tv PBS News Hour PBS January 2, 2017 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> brangham: good evening, i'm william brangham. on the newshour tonight, a nationwide manhunt is underway in turkey for the attacker who killed 39 people on new years eve. also ahead, we launch the "the obama years." tonight, exploring president obama's conservation legacy-- a look at the outgoing president's groundbreaking moves securing federal lands and waters. >> i think there's no question that he is one of the most consequential presidents when it comes to the environment. he really has made it a centerpiece of his domestic policy and even his foreign policy. >> brangham: plus, seeking justice for the victims of the genocide in rwanda. the difficult road bringing war criminals to court. all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour.
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>> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> brangham: they're still searching tonight for the man behind the latest terror in turkey. he left 39 dead and nearly 70 wounded, and a claim of responsibility came today, even as police said they're getting closer to identifying the suspect. it's the clearest look yet at the alleged gunman who attacked the reina club early new year's morning. turkish officials say the unnamed suspect rained bullets and explosives on holiday revelers. the deputy prime minister said the investigation is progressing. >> ( translated ): information about the fingerprints and basic appearance of the terrorist have been found. we hope that we will find not only the terrorist but also his connections and those who gave m support inside and outside
the club. >> brangham: hours earlier, the islamic state group claimed responsibility, and called the gunman a "heroic soldier of the caliphate." the statement said: "the blood of muslims that is being shed by (turkey's) air strikes and artillery shelling will turn into fire on its territories." turkey has been a key member of the air campaign against isis and has sent troops into syria in part to fight the group. still, turkey's military vowed to continue strikes on islamic state fighters. and, it released new footage of air raids on isis positions in syria. meanwhile, in istanbul, survivors of the nightclub attack painted a more detailed picture of the mayhem that occurred early sunday. >> ( translated ): as soon as he entered the club he started firing and he didn't stop. he fired non-stop for 20 minutes at least. we thought that there were several of them because it just didn't stop. >> brangham: the site is a popular attraction for tourists, and the majority of the victims were foreign-born. one american citizen was wounded
in the attack but returned home today. it was the latest in a string of bloody incidents and security lapses to take place on turkish soil. just two weeks ago, a gunman assassinated the russian ambassador. and in june, three suicide bombers struck istanbul's ataturk airport, killing 45 people. that attack was also blamed on isis. in the day's other news, the new year is off to a deadly start in iraq. a suicide bomber detonated a truck bomb today at a busy baghdad market, killing at least 36 people. the islamic state group claimed responsibility. the bomber pretended to be looking to hire day laborers and then set off the explosion. in addition to the dead, 52 people were wounded. later, appearing with the visiting president of france, iraqi prime minister haider al- abadi vowed to beat isis. >> ( translated ): i ask the security forces and the iraqi people to be alert, the terrorists are again attacking he civilians. i promise the iraqi people and the french president and all the
countries suffering attacks by the islamic state group that we are fighting to finish them. >> brangham: this was the third attack claimed by isis in as many days in and around baghdad. 60 miles to the north, in samarra, gunmen wearing suicide vests attacked police stations late today, killing at least seven officers. in brazil, a riot at a prison left at least 60 inmates dead. there were chaotic scenes outside the prison in northern amazonas state as the killings erupted inside. authorities said several of the inmates were beheaded or dismembered. others escaped. officials blamed a fight between members of two crime gangs for the attacks. back in this country, 2016 ended as one of the most violent years ever in chicago. the city saw 762 homicides, the most in two decades. that's more than new york and los angeles combined. and, there were 1,100 more shooting incidents in 2016 than the year before. president-elect trump tweeted his reaction to these numbers, saying: "if mayor (rahm emanuel)
can't do it, he must ask for federal help!" in another series of tweets, the president-elect also dismissed those who questioned whether he'd win last fall. trump said he thought he'd easily get more than the 270 electoral votes needed. he ended up with 304. hillary clinton won the popular vote by nearly 2.9 million. also today, trump spokesman sean spicer played down findings about russian hacking. he told fox news: "there is zero evidence that they influenced the election." still to come on the newshour, turkey's struggle to stop an onslaught of terror attacks. a new year and a new president. looking ahead to politics in 2017. plus, looking back on the president's effort to conserve millions of acres of land and water. >> brangham: we return to turkey and this weekend's deadly attack in istanbul. what's behind that terror incident and the recent string
of attacks that have taken place in that country over the past year. we drill down on the terror in turkey with bulent aliriza, who directs the turkey project at the center for strategic and international studies. welcome. i.s.i.s. has claimed responsibility for this latest attack on new year's eve. do you think the evidence will point that they're the perpetrators? >> we have a statement by i.s.i.s. that in fact it was responsible for this outrage in istanbul. it's actually the first time i.s.i.s. claimed responsibility for terrorist acts in turkey, although a number of act of terrorism have been attributed to i.s.i.s. the method of operation by the gunman, apparently a single gunman involved, very much suggests this is i.s.i.s. and, as i said, there is a statement by i.s.i.s. that it did it. also, it's important to note on november 2 soon after the assault on mosul began,
baghdady, the leaders of i.s.i.s., made a statement part of which was devoted to turkey in which he asked his followers to move against turkey because turkey had become, as he called it, an appos at a time state and -- aappostate state. >> brangham: for those who haven't followed so closely, can you explain the two-front attack on turkey? >> turkey has been grappling with kurdish separatist terrorism all the way back to 1984. there have been efforts to solve the problem, the kurdish problem within turkey, but they essentially collapsed in 2015. since then, turkey has been reengaged in fighting against the p.k.k., and more recently it's been challenged by i.s.i.s.. either of these challenges would be daunting for any state around
the world, the scourge of terrorism bedevils the entire world, but for a country to have to fight two very potent terrorist organizations within its borders, within its capital city, within its most important city istanbul, the way it's been forced to during the past 14, 18 months, is frankly very, very difficult. >> brangham: how has erdogan been responding to these attacks thus far? >> well, he and his ministers have been saying the security forces will actually defeat terrorism. that's a daunting task for any state around the world. even the u.s., with all the effort that is made to deal with terrorism, has not gotten to the position where it says the terrorist threat to the u.s. is over. now, in turkey's case, the fact that it's to the north of two ongoing wars in syria and iraq, where some of the terrorists who are actually also intent on harming turkey, are active, makes it so much more difficult
for turkey to try to solve the problem within its borders, given the fact, as i said, that it comes from without. >> brangham: erdogan is going through this lengthyhpurge of officers up and down the government he argues were involved in this recent coup attempt. how does that complicate their fight against terrorism within their own borders? >> it complicates it immensely because tweelg dealing with the two threats was difficult enough, then a failed coup attempt on july 15th. the government moved against the followers of the religious anything that was involved in this. >> brangham: the religious figure in the u.s. erdogan argues was behind the coup. >> and turkey asked for his extradition and it has not happened and that's why there is tension between ankara and washington, currently. there has been a purge. the attention of the government has been directed at rooting out
of the system it believes to be involved or is somehow implicated. all are simple thect to the coup. parallel to that, you have the twin threats, the unprecedented twin threats from i.s.i.s. and the p.k.k., and that is taxing the capabilities of the turkish state. >> brangham: turkey is also involved in some of the cease fire going on in syria. is there any sense that you have that if things were to calm down and the the cease fire were to hold, that that might ease pressure on turkey? >> it could, but the turkish position which is now coordinated with russia is predicated on turkey's ability to persuade the opposition fighters, many of whom turkey has been backing for the past five years, to essentially lay down their guns and to accept bashar al-assad as, at least for the foreseeable future, as the
president of syria, and that clearly will be difficult for some of the opposition groups to accept, and the ability of turkey and russia to actually hold the cease fire and bring lasting peace to syria is something that i have great doubts about. >> brangham: quickly, we obviously have a new administration coming in. do you think the trump administration will change the calculus for him? >> there will be a different emphasis once the president-elect takes office. there has been tension between president erdogan and obama. the u.s.-turkish relationship has been difficult. there is hope with the new administration but it's unclear the way the new administration will go with turkey or the rest of the world. >> brangham: bulent aliriza, thank you for being here. >> thank you.
>> brangham: the new congress starts work this week, and republicans will have majorities in the house and senate. and very soon they'll have a republican president. so what's high on the g.o.p.'s agenda? it's politics monday, i'm joined as always by amy walter of the "cook political report" and tamara keith of npr. and this week they are joined by our own lisa desjardins. happy new year, welcome to you all. >> happy new year. >> brangham: lisa, what is high on the g.o.p.'s list? >> dismantling the eight years of the obama presidency and will start right away with actions that lead toward the repeal to have the affordable care act. it's complicated. in tend, a three-step process, but they'll start with the process this week with votes tuesday, wednesday, and set up a process where they can start immediately rolling back some obama relations. think about the environment in particular. then there will be potentially a drawn-out fight over some of
these cabinet nominees. >> brangham: how will that look? >> no one even quite knows. ever since the obamacare passed, republicans campaigned on dismantling it. yet here we are with the republican congress about to come in, the republican president about to come in. they have a dismantling plan but not a how to replace it plan. the repeal part, not the replace part down, which is where all of the real action, when lisa talks about how complicated it is, in replacing it. i'll tell you in talking with voters, even post election, i'm sure you saw this during campaign, the frustration that voters have about obamacare especially in the last week before the election when notices went out that their premiums were rising is cost. very simply. i think for republicans, the danger is that, at the end of the day, if they repeal this and do not replace it with something that helps to bring costs down,
that they are then going to get blamed for not fixing something that they also didn't feel particularly good about what obama did to it. >> brangham: right. and something like 43% of americans actually support the affordable care act. now, that's obviously not a majority of americans, but that's 43% of people who you really don't want to upset. also, there are something like 20 million people who have gotten health insurance as a result of the affordable care act. there are people who have gotten expanded medicaid, even in republican states, and you've seen some republican senators say things like, well, let's not rush to do that just yet, you know, we need to find something for these people who've gotten health coverage who didn't have it. the most unpopular parts of obamacare also come with popular parts of the law that aren't necessarily advertised as part of the affordable care act or things that people realize are part of it, and repeal gets
rid of all those things, which is why there is a lot of fuzzness about replace or whether they would phase in the repeal or the idea they could be pushed back pas past the next presidential election. >election. >> brangham: and they could repeal it on paper. >> there are three steps. in this whole conversation, it's the time continuum problem with how they do this because there are people who want the repeal to happen right away. the truth is the system like obamacare or any healthcare system tames a lot of time, and many republicans say we want to take our time figuring out the replacement. many other republicans say, no, we have to do it in this first year for a couple of reasons, one is the pressure on them and, second, they know, the first year of the new president is one of the only times in recent history that you can get
anything done. >> brangham: let's move to trump's nominees. he's put forward almost all his nominees for cabinet positions. democrats will have to pick which fights they want here. who do you think will stand out as a place for democrats to hold ground? >> they will pick on everybody, with the democratic leadership saying we'll pick eight people and spend all our time and energy poking at them -- look, they don't have the votes to deny his cabinet picks. what they can do is try to slow-walk the process, make it painful. the question is is there some sort of backlash to that. is the american public going to be interested in seeing a food fight on capitol hill when they said what we voted for was to see congress move ahead, the american public is tired of watching the dysfunction in washington. at the same time, you have a bunch of democrats who no longer have any leadership position, they don't control the house or congress, totally in the wilderness without an obvious leader, they need to have
something to cling to and to give to their base to fire them up and keep them motivated. >> these fights could be very good for the base. they could make the base feel good. you have somebody like steve mnuchin for treasury who headed a bank, helped take over a bank that had failed, and that bank ultimately foreclosed on thousands of homes. lots of banks were foreclosing on thousands of people's homes. >> brangham: right. ut you have the potential for senate democrats to bring out people who lost their homes because of that bank that he headed. they can make it very painful. democrats can use this to pry to poke some holes in the idea of a donald trump as populist. that's why they are particularly interested in these very, very wealthy people that trump has
nominated. >> brangham: billionaires. yes. the democrats are pushing to get tax returns for all these nominees. they probably won't get them. that's not a requirement and wasn't required to have the obama nominees, republicans like to point out. so democrats are holding these nominees to a hiring standard than the obama nominees. but these are billionaires, they say, complicated financial dialings. rex tillerson, nominee for secretary of state, we want to know his exact relationship with russia. the question, like amy is saying, how many of these battles do they pick, what do they use with the public where a new president with the wind at his back is coming in by choosing now eight of these battles. >> brangham: but you don't think anyone will be derailed? >> no, but tom price is somebody to watch because the "wall street journal" reported he invested in healthcare stocks while writing healthcare law. that's something to watch. >> lisa raise as good point which is there is always something unexpected, surprises. we can recall 1992 and the
so-called nanny problem. >> his outbreak of nanny problems. >> and remember this was a president-elect who wasn't necessarily expecting to win, and people around him not necessarily expecting him h to win. a lot of these people have been moved quickly through this process. maybe not a whole lot of vetting had been done early enough, and when the vetting comes out in public, it is a lot messier. >> question? one of the things trump talked about soon after the election was he wanted to put forward a big infrastructure spending plan, and president obama tried the same thing right after he was elected and the g.o.p. had no appetite for it at the time. do you think, tam, that there is going to be a change of heart now, now that it's trump in the drivers seat and he wants to spend a lot of money, are they interested? >> not necessarily. just because donald trump campaigned on it doesn't mean he's going to get open arms from congress. even mitch mcconnell said, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! you know, this is not a front-burner issue for a lot of
republicans in congress. it's sort of a back burner, and, so, it's not the thing that is going to be pushed through quickly because it is big government spending, and, you know, there is an argument that could be made that the stimulus that president obama pushed through was very large, very hard to communicate to the public. a lot of people didn't understand it, thought their taxes were going up when they were actually being cut, and that that was an albatross around him that lasted throughout his presidency, that oweven though it actually creatd jobs, it ultimately set up the rest to sort of be oppositional from the beginning, that maybe he overreached. so there is not a lot of -- >> something i'm watching for, what is front burner for republicans in congress is tax reform. they felt so close to tax reforce and it hasn't happened,
they think it can happen and are bound to do it and there is a possibility we may see some tax credit incentive that helps build infrastructure rather than a classic stimulus plan, at least to start. we'll watch. >> think back to where president obama was at this point when he was coming in, a lot of expectations about what he was able to do. eight years later, really you look back to lisa's point, he was able to get most of it done, any of it done in his first two years, and even then he spent the last four years defending it, trying to push through more than one or two things is really, really difficult. they will be lucky if they get, and i think the priority from what i'm hearing from folks on the hill, it's taxes and obamacare. what we're not hearing about is something donald trump talked a lot about, whether infrastructure or building that wall. those are two things that you're not hearing about in congress. >> brangham: tam, amy, lisa, thank you all very much for being here.
>> you're welcome. >> brangham: the election proved the united states is more >> brangham: the election proved the united states is more divided than ever. rich from poor. rural citizens from urban dwellers. has the american elite become isolated from the rest of society? do you, yourself live in a bubble? that's the question we asked in 2016 in our online quiz, created for newshour by conservative thinker charles murray. we had hundreds of thousands of responses and murray just finished crunching the data. see what he found out on our website. pbs.org/newshour. >> brangham: stay with us, coming up on the newshour, preserving history and literature in the digital age. and prosecuting the rwandan genocide-- one couple's mission to track down perpetrators of the massacres. but first, we begin our series on the legacy of president obama's time in office. our series is called "the obama years" and over the next two weeks, we'll examine the successes, review his administration's failures, and highlight the battles that will
continue during president-elect trump's tenure. tonight we start with president obama's legacy on conservation. in his eight years in office, president obama has permanently banned oil and gas drilling on hundreds of millions of acres of federally owned land in the arctic and atlantic oceans. he's cancelled oil and gas leases on land owned by the blackfeet nation in montana. he's also used his executive power 29 times to create new national monuments, protecting more than 553 million acres of water and land. that's more than the last 18 presidents combined. in august, he more than quadrupled the existing marine national monument in the pacific ocean near hawaii, creating the largest protected area on earth. >> nature is actually resilient if we take care to just stop actively destroying it.
and last week, the president set aside two new national monuments: bears ears national monument in utah and gold butte national monument in nevada. environmentalists and native american groups love the move, but critics have called it an egregious and arrogant federal land grab. with a new republican congress and administration coming in just a few weeks, there are questions about whether these efforts might be rolled back. last week i talked with the "washington post's" juliet eilperin about obama's legacy. i began by asking her about the significance of these two most recent monuments. >> they're both for slightly different reasons, gold butte is an area roughly 300,000 acres, just about an hour's drive from las vegas, and it's got incredible petrified sand dunes, rock art. it's a very important habitat for the imperial desert toward us, and while it's this area where people go to hike and enjoy, it's also right at the heart of where cliven bundy and
his family live, a family that's been at odds with the federal government for years. >> brangham: the family involved in the standoff in 2014 in nevada. >> and the occupation of the national wildlife refuge in oregon. they have failed toll recognize federal authority for well over a decade. they have been grazing there. so their property is right adjacent to this area that was declared a national monument. so it's quite interesting for that reason. bears ears in southeastern utah, which is a larger parcel of land, 1.35 million acres, is an incredibly important ancestral pueblo site. >> brangham: a native american site. >> a native american site where some tribes live there and some moved to other areas who consider it an incredibly important and significant place.
people still go there to collect firewood and herbs for ceremonies. they see it as a literal and spiritual refuge for years, and so that's very important. but there are real divisions there. while a lot of people think it should be protected there are real questions about the role of the federal government. >> brangham: so these are consered two of the more controversial of obama's designations, right? >> absolutely. essentially he spent many years doing ones where there was broad consensus on the ground, where there is very little controversy, and we've seen towards the end of his term, he's been making slightly riskier designations. >> brangham: particularly in utah, there is a lot of blowback there. orrin hatch, both to have the senate, seems like every elected official in utah was against this. >> right. >> brangham: what about the criticisms they have in what are they arguing obama should not have done? >> what they are arguing was not that thisiary didn't deserve protection, but that they felt that the president shouldn't do
it unilaterally. lawmakers there had been working for over three years to draft legislation that would have included that area as with well as six other counties, where they were trying to do a mix of development and protection, give some lands to the state that they could use, some lands would go to the federal government, and, so, they were looking for a broader land compromise. that bill stalled in the house and didn't pass, and that's why the white house argued it had the right, to at this point, move on its own. >> brangham: president obama used this fairly old act, the antiquities act, to designate these. are these pretty good legal goodle going forward? >> yes, one thing that's really interesting about this act that dates back to 1906 is it's fairly broadly worded and presidents from both parties used it frequently and to protect areas, and when usually it has stood up to challenges in court that basically the
president has given broad latitude to exercise the authority. >> brangham: is there any sense if the trump administration comes in -- and there is a lot of very pro-drilling interests in the potential cabinet to have the trump administration -- is there any way they could carve these back? >> they could. one thing that would be very straightforward where there is really no legal controversy is congress could pass a bill reversing these moves, and if the president signed it, that would effectively end -- kill off the monuments. so that could be done. what republicans are asking president trump to do is do it on his own. that has never been done. presidents have on occasion altered the boundaries in. one case woodrow wilson cut a monument teddy roosevelt created in half, but there is no court precedent for what would happen if a president on his own reversussed it. a legal opinion dating to 1938 says the president can't do it, but that's not been tested in
court. >> brangham: more broadly, how do you see these particularly designations fitting into obama's overall conservation legacy in. >> i think they are very interesting and significant for a couple of reasons. first, the president has tried to broaden the definition of what is american history and what is our heritage. he really has focused on recognizing areas that, for example, recognize everything from black history toll lgbt history, women's history and native american history. >> brangham: and designating national parks. >> yes, and highlighting it as part of the parks service, and these two are a mix but primarily a land management, but basically trying to say this is all of our history and part of what it means to be american. in many ways, that's what's most important. in other senses, it connects to his legacy because he's talked about climate change. when they were describing this, the white house said this would create climb impacts, corridors,
and there are other reasons it matters. he's come to focus on public lands and waters in his second term, while he's done climate change from the beginning, this not as much a priority in his first term. >> brangham: i know not all conservationists think obama gets an a-plus. how do you think his legacy will be measured by history? >> of course, on one level, we certainly do need to see whether things get reversed over time and that applies whether talking about his climate policies, power plants or talking about. this i think there is no question he is one of the most consequential presidents when it comes to the environment. he made it a centerpiece of his domestic and foreign policy. so i think, when people look back, they will see that he really focused on this intently, particularly as he saw his term coming to a close. >> brangham: there is only a couple more weeks left. do you think he's done designating lands? >> i don't think he's done yet.
they're looking at expand ago couple of existing monuments including the california coastal national monument as well as the cascade siskew monument in oregon and a couple of historical monuments they're looking at including one to high light civil rights history, one in alabama and a long-shot one in south carolina addressing reconstruction. >> brangham: juliet juliet of "the washington post." thank you so much. >> thank you so much, william. >> brangham: tomorrow, our series the obama years continues with a review of the president's education policies. on the newshour online right now, watch a book conversation about the history of our national parks. plus, meet a man who planned to visit all 59 parks in 59 weeks to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the national park service last year. all that and more is at pbs.org/newshour.
>> brangham: the discovery of mass graves or other evidence of war crimes poses several challenges. chief among them, bringing alleged war criminals to court. according to former united states justice department official allan ryan the recent introduction of what's known as universal jurisdiction has made it easier to prosecute these suspected war criminals. >> universal jurisdiction is not a universal concept yet. it allows trials to be held where otherwise they might not be. >> brangham: in france, universal jurisdiction has made it possible for a couple to pursue alleged war criminals behind the 1994 rwandan genocide. special correspondent jonathan silvers has that story. >> reporter: for the past 15 years, dafroza gauthier has risen at first light to probe the rwandan genocide and track down fugitive perpetrators, notably the slaughter's architects and executioners. gauthier was born and raised in rwanda and, until recently,
worked in the chemical industry. but she has become a formidable war crimes investigator, by necessity. >> reporter: dafroza gauthier has only one memento of her family: this photo of her mother, who was murdered along with scores of relatives in the spring of 1994. dafroza was living in belgium when the genocide began, and she learned about her family members' demise in real time, via a series of phone calls to her native village in rwanda. the violence was rooted in longstanding ethnic divisions between the governing hutu majority and the tutsi minority. in the space of 100 days, roughly 800,000 men, women, and children were killed, mostly ethnic tutsis and moderate hutus.
forgiveness to have the rwandan people. >> reporter: to date, gauthier and her associates have tracked down roughly thirty fugitive perpetrators of the genocide in france and its territories. the dossiers on these perpetrators, known in france as genocidaires, grow larger by the week. >> ( translated ): one case can take two, three or four years by the time we collect the evidence. but what has to be denounced today is why is the public prosecutor department not investigating. shouldn't be our job. why is it waiting for civil plaintiffs like us to look for evidence? it is the public prosecutor who should do its job of justice, it >> reporter: the investigative work is a partnership, consecrated by 37 years of marriage. alain gauthier met dafroza in rwanda, where alain taught french in a foreign aid program. a native frenchman and retired high school principal, he's learned to navigate the bureaucracy that is the french legal system.
together they established an organization the civil parties collective for rwanda to secure legal status as plaintiffs in civil suits. >> after years of legal wrangling, a senior figure in the rwandan genocide based french justice for the first time in february 2014. they filed a civil action that led the justice ministry to prosecute the defendant, pascal. held a senior position in the rwandan state security service in the 1990s. despite being paralyzed from waste down surgt genocide, he helped arm militia and organized road blocks where thousands of tootsie were the gauthiers found him living
under an assumed name in the french territory of mayotte, in the indian ocean. he'd fled there after the genocide and survived by forging identity documents. some 3000 forged papers were in >> in certain cases we had to travel three, four or five times to rwanda to collect as many testimonies as possible. then those testimonies have to be translated. they have to be organized and given to our lawyers who will have to draft a complaint. every case forces us to a large amount of work and that's what's hard for plaintiffs like us who were not prepared to do this kind of work. >> reporter: the gauthiers' pursuit of fugitive perpetrators has forced france to examine its conduct both during and after the genocide. france had close relations with the hutu-led regime that carried out the slaughter. in the aftermath, rwanda's post- genocide government has accused france of complicity, obstructing the escape of hutu killers, and harboring fugitives. more recently, the european human rights court condemned france for excessive delay in investigating suspected genocidiers. preliminary investigations
against o ne suspect took nine years to reach court. these chronic delays outraged rwandan survivors in france like marcel kabanda, a historian specializing in genocide studies. >> ( translated ): for 20 years, we asked ourselves if france was not becoming the paradise of genocidaires. france mustn't be the country that allows impunity to genocidaires. >> reporter: the effort to bring rwanda genocidiers to justice was bolstered in 2010 when the french penal code was modified. permitting the prosecution of major crimes committed outside france. this type of prosecution is better known as universal jurisdiction according to allan ryan, the u.s. government's former chief war crimes prosecutor. >> universal jurisdiction is a concept and in some countries a law that says, this country will have jurisdiction over genocide,
war crimes, crimes against humanity, no matter where in the world they might have taken place, no matter who in the world they might have involved. it's a departure from what international jurisdiction has been from the beginning of the international system 350 years ago, that says there has to be some connection between the country and the trial. the victims have to be your citizens or the venue of the trial has to be where the crime took place, or in some way there has to be a tie between the country and the crime >> reporter: pascal simbikangwa was the first rwandan prosecuted for genocide in france under the new universal jurisdiction law. the landmark trial attracted legions of survivors and their supporters. throughout the trial and appellate process, the defendant maintained his innocence. as the defendant's public advocate, fabrice epstein
crafted a defense based on reasonable doubt. >> this is, for me, an act of courage. to say that i believe this person. i believe that when there's a genocide, there could be innocent people. this one is so i will defend him. >> reporter: the case has particular significance for epstein: he's jewish and the grandson of a holocaust survivor. >> i spoke with the client about my origins, about my family, of course, and he knows that it's really important for me that he doesn't lie because-when we're talking about genocide, it's something really deep. it reminds me what my people went through. >> reporter: the first trial ended in 2014 with simbikangwa's conviction for genocide and complicity in crimes against humanity. the appellate court upheld the conviction. simbikangwa will now serve a 25 year prison sentence. following the simbikangwa trial, two more rwandan fugitives located by the gauthiers were
been prosecuted in france. both were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. these legal victories have energized the gauthiers. they now devote all of their time to tracking down fugitive genocidaires and filing new cases with the court system. a small amount of funding provided by the state and supporters has proven inadequate; and they've depleted on their own savings to continue their work. >> ( translated ): is justice possible? yes, it is man's justice, and we accept that justice because it permits us to do a necessary work, a salutary work, a work for everyone, for future generations, for victims and even for the executioners. >> reporting from france, "newshour". >> brangham: jonathan silvers is the producer and director of "dead reckoning," a pbs documentary series on postwar justice that's premiering on march 28.
>> brangham: we're increasingly cataloging our lives online: facebook, twitter, instagram, seemingly endless youtube videos. it's a digital-first, and often digital-only, world. the advantages of seemingly unlimited storage may be obvious. but how permanent are some of those records in a digital age? jeffrey brown has the story, part of our ongoing series, culture at risk. >> brown: so this is like an ancient temple come to life in a modern age. >> in a modern day. it's a greek style building which we loved because the whole idea is the library of alexandria reborn now. >> brown: it's an ancient idea: to gather and preserve the world's knowledge. but now that library will look like this: these stacks of servers, brewster kahle kalel told me recently, represent a
20-year and running effort to build a kind of digital library, and to essentially ¡back up' the ever-expanding world wide web. >> in one of these would be a 100 years of a channel of television. a hundred channel years or this much is all of the words in the library of congress, would fit >> brown: kahle was an early internet entrepreneur who in 1996 founded the internet archive, a non-profit that operates out of an old christian science church in san francisco. it was designed to address a fundamental flaw in the original creation of the world wide web by tim berners-lee in 1989. wonder of it is it's very simple. anybody could go and set up a web server on their computer and make it available to the world. unfortunately, it's too simple. it's fragile. if something happens to that piece of equipment, that website, it's just, blink, it's gone.
>> brown: if it's online it lives forever, right? well, no. kahle says the average lifespan of a web page is just 92 days. information is altered and deleted all the time for all kinds of reasons. a 2013 harvard study, for example, found that half the hyperlinks in supreme court cases, today's equivalent of footnotes, are broken, a phenomena known as "link rot." government agencies remove documents, and companies fail, and with them the sites they host. think of geocities, yahoo video, and more recently, the news site gawker. >> i think that people mistake the fact that the internet is ubiquitous with the fact that it's permanent. >> brown: abby smith rumsey is the author of "when we are no more: how digital memory is shaping our future." she began her scholarly career studying how information was purposely deleted in the totalitarian soviet system. these days, she thinks, we have a new kind of storage and
retrieval problem. >> it isn't permanent at all. in fact, the thing about digital technology is you can inscribe something onto a computer, but you can't put it on a shelf and expect to pick it out at random at 50, let alone 500 years, and be able to read it. in fact, you won't have the hardware or the software to do that. it's very fragile, indeed. >> brown: and while there might be plenty online not worth saving, rumsey sees much higher stakes. >> i think we're losing obviously the past, but by saying that we're losing the record of the past, we're saying that in a sense we're losing our own memory and sense of who we are. >> brown: brewster kahle's answer? the "wayback machine," fancifully named for a feature on the old "rocky and bullwinkle show." there, a genius dog, mr. peabody, took his adopted boy, sherman, back in time to better
understand key historical events. >> we've been collecting captures of the public web for the last twenty years. >> brown: mark graham, director of the new wayback machine, says it's saved more than 500 billion web captures in its 20 year history. >> we have software that's referred to as crawlers or spiders that go out and go to individual web pages, look at those webpages, look at all of the links on those pages and then go to those pages, and look at all the links on those pages and then goes to those pages, etc, etc. kind of like a spider crawling on the web, the software goes out and discovers what's available. >> brown: users can then visit web pages at different points in their history, seeing how they looked before they were altered or deleted. >> we're a library so we don't really try to figure out what it is people may want.
we just want to have as much as we can of what's available because we know that people are probably going to want these things. >> brown: what the archive saves is determined by popularity-- the number of references or links to that page. and by some 1,000 librarians and experts around the globe working in concert with the internet archive. case in point: in july 2014 russian-backed rebels claimed to have shot down a military plane over ukraine, until it became clear the jet was a passenger airliner, with 283 people killed. >> what we're seeing here is a capture, actually one out of thirty-eight captures of a post made on a russian social media site by a pro-russian rebel who was boasting about shooting down a plane at the same time m.h. 17 was shot down. this was removed within a few hours after it was posted and as far as we know, these are the
only captures of this webpage that exist. >> brown: these pages have in some cases even been used as evidence in courts. the internet archive's home is a strange world: several generations of media and technology, stained glass windows and church pews, and almost eerie rows of sculptures of the many people who've worked on the project. its motto is "universal access to all knowledge," and kahle's aspirations could hardly reach higher. >> the idea is to build the library of alexandria, version two. could we make all the published works of humankind, books, music, video, web pages, software, available to anybody who wanted to have access to them anywhere in the world? >> brown: today the project is digitizing films, books, video games, software. even round-the-clock television
news channels. the original library of alexandria is thought to date to around 295 b.c. when and how it was destroyed is still much debated. but the loss of so much of the classical world's greatest works is beyond debate >> the best thing to learn from the library of alexandria, version one, is don't just have one copy. if we had had another copy in india, or in china, we'd have the other works of aristotle, the other plays of euripides, but we don't. >> brown: not to mention so many other things that were just lost. we don't even know what we don't have. >> we don't even know what they were. they're gone. some people say it's good to forget, and i'm sure there's good things to forget, but there's a lot that we should have remembered and kept alive. >> brown: there's a lot more to be done. kahle and his team are teaming with companies like mozilla and wikipedia to make preservation of web pages more automatic. they're also working on ways to
make the wayback machine more easily searchable. and, of course, copyright reform remains an important ongoing question in any attempt to create a true library. 20 years in, kahle is impatient. >> why aren't all of the books in all of the libraries already digital. >> brown: why aren't they? >> i think it's the institutions don't know what roles they're supposed to play going forward. they knew what it was when they were supposed to buy books and put them on shelves, but now how do they go and build? do they do their own digital services? do they wait for somebody else to do it and subscribe to it? i'm hoping by at least 2020, so in three, four years from now, wouldn't it be great to build a complete digital library of the library of congress online? we say, okay, that's done. now what do we do? how do we go and make the next better services? how do we make a global brain? how to we go and make it so that nobel scientists are using these vast resources to go and make new discoveries?
i think we only have pieces now. >> brown: billions of pieces, with billions more being collected all the time. from san francisco, i'm jeffrey brown for the pbs newshour. >> brangham: now to our newshour shares, something that caught our eye that might be of interest to you as well. when j'nai bridges' dream of playing professional sports suddenly fell apart, she focused intently on developing her singing voice. now, the mezzo-soprano is performing major roles for some of the world's most renowned opera companies. she recently spoke with claudia escobar and chloe veltman of kqed in san francisco. ♪ ♪ >> i fell in love with classical singing and i like to say that
opera chose me because i didn't grow up listening to it going to the opera. my basketball career ended kind of dramatically, and it was the same time that i discovered singing and it just opened up this whole new world. i was in high school my last year in high school and i had to take an elective an arts elective and so i chose to be in the choir. i joined the choir and my choir teacher she noticed that i had a gift. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ from having not grown up singing classically, i think most people would probably just wouldn't even give it a chance or a thought, but my parents did everything that they could for us and one of them being that we just stay open to whatever life brings us.
♪ ♪ channeling the different emotions of these characters as is a lot like channeling emotions of myself. practice, practice, practice, because there is a lot of luck but when opportunity meets being prepared, that's what luck is. you just have to be ready. ♪ ♪ music is so healing and i think it's this universal language and i think that even if you don't understand the language, you don't really have a background in music, everyone can identify with it. ♪ ♪ i love the fact that i have this
gift to sing and touch people. ♪ ♪ >> brangham: and that's the newshour for tonight. on tuesday, judy woodruff returns and our series the obama years continues. we talk to c.i.a. director john brennan and review president obama's education policies. join us online, and again here tomorrow evening. i'm william brangham. 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-- committed to helping you take charge of your financial future. >> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century.
>> supported by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. more information at macfound.org >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
>> this is "bbc world news america." funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation. newman's own foundation, giving all profits from newman's own to charity and pursuing the common good. kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. and aruba tourism authority. >> planning a vacation escape that is relaxing, inviting, and exciting is a lot easier than you think. you can find it here in aruba. families, couples, and friends can all find their escape on the island with warm, sunny days, cooling trade winds, and the