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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  November 10, 2011 7:00pm-8:00pm EST

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captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> brown: the fallout from the penn state sex abuse scandal continued today, after the university's coach and president were sacked last night. good evening, i'm jeffrey brown. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. on the "newshour" tonight, we assess the impact of the charges and the aftermath with sports writer john feinstein and jeannette krebs of the patriot news in harrisburg. >> brown: then, we get the latest on the obama administration's decision to delay approval of an oil pipeline that would stretch from canada to the gulf coast. >> woodruff: from japan, special correspondent miles o'brien reports on ordinary citizens
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mapping radiation hot spots eight months after the nuclear meltdown. >> this is the town where about 28 kilometers from the fuch seema plant and you don't see anybody around for good reason. >> brown: we look at key moments from last night's g.o.p. presidential debate including texas governor rick perry's stumble, when he tried to list government agencies he'd eliminate. >> i would do away with the education, the, uh, the -- >> commerce. >> commerce and let's see-- i can't-- the third one-- i can't, sorry. oops. >> woodruff: and we close with another in our "economist film project" series. tonight, the story of a lost and now found native american language. >> brown: that's all ahead on tonight's "newshour." major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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and the william and flora hewlett foundation, working to solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world. 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. >> brown: at penn state university, this was day one of the post-paterno era. it followed a whirlwind of events wednesday night that stemmed from child molesting charges. >> our interim head football coach, mr. tom bradley. >> brown: for the first time in nearly half-a-century, the man at the helm of penn state's nittany lions football team today was not joe paterno.
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>> coach paterno has meant more to me than anybody except my father. >> brown: defensive coordinator tom bradley will run the team on an interim basis. he was tapped amid a child sex abuse scandal that tarnished the storied program and finally, led to paterno's dismissal. >> joe paterno is no longer the head football coach. effective immediately. penn state has always strived for honesty integrity and the highest moral standards in all of our activities. we promise you that we are cmitted to restoring public trust to our university. >> brown: the 84-year-old coaching legend was fired last night by unanimous vote of the university's trustees. school president graham spanier was also dismissed. both men were criticized fiercely for not doing enough to stop jerry sandusky. the former penn state defensive coach was charged saturday with 40 counts relating to the sexual abuse of eight children.
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paterno had announced his end- of-season retirement yesterday. but the trustees refused to wait that long. the decision triggered tumult last night in the university's home-- state college, pennsylvania. thousands of enraged students stormed into the streets. >> joe-pa's not the one who should be taking the fall for this. save joe-pa! >> brown: violence erupted, and a hundred or more helmeted police battled back. pepper spray, rocks and bottles filled the air. lampposts were torn down, car windows smashed. and a television live truck was flipped on its side. some students blaming the media but amid the mayhem, there were also distinctly different and less forgiving views of paterno. >> joe-pa could have done more. it's a terrible situation. he could have done more. it's terrible. >> brown: how common is that feeling here on campus? >> not common at all. i'm in a strong minority.
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look at what we're surrounded by: it's disgusting. there's a lot more that could >> brown: pennsylvania governor tom corbett weighed in late today. >> please, please, behave and demonstrate your pride in penn state. i believe in your right to assemble and your right to express your opinions. i do not believe, nor i do think anybody believes, in your right to violence. >> brown: a quieter crowd greeted paterno outside his home last night. >> i'm out of it maybe now. that phone call put me out of it. but we will go from there. get a good nights sleep. all right. study. one thing, thanks and pray a little bit for those victims. >> brown: the eight victims cited in the indictment were allegedly abused over 15 years. a then-graduate assistant mike mcqueary has said he witnessed one victim's rape by sandusky in 2002.
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mcqueary told paterno, who in turn reported it to athletic director tim curley. none of the men called police. rley and a penn state vice president are now charged with perjury and failure to report the abuse. paterno was not chargednd mkei mcqunory a f--keerthoc oerf criticism-- is now a penn state assistant coach. interim head coach bradley said today there are no plans to change his status for now. as for where joe paterno will be this saturday, for the first time since 1949, it won't be on penn state's sideline. >> brown: we get two perspectives on this now. jeanette krebs is the editorial page editor for the "harrisburg patriot news" on tuesday, the paper issued a front-page editorial calling for the departure of both paterno and spanier. and john feinstein is an author and sportswriter. he's long covered college football. i will start with you, how much of a trauma is this for people up there?
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help us understand the currents of emotion there. >> it's been a very traumatic week for us here in central pennsylvania and for penn state fans. i think people were just wrapping their heads around the idea of jerry sandusky and the charges against him and them last night when the president and joe paterno were fired peerjs are still in shock by that. i think that there are really three camps of people. there are people who feel that joe paterno is being scapegoated in some respects and that he wasn't found guilty of anything by the grand jury. so why should he be fired. but i have to say from what we're hearing that's really the minority. and a lot of people believe that the charges are just so a pauling if you read the grand jury presentment. it's horrifying what happened. a lot of people believe that he and the president needed to step down.
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and then there are people who are just really afraid of what this means for penn state. how this might tarnish the university. >> brown: and jeannette for that point, explain for context the role of foot bull and joe paterno at penn state. >> well, penn state is known for a lot of things. it's a great research institution. agriculture is a big force there. but football, nothing is like football at penn state. and certainly around the country, that's what people know about penn state. and joe paterno is the college football coach. i think that a lot of people feel that penn state has always had its football team has been above the fray. there's never been if i big scandal here before. joe paterno is very well respected for the kind of team that he coaches. a lot of his students
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graduate and because of that this comes as such a shock. >> brown: and john feinstein you can put this in a national perspective, joe paterno in the history of college football. >> well, jeanette is right about the history of joe paterno. i would say there are two figures in collegiate letics who stood out above all others one is dean smith basketball coach at north carolina and the other is joe patterno for similar reasons. they did pore than win games. both were great winners joe paterno is the all time winningest coach at the highest level of college football. and most of his players graduated. there was never in spec of controversy around his program through the years in terms of ncaa rules violation. swro paterno was held up as the paragon in a profession where there weren't very many. and for him to fall this way jo precipitously and in such a humiliating way because of what he did or specifically what he didn't do, it's a
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blow not just to penn state but to all of collegiate letics. >> so how do you explain, from a distance, of course. but is it an isolated sense of his position at the school? i mean when you are looking at this, how do you, without scandal in the past what do you see now? >> well, i think there are two things involved here, jeff. one is that clearly there was a failure to realize, i didn't know how, but the need to get jerry sandusky off the street, if he was, in fact, doing the things he's accused of back in 2002 when paterno became aware of it. but beyond that, to use a klishe, absolute power corrupts absolutely. and i think paterno believed that, and for nine years he was right, that if he didn't do anything, there was no one at penn state who was ever going to do anything to him if he failed to go forward with any kind of investigation. because remember, this is a guy who in 2004 when the
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president of the university went to his house to suggest he might want to think about retiring, he basically threw him out of the house. that is how powerful he was. >> brown: now jeanette krebs, your paper, your editorial, as we said, called for him and the president to step aside. tell us about that decision and the reaction that you have gotten. >> well, when our editorial board met on monday, we knew that we had to come out with a really strong editorial because penn state is such a powerful institution in our community, in our state. and again because of the charges in the grand jury presentment, we decided that not only did we want to make a strong statement with our words, but the placement of the editorial also was going to send a message to people. and to all of our knowledge, we can't think of another time when the newspaper has run an editorial on the front page let a hone made
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it the only thing on the front page that day. you know, the reaction was really a surprising to me. whenever we run an editorial about something controversial, as you can imagine i hear from people on both sides of the issue. but i largely, i heard very little from people who did not support it. i actually was out and went to a couple places in the harrisburg area that day. and people literally stopped me to talk to me about the editorial. they thought that we really hit the right note with it. and they were in agreement. and really, for the people who business a-- disagreed with it, it was more the idea that we ran the editorial on the front page. and they didn't think that that was a good idea. it wasn't so much that they believed that joe paterno and graham spanier should keep their jobs.
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>> brown: john, we saw in our piece john cerma penn state board last night making that announcement. another thing he said in that was the university is much larger than its athletic teams. now that sounds right, right. but that has been an issue in college sports for a long time. >> forever. i mean this isn't anything new. years ago the president of oklahoma said that he hoped to build a university worthy of the football team. remember last march when the controversy broke out at ohio state involving jim tresel and the president of penn state said do you think you're going to fire him. he said fire him, i hope he doesn't fire me. this was hit on the square. and the power of these iconic coaches, particularly in football where you have 110,000 people in that stadium every saturday that penn state plays, has been going on for years. and particularly at penn state where paterno has been there for 46 years. i mean imagine, it's been since 1949 that he wasn't on
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the coaching staff. and you saw that even until yesterday, jeff, when he issued that statement saying i'm going to retire at the end of the year and now the board of trustees should go back and not pay any attention to me. and basically telling them, leave me alone. the board had to act. >> and so briefly, do you think that this is-- this is a very much more serious scandal. >> exactly. >> that you have been talking about here. >> right. >> and the nature of the victims and all. do you think this is a moment when the university might review their oversight of college sports? >> there's never been a scandal like this in collegiate letics. because as you say, the nature of the crimes committed and the tragedy of what has gone on with these children. so i would hope so having said that, the past says that in the end of the universities come back to wanting to win games and make money. the bottom line always seems to be the bottom line. >> brown: and games go on saturday. >> saturday at noon. >> brown: john feinstein and jeanette krebs, thank you both very much. >> thank you. >> woodruff: still to come on the "newshour": an oil pipeline
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delayed; the hunt for radiation hotspots in japan; the slip-ups in the g.o.p. debate and the rediscovery of a native american language. but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: there were signs of political progress today in greece and italy, after days of uncertainty that unsettled markets worldwide. respected economists stood ready today to take charge of new governments in both countries. "newshour" correspondent kwame holman narrates our report. >> reporter: behind the darkened windows of this mercedes, lucas papademos-- a former european central bank vice president-- arrived this morning at the greek presidential palace in athens. after four days of intense litical parties, he was named prime minister of an interim unity government. his challenge: to win parliamentary approval of a new bailout for his country that includes additional spending cuts. >> ( translated ): the road will not be easy, but i am convinced that the problems will be resolved. and they will be resolved faster and with less cost and more
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efficiently if there is unity, understanding and wisdom. >> reporter: and in beleaguered italy, there was new urgency to adopt economic reforms as quickly as possible. that would pave the way for prime minister silvio berlusconi to resign and lead to a new, interim regime. just yesterday, interest rates on italy's ten-year bonds soared to higher than 7%-- a level that triggered panic that italy could never repay its debts. but today the country's borrowing rates fell back toward levels considered manageable. it was widely reported the european central bank might be buying up italy's bonds to help stabilize markets. and investors appeared further reassured by growing signs that mario monti will become prime minister after berlusconi leaves office. >> i think mario monti is the person that the markets are waiting for. the former e.u. commissioner, he's been dealing with competition policy. he's internationally respected, he's a very good economist. >> reporter: but on the streets
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of rome today, some working italians were highly skeptical that things will get much better even with a change of government. >> ( translated ): after berlusconi resigns, whoever leads the government will have to invent something to raise wages, provide us with enough work to help families that are at risk. >> reporter: meanwhile, the parliament in portugal today began debating further austerity measures including pay cuts and steep tax hikes. >> sreenivasan: wall street calmed today on the news from europe. stocks also rose on a report that first-time claims for jobless benefits fell last week, for the third time in four weeks. the dow jones industrial average gained nearly 113 points to close just under 11,894. the nasdaq rose three points to close at 2,625. the democratic majority in the u.s. senate blocked a republican effort today to halt new regulations on air pollution. the rules were designed to stop power plant emissions from blowing downwind across state
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lines. kentucky republican rand paul argued the curbs are too costly, and will force some plants to shut down. >> we have 2 trillion dollars worth of regulations heaped on our economy. 14 million people out of work. 2 million new people out of work since this president came in to power. we cannot allow this administration to continue with their job-killing regulation. >> sreenivasan: democrats insisted that rolling back the pollution rules would have major health consequences. majority whip dick durbin warned that without the regulations, the only jobs created would be in medical fields. >> sadly the people who would go to work are those who work in emergency rooms, those who work to make nebulizers for those suffering from asthma, people who make oxygen tanks. i'm sorry to say this, but that is the reality. >> sreenivasan: the two parties
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were able to come together to approve a new tax credit for businesses that hire military veterans. it's the first small piece of president obama's job creation agenda that's likely to become law. the bloodshed in syria surged in the last 48 hours. activists reported at least 25 people were killed today. that brought the death toll to nearly 50 in the last two days. in some of the attacks, security forces opened fire while conducting raids on homes in a manhunt for dissidents. others died in clashes between soldiers and army defectors. new violence has broken out along the border between sudan and the new nation of south sudan. warplanes from the north bombed a refugee camp in the south today. there were conflicting reports of casualties, but it was the second such attack in two days. tensions remain high between the two nations just four months after south sudan gained its independence. british lawmakers had another go today at james murdoch over phone hacking by a murdoch tabloid newspaper. former top staffers in the murdoch family's empire have contradicted his previous statements.
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we have a report from tom bradby of "independent television news." >> reporter: james murdoch recalled today to be asked whether he lied to m.p.s. had he in fact seen an email that suggested phone hacking was widespread. "no," he said. "no, no, no, and no." >> did you mislead this committee in your original testimony? >> no, i did not. i believe their testimony was misleading and i dispute it. and i want to be very clear no documents were shown to me at that meeting or given to me at that meeting or prior. >> reporter: in the commons, tom watson has pursued this case with more vigor than most. he asked a lot of very detailed questions and ended with a flourish. >> you're familiar with the word mafia? >> yes, mr. watson. >> you must be the first mafia boss in history who didn't know he was running a criminal enterprise. >> mr. watson, please. >> reporter: the general consensus here was that question made mr. watson look a little ridiculous. but other m.p.s made headway when they asked, "well, mr. murdoch, if you didn't know what
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was going on, why on earth didn't you ask a few more pertinent questions?" >> it's remarkably incurious. are you always so incurious with the other businesses that you run at newscorp? >> i had no reason to believe nor was i provided any reason to believe that anything further was afoot. >> reporter: there's only one truth you can really grasp tonight, which is that many of the pillars of this once powerful empire are now trying to tear each other to pieces. >> sreenivasan: to date, more than a dozen journalists at the murdochs' british subsidiary have been arrested. several executives have resigned. the strongest storm to hit alaska in nearly 40 years pounded coastal communities overnight. high winds whipped snow and rain off the bering sea at speeds upwards of 85 miles an hour what forecasters call a "ow-icane." the storm tore off roofs and caused flooding in nome and elsewhere. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to judy. >> woodruff: and to the obama administration's move to delay
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action on a contested oil pipeline until after the election. ray suarez has the story. >> suarez: the question is: should the president approve a major extension of the keystone x-l pipeline? it's a debate that divides business, environmental groups and labor unions. the pipeline would carry oil more than 1,700 miles from theli tar sands of canada to port arthur in the u.s. gulf coast, passing through half a dozen ates along its route. in one, nebraska, there was significant opposition to the plan. this afternoon, the state department said it was concerned about the nebraska part of the route and said finding and reviewing an alternate path could take until 2013. the president backed the delay, saying: for more, i'm joined by juliet eilperin of the "washington post." what did the state
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department tell the pipeline developers to do and what reason did they give? >> what they said is actually that they would re-examine other rooteds within just nebraska, that trans-canada which is the company that is sponsoring this pipeline would of course have to sketch out how that could be done. and then they would examine whether it could protect a particular reason known as the sand hills region within nebraska which is where you have seen intense opposition over this project. its. >> suarez: it's unusual to have the u.s. state department making pronouncements on nebraska, isn't it? why is the state department rule on a pipeline that runs for almost its entire length through the united states? >> interestingly, the reason they have jurisdiction is simply because it's a pipeline that cross the u.s.-canada border. that makes it something that comes under the pur few-- purview of the state department and not other segs line the department of transportation which has aning we which traditionally looks at pipelines and how they are handled and constructed. >> suarez: does redrawing the path of the pipeline mean in effect starting from
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scratch, really going back to the drawing board on this. >> it doesn't mean starting from scratch but it certainly raises questions about the economic viability of a project that's been under scrutiny for more than three years and now we're adding at least 15 months to this decision. so it raises questions about whether in the end trans-canada will pursue this although they do say that they remain hopeful that they'll get approval and they're going to go back and look at it. >> suarez: fill us in on how the battle lines have been drawn on this. who, broadly speaking, is for it. who is against it and where was the president on all of this. >> it is interesting. so in terms of the proponents, you have an interesting mix on business groups, oil companies but also labor unions, there are four colabor unions including commerce and pipefitters, operating engineers and so forth who would benefit from jobs that would be created either by supplying the materials for the pipeline or for constructing and operating it. and on the other side, and you also had the canadian government which has been lobbying aggressively to get this passed. on the other side you have
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environmentalists as well as an eck lech particular mix on the route clawing ranchers, farmers in nebraska and elsewhere, and tea party activists and other conservatives without didn't like the idea that trans-canada might say their land had to be used for this pipeline so it divided the president's space and he had been largely silent about this until just recently where he did a public interview with an only what, nebraska, tv station. and it is at that point that he really said he would be involved in this decision even though it would be done by the state department. and that he wanted to weigh these public health and environmental considerations against what he called a few thousand jobs that would be created by the project. >> suarez: so how have these various groups that you've sketched out for us reacted to the announcement of the delay? >> well, unsurprisingly what you have had is much enthusiasm from environmentalists and from folks in nebraska and those along the route who had been opposing it. without see this is likely to be a death knell for the pipeline even though we are not sure whether that is the case. on the other hand you have some oil companies including
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the head of the american petroleum institute jack gerard without has been scathing in their critique and essentially said this is a move that will undermine jobs. you have had republicans make that point as well. >> suarez: what about the condition dans? have they had anything to say on this? >> the natural resources minister, i have been trying to get in touches, the canadian ambassador is traveling but the natural resources minister said that he remains hopeful that this pipeline will be pursued, that they are not giving up, and that he argued that it would be undermining the united states in terms of both the energy security it could get by getting a supply of oil from a friendly ally as well as the potential jobs. so they're saying that they are still going to push for it. >> suarez: the length of this delay, 13 to 15 months, that means it's either the early months of a new obama administration or, in fact, the next president of the united states will make this decision, right? >> absolutely. and one of the crit seeks that some environmentalists have made is, you know, we're celebrating this, but actually this ultimate decision could be made by a
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president who might not share our environmental values. so there's no question this pushes it past the 2012 election. and then the real question is will obama make the final decision about this controversial project or will it be a republican who would be in office in his stead. >> suarez: after the project is redesigned, what's the presidential role? are we still at the point where whoever is making the decision, whatever president is sitting in the oval office will still be considering this possibility? >> well, it will still be within the purview of the state department, but yes, ultimately the president can first of all at any point the president has delegated this responsibility to the state department. the president can take it back. and so at the end of the day it will be the president, whether it's president obama or the person who follows him who will say yea or nay to this project. >> suarez: juliet eilperin of "the washington post," thanks for joining us. >> thank you, ray.
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>> brown: now, tracking the spread of radiation in japan eight months after the tsunami caused a nuclear accident. japanese people are using new technology and the power of crowd-sourcing to find hotspots. "newshour" science correspondent miles o'brien has the second in a series of stories from japan. >> reporter: in japan, these days, you never know where you're going to find a hotspot. we are at a highway rest stop halfway between tokyo and fukushima and we are looking for the kind of hotspot you'd just as soon avoid. >> on the roof, the cesium didn't stick very well, so it all flushed down and hit the concrete with a stone here, so this is like a micro hotspot >> reporter: it's just another sunday drive for pieter franken and his safecast team of volunteer radiation contamination gumshoes using inspiration, perspiration, sensor technology and the internet to paint a much clearer public picture of the fukushima
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fallout. it is crowd sourcing of science in action. >> we are about 60 kilometer to fukushima, should be there in about an hour. we should be there around 12:30. >> reporter: we were heading north to the evacuation zone around the fukushima daiichi nuclear plant about 40 miles away. we gathered radiation readings in the air and on surfaces with geiger counters in and outside of the vehicle. using a handful of devices, we measured raw radiation levels-- counts per minute-- as well as becquerels and microsieverts, which calibrate the raw numbers to their impact on human beings. >> as you can see it's down to 94 c.p.m. and .185 min. sieverts considerably lower than they were just a few moments ago. >> reporter: sean bonner is one of the founders of safecast, an all-volunteer organization that has plotted the most detailed maps of radiation contamination in japan since the nuclear meltdown in march. radiation doesn't fit that nice
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neat little disk you want to paint on the map, right? >> yeah. radiation isn't looking at a compass, radiating outward. >> reporter: that's right. it's a very arbitrary thing. >> yeah. there was like wind and topography and this crazy stuff that ends up playing into it. >> reporter: wherever they go, they draw a crowd. a curious, nervous, thankful crowd. in a restaurant parking lot in nihonmatsu about 60 kilometer from the nuclear plant, we met hiroko ouchi. "i'm worried about my children and grandchildren," she told us. "thank you for measuring. thank you for your hard work. the government doesn't release the accurate figures of radiation." but it's not just a lack of data, there is also a tradition here of not sharing it. >> japan is notoriously bad about certain types of transparency and this isn't a new thing that tepco covers things up.
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>> reporter: joi ito sparked the birth of safecast in the desperate days right after march 11. director of the m.i.t. media lab, he naturally took to the internet to try and stay abreast of events in his home country. the scarcity of reliable information prompted him to reach out to experts all over the world. things snowballed very quickly. >> and within days, we had an email thread that turned into a skype channel where all of us were constantly there talking. and it really became kind of like across between a sort of government situation room and newsroom where were collecting data and just sort of putting new things out and just trying to get everybody involved that we could. and it just kind of took a life of its own. we started to realize how important it was when it turned out that the government wasn't releasing data. >> reporter: the day before we took our drive, safecast volunteers offered up a seminar on radiation detection in tokyo. it was standing room only for the talk and many stuck around to get some advice on how to accurately measure the radiation around them.
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many safecast volunteers come from the computer hacker community. their intuition and ingenuity led them to design and build some novel devices to gather radiation data. akiba showed me what they call a b-geigie. what does that stand for? >> bento geigie. so when we originally designed it, we tried to design it to be like roughly the same form factors of bento so that's easy to carry around. a bento is a japanese lunchbox. >> reporter: but instead of sushi, this box contains a geiger counter, a g.p.s. receiver and an s.d. card. it costs $850 to build, but safe cast is making them available to volunteers for free. during our drive north, the safecast team delivered a b- geigie to hideki washiyama, who lives about 90 kilometer from the fukushima daiichi plant. "it is hard to get high-quality geiger counter," he told me. "but i don't want to use cheap devices made in china or korea."
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there are plenty of cheaply made yet disturbingly expensive geiger counters in japan. the fukushima meltdown created an instant global shortage of good quality sensors concerned people in japan and elsewhere sparked overwhelming demand. dan sythe produces good quality geiger counters in sebastopol california. he says that the shoddy devices so commonly found in japan are extremely dangerous. >> people are waving these over their food and thinking, the food is safe to eat or they're thinking that, where they're living is safe and safe for their children to go to school. i think it's almost criminal to produce things that don't work. >> reporter: sythe's small company is shipping out as many geiger counters as it can, giving priority to japan, and specifically, safecast. volunteer joe moross says more comprehensive monitoring is the first step to understanding the real danger.
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>> i don't think that ordinary people can make a good valuation of the risk because even the specialists are in quite a bit of disagreement as to what the real risk is. >> reporter: and so the reaction is, i want none. if you don't know, give me zero, right? >> well, everybody agrees. no matter, you cant find anyone who doesn't agree that lower is better, that less radiation is less harmful. >> reporter: ironically, much of what we know about the effects of an acute dose of radiation comes from studying hiroshima and nagasaki survivors. but radiation contamination at the level found here is a ticking time bomb with a fuse that burns for decades. there is no question ionizing radiation alters human cells, which can cause cancer and genetic defects, but how much exposure and for how long? the science, like the readings, is all over the map. this is the town of minami- tsushima. we are about 28 kilometer from the fukushima daiichi plant
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about one kilometer from the police barricade and announcing the involuntary exclusion zone. this area, 20 to 30 kilometer, is a voluntary exclusion zone and you don't see anybody around for good reason. >> yeah, this is very high here, really high. we re looking at air around one meter around seven to eight microsieverts per hour. we're looking at around 24,000 counts permitted on the pancake around 800,000 b.q. per square meter it's about 25 times what we're seeing in tokyo on the surface. >> reporter: it was five microsieverts per hour-- most likely cesium 137-- which has a half life of 30 years.
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it is the equivalent of six chest x-rays every day. not a problem for us to be here for a short while in street clothes, but how long before people could live here again? >> if you wanted to get this down to levels that would be considered normally to be safe which would be under .3 micro sieverts per hour you would probably look it much more than 20 years or 30 years. >> reporter: but down the road at the exclusion zone checkpoint, the police officers ordered to be here are hoping for the best. you don't worry? >> he told us there we're okay and we trust him. >> reporter: do you trust them? >> that is what our bosses say so we need to trust our bosses. >> reporter: but safecast believes people should trust in the data and the more people who are gathering it, the better. volunteers are designing a new, sleek, inexpensive geiger counter that they hope to begin distributing in the spring.
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but the non-profit is not stopping there or here. >> so i think the goal really is when we started to try to solve the data scarcity problem about japan, we realize that there was a systemic problem in the way that data is collected and disseminated, interpreted everywhere. and we're already starting to think about how do we measure pollution, how do we measure all kinds of other things. and so, i think a lot of things will come out of this incident. and so, this democratization of science is really, really important in fixing the worlds problems because it's not going to happen top down. >> reporter: are you guys anti- nuclear or do you take up position? >> no, not at all. >> reporter: you're just pro- data. >> we just know that there's data that exist and there's data that should exist and creating it, the data doesn't take a side one way or the other. and so if we just can get the data and give it to the people that are being immediately affected by it, then that's a good thing.
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with light dimming, our sunday drive for data ended here in the town of katsurao adding about 12,000 readings to a database of more than 1.25 million. no one is here, only the police making sure we were not looters. and so it is hard to say if this lonely dog will ever see its owners again. do we have anything to feed him? sadly, no amount of data gathering can change that fact or erase this scene. >> brown: we've launched something new on our science page online. it's called "science thursday." each week we'll feature a fresh video, slideshow or blog post. tonight, find photos and a story about the fate of dogs and cats abandoned in the exclusion zone. plus, miles talked with hari about his reporting trip to japan. >> woodruff: and to republican presidential politics.
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texas governor rick perry moved today to rebound from his embarrassing lapse at last night's debate. we're joined by "newshour" political editor david chalian to walk us through the highlights of the debate beginning with that big perry flub. dwafd, let's get to that moment everybody is talking about. >> and i'll tell you, it's three agencies of government when i get there that are begun, commerce, education and the-- uh-- was's the third one there-- let's see -- >> you mean five. >> oh, five. >> so commerce, education and-- uh, the, the, --. >> epa. >> epa there you go. >> let's talk deficit reduction. >> seriously, is epa the one you were talking about. >> no, sir, no, sir, we were talking about the agencies of government, the epa needs to be rebuilt. >> but you can't name the third one? >> the third agency of government i would do away
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with, education, the-- i-- commerce and let's see-- i can't-- the third one i can't, sorry. oopses. >> woodruff: it's almost pain tfl to watch s so how much damage has that done. >> if it was any other candidate the damage might be limited because everybody can understand having a total mental laps like that. we've all been in positions like that. the problem for rick perry is that a moment like that feeds into a larger narrative about his campaign, judy. the debates have been a major trouble spot for him from the moment he got not race. he has looked unprepared and unable to debate his competitors on the stage. this was by far the worst flub he had and that just feeds into the notion that he is not ready for prime time. republicans, all around washington and around the campaign trail today are saying you know it's hard for voters to envision him going up against barack obama in a fall debate. and this although it won't be a death blow to his campaign is a serious problem problem for him that
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he knows he is working to get back from. >> woodruff: we have all had lapses but still a lot of people were watching. so he's been spending all day today going around trying to take the sting out of this, how is that working. >> he blanketed the airwaves this morning. he went to five different network morning shows. de afternoon cable interviews all to poke fun at himself. tonight he is going to give the top ten list on david letterman's prompt on the cbs shows he does on late night. so he taking an approach here where he is trying to poke fun so that he can do as much of that as possible to quickly turn the corner. but this moment is not going away. these 53 seconds on youtube will now help define the rick perry candidacy. >> woodruff: next the candidate that is getting most of the attention going into the debate herman kane. not welcome attention from the accusations from these women who were talking about sexual harassment. let's look at the question that was posed to him last night and see how he handled it. >> mr. cain, the american people want jobs. but they also want leadership. they want character in a president. in recent days, we have learned that four different
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women have accused you of inappropriate behavior. here we're focusing on character and on judgement. you have been a c.e.o. -- >> yes-- you know that shareholders are reluctant to hire a c.e.o. where there are character issues. why should the american people hire a president if they feel there are character issues? >> the american people deserve better than someone being tried in the court of public opinion, based on unfounded accusations. that's what-- (cheers and applause) >> and i value my character and my integrity more than anything else. and for every one person that comes forward with a false accusation, there are probably-- there are thousands who would say none of that sort of activity ever came from herman cain.
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>> woodruff: so where does all this stand right now? >> well, that story still stands as a potential problem for his campaign. we will see if any further information comes out or if additional women make any claims. those questions aren't going away for him. but listen to the crowd in that answer. you heard the boos to the question, the applause to his answer this is herman-- herman cain drumming up support within the republican base. he's now starting to play the victim a little bit here, blaming the media. he is going after the women who are making accusations now and really trying to destroy their credibility. his campaign announced today he's raised $9 million since october 1st, 2.5 million since the accusations were made public. >> woodruff: you're right, you could hear the boos, you could hear the cheers to his answer. so finally the other front-runner along with cain right now, mitt romney. let's lock at a question that was posed by cnbc's john harwood this is what some would say is romney's greatest vulnerability. >> what you can say to republicans to persuade them that the things you say in
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the campaign are rooted in something deeper than the fact that you are running for office. >> john, i think people know me pretty well, particularly in this state, in the state of massachusetts, new hampshire, close by, utah where i served on the olympics. i think people understand that i am a man of steadiness and constance. i don't think are you going find somebody who has more of those attributes than i do. i have been married to the same woman for 25-- excuse me, i get in trouble, for 42 years. i have-- i have been in the same church my entire life. i worked at one company, bain for 25 years. and i left that go-go off and help save the olympic games. i think it's outrage us that the obama campaign continues to push this idea when you have in the obama administration the most political presidency we've seen in modern history. they're actually deciding when to pull out of afghanistan based on politics. >> woodruff: he added a miniflub when he talked about how many years he had been married. but david, it's not just the obama campaign going after
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him on inconsistency, it's the other republicans. >> of course, in fact jon huntsman campaign put out a youtube clip with a laugh track under this notion when mitt romney said he is the sim doll-- symbol-- symbol of constance. they have all, perry, huntsman, his competitors have been going after his notion this say caricature of him drawn in the 2008 presidential campaign. he has to the been able to shed it he has flip flopped on certain issues. certainly the issue of abortion. but he, when i found so interesting about this answer, judy is he is now going after this right into the headwind. he knows this is his key vulnerable. and if he is not able to turn around this image of him as somebody without a core, he's going to be in trouble. he needs to solve this now and in fact it is also very much he's right, the obama campaign and dn c-drive this message every day. >> any early sense whether this approach is working? >> no early sense it is working but it is a new approach from romney to handle it head on to. try to make 9 argument.
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he's chipping away at the frame that his competitors on the stage and the obama campaign are building around him. >> david chalian, political editor, thanks very much. >> pie pleasure, thank you >> brown: finally tonight: another in our "economist film project" series. this one is the story of a unique linguistic project, one that's revived the ancient culture of a modern indian tribe. the wampanog indians of southeastern massachusetts stopped speaking their native language 150 years ago. but in 1993, jessie little-bird- baird began trying to restore their fluency and filmmaker anne makepeace chronicled her efforts. here's an excerpt from the documentary, "we still live here." >> ( speaking in wampanoag )
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>> we were discussing whether or not there should be a language program. do we want to bring it back? you know, should we bring it back? how do we do it? >> we had committees from gay head and from assonet and from all the different wampanoag communities. we had to bring it all together and figure out how we could get it in a cohesive way. >> the decision was finally made that, yes, we're going to try to work on this language and were going to support it fully and we're going to work together, which was an historic decision in and of itself. >> nobody said no. nobody said, i'm not interested. nobody said, don't do it. this never happens, i tell you. >> okay. >> luckily, we had the written language there to see where the basis of where it all came from. all the town halls around here and a lot of the original deeds, you know, a lot of the original documents are all in wampanoag. if you go back far enough, you'll find them. and she's, oh, yeah, and she started looking around.
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>> we're just lucky that the native written documents for this language is the largest corpus of native written documents on the continent. >> ( speaking in wampanoag ) >> ( speaking in wampanoag ) >> in the beginning, when we first started meeting, we discovered that we really needed a trained individual. >> ( speaking in wampanoag ) >> and at the time, i was working in human services. i had absolutely no training in linguistics. some months later, an application for a research fellowship at m.i.t. was given to me at a tribal meeting. i opened it up and it said that you could have a research fellowship there for a year, and you could research anything you wanted for a year. so i thought, oh, i wonder if that school has linguistics.
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and i looked, and lo and behold, it's one of the premier linguistic institutes in the world. >> yeah, they have to be animate, right, because it moves? >> here we go. i'm going... i'm going to name... i'm going to name off some nouns, and i want you to tell me whether or not they're animate. and if they're animate, tell me which rule. apply. okay. ( laughter ) what about the stars? >> they're animate. they're shooting stars. ( chuckles ) >> because stars, they actually change their position in the sky. so what about the sun? >> inanimate, because it doesn't move. >> what does that mean wampanoag people knew? >> the world wasn't flat. >> they knew the world was moving and not the sun, yet they knew the moon was. they were... they were really brilliant about their environment. so that was huge for me. when i learned that, i'm like, oh, you know? europeans just figured this out a few hundred years ago, and
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we've known straight along. but if you figured there was a time when there was nothing else here but the earth. >> you have a kind of access to your own language that you can never have to somebody else's language. so there are all kinds of linguistic insights that are only available to native speakers. >> so it's animate. all the birds, all the animals, all the bugs, all the flies, all animate. >> so there are all kinds of things that we can only learn about these languages if native speakers will begin to work on them. >> and that means wampanoag language.
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right along with the songs, ceremony and recognition of our own people of those things. and that's something that has come back with the language. it's really a connection with those who have gone on before us. >> we are still the first people of this land. and we are still connected. >> all of our songs, they have stories that go with them, reasons why we've made them and there is an appropriateness. it feels right inside. it just makes that connection that much deeper. >> you are learning, the continuum of learning has just-- there's not a beginning and end, there's just some of to know. i mean we've got to get people to be able to have casual conversation first without a break, without having to stop and think about every word. and we just don't have that yet.
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( speaking in wampanoag ) >> the language is not just words. i mean o it's a culture, a tradition, a unionification of the community, a whole history that creates what a community is. it's all embodied in the language. so it's really the revival of the culture and a way of life >> brown: jessie little-bird- baird went on to earn a masters degree in linguistics from m.i.t. and a macarthur genius grant in 2010. she continues her work on the project.
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there are now more than 13,000 words in the wampanog dictionary and more students learn the language every year. "we still live here" airs on the pbs program "independent lens" on november 17. >> woodruff: again, the major developments of the day: fallout from the penn state sex abuse scandal continued, after coach joe paterno was sacked last night. world markets stabilized greece and italy worked to form new governments. the dow industrials gained more than 100 points. and the state department ordered changes in the route of a proposed oil pipeline from canada. it could delay a final decision on the politically charged project until after next year's elections. online, we preview ray's next story from nicaragua. hari sreenivasan explains. hari? >> sreenivasan: ray looks at efforts to provide a life-saving vaccine for pneumonia. the supreme court will decide soon whether to hear challenges to the president's health care
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law. marcia coyle assesses five legal questions behind those cases. plus judy filed a blog post about the sexual harassment allegations surrounding herman cain and lessons learned from campaigns past. all that and more is on our web site: newshour.pbs.org. jeff? >> brown: and that's the "newshour" for tonight. i'm jeffrey brown. and i'm judy woodruff. we'll see you online and again here tomorrow evening with mark shs anldd david brooks, among others. thank you and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: vi
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>> and by the bill and melinda gates foundation. dedicated to the idea that all people deserve the chance to live a healthy productive life. 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 access.wgbh.org
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