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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  October 15, 2014 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: a second dallas hospital nurse, one who took a commercial airline flight one day before diagnosis has ebola. good evening, i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. also ahead this wednesday, more volatility on wall street as stocks take yet another dive. we interview the obama administration's point men on the economy on the declining deficit and american skepticism. >> woodruff: plus, the previously untold story of the secret victims of long-abandoned chemical weapons during the iraq war, american soldiers. >> ifill: those are just some of the stories we're covering on
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tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> supported by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. more information at >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions
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and... >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: the appearance of another new ebola case in dallas sent fresh tremors through the health care system today. they radiated all the way to washington and the white house. >> we are monitoring carefully the health status of the other healthcare workers in dallas. and obviously they're concerned. we understand that many of them a >> woodruff: the president had re scared. >> woodruff: the president had planned to fly to the northeast for campaign fund-raising but he called off the trip to meet with top health and national security aides on ebola.
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>> if we do these protocols properly, if we follow the steps, if we get information out, then the likelihood of wide-spread oboe law outinformation in this country is very very low. we've learned over the last several weeks is that folks here in this country and a lot of non-specialized hospitals and clinics don't have that much experience dealing with these issues, and so we're going to have to push out this information as aggressively as possible and that's the instructions that i've provided to my team. >> woodruff: the meeting came hours after a second nurse at texas health presbyterian hospital in dallas was diagnosed. she was identified as 29-year- old amber vinson, a co-worker of nina pham, who's also infected. both nurses cared for thomas eric duncan, the liberian man who was treated at the hospital and died of ebola last week. it's not yet clear how either woman caught the virus. >> we're looking at every
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element of our personal protective equipment and infection control inside the hospital we don't have an answer right now, but we're looking at every possible angle around this. >> woodruff: to make matters worse, the c.d.c. announced that vinson took a frontier airlines flight from cleveland to dallas on monday night, when she already had a slight fever. the agency head, dr. tom frieden, says she should have used controlled movement not a commercial flight. >> that can include a charter plane, that can include a car, but it does not include public transport. we will from this moment forward ensure that no other individual who is being monitored for exposure undergoes travel in any way other than controlled movement. >> woodruff: frieden says there's a very low risk to other passengers on that frontier
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flight, but officials are asking them to call a hotline for monitoring. the airline says the plane was cleaned afterward, consistent with c.d.c. standards. and the nurse's relatives in kent, ohio, are being asked to self-monitor for 21 days. as for vinson herself, she's being transferred to emory university hospital in atlanta. it's one of four facilities nationwide with specialized isolation units to care for ebola patients. back in dallas, emergency crews started decontaminating vinson's apartment before dawn much to the concern of neighbors. >> woke up at 7:00 this morning just from hearing the helicopters and everything. saw a text message from my roommate saying there might be a case of ebola down the street from where i live, so i kind of woke up, freaked out, came outside and got on the phone with them. >> woodruff: all of this, as the ebola death toll rose again to almost 4,500, out of nearly 9,000 cases.
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we'll return to ebola and the growing challenge to the u.s. health care system after the news summary. >> ifill: worries about ebola, and europe, and the u.s. economy sent wall street to new extremes today. stocks plunged sharply at the open, and at one point, the dow jones industrial average had lost 460 points. but a late-day rally brought the market part of the way back. the dow ended with a loss of 173 points to close at 16,141; the nasdaq fell 11 points to close at 4,215; and the s&p 500 dipped 15, to 1,862. >> woodruff: kurdish fighters in syria claimed gains today in the battle for the town of kobani. they said they've pushed back islamic state forces with the help of stepped-up air strikes. u.s. warplanes launched 18 more strikes in and around the town on the turkish border. that followed nearly two dozen sorties the day before. at the pentagon, rear admiral
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john kirby said islamic state forces are taking heavy casualties. >> the more they want it, the more resources they apply to it, the more targets we have to hit. and part of what we're trying to do is put pressure on them and these strikes against them in and around kobani allow us to do that. and as i've said we know we've killed several hundred of them. >> woodruff: also today, the pentagon announced the official name for the u.s. air campaign against islamic state forces. it will be called: operation inherent resolve. >> ifill: egypt has stepped up its attack on islamist militias in neighboring libya. egyptian officials today reported new air strikes in benghazi. they said libyan authorities asked for the operation. one libyan lawmaker said the planes are being rented from egypt and flown by libyan pilots. >> woodruff: pro-democracy protesters in hong kong braced for new trouble tonight after the worst violence in more than two weeks of demonstrations. riot police severely beat one man last night, dragged others
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away and arrested at least 45. john sparks of independent television news reports from hong kong. >> reporter: meetings of the hong kong social workers association are usually relaxed affairs but there was nothing tranquil about this gathering. they met in a park, then unfurled a banner and began to paint angry slogans about the police. "shame," said one, "repressors," said another, as one man wiped away his tears. and here's the reason why, their colleague, ken tsang, was carried off by police last night after a pro-democracy protest turned violent. the officers involved, two inspectors and five constables, dumped him in an isolated corner. then it's alleged that several lashed out with feet and fists. a number of others stood guard. they probably thought they were out of sight.
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that video went viral. and tonight, several hundred social workers took to the streets determined to make their views known. upon reaching police headquarters, they held up signs and waved their fists and shouted, "police shame! police shame!" there's a big crowd here, a boisterous crowd and they have now surrounded the local police station in this district and they are clearly very angry about what has happened to ken tsang. and the risk for the authorities and the police is that their outrage further fuels the protest movement. >> reporter: a battered-looking mr. tsang was released from custody tonight. he's been charged with unlawful assembly and obstructing officers.
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>> reporter: several hundred social workers are continuing their sit-in tonight and many have filed into the station house to make complaints about police brutality. and a movement that was losing momentum has found itself a brand new rallying cry. >> woodruff: in beijing, china's central government intensified its criticism of the protesters. the newspaper of the ruling communist party said in an editorial, "they are doomed to fail." >> woodruff: still to come on the newshour. ramping up the response to ebola. the secret victims of chemical weapons in iraq. deadline looms for a nuclear deal with iran. tv legend norman lear on the making of "all in the family" in a new memoir. and, the unsung stories of the people behind ideas that make modern life possible. >> from the president on down the federal government sought to tamp down any anxiety over additional ebola cases in the
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u.s. while at the same time it adjusted the increase of response and dliferred some disturbing news of a second nurse that contracted the disease just after she flew commercially. lora garrett who has long written about infectious diseases and international health joins us from new york. she's a fellow at the council on foreign relations. lora garrett, welcome back to the program. administration officials have been saying for some time that the u.s. knows how to stop ebola, the protocols are in place but clearly something has gone wrong. is it clear what's gone wrong? >> i don't think precisely what happened with each of these nurses but the unions have been releasing distressing photographs showing gaps in the protective gear, in particular the neck completely exposed and the top of the protective suits were open much as my collar is here. that would not be sufficient
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protection for ebola contact exposure. >> woodruff: the administration listened to the center for disease control news conference, i should say telephone news conference today and they said that the protocols are now in place, that any mistakes like this that happened are not going to happen again. how much confidence should we have that that's the case? >> i think our biggest challenge in the united states is hubris. we have consistently heard and said, and by the way it's not just the government saying this, it's beenassociations, the amern medical association, the major physician groups and so on for quite some time saying look, what's going on over there in africa is the result of inadequate health systems, poor hygiene and so on. it wouldn't be like that here in america. we know how to do this. and i think it is kind of a smug attitude and it's very similar
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and reminiscent to civil her smug sense of self assurance that dictated the response canada had to the arrival of sars in the tron co-system in 2003. when you contrast how quickly vietnam in its poverty managed to control sars in 2003 compared to how long it just kept coming back again and again in the hospital system in toronto, it shows that there's a certain arrogance that happens with technology. we sort of think well we have this high tech equipment, we can stop it. but there's a lot more to stopping the spread of a virus than just high tech equipment. >> woodruff: clearly americans now are looking for some reassurance without getting overly alarmed about what's happened. for example, dr. frieden who is head of the cdc said today that going forward, all the individuals who were exposed to anyone with ebola clearly knows
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they need to be monitoring themselves, they need to stay away from any sort of public forms of transportation. again how confident should we be. that message has gone forward. the president today reinforced the idea of these swat themes that are going to go to hospitals within 24 hours if there are new cases. should we be confident that all this is going to happen? >> look, i think the bottom line here is that what really matters in disease control is the way in which you have organization and rules of the road for all the various people in the system. starts at your local hospital and your small town. do people know what to do in an emergency room and does the whole set of chain of events of calls and notification up the ladder proceed smoothly, accurately, in a timely fashion. is everybody onxq board and do they know what they're supposed to do.
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this is not technology, this is do you know your job and do you know who to call if you're suspicious, if there's something wrong. and let's go back and remember that mr. duncan told, we now know three different times told people i've been in liberia. and somehow the knee jerk response of the hospital was does he have insurance or not, let's get him out of here. he sits in the waiting room we now know for hours, potentially exposing god knows how many people. >> woodruff: based on the report, you've been doing, the conversations you've been having with public health officials throughout the country, is it your sense that they are now at least working to convey guidelines, protocols in a way that will be followed going forward? >> yes. i think everybody is awake now. the alarms are ringing and there's a lot of distress and there's a lot of trying to come
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up with better smother algorithms, one of the betd% questions you ask at intake, on do you call, how do you respond, what kind of equipment can be brought to bear. and also some more thinking how to get better compliance in that 21-day window for not only people that are around the duncan case, but for all those who go over seas to be involved in the liberia ebola outbreak and then return. what are the appropriate protocols for them for the news reports that were with the nbc crew with the one individual who got infected and is now in care. how can we make everybody on board in a much more coherent and clearly understood said of rules of the game. >> woodruff: finally, laurie garrett, any new information, what is your understanding right now the progress, is there a sense of progress being made in these west african countries that of course have a much worse problem at this point with
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ebola. >> judy, of course we all know the only way you have 100% for america is to stopfat its sourc. unfortunately we have some very bad news. today for the first time in w.h.o.'s daily situation report affecting how things are moving along, they had to concede they had no data from liberia. it's gotten so bad and so extensive, that nobody really can even come up with numbers to put forward. so the numbers you led with roughly 9,000 cumulative cases and roughly approaching 5,000 deaths, everybody now admits these numbers are not even close to providing a reflection of reality. it is almost certainly well over 22,000 cumulative at this point and approaching 15 or 16,000 deaths.and as this keeps going f control, it gets harder and harder to even have a glimpse of
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the reality of the size and scope of the problem. so while we're very focused here in america on two cases, let's keep in mind safety for us is stopping something that is orders of magnitude bigger overseas. >> woodruff: laurie garrett, we thank you. >> thank you. >> ifill: today, was the day the obama administration decided to draw attention to some good economic news for a change. it announced the federal deficit has declined to $483 billion, the lowest level since 2007. the deficit had exceeded a trillion dollars each year during the president's first term. but as that news was breaking, the markets embarked on another roller-coaster day and new polls showed many americans are skeptical that any economic recovery has trickled down to them. that was the setting as i sat down this morning with treasury
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secretary jack lew and budget director shaun donovan. secretary lew and director donovan, thank you both for joining us. you have some good news for a change today, the deficit down and continuing to go down to, what, 2.8%? >> correct. >> ifill: to what do you attribute that to? >> look, i think that if you look at where we were six years ago, we had an economy that was collapsing, we had unemployment, 700,000 jobs lost a month and we had markets in chaos. now the president came into office and took tough action. he stabilized the economy. he put in place an economic program to create growth. he put in a programs to reform our financial markets, and over a period of years worked with congress on a bipartisan basis to put in place a balanced set of measures to reduce our deficit, you know starting with the affordable care act, which reduced the deficit, as well as providing a guarantee of health care coverage, and then doing spending reductions and revenue increases that came by making our tax system more fair. it's an enormous amount of
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progress to have seen the deficit drop by, you know, roughly two-thirds and to reach a point where we're now in a 10- year period, looking ahead, of sustainable fiscal policy, which is good for the economy. it means that the economy can not worry about crisis to crisis and the economy can continue to grow. that's a very good thing. >> ifill: director donovan, you said today that this represents a return to fiscal normalcy. a lot of people don't feel like their lives are very normal yet again. >> well, it's one of the things that i think it's important for people to recognize. jack said we made a lot of progress. we're now not only below 3% of g.d.p., which is the standard many use as a critical milestone, but we're actually below the 40-year average for our deficit. so when i say we've returned to fiscal normalcy, we've reached a point where we've really stabilized our deficit in an important way. and i think it shouldn't be lost on the american people that this happened in a year where we moved away from reckless austerity, manufactured crises that had happened on capitol
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hill to a place where we've been able to have more predictable investments in the economy. job growth is growing faster, over 10 million new jobs over the last 55 months. so we've made real progress through the president's strategy of investing in key things, but we also recognize we have to do more and we have to continue to invest, continue to do that, and that's what i'm going to be focused on as we go into our budget next year. >> ifill: but the congressional budget office, which is non- partisan, which is the gold standard in many respects, at least in this world of partisan accusation, they say they predicted the deficit may start to head back up again in 2016. >> well, i think if you look at projections over the remainder of this decade, it we're in a
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pretty stable place in terms of the foundation that we've built. it doesn't mean there's not more work to do in terms of both growing our economy and investing in the things that we need to do in this country, whether it's education or infrastructure, to have a strong economic future. the difference is, we are in a stable place right now, and that is good for the economy. and what we need to concentrate on now is making sure that we maintain the momentum in our economy so that we don't return to policies that shortchange the present and the future. we shouldn't ignore the fact that the president has been focused on key strategies for the long-term deficit. jack mentioned the affordable care act. health care costs are growing at the slowest rate in more than 50 years. you used c.b.o.'s numbers. c.b.o. now projects that in the year 2020 medicare and medicaid spending is going to be almost $200 billion lower than they were projecting just a few years ago, because of the progress we've made on health care. >> ifill: but if the news is so good, then why is it that everywhere i travel this election year, every poll that i read tells me that people don't feel it, they don't trust it. they are still so deeply worried. you're telling them in
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washington, things are better, and they're saying, not in my life. >> you know, gwen, every night the president reads letters that come from americans around the country, and he is getting letters from people who have gone back to work because the economy is getting better. those more than 10 million new jobs that we've created have made a real difference in people's lives. i think what you're hearing as well and the president hears is that while we've made a lot of progress in our economy, wages aren't rising, particularly for the middle class, in the way that we would want them to be. >> ifill: exactly. >> and that's why we need to make further investments. the president has been focused like a laser on the minimum wage and what we can do to increase the minimum wage, to make... >> ifill: but many of the people who are affected by these wage problems aren't earning minimum wage. they wouldn't be affected by that. >> but they're certainly affected, whether they're construction workers who could increase their wages with new infrastructure projects, whether they could go back and get trained with the investments the president's proposed, so that
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they could get a higher-paying job, whether it's starting with pre-k for kids to make sure that they have the skills to get those higher-paying jobs a generation from now. he's thinking both in the short term and the long term about all the key things we can do to create a stronger economy for the middle class. >> ifill: another sign of instability, volatility, whatever you call it, is what we've seen happening in the stock market in the last couple of weeks. and just this morning the market opened 300 points down immediately. by the end of the day, we'll see whether it rebounded. but does that also makes your job a little bit tougher? >> you know, i think that we focus constantly on what's the core economic conditions of the united states. and i think it's a mistake to look at hour-by-hour movements in markets to get a picture of where the core is. you know, we've seen over the last half year almost every economic indicator indicating
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the kind of progress we're talking about, whether it's job growth or the growth of the economy and confidence. i think that we're on a trajectory that is very strong in terms of maintaining u.s. core economic growth. obviously, there are challenges in any day of any year that are outside of your control. you know, the president's policy in 2009, '10, '11 is a large part of the reason why the united states is now looked at by the world as the economic engine of the world. and, you know, one thing i'll say in terms of the questions you asked about kind of public sentiment, the conditions in 2009 were really bad, and it leaves some bruising that takes some time to get over. i think right now we've been in an extended period where washington hasn't been getting to the brink of a crisis, where they're seeing the economy begin to grow. and our job is to continue that, which is why it's so important that washington do its job in an orderly way and that we continue
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one step after another to make the right decisions. >> ifill: secretary of the treasury jack lew and director of the office of management budget shaun donovan, thank you both very much. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> woodruff: now, a previously untold story of the iraq war. american soldiers on the ground were tasked with destroying thousands of rockets and artillery shells left behind by saddam hussein's regime. some of those weapons contained chemical or nerve agents like mustard gas, remnants of the iran-iraq war of the 1980's. that wasn't known, however, to the american troops assigned to destroy them. "the new york times" has now published an investigation into the chemical weapons and injuries sustained by some of those soldiers which had not been publicly known. we start with an excerpt of a short documentary the times produced. in it, we see the destruction of mustard gas shells, and hear from some of the soldiers
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wounded by exposure. a warning: it contains some graphic images and details. >> taken by the infantry on the perimeter shows the destruction of the chemical shells. exposure symptoms soon appeared. >> we got out washed our hands, didn't think much of it. we were driving back, my knife was in my leg. and it was irritating me so i thought it was my knife. i woke appear that morning with mall blisters. >> it grew thezd size of his fit and went quickly. he and another soldier rushed to a military hospital, then flown to germany. by then the blister covered his upper thigh. his medical records are explicit. he had been exposed to mustard agent. none of this was known to the surgeon's deem as he began suffering on another base. the clinic where they sought
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care seemed unprepared to treat them. >> i actually had one doctor say well if you're not defecating on yourself or foaming at the mouth, there's nothing we can do for you. i said that's great because if it were like that it would be nerve agent and we would be dead. >> the next day i wake up and it looked like i had a complete body sunburn. just red in places that have never seen the sun. the first doctor i saw told me that i wasn't hit with mustard agent. and she said because i was the blowing up or i was the sick or showing severe blistering and stuff like that. >> for two weeks the wounded soldiers received minimal treatment. >> the blister on my butt cheek was getting bigger and i had blisters on my thigh. they were large on top and started getting smaller as they went down. >> some other people in the unit was like this is not right, these guys should be looked at. so we took pictures of them, wrote down our symptoms and we
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sent through back channels back to the states. >> at last the military's medical system woke up. the three man team was flown from iraq but told not to discuss the incident. >> when we got to walter reed they were there a few days and they called us in and said you've been exposed to mustard agent. all of us came up positive for having hd mustard, distilled mustard in our blood stream. >> we're joined by christopher c.j. chivers who wrote that story and made the clip we just saw. welcome to the newshour, chris chivers, firstuv of all where d these nerve agents come from and other chemical agents? >> the nerve and the mustard agents had been made in iraq during the 198 0's when saddam hussein had a chemical program that was creating munitions for uses against iranians in the iran/iraq war. >> was there a u.s. role in all of that? >> well it's interesting you asked that.
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the first information that came to us was that these rounds were american made and we ultimately concluded that there wasn't evidence for that. some of the shells, many of the mustard shells were american design and they had been knocked off by europe pan -- european firms and sold to iraq in a chemical production plant in iraq. by the time the shells came to be used and explicit devices were found out on the battlefield in caches they had sort of a complicated parentage and had roots in many different countries. >> woodruff: but these were not the weapons of mass destruction that president bush had talked board of supervisors a rationale for going into iraq, is that right? >> these rounds were all left over as near as we can tell and according to everyone who we talked to who was involved, and we've talked to a majority of the people who collected the majority of them. they were all manufactured before 1991. this is recommend -- remnant st
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over weapons from an old program that ceased operating in the early 1990's. >> woodruff: now you wrote that the troops repeatedly encountered these contaminated weapons or parts of weapons much what were they supposed to do with them when they found them? >> they often didn't find them while looking for them. they found themnchyp while lookg for something else or dealing with another problem. one of the features of the iraq war was that improvised explosive devices or make-shift bombs became the primary cause of wounds for the american troops. and so there were groups of people whose mission primarily was to try to counter those weapons. and they would be working and they would go to scenes whereód bombs had been detonated or bombs had been found or where bombs were being made parts of bombs were being stored. and they would try to disable and destroy them. almost all of those weapons were conventional, but it was sort of a sad feature of the lottery system that every now and then one of those weapons or some of those weapons would be left over
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chemical shells. and visually virtually identical in many cases, so the soldiers in this sort of capacity of trying to disable what they thought was a conventional bomb, would go forward and destroy a chemical bomb and then be exposed by it. >> woodruff: you identified 17 u.s. troops, seven iraqi soldiers who were exposed. do we think, do you think that's all there is because the military isn't saying. >> we think there's more. we've had a lot of other people contact us. we haven't verified all of the incidence. the military's sold us there are at least some more. they've also told us they don't have an accurate count so they don't know. people who were exposed and didn't realize they were exposed so whatever the official numbers are, they may be small. >> woodruff: why did the military tell you that these troops needed to be quiet about this, not talk about it? >> well, the military hadn't given us a clear answer for that. the various participants have
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said that their local commands or visiting officers in one case a general told them not to disclose it. but what happened with these incidence is they're all classified secret in real time and they sort of got lost it seems in the system and not shared. and so as this was going on, it's the habit of secrecy that we've sort of seen. you see it all gmilitary. what we don't know is why the military has done a lot of analysis on these and has a number of reports assembled on these, has not declassified the documents since the war or did not declassified the documents late in the war. and that's a puzzle we can't answer. we have filed multiple fitting information act requests. we had those requests denied. we've had very limited disclosure of some heavily redacted documents. we'd like to seat rest of the documents and -- see the rest of the documents and we'd like to see what they say. >> woodruff: from that report, we know from the story you wrote, the injuries that these men suffered, experienced,
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what's happened to these men today? how are they doing today? >> some are still on active duty, some are out. they're veterans now. some are doing quite well. some aren't. some complain of chronic respiratory distress or shortness of breath and lingering headaches. one has some issues he believes he was exposed to seronen and he has reading loss or comprehension difficulties. but many of them are doing it seems okay. but that's an interesting question because the military has treatment guidelines and an order that mandates that these patients are supposed to be followed for life. in the main they have not been followed at all. they're simply not enrolled in any systematic tracking. so it's kind of hard to say how they're doing as an aggregate or whether the things they campaign of, and only of these conditions can have more than one father. so the thing they complain of, whether that's directly related to their exposure or not. because there hasn't been a
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comprehensive tracking. >> woodruff: and last thing, do we know what's happened, how many more weapons may still be in iraq and who has control over them? >> i don't know how many are still there. there are some reports that there could be as many as 2500 rocket warheads in one particular bunker out in the front of the state enterprise, the old production facilities which are largely ruins now in iraq. but that area's out of the government control, it's now>y controlled by islamic state. whether they've actually got access to the rounds or not, i'm not in a position to tell you. they certainly have proximity to the remains. >> woodruff: chris chivers great reporting. c.j. chivers with the "new york times," thank you. >> thank you. >> ifill: now to a looming deadline, in one of the most significant and controversial
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foreign policy initiatives of the obama administration, a nuclear deal with iran. those talks resumed again in vienna yesterday. earlier today, secretary of state john kerry held discussions with iranian foreign minister javad zarif. this round follows a week of unproductive negotiation sessions on the sidelines of the united nations general assembly meeting in new york last month. joining me with an update on the hurdles ahead of the november 24th deadline for a deal is our chief foreign affairs correspondent margaret warner. thank you for joining us and reporting on this. what has happened since this last deadline expires. >> gwen, very little happens since the july 24th deadline expired. and disappointingly little. the expectation had been that they had gotten close enough on a lot of the major points that six months would be enough to cement a deal. and instead, really, it has come down to a kind of stalemate over
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the number one thing that the u.s. and the west want, which is very sharp limits on iran's uranium enrichment capability. and that is, to assure the world that iran really means it when it says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only, and to make the so-called breakout time to a weapon long enough tha time to react with military action if needed. and going in at least to these meetings yesterday and today, they were at loggerheads over the demand of the p5 plus one the number of centrifuges has been sharply cut back. >> ifill: what specifically is the u.s. looking for that long term goal. >> you've got 9500 operating centrifuges, i don't want to get lives in this out of 19,000.
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you are going to have to dramatically cut those back. those are much more you need for isotopes or other purposes and the world knows that. iran is telling the iranian negotiators are telling the u.s., look, we can't give on that number of centrifuges, it's a point of national pride, it's kind of a red line. now is that a negotiating tactic or not? they're saying the president rouhani of iran on the nuclear program, he can't afford that on the most conservative voices. that is the number one sticking point. the other one having to do with duration, how long this agreement would extend but that's the number one thing. >> ifill: are there any areas of agreement they can build on new. >> there are many things. but one of the u.s. officials said look, it is a rubik's cube. the old rule of negotiations. 234u9ing's agreed until
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everything's agreed. if you can't get down to an agreement on merchant capability everything else falls apart or nothing else goes into effect. >> ifill: there's no variables since last time they met and that is the rise of the islamic state threat, does that put any kind of damper over these negotiations. >> there was a lot of speculation during the u.n. assembly week. both the u.s. and the iranians are saying no, we're separating it. foreign ministers are saying publicly and privately our plate is already full. that said, there are some voices in iran who are take you know president obama, since this started a year ago he's got more problems on his plate, ukraine and the is threat. and he really needs us. so this one is full of thought that's one reason the iranians are playing hard ball now. now that said, gwen, these talks in vienna went longer than expected today. as far as i understand they're still going on. a u.s. official took that as a
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good sign, that kerry went back in for more talks. you never know. negotiations are like this and sometimes bothd6 sides hold back until almost the deadline. of course the question is even if they agreed on all the major issues could they still technically do it by november 24. americans say yes the iranians are looking for an extension. >> ifill: if the u.s. walk away or iran walked away from the table does the president have any other positions, any fall back position. >> it goes back to the unpalatable choices he had. let's go back last spring of 2013 when iaea, the energy agency said iran was pursuing with the nuclear program. the u.s. slapped a fourth round of sanctions on iran. it looked pretty bad and then rouhani got elected in this promise he was going to change the whole approach. the military going to take military or have i promised to take military action to prevent
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nuclear action if iran has nuclear weapons capability. if// the whole thing were to fal apart it would be safe to say there's unpalatable choices that's mar exoar complicated and he has far more on his plate than a year and-a-half ago. >> ifill: at least they are still talking. margaret warner in new york. thank you. >> my pleasure, gwen. >> woodruff: now, "those were the days," from the man who created "all in the family," "maud," "the jeffersons," and so much more on and off the tv screen. jeffrey brown has our look. >> brown: in my 90-plus years i've lived a multitude of lives, norman lear about a life including bombing emissions over europe in world war ii, the
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leading political advocacy organization. ♪ and the consideration of some programs over television history most famously "all in the family." >> isn't your wife telling me to sort of work together. [laughter] port recans are moving next door. >> brown: this i get to experience. norman lear joins me. >> thank you. >> brown: you've been writing television from the 50's on. were you satisfied with what television was doing. did you want to blow it up in some sense. >> i was actually writing for live television and i said to myself some day soon as i can i've got to do a situation comedy. >> brown: when did you decide it had to be a different kind of situation comedy. something that was tackling something never seen before. >> i don't ever recall making such a decision. i read about a british so-called part about a father and son not
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unlike archie and mike. and i said my god that's me and my dad. i've got to write about this. >> brown: that's what comes out of the book. of us grew up about archie but he is in part based on your dad. >> yes. >> brown: he used words like meat head. >> my dad called me meat head. >> it's up to>> my dad said he e laziest white kid you ever met. and i said why would you do that, is that what i'm doing. i'm the dumbest white kid. >> brown: you turned it into humor. it couldn't have been funny then. >> no. but i think somehow i got a sense of the foolishness of the human, my favorite phrase, the foolishness of the human condition. you know, he went to prison when i was nine years old.
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and then the night he was taken away there were a top of people in the house and somebody puts a hand on my shoulder and says you're the man of the house now norman. nine years old and i'm the man of the house. somehow i got it, you know, this fool is funny. >> brown: you know, you describe in the book here about the battles you had with the network officials in what's called the program practices department, a wonderful name, right. >> euphemism. >> brown: yes, familiar. give us an example of one where you were up against the officials. you decided you couldn't back down, right. >> writing the very first "all in the family,," mike and gray were in the house sunday morning when the elders were at church. and he decides to take her up stairs again. they go up the stairs. the door opens and archie comes
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in early because art which he dislike -- archie disliked the'o come down the stairs and archie guesses what was happening and he says ... >> 11:10 on a sunday morning. >> and they want that out. well that battlenúsñ continued within a half hour of the show's going on the air in the east. and they insisted on taking it out. >> brown: they wanted in the west, there was no sex in it but there was a reference to what was mildly going on, on a sunday morning. >> they could of course have cut it in new york. it's a simple cut. it wasn't i couldn't live without that line, i could. but i saw it really clearly in that instant that if that silly little, you know, if i lost that silly little battle, i would never win another one. >> brown: is it interesting for you now to think about what's happened with television
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where a line like that is so tainting in the sense now. is television as radical as, i don't know, dangerous to use one word as it was when you were doing that? >> i don't think. i think what's dangerous is 24 hours a day, 335 channels, whatever the hell there is. too much is too much. >> brown: why is that dangerous? >> because people have other things to do. and if there was a sense of, a bigger senses of responsibility in the various leadership positions in our country, things would be not as good overly done as they are now. i think we've become a much more nation of consumers than citizens. >> brown: and media is part of that. you mean too much television, too much everything. >> media and the companies that
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support media. we're not alone because it takes all of those companies that are advertising on media. but they aredictate. i get a kick out of the fact that people will pick on the writers in california for being responsible for the content. the people seriously responsible for the content are the people who buy it. >> brown: multitude of lives, right. that's the lie you use at the beginning of the book that i quoted. what caused that, what drives that. >> i wake up in the morning and i like better having something to do when i get up in the morning. and i care. >> brown: the book is "even this i get to experience." norman lear, thank you so much. >> thank you, sir. >> ifill: finally, an unconventional look at big ideas and how they lead to unintended and transformative consequences. that's the subject of a new book and pbs series that debuts
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tonight called "how we got to now." the host is a popular science writer, author and theorist, steven johnson. here's a clip from an episode about what air conditioning set into motion after willis carrier designed the first modern system. >> in 1951, carrier's company introduces an air conditioning unit that is miniaturized and affordable for a mass market. and that's when ac starts to go creepy. and just see what this does to where people are living. tucson, arizona grows 400% in 10 years. phoenix, 300%. it's the same story everywhere you look. carrier convention is circulating people as well as air. changing lives, changing america.
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but then something even more interesting happens. you see, people moving to the hot states are older and tend to vote republican. and the growing population in the conservative south means more electoral college votes there. so check out what happens to the political map of america between 1940 andbç 1980, northern states lose an incredible 31 electoral college votes while southern states gain 29. >> ifill: hari sreenivasan sat down with johnson recently in our new york studios to understand more about that idea and others that johnson explores in his new work. glass cold sound clean time light. what is it about these innovations? >> well we didn't want to just have stories about the things we think of as high technology today, right. so there's no chapter on the smart phone or something like that, right.
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what i was really interested is basically objects and innovations that are so ubiquitous we don't think about them as technology or a scientific break through. i also wanted to have thing that have had a really interesting history, and that involved kind of characters that areeeinteresg stories, and that led us to a series of unanticipated consequences once they got unleashed in the world. there's a thought process trying to figure out what to include. but we ended up with these six. >> sreenivasan: connect the dots forpress and the selfie. >> you invent the printing press, books get into circulation and there's this revolution of theology and science because of this. there's this other side effect of the printing press which no one really talks about which is that as soon as people started to read in large numbers, as soon as literacy became a part
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of european life, all of a sudden all across europe people started to say i can't read this because i'm far sided. i can't actually make this out on the page and it was a problem that people basically just hadn't had before. they hadn't noticed it because they didn't have any need to kind of look at small little forms on a page. and so because of this all across europe, people started making spectacles and lens making becomes this very important craft. and because of this expertise with lenses, all of a sudden people started thinking hey we could put these two lenses together and we could make a telescope or we could make a microscope. then you have this amazing scientific revolution because on this lens making. so gutenberg leads because of glass and lens he leads to biology and health. >> sreenivasan: essentially even mirrors become more common in the renaissance and really those are the first kind of
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selfies, right. >> there's an explosion in self portraiture in the renaissance. mirrors didn't exist in a moder form where you see a clear image of yourself so right at the beginning of the renaissance. most people walked around, never really catching a full glimpse what they looked like as a person. then all of a sudden these advance mirrors get created and artists, people like rembrandt with endless self portraits that are early selfies. but the culture gets more introspective and the idea of selfhood backs important to art and philosophy and i think the mirror is part of that story. >> sreenivasan: in your chapter on cold do you draw a line between the can cold and refridge traition and reagan's electoral win. >> it seems crazy but there's a direct line. air conditioning gets invented in the beginning of the 20th
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century. there's a printing shop in brooklyn that's trying with these high quality magazine fronts. in the summer the>6 humidity io bad so they hire this young engineer who goes on to found the carrier corporation. and he solves this by dehumidifying the air but which has a side effect which is air cooler. so everybody in the printing shop is like i'm going to have my lunch there where the air is nice in there. and so he decides to build this technology and about 50 years later it gets popularized in terms of home air conditioning. the small window units and then the home central air. and it triggers one of the single largest migrations of human beings in the history of the united states where everybody moves to the sun belt, everybody moves to florida. people move to vegas and phoenix and places that basically just weren't inhabit itable without air conditioning. and that triggers a huge swing in the electoral college, 50 or 60 votes that swings towards the
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south. and that sun belt coalition is crucial to ronald reagan's election in 1980. now it's possible that reagan could have gotten elected without air conditioning but he would have built a completely different political coalition to do it so ac is a part of that story. >> sreenivasan: there's a story that summarizes and comes back in the book. when we think of ideas we tend to contrain ourselves by the original convention. what you're doing is saying looking at these concepts and these ripple or what you call humming bird effects. >> there are great movement or military conflicts. that's an important part of our historical story and we need to tell those stories. what this book and the show we have is trying to do is to basically show how these objects and these ideas in a sense had p
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creating all of these unintended consequences and all of these other fields and that's a big part of who we are now. >> sreenivasan: steven johnson the book is called "how we got to now" modern interneches. thank you for joining us. >> woodruff: you can watch "how we got to now" tonight on most pbs stations. again, the major developments of the day. president obama promised much more aggressive monitoring of ebola after a second nurse in dallas caught the virus. and the dow industrials lost 170 points after being down as much as 460. >> ifill: an editors note before we go, last night in our report from colorado i incorrectly described morris udall as a former senator. he was, of course, a long- serving congressman from arizona. >> woodruff: and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. and i'm gwen ifill. 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:
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>> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. >> 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. captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions captioned by media access group at wgbh
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