tv PBS News Hour Weekend PBS September 18, 2016 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by wnet >> stewart: on this edition for sunday september 18, 2016: counter-terrorism officials look for clues about the explosive set off in a garbage dumpster in manhattan last night... a man stabs eight people inside a minnesota mall...and now isis claims him as a soldier of the islamic state. and, in our signature segment: new technology to help doctors identify when someone may be suicidal. >> it predicts better than a person's own report of whether they're going to make a suicide attempt. it predicts better than clinician's reports. >> stewart: next on "p.b.s. newshour weekend." >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: bernard and irene schwartz. judy and josh weston. the cheryl and philip milstein family.
the john and helen glessner family trust. supporting trustworthy journalism that informs and inspires. sue and edgar wachenheim, iii. barbara hope zuckerberg. corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we are your retirement company. additional support has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. from the tisch wnet studios at lincoln center in new york, allison stewart. good evening and thanks for joining us. new york governor andrew cuomo says new york city was "lucky" there were no fatalities caused by last night's explosion in or near a dumpster on a manhattan street. a second, unexploded device found in a plastic bag four blocks away was "similar in design" and is being examined at
f-b-i headquarters in quantico, virginia, along with remnants of the first device. >> stewart: shrapnel and flying debris from the explosion hurt more than two dozen people, all treated and released from local hospitals. evidence recovery teams worked the scene all day today. the explosion shattered windows but did not cause an structural damage to buildings or subway stations. governor cuomo said investigators have not discovered any links between the attack and any known international terrorist group. new york city mayor bill de blasio and n.y.p.d. commissioner james o'neill told reporters today the blast was intentional, but the motivation is unknown. >> we're in the process of a complex investigation to determine who did this and why they did this. >> stewart: the mayor also said police presence in manhattan will be stronger than usual this week, as the united nations general assembly gets underway. investigators are looking into whether the manhattan incident was connected to the pipe bomb that exploded yesterday morning in the new jersey shore town of seaside park, about an hour-and-
half away. the new jersey bomb detonated inside a garbage can along the route of five-kilometer race meant to raise money for u-s marines. no one was hurt, and the race was cancelled. >> stewart: the f.b.i. in minnesota says it is investigating last night's stabbing spree at a shopping mall an hour from minneapolis as a "potential" act of terrorism. but in a statement, the islamic state, or isis, claimed the assailant was one of its soldiers. police in st. cloud, minnesota, say the man, who was wearing a private security guard uniform stabbed nine people. authorities say the attacker made at least one reference to" allah" and asked one victim if he was muslim. an off duty police officer in the mall shot and killed the man. none of the wounds inflicted by the assailant were life- threatening. six stabbing victims were treated and released from hospitals. the mall is closed until tomorrow. tulsa police shooting the district attorney in tulsa, oklahoma, is investigating whether a police-involved fatal shooting of a black motorist friday night was justified. the sister of the man who was
shot, 40-year old tiffany crutcher, says her brother was not armed, and she wants to see any police dashboard camera video of the incident. police say crutcher refused to follow commands given by officers-- including to put his hands up-- as they approached his stalled s.u.v. in the middle of the street. tulsa police have not said if a weapon was found but intend to release any available videos tomorrow. republican vice presidential candidate mike pence said today that donald trump's comments at a rally friday night-- that hillary clinton's secret service agents should disarm-- were not meant to threaten or encourage violence against the democratic nominee. >> that's absolute nonsense. his comment was that if she didn't have all that security she would change her attitude about the right to keep and bear arms. and i'll bet that's probably true. >> stewart: in miami friday, trump said clinton's" bodyguards...should drop all weapons" and then, he said," let's see what happens to her." at the congressional black caucus foundation dinner in washington last night, president obama said the best send-off for him and the first lady would be a strong african-american turnout on election day for his
former secretary of state. >>
after we have achieved that historic turnout in 2008 and 2012, especially in the african- american community, i will consider it a personal insult, an insult to my legacy, if this community lets down its guard and fails to activate itself in this election. hear about arab-american students who are growing up in a post-9/11 climate. visit us at pbs.org/newshour. >> stewart: the price of a gallon of gas is expected to go up this week along the east coast, due to a leaky gas pipeline in alabama. the pipeline delivers more than a million barrels of gasoline every day from gulf coast refineries to states from mississippi to new jersey.
colonial pipeline, which owns the pipeline, announced yesterday it will construct a temporary fix. joining me now from houston to discuss the leak and its impact is "wall street journal" reporter alison sider. is this leak was discovered during a routine inspection on september 9th yet the excavation and work didn't really get started until last friday. what happened in between? >> so yeah, one of the problems they've had is that a lot of the gasoline in the pipeline sort of pooled in these manmade ponds. and that's lead by certain agencies to sort of deal with potential domino effect. tell us a little bit more about that. >> sure. so the epa has waived certain seg raise-- regulations, the
attempt is to allow more gasoline to come to the area to be sold to prevent shortages. several south eastern states governors have issued executive orders that are also aimed at increasing the amount of gasoline in the region. so waiving regulations temporarily that would prevent truckers from driving long enough hours to make it. so the intent is really to make sure that gasoline can come from-- sometimes from long distances in order to make sure that there aren't shortages. >> have any environmental concerns been addressed yet? >> so the pipe-line of hazardous materials safety, the federal agency that regulates pipe-lines, they issued a corrective action order on friday. it will require the pipe-line company to take certain steps before restarting the pipelines, really because of the issues we discussed earlier with the vapors, they are working now to excavate the pipeline and it
won't be until then that they really know what happened. in the mean time it seems that the gasoline has really pooled in these manned made ponds and luckily i'm being told it hasn't and we talked about ad flowed temporary fix, what will that be and how long will it take to get this pipeline back up and running. >> the fix that the company is proposing is to build sort of a bypass pipeline the same size the original and just go around the area that broke. so that hopefully that will help them get it up and running again more quickly. the company has said they are aiming to get it restarted this week, though they haven't put an exact date on it yet and of course the longer the pipeline remains out of commission, the greater the impact will be. >> as we started this we described this happening on a routine inspection. does anyone know why it leaked in the first place? >> no, i don't think that is known yetment once they are able to excavate the pipeline they will be able to get a closer look at the metal and understand what went wrong and perform certain tests. but because of the vapor in the area, it's been hard for them to have worker there on a sustained, over sustained
periods. they have been working intermit ently to do that. >> alison sider from "the wall street journal," thanks so much. >> thanks for having me. >> stewart: september is national suicide prevention awareness month. the suicide rate in the united states is on the rise and has been for the past 15 years. on average, there are 117 suicides in the u.s. every day and an estimated 25 attempts. in an effort to address the problem some scientists and medical professionals are using advances in technology to help predict and possibly prevent suicide. >> reporter: in new york city this summer, more than two thousand people gathered for the biannual "out of the darkness" overnight walk. it covers 16 miles from dusk to dawn, in memory of those who have died from suicide.
rosemary fuss traveled from boston. it's the tenth time she's walked for her son, tommy. >> we are part of a family. we are survivors. and, we are committed to saving other precious lives. we can't bring our loved ones back, but we can certainly do something to help others. >> reporter: the event raises awareness and money to research suicide prevention. suicide deaths in the united states rose from 29,000 people in 1999, to nearly 43,000 in 2014. and the overall suicide rate between those years is up 24 percent. suicide is now the nation's 10th leading cause of the death, and the second leading cause for young people between ten and 24 years old, like tommy fuss. >> he was a 17-year-old kid who presented himself in a confident, independent way. a kid who had everything to live
for. >> reporter: at what point in this process, in your journey, did you realize that tommy was struggling? >> it's hard to know what is a struggle that is associated with a mental illness and what's the normal adolescent finding his own self. we did receive a call from someone at the school who said"" you know, maybe tommy should see someone, talk to someone, i think tommy is depressed." my husband and my first reaction was, tommy? depressed? you've got to be kidding. >> reporter: tommy did see a therapist, but no serious issues were revealed. a couple of months later, rosemary found her son's suicide plan. it was foiled and tommy spent one night in a hospital. >> the psychiatrist and others thought get him back into his functioning environment, we'll
treat him as an outpatient. but tommy did not share his inner self. >> reporter: two months later, tommy turned on his family's car, left the engine running inside the garage, and killed himself by carbon monoxide poisoning. >> we don't have any way particularly of knowing what a person's thoughts or planned actions are going to be. >> reporter: doctor jeff huffman is the director of inpatient psychiatry at massachusetts general hospital. he was not involved in tommy's care. >> during our training, a lot of the focus on assessing people's suicide was asking people directly but also kind of using your quote unquote clinical judgement. and there was a sense that as you grew as a psychiatrist, you would just know that somebody is at risk or not at risk. >> reporter: but studies, like this one from the journal of psychological science, show clinicians have about a 50/50 chance-- no better than a coin toss-- of predicting who will attempt suicide. there are certain groups with higher risk for suicide: like people with medical
conditions; mental and substance use disorders; or military veterans. but, it's difficult to narrow down who of the millions of people in those high risk groups will try to kill themselves. and there are people who don't fall into those groups who may also attempt suicide. >> so we have this growing list of risk factors. where we're limited is in our ability to put them together in a way that can tell us which people are at greatest risk. >> reporter: doctor matthew nock is a leading suicide researcher and professor at harvard university. he is developing new diagnostic tools using technology and advances in science. what does technology offer in this field that traditional methods of diagnosis doesn't allow for? >> reporter: traditionally, if someone was suicidal out in the world, we would wait for them to come into our office or into our lab and tell us their suicidal and we'd ask them about what their experience was like. but now with new technologies, we can take the lab and bring it to the person. >> reporter: in one study at
mass general, nock is using real-time monitoring to try and predict suicidal thoughts and behaviors. he has patients respond throughout the day to questions on a smartphone. like how nervous or abandoned have you felt in the past 24 hours? or how many hours did you sleep last night? patients also wear bracelets that collect "biomarkers"-- their physical information-- like sweat, skin temperature, and heart rate. when a patient feels suicidal, he or she presses a button on the bracelet. >> we can then look back, are there certain types of experiences or patterns or signatures that tell us when those button presses are going to occur. so can we get better at identifying when a person is at risk. >> reporter: sam bamford has had suicidal thoughts since high school. he's now 34 years old and has huntington's, the degenerative brain disease with no cure. he says he's been hospitalized twice for suicidal thoughts. we met him after he came to mass
general, following a suicide attempt that, he says, came out of nowhere. >> the first hospitalization was all nonstop thoughts about it. months of it. and then this time around, everything was going great. i had an awesome night, hung out with some really great friends that are super supportive; it was just really strange. >> reporter: so this crisis was one of impulse. >> yeah, it came out of the blue. >> reporter: after arriving in the er, bamford took what's called an implicit association test, or i-a-t. i-a-ts are often used to examine racial or gender bias. nock has designed this i-a-t to analyze subconscious thoughts associated with suicide. to see how it works, i took the fifteen minute test. i was instructed to read a word flashing on the screen, and place it either in the me or not me column. some words were suicide related, such as death or funeral. some words were life affirming, such as breathe or living. to get the subjects unfiltered thoughts, there's only a
fraction of a second to respond. it was tough. it was tough, i couldn't put myself and death next to each other. >> exactly the idea. and what we found is that people who are suicidal are faster than those who are not suicidal pairing death and me on the same side, cause they identify with death or suicide. and so we want to compare one set of reaction times to the other in milliseconds >> reporter: nock is still working on making the test more accurate, but says he's already seen strong results from the thousands of people who have taken it. >> it predicts better than a person's own report of whether they're going to make a suicide attempt. it predicts better than clinicians' reports. >> reporter: nock says most patients are open to interacting with technology-based tools... and some even say it's preferable. >> there's actually parts of me- - parts of me that wish some of this stuff was already shared with my doctors, because i'd just have an easier time answering the questions with the phone than i would with a room full of people. >> sure. can be easier that way, less intimidating. >> reporter: and jeff huffman says these new tools can also help determine who needs to be
in this psychiatric unit, which like so many across the country, has a small number of beds compared to the need. >> we all sit and think and worry about our next patient we discharge attempting suicide or god forbid, completing suicide. if we can develop tools to make us more confident about patients who are safe to leave, we desperately need those, we desperately want those. >> reporter: these tools were among the techniques discussed at a suicide conference hosted by the national institutes of mental health in june. all of these researchers are looking for innovative ways to more precisely predict suicide risk and to diagnose and treat mental health disorders. doctor daniel dickstein is a child psychiatrist and associate director of research at bradley hospital in providence, rhode island. he studies bipolar disorder, a mental illness characterized by mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs. >> bipolar disorder, of all psychiatric disorders, involves
the highest rates of suicide. so about 50 percent of kids who have bipolar disorder think about killing themselves at least once, and about 30 percent of kids with bipolar disorder actually try to kill themselves, again, at least once. >> reporter: 15-year-old mason is bipolar, and is a participant in dickstein's research study. his mother, jessica, felt more comfortable talking to us about her son's illness with her face obscured. >> reporter: when you heard," jessica, your son has bipolar disorder," what did you think? bipolar. i knew nothing about what he was diagnosed with. so it was scary. >> reporter: did mason ever pose harm to himself? >> when he was about nine, he had about a two hour long rage fit that we couldn't control anymore.
and he was in the kitchen by the knives, and he just said he was going to kill himself, and he kept saying it. >> reporter: you took him to the hospital. >> yes, we took him to the hospital. we were there overnight. al and sent us home an hourg, later. >> reporter: dickstein says children with bipolar disorder have certain irregularities in brain activity- one is an impaired ability to quickly adapt to changing situations. so he's designed a space-themed video game that, he hypothesizes, will "retrain the brain" and improve those skills. >> periodically throughout the game, they have to adapt their behavior to figure out a decision point. and they have to learn from their prior decisions as they're flying through. and that's sort of the heart of the game. their initial choice once they figure out the right move may
work for a while, but after a while it changes without warning. >> reporter: participants in the study play the game twice a week for eight weeks. then dickstein measures their brain activity with an m-r-i while they play a version of the game. if the scan looks more like that of a healthy child after the eight weeks, the brain retraining may be working. dickstein says early results are promising but much more testing is needed. he says, if it works, it could be scaled up quickly and help thousands of children. why hasn't this kind of research been done before? >> it's harder and harder to get funding. >> reporter: in the past several years, large amounts of federal funding have been put toward researching causes of death like hiv, heart disease and various cancers. mortality rates in all those areas have dramatically decreased. even as suicide deaths continue to rise, suicide research gets significantly less funding. dickstein is among many experts
who believe that, if suicide research was better funded, the epidemic would also slow. he says people need to prioritize suicide and mental health research, in the same way they did for childhood cancer. >> whereas before up to the¡ 80s, it was an absolute death sentence. now, the five-year survival for childhood leukemia is over 90, 95 percent. patients, parents, clinicians, researchers and funders got together and said, "enough of our kids dying of cancer." every kid who has cancer is now going to be part of research. that's really what i'm trying to do for bipolar disorder and related conditions like suicide. >> if today mason playing games helps a kid ten years from now, then it was worth it, because that's somebody we helped. when you're looking for answers and you don't know where to turn, you need help. >> reporter: it's 2am, and rosemary fuss and her eldest son, danny, are still walking.
their team is committed to helping moms like jessica, by removing the stigma attached to suicide, and supporting research for the technological tools that, rosemary believes, would have helped her son. >> they would have given caretakers more information. the information that tommy wasn't willing to share with them face to face. nothing would bring tommy back, but we could help others. it's a feeling of, you know, we are making a difference." danny, i love you. i love you very, very much." >> stewart: the national institutes of mental health points those in crisis or those who know someone in crisis to" suicide prevention lifeline dot org" and the phone number 800 273talk.
this is p.b.s. newshour weekend sunday. >> stewart: the ceasefire in syria brokered by the united states and russia, now in its sixth day, is hanging by a thread. today, syrian government warplanes struck rebel-held neighborhoods in the northern city of aleppo for the first time since the ceasefire went into effect. russia says the truce was jeopardized yesterday when warplanes from the u.s. led coalition attacked syrian army positions in the eastern city of deir al-zor, which is surrounded by isis militants. syria says 83 of its soldiers were killed in what it called "dangerous and blatant aggression." in a written statement, the pentagon expressed "regret" for the unintentional "loss of lives." in a united nations security council emergency session last night, u.s. ambassador samantha power objected to russia's condemnation of the attack and the implication the u.s. may be colluding with isis. in today's elections in russia,
president vladimir putin's ruling "united russia party" is on track to increase its majority in the lower house of parliament. united russia already controls 238 of the duma's 450 seats. an election monitoring group has received 1,300 complaints of voting violations. this is the first election to the duma since 2011, when allegations of ballot-rigging sparked massive anti-putin protests. german chancellor angela merkel is heading for a second election disappointment this month, stemming from the backlash over her decision to admit one million refugees to germany last year. projections have merkel's conservative "christian democrats" losing seats in berlin's assembly today to the anti-immigrant "alternative for germany" party. the christian democrats received their smallest share of the berlin vote in 26 years and will likely drop out of berlin's governing coalition. merkel's party finished third in voting in her home state two weeks ago.
captioning sponsored by wnet captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org the california state university finds the number of reported health crimes against muslims in the u.s. went up 78 pergs last year. the study released this week end and based on police reports in 20 states says this is the sharpest rise in anti-muslim hate crimes since the september 119 terrorist attacks. hate crimes against other groups stayed mostly the same except for transgender people, those were up 40%. tomorrow on the newshour judy woodru ff explores how american politics in the words of jonathan rou ch have gotten so insane. that's all for this edition of pbs newshour weekend. i'm alison stewart. good night.
>> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: bernard and irene schwartz. judy and josh weston. the cheryl and philip milstein family. the john and helen glessner family trust. supporting trustworthy journalism that informs and inspires. sue and edgar wachenheim, iii. barbara hope zuckerberg. corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we are your retirement company. additional support has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
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