tv PBS News Hour PBS October 18, 2011 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> ifill: there were celebrations on both sides of the middle east divide today, as an israeli soldier held captive for five years was swapped for hundreds of palestinian prisoners. good evening. i'm gwen ifill. >> warner: and i'm margaret warner. on the newshour tonight, we have the latest on the exchange deal and its possible ripple effects. >> ifill: then we update libya's transition to democracy, as secretary of state hillary clinton pays a surprise visit to tripoli and pledges millions of dollars in aid to the new
government. >> warner: spencer michels reports on what's next for the nation's troubled solar power industry. >> solar companies, which are expanding, are worried they will lose government subsidies and momentum following the collapse of the federally backed firm solyndra. >> ifill: jeffrey brown examines the promise of the world's first vaccine for malaria, a disease that kills hundreds of thousands of people every year, most of them young children. >> warner: and ray suarez talks to former colorado supreme court justice rebecca kourlis about her new book, a call to action to fix the nation's civil court system. >> we have to convince people that this really matters. that it's very important to our social contract to have a civil justice system that is accessible, efficient, and accountable. >> ifill: that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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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. >> ifill: the middle east was the scene today of the largest prisoner trade in many years. israel let hundreds of palestinians out of its prisons in exchange for a lone israeli army sergeant. a pale, thin gilad shall it crossed from gaza into egypt this morning beginning a complex 1,000-for-1 prisoner exchange between israel and the palestinian movement military movement hamas. at roughly the same time more than 450 paals were freed. they were the first bloc of a stage release of prisoners the israelis have held for years, in some cases decades, for terrorism and other crimes. shalit was captured by hamas
militants in june 2006. today the visibly weak 25-year-old labored to breathe at times as he was interviewed by egyptian television at the gaza border crossing. >> reporter: did you ever think you would live to see the day when you could actually walk free? >> yes. there were five long years. i always thought the day would come when i would be freed and not kept captive. it may have taken a long time, but it's finally happened. i received the news of the release a week ago. i felt this could be the last chance for me to be set free. >> ifill: israeli officials condemned the interview saying it was done under during he is with hamas gunmen standing nearby. the egyptian interviewer denied there was any coercion. he was then transferred to israeli custody at the vineyard of peace in southern israel. from there he was flown to an air base in the center of the country to be reunited with his family. he was also greeted by israeli
prime minister benjamin netanyahu who struck the deal with hamas last week with egypt acting as go-between. netanyahu hugh said palestinians should not mistake the israeli concession for weakness. >> i want to clarify. we will continue to fight terror and every released terrorist who returns to terror will pay with his life. >> ifill: but the prime minister came in for a harsh criticism from political opponents who considered the price of the deal too high. >> i am happy for the shalit family but i am very worried for the people of israel because the message is that jewish blood is shed in vain. the people of israel are defeated because of one soldier. >> ifill: there was little sense of defeat, however, near shalit's home in northern israel where a jubilant crowd greeted him after a long time gone. similar but holy separate jubilation erupted across the west bank in gaza as
palestinian prisoners arrived home. buses ferry them into gaza city and into ramallah and other locations on the west bank. the terms of the deal dictated exile for some of those released. hamas runs gaza and holds the palestinian prime minister's office. this evening hamas leader addressed throngs in gaza city. he said, "i want to say to those that are still inside, we did not forget you. your freedom is in our hands and, brother, this is a new example of negotiations and a new way for palestinians." and in cairo the supreme leader of hamas declared his group had won a signal victory over the israelis. >> let netanyahu explain why he signed the deal. let him lie, say anything, let him say we made concessions but the israeli public knows who made the real concessions. >> ifill: earlier the palestinian president spoke in ramallah. his fatah party controls the west bank along with much of
the palestinian governing apparatus. >> we thank god for your coming back safe, healthy, to your families, to your brothers, to your homeland. we call on the israelis to release this new group of prisoners and fulfill their commitment. if they respect their commitment. >> ifill: but there was talk of continued struggle from the armed wing of hamas. >> we will fight more battles and with god's help until all of our heroic prisoners are freed. >> ifill: from one freed prisoner, held for more than 30 years after killing an israeli military officer, defiance. >> our struggle will not stop nor will our jihad until palestine is liberated and all the refugees are back and all the prisoners. >> ifill: indeed one crowd in gaza called for capturing more israeli soldiers to force the release of more palestinians. they chanted in unison, "we want another gilad."
for more on this, we have two views. daniel levy worked as an advisor in the government of israeli prime minister ehud barak, and is now a fellow at the new america foundation. and hussein ibish is a senior research fellow at the american task force on palestine. he writes for various publications in the u.s. and middle east. daniel levy, after such a stand-off for so many years, who blinked? >> well, the same deal has really been on offer for some time. so i think the decision ultimately... more had to be taken on the israeli side. that doesn't mean that both parties didn't climb down a little bit from the ladders they were on. but i think the prime minister net netanyahu explained this in the context of the arab spring that there was a closing window forgetting such a deal done with egyptian mediation. i think that's part of the story. i think israel wanted to be a problem-solver rather than just a problem-maker.
in its relationship with the new egypt. but i also think this has to be seen in the context of how israeli public opinion has shifted during the five years of gila shalit's captivity, a lot due to the work of the family. the move today was popular. it's a political win, not without risks, but a political win for netanyahu and it allows him to first of all show he can make decisions and second of all to try to draw a line under a summer of social protests in israel and to start the new parliament session at the end of this month after the jewish holidays with a new conversation piece rather than being blamed for economic issues. >> ifill: hussein ibish, more than a thousand palestinian prisoners are released for part of this deal for one israeli soldier. was this a win for hamas? >> a huge win. it's a very big win for them. they needed it desperately. they were reeling, i think, from a combination of the consequences of their own, i would say, ineffective government, and in some ways
misgovernment in gaza. and especially because of mahmoud abbas's surging popularity after his very powerful and moving u.n. speech and the whole initiative that the u.n. to kind of internationalize the problem-solving. so the peace process was very popular. >> ifill: even though it didn't succeed. >> it didn't succeed. and it was... but it still is perceived as something in progress. i mean, it was a... an important gesture. it was very popular. i mean, i think the question of what is achieved and what's not achieved is a matter of perception. certainly hamas is going to say that all of the p.l.o. and p.a.strategy of diplomacy, of negotiations, of institution- building is symbolic. what they have achieved is a real victory based on armed struggle. they're going to use this to sort of pose their own strategy of at least the rhetoric of armed struggle if
not the practice of armed struggle against abu massen. you do have to understand that i think that they did climb down a great deal on their demand. they did do this, i think, out of a certain degree of desperation. >> ifill: daniel levy, how did this become... at the time 19-year-old soldier who was held the entire nation hanging on his every, hanging on his future, how did he become such a folk hero? >> well, i mean, some of the commentators in israel, gwen, have been talking about the fact that israel is such a small community that this really was the behavior of a community. someone even used the word of a schtettle going back to jewish life in eastern europe, rather than the behavior of a sovereign nation-state. i think really the explanation for why people feel like that, in addition to, of course, it being a small country. everyone is serving or at
least everyone in mainstream jewish-israeli society serving. it's what the family did. the work also that israeli leaders did internationally in raising the profile of this issue. you know, no one i think will know the name of any of the 1,027 palestinian prisoners either freed or slated for release. but everyone, it's a household name as you say around the world. i think one looks at this and it's being described in the israeli papers as a sad-happy day. one looks at this and sees celebration on both sides of the divide. one perhaps scratches one's head and says if there is a willingness to take a risk for peace... sorry, if there is a willingness to take a risk for the release of one soldier, why can't one find the willingness to take a risk for peace, to actually get a deal that would create two states, end an occupation, rather than just releasing one soldier? but it's also a very human thing, gwen, to personalize,
to identify with the story of one person whose family has been really incredibly dignified and compelling in advocating for their son's case. >> ifill: yet on the other side of this, we have this hamas-fatah... in which hamas came out smelling like a rose and abbas wasn't in the country at the time that the deal was cut. >> that's right. >> ifill: does this endanger the potential for unity talks. >> it complicates the situation greatly because it bolstered hamas. hamas has been on the defensive. i agree with everything that daniel said about shalit as an iconic figure. this is a palestinian figure among the prisoners held by israel who is an iconic. >> ifill: but who is not released. >> but who is not released. he is one of the most important palestinian political figures. he's a senior figure in fatah, in president abbas's party. i think neither israel nor fatah wants hamas to get the credit for the release of
someone as important as this man. so while certainly fatah and abbas have taken a hit, a palpable hit with this, if you will, it's not a mortal blow. it wasn't, i think, intended by israel as a mortal blow because if they had released the other man i think that's what it would have been. a slap certainly at abbas who has angered israel and a chance, again, to show not only to demonstrate a willingness to do imaginative things and cross red lines which both netanyahu and hamas has done but also to work constructively with turkey and with egypt which, you know, sort of counters this idea of israel being isolated a little bit. >> ifill: let's talk about egypt's role because in the wake of the arab spring and the uprising in the region, how significant was it that egypt was the go-between here? >> it undoubtedly was significant. i think the question one has to ask-- and i don't think we
know the answer yet, gwen-- is what this discussed the supreme council of the armed forces the military temporary, one hopes, regime in egypt, showing itself to be useful. or does this tell us something more profound about post mubarak egypt? remember that under mubarak, egypt tightly managed two files on the israel-palestinian arena. one was palestinian reconciliation talks. the other was shalit. on both of them no progress was made under mubarak, perhaps intentionally. perhaps mubarak felt it important to have these files just to show he was useful and relevant. since his demise there has been progress on both of those. what does this tell us about the new egypt? certainly the more transparent public open role of the muslim brotherhood may allow for a more effective egyptian role vis-a-vis hamas and an internal palestinian politics if the palestinians choose to go for unity rather than continue.
for israel it's very unclear that this changes. of the picture with the broader egyptian public because after all israel has made the concession in the face of pressure and leverage not in the face of pragmatism. >> ifill: does this change the picture at all, if you can brief, on the longer peace process? >> i don't think so. i think this is a tablgt cal political move on both parts by two sets of political leadership who saw an immediate opportunity and a need to take action now. a chance and a moment to be seized. they seized it. they've achieved many things but they haven't changed the strategic equation. they haven't changed the balance of power. i don't think they've set the stage for a new phase in the conflict or in a new round of peace talks. i think that's going to have to wait. >> ifill: hussein ibish and daniel levy, thank you both very much. >> thank you. >> warner: still to come on the newshour, secretary clinton's libya visit; trouble in the
solar power industry; a new vaccine for malaria; and a call to fix america's judicial system. but first, the other news of the day. here's kwame holman. >> holman: president obama was back on the bus today, in north carolina and virginia. he pressed the senate to pass parts of his jobs bill. last week, republicans blocked the larger $447 billion measure. in jamestown, north carolina, mr. obama urged voters to let their voices be heard. >> congress has a choice to make in the coming weeks. if they vote against the proposals i'm talking about, if they vote against taking steps that we know will put americans back to work right now, they don't have to answer to me. they're going to have to answer to you. they're going to have to come down here to north carolina and tell kids why they can't have their teachers back in the classrooms. >> holman: senate democrats plan to bring up a $35 billion piece of the plan to help local governments pay for teachers, police and firefighters. but senate republican leader mitch mcconnell argued thew3ñili
president's previous attempts to create jobs have not worked, and just drove up the nation's debt. borrowed. they spent. they overregulated. all of those policies are in place. you can see how much it's done for the economy. 1.5 million jobs lost since the first stimulus. now he's coming back and asking us to do it again. y'all have heard this before because it's one lv my favorite sayings. at home we say there's no education to the second kick of a mule. >> holman: the senate could vote this week on the first part of the jobs plan. wall street surged late in the day, recouping much of monday's losses. the dow jones industrial average gained 180 points to close at 11,577. the nasdaq rose 42 points to close at 2657. the rally especially benefited financial institutions, with bank of america shares up 10%. the company reported a third- quarter profit today, despite
weakness in its core businesses. the cost of mailing a letter in the u.s. is going up by a penny to 45 cents. increases in first-class postage and other rates will take effect on january 22. the u.s. postal service lost $8 billion in 2010, and 2011 is expected to be even worse. the rate increases will not be nearly enough to make up the difference, but federal law barr raising the price of stamps by more than the rate of inflation. in greece, the government ordered garbage crews back to work today, to dispose of 17 days' worth of trash rotting in piles in athens. prime minister george papandreou used emergency powers to force action. it came on the eve of a general strike that's expected to disrupt most public services. the planned two-day strike would coincide with a greek parliament vote on the toughest round of austerity measures yet. record flooding in thailand menaced bangkok, just a day after the city appeared to have skirted the danger. monsoon downpours have affected
two-thirds of the country, and now industrial sections and residential areas on the capital's northern edge are submerged. we have a report from john sparks of independent television news. >> reporter: for weeks government ministers have been clear about one thing: bong koch won't flood, they said. well, they were wrong. this is a district on the city's northern edge now subject to açfull evacuation order. tens thousands of workers and residents seeking sanctuary in the back of a truck. food and water from a plastic bag. this family told us they had to leave in a hurry. >> they guaranteed it that this district was safe but it flooded. i was so scared. my child was crying. we couldn't stay. >> reporter: we hitched a ride with the army. their 4 x 4 trucks are now the only way in. there was much work to do. hundreds of firms have been flooded. thousands of people had to be
rescued. this area was dry overnight but the flood waters have come in in a matter of hours. there's now 4r feet of water here. andñi this district has ground to a halt. on a piece of high ground we found workers waiting with japanese factory managers. they've called the floods their second tsunami. production has stopped. their global supply chains in tatters. yesterday the military began dropping shipping containers in canals in this district in a bid to stem the flow. the government's ministers, the prime minister herself, has been telling people that bangkok will be fine.ñ they've beenñi sayingñ áhat forr daysniñiñi hey have.ñiñi áñ were wrong.ñi >> wr ,ñi... so what we need to do isñr to preparec in case ofñr worst cacññi scenarioñr happeni. >> reporter: reality has set in. soldiers and volunteers worked frantically this afternoon to bolster the city's sandbag filled barriers and the governor of bangkok says he needs another 1.2 million of
them urgently. >> reporter: officials also warned of new flooding dangers to districts just east of bangkok. those are some of the day's major stories. now back to margaret. >> warner: we turn to libya, still grappling with the aftershocks of revolution. it received a high-profile visitor today. secretary of state hillary clinton underscored u.s. support for the libyan revolution today with an unannounced visit to tripoli. >> the libyan people demonstrated their bravery and determination, and i am proud to stand here on the soil of a free libya. >> warner: she brought a pledge of more u.s. aid and urged the country's transitional government to commit to a democratic path without reprisals. >> the libyan people deserve a nation governed by the rule of law, not the whims of men. we believe you deserve a government that represents all
libyans from all parts of the country and all backgrounds including women and young people. >> warner: later at a town hall style gathering the secretary spoke of former dictator moammar qaddafi, still a fugitive, in decidedly not diplomatic terms. we hope he can be captured or killed soon, she said, to prevent him from disrupting the new libya. her visit came two months after the rebels took control of tripoli and stormed qaddafi's compound. but it has proved tougher to take the last redoubts of qaddafi loyalists, the town of ban equal id and his hometown of sirte. today the rebel forces launched their latest offensive into sirte. the rebels' transitional national council has said it will declare the country liberated only when sirte is under control. that will trigger a timetable to national elections. for now as the fighting continues, so does the hunt
for missing weapons. the u.s. has sent 14 experts and committed $40 million to find and destroy shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles looted from qaddafi government stock piles. >> warner: for more on how libya is faring in its struggle for stability, we turn to dirk vandewalle, a professor of government at dartmouth college. he served as a political adviser to the united nations on libya last summer. he joins us tonight from london. professor, thank you for joining us. how far along is libya today on the path to building some sort of stable democracy? >> well, i think there is still a long ways to go, margaret. certainly the interim council has made major steps forward. certainly the fall of tripoli and the attempt to come up with a new government is a step in the right direction. but there is still an enormous amount of chaos in the streets of tripoli. there are still different
militias. there is still a lot of misunderstanding of what precisely that new vision for libya should be. and my hunch is is that that will probably continue for a while longer. the interim council is waiting for the fighting to be over completely and for sirte to fall. and then the long path toward a constitution, toward a parliament, the long path toward democracy will begin and there will undoubtedly be several parties who do not want to be a part of that path toward democracy. >> warner: secretary clinton did harp on that quite a bit today. the need for all the militias to come together and join some sort of a national military. the need for all the factions to be included. how difficult is that proving? i mean, they all fought for the same cause. >> yes, indeed they did. but, of course, in the euphoria that existed until literally the fall of tripoli, a lot of the disagreements
were forgotten. and it really... we shouldn't forget that libya, for all practical purposes, has never truly had a unified military, for example, the way neighboring egypt and tunisia had. so in a sense libya needs to start on a process of state building. one of the most important elements of state building here will be to come up with a military and a force that truly represents the country as a whole and not these different militias that are still in citys like tripoli. this will be a very difficult process, i think, and it certainly will need an enormous amount of leadership from the interim council to come up with a solution that can include all the different parties that we now still find in libya and that undoubtedly as libya becomes more free, as libya becomes more open, will find all kinds of opportunities to voice their opinions and make it perhaps
more difficult to really find a unified solution for the kind of political problems and the security problems that libya now needs to face. >> warner: is the big hurdle here to getting on that path, is it that the government has said they can't start the timetable until sirte falls? i mean, in retrospect, was that a mistake? >> certainly that was part of the issue here. the interim council-- when it was still in benghazi consistently said all along that the timetable toward the constitution and toward election would start once the country was unified. on the one hand i think that was a good decision to make. on the other hand, of course, the longer that process takes, the longer it takes to truly start that process of unification precisely the more the greater the opportunities are of these groups that do not necessarily share that vision of the interim council and to really step in and make their voices heard.
in the chaos that is still existing to some extent in libya, that kind of voice is not always very comfortable. indeed it can be very disruptive to the interim council. >> warner: she also warned against reprisals but there were reports of bloody preciseals done by both sides. how hard will that be to contain? >> i think that will be one of the most difficult issues that libya will face. because libya has been a dictatorship for 42 years. that means that everyone who wanted to achieve anything during the reign of moammar qaddafi, whether it was to have a family, a job, no matter what, to some extent had to collaborate with the regime. so the real big difficulty is how do you separate those that are clearly beyond the pale from those that simply collaborated because they had to? that is the very difficult decision that the interim council will have to take. it has thought through some of these issues but perhaps not
enough but on the other hand lots of bilateral partners and multi-lateral partners are also urging them to really look at this very, very hard and come up with a solution and get this whole notion of collaboration, whether it be through a truth and reconciliation council or whatever mechanisms they want to create to simply get it behind them because that is really the only way that libya can really look forward and the different parties can look forward to achieve the kind of united... through libya that all parties now want. >> warner: much to unfold. proper sort of dirk vandewalle, thanks very much for joining us. >> my pleasure. >> ifill: now the future for solar energy in the u.s., now clouded by the collapse of a california company backed by government loans. newshour correspondent spencer michels reports.
>> reporter: the solar industry both boasts that it's growing fast, installing roof top panels that turn sunlight into electricity as a record pace. this year it expects to create enough electricity to power 50,000 homes, double last year's rate. and that, say proponents, saves a lot of fossil fuel. >> the average cost of electricity would be just under 10 cents. >> reporter: linden is the founder and ceo of the privately held company solar city. in an industry that gets various forms of government subsidies including tax credits and loan guarantees, that make it cheaper for companies to borrow money to expand. >> the solar industry has grown 60%. last year it grew 50%. this year it's grown 60%. there's over 5,000 companies that are in the solar industry. >> reporter: his firm, solar city, operating in 11 states is the largest solar installer in the u.s. with 1300 employees,
500 of them hired in the last 12 months. nationally solar employs 100,000 workers. yet industry groups and leaders have seen trouble signs ahead for a while. dan reicher, director of stanford center for energy policy says the industry is at risk. >> we may not see the loan guarantee program extended. we may see a major cut in federal support for clean energy research and development. there's going to be a major battle next year over extending some key tax credits for clean energy. >> reporter: despite its growth, solar still supplies less than 1% of american electricity. the troubled economy has hurt investment in solar, and competition from china has undercut u.s. sales. several solar companies have failed, including opti-solar in 2009. victims of what insiders call consolidation of the industry.
>> those companies that cannot keep up with the innovation and the reduction of costs, he they will go out of business. but it's for the health of the entire industry. >> reporter: then this year came the collapse of solyndra, a california company making slind rickal solar panels, a firm president obama visited and touted in may of 2010. the company found it couldn't compete with cheaper chinese- made flat panels so it defaulted on a government loan of half a billion dollars. the incident has contributed to a growing national debate on the value of green energy. solar city's is concerned that solyndra's failure will make an embarrassed administration and a skittish congress hold back on what he calls incentives or subsidies to help this fledgling industry. the kinds of government support the oil industry has always enjoyed. >> now if it all disappeared that would be catastrophic for
the solar industry. >> reporter: house republicans highlighted the solyndra failure in a committee hearing last month titled "how obama's green energy agenda is killing jobs." representative darrell issa of california chaired the event. >> the guise of green jobs has become a political rallying cry designed to unite environmentalists, union leaders, to consolidate an ideological-based agenda. this would be okay if, in fact, it produced the jobs. and it didn't. >> reporter: while the white house claimed that its investment in clean energy created 225,000 jobs by last january issa charged the government used gimmick accounting in tallying green jobs. in any case, the political reaction immediately slowed down a big project solar city had planned to equip military bases, including the air force base in hawaii, with solar power.
a government loan guarantee the company was expecting didn't come through. >> it has affected us slightly. the effect it has caused is a slight delay. solar strong, our project, which deploys solar to 160,000 military homes will just now go ahead and raise the capital without the loan guarantee. >> reporter: around the country, conservatives have begun attacking the administration's support for alternative energy of all kinds. in sacramento, california, for example, conservative activist eric iceen hammer founded the coalition of energy users to fight government spending on green power. >> the green energy industry involves a lot of hedge fund managers who are making a lot money off it. a lot of these guys are also making large donations to politicians and then they're getting these massive tax payer
subsidies in return. but it's for an economic model that doesn't really pan out. green energy is a few times more expensive than conventional energy. so i don't believe that it really competes very well in a free market. >> reporter: but president obama voiced his continuing support for green energy subsidies. >> a lot of these small start- ups, they can get angel investors, they can get several million dollars to get a company going. but it's very hard for them to then scale-up. particularly if these are new cutting-edge technologies. it's hard for them to find private investors. and part of what's happening is china and europe, other countries, are putting enormous subsidies into these companies and giving them incentives to move off shore. >> reporter: since the solyndra collapse the administration has announced several new loan guarantees, claiming green energy is a big
job creator. a view shared by stanford's reicher. >> go in and retrofit somebody's home to make it more energy efficient. there's a lot of jobs there. put solar panels on the roof. there's a lot of jobs there. make the chemicals that you need ultimately to make a solar panel, there's jobs there. there's a lot of jobs here to be created in clean energy broadly. >> reporter: reicher sees tremendous growth potential for green energy. >> i think the government has a serious role to play and i would hate to see too serious a pullback particularly at a moment when the chinese roll is on the rise, when the german roll is on the rise, when many other countries are real realizing the importance in terms of jobs and economic development of what will literally be a multi-trillion dollar industry over the next couple of decades. >> reporter: still even some democrats think the solyndra debacle invites a cautious approach. california treasurer bill lock hfer here heads a state agency
that grants exemptions from paying sales tax to green energy companies. he wants to delay new exemptions. >> we want solar power. we want these jobs in our state. but let's do it smartly. let's try to avoid these bad results like the solyndra disaster if we can avoid it. 0@vcj& effective way to doçó it thatñjr doesn't costçó tax payers money. debate acknowledge that solyndra's collapse has intensified the battle. >> i think this has become a political football in washington. solyndra has c.i.t. tallized this in an unfortunate way. >> reporter: both proponents and detractors of government support for green energy show little sign of backing down.
>> warner: next, new hope for a vaccine against malaria. the disease kills nearly 800,000 people each year, many of them the youngest children in africa. we begin with a report about the latest from lawrence mcginty of independent television news. >> reporter: while you watch this program ten babies in africa south of the sahara will die of malaria. it's a scourge that 50 years of research has failed to eradicate. but today comes some good news. vaccination trials in seven countries are showing great promise. scientists are on the cuss-of having the world's first vaccine against malaria. >> i'm very encouraged today by the results that we are now showing that we're protecting with this new vaccine over half the cases of malaria in the study with african children. >> reporter: in the last two years, 16,000 children between six weeks and 17 months of age were vaccinated against malaria with a jab originally tested on american soldiers.
it doesn't work so well with adults but for young children the results are full of hope. overall it reduced the risk of getting malaria by 55% for children between 5 and 17 months old. malaria researchers in britain told me these early results are promising. the trial is still continuing, but if the final analysis fulfills their hopes, there could be a vaccine by 2015. >> there are many countries in africa where tens of thousands of children might die each year from malaria. if in such a country the government were to get this vaccine rolled out for those children in the first six months of life, we are talking about saving thousands of lives every year just in that one country. >> reporter: in the battle against malaria and the mosquitos that carry it, the tide is turning. there's a new optimism about. >> warner: geoffrey brown has more on the vaccine and its potential impact. >> brown: joining me to discuss that is andrew witty ceo of glaxosmithkline which
makes the vaccine. for the record the trials were funded in part by the bill and melinda gates foundation which funds the newshour's global health unit. mr. witty, shuft for context, what is it about the fight against malaria that makes even a 50% reduction so promising? that's far less, for example, than vaccines against polio or measles. >> an important question. i think there are really two aspects to the answer. first of all, this 50% reduction is on top of all of the been anys which have already been achieved with everything we're doing, with prevention and other preventive measures. there's already a lot being achieved. there is a further incremental benefit. then a second thing that is is easy to forget sometimes when we don't live in africa is just how prevalent malaria is. tremendous number of children are exposed continuously to this disease. the 50% reduction leads to huge numbers of reduced cases. as an example, in this trial
if we look at a typical thousand children in a 12-month period, they will suffer from something like 1,500 clinical malaria events. some children have more than one event. when they took the vaccine, we were able to reduce that to 750. it just gives you an idea of the absolutely incredible prevalent how common malaria actually is. when i go to africa, recently in kenya, almost every hospital bed has a child with malaria in it. if we could reduce by 50%, you're freeing up half of the hospital beds in those villages. >> brown: now this study tested children 5 to 17 months of age. you still need to test this for even younger children, right? when would you want to give this vaccine? what age? >> well, so it could be given at the age we've tested, clearly. but to fit with the, if you will, with the everyday
vaccination schedules for things like measles, mumps, that kind of thing, those vaccination schedules take place much earlier in live maybe from six weeks onwards. that's the other group that we're looking at in this trial. we'll get that data towards the end of 2012. if we see similarly promising results there, then what that means is that we have a viable vaccine which can then be slotted into the current vaccination schedules for young babies, meaning that the logistical challenge of rolling out the vaccine becomes a lot more straightforward. >> brown: how do you do this and keep it affordable? you're one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. you have to look to your own bottom line presumably. how do you do this and how will you do this and make sure that people in poor countries can afford it? >> jeff, first of all, we completely understand that we're dealing with a vaccine which is going to be by far and away primarily used in sub saharan africa, if it finally
is approved. we need to address that in the way the vaccine is priced. so we've made a very firm commitment. this vaccine will be priced at our cost of manufacture, our cost of goods plus a 5% margin. we will use that 5% margin to reinvestment in future improvements in malaria and other neglected tropical disease. so we think we can do an awful lot to make sure the price is not a reason to limb access to this lick lar vaccine. we'll be working with our partners, our suppliers to do everything we can to continue to bring that price down. from a shareholder perspective, what they need to see is the overall, the company makes a healthy return. i think what you're seeing at gsk is we're taking a very balanced view to making sure that we make a good return across the whole business wu we recognize in continents such as africa, we have to do something different to get prices down.
that's what we're committed to do here. >> brown: and again back to the larger context, as you said in the beginning, it is important to stress that this is just seen as one new thing to help on top of the other preventive measures already being stressed, right? >> absolutely. this is a classic case of "and" not consider "or." there are 225 million cases of malaria a year. almost 800,000 deaths mostly children in africa from this. this is a very dangerous, prevalent infection which has the capacity to change. we need to throw everything we have at it. the progress on bed nets has been phenomenal in the last five years. if we're able to conclude successfully the vaccine development we're adding another very powerful weapon in our fight against malaria. >> brown: very briefly the earliest it would be on the market would be 2015, right? >> i think as we see today, we would expect 2015. that's correct. >> brown: all right. -and-uwe witty of
glaxosmithkline, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> ifill: finally tonight, a portrait of the american judicial system. the highest court in the land began its term this month with an unusually high number of consequential cases awaiting appeal, touching on subjects from health care reform to illegal immigration. drawing less attention are the 30 million civil court cases filed every year over everyday issues like traffic tickets, divorce, and personal injury. a new book, "rebuilding justice: civil courts in jeopardy and why you should care," argues americans don't understand how the courts work, and that the system itself needs a major overhaul.r ray suarez talked with the book's co-author on the campus of georgetown university law center's supreme court institute. >> suarez: rebecca kourlis, welcome. >> thank you so much. >> suarez: the book reads like a 230-page indictment.
what's the problem? >> well, it's not that complicateded or it shouldn't be. if you get in a car wreck and there's an argument about who should be paying damages, your assumption is that you can go to court to have that case resolved. the truth of the matter is that's probably the last place you want to be. because the fees and the costs will ultimately be more than your car is worth. even if you drive a really nice car. or businesses. businesses need confidence in the fact that if they have a contract dispute, they can go to court, get a resolution for a reasonable amount of money, in a reasonable amount of time. so the first thrust is we have to convince people that this really matters, that it's very important to our social contract to have a civil justice system that is accessible, efficient, and accountable.
>> suarez: instead of making trials faster or cheaper or better, you say the tech revolution made them slower and more expensive. and churned up a lot of extraneous material in the process. >> it sure has. first of all, very few cases are getting to trial. only one percent of civil cases actually get to trial. all the rest of them settle. not necessarily on the merits. they settle because one or both of the parties have run out of money or think they're going to run out of money. into that process then drops the electronicñi age. it's no longer a box of documents that the attorneys are going to uncover in the discovery process. it is millions of documents, emails and text messages and voice messages. the corporate attorneys will say that a lawsuit that would require two to three million
dollars in legal fees. so a big lawsuit can require another two to three million dollars in the costs of producing and reviewing electronic information. >> suarez: no more continuances. no more a lawyer's appearing before judges and asking for another three weeks to review all the documents. doesn't that drive the cost? >> yes. >> suarez: isn't that contributing a lot to the cost? >> absolutely it does. there are cases as i'm sure you know where everybody shows up in the courtroom ready to go. witnesses, you know, all of the evidence and the case gets continued because the judge has a criminal case on which there's going to be a speedy trial expiration or a juvenile case. that can't happen. civil cases are really important. they need to be treated as really important. both by the funding entities and by the judges and lawyers handling them. >> suarez: a lot of the people who want to see civil court reform are just saying let's
just blow up the process. put very high limits on getting your ticket punched to get into court, so cut out the stuff at the bottom. or putting a cap on a awards and saying these great big cases, forget it. a company shouldn't be in jeopardy of being run out of business by losing one case. sort of the two ends of the rope being cut off by people who want to really severely change the way we do that. are those answers? >> no. i don't think so. at least not fundamental answers. the answer is to six the system. the answer is to assure that anyone with a legitimate claim or a legitimate defense has access to a system that works. and to assure that judges are taking the wheat from the chaff because they understand that's part of their job. you know, all of us if in a position where we would need to be a plaintiff or in a
position where we were sued as a defendant, we want to know that we can go to court and that there will be a cost- effective, just process in place. >> suarez: one of the ways that people are talking about addressing dysfunctional courts is looking at the way judges are chosen. we have kind of a mix in the united states, don't we? >> it's a hodgepodge. there are almost no two states that are exactly alike. >> suarez: what's the problem there? >> well, the problem is huge. let's remember, fir of all, that federal judges are appointed for life. as much as you can decry the political process at the outset, they're appointed for life. that's part of the united states' constitutional promise. states are all over the map on this front. states, many states, have partisan contestedy legss. other states have systems that look like the federal system
and then there are a bunch of states that are in between that achieveded this balance between impartiality and accountability. >> suarez: but in a country that doggedly resists having the same answers to theñi same questions when it comes to how we run our state, can you recommend a model that would work in missouri and florida? >> sure. sure. in fact, we do. the appointing authority usually the governor appoints. and then that judge serves a provisional term in office during which there's a judicial performance evaluation, a report card, if you will. and that's about the kinds of things we've been talking about. is the judge running the courtroom well? is the judge making decisions in a timely and understandable way? is the judge well prepared, knowledgeable on the law? that information is packaged and available to the voters. and then the voters vote. yes, no, up, down, on that
particular judge as to whether they want that judge to stay in office. >> suarez: have televised trials, have reality tv shows, have court tv shows, which have now proliferated across syndicated television, helped americans understand how their legal system works? >> i supposealityok some level all the way back from perry úérá's important to keep the court system in the minds of the public. and there are pieces of information that come through that are helpful but there's a lot of information that's inaccurate and is, in fact,ñi destructive. the fundamental premise that people don't get-- and i bet if you walked out into the street now or maybe even if you were to ask law students or lawyers-- the fundamental problem is this notion that
judges like members of the executive or legislative branch, have some duty to listen to their constituency. to put their finger in the air to see which way the wind is blowing before they make a decision. rather than being accountable just to the rule of law and the constitution. and having it as their job description impartiality and integrity and a fealty to the laws in fact in a particular case. >> suarez: rebuilding justice. sirl courts in jeopardy and why you should care. rebecca kourlis thanks a lot. >> thank you. >> warner: again, the major developments of the day. there were celebrations on both sides of the middle east divide& as an israeli soldier held captive for five years was swapped for hundreds of palestinian prisoners. secretary of state hillary clinton made a surprise visit to libya.
she urged rebel leaders to embrace democracy, and said the u.s. wants to see moammarñi qaddafi captured or killed. and wall street made up some of monday's lost ground. the dow industrials gained 180 points. online, we have more about science and health stories, among other subjects. kwame holman explains. kwame? >> holman: find analysis of the malaria vaccine trials on our global health page. and on our science page, we look at scientists who are presenting their ph.d research in an entirely new way, as interpreted through dance. tonight's edition of "frontline" examines the costs and consequences of the obama administration's get-tough policies toward illegal immigrants. check your local listings for the time. all that and more is on our web site, newshour.pbs.org. gwen? >> ifill: and again, to our >> warner: and that's the newshour for tonight. on wednesday, we'll look at tonight's debate among the g.o.p. presidential hopefuls in nevada. i'm margaret warner. we'll see you online, and again here tomorrow evening. thank you, and good night.
major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> computing surrounds us. sometimes it's obvious and sometimes it's very surprising on where you find it. soon computing intelligence in unexpected places will change our lives and truly profound ways. technology can providet( customized experiencesñi, tailored to individual consumer preferences. igniting a world of possibilities from the inside out. sponsoring tomorrow starts today.ñrñrxd ñi chevron. we may have more in common than you think.xdñçóñr[hñ/3ñrñi foundation.xdñr supporting science, technology,i performance and financialçóñixdd literacy in the 21st century.