invented" just to cash in on the eventual practical innovations of others. i can imagine people saying, "yeah, so he writes out all kinds of possible inventions, that then he figures somebody else will eventually actually use so then he can say wait a second i invented that first. >> america is not a country where you have to invent things and then bring them to market. if you have a working requirement where everything you invent you have to do in order to keep your patent, then you'll never have a group of inventors inventing things that they want others to do. >> patent trolling is chasing cash indiscriminate of infringement. >> reporter: professor cohen takes no position on jay walker or acacia.
but just look, he says, at dusty marshall, texas, teeming with mailboxes for patent troll firms. more than 43% of 2015 patent cases were filed in the eastern district of texas. >> marshall, texas, is definitely not a hotbed of u.s. innovation. and so, what's bringing the n.p.e.s. there? well, two things really. so, they try cases quicker than other places and that's because of a few administrative rules that they put in place. and, they rule in favor of n.p.e.s. more than anywhere else. >> reporter: so what, if anything, should be done? enact that bill passed by the house judiciary committee? it would toughen requirements for filing patent challenges in court, could make plaintiffs pay the legal bills of defendants if a claim's considered "unreasonable." however, the bill has yet to see a vote on the house floor. same with a similar bill in the senate. at a conference, the head of the u.s. patent and trademark office, michelle lee, said changes to the law can help. and that past changes already
have, letting her office hire more examiners to improve the quality of the patents it issues. >> all this discussion about abusive patent litigation, it is even more important for us to issue patents that should issue and not to issue patents that should not because there's a cost both ways. >> reporter: and ever since his run-in with lodsys, developer todd moore, himself named on a handful of patents, has pushed for reform. >> i believe in having a strong patent system, but what i don't believe in is just suing everybody without actually building anything without helping people without helping society in any way. >> reporter: for the pbs newshour, this is economics correspondent paul solman, likely to sleep more soundly tonight, unless i start thinking about the patent system, that is. >> sreenivasan: now, a new music
variety show debuts on pbs, set in a club with quite a legacy in rock and alternative music. jeffrey brown explains. >> brown: it's called "live at 9:30," and live is important: this is a musical variety show aimed at giving viewers an experience as close as possible to being at a rock 'n roll show. ♪ ♪ >> brown: unlike the much-loved 'austin city limits', now 40 plus years old, each hour-long episode of 'live at 9:30' will feature performances by several groups, old and new. the first includes garbage, a band formed in madison, wisconsin in 1993. ♪ ♪
>> brown: ibeyi, a french-cuban sister act, and yonder mountain string band. ♪ ♪ there are also behind-the-scenes interviews, and short sketches from popular comedians like hannibal buress. >> who'd freestyle better, donald trump or hillary clinton, and why? >> brown: the setting for all this: the 9:30 club in washington d.c. >> when that band goes on stage, you want the band and the audience not to be thinking about anything else. >> brown: seth hurwitz is the club's co-owner, and has made it into one of rock music's best venues. over the years it's hosted the already famous: bob dylan. prince and dave grohl. and those on the rise: sonic youth, psychedelic furs and fugazi, to name a few.
"rolling stone" magazine dubbed it number one "big room, best sound, best backstage." billboard has named it "top club" 11 times. ♪ ♪ now, hurwitz wants to reach a larger audience. >> when i grew up, i watched the "midnight special" or "in concert," or in the old days, "american bandstand" and "where i really wanted an ed sullivan kind of show, because that was fun, right. so we are really curating this for everyone. i have this fantasy vision of three generations sitting around the couch because live at 9:30 is coming on. >> brown: one performer in the new series is three-time grammy winner ben harper, known for his mix of blues, soul, reggae, and rock. he's played here often, with his band "innocent criminals". >> the 9:30 club was made to plug in and go. it's made for modern music, there's not a bad seat in the house.
the balcony is always a great music-first venues are some of my favorite worldwide. you can tell from their archive here as well. the people here, it's music first! it represents, as music does, one of the best aspects of the human experience. music preservation is as critical a cultural component as science to me. >> brown: on our visit, crews set up for harper's act, placing a dozen cameras around the venue to create a "you-are-there" experience for the viewer. after the sound check, harper did a short interview for the tv show. ♪ ♪ a portion of his live show, will be featured in a coming episode. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> you talk to any artist who comes through here, they love it here. >> brown: bob boilen is best
known today as host of npr's "all songs considered" and "tiny desk concerts." he's also a musician, and used to perform at the 9:30 club in its early years. he's now serving as one of the rotating hosts on "live at 9:30." >> a lot of people when they have families lose the thread of music that was important to them because they can't get out. everything from finding babysitters to exhaustion. >> brown: life happens. >> life happens. ♪ ♪ the nice thing about the show is you'll get a variety. you might like three of the four things and then you get a little you can't like everything as a viewer, but if you could understand who these people are, you make a connection with them, even if you don't like the music, you understand why they make their music, why they do what they do. >> brown: more than 40 bands have already been recorded to
weave into the series, something for everyone. live at the 9:30 club in washington, d.c., i'm jeffrey brown for the pbs newshour. ♪ ♪ >> sreenivasan: the 12-episode season will air on pbs stations in june. check your local listings. online, seth hurwitz takes jeff to the basement of the 9:30 club to discuss the early days of the music scene there, plus we have five tips on how to take great photos at the next concert you attend. >> woodruff: finally, another installment in our "brief but spectacular" series, where we ask interesting people to describe their passions. tonight, we hear from performer tim heidecker, best known for his part in the absurdist comedy duo of tim & eric. his latest record, "in glendale," was released last week.
here he lays out why we should pay for entertainment we get online. >> hello, friends. my name is tim heidecker. you may not know me but if you've seen "bridesmaids," i play the groom in the film. i think i have one line in the movie. ♪ ♪ ♪ your kids might know me from tim & eric austin show great job and a number of other tim & eric related projects. people describe our show as absurd, offensive, disgusting, anti-comedy, which is something i don't believe in. we're trying to make people laugh and sometimes that doesn't work out. aim bit of a twitter addict. i tend to have a bad habit of engaging people who only hate me and my work. i want to take them out to dinner and get to the bottom of where all the anger is coming
from. a gentleman tweeted the other day that said your awesome show is not awesome and i regret i torrented it be which sill legally downloading. it's like stealing a motorcycle and driving it back and saying you don't care for the way it hums, whatever motorcycles do. for a lot of kids it's so easy to hit this button and you can get whatever you want. we work with costume designers and set decorators and cinematographers, editors and producers and people we like to pay because they like to eat. there's a trickle-down effect when you stop paying for the content. at the end, you have to stop paying people to make it in the beginning. when you pay for something, those people get to have lives, and we should support them. hi, this is tim heidecker and this is my "brief but spectacular" take on why people should pay for things.
and this is not a pbs pledge drive. >> woodruff: and we'll be sure to like you on >> woodruff: you can watch more videos in our brief but spectacular series on our website. that's at pbs.org/newshour/brief. >> sreenivasan: and next week, gwen ifill will host a newshour special that you don't want to miss. take a look. >> ifill: tune in wednesday for a f.b.s. "newshour" special speaking with the president to have the united states. i'm gwen ifill. join me in elkhart, indiana, with a town hal with president obama, from the economy to fighting terror to who will succeed him in the oval office, everything is on the table. that's june 1 at 8:00 p.m., 7:00 central, only on pbs. >> sreenivasan: that's the "newshour" for tonight. >> sreenivasan: and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm hari sreenivasan. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. join us online, and again here tomorrow evening with mark shields and david brooks, among others. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you and good night.
>> the lemelson foundation. committed to improving lives through invention. in the u.s. and developing countries. on the web at lemelson.org. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
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