tv PBS News Hour PBS May 19, 2010 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> lehrer: good evening. i'm jim lehrer. democrats and republicans are still listening to an anti-washington message fromed it's primaries. >> and i'm jeffrey brown. on the newsed hour tonight, veteran pennsylvania senator arlen specter was one of the establishment candidates who lost. we analyze the results with amy walter of the hotline and dan balz of the "washington post." >> lehrer: then we get the latest on the rioting in thailand after the military forces anti-government protesters to surrender. >> on the oil spill we hear from a top b.p. executive as members of congress point blame at the company and the administration. >> all of the actions to ensure
that safety was -- safety measures were put in place have to be attributed to the obama administration. >> i think it's inflammatory to call it the "obama oil spill." and wrong. >> lehrer: and we have to taked on mexico. margaret warner reports on today's white house visit by mexican president calderon where immigration was on the agenda. >> and a reporter for the internet newssite global post tells the story of paramedics on the firing lines on the drug wars of juarez. >> lehreh: that's all ahead on tonight's requested newshour." major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> what the world needs now is energy. the energy to get the economy
humming again. the energy to tackle challenges like climate change. what if that energy came from an energy company? everyday, chevron invests $62 million in people, in ideas-- seeking, teaching, building. fueling growth around the world to move us all ahead. this is the power of human energy. chevron.
>> 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. >> lehrer: around veteran u.s. senator is gone. one more has been forced into a runoff. and a tea party outsider will challenge for a third. that was the upshot ofed it's primary results. the message from voters across the country was clearer than ever this morning. incumbents and establishment candidates beware. nowhere was that more apparent
than in pennsylvania , where 30-year veteran senator arlen specter lost to two-term congressman joe sestak in the democratic primary. >> this is what democracy looks like. ( cheers and applause ) a win for the people. ( cheers and applause ) over the establishment, over the status quo, even over washington, d.c.! >> lehrer: specter was a longtime republican who switched parties last year. he had the support of the obama administration and top democrats in pennsylvania but to no avail. >> you've got high foreclosure, high unemployment, and people are feeling that stress and as they feel that stress i think that plays out in the election. i think the most important thing we've got to do is unify our party. i think we can do that because the fall will be a tough competitive campaign. >> lehrer: sestak's opponent in
november will be former republican congressman pat toomey, who won his party's nomination handily. meanwhile in kentucky, it was republican voters who bucked party leaders. they chose tea party favorite rand paul as their senate nominee to face democratic attorney general jack conway. >> the tea party movement is huge. the mandate of our victory tonight is huge. what you have done and what we are doing can transform america . >> lehrer: tall's opponent, trey grayson, was endorsed by the state's senior senator and republican minority leader mitch mcconnell. but kentucky voters appeared more in sync with freshman republican senator scott brown, who won the late ted kennedy's seat in massachusetts last january. >> people are angry, and whether it's a democrat or republican that they've elected, it's somebody new and different with different ideas, and i think people want to change, and that's what you saw yesterday. >> lehrer: in arkansas, democrats are headed for a june
8 runoff to pick a senate nominee. democrat blanche lincoln is seeking a third term. >> the people of arkansas have spoken. we want to control our own destiny, and we will. >> lehrer: lincoln is locked in a tough battle with arkansas lieutenant governor bill halter, who has strong backing from unions and progressives. the night 's over noteworthy race was was a special u.s. house election in pennsylvania. democratic mark critz won the seat of his former boss, the late jack murtha, that win stopping a string of republican victorys in off-year races and today house republican leader carlos buenrostro said it proved his party still has work to do. >> it's-- it's unfortunate that we lost but we did. we're going to work hard and we're going to work with the american people, and earn the trust of the american people. because that's the way we will earn back our majority. >> lehrer: it was equally clear over the next five months, democrats will have to work just as hard to keep their majoritys.
more now from amy walter, editor in chief of the "hotline," "national journal's" political daily and dan balz, senior political reporter for the "washington post." amy, there are only three senate races. does an anti-establishment theme fit very neatly for them? >> yes, it's very nice to be able to find something that ties all of these together so we're going to continue to do that. now,, clearly, these are all unique circumstances. so they all have their own centered line as well. what's three is having the seal of approval of the establishment, which in years passed was the easiest route to getting your party's nomination, no longer seems to be such a grand thing. in all of those cases-- well on the democrats' side you had blanche lincoln and arlen specter endorsed by a pretty popular guy among democrats, the president of the united states, barack obama, having his seal of approval not enough to convince an electorate that's looking-- and i do believe it is-- looking for change and looking for something different. those folks
represents that. >> lehrer: do you agree, it fits? >> i do agree with that. i think that-- i mean, what we've seen here is outside versus inside. and anybody who is cast as the insider is at a disadvantage in this environment. this is a time in which voters are unhappy with washington, and they are registering it in a variety of ways, and sometimes contradictory ways. but that is clearly the overriding factor that all politicians have got to deal with this year. >> lehrer: let's take the three senate races one at a time. is it correct to say, then, that neither-- that joe sestak didn't necessarily win, and specter didn't in thely lose. it was the situation that caused the end result? >> i think for starters with arlen specter, you have to factor in that he was a party switcher. and party switchers don't always work well in their new home. sometimes the body rejects the transplant. and i think that part of that is what you saw in pennsylvania. but beyond that, you had the question of
older versus new, and that was played hard. and the idea of political expediency. i think the ad that was run against specter by joe sestak may end up in 2010 as the ad of the year. this was an ad that tied him to george w. bush, who is obviously still highly unpopular among democratic base voters, but also quoted specter himself as saying when he switched parties this will enable me to be re-elected. and the tag line on the ad was he changed parties to save one job, his own, and that was a killer ad. >> lehrer: that's a killer ad, and that's all the anti-specter, is it not? that raised things beyond anti-establishment. >> well, and because i think dan is exactly right. these democratic voters had been voting against arlen specter for 30-some years. so to say, okay, you have to trust that this guy's going to be a real democrat, was going to be a stretch. but i think it's important to remember, too, that democrats
didn't dislike arlen specter. if you look at the polls coming into this election, he had a pretty good favorable rating among democratic primary voters. his problem, i think, goes back to dan's point about political expeed espny. it was less about ideology. it was much more about -- wait a minute, this is a guy who is really interested in saving himself instead of working on our issues. the other thing is, it's very tough for an incumbent right now. i can appreciate where they're sitting right now. years passed you go in and say thier are all the things i've done in washington for you. i've brought money home, i've brought earmarks, i have seniority. you want to keep that. that is a message that was used time and time again. that message right now, not resinating , and these incumbents have to find a new way to connect with voters . they can't-- they don't necessarily have to reinvent themselves but they have to meet voter where's they are instead of trying to pretend they're back where they were. >> lehrer: now, in kentucky, the-- trey grayson was not a real incumbent, and yet, the incumbent thing hurt him,
nevertheless. right? >> well, certainly, the establishment thing hurt him. it wasn't necessarily so much anti-incumbencyy--. >> lehrer : he was the secretary of state. >> he was the secretary of state but he wasn't a washington incumbent. but he had the backing of the most prominent politician in the state, senate minority leader mark shields as well as much of the rest of the establishment, and he celebrated that. one of his final ads had this panoply of establishment republican figures and he said they're all behind me. i think that the kentucky race was interesting, not simply because rand paul won that race but because of the size of his victory. it was clear by the end of the race that he was going to win. but no one anticipated that he was going to win by around 25 points. and i think that was a demonstration of the power of the tea party movement within the republican party. >> lehrer: you agree, the tea party movement gained its legs in a very public way yesterday?
>> i still think-- i'm still unclear about what the tea party movement is. i understand there is a mood out there, and i think that is where these outsider candidates, whether on the democratic or republican side, have been able to tap into, this the sense that things are broken. washington needs to be fixed. time to take the older folks-- and i think you're right it was a new, a young versus an old thing as well. but there was-- there's no no necessary blueprint for what a tea party candidate stands for, what the movement itself-- that there's a leader, that there's a final point that they're trying to get to in terms of ideology. i think that what it did represent was this idea that you can sort of harness the energy that's out there, that's frustrated, and that , especially in a primary, is enough to take you over the top. now, is it going to be enough to take you through a general election? that's a very different story. >> lehrer: and whether the mainline republicans will go with paul against the democrat. >> i think that is a question,
although, mitch mcconnell and others are moving very quickly to have a unity gathering on saturday to show the party is thoroughly behind him. but there's no question there will be some tensions within the party, plique over some of the things rand paul has advocated as a candidate. >> lehrer: what's the quick explanation for arkansas? >> well, i think that the base of the democratic party was unhappy with senator lincoln for health care in particular, because she had jettisoned her support for the public option, which was the holy grail on the left in the democratic party during the health care debate. the unions in particular got very energized . she's not strong on their agenda. and they went after her. and so , you know, she was-- she's in trouble whether she wins this primary or not. i mean, this is going to be a tough race in arkansas for whoever is the democratic nominee. >> lehrer: because the republican is going to accuse her of being a liberal, no matter what. >> well, this is what i found fascinating about this race. she started this race with an ad that said, sick of politics as
usual? i stood up, basically, to all these things that liberals wanted me to do, like i was against the public option. that's how she started her campaign in a democratic primary. she ended it by saying i was the deciding vote on health care. hm. so i can see, already, that ad making its way into the republican mantra. the problem for republicans-- we talked a lot about inside-outsider tea party movement. arkansas didn't have the same energy and anti-establishment sort of fervor that they had in kentucky. they nominated john boseman, who is a congressman who voted for tarp, the thing that has been considered--. >> lehrer: the financial rescue plan. >> the financial rescue plan which really knocked off senator ben net utah and has been a real weight around the neck of a lot of sburjtz democrat or republican. >> lehrer: just quickly before we go, the special house race election in pennsylvania, where the democrat run. that doesn't fit any pattern. >> no , it doesn't, and it's just
another example you can't fit everything neatly under one slogan. but i think it was important because it raised questions about whether the republicans really will take over the house as many of them have said they will do. >> and-- yeah, and one more point about it, too, about the inside/outsider thing. actually, the democrat in this case was the insider. he was the congressman who had died , jack murtha's ex-aide. the republican on paper was an outsider as a businessman, and the democrats did a very good job of actually turning the tables and making the businessman in and his views on issues like outsourcing the issue. the republicans tried to make nancy pelosi the issue, and when it came down to it, the outsourcing one. >> lehrer: somebody didn't read the script. >> apparently not. >> lehrer: dan, amy, thank you both. >> thanks, jim. >> lehrer: still to come on the newshour, the political uprest in thailand's capital, mexican president called rope at the white house, and dangers on the job for medics in juarez. but first, the other news of the day,
here's kwame holman in our newsroom. >> holman: taliban militants in afghanistan attacked a giant u.s.-run nato base killing a private u.s. security worker and wounding nine american troops. 10 of the insurgents died as well. the predawn raid targeted baghram airfield north of kabul. it touched off firefights with u.s. forces that went on for eight hours. it was the second strike on nato forces in as many days. democrats in the u.s. senate fell short today in a bid to push financial reform to a final vote. republicans balked at cutting off debate until several key issues are addressed. those include banning commercial banks from trading in derivatives , and exempting auto dealers from oversight by a new bureau. ultimately, a senate bill would have to be reconcile with the financial reform measure already passed by the house. wall street spent another nervous day over fears europe cannot fix its debt problems any time soon. the dow jones industrial average lost 66 points to close at 10444. the nasdaq fell nearly 19 points to close at 2298.
a federal jury has ordered drug maker novartis to pay $250 million for discriminating against women in its worg force. the punitive damages award came today in new york. it affects 5600 women who claim they were paid less and promoted less often than men were. novartis said it was disappointed with the verdict. there was no immediate word on a possible appeal. in romania, an estimated 40,000 public workers protested against planned cuts in wages. teachers, policemen, doctors and other government employees rallied in bucharest. they blew whistles and chanted, "down with the lying government." the government is cutting salaries by 25% and pensions by 15% to deal with a budget crisis. top u.s. scientists urged drastic action today to slow global warming. for the first time, the national academy of science has called for a specific change in climate policy. it recommended a
carbon tax on fossil fuels or a cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas emissions. the academy said the u.s. needs to cut those emissions by up to 80% over the next 40 years. those are some of the day's major stories. now back to jeff. >> brown: and now to thailand where clashs between the military and anti-government demonstrators left six dead today. a curfew was imposed and the army said the situation is now under control. nick patton walsh of independent television news reports on the day's events. >> reporter: after seven weeks of ignored deadlines they moved in at dawn. armor against tires and bam booker the talking over. ( gunfire ) aerable of diehards, this protest self-appointed defenders
live rounds fired at the living. and down on the receiving end, mostly with the unarmed, refusing to budge for their beliefs. in fact, only a handful here have guns, but still many were injured. >> queue and queue and queue. and they don't mind. they don't care. >> reporter: why are you still here, then? >> we're still fighting. the people here, they're for democracy. >> reporter: this is the moments just after a western journalist was shot once in the chest . he died of his wounds. as the army advanced , just 300 meters
away at the protest's central stage, no one seemed to hear all care. no one, perhaps, apart from their leadership. they surrendered themselves. the misare responsible bid to end the standoff, but it was not popular with militants and the protests who took another stand against the army through a massing at the end of this road. you see, behind me, the militants amongst the protesters have set fire to the thai barricade along this road. we're hearing the crackle of gunfire as well, and this looks to be the military's second way in towards the protest area. it was this apocalyptic site, the glouring black smoke from the bar kadz on fire that probably did the army's job for them. inside the camp, the protesters finally fled. and an hour later,
only pasudi remained. "i keep my word because i made a promise to my dead friends that until there's democracy, i won't go home. many are dying. everything has failed. i won't go home. i will die with them." >> reporter: but around her, the anger poured out. they burned the designer riches they'd sat among for weeks. one militant we'd seen fighting earlier was still hanging around. and further downtown road, the clashs continued. one militant taking pot shots at the army. here , dozens of civilians were trapped where the soldiers had yet to reach and where the militants still ran free. >> lehrer: judy woodruff has more on the thailand story. >> woodruff: for understanding of what's behind the violence, we turn to richard doner, professor of political science at emory university.
his latest book is caned pol. "the politics of uneven development in thailand." professor, doner, where do things stand as of tonight? what is the status of the opposition? >> the opposition seems to be heavily fragmented. it's, obviously, as your report just showed, the main area of protests has been broken up. the protesters have been dispersed but my understanding is many protesters, at least the hard core, have dispersed to different parts of bangkok and have provided to engage, to some degree, in protests in looting and to some degree arsoning. they have, evidently, torched one of the largest shopping centers in asia, the central world shopping centers. in addition, there has broken out protests in at least a half a dozen north and northeastern province where's some buildings, some government buildings have been
lit on fire. >> woodruff: so that suggested the leader of this protest movement who surrender only represent a part of what the movement is. >> well, it's-- that's-- that's true. we-- but one of the questions is what exactly -- what is the makeup of the protest? we know what their basic demands are, but we also know that there are a number of factions within the -- within the red shirts, and we also know that the leaders have been taken -- were tain to-- into custody by the government. so my understanding at this point is that this is a movement without leaders. >> woodruff: what do they want? >> well, the core demands of the red shirts, for quite some time, has been to get rid of the present government. that means specifically, that they want accelerated elections, which this government eventually
agreed to hold elections in november. they also want a dissolution of the parliament. i believe they also want some degree of amnesty for leaders of the protest, and they probably want immediately to get rid of the present prime minister. >> woodruff: now, there was some movement we know a few days ago towards negotiations. the government was saying that it was going to move elections up sooner. that all fell apart. so what are the prospects now for any sort of resolution? >> well, my understanding was after that fell apart, a few days later, actually, just a day ago, the red shirts, the protesters actually accepted an offer from some senators to mediate and to have some kind of reconciliation process. the government, led by prime minister apisaid , as my understanding, rejected that. right now, my understanding is
who can speak for the protesters? that's not clear, given that they started to fragment. and second, event government makes a -- what is considered to be a good offer, how credible will that offer be viewed in the eyes of the protesters? because right now, what's important to remember is that the government's credibility is quite low in the eyes of the core of the protesters. these people have elected somebody that they thought represented them in 2000-2005. he was thrown out in a cue , and subsequent elections resulted in the victory of two people who became prime minister, subsequently, who represented the red shirts. they were also essentially kicked out this time by judicial decree. so it's not clear what will constitute a credible , good-faith offer on the government's part. >> woodruff: there is a king in thailand. he has weighed in when there have been previous political
crises. why hasn't he been heard from this time? >> there are really two questions here. one is why hasn't the king or the monarchy in general been seen-- been scene publicly and played the kind of role, as you said, that he has played in the past? there are couple of reasons for this? one is the king is 82 years old, very ill, and probably incapable of playing this kind of role. but the second part of this is that the monarchy as an institution , according to many observers, has lost a significant amount of credibility. in the last few years, the monarchy has been viewed as essentially allying itself with the present government and its supporters. so it's no longer easily able to play the kind of mediating third-party honestest broker
role that it ostensibly played in the past. the second question is, is it in fact not playing a role? there may be active participation by members of the royal household, the privy counsel, in these negotiations or in decisions to launch military response. so those we just don't know. >> woodruff: so richard doner, where do you see things headed at this point? what are the main options at this point for the opposition and the government? >> i guess there are three scenarios that i could imagine, judy. one is that there is continued violence in different parts of bangkok and in the provinces in the north and northeast for a few weeks that will be difficult to control . because the military is stretched relatively thin. that's a bad scenario. the second, somewhat better scenario is bangkok is controlled, essentially, no more protests and fighting in bangkok but
some degree of protests in the provinces which will peter out little by little, especially with military response. and the third is an immediate government offer that is credible in the eyes of the protesters and greater ability of the protest leaders to control their followers. this depends on a number of factors. one, as i said, cohesion within the protest movement itself. but also, it's going to require cohesion and unity within the military , which is not to be assumed. there are tensions between the military and the police sdpp there are also some degree of tensions within the coalition government right now. will be. >> woodruff: richard doner, we thank you. we're going to leave it there. we will be watching it along with you. thanks very much. >> you're welcome. >> brown: and now to the oil spill in the gulf of mexico.
it's been nearly a month since it began, and tonight we talked to a b.p. executive about the company's role and response to the disaster. but first, this update on the day's developments. as a blanket of oil edged its way into the marshlands of southern louisiana, there was still uncertainty today about where the slick is headed and how it might finally be contained. louisiana governor bobby jindal said this afternoon that thicker oil is now hitting his state's wetlands. >> we're beginning to see the heavier oil. you didn't see this heavy oil off the coast a couple of days ago. again, the concern is, is this oil coming submerged oil? is this oil coming in? and part of the concern is the tides have come and gone. they've not taken the oil out. >> brown: state department confirmed it was in rare talks with the cuban government amid fears that strong currents could carry the oil far eastward. there was some good news as well. the coast guard said today that tarballs that washed up in southern florida were unrelated to the spill.
and in louisiana today, coast guard rear admiral mary landry said weather conditions were helping. >> folks are working tirelessly along the shoreline . we did have some impact, more impact on the shoreline in the mississippi delta area than previously, and so folks are really greefl out there with strategies to protect the marshes. >> reporter: b.p., which leased the sunken rig, also said it was having more success and now capturing 3,000 barrels of oil a day from a tube insert into the busted pipeline to a ship on the surface. but just what proportion of the spill that represents remains a question. federal officials and b.p. originally estimated the rig was gushing at a rate of 5,000 barrels a day, but outside experts say that figure could be 10 times higher. far from the gulf shores, more anger today from members of congress about b.p.'s ability to handle a spill of this magnitude. transportation committee chairman james oberstar. >> almost a month has passed. the response
and its proven equipment and technology have failed to stop most of the continuing oil discharge or to contain most of the oil already discharged. >> brown: but in his opening statement, the committee's ranking republican took aim at government oversight in the events leading to the rig's failure. >> all of the actions to ensure that safety was-- safety measures were put in place have to be attributed to the obama administration . what i've done is outline-- i call this the "obama oil spill timeline." the obama administration issued i think this is the first time have a public copy of this. this is their approval. it's basically a carte blanche recipe for disaster because they did not require extraordinary measures. >> brown:
chairman oberstar, a democrat, took issue. >> i think it's inflammatory to call it the "obama oil spill," and wrong. those approvals that the gentleman cited were given early in the obama administration by careerists who were not policy appointees. sgloun b.p.'s lamar mckay was asked about the chemical dispersants beeb used at the wellhead to break up the gusher. the environmental protection agency gave approval for its use just last week. democratic peter defazio of oregon asked why b.p. selected the chemicals it did. >> there are others that e.p.a. measures more effective on this grade of oil and less toxic. why aren't you using those? because i'm concerned about what's in the water column here and what we're not seeing. >> we're using the preapproved dispersants. i believe-- >> there are 13 preapproved but there are some that are less
toxic and more effect identify this. it comes from a company in which you don't have anyone sitting on board. this is coming from a company where you do have someone sitting on the board. >> brown: also today, the obama administration proposed eliminating the agency that oversees offshore drilling and manages leases. it would divide it into three separate entitys to eliminate potential conflicts of interest. and we're joined now for fr houston by bob dudley of b.p. mr. dudley, thanks for join us. the figure of 3,000 barrels a day now being recovered from the tubes? how sure are you of this? is there still guess work here, or do you really know? >> good evening, jeff. we've been produce producing into the ships now for more than 24 hours, with the tube into the pipe. we're slowly opening the choke at the top of the well, which opposes the the restriction so we can optimize the amount of gas and oil coming out of the well. we want to make sure we don't bring in sea water because it creates the problem
of hydrates in there. we've still got some time to go. it's a very easily measured rate. we've got a high amount of gas coming out, 3,000 barrels a day, and 13 million cubic feet of gas with the well that puts it into a category of a well that has a gas-oil ratio of five,000, a very, very big number, and that's what you see at the plume at the bottom is a the love gas. we figure more than half of the plume itself is gas, along with the oil. >> brown: what seems to be hard to measure is this continuing division over how much oil has leak into the gulf. we've heard from a number of scientists who say that your numbers are off by magnitudes. you've heard those numbers. what's the response? >> well, this crude, as you look at it, at the end of the pipe, it is not unlike you take a can of soda and you shake it up and you pop the top. what happens is there's a vast expansion of gas along with the crude oil. it's very hard to measure. it's very hard to estimate it from looking at the plume and measuring it.
so the estimate is a u.s. government estimate based on the-- what we've seen at the surface in terms of measuring the slick and the -- its expansion rate over the days. what we have done is gone in as a first step , contained a considerable amount of that oil, and the next step then is to move in to shut the well off, hopefully within a week. >> brown: now all of these-- >> and, jeff, let me just--. >> brown: go ahead. >> those figures of 70,000 barrels a day, 100,000 barrels a day. i have seen those. i think they're very alarming figures. they're not based on science of anything we have seen at the surface or what we estimate at the sea bed and i think it's slightly alarming to hear those figures. i don't think that's good for the tourism in florida and alabama and mississippi where it's unlikely the oil will affect at all. >> brown: well, i do want to ask you about the steps you're taking because there is a sense-- and we heard it again in the hearing today-- of sort of making things up as you go, trying a whole bunch of things. were you simply not freepd
-- prepared for a catastrophe that could, and now has happened? >> well, jeff, there are two pieces of this. the spill response, the coast guard and b.p. immediately within hours after the accident began the spill response, which has been a massive spill response across the gulf coast. we have 20,000 people working on that all the way across the coast with booms, dispersants, planes, ships. that's-- that's one element of an environmental issue. the one thing that has happened here-- we've had an industrial accident which needs to be separated from a failure of a piece of equipment at the sea bed. there have been -- the blowout prernts are something that are used on oil and gas wells all over the world, every wel. they're designed not fail with multiple failsafe systems. that has failed. so we have a crise. what we have done, what you should do in every crise, is bring together the best engineering and scientific talent and experience from around the world, lay out the
problem, and then systematically develop options. and that's what we have been doing. you need to do it with discipline. you need to do it without emotion but with a sense of urgency. and as we've developed more and more data from the subsea and the architecture of what maz happened at the sea bed, we have modified different responses to that step by step. you've seen one to contain the spill and a nearby location is the wellhead. we've got a set of activitys that we plan this week to try to kill the well. by pumping heavy fluids into it. we've had to essentially x-ray all of the equipment down there to find out the condition of the various valves to be able to plan the next step. >> brown: but again-- excuse me, but the-- the technology, the unexpected happened . and so the question that you keep hearing over and over again is why wasn't there a plan for a worst-case scenario which afears have happened? >> blowout prernts are designed not to fail. they have connections with the rigs that can close them when
there's a disconnection with the rig, they close, and they're also designed to be able to manually go down with robots and intervene and close them. those three steps, for whatever reason, failed in this case. it's unprecedented. we need tond how yand how that happened and in the fullness of the investigation we'll learn that. and those learnings have to be sent around the world and it will alter drilling operations around the world. there's no question. no one wants to find out more than we do why that's happened and make sure it never, ever happens again anywhere. >> brown: now i want to ask you about the dispersants question. we heard that raised in the hearings today. the e.p.a. approved it province but they also said "the long-term effects on aquatic life are unknown." my understanding is that some of these doorpz are banned in britain -- dispersants are baned in britain. how comfortable can you be about about their use? how comfortable should the public be? >> there are two kinds of dispersants which have been used
and been the dispersant used by the coast guard for more than 20 years for spills in the gulf of mexico. it is a standard dispersant that has as readily stockpiled to be able to respond to a spill like this. it is essentially like soap. it's like dish soap. takes the oil and turns them into small droplets, increases the surface area, and the warm waters, the bacterial process begins to work to break it down and make it biodegradeable. the e.p.a. has extensively tested these. they have said this is one that we can use and approved it at the time. the long-term effects of dispersants are things i think we'll be studying for a long time. but right now, they seem to be doing an excellent job at the surface, and doing exactly what they were designed to do. >> brown: now, i want to ask you about the question of liability. b.p. has said numerous times that you take respond for what happened, that the $75 million cap on damages , you won't be
bound by that. but i think there are still some questions about what you mean by paying legitimate claims which is the way you put it. how-- how limited, how expansive do you put on a term like that? what does it mean for damages to individuals, to business, to the environment to, tourism and so on? >> well, jeff, we've stepped up, like you said, from the very first day and said we will take responsibility for the spill response and legitimate claims. of course we have to say that. but we've backed that up not by just words. we set up claim centers across the gulf of mexico in the communities. i've been down there. i've seen them. anybody who has been disrupted there , their fishing businesses, they're in there. they're filling out applications and we're writing checks. we want to make sure people don't miss boat payments, house pamtss, get food on the table. it's been a tremendous response, and we've been hiring local fishing boats to help us in the boom dispersant effort.
this is what we mean by real action, rather than just words. we've said we're not going to hide behind a $75 million cap on the liabilities. today we've spent more than half a billion dollars on the spill response. we're not going to ask for reimbursements from the american people for that effort. and we're gog keep at this and shutting the well off, containing it at sea, and keeping it off the beaches as long as it takes, jeff. >> brown: all right, bob dudley of b.p., thank you very much. >> thank you. >> lehrer: finally tonight two, reports about mexico. we begin with the state skrft by the country's president . margaret warner has that story. >> warner: it was a full-scale white house wblg for mexican president felipe calderon.
with all the traditional pomp and color. the leader set a tone of cordial understanding with statements that mirrored each other. >> the united states and mexico are not simply neighbors bound by geography and history. we are, by choice, friends and partners. >> ( translated ): we are friend and partner nations, nations that work together and trade, and that complement each other economicly, nations that dialogue and that are intertwined by geography and history. >> warner : but their friendly words couldn't hide the fact that u.s.-mexican relation are bessette by some contentious issues right now, first and foremost, the new immigration law in arizona. the new statute, signed last month by governor jan brewer , makes it a crime to be in arizona without proper documentation. it directs state and local police to enforce it, stopping people and checking documents if
necessary. in a country where 12 million illegal immigrants, polls show more americans support the law than oppose it. but it has sparked protests by people on both sides of the border, especially in mexico. pollster jorge buenda in mexico city said the mexican people wanted felipe calderon to use this visit to confront the obama administration on the issue. >> they think that mexican immigrants are not treated fairly, and they are law enforces that perception. so they want want president to be very critical of the way that the u.s. authorities are dealing with this issue. when they see an authority making very critical law against mexican immigrants, they also think that the president , barack obama, is behind it.
they don't perceive a clear distinction between the arizona government, the congress, or the u.s. presidency. >> warner: the two presidents emerged from their meeting stressing the agreements they'd made to cooperate on energy, border security, and other matters. but not surprisingly, the immigration issue , and in particular the arizona law, hi jablgd their post-meeting news conference. president calderon hinted at it again. >> we will remain our firm becomes to criminalize . we oppose firmly the arizona law given unfair principles that are partial and discriminatory. >> warner: that brought a direct question to president obama and an equally critical response. >> thank you, mr. president. president calderon called again the arizona law discriminatory. you called it misdirected. do you agree with him? >> i think a fair reading of the language of the statute
indicates that it gives the possibility of individuals who are deemed suspicious of being illegal immigrants from being harassed or arrested, and the judgments that are going to be made in applying this law are troublesome. >> warner: the president said he'd ask the justice department to review the law. then mr. obama pivoted to make a pitch for sweeping immigration reform. >> the arizona law , i think, expresses some of the frustration that the american people have had in not fixing a broken immigration system. and, frankly, the failures of the federal government to get this done. >> warner: former u.s. ambassador to mexico, jeffrey davidow, isn't surprised this latest
immigration dispute assumed such prominence today. >> for calderon is serve aid great purpose in the sense if he had come up here and not mentioned the arizona law and made something of a big deal about it, he would ohis return, be put on a spit and roasted slowly by the mexican public. this is a big issue for them. >> warner: president obama also lent his support to calderon on another big issue, the bloody war he and the mexican army are waging against the country's drug cartels. it's a war that has triggered a wave of violence, cartelicancy cartel, and the cartels against the authorities. an estimated 23,000 people have been killed since calderon took office in late 2006. >> this is a policy that calderon has been pursuing for three years. he's really tough on it. somebody called him the eliot ness of mexico. but it's a policy that is being criticized in mexico for a variety
of reasons by some of his political opponents and others. and so to get a firm statement of support from president obama is important. >> warner: he got that from the president and a promise to do more on the u.s. end of the drug trade. >> we're working on stem the southbound flow of american guns and money which is why for the first time we are screening 100% of southbound rail cargo and guided by our new national drug control strategy, we're bringing new approaches to reducing the demand for drugs in our country. >> warner: but despite the greater cross-border cooperation and u.s. funding support, the mexicans have a long strugole their hands davidow says. >> if it were easy, it would have already been done. i think we have to understand this situation in mexico has taken more than a generation to become ensconced and it may take as much as a generation to dig it out. >> warner: drug policy and immigration are likely to be featured when president calderon
addresses a joint session of congress tomorrow. >> brown: and now to a report from south of the border to the heart of those drug wars. among those whose lives are in danger every day, are emergency medical technicians called to the scenes of violence. global post reports from juarez. >> reporter: 1:00 on a thursday afternoon in , over the border from el paso, texas. assassins gun down a victim outside a crowded shopping mall and their rifle fire caused a line of other cars to crash. the city paramedics couldn't save the target of the shooting, but they pulled two other drivers outs of smashed cars and rushed them to hospital, checking for wounds from the crashs and any spray bullets. as they left the scene, they were escorted by armed police in case any gunman was still in the area. shootings like this happen daily
in the world's murder capital, where rival drug cartels fight for million-dollar smuggling ruts of cocaine, marijuana, and crystal meth to the u.s. since january 2008 , there have been more than 5,000 homicides in a city of 1.3 million. respond to this carnage is a herculean task of a small team of city paramedics, especially since they don't even have a working ambulance. they have to move in five vehicles owned by the red cross. with private ambulances staying away from firefights, a team of eight city paramedics sometimes has to attend to more than 20 gunshot victims in a single afternoon. 34-year-old lieutenant carlos buenrostro, in charge of the 3 p.m. shift. 16 years experience on the streets, he's an expert at tending to bullet wounds. >> ( translated ): when a bullet injury is reported, we don't go until the police have secured
the scene, until we know we can go in and work safely and help a patient that is still alive or confirm that a victim has died. we need security in case they want to go back and injure our kill the person. then we have police to protect us. ( siren ) >> reporter: at dispatch police headquarters called in to report the shooting. they rush to the location in the supervisor's car, which can weave through traffic and arrive more quickly than the ambulances. when they arrived at the scene in a middle-class residential neighborhood, a 50-year-old man had been ambushed and shot in this red volkswagen. when they took his vital signs, it was too late to save the victim. the man had died minutes after the bullets hit. upon
. >> ( translated ): you feel helpless when you arrive and can't save the life of the patient. you psyche yourself up to work but sometimes, they have already died or even when you attend to them, they die on the way to the hospital because the injuries are so serious. >> reporter: he said the drug gangs have even threatened paramedics, telling them not to attend to certain patients. >> ( translated ): they have threatened us on our radio frequency, telling us about a certain scene and ordered us not to go near it or they are going to shoot at us. >> reporter: back in 1996, gunmen actually killed a medic when they shot directly into an ambulance to finish off a patient. to avoid more casualties, paramedics now try and have police escorts whenever they are carrying gunshot victims.=a-
in only attended to one shooting, making it a slow shift by most standards. at night is when much of the violence takes place. a police dispatcher called to report gunfire. arriving at the scene a 16-year-old had been shot in the leg in an attempted mugging. paramedics had already bandanged up the wound. why did they shoot at you? >> ( translated ): just because they wanted to mug me and take my sneakers. here they are and my cell phone. it is better you don't go out on the streets carrying your cell phone. >> reporter: most victims of gunshots are taken to the juarez general hospital, the city's biggest public clinic as many private hospitals won't accept patients with bullet wounds. >> ( translated ): there are cases when the gunmen go into the hospitals and shoot patients. that's why many private hospitals don't want these patients
with gunshot injuries because they don't have the security. >> reporter: as a husband and father he said it is hard on his family to work under such conditions. >> ( translated ): i like this work and the action. if i didn't enjoy it, i'd work somewhere else. but the situation in the city being so ugly, my wife says look for another job. but here i am, still doing it. >> reporter: the shootings show no signs of slowing down. in fact, with the killing of six federal police ream, there is fear the cartels will step up their attacks on the government forces and to restore order, making the job of parmedibs busier and riskier than ever. >> lehrer: again, the major developments of this day, democrats and republicans pondered the anti-washington message in tuesday's senate primarys. democratic senator arlen specter of pen of the leading casualty. and heavy black oil from the gulf of mexico
spill arrived in force along parts of louisiana's coastline. on the newshour tonight, b.p. executive bob dudley dispute suggestions that up to four million gallons of oil a day could be iraqi leaking. he called those estimates alarmist and not based on science. >> you can always findous line at newshourpbs.org. that's the newshour for tonight. i'm jeffrey brown. i'm jim lehrer. we'll see you on line and here tomorrow evening. thank you and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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