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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  August 14, 2013 5:30pm-6:31pm PDT

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captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: waves of violence rippled across egypt today. scores are dead and the toll is still rising, in the wake of a government crackdown on protests by supporters of the former president. good evening, i'm judy woodruff. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. on the "newshour" tonight: a state of emergency has been declared, plunging egypt under a virtual martial law. we get the latest from cairo. explore how the six-week standoff devolved to bloodshed. >> woodruff: then, in a rare rebuke of wall street, two former j.p. morgan employees
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face criminal charges for reckless trading. we examine the growing legal woes for the banking giant. >> brown: the common core standards in education push students to think critically, speak persuasively and collaborate. john merrow reports on the challenge of testing these advanced skills. >> you're not going to be asked questions like: what did you think about the thing you read? you're going to be asked to say: "what did the author think? find evidence in the text to make that broader point." >> woodruff: 50 years later, the march on washington remains a seminal moment in american history. tonight, we kick off a series of discussions to mark the anniversary. >> we've forgotten most of the >> brown: and remembering a stalwart of american political journalism. we look back at the career of the long-time reporter, columnist and t.v. commentator, jack germond. >> woodruff: that's all ahead on tonight's "newshour." >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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>> supported by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. more information at >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. >> brown: the political crisis in egypt reached a new turning point today. security forces made good on a pledge to sweep away sit-ins that sprang up after the military ousted president mohammed morsi in late june. the country's health ministry reported at least 235 civilians and 43 policemen were killed and more than 2,000 people were hurt. gunfire and tear gas filled the
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streets of cairo, as the egyptian capital took on the sights and sounds of a war zone. shooting erupted this morning as police moved in force to clear away the main sit-in site occupied by supporters of morsi. >> ( translated ): this blood-- a man was standing next to me-- in a second he was hit in the chest and died. he died in a second, he was hit in the chest. what have we done? we had made a barricade and were standing in front of it, we didn't do anything. we weren't doing anything at all, we had our hands up in the air, like this. why are they killing us? >> brown: an egyptian internet t.v. service showed police apparently firing live rounds directly into the crowds. but state t.v. broadcast this infrared footage and said it showed the pro-morsi crowds firing at police. some residents said the protesters shot first. >> ( translated ): they are firing on people, with guns and
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automatic weapons. the army and police are over there. do you hear that? people can't even stand or see what's happening and they're firing heavy weapons on us. >> brown: at least two journalists were among those killed: a cameraman for britain's "sky news" and a reporter for "the gulf news,"- based in the united arab emirates. a spokesman for egypt's military-backed interim government blamed morsi's muslim brotherhood for the bloodshed, and insisted police did their best to avoid any killing. >> ( translated ): the government demands the political leadership of the brotherhood stop incitements to violence, which threaten national security; the government holds these leaders fully responsible for any blood that is shed and of all acts of riots. the government also salutes the efforts of the security services for imposing order in relation to the clearing of the using the utmost self-restraint and highest degree of professionalism in the operation to clear the sit-in. >> brown: also this morning, security forces cleared a smaller sit-in without much resistance. but elsewhere in the city, running street battles broke out, and vehicles, police stations, and government buildings were set ablaze. from cairo, the violence spread
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to other cities across egypt. in suez, smoke and tear gas billowed into the air as pro- morsi demonstrators clashed with police. muslim brotherhood supporters in giza used barricades to shield themselves from gunfire. and in alexandria, anti-morsi protesters joined security forces in raiding pro-morsi camps. just last night, on the "newshour", foreign minister nabil fahmy had argued it was imperative to break up the protest sites. >> we have been trying to resolve it for quite a while now. every effort will continue to be exerted to resolve it. this ultimately is something that will help egypt move on. >> woodruff: but today's events laid bare a split in the regime. vice president mohamed el- baradei condemned the crackdown and resigned in protest. a number of foreign governments were highly critical as well. turkey had criticized the ouster of morsi, and president abdullah gul rejected today's action.
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>> ( translated ): armed intervention on civilians, on people demonstrating is completely unacceptable. no matter what the reason is, such actions would open dangerous doors. >> brown: the u.s. response came from secretary of state john kerry, this afternoon in washington. >> today's events are deplorable and they run counter to egyptian aspirations for peace, inclusion and genuine democracy, egyptians inside and outside of the government need to take a step back, they need to calm the situation and avoid further loss of life. >> brown: but egypt's interim government gave no sign it was prepared to step back. instead, officials declared a month-long state of emergency and imposed a night time curfew on cairo and ten provinces. as night fell, police announced they had taken complete control of the sit-in sites in cairo. a short time ago, i spoke to
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i said earlier president morsi had been out offed in late june. it was early july. a short time ago, i spoke to "newsweek" and daily beast correspondent mike giglio. covering the dispersal of a pro-morsi site in cairo today , he was temporarily detained and beaten by egyptian security forces. mike giglio, welcome to you. describe what you say today at the camp disbursal and what happened to you. >> i was at the camp before the crackdown started and i was there as police vehicles rolled in as police opened fire on the crowds. i was standing on the police lines watching them shoot the tier gas at the protesters and also watching them shoot live rounds, as you guys described. after about an hour or so the police seemed to decide they didn't want journalists, at least on that side of the conflict. so they rounded up me and a couple of photographers and they beat us after we identified ourselves as being journalists.
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and then they detained us for four hours with a number of protesters. >> brown: was there any warping this morning before they came into the protest camp? >> there wasn't. i got there around 6:00 a.m. and this is when most people are still sleeping. they were all piled into their tents. a few people were weak, using the bathroom or saying their morning prayers. and then just like that, you know, there was-- there was a surge of panic through the camp. and you saw people running to the exits saying that the security forces were coming. and there's been a lot of false alarms like this before, but it was pretty clear this time it was serious. so i watched the people trying in very panic fashion set up barricades using stones, using sticks but they were quickly dismantled when the police came. >> brown: they were dismantled. they put up a fight but it wasn't much of a fight at that point? >> they put up a fight, and there was a report as you mentioned that both sides had
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firearms, and that was probably true. i spoke with a colleague who saw the protesters themselveses with firearms. but i think it's important to point out, when the police first arrived, they were the ones i saw, at least, initiate the firings. and i was on the front lines, like i said, of the protesters as they are trying to set barricades and i didn't see a single weapon. so i'm not doubting that they eventually did start using weapons but at least at first it was police with the very heavy handed response. >> brown: mike, where do things stand at this moment? >> right now, cairo is a terrified city i'd say. the streets are cleared out. it's hard to get a taxi anywhere near the site of any of the demonstrations which are across the city. there was a curfew announced for 7:00 p.m. this evening, and there have been curfews in egypt over the past few years and they're usually pretty widely ignored but this time the streets were completely empty. every shop was boarded up and as soon as the 7:00 p.m. deadline hit, you could see the army officers and the police officers start tock check and
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really enforce it. >> brown: and, mike, finally, now with a state of emergency declared, what are people there telling you about the expectations for what's next? is it more violence? >> i think they're ready for more violence, yes. i think there's a pretty widespread hope from baltimore county sides that this will somehow come to a peaceful conclusion, but i think judging from the events of today i think there's no reason to expect that any time soon sphwhrow mike giglio of the daily beast, thank you so much. >> brown: and back live in our studio now i'm joined by nathan brown, professor of international affairs at george washington university. and our own margaret warner. nathan brown, let me ask you first, what was the calculation, do you think, for the government to crack down today, and this hard? >> well, it doesn't seem like there's a lot of calculation going on in egypt right now. it seems people are pretty much dug into entrenched positions. there was a negotiation process that was under way that has an international mediation and a domestic mediation between the brotherhood and the new regime.
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and that seems to have come to an end about last week or so. at that point, there was some determination to move forward, to move out these demonstrators, move out the protest camps and so on. but the exact form that that would take and when that would occur nobody knew. >> brown: does it surprise you the way it happened with the force it happened? >> it doesn't surprise me. i think there were possibilities for a negotiated solution, as i say, and there were also possibilities for more gradual action. those were the kinds of signals that the regime was giving out. but it's no secret that the egyptian security forces when they do deal with crowd control do it-- have a history of doing it in the roughest manner possible. >> brown: margaret you've been talking to both egyptian and u.s. officials today. what do they tell buwhy this came about as it did? >> i think we saw some of it in foreign minister's fahmy's interview. they were trying to prevent progress on anything else they were trying to do. the security forces felt if they
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waited longer they would look weak. they also came to the belief, and egyptian officials have said this to me, that the brotherhood didn't want a peaceful resolution. they wanted bloodshed to create a-- quote-- new narrative as victims that one said to me they can live off of for 20 years. when negotiations failed, the u.s. left with some sense of foreboding that this was coming. >> brown: but surprise? were you sensing surprise from u.s. officials? >> no, no, not surprise. i don't believe u.s. officials new the day, but their attempts to negotiate, as professor brown said, had come to naught. there was a u.s. e.u. delegation and what they were proposing to both sides was each side step back over this immediate confrontation. the brotherhood do something to sort of reign in how much the camps spilled over into normal streets. and the government would release at least one or two political prisoners as a sign that, hey, we want to you participate.
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according to the e.u. negotiator who did an interview today on the record, it was the brotherhood who agreed tentatively, and it was the government that said no. >> brown: what do you make of the resignation of mohamed el-baradei. does it suggest a real split or more consolidation by the military? >> it looks a little bit more like consolidation. you do have still nominally a civilian government, a civilian exprt cabinet. right now it seems the military and security forces are calling the shots. that said, i think the military and security forces have tremendous popular support bar day is a little isolated in his call for a negotiated solution when it comes to nonislammist forces. >> brown: felt they could do it today and do it harshly and they would have support. >> at least over the short term >> i heard that from egyptian frbleds. last night there was a conversation with one who was visiting washington talking about this whole topic, and he
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said, "well, we can't wait any longer. the people are demanding it." they have convinced themselves that they are wrapped in this incredible surge of popularity and they've got people with them. of course, if the situation develops in a way they can't deliver on jobs or order any more than the brotherhood did, that popularity can turn turninto unpopularity quickly. >> brown: what about the other side. we heard secretary kerry earlier. what has the response been both publicly and what you could pick up? >> the question you asked earlier about the military taking over, i think the u.s. fears it is. if you go back to what secretary kerry said in pakistan last week-- and it was very controversial what he sort of said-- the military, we don't think this was a military takeover. they responded to the wishes of the people. and his exact line was, "to the best of our judgment so far, they didn't take over themselves to run the country. there's a civilian government." in effect, they were restoring democracy. there's an implied warning in that which is prove this.
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stick to this. but, you know, what happened today, the state of emergency and the fact that just yesterday they appointed 19 generals as governors of all these provinces, more and more suggests this is in fact military rule with a kind of civilian figurehead government. >> brown: nathan brown, what's your sense of the u.s. options at this point? >> i think the reaction of the executive branch will essentially be to try and deal with this new government. there will be a lot of distaste, and a lot of pressure for them to perhaps ratchet down the violence. i think on capitol hill, there might be a little different kind of reaction, a sense that we're giving an enormous amount of military aid to a military government, so the obama administration may come under pressure from capitol hill. ultimately, the policy of most american governments since the 1970 system to deal with whoever is it in charge in egypt. >> brown: what's your sense-- did you want to add to that? >> i was going to say the administration is concerned about renewed pressure from capitol hill and they have two
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decisions to make. the military aid is one. and they could dial it back or reshape it. the other is there are military exercise, u.s.-egyptian scheduled for september, i think it's called bright star, every two years, and a decision has to be made pretty quickly, i'm told, about whether to move forward with that. >> brown: what's your sense, both of you, of what's next, both in the immediate sense on the street, and over the coming period? is it more violence? is it further rift, sore does this look like it's oaf now? >> i don't think it's over. i think that there is a political process in egypt that will continue, that will basically-- produce a regime that has a civilian face. that will kind of continue so egypt will be able to continue to say we have a civilian leadership. at the same time, i don't expect the brotherhood to disappear. i don't think we will see all-out civil war but we could see a prolonged period of civil strive lasting months or years.
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>> brown: margaret, they've been moving down the road of a new constitution and they're watching that carefully. >> very carefully. what they fear and an egyptian official said this camp there's a state of siege on the yownd where the police surrounded the camp and left one exit where people could get out, but they are not going to let that camp continue. the egyptian officials say, look, we're the majority. they're the minority. if they want to join, fine, but the idea we have to make compromises-- quote-- that's not going to happen. they think they can go forward. the u.s. is concerned whatever they come up with won't have legitimacy or incredible if it doesn't include islamists. >> brown: all right, nathan brown, margaret warner thank you very much. >> woodruff: still to come on the "newshour": criminal charges for financial trades gone bad; how to test what you teach; the march on washington 50 years on. and we remember a legendary political reporter.
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but first, the other news of the day. here's kwame holman. >> holman: formal peace talks resumed today in jerusalem between israeli and palestinian negotiators. it was the first time the two sides have met there in five years. average israelis were mixed on whether the u.s.-sponsored negotiations can bring about lasting peace. >> i think the peace talks between israel and palestinians is a very, very good step forward after a number of years that the palestinians and israelis did not talk to one another. i think that it's about time that they start talking and i hope that the outcome will be a positive one. .>> today is a sad day to negotiate about peace for people who accepted murderers as heroes. i cannot see anywhere that those peace negotiations are going anywhere. >> holman: a senior palestinian official warned the talks may collapse if israel goes ahead with building new housing in the west bank and east jerusalem. meanwhile, 26 palestinian
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prisoners arrived home overnight, in the west bank and gaza, to joyous celebrations. in all, israel plans to release 104 prisoners in conjunction with the peace talks. army private first class bradley manning apologized today for leaking reams of classified u.s. documents to the anti-secrecy group wikileaks. he spoke during the sentencing phase of his court martial at fort meade, maryland. in a statement, he said he's sorry his actions hurt people and hurt the united states. manning faces up to 90 years in prison. the sentencing hearing could wrap up next week. former congressman jesse jackson junior now faces two and a-half years in prison, for misusing campaign funds. the son of civil rights leader reverend jesse jackson was sentenced at a federal court in washington this morning. jackson, who was treated for bipolar disorder, pleaded guilty to spending $750,000 from his campaign on items from mink capes to vacations.
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jackson's wife, sandra, received a one year prison sentence for filing false tax returns. a traveling hospital technician- - accused of infecting dozens of people with hepatitis "c"-- pleaded guilty today to drug charges. david kwiatkowski appeared in federal court in new hampshire. he admitted stealing syringes containing painkiller from hospitals, using the drug then filling the syringes with saline tainted with his blood. he's infected with hepatitis "c", and 46 people in four states have been diagnosed with the same strain. kwiatkowski faces up to 40 years in prison. on wall street, stocks were down on new concerns consumer spending is not as strong as hoped. the dow jones industrial average lost 113 points to close at 15,337. the nasdaq fell 15 points to close at 3,669. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to judy. >> woodruff: and we turn to the government's probe of financial giant j.p. morgan and specifically two former
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employees charged today with covering up huge losses. the case is tied to more than $6 billion in trading losses early last year. a team at the bank made big bets known as derivatives against the credit health of some companies. the bets were wrong and losses spiraled out of control. it tarnished the bank's reputation and raised questions about wall street's behavior in the wake of the financial crisis. prosecutors said javier martin- artajo, who oversaw trading at the bank's investment office in london, tried to falsify just how big the problems were. he was charged with several criminal counts as was julien grout, a trader who used what prosecutors called complex financial derivatives. .>> while the transactions and financial products involved may be complex, the criminal conductalled is simple and straightforward. the defendants deliberately and
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repeatedly lied about the fair value of billions of dollars in assets on j.p. morgan's books, in order to cover up massive losses that mounted month after month at the beginning of 2012. those lies misled investors, regulators, and the public, and they constituted federal crimes. as has already been conceded, this was not a temptest in a tea pot. but rather a perfect storm of individual misconduct and inadequate internal controls. >> woodruff: the man at the center of the case-- bruno iksil-- became known as the "london whale" because of his central role in the huge trades. but he is cooperating with investigators and was not charged. for its part, j.p. morgan still pulled in a record profit last year. reporter dawn kopecki is with bloomberg news and joins me now. dawn kopecki, welcome back to
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the "newshour." first of all, explain to us exactly what these two men did that was-- that the prosecutors say was illegal. >> what they did is in trading derivatives, there are very complicated financial instrument and the pricing of them isn't very clear. they can use a range of prices, and in the past j.p. morgan had typically used the midrange of prices that were available on the market. as their losses started mounting, they started using more favorable pricing. it sounds like a very minor detail, but by the end of march, we're talking about a difference of about $700 million just by using a slightly more favorable price at the end of the day when they would mark their books. it amounted to hiding about $700 million in losses that the u.s. attorney's office accused the men of hiding today. that's at the crux of it. when they used the more favorable pricing, they also reported that to the bank. those numbers then went into the
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bank's bottom line numbers that were reported to shareholders. so you have falsifying books and records, falsifying internal documents. you have a whole host of snowballing effect of criticism charges that fell out from that, simply by using slightly more favorable prices to make their losses look a little bit better ever sing day over a two- to three-month period of time. >> why were the losses so big? they ultimately ran into the billions, and they kept-- they continued with this behavior. >> yeah. no, the losses were large because what happened is the markets started getting wind-- they started catching wind about what these traders were doing and where their positions were. we started reporting on it. we actually broke that story last year. other news outlets reported on it. and as soon as hedge funds and other major banks found out where these guys were trading, what they were trading, they started trading against them. it had the combination of the
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economics, the economy going against them. in addition the market just descended. it's like sharks smelling blood in the water, and they just descended upon these traders, squeezed them out of the position, and it caused the trade to just hemorrhage. also in mid-march, ina drew who ran the division told the traders to just stop trading so they couldn't defend their position. they couldn't go out and put other hedges against the positions and that's when you saw the daily losses escalating into the hundreds of millions of dollars. we're talking going from, like, $30 million to $50 million to $60 million to a daily loss loss of $350 million. you saw the trade blow out complete plea in mid-match after they stopped parading and were able to hedge against that public position. that's how it ended up being a $6.2-plus billion loss. >> are they saying higher ups
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had no idea what was going on here? >> they're not saying that. they're, in fact, not closing the door on looking at other executives. i was at the press conference today, and specifically asked them-- they said that the investigation is still open. and i said, "so does that mean that other executives may be under investigation?" and they said that generally, when an investigation is still open, they're looking at other executives. some securities attorneys, criticiscriminal attorneys we sh said these guys are relatively small, relatively low rungs on the ladder at j.p. morgan, and typically they'll bring these guys in and turn to-- it's called turn states evidence, try to get them to turn on their colleagues, strike a similar, nonprosecution agreement type of deal as ix got, and then-- bruno iksil got and testify against other executives. the prosecutor's office did hint at the fact that at some point,
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martin-artajo, who was the manager of-- bruno iksil's manager and julien grout's manager, said these orders were coming down from new york, so there's a hint in the charges that at least according to martin-artajo, he thought these orders were coming down from higher ups in new york, and so that other attorneys have said, makes them think that they may want to try to go after other executives. but if they can't extra died diet these guys, these guys aren't in this country, if they can't extradite them and get them to talk the investigation isn't going to go very far beyond the two that they've named today. >> so there's a question of whether they'll be able to get their hands on them. .>> yes. >> i want to ask you, what does this mean for j.p. morgan? the fact that it's just two lower-level people at this point who have been charged. the fact that regulators spent months looking into this, and as you say they're still looking at j.p. morgan. >> they are, and j.p. morgan expects to pay some pretty hefty
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fines. they expect to be find'd find by virtually every regulator looking at this. you're talking about the department of justice, civil fines, criminal is not so clear just yet, but civil is probably definitely on the table, according to people we've spoken to. the securities and exchange commission, the commodity futures trading commission, and as well, the financial conduct authority in the united kingdom. so for j.p. morgan, they're going to be writing checks. they're going to be writing a lot of checks for the next couple of months on this. they're facing an enormous amount of litigation from shareholders. the company lost as much as $51 billion in shareholder value at one point last summer. their stock price has recovered from that, but shareholders can still sue based on what it lost last summer. so they're facing shareholder lawsuits on that. it's just such a big black eye to their reputation.
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it increases the scrutiny that they're getting for other regulators as well, and also, because they were trying to game regulatory capital rules, the trade is very complex, and they were trying to game basically the regulatory capital rules. it has drawn much more scrutiny on those rules, and regulators are much more in tune to try to tighten those rules so that banks can't do this. also, the volcker rule, which bans proprietary trading, they're looking at strengthening that to prohibit banks from being able to make these kinds of risky bets with their own money. so it's had a whole cascading effect on the regulatory front, litigation, and also it's going to hit their bottom line with all of these fines. >> i was going to ask you if there were implications more broadly for wall street and it sounds like you're saying that it will. >> yes. it is. exactly. .>> we're going to have to leae it there for now. we thank you very much, dawn kopecki. >> thank you.
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>> brown: now, the second of two stories on new learning standards known as the "common core." last night, the "newshour's" special correspondent for education, john merrow, looked at how it could change teaching and curriculum. tonight, he looks at the impact on testing. >> reporter: for close to 75 years, students have taken multiple choice tests. although these tests may be good enough to evaluate basic reading, writing and arithmetic skills, they will not be able to assess the more complex college and career-ready standards known as the common core. >> the common core standards give us a roadmap of what skills students should have and how students should be thinking. each of you need to have at least two pieces of evidence you would use to support each idea. >> reporter: these new standards require students to think critically...
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>> freedom of speech should mean what it says, freedom of speech. >> reporter: ...speak persuasively... >> the rub-a-dub scrub takes the usually wasted rotational kinetic energy. >> reporter: ...and collaborate with their peers. >> this one has to be much longer. >> reporter: recognizing that current multiple choice tests are not capable of assessing these complex skills and knowing that individual states could not afford the cost of designing new tests, the federal government stepped in. >> i believe this new generation of assessments is an absolute game-changer for american education. >> reporter: in the fall of 2010, the obama administration gave $362 million to two organizations to work with states in designing new ways to measure the standards. >> welcome folks in the room. i believe we have representation from arizona, arkansas. >> reporter: close to 40 states and the district of columbia are now working to create common core tests. >> this is your test. our job is to make it reflect the vision and best practices of states.
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>> reporter: laura slover is vice president of parcc, one of the two organizations developing the tests. >> these are going to look different, feel different, they're going to be more engaging to students and not as dry as a straight pencil and paper test. >> reporter: students will now be tested on computers. they'll click or type their answers, watch and respond to videos and manipulate objects on the screen. there will be some multiple choice questions, but test makers say they will require more critical thinking. >> you're not going to be asked questions like-- what did you think about the thing you read? you're going to be asked to say what did the author think? find evidence in the text for that to make a broader point. >> we're beginning to push them to read more complex text. >> reporter: barbara kapinus works for the other federally- funded group, smarter balanced. >> by doing it on the computer, we're bringing the kids into the 21st century in how they deal with information processing. >> reporter: but can a
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computerized test accurately measure the more sophisticated common core skills like speaking, listening, and collaboration-- skills that business leaders say they value most. >> a lot of people want to expand this english language arts testing. because for years, we say it's not just reading and writing, it's listening and speaking. >> reporter: are you developing tests, ways of measuring how well i speak? >> no. we wanted to and we had hoped to, but we're not there. we can't do that. >> reporter: if these new tests cannot measure all the common core skills, one solution might be to rely on both the tests and the judgement of trained teachers. let them assess how students do when it comes to working cooperatively, listening critically and speaking persuasively. that, however, would require trusting teachers. do we, as a nation, trust teachers? >> what do you think?
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i don't think so. it seems like everyone has this idea that teachers clock in at 8:00, clock out at 3:00, go home and relax. but that's not the life of any teacher that i know. so i-- no, i don't think the nation trust teachers. >> reporter: she may be right. the federal government demands that the tests produce data that can be used to judge teachers and principals, not just students. >> the ways they want to use the data on this test are evidence that they do not trust the teachers. >> reporter: and who's "they?" >> i think policy makers. people in congress. governors. >> reporter: if the new tests do not measure common core standards like speaking and listening, will teachers teach them? >> write two facts about... >> reporter: or will they be tempted to teach to the test and focus only on the skills that tests measure? >> there will absolutely be temptation to go back to drill and skill. there's a lot of work on, not
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just the teacher's part, but on schools and on the doe that needs to be done so that teachers aren't so scared that they go back to drill and skill. i was really proud of you for making sure that you used text evidence today. >> reporter: if nothing changes, in the spring of 2015, less than two years from now, students in about 40 states will take these new tests. the clock is ticking. >> brown: online, eighth graders give their assessment of the test and advice on how to master it. find a link to that video on our homepage. >> the 50th anniversary of the march on washington is one week away. we hear from one of the participants, dorothy cotton. in the 60s she was the education director of the southern leadership conference. she organized workshops
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throughout the country in advance of the march. .>> by the third day of this five-day workshop, people were singing songs " ♪ i'm going to do what the spirit says do ♪ i'm going to do what the spirit says do ♪ what the spirit says do i'm going to do, lord ♪ i'm going to do what the spirit says do ♪ guess what the next verse was ♪ i'm going to vote because the spirit said vote ♪ i'm going to vote because the spirit said vote." they made up verses. that was a song they sang in churches. ♪ i'll go to jail if the churches say jail." there were songs of declaration that i'm not going to take the abuse any more. the people who had attended the citizenship education workshops in large part were the folk who made up the big demonstrations that got a lot of news coverage because people now are being introduced to political power and what it means to be a citizen in this country.
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>> brown: that was dorothy cotton from ithaca, new york. she's one of the many participants whose first hand accounts of the 1963 march on washington appears in the new web series, "memories of the march" produced by public television stations around the nation. for the pbs website, "black culture connection." now, gwen ifill kicks off our own series of conversations commemorating the 50th anniversary of the event. >> ifill: in the summer of mean 63 the lines were still clear, whiteses here, calendar there. a full century after the slaves were emancipated the average black family earned roughly half the income of white families. black workers were twice as likely to be jobless. nine years after the supreme court outlawed separate but equal education, the majority of the nation's schools remained segregated. in the south, alabama governor george wallace pledged to keep the races apart. >> segregation now. segregation tomorrow. and segregation forever.
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( cheers ) >> ifill: as freedom riders and other activists fought to desegregate lunch counters and public transportation, many of them were arrested, attacked with dogs and sprayed with fire hoses. some were killed. against that backdrop, more than 200,000 people from all over the country traveled to the nation's capital 50 years ago this month, brought together without benefit of social media or broad lie televised appeals in cars, chartered buses and trains to participate in what the multiracial crowd would call, "the march on washington for jobs and freedom." william jones is professor of history sdoia university of wisconsin madison and author of "the march on washington-- jobs, freedom and the forgotten history of civil rights." thanks for joining us for this conversation. >> thanks for having me on. >> ifill: people have lots of ideas about the march. even in my own household we had a lot of ideas about what the march was and what it was
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how did it come to be? the roots of the march go back 20 years before 1963 to a march that was called and then called off at the last minute during the second world war. the leader of that march was a. phillip randolph air, black trade unionist, a labor leader, who was also the leader and initiator of the march in 1963. >> ifill: so a. phillip randolph is really the star of the show originally, of the event, originally, not martin luther king jr. .>> that's right. and that remained true through the march in 1963. he was the primary leader of that march. he was primarily seen as the leader. the press, for example, "life" magazine carried a picture of a. phillip randolph and his assistant, baird ruston" on the cover of their issue after the march. they were clearly seens as leaders of the time. >> ifill: you write in the book that the march had its roots in more radical form of political thought than it is now
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thought-- remembered. >> that's right. a. phillip randolph was a lifetime socialist, and leader in the socialist party, and he believed-- and i think many of the leaders, including king-- believed that economic justice and really an important change in the economic system was really critical to reaching the goals of racial equality that we now associate the march with. >> ifill: except that we don't hear-- when we talk about the march, we don't hear that much about economic-- that this was a march for jobs and freedom. we hear a lot about the dream. >> that's right. >> ifill: how did that change? how did that evolve? >> in some ways it evolved because these were issues that were hard tore talk about, people were not familiar with and the solution were seen as more radical. interestingly, martin luther king speech, the one we all know about, is the one that is the least specific about the actual goals of the march which included a whole list of economic reforms. in many ways that was because he was the last speaker and by the
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time he got on the stage it wasn't necessary to repeat the the fact that they were calling for a public works program. theyented to raise the minimum wage. he was there to uplift at the end. by the time he got on stage, it was very clear to everybody there what the full list of demands was. >> ifill: did we take that, the dream from this march because that's what we wanted to hear over time, that the uplift was less threatening or challenging than the demand. >> to a certain except that's true. martin luther king's speech actually did not become primarily associated as the message of the march until after king's assassination in 1968. and i think in some ways, people looked back to that speech because it was an upliftinginoge counter-act the assass neighbors the anger and the sort of frustration of the late 1960s with the lack of progress towards racial equality. so it was, in some ways, a hindsight, going back and
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looking for a positive mem. >> ifill: the march wasn't just about access to schooling, which came to be the bussing challenges later in the 70s, but it was about creating better schools. >> right. and i think-- you know, if we were at the time the march took place, president kennedy had already introduced a civil rights bill calling for integration in schools, access to public accommodations, protections of voting rights. 10 years before the march, the supreme court had ruled that segregated schools is unconstitutional. so that wasn't really the goal of the march. the goal of the march was strong federal action of upholding the ideals of equate. >> ifill: you mentioned president kennedy. he was not necessarily a fan of this march in advance of it. >> that's right. because he had introduced the civil rights bill before the march, he was afraid that a march would actually derail the bill, that it would give conservatives an excuse to vote against it. here are these people who are
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rabble rousers. we don't want them forcing our hand, and so they-- it was an excuse to oppose the bill in kennedy's mind. and so he really-- he worked very hard to try to convince a. phillip randolph and martin luther king and other leaders of the march to call it off. >> ifill: before she died i interviewed dorhe height about that day and she rightsclear women were marginalized on that stage and didn't evenpehow did ? women were certainly the foot soldiers of the movement. >> that's right, and they were really central to organizing the march, and organizing all the demonstrations of the civil rights movement. a. phillip randolph, martin luther king and other leaders believed that women should not be in position of-- as spokespeople of the march. >> ifill: it was that up front? >> they were very-- well, they were pretty forward about it. there's an interesting-- a really interesting story is that anna arnold hedgeman, who was
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the only woman on the organizing committee of the march and who had worked very closely with a. phillip randolph since the 1930s she went to randolph and said, "you really need to invite a woman to be in the official leadership of the march." and she suggested dorothy height. and a. phillip randolph didn't answer her, but several weeks later they went to a meeting, and hedgemanned found she was still the only woman in the leadership of the march, and she really-- she wrote a very angry letter to randolph protesting this. some people suggested actually picketing randolph when he was preparing for the march. and hedgeman and dorothy height and other women decided to not make an issue of it right after the march. but the night after the march, they actually called a meeting at the national headquarters of the national council of negro women which was the organization dorothy height headed, and at that meeting, they actually planned a series of meetings that as i explain in the book
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culminated in the formation of the national organization of women and it really became a catalyzing moment in the rebirth of the feminist movement in the united states. >> ifill: and women of color were behind it, which is-- >> they were at the center of it. >> ifill: which gets so lost. so in the end, this was not the march that created violence or any of the upheaval which a lot of people feared for many reasons. did that change the way the movement itself was perceived afterward. >> it did. i mean there was-- the media, for example, expressed open surprise at the fact that there weren't riots breaking out in washington, that that was a peaceful march. and it really shifted the media portrayal. if you look at the way in which newspapers reported the march leading up to the march, up until the very day of the march, the big story was the danger of violence, and all the preparations that local officials were taking to prepare for violence. the day after it was
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unequivocally, positively portrayed event. this was a huge success. even southern white newspapers portrayed it as a-- you know, they emphasized the peacefulness of the march and the power of the speakers. >> ifill: 50 years later, as you were doing your research for this book, what would you say that we have forgotten about that day and the years leading up to that day? >> well, i think we've forgotten the-- most of the speakers at the march. we've forgotten most of the demand of the march which were not, as i said earlier, not just toward racial equality and legal equality, but strong federal enforcement of civil rights laws, federal intervention in the economy to ensure that people have access to not just a job but a well-paid job, to decent housing, to decent schools. and that these things were demands that were made on behalf, not just of african americans but all americans, and that this was a really expansive and inclusive agenda that i
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don't think we often associate with this event. >> ifill: william jones. the name of the book is the march on washington, jobs, freedom, and the forgotten history of civil rights. thank you so much for sharing it with us. >> thank you, it's been a pleasure. >> brown: >> brown: online, we're asking: what is the march on washington's relevance today? we posed that question to a panel of historians. watch their answers and add yours. find a link on our homepage. and we'll continue our 50th anniversary conversations next wednesday. when gwen talks to one of the organizers of the march, democratic congresswoman eleanor holmes norton of washington d.c. >> woodruff: finally tonight, remembering veteran political journalist jack germond. >> the only thing worse than covering this campaign would not be covering it. i'd hate to be stuck back in washington not covering it. >> woodruff: from the 1964 campaign with lyndon johnson and barry goldwater, to the 2000 election between george w. bush
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and al gore, jack germond didn't miss a single one. he got his start reporting on national politics for gannett newspapers in 1961, rising to become washington bureau chief. in 1974 he joined the washington star, launching a column with jules witcover. the two moved to the baltimore sun after the star folded. the pair also wrote four books about presidential elections. germond was among the journalists portrayed in timothy crouse's "boys on the bus," written about the press coverage of the 1972 presidential campaign. crouse described germond as a little cannonball of a man, 44 years old, with a fresh, leprechaunish face, a fringe of white hair around his bald head, and a pugnacious, hands-on-hip manner of talking. many americans would become familiar with germond's cantankerous style from his television appearances,
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including "the mclaughlin group," where he was a regular panelist. in 2000, germond sat down with former "newshour" correspondent terry smith to discuss how covering political campaigns had changed over the years. >> we had very good access to the candidates, and they'd have dinner with you, a couple of drinks with you. they weren't afraid you were going to blow them up with a one cheap story. they-- it was an entirely different attitude. >> woodruff: germond said that new dynamic also reflected a different approach on the part of journalists. >> when you get on a bus now with a candidate, there's ten reporters talking on their cell phones or something, talking to some pale desk person back in the office. >> woodruff: jack germond died wednesday at his home in west virginia. he was 85 years old. on the campaign bus with jack germond for several years was dan balz, chief correspondent for the "washington post."
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dan, thank you for being with us. you know, i was with you and jack covering some of those campaigns, but fill out the picture a little bit more for us. who was jack germond? >> well, jack, judy, you know, in essence, jack was one of the greats of the greatest generation of political reporters that we saw. i mean, it was an illustrious crew that he was part of, and jack was an original. i mean, he was an old-fashioned newspaper reporter. he was a shoe leather reporter. jack always wanted to be where the action was. and, you know, he got to know politicians. he was skeptical of politicians. he would beat them around in his columns, but he also understood what drove them and they trusted him and he liked and admired many of them, but he pulled no punches as he did it. i mean, he was just a role model for all of us how you go about covering big-time politics.
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>> it was a different era in covering politics. what made it different, and how did jack work his magic? how did he do his kind of reporting? .>> well, jack was a master of the inside game, and it was at a time when you could get inside in a more significant way than now. i mean, jack other ands operated at a time when politicians were not kept as cocooned as they are today from political reporters. he could go out to dinner with them. and as he said, he knew-- or they knew that he wasn't going to blow them out of the water with one cheap story. it was a way for him to get a greater understanding of what made these people tick, and that's an invaluable thing that often is lost today. there is such great distance between politicians and reporters, and, again, i don't mean it in the cozy sense. jack was not cozy with people. but jack found a way to get to know them, to be able to tell his readers in a more significant way what they were all about. and the other thing he did,
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judy, which, you know, again has become a little bit more of a lost art, jack was always out there where the action was. he knew politicians and political operatives in every state. he understood the internal politics of states. he always felt that you had to be on the ground to understand what was going on in american politics. >> he was larger than life in many ways, and you were saying to us today, he had an appetite. there is-- he was a unique personality. >> he was. and it was one of the things they think endeared him to so many people. i mean, he liked good food. he liked good drink. he loved good conversation. and he was a terrific storyteller. and, you know, he would go work throughout the day and file his stories and people would repair to a restaurant or bar late at night and he would regale people with stories about politicians he had covered in the past. and i know as a young reporter, he was extremely kind to me. there was no particular reason he needed to do that but he was
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always very welcoming to me and taught me a lot about how you go about this. >> one last thing. you were telling us earlier today about the germond upon rule. hafs that. >> the germond rule was at dinner, no matter what the bill was and no matter how much or how little you had eaten, you split the bill evenly. that was one germond rule. and another one he told me as i was about to make my way into the far northern reaches of new hampshire to chase a candidate whose name i can't recall at this point, he said, "my rule always in new hampshire is never go north with a candidate who is below 20% in the polls." and it is something i always remember in my travels since in new hampshire. .>> all right, the one and only dan balz, with the "washington post." thank you. .>> thank you, judy. .>> there are more online.
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>> brown: again, the major developments of the day: violence rippled across egypt after security forces broke up sit-in protests by supporters of ousted president mohammed morsi. the interim government said more than 270 people were killed. and for the first time in nearly five years, israeli and palestinian peace negotiators held talks in jerusalem. >> woodruff: summer may be winding down, but there's still time to get itchy poison ivy. online, a look at the plants you hope not to see. kwame holman has more. >> holman: poison ivy: it's out, it's rampant, and some carbon dioxide levels make on science wednesday, do higher carbon dioxide levels make plants grow faster and more poisonous? plus, find a map of where you'll encounter poison ivy, oak and sumac across the u.s. and on making sense, economist dean baker writes about how the media covers news about the federal budget. all that and more is on our website judy?
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>> woodruff: and that's the "newshour" for tonight. on thursday, we'll look at what lies ahead for egypt. i'm judy woodruff. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. we'll see you online and again here tomorrow evening. thanks for joining us. good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> support also comes from carnegie corporation of new york, a foundation created to do what andrew carnegie called "real and permanent good."
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celebrating 100 years of philanthropy at >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... >> 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 macneil/lehrer productions captioned by media access group at wgbh
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>> hello and welcome to the dw studios here in berlin. this is "the journal." i'm meggin leigh. >> and i'm ben fajzullin. the headlines -- the egypt army cracks down on protesters demanding the president's reinstatement. >> israel and -- israel and palestinians launch a new round of peace talks. >> the longest recession in u.s. history. history.


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