tv PBS News Hour PBS December 1, 2014 6:00pm-7:01pm PST
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: president obama announces tougher standards on how local police can use military style equipment in the wake of ferguson. >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. gwen ifill is away. also ahead this monday, when facebook rants turn menacing, the supreme court considers whether threats made on social media are protected by the first amendment. >> woodruff: plus, as philadelphia schools grapple with crippling budget cuts. one school forces students to think for themselves and solve real-life problems.
>> i've had kids cry in front of me, like, "i just... can you just tell me, ms. hull. i just... i want to do a good job." and i said, "i know you want to do a good job, and i'm going to help you do that, but you have to find your own answers now." >> woodruff: those are some of the stories we're covering on 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. >> lincoln financial-- committed to helping you take charge of your life and become you're own chief life officer. >> 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: u.s. troops and veterans may now be targets for islamic state attacks inside the united states. the warning comes in a bulletin from the f.b.i. and the department of homeland security. the bulletin says the militants: "are spotting and assessing like-minded individuals who are willing and capable of conducting attacks." the warning urges troops and veterans to erase identifying information from social media accounts. iraqi prime minister haidar al abadi announced moves today to
bolster his military against islamic state forces. he announced he's retiring two dozen security officials. he also attacked military corruption after news that iraq has been paying thousands of troops who exist only on paper. >> ( translated ): if there were inspection teams, they would have discovered this long ago. i feel sad that we've paid salaries for mock soldiers at a time when we don't have enough money. we have soldiers fighting and being killed, while there are mock soldiers receiving salaries. this demands more than simple auditing. >> woodruff: also today, the united nations reported more than 1,200 iraqis died in violence last month. that's down slightly from october. and afghanistan's new president is overhauling his military and security forces in a bid to turn back the taliban. the associated press reports ashraf ghani will fire civilian and military heads in the most volatile provinces of his country. the pentagon and state
department played down reports today of creating a possible buffer zone along turkey's border with syria to protect syrian refugees. officials said talks are continuing. meanwhile, the world food program suspended food vouchers to some 1.7 million syrian refugees. the u.n. agency said many donors have failed to come through with money. in nigeria, officials blamed the islamist boko haram group for attacks that killed at least seven people. a double bombing hit a market in the capital of borno state. and a police base in the yobe state capital was attacked with explosions and gunfire. more than 170 people have been killed in the last week. the government of hong kong showed signs today of cracking down after two months of pro- democracy protests. riot police moved aggressively against demonstrators in the most violent confrontation yet.
we have a report from john sparks of independent television news, who's watching the situation from bangkok. >> protest leaders said the time had come to escalate their struggle, as they surrounded government headquarters in the middle of hong kong. but as the sun rose, the police took their positions, and with batons in hand, decided to charge. (shouting) weeks of relative calm were shattered today as pro democracy protesters were driven through a public park and back towards the main protest site in the heart of hong kong. one observer said it was like the running of the bulls. these are the most violent clashes since demonstrators
occupied parts of the city two months ago. the police made 40 arrests and dozens of people injured with activists accusing police of brutality. the protest movement now giving ground, its call for open elections has been rejected and a request for talks with the government ignored. today a senior official told them to pack up and go home. >> the police, after repeated warnings, have to take resolute actions. they have no choice because it is their duty to restore law and order. >> last night, protest leaders call for peaceful disobedience at the main government building, but what they got was chaos, as both sides trade ad blows as well as territory. >> woodruff: the protesters are demanding free elections in
2017, but the cheese government has refused. chinese government has refused. the russian ruble hit a new all- time low today, dropping another five percent of its value. the currency's been battered by declining oil prices and economic sanctions over the conflict in ukraine. the ruble is down a total of more than 40% this year. back in this country, congress returned from its thanksgiving break with a full slate for its final two weeks. that includes the need to fund government operations past december 11th. and president obama's requests for money to fight ebola and the islamic state group. entertainer bill cosby stepped down today as a trustee of temple university. he said it's in the school's best interest. cosby is facing a wave of allegations that he's drugged and sexually assaulted women over the years. and a congressional staffer resigned after criticizing the president's teenage daughters on facebook.
elizabeth lauten worked for a republican congressman from tennessee. last week, she wrote that sasha and malia obama should have shown more interest in the ceremonial pardon of a thanksgiving turkey and should dress better. lauten apologized today. well, retailers are hoping this cyber monday will jump start holiday shopping. weekend sales were down from a year ago, due partly to sales starting earlier this fall. and on wall street, the dow jones industrial average lost 51 points to close below 17,777; the nasdaq slumped 64 points to close at 4,727; and the s&p 500 fell 14, to finish at 2,053. >> woodruff: still to come on the newshour, promoting community policing that builds, rather than breaks trust. the supreme court tests the limits of free speech online. philadelphia public schools innovate to comabt budget cuts.
how the penn state community grappled with the aftermath of jerry sandusky's conviction. and, the fight to contain ebola, from a leading researcher just back from the frontline. >> woodruff: when writing and social media and facebook, what is defined as a threat and what is protected as free speech, the question at the center of a case before the supreme court today. jeffrey brown has the story and warning, the case contains graphic language. >> brown: in 2010, anthony elonis began writing facebook posttest about his ex-wife, angry rants. she filed a restraining order. elonis was charged with threatening to injury another person and sent to four years in
prison. the supreme court have to understand whether the rants are protected under the first amendment. marcia, give us more background. >> mr. elonis was having difficulties after he separated from his wife and children. he was unable to do his job at an amusement park outside of allentown, pennsylvania. he was sent home from work several times but employers because he was crying at his desk and accused of sexual harassment by at least one co-worker ultimately, he was fired by his job, and he did a post involving his co-workers at the amusement park that was not a very good one but he wasn't charged under that. it was the postings that hemade involving violent statements against his wife, against law enforcement officials in
particular, an f.b.i. agent who visited his home after the phish began monitoring his posts and also against elementary schools threatening possibly to go in and have a major mass shooting. >> brown: let's look at one post he sent to his wife. there's one way to love you, but a thousand ways to kill you. i'm not going to rest till your body is a mess, soaked in blood and dying from all the little cuts. now, strong stuff, clearly. the argument from his lawyer today was what? that this is protected somehow? >> right, he made the same argument he did at trial and on appeal before the case got to the supreme court, and that is, under the federal law that he was charged under, this law hawklawmakes it a crime to trant interstate or foreign commerce any communication that expresses a threat to inflict bodily harm
on another person. >> brown: in this case, over the internet. >> exactly, the internet is interstate commerce. his lawyer argued today as they did previously that this law requires a subjective intent to threaten, and that he did not have that. that these posts were really cathartic for him, that he was trying to work through his anger and, also, after he was separated from his wife, he took an interest in rap lyrics, and he did have on some of these posts, he had taken the name of a rap artist. >> brown: there was a suggestion it was sort of a performance in some way. >> exactly, some of the posts were in lyrical form and his rap name was tone dougie. >> brown: row do the justices take this argument? >> well, some of the justices were critical of the argument. justice ginsburg asks right away, with subjective intent,
how does the prosecution get into his mind? how do they prove subjective intent? and mr. elonis' lawyer said, well, you look at the circumstances, you look at the posts. this is something that juries do in criminal cases. other justices like justice scalia felt this speech had no first amendment value. the supreme court has held that the first amendment does not protect true threats. as justice kennedy said at one point, the court did not do the language or the law any real benefit by using the phrase "true threat." >> brown: one of the most interesting aspects of this is it's said to be the first time the just i -- justices are taking up the question of limiting speech in social media. is that a big element to that? >> it's actually not a major element, but it came out in the
questioning of the justices, particularly on the government's argument. the government's argument is that this law has no specific intent requirement. it's silent. so it has a general intent, and the way that is interpreted is, if a jury finds that a reasonable person looking at mr. elonis' statements perceives them as threats, then the government gets a conviction. that led to questions from some of the justices about, well, who is the reasonable person? what about teenagers who post some pretty awful things on the internet these days? is the reasonable person a reasonable teenager? >> you know, athand a lot of people -- and it resonates with a lot of people, their feeling. i have a graphic from the pew center, a poll, that shows 40% of people experiencing some variety of harassment. people are online more. language is used a little differently. >> yes. >> brown: and now we're seeing it come up into law. >> yes.
and chief justice roberts, during the argument, he quoted rap lyrics that really were from eminem -- >> brown: that probably doesn't happen every day. >> not at all. to the government's lawyer and basically said, well, you know, what is this? what's a jury supposed to do with something like this? and the government employer said, look, clearly that's entertainment. that was done in a concert setting. and the chief justice came back at him and said, well, what about an aspiring rap artist, the first time he posts? so the court was also looking for some kind of middle ground here. justice kagan said, you know, you're basically saying that there is the lowest standard of proof for the government, but doesn't the first amendment require something more here? but the government says there is no first amendment value to criminal threats. >> brown: a very interesting
case in the digital world. marcia coyle. thanks so much. >> my pleasure, jeff. >> woodruff: the fallout from ferguson took center stage at the white house today with president obama calling for some $260 million dollars in federal response funds. it includes buying 50,000 body cameras that record police actions. ferguson officer darren wilson was not wearing a camera when he shot and killed michael brown. he's now resigned after a grand jury voted not to charge him. today, the president held back- to-back meetings with civil rights and community leaders, and with police officials. he said it's vital to restore trust. >> when any part of the american family does not feel like it is being treated fairly, that's a problem for all of us. it's not just a problem for
some. it's not just a problem for a particular community or a particular demographic. it means that we are not as strong a country as we can be. >> woodruff: the president is also calling for a task force on 21st century policing, and outside the white house, some of the meeting attendees gave more details. the meetings came as protests continued, including five st. louis rams players who made a hands up, don't shoot gesture before their game sunday. for some perspective on police practices and training in the aftermath of the ferguson case we turn to malik aziz, he's national chairman of national black police association, and a former commander in the dallas police force. and, raymond kelly, former police commissioner of new york city, and now president of risk management services at cushman & wakefield. a commercial real estate firm.
we welcome you both to the program. raymond kelly, to you first, what are your thoughts, before i ask you about police practices in general, about what the president was saying today, the need for more community policing, that they are going to put money forward for 50,000 body cameras, they want to put restrictions on military-style equipment. how does all this come across the you? >> i generally support the president's position. i would only say about body cameras, i think they should be tested a little more. i think we should have pilot programs. 50,000 is a big number. it's clear cameras are meant to have police officers hesitate. if they hesitate from doing things they shouldn't be doing, that's a good thing. if they hesitate from doing things they should be, that obviously is not good. so i think we need more examination in the area of body cameras, but i support that -- the testing going forward.
as far as the demilitarization of the police, i think that's a good idea. i think it's an idea whose time has come and gone. this is as a result of a good-faith effort on the part of congress to help the fight against crime in the '90s. it was well intended, but i think the optics of seeing heavy military equipment on the streets of america is just not something that america will any longer accept. so i would like to see that reduced perhaps not eliminated and the president's proposal is to do just that. >> woodruff: malik aziz, what are your thoughts, particularly about cameras which need more testing. >> i applaud the president's remarks. i wish the national black police
association would have been at the table to discuss the views since we have been discussing the issues since 1972, pressing community issues, and we were absent today or not inviewtd. so i think he would have invited us in the future if he wanted task for about action. but i believe what the former commissioner just said, i believe the cameras have been tested well enough across the nation and i do echo his sentiments on more testing. i think we need more body cameras. we need more in-car cameras. we also need to be more accountable and transparent in those areas. i think the better departments, the most promising departments who outfit their police with cameras have been able to find a few that see more benefits in it, the hesitation that the police commissioner smoke spoke, maybe having the police officer doing things that saved lives out of a quick response. we need more technology, but it
has to be account b, resources have to be deployed responsibly. >> woodruff: ray kelly, i want ask both of you, how adequate do you believe the training is today that most police officer receive when it comes to the use of deadly force? >> well, i think it is reasonably adequate. obviously, you know, it's not totally consistent across the country, but in big police departments i think it's pretty well done. technology is used. we have what we call firearms training, similarities, where they show pretty realistic scenarios and officers have to make decisions as to whether or not draw their weapon, to fire, and those things are pretty well done. you can really drill down and get very specific situations. so i think the training is good. i have to characterize it as good. you have a lot of regional training now for instance in ferguson. those offices went to the
st. louis county police academy and the technology is being used across the country. >> woodruff: malik aziz, how do you see the training that most police officers today receive when it comes to the use of deadly force? >> well, i think that the training could be much better. i think it's been handicapped by time and resources, meaning funds, and in some departments how do you train people when you need them on the street to answer everyday calls from the citizens. but overall, some of the use of force, reality-based simulated training that's been done to offer reasonable alternatives, not every department has those, and i think the training that involves reasonable alternatives or can you do something else, which could have been the case in ferguson, or the options for mace or taser training or how do you simulate certain situations that may call for deadly force or just to take another option. so i think 80% of the
departments really are in need of more training. i think the 20% of departments that are medium-type cities, they do it rather well, as the commissioner just said. but there are a few departments that could use more training in technology use, equipment use as well as diversity training and sensitivity training. all those things go together with the department of vital resources. >> woodruff: what about training when it comes to police officers. how are they trained to think about race? to think about working in a divorcin adiverse community? >> well with, there is an awful lot of focus on working in different communities. the police officer training in the nypd, for instance, is six months in the police academy and another field training session after that. that's a significant period of time, and a good portion of the six-month training is focus on the very diverse communities in morning new york -- communities
in new york. we believe new york is perhaps the most diverse city in the world. we now have in the new york city police department police officers born in 106 countries. so the department is reflecting the population of the city certainly more than any other city agency is concerned, and we're proud of that. but i think the focus on diversity is important, and i believe it goes on, terrel certn most major police departments. >> woodruff: malik aziz, do you think there needs to be a change in the way police officers today are trained to think about race, to think about working with individuals who are of a different background than they are? >> i think it's another tool in the chest. i think once you add that to their options, that they tend to look at things different. some officer come from places that they haven't had a great interaction with communities of
great diversity unless they're in new york city, but even then it's coming from neighborhood perspectivist. when you look inside of cultures, i think once officers are exposed to one another's cultures, it can't do anything but help. it's another tool in the chest to help for a different outlook. i'll tell you as an example, you know, black people talking loud does not scare me. that may scare some other people, but i get used to that in this culture. it doesn't mean some aggression will happen. most people should worry about when we stop talking. i don't know, so it's some of those things that you would look at in training that will help people say, this is part of the culture, this is how we act, and it's not a means of aggression. it's not a means of passiveness, it's just our culture, and we need cultural training, police officers need it. >> this is just one part of a conversation we very much want to continue. we thank you both malik aziz and raymond kelly. >> thank you so much.
>> woodruff: there's been a lot of bad news about philadelphia public schools this past year. special correspondent for education john merrow reports on steps the school superintendent is taking to fight back. the special correspondent for education john merrow has the first of two reports this week. >> reporter: philadelphia public schools are in trouble. not enough money. overflowing classrooms. and, the unkindest cut of all, more than one third of its students, 70,000, are in charter schools, which philadelphia has to pay for but does not control. >> individuals are choosing away from us, simply because they
don't think that our schools are meeting the needs of our children. >> reporter: william hite is superintendent of philadelphia public schools. >> so what we want to do is to become a part of that choice, our survival depends on our ability to innovate, to think differently about how children are educated. >> this has mirrors. mirrors are fascinating to kids. they like look at them and go "who is that kid?" what brain development is going on with those kinds of things? >> reporter: this is the kind of innovative model superintendent hite is talking about. these 12th graders at science leadership academy are learning about brain development--by designing toys for babies and infants. >> aaron, what do you think you want to do one to five year olds or? >> i want to do toddlers one to three. >> on to three? >> you'll need to research what's going on and then think of what you could build, design
that would help develop those parts of the brain that are developing during eight to 12 months. >> reporter: some teachers might have given a lecture on brain development, but that's not how things work at science leadership academy. here kids learn by finding their own answers and working collaboratively on real-life projects. >> what they really care about is how you got to your answer, not what the answer is itself. >> ladies and gentlemen, we're going over the three acceptable use policies. you are going to answer the questions that are on the canvas. >> i've had kids cry in front of me, like, "i just... can you just tell me, ms. hull. i just... i want to do a good job." and i said, "i know you want to do a good job, and i'm going to help you do that, but you have to find your own answers now." >> they have to learn how to pick that up and like put their hand in it and grab it. >> reporter: this innovative approach, project-based learning, is at the core of everything that goes on at science leadership academy, also known as s.l.a. >> project-based learning, i would say, takes longer, but i would argue that it is well worth it. this is a much more interesting way, i would say, to... for them to learn this content, by kind of figuring out on their own. >> reporter: more interesting, and according to chris lehmann, s.l.a.'s founding principal, much more rewarding.
>> when you get away from the front of the room, right, you actually end up being able to spend more time with the kids, not less, and we need to create those spaces, we need to make sure that... that there are teachers who can connect with the kids, who can, mentor the kids, who can be that role model for them in their lives in incredibly powerful ways. >> reporter: s.l.a. has 500 students grade nine through twelve. lehmann founded the school in 2006 in partnership with the franklin institute, a museum of science and technology. an expert on education technology, lehmann has been honored with numerous awards including the prestigious mcgraw prize, which he received in october. >> it is our belief at s.l.a. schools should be cathedrals, that schools should be places of incredible passion and not just what happens in the hallways in between classes, but actually
places where kids can't wait to be. >> reporter: but lehmann and his cathedral of learning have one great advantage over most philadelphia schools, s.l.a. accepts only those who meet its admission standards. >> we'll interview any kid who gives us a call, or shows up at open house, or sends an, sends us an e-mail. >> reporter: this year s.l.a. interviewed 1,200 students for 125 freshman class slots. and high test scores alone were no guarantee of admission. >> it's those kids who want to love learning. i think that they flourish here. >> reporter: the numbers bear that out. the city's graduation rate is 65%. s.l.a.'s is 97% and almost every graduate takes the next step, post-secondary education. >> malala wins the nobel peace prize. what does this do for the issue of girls trying to get an education? >> reporter: but numbers don't tell the whole story. >> i think there's a palpable feeling of care in this building, amongst teachers, amongst students, from students to teachers and from teachers to students that i think makes kids feel like they belong here,
they're valued here. >> reporter: because science leadership academy has performed so well, superintendent hite asked lehmann to open a second school. like the original, it selects its students. and, as at s.l.a., teachers push students to find their own answers. >> it's your project. you're the one who is going to have to be working on it so i want you to find something that interests you. >> you could do the rainbow with the cross. it could stand for like i support. >> i could put like l.g.b.t. in the middle of something. i have an idea! >> reporter: the two s.l.a. schools enroll only 830 students. philadelphia's traditional public schools serve 130,000. the vast majority of them attending neighborhood schools, which by law must admit everyone who shows up.
can the s.l.a. model work in traditional neighborhood schools, ones that do not get to hand-pick their students? superintendent hite is gambling that they can. we'll report on that tomorrow night >> woodruff: it was a horrific crime in itself: sexual abuse of children. but what happened at penn state university in 2012 became a national story because of who and what was involved, the convicted abuser was jerry sandusky, a respected football coach at the school. his boss was head coach joe paterno, a legendary figure in college sports history and a near mythical figure at penn state itself. jeffrey brown is back with a conversation he recorded earlier. >> brown: the documentary happy valley focuses less on the crime for which jerry sandusky was sentenced to what amounts to a life sentence and more on the
atmosphere, the aftermath and the complex reactions of the community including to the treatment of joe paterno who was fired from his job amid questions of whether he had known of the abuse or done enough to stop it much earlier. here's an extended clip. >> the board of trustees and graham have decided immediately dr. spanier is no longer president of the university. in addition, joe paterno is no longer the head football coach effective immediately. (audience reacts) >> we had gone to bed. the phone rang and i gave it to joe. he said, okay, okay. he hung up and he said, goodbye. he said, they just fired me. so i redialed the number and i
said, after all these years, he deserves better, goodbye, and hung up. i couldn't believe they could take your heart away that quickly. >> what do you want to say? why did you come out? (shouting) (chanting "leave joe alone " ) >> we still have things to do. i'm out of it, all right. but we'll go from here. good luck, everybody. thanks for coming. >> we love you, joe! ! , joe!
(bleep)! seems like you're making him the fall guy for this. >> we have to do what we think is the right thing to do under the circumstances. i have counseled with the university and our students will behave in the proper manner. >> have you made any plans? our university is adept at handling these affairs and i'm sure they're handled for whatever eventualities there may be (chanting, we want joe) >> i was just so angry, so i took that picture i have of joe and i just sit out there on my balcony with it. i have a bunch of texts from my
family, good job on tv representing joe. >> brown: filmmaker from new york, previous story the tillman story, examining the death of football player and soldier pat tillman. this story captured the national psyche and attention. what more was there to tell? what were you after? >> i was after reexamining the way we dealt with the principle failings of the story. as you mentioned at the top, i'm not so interested in jerry sandusky but in the way we kind of distance ourselves from his failings. what drew me to the story, for instance, was a prayer service a couple of days after the clip you just showed. there was the first game without joe paterno in half a century, the two opposing teams gathered on the field in prayer, and ron
brown, the nebraska coach, said there's a lot of little boys watching this game today and they're wondering about the definition of manhood. lord, this is it right here. when i watched that on television, i thought, boy, jerry sandusky's crimes make me outraged, they make me sad but they don't make me question my definition of manhood and i certainly don't think there's an answer in football. you know, we all had a strange reaction to jerry's crimes and to joe paterno's failure to do more than he should have. >> brown: well, you show in great detail this football culture that borders on religion, really, with joe pa a terno in the clip when he was fired, it cause as riot on campus. joe paterno was kind of a religious and holy figure there. what did you see in that culture? >> well, you know, i mean, i think it's another case in which
the pot calls the kettle black because, after all this happened, we all pointed the finger at happy valley and said, my god, they have a football-first culture. that's what the ncaa said, what louie free said in his report. the culprit here is a passion for football. well, the whole country has a passion for football, and, you know, i think what we try to do with the story is sort of widen the circle of responsibility ever wider. so it becomes, to my mind, not a story about joe paterno or penn state or even football, but america today. >> it's interesting you say that because it comes through in the film. you know, capturing many voices, pro and con, football pro and con, pro and con joe paterno, penn state. did you come to terms with the culture and the aftermath and the culpability of people or did you just really want to put
those voices out there? >> you're right, we do let a lot of opposing voices to be heard, but ult through film as a perspective that has to do with the sort of shaming spectacle. it's a film about ideas and one is about the way we shame people and run them out of town so the culture can move on and a bunch of other ideas. it's a film that while there's a painful story at its heart, it's dare i say kind of an enjoyable 90 minutes because these are, to my mind, compelling ideas very much at play right now and they didn't go away three years ago. >> brown: let me asking beautiful, finally, what's your sense in the end of how this has played out in the aftermath in the years since at penn state and in the larger culture? is there still soul searching over this? >> it's in the headlines right now. we're learning more about potential improprieties in the
way louie free conducted his report. certainly, you know, the ncaa saying fining penn state and saying they had a culture that put football first is something that bears more scrutiny. i think all the questions about the roll of athletics and football in our universities in america are, you know, in the headlines today. so this is a story of our time. that's why i was drawn to it. >> happy valley. amir, thank you so much. >> thanks for having >> woodruff: "happy valley" is now showing in theaters in new york and los angeles. it also available on demand on amazon, itunes, youtube and google-play. >> woodruff: we'll be back with an update on the fight to contain ebola from a woman who's just returned from the frontlines in west africa.
>> woodruff: finally tonight, the battle to contain ebola in west africa. the world health organization reported today that liberia and guinea have met two key targets. they're now isolating 70% of those infected, and ensuring safe burials for 70% of those who have died. more than 6,900 people have been killed by the virus during this outbreak. laurie garrett, of the council of foreign relations, is back from a recent trip to liberia and sierra leone. she has a new e-book called "ebola: story of an outbreak." she is symptom-free but since she is still being monitored, we spoke with her by skype from new york. laurie garrett, welcome. so there is some good news today from the w.h.o. about guinea and liberia. how do you size up the situation there, having just come back?
>> well with, certainly in liberia, the american presence has made a difference. the staggering capacity of the liberians themselves, the way they have organized, have made a difference and, indeed, that epidemic which was doom and gloom in september has plummeted. now, the danger is to get cocky and think, okay, it's all over, we can all go back to behaving exactly as we did before ebola emerged and, obviously, liberia made that mistake before in april thinking it had this small intrusion from guinea and that a it was over and everybody could go back to business as usual. of course, we know what happened after that. guinea, i have not been in guinea, but i can see that the data we have so far looks promising. that's a country where the president himself has equally engaged in fighting the epidemic. sierra leone is another story.
>> woodruff: well, what about the challenges in sierra leone, based on what you saw? >> it's a really tough situation. physically, it's a very tough country -- mountainous, hilly, lots of mud -- very difficult simply to get around from place to place. and in the capital, you have a really massive level of denial, the kind of social distancing where everybody in liberia stays a learn distance away from the next person and washes their hands in bleach. you don't really see that in sierra leone. you don't have a sense that people are really appropriately fearful and then, on top of everything else, they have very complicated burial and funeral rituals that are quite dangerous and people are not reporting loved ones that are sick or dead because they don't want to be
forbidden to practice traditional funeral services. >> woodruff: laurie, why do you think there's been more progress in guinea and liberia than sierra leone? what's the fundamental difference? >> well, certainly in the case of liberia, i do think the americans have made a difference. american taxpayers should be very proud of our dollars well spent in that country. you do see a very tightly coordinated response between u.s. military, u.s. aid, our centers for disease control, and other players on the peeled and, of course, a very, very important and prominent presence from doctors without borders. also, in liberia, a pretty terrific core group within the government that has put together great contact tracing, smart
epidemiology. they understand we're an epidemic. they know where it's going. they're able to move pretty swiftly now, to put out a brushfire when it appears in some remote area. in contrast, in sierra leone, everything, the international response, the national response, the n.g.o. response, you feel it's all late, dragging its feet and trying to get where it needs to be. you have these huge ebola treatment centers that have been built and have almost no patients, not because there's a lack of patients that need the facilities, but because the people operating them are scared to take in all the would-be patients. i actually saw people dying on the streets in town and pens set up that looks like something you would put animals in outside hospitals in the open, blazing
sun, where people have what might be ebola, they don't have a blood test, but they have a high fever, vomiting or diarrhea, and they're placed in pens on the street and they have to wait for someone inside in the hospital to dieo so they can get a bed in the hospital. >> brown >> woodruff: quickly, laurie, the pledges coming in from the countries, they say is not happening. >> we have many pledges from back in september. the united states is way ahead on what we've pledged, and what percentage that we've pledged has materialized. some countries it's abysmal. >> woodruff: laurie garrett, council ancouncil of foreign res just back from liberia and sierra leone in the last weeks,
thank you. >> thank you. >> woodruff: again, the major developments of the day. the fallout from ferguson dominated the president's day. he met with a series of groups and called for new efforts and new spending aimed at building trust between police and minorities nationwide. the f.b.i. warned that islamic state militants may be recruiting people to attack u.s. troops and veterans inside the united states. another f.b.i. warning this evening said hackers are using so-called mallware to attack business cuters in the u.s. and the world food program suspended food vouchers for some 1.7 million syrian refugees in five countries. on the newshour online right now, we remember mark strand, former poet laureate of the united states and a pulitzer prize winner, who died over the weekend. jeffrey brown talks with poetry magazine editor, don share. also, on this world aids day, we look at a program in kenya that uses financial literacy as an
important shield against h.i.v. and aids for girls in living in poverty. all that and more is on our web site, pbs.org/newshour. >> woodruff: and that's the newshour for tonight. on tuesday, we'll look at the struggle to provide food and shelter to the millions of people displaced by the syrian civil war. 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: >> lincoln financial-- committed to helping you take charge of your life and become you're own chief life officer. >> 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 foundations. 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 access.wgbh.org
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