tv PBS News Hour PBS October 14, 2014 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> ifill: wild swings on wall street. what's sparking all that volatility and making investors nervous? good evening, i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. also ahead this tuesday, president obama gathers military leaders from twenty countries to determine how best to combat islamic state militants gaining ground in iraq and syria. another tight senate race, this one in unpredictable colorado, where women could make the difference. >> these people of colorado are very independent. and i think as soon as they telelike they're -- feel like
they're getting percentage unholed, they're going to switch. they don't like being told. >> ifill: plus, scientists take aim at reducing the salt in food without sacrificing the flavor. those are some of the stories we're covering on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> at bae systems, our pride and dedication show in everything we do; from electronics systems to intelligence analysis and cyber- operations; from combat vehicles and weapons to the maintenance and modernization of ships, aircraft, and critical infrastructure. knowing our work makes a difference inspires us everyday. that's bae systems. that's inspired work.
>> and the william and flora hewlett foundation, helping people build immeasurably better lives. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions 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. >> woodruff: the death rate in the ebola outbreak in west africa has hit 70%. the world health organization updated its count today, to nearly 4,450 fatalities out of 8,900 cases. the agency also warned there could be 10,000 cases a week within two months. meanwhile, the dallas nurse who contracted ebola issued a statement, saying she is "doing well." and in atlanta, dr. thomas frieden, who heads the u.s. centers for disease control, announced more aggressive measures.
>> we're increasing our education and information to health care workers throughout the u.s. we're also initiating an immediate response team from cdc for any future case of confirmed ebola in the us so we will be there, hands on, within hours helping the hospital deal with the situation if there is another case. >> woodruff: later, president obama said the u.s. health care system makes an ebola epidemic here highly unlikely. he also complained again that "the world as a whole is not doing enough" to contain the threat. also today, facebook founder mark zuckerberg and his wife priscilla chan donated $25 million dollars to the c.d.c. foundation to help fight ebola. last month, the bill and melissa gates foundation donated $50 million. >> ifill: the u.s. coalition sharply intensified air strikes today in a bid to stop islamic state forces from capturing a key syrian town. kurds trying to hold kobani,
near the turkish border, reported strikes throughout the day. the u.s. military said there'd been 21 in two days, the most yet. the air campaign accelerated as the president met with coalition defense ministers at joint base andrews, just outside washington. >> focused on the fighting that is taking place in iraq's anwar province and we're deeply concerned about the situation in and around the syrian town of kobani which underscores the dlet that(pathreat that isil poh iraq and syria and air strikes continue in both these areas. >> ifill: turkey attended today's meeting, but has so far refused to help the kurds in kobani. that's prompted deadly riots by kurds in turkey, and news reports say turkish warplanes attacked kurdish militants yesterday, in southern turkey. >> woodruff: and in iraq, amnesty international reported shiite militias are retaliating for "islamic state" attacks by
killing sunnis. the human rights group charged today that the shiite-led government has been unable, or unwilling, to stop the militias. we'll take a closer look at "islamic state" gains across iraq, later in the program. >> ifill: shiite rebels who captured yemen's capital last month, seized more of the country today. the rebels, known as houthis, took control of the red sea port of hodeidah, as well as a southern province. the group already controls swaths of the country's north. >> woodruff: up to one million people in afghanistan are going with less food, due to lack of funding. the u.n.'s "world food program" reported today it faces a gap of about $30 million. the head of the agency's afghan operations said other needs are competing for the money. >> just to name a few: the needs for ebola, what's happening in syria, in iraq, in central african republic, in sudan. i mean all of those emergencies of course are all having a toll on the capacity of the donors to
provide afghanistan and word from the white house today >> ifill: back in this country, word from the white house today is that president obama will hxword from the whitehouse today is that president obama will wait until after next month's election to announce his pick for attorney general. a number of senate democrats fought the delays to avoid making the nomination a campaign issue. attorney general eric holder announced last month that he's stepping down after six years. >> woodruff: wall street's day was less volatile, but stocks struggled again, amid continuing concerns about the global economy. the dow jones industrial average
lost about six points to close below 16,315. the nasdaq rose 13 points to close at 4227. the s-and-p 500 added just three, to finish at 1877. and on the oil market, crude prices in new york dropped below $82 a barrel for the first time in more than two years. we'll delve more into what's been roiling the markets, in just a moment. >> woodruff: also ahead on the newshour: islamic state militants gain ground in iraq; colorado politicians vie for votes and control of the senate; the debate over choosing death and dying with dignity; scientists search for keys to creating tasty food with less salt; and, a new book explores the people behind the digital revolution; >> ifill: in recent days and weeks, the financial markets have been even more impossible
to predict, swinging from record leaps to sudden drops. while the dow jones industrial average was nearly flat today, it's been anything but recently, dropping nine times in the last 12 days. a decline of 4%, or more than 670 points in three days straight. and swinging five days in a row by 100 points or more. plus, the s&p 500 dropped this week to its lowest point since the fiscal cliff showdown of 2012. what's happening here? eswar prasad, an economist at cornell university and the brookings institution is here to answer our questions. what's happening here? >> it's a combination, gwen, of uncertainty, the federal reserve is always in fear. uncertainty because the u.s. economy seems to be in the right track. it's generating pretty good group where recovery is strengthening but the rest of the world is weakening. everywhere you look in the world, china japan, even countries like germany who are doing well are looking very weak. the question is whether the u.s. can sustain the global recovery
on its own back. the federal reserve looks like it might start having to tighten policy raising interest rates because the economy was doing well. but now that uncertainties about when the fed might attack because again the u.s. economy is doing well, generating jobs a fair amount of slack in the labor markets. but now the world environment is weakening so there's uncertainty there. and finally the ebola epidemic raises the potential that so far the economic impact has been very limited but there's the fear it could become something bigger. >> ifill: let's separate what's happening globally from what's happening domestically. globally we're talking $1.5 trillion in a he can with. what is that telling us. >> it's telling us the policy makers in the rest of the world have no room to move. what we have in europe for instance is the cold economy. it's like germany and france and italy, the critical economies in junior. junior -- in europe. this is pretty well and the other economies are not doing so well. the crises now even germany hasz stalled so have france and
italy. the central banker mario braggi said he will try to act but there's no room in fiscal policy because there's huge amount of death andebt and other reforms. the reality is monetary policy may turn out not to be very important. the same is true in japan and in china global strength. so around the world, it remains the bright one spot. >> ifill: let's talk about the domestic issue. there's the ups and downs in wall street. it's loath to say what drives them. at the very least let's look at the ups and downs. the volatility itself. is there something underlying all of that. >> i think it's really concern a sense of foreboding about the future. remember stock markets reflect what's not happening today but what might happen in the future. right now the picture in the u.s. looks pretty good. the economy has an unemployment trait under 6% is generating more than 200,000 non-found jobs permonth. the economy grew in the second quarter with a 4.6% annual rate.
so the numbers look pretty good. those are pretty good things in theu.s. inflation is contained. the u.s. alone cannot sustain itself. right now every currency in the world almost other than the chinese, is weakening against the dollar. how long can the dollar hold on against this background. >> ifill: the dollar is pretty strong right now. is that enough to stop investors from fleeing the market or are they moving around. >> actually a lot more money is coming to the u.s. because the u.s. looks like one country doing well. it has an effect on jobs. this is what was making it scilt issue -- as skittish. the prospects becoming recovery is very difficult for the u.s. to sustain. >> ifill: a person like you, what is safer right now. your job or your portfolio. >> i think ultimately the u.s. stock market is a pretty good place to invest. remember the stock market
despite the recent decline is still slightly ahead from the end of 2013. i think employment is picking up but there's a large portion of the population that is still not seeing the benefits, labor intensive of portfolios, intensive job growth. it's still a very very uncertainty recovery at some level. >> ifill: that's what you're talking about. >> that's exactly right. >> reporter: eswar prasad from the brookings institution. thanks a lot. >> may pleasure. -- my pleasure. >> woodruff: as we reported earlier, president obama met with the defense ministers of 20 nations this afternoon to figure out how best to stop the islamic state group. despite coalition efforts the militants continue to push ahead and make further gains in some areas. tonight, we take a closer look at where i.s. is in control and what areas they are threatening. ned parker is the bureau chief with the reuters news agency in baghdad, where earlier today 23
people were killed in a suicide bombing in a shiite neighborhood. i spoke to him a short time ago. ned parker, welcome. first of all, what is none about who is behind -- known about who is behind this suicide bombing. >> the attack is claimed by the islamic state on twitter. they say it was a deliberate strike on the shi'ite area to assassinate a member of parliament, a shi'ite parliamentary member who also had been a deputy interior minister in the past. >> woodruff: what is the feeling there in baghdad? what do people say when you talk to them? is there a sense that islamic state is ripe on the edge of the city? >> well, i think what one has to realize is that even before the city was surrounded, at the very beginning of the year war started in anbar so that
immediately brought the war to the edge of baghdad, what we refer to as the baghdad belt. so even in april you had the islamic state in the area of abu ghraib that's outside of the airport. so the city has been under siege, if you will, for some time. a loose siege, but definitely there's been a battle going on hitting security forces and militias against the islamic sawhat maybe is different now is that the state since mosul fell in june has really been a stalemate. and the islamic state has been able to consolidate ground despite u.s. air strikes in parts of the north. in western anbar province in the last month we've seen the islamic state have a series of victories in the euphrates river valley. all of this is perhaps allowing the islamic state to lose more of its fighters around, and even in the summertime in july, there was always talk in bag tad that could potentially carry out an attack in the neighborhood.
so all of that has been here and continues to be even though there has been u.s. air strikes. that leaves iraqis feeling frustrated, worried about the future. and genuinely scared. but it isn't because suddenly the islamic state is at the doorstep, they have been at the doorstep for many months. >> woodruff: but overall, the sense is that the islamic state is growing in its presence and in the territory it holds in the country. >> right now, there is in new sense of alarm or panic. but when you look at it, the biggest change in the battlefield in terms of momentum is anbar province where you're seeing towns fall and where potentially you could soon have the islamic state having the border all the way to rue muddy. that gives them a corridor from syria to baghdad's store department and allows them to mobilize their foot soldiers and
have a propaganda victory. maybe that changes things more but i think the point, the point is there werej suicide bombings in iraq last."rspring. the security situation h unraveling for some time the islamic state has been surrounding the province of baghdad for seven or eight months. and right now it's a time where people feel uncertain in par because the islamic state is not going away. it's not disappearing and the efficiency of the u.s. air strikes is limited just by the fact that the advisors who are calling in the strikes are limited in the green zone in baghdad and in our view. >> woodruff: just finally, what happened, ned parker, to the sense when the new prime minister was named, mr. awe baddie that he was going to pull the country together and less sectarian strike because we're hearing about shi'ite militia
attacking sneez sunnis across te country. the islamic state is reeking the havoc you're describing. >> abadi came in when really all the control on the ground by the government was lost. the fall of mosul shattered the idea that the state could enforce any form of law and order. and the state that he inherited is a very corrupt one. it lacks efficiency and when you look at the[: ground the areas e not controlled by the politicians who are in government. and many sunnis are playing on the fence. when they look at baghdad they say we found it oppressive. militias are out now sighting alongside the arm eyes. what is better the islamic state and the militia or this weak government. for prime minister abadi for him to sendly wave a magic wand in the middle of a hurricane, it's impossible to expect that
suddenly you could reverse things that are still entrenched on the ground. it's a very tough job. >> woodruff: a long way to go and a tough job indeed. ned parker, we thank you very much. >> thank you. great being with you. >> ifill: we turn now to the rapidly approaching midterm elections. if you want to understand why the senate democratic majority is in danger, you need look no further than the rocky mountain state of colorado. >> ifill: at first blush, it may seem that colorado's senate race between senator mark udall and congressman cory gardner has boiled down to two men fighting over women's issues. >> congressman cory gardner's history on anti-abortion legislation is disturbing. >> oh, that's senator udall's campaign. senator udall's a social issues warrior. he wants to talk about nothing else.
it's something that they campaigned on four years ago when michael bennett was running in colorado. it won then. they did it again in 2012 and so they think that same playbook will win again in 2014. >> he's saying that i'm a social issues warrior. in fact he is, i'm an economic issues warrior. you talk to women, this is about economics, it's also about respect and colorado's fiercely independent. we're libertarians. and we respect our freedoms. and we think government, above all, should not be involved in these really private decisions. >> ifill: but the critical election day question may be: which women are they speaking to? are they speaking to women like cathy alderman, who's been campaigning against an anti abortion ballot initiative? >> they can vote for somebody who supports women and supports women's ability to access the healthcare services they need, versus somebody who has spent an entire political career trying to limit that access. >> ifill: or are they appealing to women like briana johnson, a mother of three who describes
herself as pro life? >> it's hard when a group of women is going on and claiming to speak for the entire population of women, because yeah, i don't, i don't relate to that. they say you know cory gardner's too extreme for women of colorado. well, that's not what i believe and that immediately alienates me. >> ifill: 64-year old udall, who is just completing his first term in the senate, is one of a handful of democratic incumbents under sustained political fire this year. his nemesis: a 40-year-old two- term congressman who says the country, and colorado, is due for a midterm, mid course correction that only a republican senate majority can deliver. >> are you ready to make to make harry reid a footnote in history? >> ifill: udall's predicament is especially perilous because of colorado's reputation as a notoriously unpredictable state. president obama has won twice, but much of the state's voters
see themselves as outliers who are as likely to legalize marijuana as expand oil exploration. >> i think the people of colorado are very independent and i think as soon as they feel like they're getting pigeonholed or labeled as, as more democratic or more republican, they're going to switch. they don't like being told who they are. >> ifill: for voters throughout the west, the name udall is a known quantity. the senator's father morris was a senator from arizona, and he has two cousins in the senate now, utah republican mike lee and new mexico democrat tom udall. >> i'm a mountain climber, you all know that. you don't schmooze your way up a mountain, you don't trash talk your way up a mountain, you just climb the dog gone thing, so this is a mountain we're climbing, let's go climb it. i'm proud to be your senator, thank you. >> ifill: but gardner treats udall's political history as a liability.
>> ifill: ads like this have transformed udall's reelection bid into bitterly contested toss up. last week, gardner won the surprise endorsement of the state's biggest newspaper, which derided the incumbent for running what it described as a one issue campaign. udall shrugs off the hometown rebuke. >> the denver post doesn't think women's reproductive rights are important. that's their decision, but that's an important part of my campaign. >> ifill: norman provizer, a political science professor at metropolitan state university in denver, says gardner has another advantage: a more affable approach to conservative politics. >> he's one of the more conservative members of the house. he comes across as kind of a tea party member without the steam. and instead of steam, he has a smile. so he's kind of put a kinder, gentler face on some policies
that many people think of as very harsh. >> ifill: thomas unterwagner, a udall supporter who stopped off at a weekend farmer's market in the midst of a 40-mile bike ride, believes the senator is struggling because of where he works, washington. >> i think most basically the problem is, i think they blame whoever's in office currently, the incumbent and whether they, whether they feel, whether they're economically doing well or not, they still blame the incumbents for some reason. >> ifill: adding to the uncertainty here is this new twist. for the first time, colorado is joining oregon and washington in allowing every voter to cast a ballot by mail, a shift that could change the outcome, and what it means to get out the vote. both parties say the campaign ground game, door knocking, phone calling, debating, could make the difference in an election when the polling place comes to you. >> so put two first class stamps on the ballot and send it back in the mail.
>> ifill: but voter after voter we talked to said they are exasperated by the tone of a campaign that has cluttered the airwaves with negative advertising, paid for by the candidates, and by outside groups who support them. >> they go after one another's personalities and so sometimes i tend to tune out you know, to some degree at this time of the year. >> i already know what i want and what i think is right. um, so they're just aggravating. >> ifill: this rocky mountain election also features a running debate about the four e's: education, energy, the environment and the economy. but central to the choice between udall and gardner, who cleared the republican field when he decided to enter the race, is whether the victory will tip control of the senate to the gop. >> i felt that the one way that we could really change the direction this country was heading, wasn't by staying in a safe republican house seat
sending out fancy press releases about legislation that would never see the light of day because of harry reid, but it was about changing the majority. about becoming number 51 so that we could actually do something to move this country forward for the people of this nation. >> in the end, this is about colorado and, and what i've delivered for the state of colorado. >> ifill: and yet this could, the outcome of this race could determine the control of the us senate? >> it certainly could, but my focus has been on making the case to voters here as to what i've done for the state, what i will do in a second term, when i'm rehired. >> ifill: but for many colorado voters, the problem is neither udall nor gardner. it's washington itself. >> i think, congress is such a mess that i don't think anybody is getting what they really want and i don't really know how to fix it. >> ifill: does that mean that you might not vote this time? >> oh no, i'll vote. i always vote. >> ifill: the candidates meet in their fifth, and final debate on wednesday. >> ifill: you can watch full
interviews with mark udall and cory gardner, on our rundown. >> woodruff: how we choose to deal with the end of life and the decisions patients and families face are difficult subjects that are often hard to discuss. but there are moments when they capture headlines and spark a national conversation. we've recently heard from a number of voices grappling with these tough questions. tonight, jeffrey brown looks at a high-profile case in the northwest. >> i can't even tell you the amount of relief that it provides me to know that i don't have to die the way that it's been described to me that my brain tumor would take me on its own. >> brown: brittany maynard's video has thrust the issue of end-of-life decisions back into the national spotlight. the 29-year-old has terminal brain cancer, and last spring, doctors gave her six months to live. instead, she's decided to die on
her own terms, november first, and her online video has been viewed more than seven million times since last week. >> i will die upstairs in my bedroom that i share with my husband, with my mother and my husband by my side and pass peacefully with some music that i like in the background. >> brown: maynard and her husband moved from california to oregon, to utilize the state's "death with dignity" law. it allows her to take lethal medication prescribed by a doctor. the oregon law, which calls this "aid in dying," has been around since 1997, and since then, more than 750 people have used it to end their lives. all told, only oregon, washington and vermont have laws allowing the practice that's sometimes referred to as "doctor-assisted suicide." court decisions in montana and new mexico have also authorized
it, but those rulings have not yet been codified into law. the non-profit group that posted maynard's video, "compassion and choices," is working to expand the option of "death with dignity" in more states. her husband and other relatives also appear on the video, supporting that right. >> between suffering or being allowed to decide when enough is enough, it just to me makes, it provides a lot of relief and comfort that okay that option is there. >> brown: but there's also opposition. last week, three disability groups issued a joint statement against new legislation. they argued that: "not every terminal prognosis is correct, not everyone's doctors know how to deliver expert palliative care."
the debate comes just weeks after an "institute of medicine" report found there is not enough open dialogue about end-of-life care in the united states. >> brown: so we have our own candid conversation now with barbara coombs lee, president of "compassion and choices," a non- profit group dedicated to expanding end-of-life options. and dr. ira byock is director of the institute for human caring of providence health and services, a palliative care physician. and author of the book, "the best care possible." barbara coombs lee, let me start with you. why do you think the case of brittany maynard is resonating with many people. what's the key to this for you? >> the key is how brittany has made dying real, made the tragedy of decline, the inhumanities that people suffer often before the disease takes their lives. there's a lot of denial on america. americans find it hard to believe they will die. if they will die they find it hard to believe it wouldn't be peaceful like it is in the
movies. brittany is bringing that reality home to people. this could be me, it could be my mom, my dad, my daughter, who has a horrible diagnosis. we're all grief stricken. and what this disease will do to her, could do to her before she dies, is too much for her to bear. >> ira brick, do yo ira byock, s the wrong message. >> the institute of medicine says there's truly a public health crises that surrounds the way people are cared for and the way people die. my heart goes out to brittanymaynard. it's a heart-wrenching story but i want to assure people watching that she could get excellent whole person care and be assured of dying gently in her bed surrounded by her family. it's ironic that we know how to give extremely good care, not only comprehensive medical care but tender loving care.
but it shows, the institute of medicine report shows we're not doing it in this country and it is a national disgrace. >> brown: dr. byock, why not give her that power to do it herself? >> you know, are i think that we know that there are serious deficiencies. the institute of medicine in 1996, documented some of the same deficiencies i just reiterated. doctors aren't being trained. they are dom struct a demonstraa grew treating suffering. we know our hospitals and nursing homes are poorly staffed and skilled in palliative skills. we could fix this situation. we know how to do that but we're not doing it, and giving doctors now authority to write lethal prescriptions fixes really nothing. none of the sufficiencies in practice or medical training. it's a socially dangerous thing to do. >> brown: socially dangerous&ih
brittany maynard but expanded doesn't make sense is the argument. >> it makes sense for a lot of people and i think that i agree with dr. byock and he knows that i do. hospice and palliative care is the gold standard. it's wonderful. but it's not a miracle. and it cannot prevent the kind of relentless dehumanizing horrific decline that brittany faces. where her disease will cause unending seizures and headaches and nausea and vomiting and pressure in her brain. and the loss of every bodily function, including thinking and moving. brittany is achieving an enormous amount of comfort and peace of mind right now. you can see it in her face. she has that peace of mind because the disease has controlled her since january. and now she will control it. no palliative care, no terminal sedation or promise of effective
palliative care can give brittany the thing that she treasures now, the hope of gaining control over her disease before it takes her life. >> brown: dr. byock, when you do get to an individual case, whether it's brittany maynard or any individual, in oregon, i understand that there are protocols, right, there are, there's a system set up to make sure that it's done correctly, that the person is cautions cept and so -- cognizant and so on. is that not enough. >> they're certainly not enough and it's just the beginning. oregon's law was modeled after holland and belgium and in holland and belgium these days people are bein%l euthanized on their own volition for things like depression or ring of the ears. not just pain. competition and choices actually sold to the public the legalization of physician-assisted suicide because of unrelenting pain. but we can control pain.
what's happening now is that over 85% of people who use oregon's law and end their life, do so because of existential or emotional suffering. feeling of being a burden to their families, feeling the loss of the ability to enjoy life. feeling the loss of meaning. well once those become criteria, there are a lot of problems and human suffering that then becomes open to assisted suicide and euthanasia. it's an undeniable fact that the slippery slope exists. i think doctors are prescribed from killing patients for protection of vulnerable people and the public. and that's a good principle to maintau(. >> brown: let me ask barbara coombs lee that. that is the clear slippery6s) e argument and it raises the question of who decides, who has the ultimate decision here. >> anyone observing this story understands and is clear. brittany is in charge. and brittany is emblematic of
every person who has used the oregon law and will use the oregon law. yes, she has emotional issues. her emotional issues are her sense of being trapped and being a victim of her disease. and she's overcoming those emotional issues by gaining control. she also has medication that she could take to ensure a peaceful, a humane death for herself and yes, a peaceful experience for her family as well. her family wouldn't have to watch her seizing or stand at her bedside for weeks owned while she is in a semi comatose state and dying very slowly. you can call those emotional issues and denigrate them as though they don't seem important. but they're really about the scary tender bitter sweet poignant moments and intimacy between brittany and the people whom she loves at the most important time of her life. i agree with the question.
what does it harm? why not give her that hope. it helps her and harms no one. >> brown: very breast last word, dr -- brief last word, dr. byock, please. >> i think brittany could have those same poignant movements with palliative care. while not being coerced, she's being exploit by compassionate choices as well as the media's insatiable appetite for sensationalism. i wonder if her life will still feel worth living on november 1st. will she feel compelled to end her life in order to meet the public's expectations. i really worry for this woman who is vulnerable and going through a wrenching time in life. frankly i wish her all the r be. >> brown: all right. a very large discussion. thank you both very much. ira brick anira byock and barbas lee. thank you both. >> thank you.
>> ifill: next, what makes food taste salty or bitter? what makes you want to eat more? scientists are trying to digest the secrets of flavor. hari sreenivasan has this report from minnesota. >> sreenivasan: when people go out to eat at restaurants like this neighborhood bistro in st. paul, they might be mindful of how much they're eating, or how much butter is used, or possibly calories. but most don't focus on a key component of the meal that they all share in common: salt. the center's for disease control say we eat twice as much salt as we should. three recent studies say that too much salt can lead to high blood pressure and heart disease. health officials recommend eating less, but consumers complain about the taste. enter professor devon peterson, an expert in food chemistry and analysis, he has made it his mission to revolutionize the processed food business by creating low salt products that taste good.
to help with that goal he created the flavor research and education center at the university of minnesota. >> we should be reducing salt in our diet about 30% or 40%, and if you look around there's a lot of salt low options out there, or reformulations, but i suspect most people when they're opening things up at home might be dosing their own salt on them, and i guess the question would be again, is how do we think about salt, or the product that we're consuming it with. peterson took us to a grocery store to show us why salt in particular is hard to avoid. >> one of the biggest sources of sodium is bread, so if i show you this loaf of bread and come read the label, a slice of bread contains about 10% of your sodium intake, your recommended sodium intake, and so you think about that, you make two slices of bread, throw some cheese in there which is also a major source of sodium, and meat, and what else, and you're easily going to be at forty or fifty percent, probably, of your recommended amount, and that's in one meal. >> sreenivasan: our bodies need
a certain amount of salt to survive. but peterson worries that we've been conditioned, to crave much more. he's been working for three years figuring out how to create salty tasting products with less sodium. his research began with that first bite. he discovered that only 10% to 20% of the total sodium in food is released in the mouth. people are swallowing the other 80% without even tasting the saltiness. he wants food companies to reformulate their products. >> if i could better formulate that salt to be released during consumption, during when i actually perceive that in this case saltiness, that i can actually reduce salt maybe by 50% and still have the acceptability because i'm still getting the same saltiness that i'm looking for. >> sreenivasan: so if more salt gets released more quickly in your mouth, it keeps the taste we are used to, but allows the producers to use less sodium. the center's assistant director professor smaro kokkinidou is
'we mesh the level measure the m to see how the concentration changes so we can understand how to release the consumption. and how a consumer might perceive it. >> through this work, peterson has discovered a way to slow down new release of salt. >> protein is part of what is if you will making salt stick to the food. so part of our idea here is that we can take now protein and salt and start if you will interact them in a certain way when i put them in my mouth it's going to release at a higher rate. that will reduce salt by almost 40%. >> sreenivasan: along with the university, a consortium of 13 food producers like general mills, nestle, kellogg's and cargill fund the lab associate director gary reineccius says the resulting research is critical for these producers if they are to figure out how to create healthy foods that sell. >> it is the food companies' business to make a profit, you
know, yes, they serve the customer, but they also serve the stock holders, and so they can't sell things that don't sell, they, it just can't be done. so if we can give them the tools to make these foods healthy, and profitable, we won't help them make it profitable, we'll help them make it palatable. one taste preference the center is working on, why too many americans still won't eat whole grains. the team mills, mixes, and bakes bread to find out why only 10% of americans eat the recommended amount of whole grains in their diet each day. one reason, bitterness. >> once we start to understand that, okay, these materials are the bread itself, just as you normally would bake it, has this bitterness, we then can take that apart and break it down, and look at what is actually my tongue responding to, what are the molecules that are actually causing bitterness, that come from just normal bread making. >> sreenivasan: even the smell of whole grains comes into play. peterson hopes unlocking the
secret to why whole grains taste and smell the way they do, will allow food processors to create more palatable foods. >> and that's actually a very key step in, i would say, in providing the ability for food companies to move this information, to use this information that allows them to say, hey, is it coming from the flours you're buying, is it coming from when you bake, or ferment, again, and that sort of gives them information that they have a better ability to then make these products that may be less bitter, and therefore more consumed. >> sreenivasan: the center's research is starting to expand to look at fat content: finding the secret to reducing the fat but keeping that creamy, richness of the foods we love. >> woodruff: finally tonight, he's written books about individuals who changed the game, from benjamin franklin to albert einstein to steve jobs. but in his latest work, "the innovators," walter isaacson pulls together a story about the
group of creative minds who brought us into the digital age. from an english countess to a california hippie, isaacson weaves the tale of the inventive thinkers who programmed computers and gave us the internet. i spoke to walter isaacson a few days ago. >> woodruff: walter isaacson, thank you for talking with us. >> it's great to be back with you, judy. >> woodruff: congratulations on the book. you have mainly written about one person at a time and you've mainly focused on history, politics, why science and technology and why everybody who was involved? >> you know, those of us who are biographers know that we distort history sometimes, we make it sound like it's a gal or a guy in a garage or garret with a singular lightbulb moment in one person changes things. as you know, most innovation comes from people working together, collaborating in teams so i wanted to show how groups of people brought together to form teams that created the digital revolution. i also think it's fun to
understand where our technology comes from. i mean you and i love understanding american revolution but let's also understand the digital revolution because that makes us more comfortable with our technology. >> woodruff: it's a little bit surprising, you start with a woman ida, countess of lovelace, early 19th century she is the daughter of lord byron. >> ada lovelace to me is a framing theme to this book because she's the one who connects our humanities to our sciences. she was a poet because her father was lord byron but she was tutored mainly in mathematics and she loved connecting things like poetry to math and science and she understands how punch cards can turn a calculating machine into a general purpose computer that can make music, can make notes, can make fabric, to make designs and that's the idea of the human imagination combined with technologies that really drives the digital age. >> woodruff: you jump ahead at that point in many ways to the next century, early 20th century, and there are so many
figures. how, walter isaacson, did you decide who to focus on because there were a lot of people? >> oh yeah, and a lot of people had to be left out but i took the 12 or so major inventions of the digital age, including the big computer, the transition to the microchip, the personal computer, the internet and those types of things and said who made the original leaps to get us there. and i know that leaves some great people out but what it does is it takes the word innovation which we overuse so much it's become sort of drained of its meaning and so well, let's look at very specific teams of innovators and think how did they think out of the box, how did they think different in order to make this particular leap that got us to the personal computer or the microchip. >> woodruff: some fascinating stories here, and of course you do get to some of the names later in the book, the bill gates, steve jobs who of course you written another book about, but you also write about people most of us have not heard of. vanever bush, alan turing whose photo is on the cover.
>> a lot of people hear about alan turing because there's a wonderful movie coming out called "the imitation game," he's the one who at bletchly park, england during world war ii helped create computers that broke the german war time codes. he also comes up with this notion that machines maybe can think without us, we also sometimes call it the turing test and that was the test for artificial intelligence but the theme of the book i try to portray is that people we don't know as much about, they create ways to connect us more personally to our machines and that's actually been more successful than this notion of artificial intelligence. >> woodruff: what set these people apart, walter? >> i think they're rebellious, they think a little bit differently, they also have a sense of beauty. i mean, steve jobs knew that beauty mattered. but you see that with jcr licklider, or somebody i'd hardly ever heard of licklider is building a defense system at mit in the 60s and 70s and he
creates graphical displays so that console jockeys could understand what was happening on the screen, and he creates networks so people can share information. and you see the seeds of the graphical computer and the internet coming together with people we don't know enough about like jcr licklider. >> woodruff: you also have great anecdotes about people who were involved, who were almost there, who almost made it, but for one reason or another took a wrong turn, made a wrong decision. >> well, they took the wrong >> mainly the reason people didn't succeed was because they had trouble forming teams. they didn't know how to collaborate. for example, there's john vincent out of nasa, who creates a wonderful circuit board in the iowa state physics lab and he sort of has the rudiments of a computer but he doesn't know who to get the punch card burners working and the mechanics working, a guy named john
mauchly comes by sees it, but also picks up ideas in a dozen other places, he gets engineers together, six great women mathematicians to program it, sort of a team so they really create the first general purpose programmable computer einiac at the university of pennsylvania. >> woodruff: what do you want people to take away from this, you want them to be more excited, i know about, we're all swimming in this digital revolution we all live in. >> you know, we're swimming in this digital revolution but we don't how we got here. we don't know who invented the computer, we don't know who invented the internet, you know those if you want to be a great american you've got to understand ben franklin, thomas jefferson, and george washington, how the american revolution happened. i think if you want to be a good citizen of the digital age it helps to feel comfortable with both the people and the ways of thinking that created the digital revolution. >> woodruff: and finally, if you look at where we are in this digital revolution are we near the end of it, based on your research, are we at the beginning, is something completely different right around the corner? >> oh, i think there's always
things right around the corner, i think america is really well positioned because we do train people to be creative and sometimes resist authority which helps in being an innovator. i think you're going to see for the next phase of the revolution all sorts of wonderful ways of connecting art and literature, and journalism into new forms of digital expression because the whole theme of my book is how the digital age keeps making things that are personal and that help connect us as humans, so i think we're about to see that next wave occur. >> woodruff: well, i have a couple of more questions i want to ask you for online, but for now the book is "the innovators." we thank you. >> thank you. >> woodruff: there's more of our conversation online, including isaacson's take on how balancing security and privacy is a key issue in the digital age. that's on the rundown. >> ifill: finally tonight, the trouble with antibiotics and
their rising use. in the midst of anxiety over ebola, it's easy to lose sight of other problems that claim thousands of lives each year. anti-biotic resistance to superbugs is one of those major problems. nt9 wide spread use of antibiots in farming and food productions and the potential connection to' resistance in people. here's an excerpt. david hoffman of "the washington post" is the correspondents. >> hoffman: my investigation took me to flagstaff, arizona, where i'd heard about some of the newest research being done. flagstaff's hospital has seen a rise in urinary tract infections that are increasingly resistant to antibiotics. >> we have the lady in room 12, she came in two days ago with the e. coli in her urine. well it came back this morning
as a resistant organism, so we had changed from zosyn to a carbapenem. >> hoffman: these infections strike an estimated eight million americans every year. like in flagstaff, doctors around the country are struggling to treat them. >> looks like it's only preliminary but looks like its a gram negative rod we're seeing a lot more patients that were previously normally healthy have to be admitted, because they've been through multiple outpatient courses of antibiotics, they haven't improved, and at the point that they come in, that bacteria has gone into their bloodstream. and that requires immediate hospitalization. you don't have a normally healthy 30-year-old woman, who's never been in a hospital, with a resistant, urinary tract infection that has moved to her blood. where did she get that organism from? >> hoffman: this problem caught the attention of a genetic researcher, who had a theory about where some of these infections could be coming from.
>> so this is the meat section, and this is where our team spent a good part of their year last year, buying two packages of every brand of chicken, turkey, and pork. >> no expiration. >> this is chicken, i want to get some organics, so i'll get two of these organics. >> hoffman: lance price started sampling the meat supply in flagstaff in 2012, trying to figure out if resistant bacteria from farms is ending up on the meat we buy. >> we started this study because we had this hypothesis, this theory that food could serve as a source of e coli that then went on to cause urinary tract infections. could i get two pounds of the ground turkey, but could i get it in two separate packages? >> hoffman: price isn't concerned with the trace amounts of antibiotics that could be in meat. he's looking for antibiotic resistant bacteria that could be on the meat and cause dangerous infections if they end up on our hands or our kitchen counters or if the meat isn't cooked enough.
>> we are producing nine billion food animals, and by using antibiotics in food animal production, we are creating drug resistant pathogens that can then go on and cause drug resistant infections in you and me. >> these guys expire on the 6th. >> the problem with urinary tract infections is that if you get a bladder infection with e coli, and it's antibiotic resistant and the doctor goes to treat you and that treatment fails because the bacteria is resistant, then it can get in the kidneys and once it, once it's in your kidneys it has access to your blood. right, and so then you can get what you call sepsis which kills 40,000 americans each year. >> hey, thanks a lot. >> we're going to put it in a broth and put it in the incubator and see if we can grow e. coli from it. >> hoffman: what price wanted to know is whether the meat aisles of flagstaff's supermarkets were the source of some of the dangerous urinary tract infections showing up in the local hospital. his study would take several years.
frontline airs tonight on most pbs stations >> ifill: again, the major developments of the day. the death rate in the ebola outbreak in west africa hit 70 percent, with nearly 4,450 fatalities out of 8,900 cases. the world health organization also warned there may be soon be 10,000 cases a week. and coalition planes stepped up air strikes to beat back "islamic state" forces at the syrian town of kobani. meanwhile, president obama met blocked key parts of a texas law that required most of the state's abortion clinic. >> woodruff: on the newshour online right now, visit an austin, texas art studio that trains professional artists who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. "arc of the arts" offers these creative people an outlet for expression and a new way to define themselves. that's on our art beat page. all that and more is on our web site, pbs.org/newshour. >> ifill: and that's the newshour for tonight. on wednesday, we get the
administration's take on the state of the economy, from treasury secretary jack lew and budget director shaun donovan. i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. we'll see you on-line and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us here at the pbs newshour, thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us.
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