tv PBS News Hour PBS June 21, 2012 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> brown: the supreme court ruled on three high profile cases today, touching on broadcast indecency, crack cocaine sentencing and enforcing union dues. good evening. i'm jeffrey brown. >> suarez: and i'm ray suarez. on the newshour tonight: we explore the high court's decisions with marcia coyle of the "national law journal." >> brown: then, the latest from the campaign trail and an in depth look at the huge amounts of money being raised and spent already. >> suarez: special correspondent john tulenko reports on community colleges rethinking remedial classes and trying new approaches to help the least prepared students succeed. >> they're coming here with a great emphasis on making their lives better. the first thing we say to them
is "not so fast there. you're not really in college, you can't take college-level courses, you've got to take these developmental courses." >> brown: we update the north carolina eugenics story as state lawmakers pass a budget without the compensation promised to victims of forced sterilization. >> suarez: from the west african nation of niger, we examine a once-in-a-generation famine threatening the lives of hundreds of thousands of children. >> every child here is at serious risk of dying. for each bed there is a skeletal frame. >> brown: and the euro-zone crisis comes to the soccer field as greece meets germany in the euro championship quarterfinals. that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> this is the at&t network-- a living, breathing intelligence bringing people together to bring new ideas to life. >> look, it's so simple. >> in a year, the bright minds from inside and outside the company come together to work on
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and immigration cases won't be known until next week. marcia coyle of the "national law journal" was in the courtroom today and can tell us more. marcia, on the big broadcast indecency question, the justices called the f.c.c. rules "vague." they sided with the broadcasters. but did they take on the big first amendment questions having to do with the regulating of content on broadcast television? >> no, they didn't, ray. it was a case... a long-running case that we've all been following closely and it sort of fizzled in a sense. the justices... this was known as the case of the bleeding expletives and naked buttocks. it involved two networks, fox and abc. fox had shown the billboard music awards in two separate instances, singer share on one show used the "f" word. nicole richie on the other used the "s" word. abc had shown about seven seconds of the naked back of a
woman entering a shower on the defunct t.v. show ""n.y.p.d. blue"." and they challenged the f.c.c.'s indecency regulations as you said under the first amendment as vague and violating first amendment speech protections. but the court today unanimously did not address first amendment, instead they said these shows happened before the f.c.c. had changed its indecency regulations to focus on leading expletives and so the broadcasters were not given their notice that they could be violating those regulations. and that is a violation of due process. due process requires notice. so the court... and then the court specifically said also that it was not addressing the first amendment. that it also would not revisit as it was asked the 1978
pacifica decision which we all know as george carlin's infamous famous seven dirty words monologue on the radio. the court said instead the f.c.c. now has time to think about its indecency regulations and the lower courts may possibly deal with the first amendment issue in some other case and probably in some other case it will return to the supreme court. >> suarez: it's hard to believe it was 34 years since the george carlin routine. but does a broadcaster come away from this decision with any rough guide on how to proceed? did the supreme court help out broadcasters by saying okay, here's what you can do, here are the rules of the road. >> it really did not. it helped out fox and abc in these specific instances. the court did talk about vagueness problems that could arise under the first amendment but basically i think it was sending a warning to the f.c.c.
that there may be problems with these regulations. for now the broadcasters are also warn that they could violate the f.c.c. regulars. the f.c.c. can still enforce what's on the book. >> the crack cocaine case was aimed at a fairly narrow group of people. they had been convicted but not sentenced under the old formula of penalizing crack cocaine more heavily than the same amount of powdered cocaine. what did the justices decide? >> the justices decide the fair sentencing act of 2010 wh which congress passed in order to lower the mandatory minimum sentences for crack offenders does apply to that narrow band of offenders who were convicted before the 2010 law but sentenced after the 2010 law. just breyer wrote the opinion this was a 5-4 decision. the court was closely decided.
justice breyer noted there is a strong presumption against retroactive application of more lenient laws. there's a federal law that requires congress to expressly state its intent to retroactively apply a lenient law. justice breyer says you don't need magic words. you can look at what congress was doing here to divine its intent and he found that in six separate areas. and most importantly he said if they did not apply this more lenient law there would not be uniform sentencing. and that's very important. there continue to be disproportionate sentencing for these offenders for years down the road. >> suarez: well, there's a much larger group of prisoners now serving time who were convicted under the old formulas and if they had committed their crime today they would have gotten much less time. is there any relief for them in today's decision? >> no, there isn't. the u.s. sentencing commission had urged the court to make
it... the law fully retroactive but the court stuck to the issue that was before it, just this narrow band of offenders. >> suarez: the service employees international union case had to do with union dues, political activity and public employees. this is a complicated one. what did the justices rule? >> very basically, the union wanted to impose a mid-year special assessment on members and non-members in order to raise money to react to ballot initiatives in california that were anti-union. some non-members of the union challenged that assessment as violating their first amendment rights. the supreme court said today, just alito wrote the decision, that if the first amendment requires the union to give a fresh notice to members of what this assessment is for, it cannot rely on the initial notice it provides with annual dues and it cannot collect money
from non-members unless those non-members affirmatively agree. this was a slight shifting of the law away from requiring non-members to opt out. and what that does in a sense is it takes away some of the flexibility that unions have to respond to emergencies that come up during the year. >> suarez: and gives employees the option to not pay into these special political action groups. >> absolutely. >> suarez: let's talk about what the court has been like while you've been waiting for these two big decisions, most notably on the affordable care act. >> well, you would think something important was going to happen at the supreme court this week. monday in particular the courtroom was packed, the press room was overflowing. monday and today, decision days, if you walked to the front of the supreme court outside you would see television cameras,
t.v. lights, they're lined up at the foot of the plaza in front of the supreme court. the supreme court's public information office has had to create an overflow room to provide opinions to reporters and inside the courtroom, especially on monday seats were full, you know the justices are well aware of what's happening. justice kagan had to announce a decision and she began by saying "this is a case about sovereign in unity and prudential standing." and then she paused and said "maybe not what you all came for today." >> suarez: so there must be a little bit of letdown when the decisions come and it's not the big one. >> i think so. everybody's predicting... somebody's always predicting that it's coming today, it's coming today and it hasn't come yet. >> suarez: marcia coyle, thanks a lot. >> my pleasure, ray. >> brown: still to
come on the newshour: the money trail in the 2012 campaign; community colleges struggle to help students at all levels; broken promises to victims of forced sterilization; west african famine; and greece and germany do battle on the soccer field. but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: a spate of grim economic reports sent wall street down sharply today. stocks fell on weak manufacturing numbers in the u.s. and china, and disappointment with the federal reserve's limited stimulus action. the dow jones industrial average had its second worst drop this year, down nearly 251 points to close at 12,573. the nasdaq fell 71 points to close at 2,859. oil prices also dropped again to just over $78 a barrel. that's the lowest in nearly nine months. and late today the senate rating firm moody's downgraded the debt ratings of 125 big banks including citigroup, bank of america and j.p. morgan chase. commerce secretary john bryson has resigned after suffering a seizure while driving in southern california this month. bryson is 68 years old. on june 9, he was involved in a series of traffic accidents near los angeles. he was later found unconscious in his car. in a letter to president obama
today, bryson said he was stepping down because of his health. a jury in pennsylvania began deliberating today in the child molesting trial of former penn state football coach jerry sandusky. he is accused of sexually abusing ten boys over 15 years. shortly after the jury went out, one of sandusky's adopted sons said through his lawyer that he had been ready to testify that sandusky abused him, too. for more, i'm joined by joel achenbach of "the washington post." he's outside the courthouse in bellefonte, pennsylvania. so, joel, as big a statement as this is, as important as this news might be, the jury's never going to hear it, right? >> the jury doesn't know about this. it's a bombshell announcement to have a new accuser that hits so close to home to sandusky. if it was a foster child... it was a foster child the family later adopted. it's their sixth adoptive child and he was here at the trial at the very beginning. he was on the witness list and the people on the witness list had to be sequestered, including
dotty sandusky, the defendant's wife. so this was an announcement that just hit this afternoon, it confirmed a report earlier on nbc which also said that the reason sandusky didn't testify yesterday was because the prosecution had in its back pocket this surprise accuser, the adopted son. so the jury is deliberating now. they've ordered dinner. we'll wait and see how long it will take for them to reach a verdict. is. >> sreenivasan: what about closing arguments? you got to hear both sides today. how did the defense lay it out? >> well, the defense gave a rousing close. joe amendola for sandusky basically said it's an elaborate conspiracy by overzealous prosecutors and the news media and out-of-town big city lawyers who want to cash in on lawsuit. the prosecutor had the most dramatic moment. he gave kind of a rambling close
he seemed to lose his train of thought but at the very end, he walked over and stood directly behind and next to jerry sandusky who kind of whirled around and seemed alarmed. the prosecutor was so close he could have leaned on sandusky's head. the prosecutors said "give him the justice he deserves. find him guilty of everything." >> sreenivasan: and let's talk a little bit about the composition of the jury. so many of them have deep connections to penn state, right? >> well, that's one of the points that joe amendola may have been trying to play on. i mean, we have penn state professors, we have penn state students, all these people are local. this is not an out-of-town jury and amendola said, hey, the president has resigned, that was the president of pen state, the coach is dead, that's a reference to joe paterno, he made a reference to these out-of-town lawyers so he may have been playing on local sensibilities. >> sreenivasan: thank you so much.
the senate passed a five-year farm bill today in a rare display of bipartisanship. the half-trillion-dollar measure will end some crop subsidies. instead, there is a greater reliance on federal crop insurance. supporters said it is the first major overhaul of federal agriculture programs in decades. opponents argued it still falls short. the house is working on its own farm bill, and conservatives there are pressing for deeper cuts. in egypt, crowds turned out in cairo as islamists protested that the ruling military is moving to keep power for itself. election officials were supposed to name the winner of the presidential election today, but they postponed the announcement. we have a report narrated by lindsey hilsum of independent television news. >> reporter: muslim brotherhood supporters in tahrir square today. they fear that the delay in announcing the election result means that egypt's military council is about to steal the presidency. >> ( translated ): the egyptian people will not accept the falsification of the election. they expressed their will and elected the man they want to see in power.
>> reporter: the muslim brotherhood candidate, mohammed morsi, is widely believed to have won, but it was a close-run thing and the military may yet announce that their man, general ahmed shafiq, is the victor. today's demonstrators are islamists, the secular young people who spearheaded last year's uprising now pushed to the margins. egypt's military and the brotherhood are pitted against each other as they have been for the last half century. >> the secular political parties and youth groups are divided between choosing one of the two evils, and the entire debate is on which is the lesser evil at the moment. >> reporter: former president >> reporter: the military council has dissolved the freely elected parliament, and it-- not the new president-- will control the budget, security, the constitution and foreign policy. the military council is now reported to be discussing a deal over the presidency with the
muslim brotherhood. it's a far cry from the ideals which drove the tahrir square protestors last year. >> sreenivasan: the generals took power after the ouster of president hosni mubarak. he remained at a military hospital today amid conflicting reports about the state of his health. it turns out that heart attacks trigger post-traumatic stress disorder in one out of eight patients, and the stress can double the risk of dying from a second heart attack. researchers at columbia university medical center reported the findings today based on the results of 24 smaller studies. p.t.s.d. has long been known to affect combat veterans and victims of violent crime. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to jeff. >> brown: money flowing in, money flowing out, and candidates making their cases on hand-picked issues. we begin our political update on the campaign trail. ♪ i was born free... >> sreenivasan: for mitt romney, immigration was the issue of the day as he addressed a national conference of latino officials in orlando, florida.
it came a week after president obama announced a new policy against deporting children of illegal immigrants. today, romney again stopped short of saying he'd revoke the decision even as he criticized it. >> as president, i wont settle for a stopgap measure. i will work with republicans and democrats to build a long-term solution. ( applause ) and i will prioritize measures that strengthen legal immigration and make it easier. and i will address the problem of illegal immigration in a civil and resolute manner. >> brown: the republican hopeful said he'd complete a 2000-mile border fence to stop illegal immigration, but he also called for giving green card priority to immigrants with families and to those doing graduate work in the u.s. >> i'll work with states and
employers to update our temporary worker visa program so that it meets our economic needs. and if you get an advanced degree here, we want you to stay here. so i'd staple a green card to the diploma of someone who gets an advanced degree in america. ( applause ) >> brown: and romney talked at length about the economy, an issue he said should resonate with hispanic voters. >> i'd ask each of you to honestly look at last three and a half years and ask whether we can do better. is the america of 11% hispanic unemployment the america of our dreams? we can do better. we can prosper again. >> brown: the president will address the same conference tomorrow, but today he was focused on federal student loan interest rates which are set to go up at the end of the month unless congress prevents the increase. >> we're ten days away from
7.5 million students seeing loan rates double because congress hasn't acted. this should be a no-brainer. this is something that should have gotten done weeks ago. >> brown: mr. obama called on congress to act, and he rejected republican claims that he's pushing the issue mainly to shift attention away from the economy. >> that doesn't make much sense because this is the economy. this is all about the economy. this is all about whether or not we are going to have the best trained, best educated workforce in the world. that improves our economy. >> brown: in the meantime, new fundraising reports from the candidates and their super-pac backers underscored the huge amounts of money being raised and spent so far, where it's coming from and where it's going. and we pick up that part of the story now with two reporters who crunched the numbers when the reports were filed last night: ken vogel of politico and matea gold of the "los angeles times." so a lot of numbers thrown out
last night. before we get to specifics. just a general question, what jumped out at you marx tae ya first? what stood out? >> i think what came into sharp relief last night was how much money obama is spending. he burned through more than $44 million last month that was three times as much as he did the previous month and that was largely to respond to these outside groups that have been flooding the airwaves with ads attacking him and trying to frame his record this suspect ads coming from mitt romney, this is coming from groups such as americans for prosperity and cross roads g.p.s. and this has been forcing obama to go up on the air early on in a big way in this campaign. >> brown: ken vogel, what jumped out at you? >> i was surprised by mitt romney's ability to bank on this vast network of big donors he spent years cultivating. as soon as he left the massachusetts's governor's mansion he started running for president in 2008, started building this network of big donors. of courseix candidate for the nomination of your party you're not able to
accept those big donations so this time around he see his super pac, one of these outside groups that is supporting that i mean matea mentioned bagging on these big donors but last month, may, it was first month what mitt romney by virtue of essentially securing the nomination and forming a joint fund-raising committee with the republican national committee was able to accept big checks, $75,000, $800,000 checks. he accepted them hand over fist and on the strength of that it was the first month in which romney was able to outraise obama. >> brown: we started with president obama, we have a graphic of how much he's raised so far machlt tae ya, what do we see? >> well, presidents ba imano slacker in the fund-raising department, although he was outraised by romney last time and his campaign says they're bracing to be iutraised again in june. but he's raised close to $200 million, perhaps more than that just in his direct campaign committee more through this
joint committee he has with the dean see. he's been able to do the large check fund-raisers for a while now. >> brown: most of the money going to his direct campaign and less through the super pacs. >> the super pac that has been campaigning on behalf of the president has had nowhere near the success as republican outside groups have working on behalf of mitt romney. although they did have their best month last month and they say they're seeing an uptick. >> brown: let' look athe t mttit romney and you can walk us through there. it's mmohor fre the super pacs affiliad. f lyfiliated? al? at is the right word tose u? >> supporters. u >>ey pell:. >> brown: explain regulationship. >> these groups were made possible by a federal court rule called expenditure only independent political action committees and they're allowed to set unlimited funds to support or oppose a candidate as long as they don't coordinate with the campaign. and what that means is kind of a
great area. there is no definition. mitt romney has helped raise money for this super pac supporting him, mitt romney's former aides are running the super pac supporting him so this super pac has the sort of unofficial print of mitt romney and his big do or ins know if they want to help him yet they can give $75,000 but if they really want to help him they can write six, seven, even eight figure checks to the super pac. >> brown: speaking of that, where what do where we see where each one is getting their money? >> we'll see a huge amount of wall street money going to mitt romney and to the outside groups working on his behalf but many groups we have no idea where the money is going to and the vast majority of the spending has been what is coined dark money and we don't know who's funding these tax-exempt advocacy groups such as cross roads g.p.s.,
americans for prosperity and other organizations so while we can see some of the disclosure reports, you can see what the super pacs are raising we can't see where a lot of these groups are getting their money. >> brown: when the candidates go out directly they target... they do target specific funders. you've heard about the celebrity fund-raisers from the president, mitt romney's having a version of that i guess this weekend >> and democrats have struggled to compete in the unlimited money arena. there are a few groups they've targeted for big money, including hollywood, dreamworks animation c.e.o. jeffrey katzenberg is the biggest donor to the pro-obama super pac. the gay community also very excited about president obama, his "don't ask, don't tell"... his administration revoking that policy and his statement in support of gay marriage. but that doesn't really go a long way to answering this huge flow of money on the right and you hear a lot of big democratic donors just uneasy with this
type of campaign finance regime the last time they played heavily in it was 2004 when they spent around $200 million going after president bush, viously the result there wassh unsuccessful. >> brown: i want to put upwo more graphics of how the money has been spent. isth..e. from president obama. that's a lot of money in the.. month of may. right? r ret'mos mo than he brought in the month which was $39 million so we're seeing a tremendous burn rate. as i said earlier, most of that went to $29 million of that, went to this massive television ad buy in battleground states and we're seeing the terms of this election are being fought out right now on the airwaves incredibly early. >> brown: that's where the money is going. >> and many people have told me they feel like this race is going to be framed and decidedfo in the... before labor day on the airwaves. >> brown: i want to put up the mitt romney spending
>> mitt romney, unlike obama, has been able to sit back and recruit that with this very bitter republican primary. he had the benefit of the outside groups going up on the air, we call it political jargon as giving him air cover so that he is able to preserve his funds and rebuild his bank account in preparation. >> brown: that number suggests he's spending less in the president but it's the super pacs that are weighing in and spending more. >> that's8zdxy right. so he has the benefit of these super pacs that he doesn't have to do the dirty work that the super pacs are doing on his behalf. >> brown: ken vogel marx tae ya gold, thanks so much. >> brown: for more on the presidential campaign, visit our "politics" page. we have a dispatch from orlando with reaction to romney's speech and a report on what senator marco rubio told reporters about how the republican party should handle immigration issues. and, as always, you can find political analysis in the "morning line."
>> suarez: now, why some community colleges are rethinking their approach to basic courses. the schools have long been a place where students are required to fill in gaps in their high school education, but there are important questions about how well it works. and now there's a move to change the way it's done. special correspondent john tulenko from learning matters has the story. >> reporter: community colleges, with low tuition and open door admissions, are enrolling record numbers of students-- especially minority students and returning adults-- all of them with high hopes, says teacher peter adams. >> they're coming here with a great emphasis on making their lives better. a lot of them have worked in fairly low paying, insecure jobs, and they want a better career. >> reporter: but as community colleges across the country have discovered, the vast majority of students arrives unprepared.
>> and the first thing we say to them is, "not so fast. you're not really in college. you can't take college level courses. you've got to take these developmental courses." >> reporter: catch-up classes that do not count toward certificates and degrees. that's where more than half of all community college students and two-thirds of black and latino students are placed. >> i've had to take a lot of non-credit classes. i don't want my kids to end up like i was. i want them to have the knowledge to go to college. >> reporter: after she was laid off last year, revone gifford went back to school to earn a social work degree. it's her third attempt at community college since graduating high school in 1994. her previous tries stalled at developmental math. >> i hated it. the professors would go so fast. and if you ask a question, i have to break down each thing,
and i might ask 30 questions on one subject. i couldn't keep up. >> reporter: like revon, 40% of all students required to enroll in basic skills courses find their college dreams end there. >> it's a great individual cost. they've spent tuition money and their time, and they walk away with nothing. but the state is paying a price, too, because the state is paying for that, as well. >> reporter: according to advocates like stan jones of complete college america, basic skills courses cost taxpayers about $3 billion each year. >> it doesn't work. actually, if you and i were both assigned to take remedial courses and you skipped it, you would actually do better in your first math course than i would having taken the remedial sequence. >> reporter: at many places, remedial courses simply repeat the kind of instruction that didn't work in high school. it's no wonder the results are the same. but now, a growing number of community colleges are trying new approaches to help the least prepared students succeed. anne arundel community college in maryland is one of them. here, half the students in basic
skills math courses were failing, so, last fall, the community college gave new students the option of taking the course online. >> they're working where they need to work. students come in with different holes in their mathematical backgrounds. some people might just need small pieces filled in; others may not have studied algebra in their life. lecture class does not allow that flexibility. >> reporter: math department chair alicia morse helped start the new program. >> the computer provides small video lectures, it provides powerpoint, it provides step-by- step solutions at the problem level. so it's a very robust learning system, and it gives them options. >> i like it because i can go back and break it down. i don't feel threatened by... because it shows me how to do it, and that's why i think it
works best for me. >> reporter: students attend lab classes twice a week, but they can also work online-- even on smartphones-- and finish the course sooner. elsewhere, short, computer-based courses targeting only areas of weakness, called mini-modules, have replaced semester-long remediation. for many students, the enemy is time. >> it's really about attrition. it takes too long to get to the regular college level work. >> reporter: how long can a student be in remedial courses? >> as long as two years. >> reporter: long stints in remediation used to be the norm at the community college of baltimore county, and students were unhappy from the start. peters adams teaches basic skills writing. >> for the first three or four weeks, students were all really depressed and sometimes hostile because their high school teacher always told them they were a good writer and how come they have to pay for this class and pay for it and they don't get credit! >> reporter: adams believed that hostility contributed to a
nearly 70% dropout rate in remedial writing classes, so he proposed a new approach: >> do you have any questions about this class? >> reporter: today, developmental students jump straight into this full credit english 101 class, right alongside their better prepared peers. directly afterwards, they meet with the teacher for an extra hour of instruction. >> all of a sudden, there is no resentment, no hostility. the student no longer sees the developmental class as a hurdle keeping them from english 101. they're in english 101, and the developmental class is something they're taking that will help them in the class. so you no longer have to say this is something that will be really useful to you next semester; it's useful right now. >> i thought it was going to be more difficult, but it's not. >> reporter: bob miller teaches the class. i can imagine some people thinking, is it bad for the students who are at grade level? no, i don't believe there's any effect at all.
there's no dumbing down, there's no making it easier. the developmental students, they want to do better than the students who were placed directly into the first semester english. >> reporter: from a 70% failure rate, basic skills writing now has a 70% pass rate. but community colleges have been slow to copy success. small classes like this are more expensive to run. done the old way, remediation brings in badly needed tuition revenue that often supports other departments. >> it's its own industry now. there are dev. ed. departments at most colleges. they bring in money on their remedial programs. >> reporter: so it's kind of a cash cow? >> it is. it's unto itself. and we're trying to break through that and say the point is to get students in credit courses. >> reporter: back at anne arundel community college, more students are completing basic skills math, up from 50% to 60%.
ravone gifford, who found work while she was in school, had failed the class twice before trying it again on computers. >> i passed it, and, to be able to go onto the next step, i feel much more intelligent. my self-esteem gets a boost. i'm not failing, and i love the feeling. it's great for me. >> reporter: this spring, ms. gifford moved on to geometry and passed that, too. having finished her math requirements, she's well on her way to earning her degree. >> suarez: now, the battle over compensating victims of a eugenics program. many states in the u.s. had a sterilization program in the 20th century. but while involuntary sterilizations were abandoned in most places after world war ii, north carolina continued the practice for decades. it looked like it was going to
be the first state to pay victims for their suffering from those abuses, but what was a likely deal has fallen apart. north carolina house speaker thom tillis conceded defeat wednesday after the state senate rebuffed appeals to compensate victims of forced sterilizations. >> i said if eugenics didn't occur, it would be a personal failure. and at this point, it is, and it's something i'll continue to work on. >> suarez: between 1929 and 1974, north carolina sterilized 7,600 people deemed "feeble- minded" or promiscuous. elaine riddick was 14 at the time. >> i was basically in the bed 15 to 17 days out of a month hemorrhaging because of this. >> suarez: democratic governor bev perdue wanted $10 million, enough to pay $50,000 to each of the 146 known living victims. >> aye!
>> suarez: the measure overwhelmingly cleared the state house in may, but yesterday the state senate announced a budget without money for victims. >> there was no ability to develop consensus on one path forward with reference to eugenics. >> suarez: lawmakers will vote on a final budget later this week. we get more on all this from john frank, a reporter covering the story for the "news and observer" in charolette. he joins us from raleigh. this agreement was first announced to compensate those who had been sterilized without their consent, was there any anticipation that it was going to run into an inability to get appropriated money? >> from the beginning when the eugenics task force first approved the $50,000 payments in january, victims were hopeful. house speaker tom tillis, a powerful republican, got on board early and backing some form of compensation he put legislation in motion and put
hit in the state budget. so victims for more hopeful tham they'd ever been. north carolina has discussed compensating victims for more than a decade and the state apologized in 2002. this was the victims' closest chance to get money. if there was opposition in the beginning it was quiet but all along as in any political process the deal is far from done until the budget was inked. >> suarez: here we are running up against deadlines and end-of-session pressures. state senator don east said "i'm sorry it happened, i don't think money fixes it." senator jerry tillman said "a great wrong was done but we didn't do it." is that more of the sentiment you're starting to hear from senators as they don't follow through on the lower house's promise? >> that is the sentiment. this is a bipartisan plan.e house republicans and democrats were on board. the democratic governor was on
board even though she's clashed with republicans in the legislature quite a number of times. but in the senate republicans were wary of taking up issue at all for, as you mentioned, budget reasons. in a ticket budget period they thought $10 million could be larger spent. there were other reasons. republicans didn't want to deal with the issue at all. they felt the current generation shouldn't have to compensate for a previous generation's sins. >> brown: that's interesting because's two different arguments, whether it's about money, whether north carolina can really afford to do this or whether the past sort of belongs to the past and just can't right past wrongs with money. >> it's true. we heard both avenues from republicans in the senate. this is particularly coming from conservatives in the caucus. it reps a divide in the republicans in north carolina.
some are following the state's more tradition as more progressive for the south and others are sticking to more conservative tea party agenda and they could not reach agreement here and the senate didn't want to deal with it as you noted that was huge blow to the political capital to the republican house speaker and a big blow to the victims. they testified numerous times all across the state recounting these really horrible emotional trials that they went through many when they were quite young and they were pretty disappointed in how it came out, suggesting republicans were just waiting for them to die many of them are elderly. >> suarez: as we mentioned, the governor is for this settlement, you mentioned the house speaker and the house passed a version of the compensation plan. let's talk about legislative machinery. is this dead for the session almost without a doubt? >> almost without a doubt.
yes. the legislature is wrapping up their session, it will be done in a few days. to get the legislation through the actual bill money needed to be appropriated in the budget. the budget was passed by the house and senate today and sent to the governor with veto-proof majorities so the budget is essentially a done deal. >> suarez: there is an organization group, north carolina justice for sterilization victims' foundation. what's been their reaction to this last minute roadblock? >> horrible disappointment. they from the start were very optimistic. they spent a good amount of time working with the governor's task force trying to figure out the appropriate amount of compensation, working with lawmakers trying to educate them. so supporters claim ignorance for the senate's refusal to go along with this plan and this task force, this foundation worked quite hard to education people about this program which, as you noted, lasted well past other states.
>> brown:. >> suarez: have the victims talked about filing suit on their own? going either as a class action or individuals? >> one of the most outspoken victims, elaine riddick, told us yesterday she is considering a class action lawsuit against the state and is rallying support among her fellow victims. of course such a settlement would obviously take years and time that these victims don't have. from the legislative end, they'd have to start from scratch next year when the legislature return and crafts a new budget and new legislation. >> brown: john frank is from the "charlotte news and observer." thanks for joining us. >> thank you. >> brown: next, to a growing famine unfolding in west africa. million of lives are in danger and, according to the united nations, many of those threatened with starvation are children.
one of the largest and hardest hit countries is niger. rohit kachroo of independent television news traveled there and filed this report. ( crying ) >> reporter: in the hospitals of southern niger, a crisis is developing. this is what it looks like, this is what it sounds like. ( crying ) ibrahim is eight months old. his tiny body consumed by the effects of severe malnutrition. majet is in pain, hungry and desperately thirsty. yahaman is eight months old and struggling to stay alive. ameena's hair has been turned red by a lifetime without enough food, and so had her sister's. her mother tells me that she will stay until they get better. then there are those who worry their children might never improve. every child here is at serious
risk of dying. for each bed, there is a skeletal frame. as for a second year, a once in a generation hunger crisis strikes the children of africa. for many miles around, more young patients arrive all the time. that's more work for the doctors who have rarely seen anything like this. "the situation is serious," he says. "the admission rate is rising dramatically." right now across western africa, communities like this are caught between climate change, conflict and poverty. the women of the village complain about a lack of rain, but it's when i ask about food that they burst with anger. "too little, too expensive." their families may not survive the coming months, they say.
>> what you're looking at is a community across wide areas, communities that need assistance because, despite their best efforts, they have been pushed off their ability to cope. >> reporter: some help is here; the international response has been swifter than it has been in the past. but this is a crisis across many countries, affecting many millions. he wants to show us the wave of impact of international health earlier in the year.úi it's tons of a miracle peanut paste 23 cents a pact, an instant cure for many hungry children. but the village remains on a knife edge. >> all the children have the same kind of.tory we've tried to help them as much as we cantn.x and for sure the situation is variable.
>> reporter: variable because the rains then continue to fail and with mother nature as an enemy in aid that was given wasn't enough. the problems faced by people here are seen in every single village for hundreds of miles around here. and every mother here knows that there is a fine line between survival and catastrophe. so although food will help now, aid agencies say that equipment and education might prevent the next crisis. >> we go from, like, $80 to $120 the longer a child is under treatment. so basically this is a classic stitch in time saves nine. >> suarez: an update on two children featured in that story. the red-haired toddler ameena is improving, but eight-month old yahaman died the day after i.t.n.'s team left the hospital. special correspondent fred de sam lazaro has also been in niger. he's reporting on international efforts to stem the crisis. look for his story on the
newshour next month. >> brown: and finally tonight, european union? sure. but every four years, it's nation against nation. ( cheers and applause ) it featuring some of the best soccer and best players in the world. this year, the tournament is being hosted jointly by poland and the ukraine. and also, of course, this year, it comes against the backdrop of a continental crisis. tomorrow, a match-up with particular resonance-- germany, which completed a sweep of group competition by beating denmark last sunday, against greece, which earned its place with an upset victory over russia on saturday. some are calling it the "debt derby." on one side: greece, mired in an economic crisis and forced to seek an international bailout;
on the other, germany. chancellor angela merkel, who will attend the game, has led the push for tough austerity measures by the greeks. germany, a powerhouse on the field as well as economically, is favored to win. but greek fans hope their team's defense could give the underdog a victory to savor. some insight into the games and the stakes now from tommy smyth, longtime soccer analyst for espn who also appears on its nightly web show, "press pass." so, tony, for an american audience, explain how big a deal this is in europe as a matter of national pride. >> well, jack, when nations come together on the soccer field the temperatures run very high. keep in minds that this is 16 european nations, many of them very, very close neighbors and you also know what happens when neighbors come together but these neighbors are tied together in many ways but they are so far apart politically i
don't think that i've ever come across a tournament where the tension has been so high off the field. it's one thing to lose to a nation because you have a sporting rivalry with it, but to lose to the nation that you have political differences with it is absolutely shattering for the fans and this has been incredible to see. >> suarez: you've never seen it before, even though some of these countries have a history of war, a history of all kinds of problems but there's a particular tone this this one? >> yeah, i think because you know if you look back to the second world war and you can say yes, russia, poland, germany and greece, they all have a lot of differences and you know but that kind of slips in your mind a little bit, but this time because of the crisis that's in europe you can't abide it. it's everywhere. i mean, you can be a player in this tournament and even if you don't want to think about world war ii you have to think about what's happening in your country. i mean the greek player as said
"i want to do something big tomorrow. i want to do something that is going to make my nation smile." so you can tell that the players are so aware of what's happening. >> brown: tell us a little bit more about that particular match greece and germany. you've got the most-troubled nation, the strongest one, one of the poorest and certainly the richest ones. how much does that play into what's going on? >> well, obviously a miracle is gok to attend the game tomorrow so that's going to give the greek fans a real chance to voice their opinion in fact i'm being told that they've been asked to keep the sound down early in the game because they're afraid the greek fans are going to drown out the german national anthem. here you have a situation where you have the greeks who can knock the germans out of the euros and the germans are the ones that are keeping the greeks in the euro. so the politics are there. and i mean this would be a
fantastic victory for greece. remember in 2004 and strangely enough at that time they had a german manager, they managed to win the euro. so we were 150-1 when the tournaments started. their odds won't be quite as long tomorrow but this is a big one for them. germany are big favorites going into this. >> brown: i've been looking at various newspapers around europe with jokes and puns everywhere about greece will never exit the euro, one greek paper said. and they didn't mean the currency, they meant the competition. >> yeah, well, i would say that, you know, last week's elections in greece people were saying how long will greece be in the euro, it didn't really expect greece to be in the euro as long as they are. so i think the fact that greece is still in the euro is absolutely a victory for the war not just for greece. >> brown: joking aside here. how much rides on this?
i was watching... i happened to be watching the game last saturday when greece beat russia and i thought they're voting tomorrow, that was the day of their election and i wondered how much does a match like that play into a national psyche as they go to the polls. what do you think? >> well, i think the fact that the greeks were in good form, because they had won, i think it probably helped them in the election. if you're a happy voter you generally vote in a good manner and i think that's what we've seen with the greeks. but i guarantee you that in greece tomorrow or germany tomorrow you could rob stores and nobody would even see you because the country will come to a stand still while this game is on. there will be nobody on the street. it was the same in ireland and we didn't get very good results but what happens within a nation it's difficult for americans to understand it because it doesn't happen here but in these kind of sporting situations the nation comes to an absolute standstill.
it would be bedlam in both cases tomorrow. >> suarez:. >> brown: you said germany is the heavy favorite. who do you think will win? >> i think the germans will win. you know, soccer is a game, you play for 90 minutes, you look up at the scoreboard and the germans have won. i think that's the way it will be tomorrow, too. i think the germans will win this one. >> suarez:. >> brown: what about the whole thing? do you want to go out on a limb with the whole tournament? >> i'm already on record with espn saying germany will win the tournament. they were my favorites coming in i haven't seen anything to change my mind. if you're watching the game tomorrow, watch for a man called swinesteiger. he dominates for germany and if you have an interest in the game watch for swinesteiger and you will see something very special. >> brown: the german powerhouse on and off the field. tommy smith of espn, thanks so much. >> thank you very much.
>> suarez: again, the major developments of this day. a pennsylvania jury began deliberating the fate of former penn state football coach jerry sandusky. a short time later, an adopted son accused sandusky of abusing him, too. the u.s. supreme court neared the end of its term, ruling on broadcast indecency, crack cocaine sentencing and union fees. there were no decisions yet on health care reform or arizona's tough immigration law. and moody's downgraded the debt ratings of 15 big banks including citigroup, bank of america and j.p. morgan chase. on our web site, paul solman continues his series with economist and "new york times" columnist paul krugman. hari sreenivasan has the details. >> sreenivasan: in today's installment, they discuss whether the country is in danger of forgetting the lessons learned from the economic crash of 2008, with a critical response from russ roberts of the conservative hoover
institution. that's on our "rundown" blog. and on our "health" page, our partners at kaiser health news explore the potential impact of the supreme court's upcoming health care reform decision on the state/federal medicaid program. all that and more is on our web site, newshour.pbs.org. ray? >> suarez: and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm ray suarez. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. we'll see you online and again here tomorrow evening with mark shields and david brooks, among others. thank you and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations.