tv PBS News Hour PBS July 12, 2016 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: on the newshour tonight: >> these slain officers were the best among us. >> woodruff: addressing a divided nation, former president george w. bush and president obama honor the five officers who died in last week's ambush in dallas. >> the deepest fault lines of our democracy have been exposed or widened. >> ifill: also ahead this tuesday: >> i have come here to make it as clear as possible as to why i am endorsing hillary clinton. >> ifill: bernie sanders throws his support behind the presumptive democratic nominee. >> woodruff: and continuing our series "the end of aids?," we go to the south-- america's
epicenter of the outbreak-- where a hard hit population is facing significant barriers to care. >> many of my friends ask me, "you know, why are you working in atlanta? everybody works internationally." and i feel like we have a third world epidemic, in some ways, here. >> ifill: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> some say it's a calling. some say they lost someone they loved. many say it's to save lives, as many and as often as possible. there's 100 reasons why someone becomes a doctor, but at m.d. anderson, it's because there's
nothing-- and we mean nothing-- we won't do in making cancer history. lincoln financial is committed to helping you take charge of your future. >> 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. >> ifill: attorney general loretta lynch urged americans today to bridge the divide between police and the communities they serve. she spoke as the president attended a service in dallas for
five officers killed by a sniper. lynch testified at a house hearing, and said stopping violence must be a rallying point for both police and minority groups. >> it is my hope that as we all look at these tragic incidents that we will take the opportunity to draw closer to each other, to have the difficult conversations about race and policing in this country, involving all sides, involving all issues and points of view. >> ifill: lynch also faced a battery of republican questions about the investigation into hillary clinton's e-mail use. she defended the decision not to charge clinton, but refused to discuss details of the investigation. >> woodruff: hillary clinton finally got the endorsement today that she's been waiting for: from primary-season rival bernie sanders. the vermont senator appeared with clinton in new hampshire and promised to help defeat republican donald trump in november. we'll hear what each had to say, and look at what today's moves
means for the democratic party, later in the program. >> ifill: in south sudan, the capital city of juba was quiet after a cease-fire took hold. at least 272 had been killed in five days of fighting between rival factions. meanwhile, the united nations reported at least 36,000 people are seeking shelter at u.n. sites and other locations. and embassies and aid groups began evacuating staffers. >> woodruff: at least 22 people were killed in southern italy today when two commuter trains collided head on, at high speed. it happened on a single track line between two towns in the region of puglia. rescue workers searched through mangled wreckage, looking for survivors and dozens of injured. and, the italian prime minister interrupted a trip to milan. >> ( translated ): after this very brief greeting to you, i'll go back straight to rome because of the train crash. and i have ordered an immediate
investigation into what happened. i think absolute clarity must be made on this. we will not stop until we understand what happened. >> woodruff: officials said they won't be sure of the final death toll until a giant crane can pull the wreckage apart. >> ifill: back in this country: house republican leaders confirmed there will not be a vote on gun control legislation until after the summer recess. majority leader kevin mccarthy said it will wait until they return in september. party leaders have been unable to round up enough votes for their bill to ban people on the terror watch list from buying guns. >> woodruff: and a big day on wall street: the dow jones industrial average reached a record high, gaining 120 points to close at 18,347. the nasdaq rose 34 points and the s&p 500 was up 15, adding to its record close yesterday. >> ifill: still to come on the newshour: president obama's call for healing at a dallas police memorial, will bernie sanders
supporters follow his lead? china doubles down on its claims in the south china sea, and much more. >> woodruff: dallas mourned its dead today-- the police officers cut down by a sniper. the occasion was an interfaith memorial service, where president obama offered reassurance-- and a summons to build a better country. it was a moment to honor the five officers who died in dallas. and, to speak to a nation on edge after days of bloodshed, protest and racial tension: >> it's as if the deepest fault lines of our democracy have suddenly been exposed-- perhaps even widened. and although we know that such divisions are not new, though they've surely been worse in
even the recent past, that offers us little comfort. faced with this violence we wonder if the divides of race in america can ever be bridged. i understand how am feeling- but dallas i'm here to say we must reject such despair i'm here to insist that we are not as divided as it seems. >> woodruff: the ceremony took place at the meyerson symphony center, minutes from the site of the sniper attack that erupted during a peaceful protest, last thursday night. five seats were left open, holding american flags and police caps, in tribute to the slain policemen. >> and despite the fact police conduct was the subject of protest. despite the fact that there must have been signs, or slogans, or chants with which they
profoundly disagreed. these men and this department did their jobs like the professionals they were. >> woodruff: the sniper-- micah johnson-- told negotiators, during a standoff, that he wanted revenge for police killings of black men, including last week in baton rouge and st. paul. those killings sparked widespread protests, and the president today urged each side to understand the other. >> when all this takes place more than 50 years after the passage of the civil rights act? we cannot simply turn away and dismiss those in peaceful protest as trouble makers or paranoid. we also know that so much of the tensions between police
departments and minority communities that they serve is because we ask the police to do too much. and we ask too little of ourselves. protestors you know it. you know how dangerous some of the communities where these police officers serve are. and you pretend as if there's no context-- these things we know to be true. >> woodruff: the president had cut short his trip to europe to attend the service. he was joined by the first lady and vice president and mrs. biden, as well as former president george w. bush and his wife laura-- who make their home in dallas. >> most of us imagine if the moment called for-- that we would risk our lives to protect our spouse or a child. those wearing the uniform assume that risk for the safety of strangers. they and their families share the unspoken knowledge that each new day can bring new dangers. but none of us were prepared or
could be prepared for an ambush by hatred and malice. the shock of this evil has still not faded. >> woodruff: hundreds of others attended the tribute as well. among them: dozens of law enforcement officers from galveston county, texas. a local judge paid for a bus to bring officers on the 300-mile, pre-dawn trip. in the end, the president lamented he had spoken to too many memorial services during his time in the white house, and he appealed to americans to look deep into their hearts. >> and if we cannot talk about these things, if we cannot talk honestly and openly not just in comfort of own circles. but with those who look different or bring a different perspective, then we will never break this dangerous cycle.
in the end it's not about finding policies that work. it's about forging consensus. and fighting cynicism and finding the will to make change. >> woodruff: after the service, the obamas met privately with officers wounded in the attack, as well as the families of those killed. funerals for the slain officers begin tomorrow. >> ifill: after winning 13 million votes, 22 states, and raising $200 million, vermont senator bernie sanders formally stepped aside today, throwing his weight to presumptive democratic nominee, hillary clinton. then both turned their focus to donald trump.
it was everywhere-- emblazoned on the campaign stage, and all of the signs-- "stronger together", the clinton campaign motto. but today, it took on an unmistakably altered meaning, as bernie sanders and hillary clinton joined forces for the first time. >> i have come here to make it as clear as possible as to why i am endorsing hillary clinton. >> ifill: the announcement came in portsmouth, new hampshire, the state that handed sanders his first democratic primary victory, and set up the protracted battle for the party's nomination. >> it is no secret that hillary clinton and i disagree on a number of issues. at the democratic platform committee, which ended sunday night in orlando, there was a significant coming together between the two campaigns and we produced, by far, the most progressive platform in the
history of the democratic party. >> ifill: sanders did not get all he wanted in the proposed platform, but now, it does include: a plank calling for tougher regulations on wall street, language supporting a $15-an- hour federal minimum wage, and stronger words on climate change. today, sanders called clinton "far and away the best candidate" in november. clinton, in turn, appealed to his supporters. >> i'm asking you to keep working in the weeks, months, years ahead. you will always have a seat at the table when i am in the white house. >> ifill: the event also allowed the former rivals to form a united front against a common foe: republican nominee-in- waiting, donald trump. >> while donald trump is busy insulting mexicans, muslims, and women, and african americans and veterans, hillary clinton
understands that our diversity is one of our greatest strengths. >> trump and his cronies are trying to pull the wool over our eyes, let them give us same failed policies. >> ifill: in response, the trump campaign fired off press release after press release, many of them contrasting sanders' past statements about clinton with his endorsement today. one trump attack took aim at clinton for the former secretary of state's past involvement with the trans-pacific partnership, a proposed trade deal that sanders strongly opposes. clinton repeated today that she now opposes the t.p.p. as well. still to come: details on sanders' role at the party's upcoming convention, and in the fall campaign. will the sanders supporters get on board? we look at that road ahead for democrats with: sanders supporter and former ohio state senator, nina turner, and former six-term vermont governor and presidential candidate howard dean-- a clinton supporter.
does an endorsement like that, you have been here, on the campaign trail, you've conceded before, does an endorsement like that matter? >> it does matter. it's actually harder for the supporters to get on board than the candidate, but the candidate leads the way, and this is a big deal. >> ifill: nin nina turner, a lot of sanders supporters, maybe not in that room, have been saying sanders sold south. whasold -- sold out. what are you telling them? >> when the senator said he would do everything he could to defeat mr. trump and part of that promise begins with today. i agree with the governor, it is definitely hard for supporters and probably harder than the candidate, and yes, all over twitter and my direct messages, texts phone calls, there are people who support the senator who are very disappointed. there has to be a grieving process, a space for sanders
supporters to digest this because his supporters, people like me and others, never wanted this day to come. we always wanted senator sanders to be the nominee, so yes, there is a lot of hurt going on out there. >> howard dean, how do you bring the hurting to a place that helps the nominee? >> bernie had a huge influence on the platform. so for an issues point of view, most to have the sanders supporters have gotten most of what they want. that will help a lot. second of all, sanders will do vigorous campaigning because this platform is a platform bernie likes. so over time, i think these wounds do heal. i think not only did most of pi supporters support john kerry enthusiastically, a lot of my staff went to work for john kerry, and it was tough. it was a bitter primary just as this one has been. but you have to do what's right for the country in the end and what's right is hillary clinton and what's wrong for the country is donald trump. >> ifill: hillary clinton in
2008 decided to concede one week after barack obama clinched the nomination. this took a little longer. did senator sanders take too long to endorse? >> absolutely not. everybody has to do this at their own pace and with their own supporters in mind. i think bernie -- because bernie had such an influence on the platform, i think that's enormously helpful. he needed that extra time. the platform changed, more concessions than most expected and i think that will bring supporters on board. >> ifill: nina turner, did the platform change enough for you and does it matter what the platform is if the words are different coming out of the candidate's mouth? >> it changed. but for senator sanders continuing to push, we would not have the $15 minimum wage in the federal, abolishing the death penalty, moving marijuana off the federal schedule one. so senator sanders and supporters have a lot to be
proud of, but in terms of the t.p.p., of course, we are disappointed. i was in orlando, i was one of the platform committee members, and we fought vigorously to get the democratic party to say they'd oppose any vote on the t.p.p. in the lame duck session, but that did not happen. so we still have much more work to do, gwen. is senator always said it's about us, not him, so there has tube folks out there like myself and others who will make sure, to your point, that that platform is not something that's just wonderful words on a sheet of paper, that if a democrat wins the platform is executed on a policy. >> ifill: you on a platform and we heard hillary clinton say she opposes the t.p.p. why does it matter whether it's in the platform? >> it needs to be in there because we affirm it strongly
and if both candidates made it clear they oppose it, senator sanders had the opportunity to push the secretary further left on that, then it should not have been any problem with the platform committee members of both candidates voting to make sure that the t.p.p. was not voted on in the lame duck but that did not happen, unfortunately, but, gwen, it gives us something more to continue to fight for, again. to senator sanders supporters, i want to say this is not the end, it is the beginning and the political revolution that he has started must continue because we have to hold people accountable to the platform because a lot of people out there, gwen, are concerned that the platform is just pretty words on a piece of paper. >> in fairness, there was a third problem, a third party at the table with the t.p.p., and that was president obama. it would be incredibly unusual to have a very successful president, which president obama has been, rebuked by the democratic party platform and i think that's why the t.p.p. was not in the platform. it would have been seen as a rebuke to the president of the
united states who's done, i think, a great job. >> he's done a tremendous job, but i don't agree with the governor on that, but, yes, the president has done a great job, but people in the same family can disagree. >> ifill: let me ask you about disagreeing in the family. you, nina turner, have been calling for perhaps a third party. is that off the table now? >> i think both parties could certainly benefit from having another party challenge us to do better. i am a democrat, i have been a life-long democrat, but i'm not just a democrat to be a democrat. i am a democrat because of the principles and the values we uphold, and if we are the strongest party, we should not fear other of cigs. >> ifill: howarcigs -- should nt fear competition. >> ifill: howard dean, what did bernie sanders ultimately bring to this campaign? >> bernie sanders in some ways was more of a mover in this
campaign than anybody else. the core issue, we've seen it all over the world, and the british just had a very unfortunate vote, where people left behind been globalization are lashing out, and bernie crystallized that and talked about the issues that we have to fix if globalization is going to work and our country is going to be strong. we have to help the people who have been left behind. we have to have better schools, better educational opportunities, better inclusion, better support of working people who aren't benefiting from globalization, better tax rules that aid creation of jobs more so than creating opportunities to shift paper around on wall street. those are the things that bernie brought to the table and those are things in the platform. i think he's transformed the democratic party and done it in a positive way. >> ifill: former vermont governor howard dean, former ohio state senator nina turner,
thank you very much. >> thank you, gwen. >> woodruff: stay with us. coming up on the newshour: aids in atlanta-- where gay black men are among those most affected. the disconnect between what high schoolers are taught and what actually happens in politics, and the family of a war correspondent suing the syrian government. but first: a judgment was handed down today by an international tribunal that could have far- reaching effects in asia. it began as a dispute between china and the philippines over a huge expanse of the south china sea, and china's assertion of control there in waters claimed by many countries. the area is a major fishing, trade and energy production corridor. and today, the permanent court of arbitration in the hague ruled against china.
for more on this dispute, the case, and its implications i'm joined by bonnie glaser of the center for strategic and international studies. bonnie glaser, welcome to the "newshour". remind us first of all what was the dispute this international tribunal was asked to resolve? >> well, the philippines brought this case against china in january 2013, and there are 15 requests that it made. they're not about sovereignty over territory because this tribunal is not empowered to rule on sovereignty issues regarding territory, but the philippines was asking other things. it was asking, for example, that china's nine dash line claim be ruled invalid and that china be told that it doesn't have any historic rights that can be applied to waters that give it any special rights to have fishing or energy exploitation in waters that are in exclusive
economic zone of the philippines. the philippines also asked that the tribunal rule the status of eight of the features and the tribunal ruled on most of those and importantly found none of the features are full islands. so none of them get a 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone, they just get a 12 nautical mile territorial sea if they're a rock, and some of them are underwater and they get no maritime entitlement whatsoever. >> woodruff: let me just stop you there. what was china arguing was the basis for its territorial claim, then? >> well, china has argued as has five other claimants that they own many of the islands. some like china and taiwan claim all of the islands in the south china sea. this particular set of islands is in the spratway, the southern part of the south china sea.
some claim the tribunal did not have authority in this and they claim it is not binding on china. but according to the convention on the law of the sea and china is a state party, it is binding on both parties, the philippines and china. >> woodruff: well, what does it mean, then? china is rejecting the ruling, saying it was invalid for the court to even consider this. what does it mean, then? is it enforceable in any way, this decision? >> there is no enforcement mechanism, judy, under the conventional law of the sea. so it's really left up to the international community to encourage china to be a law-abiding citizen and for china to see that it's in its interest to not be an outlaw. china wants to, i believe, rise peacefully. it doesn't want to have confrontation with its neighbors. so i think this is going to
create some rethinking in china about its approach top its neighbors, i hope. but in the short run, we're likely to see increased tensions, and i think that the chinese might take some steps to reassert their claims because xi jinping will face pressure domestically. he has lost face on this issue because this decision was almost completely in favor of the philippines, it was very one-sided. >> woodruff: so you do see china, perhaps, rethinking its approach on this? and just quickly, the effect on the united states, which clearly has a lot at stake with its allies in the pacific. >> yes, well the united states has made its interests quite clear in the pacific. it wants to have a rules-based order and wants to see china part of that rules-based order. so we'll have to see going forward whether this becomes a source of tensions in the south
china sea and china and its neighbors and the u.s. and china or where we can put this issue on a diplomatic track and find ways for bilateral fishing agreements, joint energy exploration and other ways shell these disputes and find ways to cooperate. >> woodruff: a lot of questions coming out of this ruling. bonnie glaser with c.s.i.s., the center for strategic international studies, we thank you. >> thank you. >> ifill: tonight, we continue our series "the end of aids." yesterday, we looked at san francisco, and one of the nation's most ambitious plans to curtail aids. tonight, we turn to a city where the struggle is much more difficult. atlanta, georgia-- and much of the southeast-- is by some measures the epicenter of
america's aids crisis. and as correspondent william brangham and producer jason kane report-- the barriers to stemming the epidemic there are enormous. this report was supported by the pulitzer center on crisis reporting. >> reporter: the alarm bells rarely stop in the inpatient and isolation wards at grady memorial hospital. here in atlanta--just down the street from the c.d.c.-- in 2016, in the age of life-saving anti-retroviral drugs, hundreds of people are still dying every year from aids. >> the h.i.v. epidemic in america is forgotten, but not gone. people have forgotten it exists. i think i have a better chance of winning the lottery than i have of ending aids where we are today, right? >> reporter: the southeastern u.s. is the epicenter of america's epidemic. these states make up 44% of people living with h.i.v. and they make up half of all new h.i.v. diagnoses. >> it's almost like the south is a different country.
it really is about poverty, social determinants of health, racism, it's really a bunch of different things. >> reporter: carlos del rio is one of atlanta's leading h.i.v. doctors. he co-directs the emory center for aids research, and sees patients at grady. often, he says, patients have no idea of their h.i.v. status until it's nearly too late. >> half those people we diagnose here already have aids. in other words, they've been infected for five, six, ten years. >> reporter: russell martin was one of them-- black, gay men are one of the hardest hit populations here in the southeast. martin thought he was perfectly healthy until one day he came down with a fever. >> i'm just thinking it was a cold. i have asthma, so i'm prone to having pneumonia, so i'm like okay, maybe it's just pneumonia. >> reporter: by the time he checked into grady, he was so sick that doctors induced a near-coma in a desperate attempt to save him. he woke up to learn that he had h.i.v. it had progressed to aids, and that he had nearly died.
it's not that martin didn't know about h.i.v. or wasn't being careful. in fact, he once worked at an h.i.v. clinic and got tested regularly. >> i got routine checks until i got into a relationship. and it was once i was in a relationship, i didn't do it. >> reporter: because you thought, "i'm in a monogamous relationship, i don't need to be tested." >> that's true, that's what i was thinking. >> reporter: while martin is currently on treatment and doing well, he's become further evidence for an alarming projection: according to a recent analysis that was done by the c.d.c here in atlanta, if current trends persist, half of gay and bisexual black men will be diagnosed with h.i.v. in their lifetimes. half. fulton county commissioner joan garner has been helping lead the push to change the course of the epidemic here in atlanta. she started after hearing that few cities in the country have higher rates of h.i.v. >> the information has been out there, research is out there, treatments-- treatment is out there.
and i was just floored when i heard that, and i said we have got to do something about this. >> we certainly have some new leadership... >> reporter: two years ago, garner and council chair john eaves assembled the fulton county task force on h.i.v./aids-- fulton county makes up the bulk of the city of atlanta. >> this really shouldn't be a conversation anymore. this is low-hanging fruit. we swing the gate literally from one end to the other. >> reporter: like san francisco, which we reported on earlier, they are one of the first local governments in the u.s. to formalize a plan for ending aids. the exact budget and timeline of their work is yet to be determined. >> there are a lot of people who are working on this, not necessarily working together. >> reporter: dr. melanie thompson is helping lead the task force. she says it's unbelievable to her that it's taken this long to get started. >> it's horrifying. i mean frankly, we have had a smoldering epidemic here for a long time. but when you get a little bit of
political will, it goes a long way, and that is something that we have never had here. >> reporter: but the challenges are daunting. something the task force has been hearing about as they've traveled across the county, meeting with various groups. from gay, bisexual and transgender organizations to those who inject drugs. it's estimated there are 3,000 h.i.v. positive people in the county who don't know they're infected, meaning, they could unknowingly be spreading the virus to others. >> at a time when san francisco is talking about getting to zero, and new york is talking about ending the epidemic, we still see increasing numbers of new h.i.v. diagnoses in some of our population. >> reporter: for those who do know their status, and want to start treatment, just getting there can be arduous. claude bowen's difficult commute to the doctor isn't uncommon in this sprawling city. he has no car and has to travel two hours to his appointments. >> i take one bus to the train, to another bus. if i come down here i take a
bus, the train, another train, then a bus. >> reporter: and that's just one way. >> that's one way. >> reporter: if a bus or train is late, he'll miss the next leg and often his appointment will be canceled entirely. for these reasons-- and many others-- an estimated 40% to 50% of people in fulton county drop out of h.i.v. care once they've started. for others, even basic information about treatment can be a struggle. >> i'm going for this bohemian type thing. >> reporter: when 22-year-old derrick langford was diagnosed with h.i.v., he had no trouble opening up to friends and family. >> i like this! >> reporter: but he couldn't figure out what to do next or where to go for medication or follow-up care. >> so it was pretty much me searching, looking, using google a lot to find out where i needed to go. and the stress kind of made me very sick. >> reporter: it's often these kinds of barriers-- not riskier behaviors-- that drive these high rates of infection. in fact, gay black men don't
engage in higher-risk behaviors compared to, say, white gay men. repeated studies have proven that. they often have fewer partners and use condoms more, says wendy armstrong. she's medical director of the ponce de leon center, grady hospital's massive outpatient clinic for atlanta's h.i.v.- positive community. >> there's so much easy blame: those people shouldn't be doing those things. and that is not the situation at all. it is that it is such a prevalent disease in our population for a group of patients who don't have easy access to care. >> people living with h.i.v. should be at all levels of engagement. >> reporter: daniel driffin is a member of the task force. he's h.i.v. positive himself, and he says the achilles heel of the fight against h.i.v. in the south is stigma. he says even he feels it. >> i thought i did something wrong being that i'm now h.i.v. positive, on top of being black, on top of being gay, and in the south. >> so this is the south, the bible belt, and so when it comes to h.i.v., it' s like we're
doing something that's immoral to what we were taught as kids. >> reporter: while stigma about being gay has long been a problem in much of the u.s., driffin says it's particularly an issue in the black community. and he says it's complicit in the rising rates of h.i.v. infection. >> we see what happens when people do tell that they're gay. we see what happens when people do say that they're h.i.v positive. they're homeless the next morning, or the same day. you know, they're being assaulted. >> a local man could be facing federal hate crimes charges. >> reporter: he points to a recent case where a man walked into his girlfriend's house, discovered her son in bed with another man, and threw boiling water onto them. >> he boiled a pot of water on the stove, took the pot of water and poured it all over them. and literally they were in the hospital for four months. >> reporter: melanie thompson says while all these impediments are finally being acknowledged and talked about openly, the region still has major hurdles to overcome them. one example, among many:
funding. georgia was one of the states that didn't expand medicaid under the affordable care act, so it's got much less money to care for its poor, h.i.v. positive patients. >> many of my friends ask me, "you know, why are you working in atlanta, why don't you go work in africa, or asia, whatever? everybody works internationally." and i feel like we have a third world epidemic, in some ways, here, that's difficult to address. >> reporter: three years after nearly dying of aids, russell martin is a testament to the power of successful h.i.v. treatment, and to what many hope atlanta will do more of. he's now studying law and looking towards graduation. the virus is fully suppressed in his blood. he's trying daily to get healthier still. for the pbs newshour, i'm william brangham in atlanta, georgia. >> ifill: tomorrow night, our reporting continues with a look at new york-- the state with more h.i.v. positive people than
any other in the u.s. you can follow our series online as well. here's what you'll find there: >> reporter: on the newshour's website, you'll find more reporting from our series on h.i.v./aids. there, you can see stories from people we met around the world. you can read more about efforts to find a cure. and see all the video reports broadcast on air. "the end of aids," at pbs.org/newshour. >> woodruff: it's always been the case that the political science taught in textbooks can be a far cry from politics as practiced in the real world. but given how different and unusual this year's presidential election has been, it's presented a particular challenge in some school settings, trying to square the civics book with the 2016 campaign as it's unfolded. special correspondent lisa stark
of education week visits a high school in maryland, just two hours from the white house, where teachers are trying to help students understand this out-of-the-ordinary election. it's part of our weekly series, "making the grade". >> good morning. >> good morning. >> we're going to start with a warm up today, number one: what are the three constitutional requirements to be president? >> reporter: bruce fox's 12th grade a.p. government class has been following this presidential election as the field has winnowed down and the rhetoric has heated up. >> this year you can easily make the argument it's like that on steroids. >> is it ever? >> she's a world class liar. just look at her pathetic e-mail server statements. donald trump's ideas aren't just different, they are dangerously incoherent. >> from television to twitter, >> reporter: from television to
twitter, it's been an unruly campaign. to help students cut through the noise, bruce fox is trying out his own ballot. >> we are going to look at scandals, lies and incivility in the 2016 presidential election. you are going to categorize each incident and rate it. i think that this year presents extra challenges because the political parties traditionally have had a platform that was predictable and well known, and this year, things are a little bit more all over the place. >> reporter: students are examining controversial issues involving donald trump and hillary clinton. >> the main thing is i want you to categorize this. is it a lie, scandal, what is this? and then finally rate it. i wanted students to be thinking about some of these things that we're hearing about, maybe they don't matter that much, and others are more important. not just because something's in the news doesn't necessarily mean it's a big deal, or it should really influence any kind of decisions when it comes to voting. >> ooh the speeches, haiden
loves this one. "clinton gave three speeches at goldman sachs for $225,000 each, clinton has refused to release the content of her speeches." >> think that's a scandal, too? >> that's a lie. >> a lie? >> yeah, because she won't like admit to like what's going on. i follow a lot of them on twitter. i don't feel like it's a good source of information, but it is where a lot of candidates can slip up. like donald trump, for instance, he does say a lot of not so smart things on twitter that you wouldn't think someone running for president would say. all right, trump and women. >> ugh, here we go. >> "trump has often offended many women by retweeting an unflattering picture of heidi cruz." >> if a student is getting a tweet with some shocking thing, their thought process shouldn't be oh man, that person is a jerk and that's horrible. it should be more than that. it should be is this accurate? do you think she should release
the speeches? >> definitely, if she wants people to stop saying she's being fake about it she should release them. >> reporter: civics education is an age old subject, one of the founding principles of america's public schools. maryland is the only state to require a u.s. government exam to graduate, although virtually all states require some civics education. in ten other states, students will need to take the u.s. citizenship test. >> that freedom of expression is guaranteed by our first amendment which says... >> you can have whatever religion you want or you don't have to have a religion at all. >> okay. >> reporter: jessica sprout teaches u.s. government to ninth graders, a topic she says has an impact far beyond the classroom. >> you've got to know how the government works to be an informed citizen and to be successful. that's the only way a democracy works, is if people are involved. >> reporter: in recent years, there have been high profile attempts to strengthen the
civics curriculum-- including by former supreme court justice sandra day o'connor-- over concerns the subject is getting short shrift. >> i wanted to teach young people in america, how they can be part of the governmental structure and help decide what problems to tackle and how to solve them. >> reporter: a tufts university study found young adults who recalled having strong civics classes were more likely to vote, and certainly this year, interest in the election is high. >> i was teaching in the last election cycle, and i honestly don't remember many discussions at all from kids. this time around, even the freshman have an opinion. >> reporter: bruce fox wants his students-- many will be first time voters-- to be thoughtful about their opinions. he's hoping today's lesson encourages them to think about what it means to be presidential-- how much do character and judgment count? >> why don't we start with each group and you'll share what your
big takeaway here was. >> donald trump is just full of lies and hillary clinton just has secrets. neither of them are actually fit. >> okay. if some of you are undecided voters, what are you going to be looking to these candidates to say or do between now and november.? um, lauren. >> act like civilized adults. >> reporter: a lesson even the candidates might benefit from. i'm lisa stark from education week, reporting for the pbs newshour. >> u.s.a., u.s.a. >> woodruff: looking for ways to engage students in this year's presidential election? check out newshour extra for lesson plans, activities, and videos at pbs.org/newshour/extra.
>> ifill: hundreds of thousands of people have died in syria since the conflict began nearly five-and-a-half years ago. few who have lost loved ones have any hope of gaining justice for their deaths. but the family of marie colvin, an american journalist killed in syria in 2012, with french photographer remi ochlik, is suing the government of syria in an american court. the colvin family says they're not seeking retribution, but accountability. william brangham is back with that story. >> brangham: marie colvin was considered one to have -- one of the bravest journalists of her generation, covering war and conflict, lost an eye covering a conflict in sr sri lanka in 2001 and february of 2012 she would lose her life covering the war in syria. colvin was again on assignment for the "times" of london when she was killed by a rocket fired by the syrian government. in the city of homs, an
upraiding against bashar al-assad. her body coz found in a makeshift media center. homs is in a mess and chaos, killing, stealing, people are dying. we closed our shops every day two or three or four get kidnapped. shame on them. we want to finish this. this is not a solution. >> brangham: despite the indiscriminate shelling, colvin's younger sister kathleen says marie's death was no accident. >> i was for sure from the very beginning she was targeted. the timing of her last report out of homs seemed like too much of a coincidence. >> brangham: the last report was a series of phone interviews colvin did with american and british tv networks, in them she described the assad government's attack on civilians in homes, this one with the u.k.'s channel 4 news. >> i am with ground zero and i am seeing what's being hit. civilian buildings are being hit in. the clinic today, it's an
apartment, has two operating tables, a dentist and a doctor, there was a tiny baby -- well, one year old -- naked, hit in the left chest. the doctors just said, we can't do anything and we had the to watch the baby's little tummy desperate for breath die. >> brangham: hours later the building where she was working was hit. kathleen believes the assad regime intentionally targeted her sister and she and her family filed a wrongful death suit against the syrian government in a federal court in washington, d.c., alleging marie colvin was assassinated by "syrian members of the regime by syrian president bashar al-assad to surveil, target and ultimately kill civilian journalists." the suit names president assad's brother as well as other top military and intelligence commanders. >> it went up to assad's office, to the office of president, and his younger brother was put in charge of this apparatus that was specifically directed to
target foreign journalists, and the intention was to silence them so that the assad regime could operate with impunity. >> brangham: but it's not just top officials colvin blames. she points the finger at a local woman she says sealed her sister's fate. >> this female informant i picture lurking outside the media center the night before and was able to visually confirm marie's location. >> brangham: there was a syrian who was able to inform the government the journalists are here? >> yes. they had already zeroed in using the skype, that's what she was using to report out, and they had the signal intercepted, so they had located the position, and this woman visually confirmed it. >> brangham: evidence for the claims was uncovered by the center for justice and accountability, a nonprofit human rights operation based in san francisco. colvin says the proof of their allegations will come to light if the case progresses.
colvin hopes the lawsuit will bring a measure of accountability to the assad regime for what she said it did to her sister and the people of syria. >> all the people my family experienced i know is repeated every day in syria. >> brown: kathleen's oldest daughter is named a plaintiff. she and mer siblings were devastated by the loss. >> they talked to her all the time. she called us from the square saying you have to hear this, there is an uprising, the world is going to change. marie is the most amazing person i've ever known and will know, i feel lucky to have such a close relationshipith her. >> brangham: colvin wants to recognize the importance of journalists in conflict zones. >> marie said tie rants like assad can do whatever they want with impunity with the world never knowing the truth. it's happening now in syria.
it's one of the most dangerous places to report from and it's becoming more and more difficult to know what's happening. to a certain extent, he's winning and has swlensed the press. >> brangham: marie colvin's sister hopes through lawsuit one journalist who fell silent can be heard once again. for the pbs "newshour", i'm william brangham. >> woodruff: now to our newshour shares: something that caught our eye that might be of interest to you, too. 17 larger-than-life sea creatures have taken up residence in the nation's capital this summer. the newshour's julia griffin recently paid them a visit. >> reporter: octavia the octopus, priscilla the parrot fish, and flash the marlin. all sculptures now on display at smithsonian's national zoo in washington, d.c., and all made of trash pulled from the pacific ocean.
>> all of this is garbage off the beaches. >> reporter: angela haseltine pozzi is the lead artist and executive director of washed ashore-- a non profit seeking to educate the public on the plastics polluting the word's oceans. >> we create sculpture that can teach people about the problem. and as an artist, it is a real challenge to use everything that comes up off the beach. >> reporter: in six years, haseltine pozzi and her team of volunteers have created 66 sculptures from more than 38,000 pounds of debris collected from a stretch of oregon's coastline. the countless bottle caps, flip flops and beach toys are just a fraction of the more than 315 billion pounds of plastic estimated to be in the world's oceans. such plastics not only pose entanglement threats to marine animals, but are often mistaken for food. >> i think it's a really different way to show the message, because in the art there were things that you would
never expect to be washed on the ocean, there was a million lighters and all these things that were really surprising to find. >> i thought it was lovely, really colorful and eye catching and it actually makes you think about the waste that's in the sea and how much there is, but it's very impressive. >> you can't put trash in the ocean 'cause it will hurt animals. >> reporter: as scientists debate how to clean up the water, haseltine pozzi hopes her sculptures will inspire visitors to curb pollution in the first place. for the pbs newshour, from the national zoo, i'm julia griffin. >> woodruff: it's a great way to learn about what's in the ocean. >> ifill: absolutely. on the newshour right now: heavy winter rains have caused algae in some parts of florida to bloom, hurting tourism and causing the governor to declare a state of emergency. it has been such a large problem
that a nasa satellite caught images of the bloom from space. all that and more is on our website: pbs.org/newshour. >> woodruff: and finally tonight... >> ifill: keep talking. >> woodruff: a behind-the-scenes look at what it's like to work and live in america's most famous residence. that's the focus of a special documentary tonight on pbs called "the white house: inside story." it features unusual access, as well as interviews with president obama, first lady michelle obama, and former presidents and first ladies. here's an excerpt about a part of the white house less seen-- the living quarters. >> between managing affairs of state and responding to the people's concerns, the president may have the most demanding job in the country, but you can't beat the commute. from the west wing, it's a short trip down the hall and upstairs to the place they call "home." the official residence. here, they can escape the spotlight and try to live a normal life.
>> my parents actually brought some of their furniture from alexandria to the white house. my dad wanted his easy chair he had had forever, he wanted it at the white house. there used to be a president's bathroom and a first lady's bathroom. well, my -- and a first lady's bedroom. my mother said we've slept together for 20-something years and we'll continue. so they took the president's bedroom and made it into a room they were comfortable with. they said we're going to do it so we're comfortable and it feels like us. >> after a few weeks, it becomes home and you would be going along and not thinking every day about here i am and what am i doing. you look down and there is something from abraham lincoln
and it gives me chills. >> the upstairs of the white house which isn't seen by everybody is filled with history. you feel a lot of history, and you hope you can live up to it. >> every room has 100 stories. this is where jackson was. this is where lincoln was. this is where teddy roosevelt today. this is where the kids played. >> abraham lincoln was able to have regular office hours where people would come and wait outside his office which is over in the residence and, you know, without an appointment if they waited long enough, they might get in to see him and they could seek his help on everything from trying to get a job to asking for a pardon for their child. >> every time you walk in the hall upstairs in the residence, you think about the people who lived there before you. >> ifill: you can watch "the white house: inside story" >> ifill: watch "the white house: inside story" later this
evening on most pbs stations. you may see someone you know. and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. join us online and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: lincoln financial is committed to helping you take charge of your future. >> the ford foundation. working with visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide. >> carnegie corporation of new york. supporting innovations in education, democratic engagement, and the advancement
of international peace and security. at carnegie.org. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and individuals. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
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