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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  June 11, 2010 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> lehrer: good evening. i'm jim lehrer. the environmental damage in the gulf could be far worse than previously thought. that's because new figures show b.p.'s ruptured well may be spewing twice as much oil. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, the disaster is likely to be far more costly for b.p., too. we look at the oil giant's future, and the tensions between the u.s. and britain over the spill. >> lehrer: then, kwame holman examines the growing split with another long-time u.s. ally, turkey. >> they get the respect that
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they believe they deserve more in russia, syria, iran, in china. and therefore, they are looking for alternatives, and they are not willing to put all their eggs into the western basket. >> woodruff: ray suarez gets a rundown of day one of soccer's world cup from sports writers christine brennan and david hirshey. >> they call it the beautiful game and i think that if you just sit down and pay attention to it you really understand the skill level and appreciate that. it really is a beautiful game is . >> an mark >> lehrer: and mark shields and david brooks offer their weekly analysis. that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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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. >> woodruff: the numbers out of the gulf of mexico painted an even darker picture of the oil disaster today. and they raised new questions about how large the cleanup job will have to be and how long it will take. the magnitude of new estimates on the spill spread new urgency along the gulf coast today. it now appears the flow of oil,
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before the damaged wellhead was capped, may have been twice as much as originally thought. in other words, since the "deepwater horizon" rig sank, more than 100 million gallons could have gushed into the gulf. what's more, the flow would have increased even more, at least for a time, when robot submersibles cut a damaged pipe last week. in washington, coast guard admiral thad allen acknowledged hard numbers are still hard to come by. >> we're going to be aggregating that, plus making adjustments for whatever increase there might have been after the cut in the riser pipe. we also are looking to put pressure gauges down on the blowout preventer, and see if we can come up with an actual empirical way to take data from the pressure readings and corroborate what might have happened, and the difference between the flow before and after the riser cut. >> woodruff: the upshot is an even graver threat to the gulf's animal and plant life. a marine biologist at texas a&m university warned today the environmental damage could be
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quadrupled. and oil continues to surge out of the mile-deep well, even though b.p.'s cap is now capturing more than 600,000 gallons a day. admiral allen said today the oil company hopes to double its capacity by mid-july with a new "hard cap" system. it can siphon more than two million gallons a day. >> the issue is for b.p. to move quickly to establish capacity and redundancies, so as we're able to increase the flow, they've got the capacity to produce it. >> woodruff: on thursday, allen sent a letter to b.p.'s chairman, carl henric svanberg, inviting him to meet with president obama at the white house next wednesday. meanwhile, the oil giant worked to preserve its business. its stock bounced back in london today after taking a beating earlier in the week. and svanberg defended his company after a telephone conversation with british prime minister david cameron.
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>> i think we have done everything, as you know. we have done everything we can to try to kill the well. and we have said that we would do everything expected from us in cleaning up the beach, taking care of all the claims, and learn from this as an incident, from this incident, and make the deep sea drilling an even safer place. >> woodruff: still, "the wall street journal" reported b.p. may cut or defer its second- quarter dividend in the face of rising damage claims. the oil giant took political heat in the u.s. over an earlier dividend. british pension funds are heavily invested in b.p., and prime minister cameron insisted today it's in everyone's interest for the company to remain strong. he said he'll discuss that issue, and the environmental damage, with president obama in a phone call tomorrow. late today white house
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officials con frmed the president will meet with b.p.'s chairman next wednesday. we take a closer look now at how the disaster is changing the economic and politics connected with b.p. here and in the u.k. byron king is an energy analyst with a gora financial. a financial news publisher. and sam fleming is associate city editor and covers economic and energy for the british newspaper "the daily mail" he joins us from london. gentlemen, thank you both. and sam fleming to you first, how closely is the british public following this story of the spill? and what are they saying about it? >> well, i think for the past few weeks the british public have been watching this disaster with horror and have largely seen this as an environmental disaster in the united states. it has not really-- been seen as a story which has huge direct ramifications for the u.k., however, despite the involvement of b.p.. however i think that situation has changed
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somewhat in the past few days. now people are really honing in, zoning in on the fact that this is a u.k. company involved in a major catastrophe in the u.s. and they are becoming more acutely aware that there are ramifications both in the u.s. and also in the u.k. because it is a company which has iconic status in the u.k., and is also a company which has huge corporate clout and also economic impact for the u.k.. >> woodruff: well, expand on that. corporate clout, iconic status, help us understand how important b.p. is there. >> well, b.p. has a very long history in the u.k. going back many decades. it's an iconic company. it was for a while the largest company in the u.k. by market value. and it's seen as really a corporate champion, almost, or has been until recently for the u.k. it also pays an extraordinary amount of income to british pension funds and retirement funds. it pays about one pound in every 7 in dividends, in the
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dividends, the pension funds receive in the u.k. and also with a market value of around 120 billion pounds. until recently when it lost about 40% of that, it was close to being the largest company in the u.k. it also has important ramifications because b.p. is economically quite significant. if you think about the amount of taxes, it pays to the u.s.-- u.k. exchequer not to mention the u.s. treasury, and also the fact that it contributes to britain's balance of payments. the amount of income that flows into the u.k. thanks it to the fact that it has a huge company which generates massive amounts of cash, about 40 billion dollars of cash a year around the world. that does actually impact britain's broader economic situation. >> woodruff: byron king, what would you add to that? help us understand how what b.p. was worth before all this and how much it has been hurt financially. >> well, clearly it's been hurt financially. half the stock-market value is gone. although from the standpoint of assets and cash flow, it
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still has, you know, quite a bit of life into it. and for as much as people in the u.s. are thinking this is a british company, this is really an american company as well. out of 80,000 worldwide employees, over 30,000 are in the u.s., of the stock market ownership, about 40% of b.p. shares are owned within the u.s. b.p. is the largest oil producer in alaska. it is half owner of the alaska pipeline. it's the largest oil producer in the gulf of mexico. globally b.p. produces over 4 million barrels of oil equivalent per day which is about 5% of the total global world oil output. it's the largest supplier of liquid fuels to the u.s. department of defence so we have to be very careful about, you know, doing things to b.p. that will disrupt all of this in a way that can turn an environmental catastrophe into an economic and energy catastrophe, not just for the u.s. but worldwide. >> woodruff: byron king, you just said we have to be
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careful. but dow believe b.p.'s survival is at stake? >> i didn't think survival was at stake a couple of weeks ago when we were just analyzing things in a rational sense of cash flow, assets, and you know, the ability to, you know, for a very large company to deal with a very bad environmental disaster. in the past week we've seen, i think, a lot of political hysteria kick in. although i also think that this coming week we're going to see some of that political hysteria slow down. i think that people are going to back off. i understand that the new prime minister of great britain is going to discuss it with mr. obama this weekend, the deputy prime minister was talking about megaphone diplomacy. these are-- these are things that grown-up nations need to understand. >> sam fleming, we've been reading stories about how the, in britain there are politicians saying american politicians are being
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unfairly tough on b.p.. how much of that is actually going on. and what does that represent? >> i think that's quite a recent development over the past few days. and i think it is a real development. there are politicians, and also members of the public who feel that there is a slightly xenophobic air developing around this story. i'm quite struck by the number of e-mails and letters the daily mail are getting from our readers saying that they feel that this is now becoming an anti-british story as well as a corporate and economic and human catastrophe. and i think people are quite uncomfortable about that. because there are people certainly in the u.k. prize the relationship with the u.s. extremely highly and they find it very disconcerting to feel that there is quite a serious rift potentially developing because of the actions or inactions of a very large u.k. company. that is beginning to drift into political rhetoric, as you said, the mayor 6 london is one of those who has talked about anti-british
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rhetoric in-- on capitol hill. and i think that that has put david cameron, the prime minister, in quite a tricky position. he needs to be aware of the strength of feeling that is now developing in the domestic political scene among the electorate, but while also not tarnishing transatlantic relations by resorting to what his deputy has called meg o phone diplomacy. >> woodruff: quickly, how is prime minister cameron, your new prime minister handling this? >> i think he's handled it as well as could possibly be expected. the real criticism is attached to b.p. in the way it handled the catastrophe. really i think the u.k. government has taken a hands-off, rather, approach to the situation for the duration, really, until recently when it has now begun to rachet up-- rachet up the political agenda quite dramatically here. i think the conversation with barack obama will be quite important tomorrow and i suspect behind the scenes there now a great deal of pressure on both sides of
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the atlantic for b.p. to at the very least defer its dividend in order to show the aware of the importance of this dividend issue. >> woodruff: byron king, back to b.p. itself, what is its ability to handle claims? how far can it go? how deep are its pockets? >> well, just getting to the dividend issue, b.p. on an annual basis pays out over $x billion of dividend money every year. now as we've discussed earlier a lot of that money is going to british pensioners and to u.s. pension funds as well. if they simply eliminated the dividend, they would have a $10 billion a year warchest to clean things up. and then also b.p. has another $25 billion or so per year that it's doing in capital investment, around the world in other oil provinces and other energy developments. so b.p. has a lot of cash flow with which to pay things. and also you need to realize that we're not asking b.p.
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and b.p. isn't going to pay all of its damages tomorrow. b.p. is going to clean things up over many, many years. this is going to play out over five years, eight years, ten years and the long-term environmental affects we don't know. they will probably be monitoring the gulf of meck coand atlantic ocean forever. the rest of your and my life, that's for sure. >> woodruff: awe and are you saying you believe it has the wherewithal to do that. >> i say that based on the raw numbers, what it owns, what it does, how much cash flow it has, b.p. can afford financially to survive this disaster. if the politics become very, very ugly and we've heard sounds of oh, we should seize their assets, we should break them up. we should put them in receivership, then things are off, you know. and who knows what would happen to those assets. i mean atlas ca pipeline that b.p. owns half of could wind up being the china pipeline or the prudho ebay could get sold to the russians. there are all sorts of
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things that we could do that would disrupt the-- you know, disrupt the energy economy of the united states. >> woodruff: gentlemen, we are going to leave there, byron king, here in the u.s. and mr. fleminging joining us from london, thank you both. >> lehrer: still to come on the newshour: new tensions in u.s./turkey relations; the kick-off for soccer's world cup; and shields and brooks. but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan in our newsroom. >> sreenivasan: flash floods in southwestern arkansas killed at least 20 people today. heavy rain touched off the torrent early today. with no warning, a pair of rivers rose more than eight feet an hour in remote valleys. state police captain mike fletcher said campgrounds were hard hit. >> trying to get everybody identified coming out of there. we're trying to identify the victims that we had and trying to get everything everybody accounted for. that is the main thing right now. if we have anybody that needs to be rescued, that is our primary concern right now. >> sreenivasan: in all, more than 40 people were listed as missing. there's been another mass
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killing in mexico's drug war. 30 gunmen stormed a drug rehabilitation center in chihuahua city today, killing 19 people and wounding several others. police said mexican drug gangs recruit from rehab centers and often threaten to kill those who do not cooperate. more than 60 people have died in shootings at rehab clinics in the last two years. ethnic bloodshed erupted in kyrgyzstan today. at least 45 people were killed, and more than 600 others were injured. it was the latest violence to rock the central asian country that's also host to a key u.s. military base. a state of emergency was imposed in osh, kyrgyzstan's second- largest city. tv broadcasts in neighboring russia showed smoldering buildings and cars after armed gangs of kyrgyz men stormed uzbek neighborhoods. in addition to the bloodshed in osh, smaller-scale violence also broke out in bishkek, the country's capital. the violence came two months after an uprising brought a new government to power. in a televised address, the interim president said troublemakers were trying to undermine an upcoming
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constitutional vote. >> ( translated ): this situation causes deep concern. it is being fueled by different forces, including those who are interested in destabilizing the situation in kyrgyzstan and those who want to disrupt the upcoming referendum. >> sreenivasan: the government also dispatched troops to quell the violence. kyrgyzstan is home to the u.s. air transit base at manas, critical to ongoing operations in afghanistan. state department spokesman p.j. crowley spoke in washington. >> we have done our own checking, and report no american injuries or casualties at this point. we are obviously staying on top of that situation. meanwhile, we do continue to talk to the kyrgyz government about the transit center at manas. >> sreenivasan: there was no immediate word on what started the trouble today. but there are long-standing tensions between the kyrgyz and uzbeks.
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nato forces in afghanistan lost three more troops today, two of them americans. so far this month, 33 members of the international force have died. 23 of those have been u.s. troops. in brussels, belgium, u.s. defense secretary robert gates said the nato allies are "recapturing the initiative". but he also cautioned, "the road ahead will be long and hard." and in iraq, a suicide car bomber killed two american troops and at least three iraqis, and wounded 22 others. the attack on a military convoy happened about 80 miles northeast of baghdad. pope benedict xvi begged forgiveness today for years of sexual abuse by priests against children. it was his most public statement yet on the issue. the pontiff spoke at a mass for 15,000 priests in st. peter's square in vatican city. he vowed to ensure that such abuse is ended, once and for all. >> we promise to do everything possible to ensure that such abuse will never occur again. and that in admitting to-- ministry we will do anything we can to the
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authenticity of their vocation we will make every effort to accompany prooetss on their journey so the lord will watch over them in troubled situations. >> sreenivasan: hundreds of cases of sexual and physical abuse by priests have been reported in europe and the u.s. benedict has been criticized for his handling of abuse cases when he was archbishop of munich, germany, in the 1980s. russia has reversed itself and will not deliver air defense missiles to iran after all. that word came via the french president's office today. it said russian prime minister vladimir putin has agreed the sale would violate a new round of u.n. sanctions. just yesterday, the russian foreign minister said the missile sale would go through. wall street ended the week on an up note. the dow jones industrial average gained 38 points to close at 10,211. the nasdaq rose nearly 25 points to close at 2,243. for the week, the dow gained nearly 3%; the nasdaq rose 1%. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to jim. >> lehrer: now, the turkey story-- a u.s. ally in the middle east starts going its own way.
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kwame holman reports. >> holman: along the waters of the bosphorus, istanbul has been, through centuries, the symbolic frontier between east and west. once the seat of christian and islamic empires, the modern turkey finds itself again straddling two worlds. this week, at that ancient crossroads, turkish prime minister recep tayyip erdogan moved to strengthen his role as an emerging leader in the islamic world. >> turkey definitely feels more self confident these days. >> holman: omer taspinar is a professor of international relations at the national defense university. born in turkey, he's now an american citizen. >> there's a sense of, basically, patriotism and nationalism in the country. and this government wants to follow a more independent foreign policy. in that sense, i don't think what we see is really an islamization of turkish foreign policy, but more a nationalist and self-confident and increasingly independent foreign policy >> holman: and that independence was on display at a meeting of
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the turkish-arab economic forum, where the talk was of trade and recent tumult. one flashpoint-- turkey's wednesday vote against united nations sanctions designed to slow the iranian nuclear program. the turks, along with brazil, opposed a united front of the u.s., u.k, france, germany, russia and china. turkey and brazil struck a deal last month with iran to ship low-enriched uranium out of the islamic republic in return for medical reactor fuel. that deal was designed to avoid sanctions. but it was dismissed by the u.s. and others as insufficient, because it would have allowed teheran to retain enough nuclear fuel to make a weapon. at the istanbul forum yesterday, erdogan spoke of the sanctions vote, and his approach to iran, a neighbor of turkey. but he broadened his comments to include a not-so-veiled critique of american involvement in the
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region. >> ( translated ): everything should be solved on the table. arms, embargoes and exclusion are not working. the world has seen examples of this and has paid the heavy price. you see how we are paying a heavy price for this in iraq. we are paying the price in afghanistan. millions of people have died. there are hundreds of thousands of widows. who will account for this? >> holman: at a nato meeting in brussels today, secretary of defense robert gates became the latest senior american official to comment on the longtime nato ally's action. gates said, "i'll be honest, i was disappointed in turkey's vote on the iranian sanctions," adding, "allies don't always agree on things, but we move forward from here." but turkey is looking beyond its relations with the u.s., says omer taspinar. >> well, from the perspective of turkey, u.s. foreign policy in the last ten years in the middle east has not been a great success story. they get the respect that they
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believe they deserve more in russia, syria, in iran, in china. and therefore, they are looking for alternatives, and they are not willing to put all their eggs into the western basket. >> holman: but it is relations with america's strongest ally in the region, israel, that have created another flashpoint between the turks and the americans. >> ( translated ): nobody should have any doubts that turkey will demand the rights for the murdered civilians within international law. >> holman: that was prime minister erdogan on tuesday, denouncing israel's raid on a turkish aid flotilla bound for blockaded gaza. the attack killed nine civilians, and added new strains between israel and its once- friendly mid-east neighbor. israel's blockade of gaza, and the strict embargo it maintains on the hamas-controlled sliver of palestinian land, has been a focus of erdogan's. >> ( translated ): gaza is like an open air prison, because it's completely isolated from the
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rest of the world. >> holman: shortly after israel ended its invasion of gaza in january 2009-- "operation cast lead", during which 1,400 palestinians were killed--the turkish prime minister had an angry encounter with israeli president shimon peres amid the normally-staid confines of the davos world economic forum. >> what would you do if you would have in istanbul every night, ten rockets or hundred rockets? >> one minute, one minute, you must... ( applause ) >> i have to ask you to defer to our host. >> ( translated ): so i don't think i will come back to davos after this, because you don't let me speak. >> holman: this week, despite the tensions with israel and the u.s., erdogan said turkey was not turning away from its western orientation. at the forum in istanbul, he said "those who allege that turkey has broken away from the west are the intermediaries of an ill-intentioned propaganda."
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>> woodruff: next, the world cup kicked off today in south africa, a big moment for the country and for billions of fans around the world. ray suarez has the story. ( cheers and applause ) >> suarez: it all started today with a joyous celebration. for the next month, teams from 32 countries will battle over what is often described as the most coveted sports prize on the planet. along with the players, fans from around the globe are descending on south africa to support their teams and countries. it's the first time any african country has hosted the games, and south africa's worked hard to get ready for its close-up. >> it is a point of pride and an honor, as well. it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to show the world what we can do, not only as south africa, but as the african continent. >> suarez: at the south african embassy in washington, d.c.,
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spectators were jubilant at the start of the first match. the host country's team took on mexico. more than 80,000 packed the stadium in johannesburg, including bishop desmond tutu. >> unfortunately, there was a tragedy in the mandela family. >> suarez: his country's best known personality, nelson mandela had planned to attend the opening game, but the former president's great-granddaughter was killed in a car accident last night. south africa scored the first goal of the cup to the delight of millions. but the match ended in a tie when mexico scored late. ( cheers and applause ) played once every four years, the tournament began in 1930. teams are divided into eight
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initial groups; two advance from each group to face a 16-team knockout contest. hundreds of millions will watch these matches on tv. the frenzy over soccer around the world, however, has never been matched in the u.s. but this time around, americans have bought more tickets than residents of any other country, except south africa. >> they call it "the beautiful game," and i think if you just sit down and pay attention to it, you really understand the skill level and appreciate that, and it really is a beautiful game. ( cheers and applause ) >> suarez: clarence wardell came to this bar in washington early today to watch the games. he has his own theories about why soccer has never rivaled more popular sports in the u.s. >> i think the reason that americans do not like soccer as a whole is we don't grow up with hometown teams to root for. so i think the world cup gives us a chance to get behind somebody and get excited. >> suarez: and in this restaurant outside of d.c., others gathered to watch the game they love, and to make the
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case for it. >> i wish they would like it more. i do understand it can be a little bit "boring," but if you watch the beauty of the play, it is just gorgeous. >> suarez: american viewers hope the u.s. team shows off some great play of its own tomorrow. that's when the american 11, said to be one of the best u.s. teams ever, meets england, a perennial soccer power. in contrast to poor performances in other years, the u.s. has higher hopes this time. other favorites include brazil, spain, the netherlands, serbia and portugal. throughout the tournament, fans won't just follow the teams-- a number of global superstars like portugal's cristiano ronaldo will carry their country's hopes for a shot at the cup final, july 11. more now about the beautiful game, and what people will be watching for here and around the world. david hirshey is the co-author of "the espn world cup companion: everything you need
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to know about the world's biggest sporting event." he's a former soccer reporter for the "new york daily news." and christine brennan is a sportswriter and columnist for abc and "usa today" who has covered previous cups. david hirshey, let me start with you. these guys play constantly, in continental championships, national championships. they play for professional clubs. they play for the international team. they're always playing. why does the world cup stand head and shoulders above that constant round of championship play ? >> because for four years these players are trying to qualify for the tournament that is the pinnacle of their sport. and it's a grueling campaign that can be will-sapping at times. but it's the shared send of national identity that i think galvanizes the team and makes them run through
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walls for their countries. >> suarez: christine brennan, more than the uafa cup or the concacaf or all these various kinds of championships that are being played for the rest of the time? >> i think, well, david is right, david knows the sport very well but this is once every four years. so in many ways for viewers who don't watch a lot of soccer t is like the olympics, the winter games, summer games. you have a long wait. and this is-- it is an all-star game in a sense. all these other athletes, all these soccer players are playing for other-- their local teams, whatever, their professional teams and then they come together to play for their nation. so in many ways it does have that olympic feeling, say, that hockey has or that men's or women's basketball has at the olympic games. and i think that is one of the great-- allures t is once every four years. >> suarez: okay, you have explained the attraction. have americans shown us something by buying the largest number of tickets outside the host country this year, christine? >> yes, certainly they have.
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the buying power of the u.s. public and sports fans, we know it exists. i think this launches that quadrennial conversation that we have about will soccer become as important to the united states as it is to the rest of the world. and i think it won't just because we have so many other sports on the calendar. so to shoehorn soccer in when people have grown-up with college football and pro football and baseball and so many other sports, i think it is unrealistic to think that soccer will be that big of a deal in our country. but for these four weeks, ray, i do think americans care more about it probably than ever before. and understand it better because their kids and their grandkids are playing it now. and maybe they have a little bit more of a sense of it. >> suarez: david what is that appetite for international soccer among americans show you this time? >> well, america is a country that loves winners. christine and i both covered the women's world cup in 1999. and you saw how that ignited a tsunami
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of enthusiasm for the women's game. and we-- the world cup has morphed from cult status to-- to a big event, watercooler conversation piece. so i think american fans are becoming much more knowledgeable and much more passionate. and i think you'll see that tomorrow when we take on those smug inventors of the game. >> well, david, if you are a dabbler, if you are someone who was watching the stanley cup finals but they're over or you are waiting for the next game in the nba final its and that's not happening yet, what are some of the-- what do they call them, fixtures that you should be on the lookout for? what are some of the games coming in the next several days that you would recommend people watch? >> well, i think the teams that americans will probably get the biggest kick out of
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are brazil, argentina and spain in that order. even if you don't know a corner kick from a corner store, you know that brazil is the gold standard of soccer having won the tournament five times. but this is not the brazil of legend with pelle who is dazzling ball skills brought the wow factor to soccer. the current brazil team has sacrificed flare in favor of steel and defensive commitment. and so while they may not be as pretty to watch as the legendary teams of yore, they will probably be more difficult to beat. argentina has, you know, a huge layer of melodrama cursing through the team. they have the m & m boys, lionel messy the world's best player an diaga maradonna considered by many to be the greatest player of all time and now the coach of argentina.
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the question is will maradonna's monstrous ego allow messy the freedom to shine on the biggest stage of all and possibly usurp him at the summit of the argentinian soccer panth on. but for pure entertainment my money is on spain. they play a dazzling, intricate short passing game and they have some of the best players in europe in attack. >> suarez: well, christine, you heard david handi cap the tournament. in the 80 years since the world cup started, only a handful of teams have won it. and they've all been in latin america and europe are. there some teams from other parts of the world that we could keep an eye on, africa, asia. >> well, of course south africa because they are hosting. no nation has ever not made it out of the initial other
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group to go to the next round so will south africa be able to do that, and with the tie today maybe that's a good boost for them. asia has never there are three countries from asia in this tournament, ray. and again i just don't see that they have the, right now, the juice, you know, to go further. but this is a global game and the hope would be that especially fueled by nationalism which david eluded to, this is what that is about. and that is why the united states will i think care very much because it's a tiddley winks or whatever is, if the u.s. playing against somebody especially tomorrow with england, my goodness, what a story line that is. but i think that, yeah, some day the u.s. will make it to the finals. the world cup. i don't know if we will be allowed to see it. >> suarez: but a loss to england tomorrow wouldn't mean that they can't advance the way this system works, right? >> exactly. they play each team in the group, four team groups. so the u.s. actually is expected even if they lose to move on. and that would be a good result for them to move on and maybe get one more game,
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the round of 16 was where the u.s. was 8 years ago in 2002. and that would be the hope again for this time for the u.s. >> christine brennan, david hirshey, thank you both. >> thank you. >> lehrer: and finally tonight, the analysis of shields and brooks-- syndicated columnist mark shields, "new york times" columnist david brooks. mark, the red sox are not involved in the world cup, right. >> they aren't, no. celtics either, jim. >> lehrer: okay. all right. president obama has escalated his rhetoric on the oil spill, used some profanity and other tough words. is he doing the right thing? >> i think it was a gaffe from president obama this is a gaffe-free president, gaffe free president so a great dehe agree, you could count on yun hand the mistakes he made on that long slog two years running with microphones at the ready all the timement i thought looking for whose
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ass to kick was not authentic, was not-- it appeared contrived, to answer the criticism that he hadn't been angry enough that he hadn't shown enough passion. and the white house has played been-- been playing catch-up. i think they've done it better with 245d allen. the coast guard admiral out there i think he is a very effective spokesman. i do think there is a sense, the president's own involvement now and continuing involvement which they have somehow downplayed at the outset. >> lehrer: how do you feel about the language issue, david in. >> well, when i look at the problem of the gulf i'm reallying this thinking i really wish the president would be cursing more. so i agree with mark. it was extraneous t was unnaferment and unusual for him. he is the sort of person that doesn't look like he needs public approval. it isn't going to go out of his own skin in order to win it. and yet in this case, he did. and i thought, so i thought it was an unfortunate moment. but you know, the political pressure is racheting up of the polls are extremely negative now when people are asked how do you think the government is handling this.
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the polls are more negative than how they thought bush was handling katrina. and so that's a lot of political pressure. and up until now i guess a lot of people including me have thought well, he is not really responsible. but i think a little bit of evidence is piling up that they could be doing more. you run into people from the gulf. and they have a whole series of crit seeks of things that are not being done. there are skimmers sitting there. i ran into a louisiana congressman yesterday who said he was down in his district. he saw 50 boats sitting there in the harbor that could be used, they are just sitting there, he said. we got all these other oil companies, why don't we get them more involved. and so you are beginning to see more specific criticisms of not only the whole, but the way that the coverage of the spill is being handled. and that really does redound on to the president so that is causing a lot of political heat. >> lehrer: it was said earlier mark t didn't really matter whether it was legitimately his fault or not, he had-- he had a spiritual responsibility here.
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and you thin and you said before that he hadn't met it. do you think he's beginning to do this or do you find this whole thing is kind of false? >> no, i think it's genuine on the president's part. i really do. i do think, jim, the responsibility is more than spiritual. i think it's on his watch. its he on the president's watch. if this, you know f this continues, the criticisms continue to mount and there is a critique, democrats, it's a little bit like health care right now. the democrats are with him. the independents are split. but there is a wonderful poll yesterday we talked about this town being polarized, the nation being polarized, very simp el question. fox news opinion dynamic question. do you approve or disapprove of how the obama administration is dealing with the oil spill in the gulf coast and how do you feel about how b.p. is. the president was 40-50, 40% favorable, 50% unfavourable. b.p.s with 13% favorable, 79% unfavourable. 6 to 1 unfavourable. but among republican voters,
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republican voters, they thought b.p. was better than the-- now i means that's just-- if you want to see polarization and blind partisanship at a time in 2010 those are your numbers right there. >> there is also a poll speaking of polls that showed that like 70% of the american people are following the b.p. oil spill story and care about it deeply, and at the way bottom of the list now with 3% care deeply about health care. it's at the bottom of a long list of about 15 issues. >> and actually an extremely unpopular bill an one of the spill overs of this is the president really wanted to spend a lot of time this month selling the health-care bill and he's not allowed to do that because of testimony but listen, we take a look at the country. and everyone sort of knows somebody in the gulf or meets somebody or sees them on tv. and a way of life is potentially being destroyed. they're affected about i that and there is another factor that we're americans. and deep in our cultural dna is the since of the wilderness. nature that is part of us. and whether it is in alaska
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or out west or in the gulf, when that is polluted it goes deep not spiritual sense of who we are as a country. because we don't have feud 58ism in our background we have nature. and 9 nature we are luckily enough to have in our background so this story goes phenomenally deeply aside from the human suffering. >> lehrer: do you think it is conceivable that this could go even deeper in barack obama's presidency and the way it is going to be considered politically and otherwise if this thing continues to rock along the way it is? >> well, i think obviously are you going to see great policy differences as a direct consequence of this that are going to shape this presidency. >> lehrer: like what? >> for example just two months ago by a better than 3 to 1 margin americans favored offshore drilling. now a plur allity opposes it. there will be tougher restrictions on safety for oil companies. there will be greater taxes on oil companies. there will be tougher environmental standards. i think david is right, i
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think that is-- when americans see those pelicans, i means that's become an iconic picture of this. the pelicans submerged in oil unable to fly, unable to provide for itself. >> lehrer: i was just going to ask, david, do you see it in that kind of potentially devastating negative terms for the president and the whole political system. in other words, is this a major thing. a temporary tragedy. >> i'm beginning to think it is more of a major thing, that people are more directly holding him responsible. and i think it's again as month its go by and we don't seem to be able to contain the spill, people don't blame him for the event but they do hold him responsible for how that oil is treated once it is out on the water. and if people don't have the sense that they are doing everything they can, and if there are stories that came out like the story about the dutch offer that was refused for a while, people will say maybe they are not as competent as we thought. and i would say personally watching the president, i think a little less
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posturing, a little bess -- little -- a i don't really care about any of that. i just want details of how are they controlling the oil. >> i think that's true. i don't think people-- people want to see it done, jim. deep in the dna of america we are can-do people and not a can't-do people. and it is unfair for presidents but it's a test for presidents. senator bill nelson was on the show this week and he said the president's helpless, you know. and this was in support of the president. and you know, that isn't what americans want to hear about a president in a time of crisis that he's helpless and he isn't convening every way that it has ever been done. in a new agency, when they had an accident houchlt it has been done, what has been done differently that there isn't that sense of we're going to make this better. and i think that is something that has been missing. >> let's go back to tuesday in the primary. is there a message that emerged in your opinion. >> well, i think there is a moral message. people have a sense that those who work hard are not
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being rewarded and that those who did thought work hard whether on wall street or in government are being rewarded. there is that average. i also think there is a bifurcation in the republican party. in the red states you are seeing the tea party pretty strong. i think the most important race there was in nevada where angles took the republican primary. >> tea party candidate. >> and now has an 11 point read so far on harry reid, the majority leader. that is one part in the red state but in the blue state like california, you saw fiorina, whitman, pretty established candidates win there, in new jersey shall did -- beat back tea party challenge. so you you are beginning to see two different republican parties, a strong tea party movement into the red and more established republican party in the blue. >> do you have an overview of it, mark. >> i have an overview of it, jim, in terms of political strategy. that there are only two ways to run for re-election in america. the high road and the low road. the high road is the candidate points out the
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voters all the good things we have accomplished in the four years, two years, six year, how your lives are better. when that is not available to you, that isn't to the democrats this year, you run the not so high road which is-- boils down to look, i may be no day at the beach but the other guy is no month in the country. and you concentrate on the defects and-- of euro point, trying to focus the voter's attention there. nevada is the test case. harry reid is in the 30s favorable ratings as majority leader. he's dead. he can't win. the state is 13%-- .7% unemployment, leads the nation in bankruptcies and foreclosures. but it saved. harry reid can't win but his opponent can lose. the republican, the nomination. >> sharron angle whose opinion she wants to privatize social security and medicare, was we'll find in the next four or five weeks if harry reid cannot focus the attention on her and her
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shortcomings and go ahead in that race and make it competitive, then i think democrats are really in for a tough, tough race. >> but why do democrats have to run i'm no day at the beach. they just had a year in which they probably passed more of their favorite legislation since the new deal so why can't they run on their record? >> well, maybe it's unpopular. >> lehrer: how do you read the blanche lincoln victory from the democratic re-election primary in arkansas. >> the question is why did unions spend $10 million trying to beat her in a state the democrats probably can't win in any case. in a state without a lot of yawn voters, and in a state like a lot of states where people say there are all these special interests in washington on the right and the left. and they're trying to establish their muscle by manipulating voters in state after state. we're going to reject those outsiders. and so i thought it was foolish for the unions to do it on a whole bunch of reasons. and personally i hope more voters in more states whether it is the club for growth on the right or the unions on the left say we don't want the special interests trying to establish their own muscle
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by manipulating us? >>. >> i don't think they did spend 10 million. i think that became a boast 3:00 in the morning cup of courage boasting. but they did spend 6 million on television. and that is an awful lot of money to spend in arkansas. there is a striking his ter-- historical parallel in this race, that was in 1927 when john mccullum, the democratic there was challenged by a young upstart democrat named david prooier. and he had the backing of outside interests and labor and john mccullum barely beat him in the first race and was expected to lose in the runoff and he banged david pryor over the head about outside interests and labor money and this. and he beat, the last race david pryor ever lost. the only race he ever lost. but there is a striking parallel to 2010. that is what blanche lincoln does. she turns the outsider thing on her opponent. that he's being backed by these outsiders. she's the incumbent. she's the washington candidate, chairman of the agriculture committee and she managed to make herself
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sort of the outsider taking on these alienations. >> so did bill clinton by calling them the national union. >> lehrer: do you agree, the labor could have stayed out of this or should have stayed out of it? >> i think they want add tension. i think they didn't feel they were getting the attention from the democrats. they didn't feel they were getting the attention from the white house. you don't do it unless you're going to win. i mean i don't think you're going to spend that kind of money and time, effort and energy and put that kind of spotlight unless you deliver, you come back with it. >> okay. thank you both very much . >> woodruff: again, the major developments of the day. there were warnings of much greater environmental damage in the gulf of mexico oil spill. that's after scientists issued sharply higher estimates of how much oil has spilled. flash floods in southwestern arkansas killed at least 16 people. 40 others were missing. at least 45 people were killed and more than 600 others hurt in ethnic violence in kyrgyzstan. and play began in the world cup
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of soccer. the u.s. team plays its first match tomorrow. >> lehrer: the newshour is always online. hari sreenivasan, in our newsroom, previews what's there. hari. >> sreenivasan: on "the rundown," we'll have a second chat with mark shields and david brooks with questions you sent us on our facebook page. we revisit the story of thailand and its political unrest. we talk to a special envoy from the prime minister about the country's recent violence, its economy, and freedom of speech. gwen ifill blogs about unconventional wisdom and the results of this week's primaries. and ray suarez has a post on what hosting the world cup means for south africa's place on the world stage. all that and more is on our web site, newshour.pbs.org. judy. >> woodruff: and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. >> lehrer: and i'm jim lehrer. "washington week" can be seen later this evening on most pbs stations. we'll see you online, and again here monday evening. have a nice weekend. thank you and good night.
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