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tv   PBS News Hour Weekend  PBS  October 26, 2014 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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captioning sponsored by wnet >> sreenivasan: on this edition for sunday, october, 26th: a top federal health official suggests the decision by governors to quarantine doctors who treated ebola could actually hurt efforts to curb the disease. after several recent incidents in canada and in new york, we'll look at so-called lone wolf terror attacks. and in our signature segment from alaska, scientists grappling with a deadly disease that is wiping out starfish. >> i'm expecting that in the next two weeks we will lose virtually all of the stars at this site. >> sreenivasan: next on pbs newshour weekend. >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by:
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corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we are your retirement company. additional support is provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. from the tisch wnet studios in lincoln center in new york, hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: good evening, thanks for joining us. the white house is reportedly pressing governors to reverse course and not require doctors who treat ebola patients in africa to be quarantined. and today, one of the nation's top infectious disease experts, dr. anthony fauci, said the new policy adopted in new york, new jersey, illinois and florida could actually damage efforts to contain the disease.
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>> well, as a scientist and as a health person, if i were asked, i would not have recommended that. if you put everyone in one basket, even people who are clearly no threat, then we have the problem of the disincentive of the people that we need. lets not forget the best way to stop this epidemic and protect america is to stop it in africa, and you can really help stopping it in africa if we have our people our heroes the health care workers go there and help us to protect america we cant lose sight of that. >> sreenivasan: this, as a nurse, who, tested negative for ebola, was quarantined after returning from west africa to newark international airport friday. kaci hickox has complained that she was mistreated when she arrived. she wrote this in the dallas morning news: i am scared about how health- care workers will be treated at airports when they declare that they have been fighting ebola in west africa. i am scared that, like me, they will arrive and see a frenzy of disorganization, fear, and most frightening, quarantine.
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governor chris christie said today he had "no second thoughts" about placing her in quarantine. in afghanistan today, british and american troops officially ended combat operations in helmand province, where fighting continues between the afghan army and the taliban. the occasion was marked by the playing of anthems and the lowering of both countries' flags at a huge base they have shared there. iraqi government troops reportedly have made some headway this weekend against isis extremists who have captured large areas of that nation. soldiers, backed by shiite militiamen, said they had regained control of jurf-al- sakhar, a town about 30 miles south of the capital. isis extremists had seized it in july. the extremists remain in control of large portions of the north and west of the country. the american journalist, james foley, reportedly was waterboarded and tortured in the months leading up to his beheading. this according to a detailed report published in today's "new
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york times." according to the account, several other hostages were set free after european governments agreed to meet the extremists ransom demands. britain and the united states have said they will not pay ransom because, they say, it would only encourage more kidnappings. another sign today of europe's still precarious financial condition. the european central bank said 13 of europe's biggest banks need to shore up their reserves to ensure their well-being in the event of another financial crisis. collectively, those banks reportedly need another 31 billion dollars to guarantee their safety. the number of people who have died trying to cross into the united states from mexico has hit a 15-year low, according to the associated press. the news agency says 307 people died during the 12-month period ending last month, the lowest total since 1999. authorities cite a number of factors, including increased security along the border. they also say more people are turning themselves in at the border rather than risk getting injured or killed. a nationwide recall of more than thirty one thousand pounds of
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chicken is underway after the u.s.d.a. said the product may be contaminated. the recall covers boxes of gluten-free breaded chicken nuggets and gluten free breaded chicken breasts sold under the bell and evans brand. the u.s.d.a. says the bacteria can lead to food poisoning within thirty minutes. no cases of illness have been reported so far. and officials in hawaii say lava flowing from a volcano is moving towards a rural area on the big island and that an evacuation might be necessary later this week. the lava has been creeping toward the town of pahoa since july. it only moves ten yards an hour, but it's now close enough to pose a threat. the lava reportedly is more than 1,000 degrees. >> sreenivasan: during the past week, there have been at least three separate attacks launched by what are referred to as lone wolf terrorists who are often inspired by propaganda from
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groups like isis. last monday in quebec, a man, who had converted to islam and had become radicalized, purposely crashed his car into two soldiers, killing one of them, before he was shot dead. two days later, another gunman with a similar story killed a soldier standing guard at a war memorial in ottawa. he later raced into the parliament building before being shot dead. then thursday, in queens new york, a man who had posted comments sympathetic to the jihadists, used a hatchet to attack four rookie police officers posing for a picture on the street. he, too, was shot dead. today, on the sunday talk shows, the heads of the house and senate intelligence committees, commented on the attacks. >> what kind of threat does that pose to our own national security? >> huge, and getting worse >> these attacks and the multiplicity of attacks in 2014 show that their propaganda is having some effect. >> sreenivasan: for more about all this, we are joined now from boston by jytte klausen. she is a professor at brandeis
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university and the founder of the western jihadism project, which tracks the activity of islamist extremists in the west. behind these lone wolf attacks? >> well, the, they call them lone wolves but in most cases they have been connected to networks and pier groups and militants for some time and they carry out the attacks by themselves, but they are not .. actually lone wolves in the sense that they had just become radicalized off the internet or something like that. of course, there are exceptions to this general rule, but right now, there is a callout from the islamic state group, sometimes referred to as isil, to carry out attacks on people who represent the western states. >> okay. so we are also hearing more frequently about the sympathizers in the west who are lured to go and fight for isis.
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what are the reasons for that? >> well, those that have been able to go, isis or isil have invited them, there were many westerners who tried to go and fight for al qaeda in iraq in the previous insurgency in iraq and they weren't welcome, but isil has been pursuing a strategy in syria for some time, and so in th in the course of 23 they started enlightening them to come and many westerners who thought it was a very attractive position to walk around the streets of the syrian cities that they refer to as liberated zone and police the local muslim population in those places, so they were very attracted to the idea of getting control and being the big man or big woman on the block. >> okay. once they get there, their story might change a bit as your research tracks, there is actually a much higher mortality ratio of the westerners who go
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in there, oftentimes they are used as suicide bombers because they are not really much more good to isil or isis? >> yes. that is correct. but in 2013, the mortality rates weren't so high, they really have picked up since the start of this year, and they are now picking up evidence of people who want to come home and have had regrets, but at the same time, even as that is happening there are also new people who are leaving, so there are -- by my count, based on estimates from the different governments there have been around 3,000 western whores have at one point in time gone off and joined the extremist jihadist groups. >> what happens when they come back? is there evidence to show that they are more likely to launch an attack at their home in the west? >> there is evidence of that, but there are also some coming back who are exhibiting signs of
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having had regrets, particularly amongst some of the younger groups, the women, some of the teenagers who had taken off, but they are by no means the only stream that has gone off, there are hardened folks who have gone off who have experience from previous insurgencies, a boston man named ahmed who goes to pakistan and to yemen and took off to syria in 2006 is now believed to be in charge of the social media operations on behalf of isil, and so we should be careful not to draw fast conclusions of what sort of threat these people present when they come back, and so sure, from previous experiences insurgencies and westerners going off, that having had the experience of learning how to carry out violence, shooting a
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gun and putting together a bomb, they will come back and they will try to carry out violence here, and there have been incident already that have fortunately been stopped with the exception of one, an incident in brussels at the jewish museum there. >> all right. klausen joining us from boston today, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> >> sreenivasan: and now to our signature segment. a deadly disease has been wiping out starfish along the west coast for more than a year now. it's called sea star wasting syndrome and it causes the marine animals to die in a particularly gruesome way. until recently, the creatures seemed to be faring better in alaska, but no more. newshour special correspondent katie campbell of kcts-seattle traveled there recently and
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filed this story. her report is part of the environmental public media project-- earthfix. >> reporter: it's early morning in sitka, alaska. the stars have yet to fade from the night sky. a group of scientists are setting out in search of a different kind of star. sea stars, commonly known as starfish, have been vanishing from alaska's shoreline. >> these cracks in the previous years would be full of guys, they're really empty this year. you guys didn't see any last time either did, you? no, back in june? >> reporter: peter raimondi is one of the lead scientists studying an alarming epidemic that's been killing starfish by the millions.
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raimondi and researcher melissa miner have been conducting intensive surveys of pacific coastal areas, tracking the spread of the disease. >> almost everywhere we've looked in the last year we've seen catastrophic losses of sea stars. >> reporter: raimondi pounds bolts in the rocks so that year after year, they can find and survey the same areas. once they've roped off a patch of shoreline, their team counts and measures the creatures that live here. sitka was one of the first places they noticed signs of the disease last year. now the team is back to check on the stars. the question is, will starfish in the cool waters of alaska survive this outbreak? or will they, too, succumb? >> it's definitely not severely wasted, but those are what we're calling early warning signs of wasting. this is the beginnings of two separate lesions, and sometimes what we see is that this will grow together and actually, the whole tissue will kind of degrade. >> reporter: the symptoms vary depending on the species of starfish, but it usually starts the same way. >> they get white lesions. they become necrotic, that means the tissue dies.
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and as the tissue dies, they often times will lose arms and then waste away. they disintegrate. >> sometimes they get lesions and their internal organs start to spill out of these lesions. and that can happen within 24 to 48 hours. >> reporter: starfish deaths were first reported in the summer of 2013 on washington's olympic peninsula. reports have since surfaced along thousands miles of north america's pacific shores. sea star wasting syndrome affects almost every species of west coast starfish. the plague has hit so hard over the past year that biologists fear that some species could even go extinct. scientists have been scrambling to find answers. drew harvell is coordinating nationwide research into understanding the wasting syndrome and has been studying marine diseases for decades. >> this is the largest disease outbreak that we know of ever in
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the oceans in terms of the numbers of species affected, in terms of the geographic scale, and in terms of the mortality that's associate with it. >> reporter: after analyzing countless samples in the lab, harvell's team believes that an infectious pathogen-- like a bacteria or virus-- may be the root of the problem. >> this is what we call a wide host range pathogen. it means that it affects many different species. and those are the most dangerous in wildlife disease in terms of a potential risk of extinction. >> reporter: they've learned the syndrome seems to spread through water and physical contact. and they're testing a hypothesis that the pathogen may be transferred through shellfish, which starfish like to eat. exactly what triggers these outbreaks is still unknown, but scientists think the disease could be compounded by warming waters.
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starfish are stressed by higher temperatures, which make them more vulnerable to infection. harvell has been keeping an eye on the once abundant starfish populations around washington's san juan islands. cold water here may have helped starfish withstand the first wave of the disease. but summertime brought warmer waters to the islands, and harvell and her team watched stars suddenly get sick. >> i'm expecting that in the next two weeks we will lose virtually all of the stars at this site. >> reporter: and that's exactly what happened-- all of the starfish that were here are now gone. as outbreaks continue in puget sound, scientists are looking north for a sign of hope. >> the hope is that the waters are cold enough in alaska, the northern part of their range for many of these species, that they'll persist there. >> reporter: this summer, melissa miner was hopeful that would be the case. >> this is one of the few places that could potentially be a source of replenishment for some of these areas that have been hit really hard. >> reporter: back in sitka, trouble is on the horizon. in recent months water
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temperatures here have been higher than normal, and this fall a band of warm pacific water is expected to travel farther north heating up the waters here even more. to prepare, raimondi is in installing sensors will measure the water temperature. >> so we'll get really good records over the next year of temperature. then we can see whether that relates to any change in the disease that we see at this particular site. >> reporter: that way if a mass die-off occurs, they'll know the exact ocean conditions. there's nothing the researchers can do to prevent an outbreak. but they can count and measure what's here now. their data will provide a critical point of comparison for what normal starfish populations should be. >> if you don't know what's there, you don't know what's
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lost. >> reporter: the results of the alaska intertidal surveys are mixed. >> this is probably the worst one that we've seen here today. you can see here the whole area that's diseased. but the good thing is that there's not a really high percentage of diseased animals. >> reporter: without knowing the cause of these outbreaks, it's impossible to tell whether the epidemic is nearly finished or whether another mass die-off is just getting started. >> if we knew what was causing it, we would have a much better understanding of where we are, but not knowing where we are in the chronology of this event is really frustrating and kinda scary. >> reporter: after leaving sitka, raimondi and miner began receiving disturbing reports. the healthy-looking stars they
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carefully counted just days before were suddenly losing arms and wasting away. time will tell whether alaska will be a starfish graveyard or a refuge. >> sreenivasan: learn more about why scientists think alaska may hold the key to replenishing starfish on the brink of extinction, visit >> sreenivasan: for ten days now, we've been hearing reports from africa that those hundreds of school girls who were abducted by boko haram extremists last spring were about to be released. but so far, at least, it hasn't happened. and, according to reports, another 30 adolescents were abducted in nigeria today. for the latest, we are joined now via skype from lagos nigeria by tim cocks of reuters. about the deal, where does it stand? >> well, they are still in talks in chad. it was to be expected i think
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everyone felt the government was being wildly over optimistic in saying we would have the girls out by last monday. the -- it is extremely complicated systems the way boeing works. they have, boko haran factions work, it is difficult to get them all to do what one particular factions wants them to do. >> the government a says they are negotiating with bona fide boko haran militants and that they show willingness to release the girls but it is still not clear whether that faction has all of the girls or have some of the girls or whether it has access to another faction that is holding them. there is so much mystery surrounding this whole thing that it is actually very difficult to say whether or not the girls will be out in a week or whether this whole thing could just fall apart. >> so while they talk about negotiating the release of these 200 that the world paid attention to, there have been
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subsequent kidnappings? >> there have been, yes. the government says that the kidnappings of the, are the works of criminal groups which may be true because of course in this area, which has now become so flaw less, the area between chad, cameroon and nigeria, up in the northeast nigeria are so lawless there is a lot of associated criminality which the boko haran militants use to fund their operation. it probably wasn't that surprising that the government announce add cease-fire that some group or another would go on the rampage and say no we are not agreeing to this. but what matters to these folks is whether those girls are being held by the faction that are in chad, in talks with the government and the government says we wouldn't be here if we weren't pretty confident that is the case. >> at these negotiations who represents who here? i mean, is government actually sit across the table from boko haran? >> well, there is a guy who claims that he is the general of
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boko haran, this is, quite a few alarm bells, his name has never been heard of before. what really matters to these talks is whether this man can actually get those girls freed, and the feeling is that it is still very much a long shot. >> and who represents the government in this conversation? >> it is all very hush, hush actually. the government doesn't want to give a whole lot away, which is why it was actually considered to be a little bit of a mistake in announcing the cease-fire because before they did that, it had been quiet for a couple of weeks and suddenly the violence starts up again so i think the thing is very much shrouded in mystery, we have at the moment trying to cover them, but they are very much limiting access to journalists, the information, until they have something solid they can present and say, yes, we have made -- we have had success. >> all right, tim cocks of
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reuters joining us live in nigeria, thank you very much. >> thank you very much. >> sreenivasan: and now to viewers like you. your feedback about some of our recent work. we heard from many of you about our report last night examining whether soccer is safe, given the thousands of concussions that occur every year after kids use their heads to make contact with the ball. genevieve salem wrote us:" this is ridiculous. the risks of playing soccer pale in comparison with sports like football or ice hockey." dorothy cruse wrote: "all sports have elements of danger." guido borgogoli asked: "do you think they're worried about this in argentina and germany?" and robert eades had this to say:" fear is no excuse not to let your child enjoy sports, as risk is a part of life. not living is worse on your soul." kelly "joslin" wall talked about her family's experiences:" my son has played soccer since
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kindergarten, and is now a sophomore. his first concussion was four years ago, falling off a bike with a helmet on. the second concussion was this year in soccer. went through the protocols and was cleared within two weeks things happen in sports and in every day life." but cassidy king disagreed, writing:" people who are saying, 'get over it,' really don't understand the repercussions of concussions." cannw added this:" there are so many other ways to learn the value of hard work and teamwork. another thought, how much of playing sports is actually driven by the parent rather than the child?" stinger suggested this: "for starters, ban heading the ball when the goalie punts it. the ball is traveling fast, and it's a useless header anyway, rarely does someone actually head it to a teammate intentionally. eventually i think all heading will have to be banned." finally, candid one said this: "as this segment so fairly depicts, there won't be an easy answer to these kinds of quandaries as we encounter them during parenthood." we welcome your feedback on our stories, tell us what you think on facebook, twitter or on our
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website at >> some more news before we leave you tonight, pro western parties have come out on top in parliamentary elections in ukraine, a pro-russian party got seven percent of the vote. at least two rockets were fired into the heavily protected green zone in kabul, afghanistan, they landed near the uh u.s. embassy but no one was hurt and consuming large amounts of substance found coco plants improved memory in people in fifties and sixties according to a new columbia study. >> that's it, i am hari sreenivasanable, thanks for watching. >> captioning sponsored by wnet
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captioned by media access group at wgbh >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we are your retirement company. additional support is provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
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>> explore new worlds and new ideas through programs like this. made available for everyone through contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. [captioning made possible by tjl productions, llc] >> folk music has been around as long as there have been folks to sing it. folk music is about real people and real lives and the frustration of dissent. there was a time in america when the simple act of gathering together to share experiences united us and helped us sing our troubles away. how do you do? i'm john sebastian, and that was me, and this is my music. tonight, we're going to look back at some of the most popular songs of the folk era. >> ♪ and when we go dancin', baby, then you'll see how the magic's in the music and the


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