tv PBS News Hour PBS December 27, 2013 6:00pm-7:01pm PST
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: a car bomb ripped through the heart of lebanon's capital today. among those killed: a prominent pro-western politician. good evening. i'm judy woodruff. also ahead: one of africa's biggest music stars blends sounds and languages from around the world. >> i don't try to mix things because i want to make a mix, but i am the mix. >> woodruff: and it's friday. mark shields and michael gerson are here to analyze the year's political news.
>> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> support also comes from carnegie corporation of new york, a foundation created to do what andrew carnegie called "real and permanent good." celebrating 100 years of philanthropy at carnegie.org. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and friends of the newshour. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
>> woodruff: the giant retailer target confirmed today that hackers stole encrypted pin numbers during a major data breach that began at thanksgiving. some 40 million accounts are potentially affected. target said it believes the encryption will keep the personal identification numbers safe. we get more now from jim finkle of the reuters news service in boston. >> woodruff: jim finkle, welcome. first of all, what is the risk with the theft of these pin numbers, how is that different from losing other credit information. >> you know, judy, there may actually be no additional risk because as you mentioned the numbers are encrypted. the encryption algorithms that they use are so sophisticated that nobody can break them. the issue here i think that this highlights is a couple of things. it target-- target originally gave us the impression that pins were not taken, encrypted or not so that suggests that either they didn't have a handle as to what happened or they
weren't being completely forthright. >> and why would that be? >> i can think there are a couple of reasons. first of all it is very difficult to figure out what happened in a breach of this size. but in terms of not being forthright, you know, it was the christmas holiday season and i think they wanted to keep their-- they didn't want to alarm customers. they worried about potential litigation. and they also worried about regulatory and congressional investigations. >> woodruff: and there is still other information, though, that was stolen in addition to these pin numbers that is out there. >> yeah, sure, all the information on the magnetic stripe on the back of your credit card was stolen. and that can be used to create fake credit cards. now it's possible that you know some people's credit not credit card bank accounts have been drained and we're still trying to figure out how that happened. it may be that they got the pin numbers another way. with a pin number you can access somebody's bank account. so you know what i was
talking about at the beginning about the not having all the information, about them not being forthright, we still have to find out what's going on with that. >> and just quickly what should target customers be doing right now? >> if you've gotten notification that your bank account or credit card was compromised, i would ask the bank to replace it. some of them are saying that's necessary but i've been told by everybody who is knowledgeable that that is what you should do. >> jim finkle with reuters, we thank you. >> thank you. >> woodruff: the u.s. national security agency has won a round in the fight over surveillance. a federal district judge in new york ruled today that bulk collection of phone records is legal, in the fight against terrorism. in a written opinion, judge william pauley said, "this blunt earlier this month, a federal judge in washington d.c. ruled the surveillance is probably unconstitutional. a powerful car bomb in beirut, lebanon killed six people today, and wounded more than 70.
the dead included mohammed chatah, a former ambassador to the united states, and the target of the bombing. we'll have an on-the-ground report from beirut right after the news summary. in afghanistan, a suicide car bomber killed three international troops in kabul. the target was a military convoy, about half a half mile from a nato base. so far this year, 151 coalition troops have died in afghanistan, most of them americans. there was talk today of ending the fighting in south sudan. the government agreed to a truce after a summit of east african leaders in nairobi, kenya. back in juba, the u.s. envoy to south sudan donald booth said the country's president confirmed it to him. >> he is moving forward to arrange a cessation of hostilities throughout the country in conjunction with increasing the ability to move humanitarian relief to the
people of south sudan who have been trapped by the fighting. >> woodruff: later, though, the rebel leader said conditions for a truce were not in place. he was not invited to the nairobi meeting. in the meantime, the united nations estimated more than 120,000 people have been displaced in south sudan since ethnic fighting broke out nearly two weeks ago. two more african union peacekeepers have been killed in the central african republic. the soldiers from the republic of congo were shot dead overnight. six peacekeepers from chad were killed a day earlier. the violence in the central african republic has been building since a coup last march. the head of thailand's army urged restraint today by both sides in the country's political crisis. and, he issued a warning. the commander spoke a day after police and protesters battled in the streets in bangkok. two people were killed and more than 140 others were injured. the army commander deplored the
violence, and he left open the possibility of a military coup. >> ( translated ): the door is neither open nor closed. anything can happen, it all depends on the situation. the people should support the army because we're trying to do the right thing. we're trying to avoid using force. we're trying to use peaceful ways such as negotiations. >> woodruff: protesters have appealed to the army to intervene in their two-month battle to oust the government. reports of sexual assaults in the u.s. military increased more than 50% in the latest fiscal year. the associated press obtained initial data that there were more than 5,000 such reports for the 12 months ending in september. pentagon officials say the spotlight put on the problem this year has made victims more willing to come forward. on wall street today, it was a quiet close to christmas week. the dow jones industrial average slipped a point to close at 16,478. the nasdaq fell ten points to
close at 4,156. for the week, the dow gained 1.6%. the nasdaq rose 1.3%. still to come on the "newshour": the deadly blast in the heart of beirut; political turmoil for turkey's prime minister; a look at economic inequality and mobility in america; mark shields and michael gerson on the year's political news. plus, songs celebrating a beautiful africa. >> woodruff: now to lebanon, where a prominent politician and others were killed in a bomb attack today. hari sreenivasan reports. >> sreenivasan: the powerful blast shook buildings in central beirut this morning and left what looked like the aftermath of a battle. a lebanese t.v. channel captured the eerie silence in the streets moments after the explosion hit. plumes of smoke rose from flaming cars, as shaken
residents tried to make sense of what had happened. >> ( translated ): as you can see all the shops here are damaged. i consider all this terrorism, all this is terrorism, damaging the country and the people. what more can we say? god help us, god help this country. >> sreenivasan: the attack wounded scores and killed six people, including the main target, mohamad chatah, a prominent sunni politician and former ambassador to the u.s. he was an outspoken critic of the assad regime in neighboring syria, and the lebanese shi-ite militia, hezbollah, fighting for assad. less than an hour before the attack, chatah tweeted his latest criticism of the militants, saying: >> sreenivasan: hezbollah denounced the assassination, but allies of chatah took up his refrain, in the hours after today's attack. >> the target is lebanon, its institution, its president, not
the whole image of this country, the convivial country, the country of democracy. >> sreenivasan: from washington, secretary of state john kerry also condemned the killing. he called chatah's death a terrible loss and said: but that goal seems far off, as the civil war in syria has already split lebanon into opposing political camps, with a weak, caretaker government since april. and there's been a tit-for-tat increase in bombings and other attacks in recent months. last month, two suicide bombings rocked the iranian embassy in beirut, killing 25 people. iran is a backer of hezbollah. today's attack was the first major strike at beirut's upscale renovated center in years. ann barnard is the beirut bureau chief, i spoke to her a short time ago.
what is the latest information that we have about the bombing? >> well, no one has claimed responsibility, which is not unusual there have been a series of assassinations in lebanon dating back to 2004, none of which have been solved. and almost-- none of them has anyone claimed responsibility. there were quick accusations from mohammad chatah political party implizing that either hezbollah or the syrian government could have been behind the assassination, they denied it. >> how important was chatah to lebanese politics. >> he is an important figure. he is somewhat behind-- he was one of the main advisors to hariri, the former prime minister and he was seen even by political opponents as a consensus builder, someone who was able to reach across political and sectarian lines even at moments of extreme tension, so in that sense his presence would be soarly missed at a time like this. >> how much of a grip does the violence that's
happening in syria have on what is happening in beirut or what has been happening in beirut in recent months? >> well, of course there are existing conditions in lebanon that predate the syrian war, as is in the string av sass nations that i mentioned before. but since the syrian war has accelerated, there have been a number of violent attacks in beirut and other parts of lebanon which are seen as being part of the spillover from the syrian war which has become a regional power struggle. there have been several bombings of areas in southern beirut where hezbollah an ally of the syrian president bashar al-assad has many supporters. those have been widely blamed on jihadists fighting with the syrian rebels or on their lebanese sympathizers, there was also the bombing of the iranian embassy. iran is also a supporter of assad. and there have been fears that there could be revenge attacks for those or other jihadi attacks as well as
all kinds of other parties that could take advantage of its situation to spread divisions in lebanon and try to spill over the syrian conflict. >> how surprising was it that this bombing happened in this particular part of the city? >> well, that was a big blow to beirut. this is a neighborhood which is a contested space. it's the center of downtown beirut which was largely destroyed during the war, during the lebanon civil war which ended in 1990. it was rebuilt by the hariri family. and the supporter its see it as a symbol of lebanon's persistence and rebirth, whereas the critics see it as a space that has become a playground for the wealthy. so it's a place that has a very strong symbolism. but especially in the holiday season it can be a very busy place, sparkling with christmas decorations. and people were shocked to have a bombing right in the center of the city there
have been, you know, fighting in the northern city of tripoli, there have been shelling in the valley related to the syrian conflict. but to have it really hit home in the center of beirut was shocking to a lot of people. >> how much of this is sort of a proxy fight of what's happening in syria now moving into lebanon? within well, this is something that the lebanese have been worried about from the early days of the syrian war. and whereas the powerful parties here, hezbollah and rival future movement have spoken of trying to keep things calm inside lebanon. both of them are supporting opposite sides in the syrian war. and both are accused of sending their militants in to syria to fight on opposite sides. you also, so you have a situation where the existing divisions in lebanon are now magnified by those in syria. >> anne barnard of "the new york times" in beirut,
lebanon, thanks so much. >> thank you. >> woodruff: now to nearby turkey-- once a model of stability in the middle east-- where an exploding corruption scandal threatens the government of prime minister recep tayyip erdogan. chief foreign affairs correspondent margaret warner explains. >> warner: tensions erupted in the streets of istanbul this evening as police blasted protesters with water cannon, tear gas and plastic bullets. the crowd threw rocks and shouted "catch the thief!", a cry aimed squarely at prime minister recep tayyip erdogan, in the eye of a widening corruption probe. but earlier today, the prime minister defiantly rejected the calls for his removal. >> ( translated ): let me be clear. if our nation tells us to leave, we'll go. there's no hesitation there. because that's the office we respect. but when the people are telling
us to stay, we won't listen to someone who is telling us to go. >> warner: the controversy exploded ten days ago, when police detained two dozen people, many with erdogan party ties, in a 14-month-long corruption and bribery investigation. officers raided the home of the c.e.o. a major state-owned bank, discovering boxes of turkish liras. the video got wide play on turkish t.v. it was a sudden blow to erdogan and his islamist justice and development party, the akp, who have ruled for 11 years. erdogan lashed back, charging that political foes, led by followers of islamic cleric fethullah gulen, and foreign powers were plotting to bring down the government. >> ( translated ): those who are receiving the support of financial circles and media cannot change the direction of this country. >> warner: but eight days later, on christmas day, three cabinet ministers resigned after their sons were implicated in the investigation. later that day, erdogan replaced
ten ministers, but again denounced the investigation as conspiracy. >> we are facing an attack against the turkish people and the turkish republic which is presented as a corruption probe. >> warner: his government also tried to head off the probe, with a new decree forcing prosecutors to clear their efforts with their superiors. last night, the prosecutor leading the probe charged interference and was removed hours later. but today, a turkish court annulled the decree requiring high-level approval for all investigations. the new controversy comes on the heels of gigantic summertime protests against the government's plans to raze istanbul's popular gezi park to make room for development. both have taken an economic toll. foreign investors are dumping turkish bonds, and the turkish lira is has dropped dramatically. >> woodruff: and margaret joins me now. margaret, a lot of different
sfrands to this story, tell us pore about what is behind all this. >> warner: well, judy, the western narrative in tur can for over a decade has been that it is a battle between the old secular forces backed by the military and the islamists, the religious con serve difficult parties. the islamists won. and now what you have is really a battle within that victorious coalition in which erd o-- erdogan who had taken the atp out of the shadows, the made it the dominant part in this country, a booming economy, a reputation for clean governance, turned turkey into this muslim democratic state is suddenly facing these core ruping allegations that go right at the heart of not only people close to him but, according to the turkish press, potentially his son. and he is fighting back as we just saw. >> woodruff: and how so, how is he doing that? >> warner: well, he's basically doing what he did during the prowess it is this up certificate, instead of taking the substance of the charges, criticisms or complaints seriously, he's
going on the attack. so not only has he tried to metel in the sort of prosecutor ranks and so on by rea insoing police chiefs an prosecutors, he is blaming it on outside forces. the u.s., by implication israel, and now this home group force, the movement, another islamist move,. >> woodruff: so the gulen movement, give us a sense what that is? >> that is a very mysterious organization, judy. first of all-- headed by a man we just saw in the state who lives here in pennsylvania because he was hounded, for 15 years and for reasons it isn't clear he hadn't gone back. idea logical it is a blend of sufficienti islam that has been described as wanting to marry islam in modernity but in practice a network of businessmen, people in bure sock-- bureaucracy, in civil society, big education kponant and they work together. it is also secret, you don't
register as a gulenist. and so they are, for a long time were erdogan's allies against the military. but in the last year or two they have come to feel that erdogan has become an authoritarian democrat is one term they use. and is running kind of rough shod over sort of let power go to his head. and so they are are they in the ranks of the prosecutors and police, probably so. but that video didn't lie. this money was discovered and the public i talked to people from gulenists to secularists and they all found these allegations, you know, disturbing and persuasive. >> woodruff: we know that corruption allegation, have been around for a long time in turkey. so what's different about, why is this happening right now? >> tas's a really good question because you're right. we've been under the old secularist. the thought was the wealthy families a lot of self-dealing there in. last ten years as the economy has just been, a lot
of new people have also gotten very wealthy. and you have all these high-rises, you go to istanbul, you were just there, it is unbelievable the development that's going on. and it's tapping into resentiment. just as the daysy park demonstrations did, that there is some chi kannery going on so that officials look the other way and return for money and they overlook zoning regulations, there are also other charges involving money laundering and iranians an russians, so i talked to one person who said he thought this was a good sign that the public now dares to take on the leader of this democracy and say you know, no, you weren't hugo chavez. you can't just continue ripping down neighborhoods and building what your crohnees want to build without consulting the citizenry. >> woodruff: and you mentioned erdogan blaming outsiders including the united states. that has been part of-- within and that was pretty shocking to many people. 's caused frank ricardi oni,
one of the most respected ambassadors in the foreign service behind this corruption probe. it is true that treasury has been looking at this particular bank and suspecting it. >> woodruff: the u.s. treasury. >> yes, u.s. treasury department and suspected it of being involved in some elicit trading with iran. but the idea, nobody i talked to thinks there is any substance to this. and yet erdogan threatens through the turkish media to have him declared persona nongrata and kick him out that has gone away. secretary kerry talked to the foreign minister. but it is a surprising development. at the beginning of this administration erdogan and president obama were on the phone all the time. the u.s. saw them as the stable ally in a volatile neighborhood. and now they've already been splits on some issues but it makes it harder to partner on syria or iran or israeli-palestinian issues. >> woodruff: so some of these people have been arrested. the investigations continue, what happens next? >> well, the real question that people are asking is, is erdogan in danger here.
nobody i spoke with thinks there is any part that is arrival to the akp there are elections fix year t is still the most popular party, huge support in the rural areas. but people who know so watch two things, one, do krousd of protestors get out and stay in the street for weeks and weeks and weeks and put pressure on. and two what happens within erdogan's rolling party. you start to see figures defect and put pressure on him to step aside for someone like president ghoul. rd o began has done nothing to diffuse the situation, and how the prospects are lakely f he does nothing to diffuse the situation, if he continues to stonewall and go on the aggressive. >> woodruff: which is what he has been doing wants then you know, anything could happen. >> woodruff: margaret warner, watching yet another country in turmoil in that part of the world. thank you.
>> woodruff: let's turn our attention to economic issues and a pressing deadline: the expiration of unemployment benefits for some americans this weekend. it comes in a year when there have been mounting concerns over inequality and lack of opportunity. >> sreenivasan: more than four years after the recession hit, the unemployment rate remains stubbornly high at 7%. but after saturday, unemployment benefits will end for an estimated 1.3 million individuals who have been out of work for more than six months. typically, states and the federal government provide unemployment insurance for up to 26 weeks. in the wake of the recession, emergency aid was provided for a longer period, up to 99 weeks total at one point, and the program was repeatedly renewed. but when congress went home this month, it did not extend the benefits again after democrats like senator richard durbin of
illinois urged his colleagues to do so. >> if we really care about working families and those who are on their way back to work, we've got to extend these unemployment benefits. >> sreenivasan: some republicans argue extending benefits is the wrong prescription as the recovery takes a more firm hold. senator rand paul of kentucky made that case on fox news. >> when you allow people to be on unemployment insurance for 99 weeks, you're causing them to become part of this perpetual unemployed group in our economy. and it really-- while it seems good, it actually does a disservice to the people you're trying to help. >> sreenivasan: the battle is the latest this year over broader concerns about inequality and a growing divide, issues that first caught fire during the occupy movement. >> hold the burgers. hold the fries. we can't survive on $7.25. >> sreenivasan: this year fast food workers and other low-wage employees held strikes around the country calling for a
living wage of $15 an hour. five states raised their minimum wage. as did several counties and cities, like d.c. anxiety over inequality and mobility, the ability to move up the economic ladder, were a critical part of the debate. new york city mayor-elect bill deblasio won after campaigning on a "tale of two cities" and in a speech earlier this month, president obama called the issues "the defining challenge of our time." >> the combined trends of increased inequality and decreasing mobility pose a fundamental threat to the american dream, our way of life, and what we stand for around the globe. >> sreenivasan: but some conservative economists say the trends are not that clear cut. and there's no political consensus yet on how to address it. late this afternoon, the president said he would press congress to pass a three-month extension of unemployment benefits when members return from the holiday. some perspective on all this and an assessment of the scope of these bigger problems. robert reich is a former labor secretary during the clinton administration and now a
professor of public policy at university of california berkeley. his documentary "inequality for all" explores the topic. and scott winship is a senior fellow at the manhattan institute whose work includes economic mobility and inequality. i want to start with you on the news of the day here, your thoughts on the expiration of the long term unemployment benefits? >> well, hari, those are not just bad for those families, but also bad for the economy overall. because remember, those unemployment benefits going to the unemployed-- unemployed will be or have been turned around by the unemployed in terms of their purchases of goods and services, if they're not getting that money any longer. they will not be able to turn around and buy goods and services. that means that the economy will be that much less robust. >> scott winship, should they be extended. >> you know, i don't think it is a terrible idea. i do think that we're talking about a pretty small fraction of the labor force, probably about 3% of fix year's workers.
so it's easy to overstate, i think, the cost and the benefits of extending them. but the unemployment rate remains high and i don't think its he a bad idea to extend them for a bit longer. >> okay, robert reich, let's talk a little bit about economic inequality is it increasing for most of us or is the inequality just increasing between the top 1% and the rest of us? >> most of the inequality we were seeing and we've experienced in this country for the last 25 to 30 years has been between the very top, that is the top 1/10 of 1% or 1%, or maybe 3 to 5% depending on how you measure it, and everybody else, the median household income continues to stagnate by some measures, actually dropping, adjusted for inflation while the people at the very top they've got 95% of all of the economic gains since the recovery began. and so there's no question that inequality is widening.
but it's widening primarily between the top and everybody else. >> scott winship, should we be concerned about this? >> i don't think there's much reason to be concerned about it. when you look at the literature, the claims about how inequality is rise has hurt the middle class and poor is really overstated. the middle class has not stalling natured. the congressional budget office puts out income figures every year and they show since 1979 the middle class is something like 40 to 50% better off than they were and the poor actually are quite a bit better off than they were as well. so i think there's even a little bit of question about whether the extent to which the top has pulled away from everyone else that hinges on how you measure the income that folks at the top get from their investment income. but at any rate, the dots have yet to be connected, i think, pointing to where this increase has hurt other folks. >> robert reich, one of those dots people like to connect is the income
inequality along with economic mobility is there a strong connection between the two. >> there is for the simple reason that as the income ladder lengthens because people at the top are that much further away from the middle-- people at the middle and the people in the middle are far away from people at the bottom, is that ladder elongates it's harder and harder to get anywhere on the ladder if you start climbing even if you climb that ladder at the same rate of upward mobility that we had 30 or 40 years ago which we don't have, it would still be harder to get anywhere plus we have a lot of middle rungs of that ladder now disappearing because all those manufacturing jobs that used to be unionized and paid pretty good wages even though a lot of education was not needed, those rungs of ladder are now gone. >> so is there enough data to support that or how about the idea of economic opportunity, someone who is born in a poor family or poor household today, do they have the same shot of
climbing out of that pov the. >> well, again, i think you can be concerned about whether there is enough equality of opportunity and whether folks at the bottom have enough of a chance to get ahead. but for folks who study the topic the research couldn't be clear their there is no consensus 'tis that mobility has kleined to the united states. most of the studies show there is very little change since the mid 20th century. so you can believe that we don't have enough opportunity but we do but the idea is that it has kleined there is very little to support that. >> robert you were reich, your response. >> we must be looking at different studies, with du due respect, everything i have seen, the pew studies, other studies show that actually it is harder for a poor kid to make his way or her way up, not only because geographic pov cert more concentrated but also because that geographic poverty also correlates with poorer schools, with poorer public health, fewer public
parks, often environments that simply are unsafe or are not conducive to upward mobility. fewer models, people who are actually making it around you. if i can also go back to something else your other guest offered before, that was that it is not a problem that we have widening inequality. let me just forget one of the reasons we are seeing such a slow anemic recovery is because the vast middle chas doesn't have the purchasing power to keep the economy going. with so much money over 20% of total income going to the top 1%, the vast middle class and the poor just, they don't have enough money to buy enough to keep the economy, to get the competent back on track. >> what about that idea that the economic, the trickle down effect isn't happening f the 1% are getting wealthier, they're not spending it and creating the same type of demand that the middle class would.
>> it is a theory but when you look at the literature on whether rising inequality, whether more inequality results in slower growth, a number of studies as money has showed that it hurts growth actually show that more inequality increases growth. now i don't think that that means we ought to be rooting for more inequality in the united states but if you are really looking for a smoking gun that more inequality has hurt economic growth in the middle class or poor it's not there. >> robert reich what about the consequences of whatever rate of inequality that two of you might agree on, but what are those consequences. >> besides slower economic growth and i do think the studies, predominantly do show that and intuitively it's obvious, beyond that you have an kind of corruption and eroding of our democracy. when more and more money accumulates at the top, so does inevitably political power as the great american jurist louis bran dyess once
said we can have a great deal of money in the hands-of-a few people or a democracy. but we can't have both. because money inevitably of that degree as in the late 19th century now, does corrupt and undermine with lobbying an campaign contributions, our dem sock-- democracy. >> quick last word. >> well, you know, we have a democratic president who just won a second term. we had a huge expansion of entitlements in the affordable care act. we're talking about raising the minimum wage. i think the evidence isn't there that somehow inequality has produced politics that has been less kind to the middle class an poor. >> all right, scott winship, robert reich, thanks so much for your time. >> thanks. yen line we have a round up of paul solman's extensive coverage of inequality throughout the year. you can find it all on making cents.
>> woodruff: and to the analysis of shields and brooks. that's syndicated columnist mark shields and "washington post" columnist michael gerson. david brooks is away tonight. welcome, gentlemen. >> thank you. >> woodruff: we just horde this conversation, mark, about inequality. we talked about it before at this table. how big a problem is it in this country as we close out this year? >> i think it's a growing problem. i think it's a real problem, judy. and the president is obviously called it the defining issue of our time. and pointed out that over the past 35 years we have seen a widening of the difference in income and wealth between the middle class and between the top 1%, top 1% in the past 30 years since ronald reagan was president have seen their incomes go up by 279%, just
last year 10%, top 10% got more than 50% of the country's income. that's the first time that has ever happened in u.s. history and sort of the irony of this is that as his critics, if anything, capitalists have done exceedingly well during the (obama presidency. >> if that's the case where is the outrage or should be there any outrage about this? >> well, there should be. i think there should. i mean i think are you seeing stickiness at the lower ends of the ladder. and an ability for the upper-class to perpetuate privilege in the often affluent and educated people are marrying affluent and educated people. the problem here, the bad news is it's a very complex social problem. it's not just a difference in income. it's a difference in skills and education and social capitol. those are what really make the difference in the long-term and that's going
to require institutions to change fundamentally,to be able to transfer those skills and education and values. the good news from my perspective is that both left and right have part of the answer here. you know part of the problem is the decline of families and value shaping institutions, and part of the problem is the decline of blue collar jobs at decent wages. you know, both left and right should have something to contribute here. robert putnam who is an expert on these issues at harvard calls it a perfectly purple problem. meaning the left has insights into the problem. the right has insights in the problem. they should come together and have some idea. >> and mark is there any sign or reason to think they will come together and do something. >> well, i think it is. i think judy that it-- i think it has become increasingly evident that income inequal sit just not bad ethics or bad morally, it's bad economics. i mean as robert reich was pointing out, when people don't have disposable income,
they can't buy goods and services. they can't, and spur the greater economy. and i think the pope has contributed to this discussion. i think he's given a moral dimension that making the point that while globalization has made us all neighbors, but certainly hasn't made us all brothers. and that that is really a sense of responsibility that we have, when mobility is lost in this country because that has been sort of the dream, the ideal of the united states, i mean when one out of 20 children born in the bottom 5th ever makes it the top fifth, an when michael-- to the point two out of three who are born in the top fifth remain there, i mean, they are there. i mean so there isn't that sense of going back and forth and high risk. >> the conversation right now as we just heard, michael, is about extending unemployment benefits but there is a larger question here that we're talking
about. is there real, tangible evidence anywhere that the two sides, you talk about the two sides have put forward ideas about this. >> it's a good thing they're talking about. president obama has made some eloquent speeches about it. paul ryan has announced this will be a focus of what he wants to contribute to the republican party over the next year. be interesting it to see what ideas he comes up with. i agree with president obama on this. i think it is a central issue to the definition of the country. americans are willing to accept inequality when there's mobility. but in the absence of mobility, inequality is just a cast system in which birth equals destiny. that's not consistent with the american ideal. there's much of that in america. >> i guess what i'm saying where is it on the a gnda? >> well, i think we do things in this city by baby steps. i think if we do minimum wage if we extend unemployment insurance, i think those-- . >> woodruff: you think minimum wage could get --
>> yes, i think there is, i think there is no question that minimum wage, you know, it's being done state-by-state, but i think there is a real chance that we request get some momentum going, in that direction. and the key is, judy, those public institutions whether they're schools or whether they're colleges or whether they're training centers, that, where people do a quarter the skills, that they can rise. i mean we can't underfund those. we can't under staff those. and i think that becomes a part of the debate. >> if those kinds of things get done, michael, does that make any difference? >> well, i think it should. but i just won't underestimate how difficult this is. i mean we've talked about education reform for a couple of decades in america. it's hard to do. it's hard to implement but it's a key to all of this. graduation from high school and then graduation from college. these are keys to social mobility. and we don't really know how
to get there right now but we need to come up with some ideas. >> if democrats pushed minimum-wage increase would republican goes along with it if it were a federal move? >> i think there would be significant resistance on the part 6 significant portions of the republican coalition on minimum wage. for economic arguments back and forth on how this affects entry level jobs and other things. >> all right, very quick question about edward snowden, he came out i guess the day before, the day of christmas to say mission accomplished. he of course is the former national security agency contractor who put out hundreds of thousands of pages of documents, mark. mission accomplished? what should we be thinking about edward snowden right now? >> well, i think there are certain facts that are irrefutable. he took an oath. he probe the oath. he violated the law. at the same time, he started a national debate that we have not had in this i can before. he's revealed, he has certainly complicated
america's relations with foreign countries both friendly and maybe neutral. by revealing that we have been eavesdropping on their leaders' phones. he led to the dreblinger of national intelligence lyin lying-- director of national intelligence lying to the senator of the united states when asked if they collected data on thousands of americans, millions of americans. he said no. and it turns out every phone call, it's number and its length are in fact recorded. so i think it started a debate. i have been surprised, judy there hadn't been a more intense debate about privacy. but i can see it now, gaining some traction in this country. >> woodruff: what is his-- what are we left with at the end of this year because of the snowden disclosures? >> well, i think that he demonstrates how technology is defusing and decentrallizing power in america. some contractor, obscure contractor because of the way information technology
works can expose the government and have tremendous disproportionate influence. also makes it harder for the government to keep secrets which are sometimes necessary for national security. i mean we're showing the upside of technology, the decentralizes power but it complicates the work of government. sometimes essential roles of government. and that's the flip side. >> all right this is our last friday show before the end of the year. so i get to ask a few questions, looking back. mark, here's one. what should the president have learned in 2013? >> the president should have learned, judy, that reality counts. that how, where the rub err-- rubber hits the road, where people live, i mean the rollout of the health care, the crowning glory of his administration, the signature issues, has been a
little short of a public catastrophe and a political disaster. and it's raised serious questions among the president's own supporters about his competent-- competence and about the competence of the quality of people that he has chosen to staff his administration. so i don't think there is any question that it's been a-- it should be an incredibly sobering experience for the president. >> what would you say should have been the biggest lesson for the president sm. >> well, i think both sides have lessons here. i mean this is a year in which the left in some way showed its worst face in obama care, overcompetent, technologically incompetent. but at the same time the right showed its worse face. angry populism, uninterested in governing. the spectacle was extraordinary this fall, of both parties, essentially
self-sdrukting at the same time, unable to take advantage of one another's mistakes. blaming one another but really being at fault themselves. bad for american politics when that happens. and now we're left to ask well, what emerges from the ruins? will reasonable elements of both parties be able to emerge and do things like emphasize opportunity and reforms of health care which are going to be necessary going forward, or not in this. but we, it was a bad year for our political class. >> you think lessons were learned. >> i think the republicans learned, should have learned the fundamental truth. it is politics is not a seesaw. just because the other guy is down doesn't mean you're up. they're down even further. and there's peter hart has pointed out, the lowest point in the history of "the wall street journal" poll of any political party, i mean it isn't the people, the supporters of the president who have been disappointed or in some cases disaffected
by an 11-1 margin find republicans negative. and they have, they are a party without ideas. i mean michael has spoken about paul ryan's plans and their ambitious plans. but there isn't a republican health-care plan. there hasn't been. they all-- basically what the republicans have learned is this, judy. something that the beer industry learned a long time ago. and that is one beer company doesn't accuse the other beer company of causing hangovers, bad breath and big stomaches, because in the long run it starts to hurt beerb, and beer sales. and they've really hurt politics and hurt poll significance-- politicians i think by the constant relentless negativism. they haven't been alone in that respect. but i think that has been the continuing line from the republicans. an they've got to come up with a sense of governing and how they would gov earn. >> there are lessons here
for all of us. it's the end of our time at the end of this year. and we wish you both a happy new year, mark shields, michael gerson, thank you. >> happy new year, thank you. >> thank you >> woodruff: finally tonight, a different kind of a look at africa through song. jeffrey brown talks with one of the continent's biggest stars. ♪ ♪ . >> brown: born in the west african nation of mali, daughter of a diplomat posted around the world, rokia traore and her music are african and western influences and languages. ♪ ♪ ♪. >> brown: musical career took off in the 1990s. ♪ ♪. >> brown: she late err moved back permanently to mali's
capitol where she's lived through the troubled recent times for her country, including an islamist insurgency that for a time lead to the burning of precious manufacture you scripts and books and banning of music in parts of the north. ♪ traore new album addresses the problems of mali and the continent but also as its title, beautiful africa suggests, much more. we talked recently in washington and i asked her first how she describes her music. >> i would describe my music as mallian-- music, a mix of a profound mallian culture in which my music and yes, my personality is rooted and also opened to all my influences. i had during my travels when i was a child. >> brown: so a mix of traditional malian music and all that you have
experienced since? >> a mix. and a mix but a natural mix. because i don't try to mix things because i want to make a mix, but i am the mix. >> brown: are you the mix. this is you, who you are. >> and i simply have to do things the most natural and yes, very naturally. and it gives what my music is. and anything i do in my every day life is also this mix. and i feel good with this mix. i feel good having different cultures around me. my band is made from people coming from italy who stay in u.k. and malians and french people. and i like that. we speak several languages and we go from one language to another one. and my life is like that, and i like that. >> brown: in this new album you seem very concerned to sing about africa, its problems and its beauty.
why do you -- why dow want to sing of that. >> sing being africa is like singing about myself. >> brown: like sing being yourself. >> absolutely. it's like singing about my story. it is how my, mi related to this countrymen more than what your people can think around me because eventually the way i grew up, i am always considered like from one i am a nut which am, in africa, too much european and europe still african. >> brown: you always counted yourself sort of an outsider. >> not just a feeling but it is something real, yes, this album definitely for me it's a way to talk about my relationship with mali w africa. so to talk about myself. >> brown: on a news program like ours we're always, when we look at africa it's usually reporting on the bad things, right. the wars and the poverty. you acknowledge that in your
songs, but you want us to know there's something more. >> something -- some things people see more through media which give them a very anything difficult image of africa. is other things are every day but also some of the things which are more grb kbrb-- i don't know how to say, just a normal life. and joyful things and just glad to be in africa and living there. and-- when you see through africa through other country's medias it is where a country where everybody want to go out and nobody want to stay there, africans. >> brown: you done recognize that africa. >> no, because it's not my case. >> brown: i want to ask you about one particular song, it's sarama because it is a tribute to women in africa. and you sing anything good i can do i want it to be a
tribute to you, speaking of women in mali ♪ ♪ i miss your smile ♪ ♪ anything good i can do ♪ i want it to be a tribute to you ♪ ♪. >> i'm amazed by the way they are. and the way they face their every day life. they don't see themselves as victims. an african woman or a malian woman or in my village, will never tell me, complain, let's say, will never complain about her every day life. she smiles and for her it is just her life. and i admire this fact. and it's a face of inspiration for me really. >> brown: how do you look at what's going on in your country. >> the most complicated and the very important question
we were wondering about was when we will be able to manage the situation in the country and in general, and i knew that as everything will become normal, muss lick start again and now i think there are more films about what happened in mali than there could be if the situation didn't happen. >> brown: really so, all of that has lead to more music. >> more music of course, music is like what you think and what you file in your deep inside, you don't find the right words to say but you can play it and you can express it, express it in an artistical way. you cannot stop that in the whole country and in a country like mali. >> brown: okay. your new album is beautiful africa, rockio traore, thank you so much. >> thank you for having me. >> woodruff: you can watch rokia traore perform two songs from her latest album.
again, the major developments of the day: target announced hackers stole encrypted pin numbers during a major data breach, but it said it doubts the numbers can be decoded. and a federal judge in new york ruled the sweeping collection of phone records by the national security agency is legal. earlier this month, another judge found the program is probably unconstitutional. on the "newshour" online right now, we look back at some of our favorite cultural reporting from 2013. filmmakers brought their stories to us revisit our conversations with the directors of oscar-nominated documentaries and other talents like dolly parton and trey anastasio. find those on art beat. all that and more is on our website newshour.pbs.org. and a reminder about some upcoming programs from our pbs colleagues. gwen ifill is preparing for "washington week," which airs later this evening. here's a preview: >> tonight we have a special
holiday program for you as the reporters who cover and explain washington offer their insight nootion the stories that shaped 2013. you want to hear what they have to say, tonight on washington week. >> woodruff: tomorrow's edition of "pbs newshour" weekend: a report from one new orleans neighborhood that is still struggling to rebuild, more than eight years after hurricane katrina. and we'll be back, right here, on monday with author and journalist david ignatius on his recent trip to iran. that's the "newshour" for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. have a great end of the year weekend. thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪
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report" with tyler mathisen and susie gharib brought to you by. >> thestreet.com. up to the minute stock market news and in depth analysis. our quant rating service providings objective independent ratings daily on over 4300 stocks. learn more at the street.com/nbr. into the breach, target confirms personal identification numbers were stolen but says the data is safe. others say that are not so sure. shredded tweet. shares of twitter get slammed today and that will likely deepen the divide on wall street. do you buy this high-flier or not? and finding quotety. our market monitor says he has quality names you should own in a world of record highs on wall street. we have that and