tv PBS News Hour PBS June 28, 2016 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> ifill: good evening. i'm gwen ifill. judy woodruff is away. on the newshour tonight: a raucous meeting of the european union's parliament exposes the deep divide created by the united kingdom's decision to leave. also ahead this tuesday: house republicans conclude their two year investigation into the benghazi attacks, but find no new evidence of wrongdoing by hillary clinton. and, we get rare access to a controversial correctional facility, housing sex offenders long after their sentences have been served. >> once the door is closed you know really quickly that you are going to die here and that's your only way out. >> ifill: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour.
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many as three suicide bombers opened fire, then blew themselves up. within minutes, amateur video showed lines of ambulances arriving and police rushing in. many of the 60 of wounded were ferried to a nearby hospital. european leaders convened today, hoping to calm the chaos over britain's vote to leave the e.u. what they got, was a kind of verbal victory lap by the backers of brexit. margaret warner has our report. >> when i came here 17 years ago and i said that i wanted to lead a campaign to get britain to leave the european union, you all laughed at me. well i have to say, you're not laughing now, are you? >> warner: it was a day of high drama at the e.u. parliament in brussels. nigel farage-- a leader of the brexit movement, head of the u.k.'s independence party and member of the e.u. parliament-- taunted his fellow lawmakers. >> you, as a political project are in denial.
you're in denial that your currency is failing. you are in denial. well, just look at the mediterranean! i'll make one prediction this morning: the united kingdom will not be the last member state to leave the european union. allow us to go off and pursue our global ambitions and future. thank you. >> warner: amid the booing, marine le pen-- the leader of france's far-right national front-- came to farage's defense. >> ( translated ): look how beautiful history is when liberty succeeds and the will of the people can move things forward. this is perhaps the most important historic event in the continent since the fall of the berlin wall. >> warner: meanwhile, the timetable for negotiating britain's exit dominated much of the day. the president of the european commission urged london to invoke article 50 of the e.u. treaty quickly, to start the process. >> ( translated ): i would like the united kingdom to clarify its position, not today or tomorrow at 9:00 a.m., but swiftly. >> warner: british prime minister david cameron said
britain won't invoke article 50 and start negotiating the exit until he steps down this fall. but he pressed his european counterparts today for the best possible terms. >> i want that process to be as constructive as possible and i hope the outcome can be as constructive as possible. because of course, while we are leaving the european union, we must not be turning our backs on europe. >> warner: in berlin, however, german chancellor angela merkel told her parliament that britain cannot expect to get everything it wants. >> ( translated ): we will make sure that the negotiations will not follow the principle of cherry-picking. there has to be and there will be a clear distinction whether a country wants to be a part of the e.u. family or not. >> warner: back in london, there was more domestic political fallout. labour party leader jeremy corbyn-- who opposed the brexit- - lost a non-binding "confidence" vote within his own party today. but, he insisted again he will not resign. as for economic fallout, the
british treasury chief, george osborne, warned it will take tax hikes and spending cuts to stabilize the country's financial position. billionaire richard branson said and london's mayor sadiq khan called for giving the capital greater autonomy to protect itself against economic uncertainty. for the pbs newshour, i'm margaret warner. >> ifill: back in this country, the justice department announced volkswagen will spend roughly $15 billion to settle an emissions cheating scandal. it includes $10 billion to buy back or repair 475,000 v.w. and audi vehicles. another $2.7 billion will go to offset excess pollution. and, officials said $2 billion will fund research into zero- emission vehicles. >> volkswagen turned over 500,000 american drivers into unwitting accomplices in an unpress precedented assault on our country's environment. while this announcement is an important step forward in achieving justice for the
american people, let me be clear -- it is by no means the last step. >> ifill: volkswagen still faces billions of dollars in potential fines and penalties, and possible criminal charges. efforts to push new zika funding through congress bogged down today. senate democrats blocked a republican bill containing $1.1 million. they objected to restrictions on the use of birth control grants. today's outcome kills any chance of action before the july fourth recess. and, the world's number one golfer-- jason day-- has withdrawn from the summer olympics in rio de janeiro, over the threat of zika. the australian star said he won't risk infecting his wife with the virus, which can cause birth defects. day is the latest high-profile athlete to pass on the summer games. and markets rebounded after a two-day rout caused by the brexit vote. the dow jones industrial average gained 269 points to close at 17,409. the nasdaq rose 97 points, and the s&p 500 added 35.
still to come on the newshour: republicans release a two year report on benghazi-- what did it find? a look at why great britain's brexit vote divided generations, how juvenile sex offenders are getting locked up decades after their sentences end, and much more. >> ifill: after years of investigations, interviews, and hearings, the house special committee looking at the 2012 attack in benghazi, libya released 800 pages of findings today. the assault, which resulted in the deaths of four americans, including the u.s. ambassador, slams the obama administration for lax security and a sluggish response, but does not lay blame at then-secretary of state hillary clinton's doorstep. republican congressman trey gowdy, the panel's chairman,
said clinton-- now the democrats' presumptive presidential nominee-- was never the focus on the inquiry. >> speaker boehner, nor speaker speaker boehner asked me to find out what happened to four of our fellow citizens, and i believe that that is what i have done. you are welcome to read that report, i hope you will, i know you will. if you at the end of reading that report can conclude that it is about one person instead of about four people, i will be shocked. i think the american people ought to look at it. they ought to look at it because fellow americans died and were injured and went to heroic efforts to save other americans. what conclusions they draw after reading it is up to them. >> ifill: the white house, and clinton herself, said the investigation was always politically motivated. she weighed in during a campaign stop today in denver. >> after more than two years, and $7 million spent by the benghazi committee out of taxpayer funds, it had to, today, report that it had found nothing, nothing to contradict the conclusions of the
independent accountability board or the conclusions of the prior, multiple earlier investigations, i'll leave it to others to characterize this report, but i think it's pretty clear it's time to move on. >> ifill: lisa desjardins has been reading into the report and its findings. she joins me now. whether politically motivated or not, lisa, what new did we learn if anything from this report? >> well, this report in all 800 pages has highlights of 22 new facts that the committee says it learned. when you look at those facts, there are two kinds. i think the most important ones are about the failures in the defense department and the intelligence community that led to benghazi and led to the americans not being protected, including some as simple as then-secretary of defense leon panetta ordering that three different teams be deployed to the area, but yet those orders weren't conveyed for an hour and a half, and even at that point they weren't followed. i think the most critical part is about the security here and
failures on that level. the second group has to deal with how the obama administration and secretary clinton and all of that staff reacted and then how they dealt with congress later. >> ifill: 11 hours of hearings before this committee as they tried to get to the bottom of this, and yet you would think that hillary clinton would speak to the committee for that long, that this report would at least be in parted about, but -- about hillary clinton, but it seems not to be? >> no. when you look at it, hillary clinton is not the number-one official named in it. that's actually susan rice, who was then-u.n. ambassador, now national security adviser. i think that's because susan rice had the most forward amount of statements claiming that benghazi was, in fact, caused by protest, which later we know the administration had reason to believe was untrue, but there may have been miscommunication or was it on purpose? this report doesn't answer those questions. >> kris:>> ifill: the republican the committee themselves don't necessarily green.
we heard one member saying this wasn't political, but others disagree. >> democrats on the committee say this was politically corrected. they say there were many witnesses whose testimony was not released because it supported the administration and particularly supported hillary clinton. you know, i think those who talk about benghazi, the #benghazi, people might not know what really happened there, are asking, did hillary clinton know about this attack? did she let it happen? did she cover it up? this report does not indicate she did any of that. >> ifill: of course, i called him kirk gowdy, not trey gowdy, but he's the chairman of the committee. but democrats put out their own report yesterday trying to get ahead of this saying, what, no problem, nothing see here? >> they're saying even more than that. they're saying the republicans really constructed this. they're also saying this was a waste of taxpayer dollars. we know this was about a $7 million committee. now, for those who say this was a huge failure of intelligence
in a sector of the world where we have serious and growing terrorist threats, they say it was well worth it. another two-year investigation that we know of in recent years, the 9/11 commission, that lasted two years, that was about $12 million. so you can compare those side by side. >> ifill: you've been covering politics for a while, you know the way these things work. was it really about the findings in this report or is it about the fact that the word "benghazi" itself has become such a hot button? >> that depends on who you ask. when you heard traid gowdy speaking, he says, i was trying to get to the bottom of this. i did not want this to become political. but we heard from the house majority leader, mr. mccarthy, who indicated that it was successful because it brought out the e-mail server information about hillary clinton. that's why we know she had that private e-mail server is because of. this kevin mccarthy indicated that was a win. that led to his downfall. so i think what happens here is we actually don't know a lot about who did what, who was to blame for what. but because of this
investigation, we've seen many political figures take significant hits. >> ifill: and it's led to other investigations, as investigations in washington often do. lisa desjardins, thank you very much. >> my pleasure. >> ifill: we return now to the story of brexit, and a look at the generational divisions among british voters in last week's referendum. hari sreenivasan is in london. >> sreenivasan: carshalton, less than 15 miles from the center of london. unlike their downtown neighbors, these south london voters decided it was best for britain to leave the european union. after sunday services at all saints anglican church, comes sunday tea. this week, with a spoonful of brexit. hillary wortley is happy that the u.k. is getting out of the e.u.
>> they take our money, they they don't give it all back to us, and what they do give back to us they tell us what we should spend it on. >> sreenivasan: 47-year-old tracey hall-green works in financial services, an area already hit by the brexit. but she says that the e.u. was providing diminishing returns. >> more and more weak countries are joining. initially there were seven countries so that was fine, but now there are 28. there's strong powers, and then there's a lot of other ones which are bankrupt like greece. >> sreenivasan: as for the current market turmoil? >> if there's a blip, i'm quite happy to take a bit of a hit in the interim for the good of the country. >> sreenivasan: in nearby sutton, martin o'leary was taking a smoke break outside a pub where he was watching a soccer match. and you voted which way? >> i voted to leave the european market, yeah. >> sreenivasan: how come? >> first of all, i think most of it is mostly immigration, but also it's the schooling system. it's like my granddaugher can't
be guaranteed to go to a school near here, she's four or five. it's just overpopulating our schools, our hospitals, and everything. >> sreenivasan: we caught up with paul scully, who represents this bedroom community in parlich. his family was getting ready for brunch. we sat down on his patio. he told us why a majority his constituents voted the way they did. why is it better for someone in this neighborhood if britain are no longer in the e.u.? >> i think there's three things. i think there's the economy, there are opportunities around the world, whereas the european economy isn't growing at all. >> sreenivasan: he also mentioned immigration. >> people can come from greece where youth unemployment is 50% to london on the hope of a job. whereas if you've got a skilled worker, really skilled i.t. consultant from india or a nurse from the philippines or from australia, they've got to apply, to go through a lot of bureaucracy to have the hope of coming here to do the job that we really want them to do. >> sreenivasan: and finally
sovereignty. >> they don't want an unelected, unaccountable bureaucrat in brussels in belgium, telling us what we should be doing. and creating regulations and directives. >> sreenivasan: bill main-ian and his friends at the local u.k. independence party-- or" ukip"-- campaigned for nine months to convince voters to leave the e.u. >> in a word democracy. in a word destiny. >> reporter: not one of them able to convince his own children. >> if once they understood the issues, they made it on the other side, i respect that, i wouldn't agree with it, but i would respect it. >> sreenivasan: it wasn't just the main-lan household, across the country there was a generational divide; younger voters wanted to remain, older voters wanted to leave. >> i'm really quite terrified about the whole thing. >> sreenivasan: haley and her husband dan who didn't want to
give us their last names are in their 20s and live in london. unlike haley's parents, they voted to stay in the e.u. >> i'm not really sure what's going to happen and that uncertainty is really unsettling. >> sreenivasan: 19-year-old phoebe jordan is also worried. >> in two years i'll be leaving university, which is the same time we'll be leaving the e.u. and i'm nervous about jobs, working abroad, i don't know how the future's gonna look in that sense so it makes the majority of me and my friends very nervous. >> sreenivasan: swati dhingra, a professor at the london school of economics, says the fears of jordan and her peers are well founded. >> the large, persistent negative effects of wages on young college graduates if they enter during a downturn, even 15 years afterwards, they have 2.5% lower income. so in that sense, these are persistent effects which stay with the younger population, and they are the ones who will be growing up with that. >> sreenivasan: quite a few of the young people say this is going to jeopardize our futures. >> their future has been guaranteed because of the patriotic campaigning that our
side of the debate has been doing. they may not see it now, but perhaps in five, ten, 15 years time they may recall their position and may be grateful. ♪ >> sreenivasan: back at all saints church, hillary wortley says britain's young voters, have only themselves to blame for the outcome. >> a lot of the young people didn't vote and that's why they're angry now. my nephew didn't vote because he thought he could vote online, and when he found out he couldn't, he couldn't be bothered to walk down to the polling station. >> sreenivasan: the message from the pulpit healing after division. >> revenge is sweet to start with, but living on sugar will kill you. >> sreenivasan: a sermon likely to be repeated as this continental divorce continues. for the pbs newshour i'm hari sreenivasan in london.
>> ifill: next, the difficult question of how to deal with people convicted of sex crimes-- specifically, what to do with young, juvenile offenders. should they be locked up indefinitely? do they belong in facilities designed for some of society's worst adult offenders? william brangham traveled to minnesota for this report-- part of our "broken justice" series. >> reporter: this facility in the rural town of moose lake, is where minnesota puts the sex offenders it says are too dangerous to live on the outside. 29-year-old craig bolte is one of them. he's been locked up for nearly half his life. it started when he was 15, when he pled guilty to sexually assaulting a younger member of his family, and also admitted to sexual contact with another minor. he says these were very troubling years for him. >> i was sexually abused on numerous occasions as a child when i was a young child and that is by no means an excuse. i'm responsible for my actions. i still hurt people regardless >> reporter: bolte was originally sentenced to three
years, but he's now been behind bars here in minnesota for 14, locked up with hundreds of rapists, child abusers, and other sex offenders. they're all being kept by what's known as "civil commitment law," which allow a state to deem someone an ongoing threat and, even after their sentences are served, keep them locked up indefinitely. >> i've been in for about ten years now. all in all i've been locked up for 14 years. ten years of it here. >> reporter: the pbs newshour was granted rare access to minnesota's sex offender program. we could film interviews in this one room, but almost everywhere else, we could only take still photos. most everyone agrees there are people locked up in minnesota's program who are very likely to reoffend. these are people who say they simply cannot control their behavior. and that concern is why legislatures in nearly 20 states have set up programs like this to hold these people. but others say these programs also end up snaring juvenile offenders who they argue have no business being held for years
past their sentences. >> it's outrageous. that's one of the most outrageous features of this program. >> reporter: eric janus is a law professor and longtime critic of minnesota's sex offender policies. he says juvenile sex offenders are almost never the kind of lifetime sexual predator that society needs to worry about. >> probably a fairly high percentage of adolescent sexual offending is basically due to immaturity and experimentation, and so it's not that they are attracted to violent sex or involuntary sex, it's that they are immature and that's the kind of thing that they'll grow out of. >> juvenile sexual behavior, like every other kind of behavior, changes very rapidly. >> reporter: elizabeth letourneau is one of the nation's leading experts on juvenile sex offenders-- she directs the moore center for the prevention of child sexual abuse at john hopkins university. she says civilly committing juvenile sex offenders makes little sense. first because it's incredibly costly: minnesota spends about
$125,000 per offender, per year, which is roughly triple the cost of regular prison. but most importantly, she says it doesn't make sense because juvenile offenders are likely not lifetime offenders. >> among youth who are adjudicated for a sexual offense-- so they've been arrested, processed-- 97% to 98% will not reoffend sexually. so truly the vast majority... >> reporter: almost all of them... >> almost all youth, if they are caught committing a sexual offense, will not do it again. >> reporter: emily piper is the commissioner of minnesota's department of human services, which oversees the state's sex offender program. she says only 4% of minnesota's registered sex offenders are currently civilly committed, and she argues the state is rightly incarcerating the most troubling of those. >> the sex offenders in our program have some of the most horrible criminal histories and horrible crimes in their past of
any sex offenders in our state. >> reporter: however, there are currently 67 men like craig bolte who have been locked up for crimes they committed as juveniles. many of these young men, dozens of them, were put in for crimes they committed when they were juveniles, and now they are in their 30s, 40s and 50s. is this the right place for them? >> you know i would say many of the people that are committed as juveniles don't have a lot of life experience outside of being confined, and so when we're working with them-- and we need to make sure that we're working with them-- we need to make sure we're appropriately and adequately reintegrating them into our society. >> reporter: that's the stated goal of the program: to give mental health treatment to the offenders, and release those who are deemed ready for life on the outside. but in the last two decades, not one person has ever been fully released back home. more than 40 have died while in commitment. the oldest man here is 94, and several are older than 70.
>> once the door is closed you know really quickly that you are going to die here and that's your only way out. >> alfonso rodriguez jr. is on death row... >> reporter: the use of civil commitment took off in minnesota as a result of a particularly harrowing case. alfonso rodriguez jr. spent 23 years in prison for rape and attempted kidnapping. but six months after getting out, rodriguez struck again, kidnapping college student dru sjodin. >> this is a photo from her uncle's wedding in 2002. >> reporter: linda walker is dru's mother. >> we're almost positive he had her for three hours, brutally raped and tortured her, and then walked her down in a ravine and slit her throat and left her to die. >> reporter: outraged that someone like rodriguez had been set free, walker helped create the national sex offenders database where communities are notified if former offenders move to their area. and her advocacy in minnesota helped expand the state's use of civil commitment. in 2003, less than 200 men were
civilly committed in the state, but, in the wake of dru sjodin's rape and murder, that number has more than tripled to 725 today. >> i realized that we needed more tools in our chest to protect our society from those that choose to violate and to rape our women and children. >> reporter: so do you think that there is any rehabilitation for this level of criminal? >> i do not. >> reporter: there's nothing to be done. >> i do not believe there is, nope. >> i feel horrible for dru sjodin's mother. i symthize with where she is at and what's happened to her daughter, but craig isn't even close to alfonso-- whoever did what he did. >> reporter: --rodriguez. >> it's a total different animal in my opinion. >> reporter: craig bolte's mom, michele, is now one of his biggest advocates, even though she and her husband were the ones who first turned their son into the police years ago. >> honestly, when i look back i feel like i gave my child a life sentence. >> reporter: michele was just 14
when she gave birth to craig. she says it was early on-- when craig was a toddler-- that he was first sexually abused by an older family member who lived with them. >> my family has a history of sexual abuse. i was abused. my brother was abused. now my son was abused. >> reporter: she says it's that history that led to craig's childhood abuse of other kids, but she now believes her 29 year-old son deserves a second chance to live in society. >> you can't sentence a child murderer for life. but you can, in the state of minnesota, sentence a child sex offender for life. i mean it's just a total double standard. it makes no sense because you hide behind that it's "treatment." >> reporter: in 2011, a class action lawsuit was brought against the state by a group of offenders in minnesota's program-- including craig bolte- - arguing they were not getting any meaningful treatment and were instead being held indefinitely. last year, federal district judge donovan frank sided with
them, saying that minnesota's sex offender program was unconstitutional, ruling "it's a punitive system that segregates and indefinitely detains a class of potentially dangerous individuals without the safeguards of the criminal justice system." the state has appealed the decision, and a ruling is expected this fall. in the meantime, state officials say they've already started making changes: five offenders have been moved into less restrictive settings, and new reviews are being done of all offenders to determine who's a potential candidate for release and who isn't. even dru sjodin's mother, linda walker, admits that maybe some juvenile cases should be re- examined, but she hopes that in all its reforms, minnesota will err on the side of caution before releasing anyone. >> we're constantly taking the victims out of the equation every time we sit and analyze these people, and what about their freedom? they don't get it back. dru is never going to get hers back. >> reporter: craig bolte says he's a changed man and that he's
hopeful-- for the first time-- that he might one day get out. there's a lot of people who will hear what you have to say and they're simply not going to forgive what you did. and so they say, "lock him up and throw away the key." what is your response to that? what do you say to those people? >> let me prove that i'm not the kid that i was that did those things, and that i am a good man today. >> reporter: in addition to the changes in minnesota, missouri and texas have also recently begun reviewing their civil commitment programs for sex offenders. for the pbs newshour, i'm william brangham in moose lake, minnesota. >> ifill: we continue our broken justice series tomorrow, with a report on educational options for young people inside the juvenile justice system. stay with us. coming up on the newshour: how one college is closing the graduation gap between first generation students and their peers, celebrated author sherman
alexie writes his first children's book using native american themes, and remembering legendary basketball coach, pat summitt. but first, as the supreme court wraps up an eventful term, a look back with a lawyer who has argued his share of cases in those chambers-- retiring solicitor general donald verrilli. judy sat down with him recently on his final day on the job, after the court's ruling on immigration and affirmative action, but before yesterday's landmark decision on abortion rights. here is that exit interview. >> woodruff: donald verrilli, thank you very much for talking with us. >> thank you, judy. it's great to be here. >> woodruff: so you have been the solicitor general for the past five years for a democratic administration arguing cases before a majority supreme court. how do you think it's gone on balance? >> on balance pretty well. we've won some, we've lost some, but i think we've won most of the big important case, health care, marriage equality. i think on most of the cases
that really matter from an historical perspective, we've done pretty well. >> woodruff: so you would argue the administration has done better than the conservative point of view? >> well, i guess what i would say about that is that we managed to persuade a court, a majority of whose members before justice scalia passed away, you would say are conservative, that we have the right answer on the law on the big cases. >> woodruff: just last week the justices handed down a decision on the president's immigration plan. which you argued is being seen as dealing a pretty significant blow to this president's legacy. how do you see what happens going forward on immigration after that decision? >> so about the decision itself, you know, whether one grease with -- agrees with the position of the administration or disagrees with the position, i think probably everybody would agree that it isn't ideal to
have that question left in limbo with a 4-4 tie, affirming a divided vote of a lower court. i don't think anybody thinks that's an ideal outcome here. what that i means i think is that the legal question remains open for the future about the president's authority, and the question as a president si matter about what we're going to do about the significant problem that this policy was trying to address, what we're going to do about that remains open for the future. >> woodruff: so many unresolved questions. >> yes. >> woodruff: there was another important ruling of the court handed down last week on affirmative action, another case you argued. were you surprised by justice kennedy, the majority's opinion essentially in favor of using race as some consideration in college admissions? >> well, we were very pleased that the court, justice kennedy's opinion for the court, accepted the argument that we put forward on behalf of the
united states and accepted the argument that the university of texas put forward. and i think i was a little bit surprised that it was asdy definitive as a victory as it was. i had thought there was some chance that that case might be sent back to the lower courts for more factual development, but it was a definitive victory. >> woodruff: it is said there is a measure of independence for the solicitor general, representing the administration before the supreme court, but i think there are also those who would argue that is really not possible when the solicitor general is a subcabinet figure serving under a president. how do you see this question of independence or not? >> well, you know, independence is quite real, and i think every solicitor general has had the benefit of it, and i think every president has respected it. this president has respected it to an enormous degree. i have very little interaction with the white house on the work of the office. i don't go over there and have
regular meetings. i don't send them reports. they let me make the judgment about what i think the best answer is for the united states. now, a couple times over the years i think the right answer for the united states, the pox we're going to take, is something that might surprise them, an i'll call the white house counsel and give them a heads up at that point, but i do get a significant degree of independence. >> woodruff: a different question: how do you see this question of whether the supreme court has become too politicized? we know there's a lot of comment about that, a lot of... a number of people who say it's gone too far, it's affecting too many cases. is this something the american people should be worried about? >> you know, i really don't see it that way. you do hear that critique a lot of the court. i don't see it that way. i think that presidents pick justices because of what they expect from the justices judicial philosophy. so maybe you can say it's
political in that sense, but i really genuinely don't think that the justices are making political judgments. i genuinely think they're making the judgments that their judicial philosophy leads them to make. and it does sometimes sort out, the bottom line does sometimes sort out on what looks like partisan terms, but, you know, i agree with the chief justice when he says it's in the a partisan process, it's not a political process. just from my observation over five years. >> woodruff: it just seems particularly evident right now with this empty seat on the court, with the death of justice scalia and the disagreement over who should fill that slot. we're seeing 4-4 decisions time and again. >> sure. but as i said about the immigration decision, whatever you think about the administration's policy, 4-4 resolution is not an ideal thing. having that seat filled i think in this case illustrates why it's important.
>> woodruff: one of the important decisions that you see the court likely handing down in the next year or two that have the most effect on the american people? >> so the thing that i see continuing over time. the court's been struggling with during my five years in the job and is going to continue to struggle with is the balance between individual privacy and the government's use of technology in law enforcement and national security. you see this over and over again. you know, the advances in technology have made our traditional notions of privacy and our legal notions of privacy almost obsolete. they really need to be refashioned to meet the challenges that governments use of technology poses. and that clash has come up over and over again in the last five years, and i think that's going to intensify over time. i just think it's going to be a significant part of what the supreme court and the lower federal courts have got to grapple with in the coming years. >> kris: it's asking a lot of
these justices to understand this new technology. >> it's a huge challenge. they try to be very careful and incremental and prudent about it for precisely that reason. i think they're feeling a little bit at sea because they're not experts on technology. so they do try to be careful about it, but it's a big challenge. >> woodruff: the solicitor general of the united states for a few more hours, don verrilli, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> ifill: most colleges are out for the summer, but some students will return in the fall facing a continuing challenge: can they afford the cost to complete their degree? april brown takes us to georgia, where one school is working to improve the odds. it's part of our weekly education series on "making the grade." >> georgia state is definitely a school that i fell in love with even before i came to college. >> reporter: when angelica sanchez was a high school senior
she knew she was going to college, but she wasn't sure she'd ever be able to get to georgia state. >> my parents did not go to college, but my brother my sister and i are first generation students. >> reporter: and apart from finding the funding, sanchez-- like many other first-generation college-goers-- needed help navigating the new world of higher education. >> i was actually really worried just because my parents are very traditional, on so they don't and they don't really know what college is. >> reporter: about ten years ago, the university realized it had a persistent achievement gap. many of its low income, minority and first generation students were graduating less often and dropping out more frequently than their white counterparts. that's when the school started aggressively using data to find solutions. >> our overall graduation rates hovered around 30%-- far too low. >> reporter: tim renick is vice provost at georgia state. >> we knew we had to change, we knew we had to serve students better, but we also knew that we didn't have a lot of resources. what we did have is the data. >> reporter: they had a lot of
data, and began analyzing it to figure out what was tripping up students. >> we went back and we looked at over two and a half million georgia state grades, 140,000 student records. and what we found in the data were about 800 different things- - 800 things that in a statistically significant way, correlated to students flunking out or dropping out of georgia state. >> reporter: those 800 things-- from whether students register for the right classes to their grades-- are monitored for every student by academic advisors like tony davis. how do we know this student is on track? >> so what's happened is the department-- the nursing department in this case-- has identified several key courses as marker courses so they have to be taken in a certain time frame and they're looking for a minimum grade. >> reporter: the program also tells davis whether a student is at "high risk."
>> you can see with this student she's missed several markers. this is a big red flag. they've missed seven key courses. is this student not passing her courses, withdrawing from her courses? that lets me know i need to reach out to this student. it would be just as easy as clicking this, and messaging her, and voicing my concern. >> reporter: data and other research also allowed georgia state to figure out that sometimes just a few hundred dollars can help students stay in school or overcome other barriers to success. >> it was very difficult to be able to pay for everything. >> reporter: tyler mulvenna is one of the recipients of the panther retention grant, named after the school mascot. tyler-- who is the first in his family to go to college-- says the $900 he received allowed him to focus more on his classes-- after struggling with school, a full-time job, an internship and a long commute. >> i probably wouldn't be living in atlanta now. i couldn't be working 40-hour weeks while doing that, and commuting at the same time. i think i would have ran myself ragged. >> reporter: georgia state spent $3 million last year on panther retention grants, and is upping that to $4 million in the next
academic year. the school estimates its return on those investments is more than 200%. but it's the improved student outcomes that has earned the school national praise from president obama, among others. >> we're going to have to make sure more students all the way across the graduation stage. georgia state university-- just to cite one example-- is giving small grants to students who get behind on their bills. >> reporter: and educators across the country are taking a closer look at the school's other targeted interventions that have closed the graduation gap between low-income, minority and first-generation college goers and their white peers. >> they made a significant amount of progress in a short amount of time. >> reporter: andrew nichols is a researcher at the non-profit education trust. he says the achievement and graduation gaps are a problem in colleges across the country. >> nationally the graduation rates for students who enroll at four-year institutions is about 60%. the graduation rates for low income students at those institutions is about 50%.
for african-americans is about 40%, and for latinos is about 55%. >> reporter: even though georgia state's deep dive into data has garnered a lot of attention, nichols says many institutions may not be able to implement or afford such a detailed system. but he does point out that georgia state has also been very good at scaling and tweaking some more frequently used tools to improve student success: >> they looked at courses that had high rates of withdrawal and failure. and so they identified these courses and redesigned their curriculum completely. they were leveraging a lot of more common interventions such as summer bridge programs, using supplemental instruction and freshman learning communities. >> reporter: fortune onwuzuruike is now a senior and president of the student government association. but as an incoming freshman he was very skeptical about georgia state's summer bridge program. >> i thought it was a horrible idea because this is straight out of high school going straight into college is like i didn't even get to enjoy my summer. >> reporter: he quickly became a convert. >> it really is a head start.
you get seven additional credits to your bachelor's degree so you are already ahead of in front of the freshman class that's coming in. you also get to meet different people, get a head start again in getting involved with campus, know your way around campus. >> reporter: rising sophomore angelica sanchez says the program that really helped her feel comfortable at georgia state was its "freshman learning community." >> it was really amazing to be able to be part of a program that had familiar faces just like high school did, and the people who are in all your classes were the same people who had same interests as you. so it was really easy to find friends and it made you felt like you belonged on campus. >> reporter: angelica is now very confident that with the school's support, she and many more of her peers will make it to graduation. for the pbs newshour i'm april brown in atlanta. >> ifill: now, we continue our
summer reading series as jeffrey brown looks at how a writer and an award-winning illustrator are updating the look of children's literature. >> brown: in thunder boy, jr., a young indian boy says he hates his name. he is named after his own father and he wants his own name, his own identity. sherman alexie has written numerous popular books for teens and adults. "thunder boy jr.," illustrated by yuyi morales, is alexie's first picture book. i asked him why he wanted to write it. >> i have two sons. i thought what picture books meant to them. their favorites were "taxi dogs" and i read them thousands of times. i wanted to capture that. >> brown: what was different about doing something like this? >> well, the big thing is you
spend probably you want the book to be about 70% for the kid. and about 30% for the adult reading to the kid. >> brown: because you have the parent in mind. >> you have to. >> brown: thank you i guess all parents are saying. >> you have to. that balance is really difficult, finding that balance where you make the book hold up to repeated readings for the kid and the adult. >> brown: can you give me an example? >> this book, i tried to get the intellectual idea in place first, like what is this book going to mean, and how is that going to apply to two different levels. the thing that got to me was the idea of identity, especially in relation to being named after your father. i'm named after my father. i'm sherman alexie, jr. he died in 2003. and at his funeral, the coffin low inteerd the grave, and i was staring at a tombstone with my name on it. it had never occurred to me, the exestem cell -- existential weit me.
i knew i had to write about it. and, you know, even though it seems odd, that moment became the genesis of this picture book, the idea of the weight of being named after your father and what happens when you don't want to be named after him anymore. what happens when you want to turn away from his legacy and create your own, even when you're five years old. >> brown: that's what this is, a young boy, thunder boy, jr., son of thunder boy, sr. >> yes. >> brown: saying, but i'm not thunder boy, right? >> yes. >> brown: and trying to figure out who he is. >> this idea of the kid in search of his own identity. this is a loving, supportive native american family. i thought that was important to show, as well. >> brown: and he goes through all his experiences. maybe i should be named. this maybe i should be named that. >> and it's a mix of, you know, contemporary and tribally influenced names, like he's a grass dancer, so maybe his name should be drum, drums and more drums, but he also loves going to garage sales with his mom, so
maybe his name should be old toys are awesome. so he's a kid. he's a native american kid. he's both at the same time. >> brown: how important is that aspect to it, of being native american kid? >> it's absolutely vital, especially in this era where we need diverse books. children's books really are not representing the diversity of the united states. they're just beginning to. so the idea of having a book where a brown-skinned kid, not just a native american, most especially a native american because i am, but any kid that's brown skinned can look at this character, at thunder boy, jr., and his family and see his reflection much in the same way in 1969 when i first picked up ezra jack keats picture. >> i was wondering about that. >> that was the only book that existed for me where the kid even remotely resembled me. it was an african american kid wandering through the city after a blizzard. i so strongly identified with his solitude, his sense of adventure, his wandering, and i
had never felt that with a book before. >> brown: the absence that you feel of these kinds of books in our culture, it's interesting because the growth of books for children is huge. >> exponential. it's the largest rapidly growing market. >> brown: and yet you still don't see enough diversity. >> and i think, if every giant cultural system is like you try the change direction, it's like trying to change a cruise ship direction. and we have just started that cultural process of changing the cruise ship called publishing and called children's publishing to start looking at the diversity of the country. you can see it played out now. the demographics of voters, the demographics of each state. i mean, the number of brown kids in the country is exponentially growing. so we need to address these kids culturally. we need to make them feel like they belong.
>> brown: in our last minute here, the other discussion, are kids... is anybody reading anymore? and, you know, kids seem to be reading, but what happens to them after that? what do you see? >> well, you know, i was one of the chicken it littles about e-books. i thought it was doomed. but e-books have plateaued and in some cases declined in sales. so i think... i think e-books are going to be another way to sell books. and they're not going to take over. i think there's no substitute for the tactile... a kid needs this. a kid learns math by crawling. the connection between the brain and physical activity is obvious and well studied and well researched and i think the same thing with books, the connection between language, the connection between language and movement, the connection between language and all your senses are vital. and kids know that. >> brown: the book is "thunder boy jr." by sherman alexie, jr.
>> yes. >> brown: thanks so much. >> thank you. >> ifill: you can watch many more of jeff's author interviews from book expo america and other book festivals. you'll find those at the website: pbs.org/book-view-now. finally, tonight, the passing of the legendary pat summitt. the hall of fame women's basketball coach died early today, in knoxville, tennessee, after a long struggle with alzheimer's. john yang looks back at her life. >> reporter: she was famous for her icy glare, toughness, and most of all-- her will to win. pat summitt brought women's basketball to the national stage and took tennessee's lady vols to eight national championships. one came in 1998, when tennessee went 39-and-0.
>> we were young, but we were very athletic, and very skilled, and i think the one ingredient that probably separated our team night in and night out was just our competitiveness. >> reporter: pat summitt was always competitive: a star player in college, and head coach of the lady vols when she was just 22 years old. over 38 years, summitt racked up 1,098 wins-- the most by any division-one college basketball coach, ever-- male or female. she never had a losing season. she was still at it in 2000, when she was inducted into the naismith basketball hall of fame. >> i've always felt a tremendous responsibility as a coach, and as a teacher to give to this game. i could never give to this game what this game has given or meant to me. >> reporter: then, in 2011, summitt announced she had early
onset dementia. her son, tyler, spoke to the newshour. >> she wakes up every day and thinks about the relationships that she has with those young ladies, her players. and she just loves being around them and making their lives better, not only on the court, but also off. and so there's nothing that could take that passion away from her. >> reporter: summitt coached one more season and retired in 2012. >> pat summitt is an unparalleled figure in collegiate sports. >> reporter: that year, president obama awarded her the medal of freedom. today, a makeshift memorial grew at the university of tennessee in knoxville, and tributes rolled in, starting with summitt's greatest rival: university of connecticut coach geno auriemma. >> when people talked about women's basketball in america, college women's basketball in america, it was pat summitt and tennessee. >> reporter: in her 1998 book,
"reach for the summitt," she told of turning down an opportunity to coach the tennessee men's basketball team. she asked: "why is that a step up?" summitt was 64 years old. >> ifill: and updating our top story tonight, a senior turkish official says nearly 50 people were killed in a suicide attack on istanbul's main airport. the official says up to four attackers took part. in response, the federal aviation administration has halted all flights between the u.s. and istanbul. tune in tune in later tonight: on "frontline," a provocative look inside the newark, new jersey police department, as it tries to implement reforms mandated by the justice department. in "policing the police", jelani cobb examines newark's history of police abuses, its rocky relationship with the community, and efforts by its mayor to bring about change.
on the "newshour" online right now, part-time workers want the work full time, right? not always. on our making sense page, one columnist examines the trade-off for parents who work. all that and more is on our web site, pbs.org/newshour. and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm gwen ifill. join us online and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> you were born with two stories. one you write every day, and one you inherited that's written in your d.n.a. 23andme.com is a genetic service that provides personalized
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