tv PBS News Hour PBS October 6, 2016 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> ifill: good evening, i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: on the newshour tonight: >> if you're watching and living in an evacuation zone, you need to leave now. >> ifill: a state of emergency in florida, georgia and south carolina as the deadly hurricane matthew gains strength, barreling toward the u.s. >> woodruff: then, in our series on the issues shaping this election, we take a look at where the candidates stand and differ on guns. >> ifill: and, jeffrey brown sits down with the master of horror, stephen king to talk about his new novel and the art of writing. >> i got where the story leads and sometimes it's outrageous and i relish that. i sort of want to be as much on the edge as i can.
>> woodruff: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ love me tender >> we can like many, but we can love only a precious few, because it is for those precious few that you have to be willing to do so very much. you don't have to do it alone. lincoln financial helps you provide for and protect your financial future because this is what you do for people you love. lincoln financial-- you're in charge.
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>> ifill: it keeps coming closer, and getting stronger. hurricane matthew's winds are back up to 140 miles an hour as it plows toward florida tonight. in its wake, up to 140 dead, nearly all of them in the island nation of haiti. from the skies above southwestern haiti, the destruction looks complete. entire neighborhoods have been wiped out in jeremie, the region's main city. >> ( translated ): all the money we had has been lost. everything is lost. we're lost, we don't know. we could see the destruction and we asked for help. but no. >> ifill: aid workers are finally getting to some of the most heavily-damaged areas, and they're reporting near-total losses. holly frew with the aid organization care, is monitoring the situation from the haitian capital of port-au-prince. >> about 80% of the buildings and homes are damaged and destroyed in that area. everyone is kind of in a state
of shock. utter devastation, like really in that entire area of the west of that southern peninsula where the hurricane eye just took a direct hit. >> ifill: despite the sweeping destruction, tim callaghan, with the u.s. agency for international development, is holding out hope that the human cost may be less than feared. >> the damage observed from the air was structural damage and not heavy rain damage. a lot of people were not observed in the aerial overflight which would indicate that people were in shelters or people were in homes. >> ifill: eastern cuba is also assessing damage from the hurricane's passage, and, overnight, the storm blew through the bahamas, too. the u.s. mainland is the next target, with matthew expected to blast north along the entire length of florida's atlantic coast, beginning tonight. after that, it's likely to rake georgia and south carolina, before weakening and veering out to sea. overall, about two million people in those states are being warned to flee.
>> evacuate, evacuate, evacuate. >> ifill: florida governor rick scott was out early and often today, telling people to leave. >> are you willing to take a chance to risk your life? are you willing to take a gamble? that's what you're doing. if you're reluctant to evacuate, just think of all the people this storm has already killed. >> ifill: many heeded the warnings, as heavy rain began falling in miami. interstate highways across the region were turned into one-way routes, to speed the exodus. >> i'm thinking just to get as far away from the flood zone as possible. >> ifill: others hastily boarded up homes and businesses, and thousands checked into shelters. >> it's too risky to stay and just wanted to stay safe and really hope we have the grace to accept the aftermath, what else >> you cannot replace your life. you cannot replace your mom's life or your kids or your dad, no one's life. things are material and you can always replace your things. >> ifill: and whether they were going or staying, people
everywhere flocked to buy gasoline, food and water. the threat of matthew is also forcing widespread cancellations and closures of everything from college football to theme parks to airline routes. this afternoon, president obama declared a state of emergency for florida and ordered federal aid to help on the-ground efforts there. the federal emergency management agency, r fema, has deployed people and supplies there and to georgia and the carolinas. i spoke to the agency administrator coordinating the federal response, craig fugate, from fema headquarters late this afternoon. i began by asking how fema prepares for such a massive storm. >> well, we basically get ready based on the storm track, potential impacts and looking at four states. so we divided teams to go into each of the state emergency operation centers, and we have set up some supply bases that can support multiple states so we can shift to wherever the
heaviest impacts are. but we have been getting ready for the storm the last couple of days. >> ifill: you have been trying to pre-position resources in places where they might be needed. how do you tell where that is, the places where it might be needed but also might be the hardest-hit part of the impact? >> part of it is looking at the overall track to make decisions of where can we move things close to but not in the area of the impact and shift that as we get information on the storm trafnlgt we've moved stuff into albany and fort bragg. working in florida, we're moving stuff to their operations center where they have a bigelow gistics base in orlando. so we try to move as the storm shifts to just stay outside the heavy-hit areas but close enough to get in quickly to support the state and local responders. >responders. >> ifill: what do you do when the governor says evacuate,
evacuate, evacuate and people don't do it? >> that's where you can help, explaining to people the hazards. we don't have enough certainty to track the forecast to say you are or not at risk. sometimes it's not that bad and that's good so you can go home. but if it is bad, i've listened to 911 calls, there will be a point tonight where it's too late, people cannot be rescued, they didn't go in time, they're going to run out of options and unfortunately that may mean they lose their lives. that is about life safety. that's why we're adamant about evacuating out of these areas. fitz not bad, you can go back. we can always rebuild but not replace lives lost. >> ifill: what about n.a.s.a. lunch pads that are at the center of the potential hit
zones? >> we have n.a.s.a., several military bases, the port of jacksonville, port canaveral, there's a lot of things that have not been through hurricane conditions in a very long time if ever for the life of the structures, so, again, we get ready for the impacts, we expect to have substantial damage if that eye wall is coming ashore at a category 4, category 3, but we can't really do much about that right now. what we can do is get people to safety and then be prepared to respond afterwards to begin the response. >> reporter: what have you learned from past disasters like hurricane hugh o1989, that prepares you for now? >> well, one of the things you will see along this part of the coast is, as you get further north, storm surge values, i think you're seeing a lot of areas 10 to 12 feet. use move into the klein nays, south carolina and northern georgia, it gets higher. we've seen how far inland in
hugo storm surges can go, coming in miles into communities that didn't they they were near the coast. that's important to heed the evacuation orders particularly around the rivers, st. john's, st. mary's, all up the river basins, because there can be flooding way away from the coast. >> ifill: which is more dangerous the actual landfall or the surge? >> if you go back in history, the most deadly parts of the hurricane has been water, and the majority of that and the large loss of life has been to you to storm surge events followed by heavy rainfall. wind is actually not as deadly as people think it is, although they tend to look at the wind field and look at that as a risk. what historically killed people in last hurricanes, the storm surge, coastal flooding has been the leading cause of death.
that's why we try to get people to evacuate. we try to map the areas ahead of time. but it only works if people heed the evacuations and go to higher ground. >> ifill: there are so many tourist destinations in this particular stretch of the coast, how many people will be stranded tonight or tomorrow? >> well, that shouldn't be stranded because a lot of times as we work at the local levels, and this is something when i was in the county in gainesville, we worked with the hotels and motels. we got an update the florida-l.s.u. game will be postponed. we look at the tourist groups to get them out early. they don't know the plan or where to go so we work with the convention bureaus to make sure they get out safely. the safety of our guestsiis of paramount importance. we want to get them to safety first then the rest of the population out and start the rescue process.
>> ifill: thank you for taking time for us. >> thank you. >> ifill: a second atlantic storm grew into a hurricane today. "nicole" is some 330 miles south of bermuda, with winds at 85 miles an hour. for the moment, it is not a threat to land. >> woodruff: in the day's other news, syria's military and its russian allies scaled back air strikes on aleppo, but president bashar al-assad vowed to recapture all of the city. meanwhile, russia warned the u.s. about launching air strikes against assad's forces. the defense ministry suggested russian anti-aircraft sites might have to fire on the planes in self-defense. >> ( translated ): some respected mass media have published leaks concerning discussions in the white house on carrying out strikes on syrian army positions. one should realize that russian crews manning air defense systems will not have time to detect the exact flight path of missiles and where they are from. >> woodruff: amid the fighting, united nations special envoy staffan de mistura warned there may be nothing left of aleppo by year's end unless the bombing
stops. >> ifill: in pakistan, lawmakers voted today to enact harsher penalties for so-called honor killings. more than 1,000 pakistani women were murdered last year, by male relatives, mostly for marrying or dating without the family's approval. current law allowed most of the killers to go free. the new law imposes a 25-year minimum prison term. >> woodruff: in poland, the parliament has overwhelmingly rejected a complete ban on abortions. the proposal had sparked mass protests by women this week. today, the ruling conservative party unexpectedly withdrew its support for the legislation. but supporters insisted they'll keep trying. >> ( translated ): naturally, we will not stop our actions. we have more and more supporters, so we will intensify our actions in the nearest weeks and months. we will intensify our action. it's not the first vote that we lost in the parliament. >> woodruff: poland is a heavily catholic nation and already has
one of the strictest abortion laws in europe. >> ifill: palestinian president mahmoud abbas had an emergency heart procedure today after suffering chest pains. he was sent home a few hours later, after a doctor said tests came back normal. he told state-run tv: "everything is okay." abbas is 81, and has a history of heart trouble. >> woodruff: the train that crashed into a hoboken, new jersey station last week, and killed one person, was going twice the speed limit. the national transportation safety board says data recorders show the train hit 21 miles an hour in the last 30 seconds. the engineer has said he has no memory of the crash. >> ifill: on wall street today, the dow jones industrial average lost 12 points to close at 18,268. the nasdaq fell nine points. the s&p 500 slipped one. and, the price of oil topped $50 a barrel, for the first time since june. >> woodruff: and, the music world is remembering british songwriter rod temperton, who turned out some of the most
popular hits of the last 40 years. his music publisher says he died of cancer last week in london. starting in the late '70's, temperton wrote a long list of top ten songs, including "boogie nights", and michael jackson's mega-hit, "thriller." >> ♪ thriller, thriller night 'cause i can thrill you more ♪ than any ghost would dare to try ♪ girl, this is thriller, thriller night ♪ so let me hold you tight and share a killer, diller, ♪ chiller, tonight >> woodruff: rod temperton was 66 years old. still to come on the newshour, the presidential candidates' starkly different views on guns. why universities pay millions of dollars to host presidential debates. what some are calling a "turning point" in the fight against climate change, and much more.
>> woodruff: we turn now to the race for the white house, where a lot of the day's action took place online and on tv. the next presidential debate looms sunday, and that made it a quiet day at the top of the tickets. hillary clinton hosted fundraisers in new york, and donald trump scheduled a town hall-style event this evening in new hampshire. the two candidates did put out tweets voicing concern for those in hurricane matthew's path. and both campaigns aired new tv ads on children and families, in key
states. >> we face big challenges. but we can solve them the same way families do: working together, respecting one another, and never giving up. i want our success to be measured by theirs.
>> what does electing donald trump president mean for you? families making $60,000 a year: you get a 20% tax rate reduction. working moms: you get paid maternity leave and an average $5,000 child care tax reduction. >> woodruff: meanwhile, the running mates were on the road, in pennsylvania. republican mike pence toured the civil war battlefield at gettysburg. earlier, on nbc's "today show," he defended his repeated denials,
in monday night's debate, of past statements by donald trump. >> and the mischaracterizations and the way tim kaine and hillary clinton continue to take donald trump's statements out of context, it was something i just wasn't going to tolerate during the debate. >> woodruff: clinton's number two, tim kaine, campaigned in pittsburgh, exhorting supporters to keep trump out of the white house: >> there's no room for second place here. no room for doubt.
no silver medal. we've got to get the gold medal. >> woodruff: also today, "the atlantic" offered its endorsement in the presidential campaign, only the third time it's done so, aside from abraham lincoln and lyndon johnson. the magazine backed clinton and branded trump "the most ostentatiously unqualified major party candidate" in history. later, 30 former republican members of congress published a letter, urging republicans not to vote for trump. neither trump nor clinton has any public events scheduled for tomorrow, ahead of their second debate, sunday night in st. louis. late today, french president francois hollande said he hopes hillary clinton wins in november. he told a paris audience: "there isn't even a choice." >> ifill: now, we continue our series on issues shaping this election. tonight: we focus on guns. john yang reports. >> yang: in their first debate, a rare moment of harmony as the
two presidential candidates actually agreed on a highly contentious subject: guns. >> we finally need to pass a prohibition on anyone who's on the terrorist watch list from being able to buy a gun in our country. if you're too dangerous to fly, you are too dangerous to buy a gun. >> i agree with you. when a person is on a watch list or a no-fly list, and i have the endorsement of the n.r.a., which i'm very proud of. these are very, very good people, and they're protecting the second amendment. but i think we have to look very ngly at no-fly lists and watch lists. >> yang: but, that's where the agreement ends. donald trump is running as a strong defender of gun rights and says hillary clinton wants to take guns away. last month, trump said
if clinton wants to restrict access to guns, she should start with her secret service detail. >> i think that her bodyguards should drop all weapons. they should disarm right? right? i think they should disarm immediately.
she doesn't want guns. take their-- let's see what happens to her. take their guns away. okay? >> yang: trump has the endorsement of the national rifle association is running ads supporting trump. >> she keeps a firearm in her safe for protection but hillary clinton could take away her right to self defense and with supreme court justices,
hillary can. >> yang: clinton says she just wants tougher gun control. >> i'm not here to repeal the second amendment. i'm not here to take away your guns. i just don't want you to be shot by someone who shouldn't have a gun in the first place. >> yang: she vows to expand background checks for gun buyers, by closing the internet sales and gun show loopholes-- using executive orders if congress won't act. after the pulse nightclub shooting in orlando, clinton doubled down.
>> i believe weapons of war have no place on our streets. we may have our disagreements on gun safety regulations, but we should all be able to agree on a few things. >> yang: clinton has used urban gun violence to give urgency and a human face to her call for stricter gun control. earlier this year she spoke at a fundraiser for the circle of mothers, a group that supports women whose children have been killed by gun violence. this week, she spoke about the issue at a black church in charlotte, north carolina. >> we have to fight for common sense reforms to stop the epidemic of gun violence in our communities. gun violence is by far the leading cause of death for young black men. more than the next nine causes combined.
>> yang: adam winkler is a u.c.l.a. law professor. >> all of secretary clinton's proposals are at the very top of the gun control agenda-- universal background checks, restrictions on assault weapons and things like a 'no-buy' list for terrorists. >> yang: trump opposes restrictions on assault weapons and increased background checks. he says if a gun owner has a permit to carry a concealed weapon, it should apply nationwide. >> it would effectively mean that a state that has the loosest, easiest carry laws will set the laws for the entire nation. this would be a radical reform of america's gun laws, undermining state's right and lead to far more people carrying guns. >> yang: immediately after the pulse nightclub shooting in orlando, trump said more guns would have helped. >> if you had some guns in that club the night that this took place, if you had guns on the other side, you wouldn't have had the tragedy that you had. >> yang: after the sandy hook
school shooting, trump tweeted that president obama's call for stricter gun control spoke for him and every american. now trump wants to eliminate gun free zones around schools and parks. the fate of both candidates' proposals is likely to rest with whoever controls congress. so no matter who wins in november, the battle over gun control isn't likely to end. for the pbs newshour, i'm john yang. >> woodruff: this week, longwood university in rural virginia took its turn under the hot lights of the presidential campaign. tonight, we unpack the decision and the kind of money that goes into choosing which schools host a debate, and what remains when everyone leaves campus. special correspondent roben farzad has this week's "making sense," which airs every thursday. >> reporter: farmville, virginia has a population of just over 8,000. but that swelled this week as hordes of journalists, political
operatives and security details crammed into town and onto longwood university. staging a debate broadcast to 50 million viewers brings the kind of media spotlight most colleges cannot fathom; most simply can't afford it. but past debate site hosts estimate the attention is equivalent to $45-50 million of paid advertising. >> people think hosting one of these is one in a lifetime >> reporter: longwood president taylor reveley is a presidential scholar himself and the third member of his family to run a virginia university. the debate cost longwood, a public institution, about $5.5 million, including $2 million paid to the commission on presidential debates. he says that specially earmarked fundraising, not student fees or scholarship funds, financed longwood's debate effort. adding that the buzz around the debate increased the number of alumni donors by almost 25% this year.
the crux of the, the general election season is like a, a super bowl buy, but in reality, it's much more than that. for our students, this is a genuinely once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see history unfold. it takes a volunteer army to, pull off this kind of event. so much of the rest of the world would deeply envy to have candidates in a democracy showing up on a stage together shaking hands. >> reporter: this is town whee a lot has happened. from colonial times to the civil war to the civil rights movement, farmville and longwood have been no strangers to history. in 1865, confederate general robert e. lee surrendered to u.s. grant just up the road at appomattox courthouse. a century later, in a defining showdown of, the civil rights movement black students protested segregation in area schools joining the landmark supreme court case brown v. board of education.
janet brown heads the commission on presidential debates. >> these are historic days. each is unique, they are memorable. they give the students as well as the university or college community a chance to participate in something unlike anything else they will see. >> reporter: up to five dozen schools apply to hold one of these debates each election cycle. if you're a winner, you pay the commission-- production fees and a whole lot more. this summer, wright state pulled out of the running to host the first presidential debate, citing worries about costs and security. in its place, hofstra university hosted its third debate. brown says there are returns to a school beyond the bottom line: >> there are returns on reputation certainly in terms of the school. i'll tell you one that is not well covered and i find it fascinating. this is an example of management and leadership. in terms of the team effort that is required to put this together. >> reporter: centre college in danville, kentucky thought the experience of hosting the vice presidential debate in 2000 was so worthwhile that it came back for seconds in 2012.
centre college continues to benefit according to the school spokesman michael strysick: >> the debate keeps on giving. a year later or two years later if the candidates are in the news, they end up using pool photos from the debate that end up providing media value. and what i would caution to debate hosts is to not look for an immediate return on the investment, but perhaps to be mindful of what ben franklin called the eighth wonder of the world, compound interest. >> reporter: assuming, of course, the candidates remember the name of your school. >> i'm so glad to be at norwood university. >> reporter: even before pence's flub, veteran advertising executive john adams tempered talk on return on investment, audience reach, and media impressions. >> longwood is the setting. longwood is the venue. and so, obviously there's a great deal of name awareness that gets built as a result of it and we will see beautiful pictures of the university and so forth. but the real test is what does that name awareness and what
does the rub-off, what's the rub-off over time? >> reporter: the same holds true for the potential boost to town commerce. i stopped by uptown coffee cafe in farmville and talked to owner jason mattox. how do you prepare for something that's largely unknown? what do you buy? >> we have had our kitchen manager really prepare the back, we've got extra cheese slices, we've got extra deli meats, i've we've put a shed out back for our disposables. we ordered extra coffee beans, we're going to be really prepared and never run out and not have to order any for a while, or we're going to scrape the bottom. and i'm hoping we'll scrape the bottom. >> reporter: back on campus, organizers were pulling out all the stops, from voter registration, to academic lectures on the foundations of democracy, to engaging all ages in the presidential election from toddlers, to high-schoolers from around the state, a raffling tickets to the actual debate. and, there was a tour of the area's civil rights roots. joy cabarrus speakes was one of
the students who walked out of farmville's moton high school. it was considered the "student birthplace of america's civil rights movement" for providing a majority of the plaintiffs in the brown v. board of education case. the debate put a spotlight on that history. >> it's bringing a lot, a lot of information on the civil rights movement to the nation because a lot of people never even knew about prince edward county, they never knew about the story, now it's going to bring it front and center, you know, to the world. >> reporter: in fact, democratic vice presidential candidate tim kaine made reference to that rich history at the debate. >> right here at moton high in farmville. >> reporter: it's that kind of civic and academic engagement that president reveley at longwood hopes will keep paying dividends. >> we, we've been in the midst of revising our, our core curriculum, which is a process that runs a number of years. we have been working on it for
18 months before we knew about the debate, and now, we've used the debate to essentially run pilot courses for what the new curriculum that's really going to have citizenship as its north star, what the new curriculum's >> reporter: longwood hopes that after spending millions and two years of debate planning, the country will at least remember its name. in farmville, virginia, i'm roben farzad for the pbs newshour. >> ifill: online, we have your guide to what to watch for in the presidential debate sunday at washington university in st. louis. we will have special live coverage starting at 9:00 p.m. eastern. >> senator , you're no ted kennedy. >> i resent your pat i patronize -- >> binders full of women. interact with all the general election debates on our one site
watchthedebates.org. >> woodruff: stay with us, coming up on the newshour: the role drug companies play in the opioid epidemic. stephen king reveals his writing process. and a man uses his own tragedy to help others facing death. but first, the international climate agreement is set to take effect next month after enough countries pushed it past a key threshold this week. the european parliament voted to ratify the accord. that means that more than 60 countries, accounting for at least 55% of the world's emissions, have ratified it. the agreement, reached in paris less than a year ago, aims to lessen the effects of climate change. but the commitments are voluntary. president obama, who pushed for the deal, hailed the moment in the rose garden yesterday. >> today's an historic day in the fight to protect our planet for future generations. ten months ago in paris, i said, before the world, that we needed a strong global agreement to reduce carbon pollution and to set the world on a low-carbon
course. now, the paris agreement alone will not solve the climate crisis. even if we meet every target embodied in the agreement, we'll only get to part of where we need to go. but make no mistake, this agreement will help delay or avoid some of the worst consequences of climate change. >> woodruff: hillary clinton also supports the accord. but donald trump has said he would withdraw from it and called it a bad deal. in a statement, his deputy policy director wrote, it "ignores the reality that it will cost the american economy trillions of dollars. it will also impose enormous costs on american households through higher electricity prices and higher taxes. more of our coal miners will be forced out of work." we look closer now at what takes effect under the treaty, the limits of what can be done, and what climate science says about carbon dioxide and warming. gavin schmidt is a climatologist and the director of nasa's
goddard institute for space studies. gavin schmidt, welcome to the "newshour". what is the significance of this accord, when even the president of the united states who's a supporter says it's only going to get us part of the way we need to go? >> well, like the old proverb says, a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single global agreement, and this is where we're at. we have an agreement now that encompasses every country in the world. every country in the world is thinking this is something they need to get behind. every country has promised to reduce emissions to the level that they signed up for. while president obama is correct that in and of itself, this is not going to stop global warming, that's a much bigger task, but this is a step in that right direction, and what the hope is, is that, with
experience, with seeing the best practices that other countries have adopted, great ideas, new technologies, the people will be able to increase their commitments under this agreement at each of the next update stages, which come every few years. >> woodruff: how confident are you that you will be able to take that baby step, when you still have critics out there saying things like, this is going to raise people's electricity bills, fundamental costs of living, that it will take jobs away in the fossil fuel industry? >> but jobs will be created in renewable fuels, jobs created in new technologies that are more efficient. there are many different things that are happening both in building resiliency to future climate change but also building the infrastructure of the future that is ongoing right now. i think you can get a little bit caught up with the supposed
balance between the economy or the environment. i think that these things actually aren't opposed, for the most part. >> woodruff: this week, gavin schmidt, we saw one of the world's most important sites for measuring carbon dioxide levels, tell us levels have risen above a symbolically important figure of 400 parts per million, this was a site in hawaii. they say it's likely to stay that way for the indefinite future. i guess my question is how important is this? i mean, as scientists work on this issue, do you feel it's just a constant uphill battle? >> so you have to remember what the context is here. the pre-industrial level, where we were in the 19th century, was 280 parts per million. 400 parts per million is a 40% increase over that, and this is a level that hasn't been seen in the climate since perhaps the
period 3 million years ago. it's a big deal. >> woodruff: so you're saying it's a big deal, but you can't get discouraged about something like that? >> well -- so what's happening is that we are already a geological force on the climate. you know, the fingerprint of human activity on the climate, not just in carbon dioxide but in many, many other aspects, is very, very clear. the agreements like the paris agreement and efforts that are going on not just at the national but at the state and city and individual levels are attempts to kind of make that not quite as large an impact as we've already had. but it's a tough vote. i mean, to stabilize, so just to keep carbon dioxide levels at the same level in perpetuity, we would need to reduce emissions by 80% globally. that's a huge task and not
something that's going to be accomplished today, tomorrow or in one electoral cycle. >> woodruff: well at a time, mr. schmidt, certainly most of us in the united states are focused on this big hurricane headed for the united states mainland, this has to give, and we know scientists have spoken about this. these big storms, the concern that they're going to get even bigger. >> right. >> woodruff: how should americans and others think about change in the face of something like this? >> so one of the key things is sea level rise. sea level has risen about 10-fold, is actually rising faster on the eastern seaboard than elsewhere. for every extra foot of sea level rise, a storm surge, even if the claimant doesn't change, the storm surge has more damage. there is many, many thresholds that, you know, if the world rises five foot, you're fine,
but 6 feet it overtops the leafy, floods and has greater damages. so sea level is one of the aspect of change that multiply the damages caused by just the natural variation of climate and the natural variation of hurricanes and storms that we see. plus, we have some expectation that hurricanes themselves and storms themselves will become more intense, perhaps less frequent but more intense, and that, obviously, adds to the damage as well. >> woodruff: it's an occasion to think about all of this and to think about the interconnection. gavin schmidt with the goddard institute for space studies. we thank you. >> thank you very much. >> ifill: the abuse of opioids remains a major public health the federal government says more than 28,000 people died by overdose in 2014. that's the most recent year for
nationwide data. the health news site, "stat," has been reporting on the problem and what has been driving it. journalist david armstrong sat down with hari sreenivasan recently. >> sreenivasan: david, your investigation took at a number of big pharmaceutical company that you said help sow the seeds for some of this epidemic that we have today. how so? >> well, the way they sowed the seeds was by making this drug widely used, and the way at a did that was to downplay the addictive properties of this drug when marketing it to doctors in a way that was later shown to be false and misleading. >> sreenivasan: doctors can prescribe drugs off-label for something that wasn't originally designed to, but how were the pharma companies abusing this? >> they were assuring doctors that the powerful opioids that
were controlled substances were not addict nigh the way they later were proved to be addictive and could be used for chronic pain, which we now know they're not very effective at. so they were able to broaden the market through a series of misrepresentations and aggressive marketing tactics. >> sreenivasan: what do they stand to gain? how much money are we talking about? >> 0xycontin, when that came on the market in 1996, sales of the drug were about $50 million. biotwo, sales of this drug were $1.6 billion, and they have continued that ever since exceeding $30 billion in sales. that's just one drug. so that gives you an idea of the scale, the amount of money involved. >> reporter: you were also able to take a look at documents through freedom of information act cases that were sealed that
showed how the drugs were being marketed. explain that. >> yeah, so one of the interesting things is, in the case of 0xycontin, perdue pharma which manufactures the drug and abbott laboratories, its partner, were sued over 1,000 times collectively for problems related to this drug but, in a lot of the cases, in fact a vast majority of them, the documents involved in those cases were either destroyed or sealed. so we have been trying to unseal some of those in several jurisdictions and we have been successful. so in west virginia, for instance, we saw some of the tactics that abbott used. they did a dine and dash program where they would meet a doctor at a restaurant, pay for his takeout order and, while waiting to pay for the order, sell him on the benefits of 0xycontin. then we wrote about a doctor who had a fondness for junk food and the salespeople brought him a sheet cake filled with donuts and snack cakes spelled out to
say 0xycontin and that did the trick, he was interested in hearing more about the drug at that point, and they would go back every week and get him to switch patients to 0xycontin. those are just a few of the things. >> sreenivasan: and the sale salesmon were rewardeward for te tactics? >> very generous, with trips, 20-scratch tickets sent out the them as rewards, so the compensation was very luke traytive to get these -- lucrative to get the doctors to switch patients to the powerful opioids. >> sreenivasan: there are people who do need significant pain medications. i mean, they're the ones who get the short end of the stick when the abuse happens. what's the government's role in oversight of this. >> you're now seeing because we're dealing with a public health crisis, we have tens of thousands of people a year dying from the overdoses, you're seeing state governments move to
restrict the prescription, primarily in making sure prescriptions are a limited number of days. before they would be 30, 60 days, and plenty of pills left over and those would get misused, so that's one way. also educating prescribers. no one wants to see a prohibition of pain killers for people who need them, but one of the keys is to make sure that doctors are educated who truly need them and who are prescribing the right amount and the right drug. >> sreenivasan: david armstrong of stat joining us from boston. thank you so much. >> thank you. >> ifill: "carrie," "the shining," "misery," and so many more classic and frightening tales. in the latest addition of the newshour bookshelf, stephen king, master of the supernatural and suspense, reflects on the art of writing and his latest novel, "end of watch." he spoke with jeffrey brown recently at the national book
festival here in washington, d.c. >> brown: "end of watch," the end of a trilogy, right? >> right. >> reporter.>> brown: is the ene the start of a trilogy. >> no. i thought the first book in the trilogy, mr. mercedes, would be the only book, and i kind of didn't want to let the characters go, the main characters, so i had an idea for another book, and realized when i was working on that that i had unfinished business from the first book, so i had a -- it had a nice rounded quality, the three of them. >> brown: so you did not know where you were heading, right? even when you start a character in the first book, mr. mercedes, do you know where that was going? >> no, i did not. > sometimes i have an idea of how the book will finish up, but it very rarely finishes up the way i
think it's going to. >> brown: you have to go where the book leads you. >> yes. >> brown: and what about a character? >> there is a novelist called thomas williams who's passed on, now, and he said that the idea for a novel is like a little tiny fire in a dark night, and one by one the characters come and stand around it and warm their hands, and i've always thought that's the perfect metaphor for how that works. stand by the fire. little by little the fire grows and you see them more clearly, and that's the novel. >> brown: and the story grows. yeah. >> brown: you wrote a lovely book i read years ago on writing about your own life and the craft of writing, and you wrote in there, the writer's original perception of a character or characters may be as erroneous as the reader's. >> right. >> brown: this is the sense of what you're talking about? >> it is. here's an example of that. there's a character in
mr. mercedes, the first book of the hodges trilogy, a woman named holly gibney. as far as i was concerned, she was just going to be a walk-on character. she was going to come on b a little neurotic, there would be discussion and she would disappea peer from view. instead, she took over the book and i let her because that's what needed to happen. the worst thing you can try to do is to try to steer the story once it gets going. you follow along and see where it goes. that's the fun of it. >> brown: and it still is fun for you? >> not every day, but most days it is, yeah. i go where the story leads, and sometimes it is a little bit outrageous, and i relish that. i sort of want to be as much on the edge as i can, and i want to engage the reader. i'm an emotional writer, in the sense that i would be happy if
you re-read a book for intellectual or mental part of it, but the first time, i just like to reach out and grab you, pull you in. >> brown: you know, another thing that struck me, going back to the book on writing, you say, let's get one thing clear right now, shall we? there is no idea dump, no central story, no island of buried best sellers, which is to say that stories almost come from just out there, right? and your job is to what, find them? >> i don't think you find them, exactly. i think what you do is you keep your sensors open. the more that you do the job, the more you come to understand and are kind of intuitive that you're always -- you know, your radar is on and the thing is going around and around and it's
not picking up any blips, and then something will happen and it will click and you will say, this is an idea for a story. and for me, i'm usually working on something, so that's kind of got to go to the end of the line. the best thing about that is the bad ideas just kind of drop out of the mix. you forget about them. the good ones stick around. >> reporter.>> brown: so does tn writing can be taught, can be learned? >> it can be learned, but i'm not sure it can be taught. it's a self-taught kind of thing. i think the best writers are voracious readers who pick up the cadences and the feel of narration through a number of different books, and you begin by maybe copying the style of writers that really knocked you out. i mean, as a teenager, i read a
lot of h.b. lovecraft so i wrote like that, in my 20s i read ross mcdonald and raymond chandler so i wrote like those guys. little by little, you develop your own style. >> brown: you describe the discipline, the place where you want to write, things like that? >> yeah, at least kind of self-hypnosis involved in it, too. if you start at the same time every day, most writers have little routines they go through. i like to always stop with a couple of pages that i haven't -- that are just raw copy, where i haven't touched it, i haven't tried to revise it, i haven't tried to polish it. it's like having a little bit of a runway. the next day when you sit down, you have the comfort of saying, well, i've got a little bit here, used to be in the type writer. now it's in the magic box, the computer. >> brown: so it's not an empty
slate as you start the next day? >> a cold start is a hard start. (laughter) >> brown: let me ask you one more thing. can you imagine stopping writing, not writing? >> well, when people say, what scares you? because evelyn a lot of horror novels. i say what really scares me is alzheimer or pre-mature senility or losing the ability to read and enjoy and write. you do it and some days maybe aren't so good, and then some days you really catch a wave and it's as good as it ever was. so it's tough to imagine giving it up. >> brown: stephen king, thank you very much. >> thank you, pleasure. >> woodruff: now to another of our brief but spectacular series where we ask interesting people to share their passions. tonight, we hear from b.j.
miller, a palliative care doctor in the san francisco bay area. he explains how working in end of life care can help inform the way we live. when people find out i'm in palliative care, they say, what is that? interdisciplinary quality of life and the context is always advanced or serious illness. palliative care is irrespective of the clock. you don't have to be dying anytime soon. the curiosity from the public tends to be -- and i hear this all the time -- wow, you know, that must be so depressing. you know, you must be depressed all the time. it's not always happy by a long shot, but there is this side effect that seems to come by facing mortality, it seems to inform how you live.
so the secret is that facing death has a lot to do with living well. the whole reason i went into medicine is because i became a patient. in college, sophomore year, my dear friends and i were horsing around one night, we decided to climb a parked train. i happened to have a metal watch on, and whin stood up, the electricity arced to the watch, and that was that. it was sort of an introduction to my own death, my own sense of mortality, my own finiteness. you're the object of a lot of sympathy, pity, a lot of head tilts. at first it's kind of sweet but then it turns a little is acrine. you quickly look down that road and it's not too long you realize it's a dead end, it's another way of removing yourself or being removed from the flow of society. one of the ways i got through some of the early days is insisting that this was a vair yiewtion on a theme we all
experience, and that theme basically is suffering. some way life won't do what you want it to do, your body won't do what you want it to do. you will suffer, it's unavoidable. and there is an unnecessary line of suffering which is the demoralizing part because it's the invented stuff. it comes in terms of how we treat each other, sometimes poorly, it comes in those moments of abandonment. we end up warehousing folks who are sitting on piles of wisdom and experience and plain hilarious and good stories, if we could sort of shift that a little bit, there's a lot more peace waiting for all of us as we age. i think a lot of us are really worried not so much about the fact that we die but how we die. very often, patients themselves, the people doing the dying, will get to a place of acceptance. beyond acceptance even, you know, ready to go. you're done with this body. a lot of the effort, my effort, the team's effort, the hospice
organization's effort is not so much on the patient, the person doing the dying, it's on the family. in a way it's hard to accept the death of another person as it is your own, especially when you really love that person. i'm b.j. miller and this is my "brief but spectacular" take on tying -- dying and living. >> woodruff: you can watch additional brief but spectacular episodes on our website, pbs.org/newshour/brief. >> ifill: on the newshour online right now, a columnist expresses the trauma and terror people of color experience by watching videos of unarmed black men being killed by police. find that and more on our web site, pbs.org/newshour. and that's the newshour for tonight. on friday, our series, "the fight for iraq" concludes with a report from the frontlines in fallujah. i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. join us online and again here tomorrow evening with mark shields and michael gerson. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you and good night.
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