tv Fareed Zakaria GPS CNN November 16, 2014 7:00am-8:01am PST
this is "gsp," the global public square. welcome to all of you in the united states and around the world. i'm fareed zakaria. we'll start with the two presidents, obama and xi scheide side by side announcing major matters they agree on. is this the big breakthrough in relations between the world's number one and two economic powers? i'm not so sure. then jon stewart and iranian born maziar bahari on the iranian regime, the ayatollah, the nation's nuclear ambitions, the arab spring and the new movie "rosewater." >> i am a journalist.
nothing more. and college applications are due son. are colleges as we know them simply too expensive and outdated? is there a better way in higher education? my guests say there is. finally, europe landed on a comet this week. india has a probe orbiting mars and russia remains the not so trusty taxi to outer space. what's america up to up there and whose spending on space is the highest? but first here is my take. as moscow continues to send its forces into ukraine, it seems clear that pu tin's russia presents america and the west with a frontal challenge. but in the longer run, it is not russia's overt military assault, but china's patient and steady nonmilitary moves that might prove the greater challenge. russia is a great power in
decline. its economy amounts to just 3.4% of global gdp. china's is nearly 16% and rising. now almost four times the size of japan's and five times that of germany's according to the world bank. presidents obama and xi deserve the accolades they're receiving for their historic agreement on climate change and it seems to suggest that america and china are moving toward a new, productive relationship. except that even while signing these accords, xi jinping's government has been taking steps that suggests it is developing a very different approach to its foreign policy, one that seeks to replace the american-built post-1945 international system with its own. if it continues down this path, it would constitute the most significant and dangerous shift in international politics since the end of the cold war. it's been widely reported that xi has presided over a rise in nationalist rhetoric in recent
years, much of it anti-american. while nationalism has been circulating in china for a while, the quantity seems to have risen shamply. one count found that the number of anti-western polemics in the official people's daily in 2014 so far has tripled compared with the same period last year. perhaps more important, however, is that china has begun a low-key but persistent campaign to propose alternatives to the existing structure of international arrangements in asia and beyond. it's moved from being anti-american to post-american. this summer beijing spearheaded an agreement with the other brics countries to create a financial fund that would challenge the imf. in october beijing launched a $50 billion asian infrastructure bank explicitly as an al midwestern tiff to the world bank. last year president xi declared
china would spend $40 billion to redevelop the old silk road. for china to fit into an international system rubs against its deepest traditions. henry kissinger notes that china has never been comfortable with the idea of a global system of equal states. historically china considered itself in a sense the sole sovereign government of the whole world. diplomacy was a series of carefully contrived ceremonies in which foreign societies were given the opportunity to affirm their assigned place in the global hierarchy. one in which china sat on top. these are worrying signs not because beijing's efforts will surely succeed. they may not. many of its efforts have run into opposition, but if china continues down this path using its growing clout to ask countries to choose between the existing set of arrangements or new ones, it might create
conditions for a new kind of cold war in asia. it will certainly help to undermine and perhaps eventually destroy the current international order, one that was created by the united states after 1945 and which has been a platform on which peace and prosperity have flourished in asia for seven decades. for more, go to cnn.com/fareed and read my "washington post" column this week. let's get started. okay. you've heard my thoughts on the most important relationship in the world today. now let me bring in two real experts. elizabeth economy is the senior fellow and director for asia studies at the council on foreign relations and david hatchton is the director of china studies at john homp kins. liz, you had a great piece in
foreign affairs and what i was struck by is after mao every chis leader has been less powerful. until we get to xi jinping who is now, some people believe, the most powerful chinese leader since mao. >> if you look at what the chinese -- people were saying, they were beginning to talk about the era of wen jiabao as the lost decade, a time when china had failed to capitalize on the fact that it was now the second largest economy in the world, had failed to really exert itself as a global power and china was ready for a leader like xi. the time was right for a chinese leader to take center stage. >> why did he do this deal? >> well, i think, first of all, he has crushing internal problems, and i would soften a bit the idea that he's the greatest leader since mao. that may prove to be true but it's going to take ten years
before we know it's true. right now he's two years into a ten-year period. he's got crushing domestic problems, demographics are working against him. i think he had to consolidate and sort of pacify the external environment so he can pay attention internally, so this agreement reflects his domestic political problems as much as it does a desire to move into the world. >> which are, liz, pollution, which is the one thing when i was in china about nine months ago, the thing you heard from local party officials more than anything else was pollution and the second was corruption. i suppose that's the complaint they get from ordinary chinese people that the air and water are really dirty. >> right. people can't breathe. you have 670,000 premature deaths in china because of the air quality. we're not even talking about the challenges that arise from water pollution and soil contamination. that is clearly one of the major issues. but there are many others. there's the demographic
challenge, rising inequality within china. ethnic tensions. you have the recent protests in hong kong. xi jinping really is facing an enormous number and range of domestic challenges but this is precisely why i think he has amassed so much power, and it may take eight more years to see whether he is successful in addressing all of these challenges but i don't think it takes eight more years to see whether or not he is sitting in a very powerful place within the chinese leadership. >> what do you make, mike, of the -- there's no question there's been a rise in sort of nationalist rhetoric, and as i point out, you know, all these attempts to really subvert the old international order, alternatives to the asian development bank, to the imf, to the world bank. is this xi or a long-term chinese strategy? >> what we're seeing is china, not just xi. we're seeing a china that sees
itself in great historic terms, and this isn't so much as a new status for china, it's a sort of restoration of national greatness, and i think we're going to face a china that on one hand is cooperative, increasingly cooperative on some economic and global issues like climate change, but on the other hand, i just was speaking with military people in china last week, and they are clearly going to continue to push china's sovereignty and he's not going to give on that set of issues. so he's walking a fine line by trying to seem a good global citizen on the one hand but assuage this nationalistic drive on the other. >> what about the nationalism? >> i agree. i see it in two different respects. one is as mikes a alluding to, the nationalism that emanates from strength. china is the second largest economy in the world, wants to expand its influence, right? sort of be at the center of the asia-pacific and beyond. at the same time i think there's a much more insidious form of
nationalism and that's the nationalism that doesn't tolerate a diversity of opinion and that's where we see xi jinping clamping down on the artists and intellectuals and talking about colluding with foreigners within the chinese academy of social scientists and really putting a chill i think on the kind of creativity and ennio vation he wants to support. when i look at these two forms of nationalism, i think so myself actually this second insidious form really undermines his efforts to put china out in front as a global leader with a shared vision for the asia-pacif asia-pacific. i think he faces that kind of challenge as well. >> thank you both very much. that was absolutely wonderful. next on "gps," jon stewart and the iranian-born reporter on bahari's four months in an iranian prison and what inspired jon stewart to make a movie about bahari's experience? all about iran when we come back. already 41 companies are investing almost
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tehran, june 21st, 2009. t the city is in tumult. on that day bahari, an iranian/canadian reporter from "newsweek" was taken from his moth mother's house, arrested, and thrown in prison. he would be held there for 118 days in solitary confinement. he wrote a terrific book about the ordeal. that book has now been turned into a movie called "rosewater." it comes from the perfume that his interrogator used. it was a story i'm intimately familiar with. i was involved in the campaign
to free bahari. the movie was able to shock me, move me. joining me are a maz yerba harry and this other guy, an unknown first time filmmaker by the name of jon stewart. >> nice to see you. >> what do you think of the green revolution? did it fail, did it succeed? >> well, i think if we think of it as a revolution, it failed, but it was never a revolution. it was a green movement. it was a movement of millions of iranians to gain their rights as citizens of the country. they did not want to be the subjects of the master, the supreme leader. so the movement continues. you may not see the manifestations of the involvement on the street, but the people's demand to be considered as citizens of the country continues. and the fact that rouhani was elected last year was a direct result of the demonstrations into 2009. >> you don't think he's a great
liberal? >> i don't think he's a great liberal, no, no, no. i mean, when rouhani was elected, people said you shouldn't judge him -- you shouldn't judge a book by a cover but you should also judge a book by his grammatical areas, mistakes, and i think he's done many mistakes now, and i don't think he's a liberal, but he's better than ahmadinejad, which is a great step forward. i mean, iranians, they look at any kind of sudden change with re pud yation now. they do not want a repeat of 1979 revolution. when they are looking around the neighborhood seeing what the syrians are doing for example or what happens in iraq and afghanistan, they don't want a repeat of that. that's why the pace of reform, pace of change in iran is very slow. excruciatingly slow, but that means that it's sustainable. if the outsiders don't interfere, of course, if there is an attack, if there's any
kind of bombing, that will interrupt that pace of change, but if they just let the change to take its path, it's going to be a sustainable change and sustainable reform. >> so you filmed that mainly in jordan around ahman. >> that's right. >> you spent six weeks in the arab world, as it were -- >> ten weeks. >> this was at a pretty interesting time in terms of what was going on in the arab world. >> right. is there ever not an interesting time when things are not going on in the arab world? >> you're a close student of this kind of stuff. >> yes. >> what's your impression? ten weeks in the arab world, did it change the way you think about the middle east? >> i think, you know, there are moments whenever you immerse yourself with the people in a culture, and this is in no way to suggest that filming a movie in a city is in any way akin to living there or being a part because there's a very self-selecting group of people you end up interacting with at all times. that being said, you can get a feel for the flavor and
character of a place, and there are moments of great hope within it. you sense the humanity of the people there, the great hospitality of the people there, but you also see the obstacles and the barricades that are up that prevent that sort of detante we're hoping for. there are moments of great hope followed by feelings of this is going to be a long cultural shift. this is a part of the world that has been trapped between authoritarianism and extremism, and it's very difficult for the majority of the people who live there who are just looking to carve out a little space for them and to live their lives, to get that space and create those civic institutions when you are constantly trapped between those two poles. >> you are not hopefulen an iranian deal? >> i don't think so. i don't think there will be a deal on the 24th of november because i don't think that there is a real will either in iran or
the united states to have a deal on the 24th, and there are also radical interest groups in both countries. in iran the revolutionary guards are making a lot of money because of the sanctions and because there is no relationship between iran and the united states, and in this country, as you know, there are many lobbies for making a lot of money by supporting the sanctions and not -- >> not a lot of incentives on either side. >> fair to say whatever deal obama would bring, it would be pilloried -- >> hugely popular. whatever he does, my feeling is it will be hugely popular and hailed throughout our political system. that's -- my favorite is the new climate deal. so all they talk about in congress is we can't -- we're not going to do a climate deal because if you don't get china on board it's meaningless, utterly meaningless. we have china on board. no deal. china, no, it's something else. why would we allow the united
nations and china to decide our economy? so you realize the system right now is incentivized for status quo, for stagnation, you don't raise money on bipartisanship, on cooperation, and good governance. you raise money on demonization and that's why we set. next, i will show you what role this show played in maziar's movie and the story. it was sort of pivotal. kid: hey dad, who was that man? dad: he's our broker. he helps looks after all our money. kid: do you pay him? dad: of course. kid: how much? dad: i don't know exactly. kid: what if you're not happy? does he have to pay you back? dad: nope. kid: why not? dad: it doesn't work that way. kid: why not? vo: are you asking enough questions about the way your wealth is managed?
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and we are back with mass yar bahari, the writer of "rosewater" and jon stewart, the director of "rosewater." >> after you were thrown in prison, i interviewed secretary hillary clinton. >> i have to ask you a question of personal interest. a "newsweek" reporter has been arrested and is going through what can only be called a stalinist show trial. what is your reaction to that? >> i am just appalled at the treatment that mr. bahari and others are receiving. it is a show trial. there's no doubt about it. >> in the movie the way you present it and to a certain extent in the book is this was a sort of pivotal moment for you personally because you suddenly realized, hey, i'm not alone. there are people who actually care about me. >> it was the best day of my imprisonment. the best day maybe because there were not other good days, that
it was the best one. it was the only good day of my imprisonment because when they put you in solitary confinement, they deprive you of all your senses. you become delusional and you become suicidal, but because you don't think that you don't know what's going on outside, and your only way to communicate with the rest of the world is through your interrogator, but when my interrogator -- one of the prison guards by mistake called me mr. hillary clinton, there and then i realized that there is a campaign for me. so that was the best moment. for a prisoner, the worst thing is to think that he or she is alone, and that was a moment that i realized that i was not alone. >> the certainty of the truth -- i mean, what you portray a lot as these guys who they think they know the truth, but you always wondering when watching the movie, are these interrogators really -- they seem at some level very
insecure. it's a deft way of portraying it. there's a lot of bravado but they're very insecure. >> you have to portray it, they're human beings. people that are interrogators or torturers, this is a job. it's not something that we might see in sort of a more sensationalized cinematic version of it, the bruce willis over the guy tell me where the bombs are. this guy has got to come in every day, he's got to be there by 8:00. it's a bureaucracy. he has to work within that. the green movement to these interrogators was in many ways just a chance to get some overtime. you know, the prisons are so filled with people, i think that the gentleman who was responsible for maziar's torment in some ways wouldn't have had an opportunity to deal with someone, a vip prisoner, more educated, more western if it had not been for the overwhelming amount of people that they were trying to filter through this
prison at the time. >> do you think of it as eichmann in jerusalem, the banality of evil? >> i think to compare them to eichmann and the nazi regime i think is also a mistake in the same as comparing them to isis. they are not, you know -- isis is not a state actor and they do true depravity. i think this is different, and i think there is a rationality behind it, and to view it in that way means it can be manipulated, around it means that you can fight back against it. so there is a banality to it. i would consider it more the bureaucracy of evil and the stupidity of evil but evil is a relatively rare -- >> there's a rational behind their irrationality, and as you know, the iranian diplomats and iranian politicians, you have interviewed them several times, they are very logical people. they're very prag matcle people, but they are working for a system that thrives in security,
it thrives in being insecure and making people insecure. so their irrationality is an inherent part of the system. they may not think they're doing it, they're not doing it intentionally, but that is an inherent part of their character. >> and you capture also the mixture of reality to some of their complaints as this moment where the guy had -- the rosewater has the maziar character has admitted, yes, the cia was involved in the coup and so, wait, you're saying they were involved then but they're not involved now? it's always struck me that's what regimes like this do, they take a few facts that are uncontestable and extrapolate. >> sure. >> all the paranoia they have, all the conspiracy theories they have, they are based on some truth, and then they put one and one together and they conclude it's 11, not 2. so they always blow it out of proportion. >> i want to get one last
admission from you. >> please. >> when world historical things like the green movement are happening, the arab spring are happening -- >> where do i get my news? >> you tune into cnn to watch these brave correspondents, risking their lives. >> i put a set of google alert for blitzer and then i just wait. >> say honestly -- >> we have a cnn exclusive tonight, the empire state building is blue. >> during the green revolution, you watched cnn and appreciated the brave reporting -- >> let me tell you something. the reason why i make fun of certain aspects of cnn is to be inspired by the brave reporting, is to want more. >> good. that's all i want. >> that's all it is. >> you want more cnn. >> i want more of good cnn. cnn is very similar to the doll chucky. sometimes it's good chucky. but you really got to watch out for bad chucky.
>> but we're all inspired by the good stuff. >> no question. >> next on "gps" many accused president putin of putting the moves on china's first lady but it's not really a sign he's ins lent, but rather, he's insolv t insolvent. i'll explain when we come back. insolent, but rather, he's financial noise
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lower your blood sugar with invokana®. imagine loving your numbers. ask your doctor about invokana®. now for our "what in the world" segment. everyone was talking about that moment at this week's apec summit in beijing when president pew pin draped a shawl over china's first lady. many claimed he was flirting. who knows if he was but there's no question that putin is trying to woo the chinese. last sunday moscow and beijing signed an accord to develop a second gas route to supply china with russian gas. and just six months ago the two nations struck another energy deal. this one a 30-year blockbuster worth $400 million. the russians reportedly hope that soon china will become
their biggest gas consumer. are we seeing the consolidation of a russia/china axis. well, not quite. for china the mega gas deals with help officials diversify away from coal which would lower pollution levels which have caused significant public concern in the country. for russia, the situation seems more desperate. remember, oil and gas not only accounted for 70% of russia's exports in 2012, but also for more than half of its federal budget income. according to the u.s. energy department which cites pfc energy research. and thanks in part, but only in part, to falling oil and gas prices, russia's economic outlook is bleak. western sanctions have crippled the ruble which so far this year have tumbled by about 30% against the dollar. russia's inflation rate reached 8.3% in october. the central bank has had to raise interest rates to 9.5% and
still not much capital is flowing into the country. don't forget, european nations are russia's biggest crude oil and gas importers, and many of them have, of course, been looking for ways to curb their dependence on russian energy in the wake of the ukraine crisis. so russia is right now contending with falling gas prices and the potential winnowing away of its main market for that gas. to me the proposed deal with china seems to speak more to russia's desperation than to putin's powers of persuasion. he needed a deal and fast, and it seems in his haste he left some things on the table. the moscow times reported that china has gotten the upper hand in the gas deal. the paper quoted a moscow think tank director who says that for russia the profit margin for the chinese contracts would be close to zero. beijing got a great economic deal because it's saving the kremlin from its increasing
isolation. after all, this is a very unequal partnership. russia imports more goods from china than anywhere else in the world, but look at this list of china's top import markets. russia ranks tenth on that list according tom it's observatory of economic complexity. remember the chinese economy today is almost five times the size of russia's, and that gap is likely to grow over time. there's no doubt that for now the deal helps russia enormously and china likes having a partner that is large, global, influential, and like beijing wants to distance itself from the u.s. and its influence. over time don't be surprised if this marriage turns out to be a troubled affair, one of convenience, more than true love. next on "gps," it's dreaded application see son for high school seniors but should they even are applying to colleges at all. should they instead be sitting
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built for business. many teenagers in the united states and around the world are breathing a huge sigh of relief today. saturday was deadline day for early applications at many colleges in america, but my next segment might make some of those kids question their decision to go to a regular college at all. i've been intrigued for years by so-calledm ooks, massive open online courses where you can take college classes without going to college. and i wanted to know if they are a real viable alternative. joining me are stuart butler who says mooks are throwing bik and mortar schools for a loop. and anant agarwal.
so, stuart, explain first the kind of crisis and what you called the business model for higher education. >> it certainly is a crisis that they're facing. first of all, of course, the costs of traditional education has been going up and the indebtedness associated with it. student tuition debt in the united states exceed credit card debt. >> and it's 1 trm$1 trillion. >> secondly you're seeing different kinds of information coming forward so people can actually evaluate the success of going to one college or another. whether it actually pays off. and then the third thing which you referred to is you're seeing new kinds of technologies that, first of all, appeal to students who are not part of the regular market but now that technology is being developed such as through edx and through others such that it is really beginning to break open the existing traditional markets. so there's an existential threat to the very business model that quite honestly has been lasting
for almost 2,000 years. >> and, you know, you point out the numbers of pretty staggering. you now have among private nonprofit college graduates 65% in debt. the average indebtedness is $20,000. cost is obviously now at $200,000, $300,000 to go to college and it's not clear they get that much out of it. >> that's the driving force. once you combine information about whether you're getting good value for money and then you combine that with the technologies that give you different ways of actually getting to the same result, that's what breaks open a market. >> of course, a lot of people say, okay, that's fine, but you can't just sit in front of a computer and watch some professor and that's not education. what do you say to that as somebody running an outfit that does sort of that? >> today's online education is not our grandfather's online education. it is completely transformed. we are doing short videos, interactive gaming technology
where professors are using game-like technologies, discusses, the segments such as yours where various people get together, experts in the field get together to discuss a topic. it's not just a video of a professor standing at the end of a classroom. the technology has advanced technology. we bring the social into the classroom, into the online experience, and so this can be a very rich and very high quality experience. >> and the numbers prove that it's catching on, right? at this point online enrollment is moving faster. there are more people enrolling into online mooks than actual colleges? >> that's right. >> to you does that suggest people are saying, look, i can get the same product or something close to the same product at a very different price? >> you're certainly seeing that certain parts of the product are being now made available at a much lower price, almost free in many cases.
therefore, the traditional universities have got to rethink fundamentally what they do, how much they do, how long an education should be, whether it should be all at one place. that's the kind of thing that's happening. >> so basically what you're saying is the internet is the -- the one thing it does is it undoubles and it's unbundles the college experience and saying why do you have to do all this four years, one place, 300000 snds. >> absolutely. yeah. i wrote a blog post called "unbundled" for "the huffington post." i said university bundle time, function, and content. why four years? why at the age of 18? when i went to my undergraduate school, it was a five-year program, and i remember the whole institution and professors were up in arms when the discussion was let's make it four years. guess what? it's four years today. it's bundling of time. why should we spend four years
together? maybe come into the university having done the first year of courses as a mook, free courses, you spent two years on campus to get the magic of campus and the campus experience and then you spend one year in the world, maybe even the subscription back to the university when you take online courses for the rest of your life as you need them. >> now, the real challenge it seems to me to the traditional university, if somebody goes to anant's outfit which is free, what if somebody goes to google and says, look, i haven't gone to any college but i have taken 35 courses at edx and here is my certificate saying i have done them and i did it because i can't afford a regular college. the courses are from harvard and mit and they cost me nothing. would you hire me? if an employer starts recognizing this, all of a sud be people will say why am i paying $300,000 when this guy gets the job just as easily.
>> it's exactly the next stage you will see. it's taken a while for business to wake up to what's going on, quite honestly, in higher education, and i think in addition you will see a change in the notion of what is a college. i think very soon you will see colleges really being the equivalent of assembly companies. what you're paying for is for somebody to put together a package for you, maybe a period at a recognized university, at a traditional university. maybe an online section, maybe a year abroad somewhere, so that what you're doing is getting a customization for a student, and what you're paying for is really something to put together a marketable product of that nature. that changes the whole notion of what is a college. >> thank you both very much. fascinating stuff. for much more on the high cost of education and the future of colleges and universities in america, don't miss cnn films newest release "ivory tower" debuting this thursday at 9:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. eastern
right here on cnn. next on "gps qwest a different look at immigration, one that president obama and speaker boehner would do well to consider. look at immigration, one that president obama and speaker boehner would do well to consider. (man) some things are worth holding onto. they're hugging the tree. (man) that's why we got a subaru. or was it that tree? (man) introducing the all-new subaru outback. love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru.
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ten years ago on march 2nd, 2014, a spacecraft named rosetta was launched from french guillen that. on wednesday cheers went up at the european space agency as the probe touched down on comet 67-9, 310 million miles away from earth. the hope is that the comet will hold vital clues about the origins of the solar system and our planet earth. overall, esa, an intergovernmental organization% has spend almost $1.75 billion on this mission. it brings me to my question. according to a recent study, which of the following countries spent the largest percentage of its gdp on space last year? a, the united states. b, china. c, russia. or d, india. stay tuned and we will tell you the correct answer. this week's "book of the week"
is bret stevens, "america in retreat." ths an exceptionally intelligent, well written book filled with interesting data and analysis that's well worth reading and i don't even agree with most of it. stephens is fast becoming the most influential conservative writer on policy. as president obama gets ready to take executive action on immigration for our "last look" let's take an interesting new look at an old place for many of our ancestors journeys in this country began, not mine, but others. this week marked the 60th anniversary of the closing of ellis island. from the day that it opened in 1892, ellis island processed over 12 million immigrants, and the u.s. government estimates that 40% of americans can trace their ancestry to immigrants who passed through this isle in new york harbor. a new art exhibit on the island
caught my eye this anniversary week. as part of his unframed project, the artist j.r. has placed life-size historical photos of immigrants around the deteriorating buildings. the black and white pictures fit cleaverly into the walls and the space and according to the artist's website, the project is about bringing the memory of the island to life. and perhaps the memory that america is a country of immigrants who came from around the world, often poor and i w l illiterate and speaking little english but from that rough material has come the energy that has made it the most powerful country in the history of the world. just a memory that congress should keep in mind when thinking about immigration reform. and now a quick geography lesson for us all. last week in our "what in the world" segment, we told you about macedonia's high unemployment rate. we were talking about the republic of macedonia.
unfortunately, while we were talking about that sovereign nation, we showed you images of the macedonia region of greece, its neighbor to the south. our apologies. the correct answer to the "gps" challenge question is "c." according to the report, the united states outspends russia, china, and india combined in war dollars but russia spends slightly more than the u.s. as a percentage of gdp. in fact, russia's space spending has increased almost 150% between 2008 and 2013. it's up to a quarter of a percentage point of the country's gdp. it underscores just how much the kremlin values its space program. spending the highest share of gdp while its economy stagnates and growth slows. thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week and i will see you next week. good morning. i'm erin mcpike and we are closely tracking all of the developments in a big story breaking overnight.
isis claims to have beheaded american hostage peter cassic in a video posted online today. the 26-year-old, a former u.s. army ranger and iraq war veteran, traveled to the middle east in 2012 to serve as an aid worker in syria and that's where he was captured more than a year ago. he converted to islam during his captivit captivity. cnn has not confirmed the authenticity of the isis video. it shows the aftermath of a beheading but the victim is not clearly recognizable. cnn senior international correspondent arwa damon is in turkey and she's known peter for years. arwa? >> reporter: i first met peter back in the summer of 2012, and he was up in a hospital in tripoli, lebanon, and there he was, this scrawny, pale, tattooed kid who is speaking broken arabic but despite the language barrier, he was able to treat wounded syrians there with such compassion and he would speak about how he felt that at
that period in time of his life he really needed to do something, and he was the kind of individual who didn't just believe in speaking about doing things but in actually going out and making that reality. he had such drive and compassion. it was really inspirational, almost infectious when you listened to him talking about what it was that he wanted to accomplish. it was just a few months after we met him and i remember being surprised when he was telling me about this, that he had already begun helping syrians out in the refugee camps in turkey but also going inside the country itself delivering medical assistance but also because he had training as a medic himself, as an emt, he was giving lessons to syrians in critical first aid because in so many cases the people on the scene initially are those who don't really know how to handle the extent of the injuries that they're being confronted with. >> arwa damon, thank you so much. "reliable sources" starts right now.
good morning. i'm brian stelter. it's sunday, november 16th, and it's time for "reliable sources." ferguson, missouri, on edge today waiting to find out if darren wilson will be indicted. >> fake media is not allowed in ferguson. >> it's the media versus the protesters. you will see the confrontation. and an american correspondent in china speaking truth to power and then being ignored. see why president obama says he was impressed. and later millions of zens wrote messages to an obscure government agency. i'll tell you why john olver is getting the credit. we begin this morning with this. bill cosby is an american icon, one of the most popular television stars in the history of the media. for many people it's almost imobviously to believe that bill cosby or cliff huxtable, could be accused of sexual assault, but this week there was a firestorm surrong