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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  October 31, 2016 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. gwen ifill is away. and we look forward to having her back as soon as possible. on the newshour tonight: it's the last full week of the presidential race-- we talk with supporters at clinton and trump campaign rallies at opposite ends of the country. >> hillary clinton is well qualified to serve our country and she needs to be the president. >> i hope that he secures our borders. and hopefully takes care of our economy. >> woodruff: also ahead this monday: critics and defenders of f.b.i. director james comey speak up, as his bombshell announcement on hillary clinton's e-mails ripple through the campaign. and, striving for peace amid 50 years of war: where colombia stands after a rejected peace
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deal brings farc rebels back to the negotiating table. >> i am absolutely determined to not allow the country to go back to war with farc. the farc doesn't want it, we don't want it. >> woodruff: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years.
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bnsf, the engine that connects us. lincoln financial is committed to helping you take charge of your future. >> and the william and flora hewlett foundation, helping people build immeasurably better lives. >> supported by the rockefeller foundation. promoting the well-being of humanity around the world by building resilience and inclusive economies. more at >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: and individuals.
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>> 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: for donald trump and hillary clinton, it's the start of the last full week of presidential campaigning. and with just eight days to go til election day, the contest has been injected with new uncertainty. john yang begins our coverage. >> reporter: with election day just around the corner, the hot topic on the campaign today was something that's dogged the democratic nominee for nearly two years-- her use of a private e-mail server as secretary of state. >> now, they apparently they want to look at e-mails from one of my staffers, and by all means, they should look at them. and i am sure they will reach the same conclusion they did when they looked at my e-mails
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for the last year: there is no case here. >> hillary is not the victim. the american people are the victim of this corrupt system in every way. and this is your one chance right now, november eight, to change it. >> reporter: the f.b.i. is scouring hundreds of thousands of newly discovered e-mails to see if any of them are relevant to its investigation of how she handled classified information. the e-mails were discovered on the computer of anthony weiner, the disgraced former congressman from new york who's under ivestigation for allegedly sending sexual messages to a 15- year-old girl. he's the estranged husband of huma abedin, one of clinton's closest aides, who was conspicuously absent today from clinton's campaign plane. meanwhile, criticism continues to build over f.b.i. director james comey's decision to tell congress of the new e-mails before they were evaluated.
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former attorney general eric holder wrote in today's "washington post" that while comey "is a man of integrity and honor," he "committed a serious error with potentially severe implications." the issue also dominated the day's white house news briefing. >> the president doesn't believe that director comey is intentionally trying to influence the outcome of the election. i'm just not going to be in a position to, frankly, defend or criticize the decisions he's made with regard to what to communicate in public. >> reporter: meanwhile, cnn said it has cut ties with donna brazile, interim chair of the democratic national committee. that followed today's wikileaks release of another batch of hacked clinton campaign e-mails. one of them was from brazile-- then a cnn analyst-- the day before the network hosted a debate between clinton and bernie sanders in flint,
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michigan. she told campaign officials the details of one of the questions clinton was asked at the event about the city's tainted water crisis. it's the second time hacked e-mails showed brazile tipping the clinton camp to debate questions. cnn said it is "completely uncomfortable" with her interactions with the campaign while a network analyst. today, the candidates were in key battleground states. clinton was in ohio, where polls show a tight race. trump was next door in michigan, trying to gain ground in a state that hasn't voted for a republican presidential candidate since 1988, and where current polls show him behind. for the pbs newshour, i'm john yang. >> woodruff: in the day's other news: iraqi troops fought their way inside the city limits of mosul, two weeks after their offensive began. they advanced after seizing the last village held by islamic state fighters on the city's eastern edge. special forces are using armored vehicles and tanks to make headway. they're backed by artillery and air strikes targeting isis
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positions. lebanon finally has a new president, after the top post sat vacant for two years during a political crisis. the parliament today elected michel aoun. he's 81 years old, and a strong ally of the islamist militant group, hezbollah. the election took several rounds of voting, after extra ballots suspiciously appeared in the ballot box for the first few counts. aoun's win is a victory for pro- iranian forces in the region. turkey has opened another phase of the crackdown that began after last summer's failed coup. today, police arrested the chief editor and 11 senior staff of a major opposition newspaper. supporters rallied outside the newspaper offices-- one of the oldest in turkey. a cartoonist for the paper condemned the attempts to silence journalists. >> ( translated ): this is ridiculous. you will not intimidate anyone by putting pressure, i want to
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say that. it is impossible for people with conscience to endorse this scene. you cannot justify this to the world. today, i am being detained for drawing cartoons, and only for drawing cartoons. >> woodruff: just yesterday, another 10,000 people were fired from their government jobs in turkey. more than 100,000 have been dismissed since the coup. police in pakistan arrested 1,500 protesters overnight in a bid to silence critics of the country's embattled prime minister. the effort continued today. police used tear gas and batons against followers of opposition leader imran khan, outside islamabad, the capital. the protesters are demanding prime minister nawaz sharif step down, amid allegations of corruption. the swedish diplomat who saved at least 20,000 hungarian jews from the holocaust has finally been pronounced dead. raoul wallenberg was arrested by the soviets as world war ii ended.
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later, they said he died of a heart attack, in 1947. sweden continued to list wallenberg as missing, but has now formally classified him as deceased. and on wall street, it was a quiet start to the week. the dow jones industrial average lost just over 18 points to close at 18,142. the nasdaq fell one point, and the s&p 500 dropped a fraction of a point. still to come on the newshour: the f.b.i. director earning both criticism and praise for his handling of the clinton e-mail case, and how that news is playing out on the campaign trail, plus, best friends who dreamed of making a zombie movie unexpectedly rise to fame. >> woodruff: for more on the f.b.i.'s investigation into the newly discovered e-mails-- which may be related to hillary
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clinton's e-mail server-- we turn to "new york times" reporter, michael schmidt, and "politico" reporter josh gerstein. and we welcome both of you to the "newshour". josh gerstein, to you first, we know that late this afternoon there was a letter sent by the dethedepartment of justice to congressional committee chairs. tell us what was in the letter and why was it sent? >> it was basically responding to democratic complaints that what f.b.i. director comey did friday notifying they reactivated the clinton email investigation spawned speculation and had a political impact and wanted details if this complied with justice department policy and what's going on in the investigation. there were only two substantive sentences in this letter. one said they're working on getting this investigation done as ex pedishesly as possible and the other didn't address the
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issue whether comey may have violated justice department policy. it just simply said the department appreciated the lawmakers' kerns. we know from other reporting loretta lynch and yates strongly advised comey against sending the letter but he thought he needed to and did it anyway. >> woodruff: michael schmidt, how is the justice department and phish handling this cache of hundreds of thousands of emails? >> they're putting them in a computer program to allow them to see whether there are duplicates, whether any e-mails they had before they know are classified or looked at or if these are entirely a new batch. if this is a new batch, it could be a time consuming process, because the f.b.i. would have to take the e-mails and vented them out to other government agencies and departments where the information could have originated from to see if they're classified.
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>> how is that going? do we know how fast this is going? >> the process of figuring out the dumb cats isn't hard. the computer program can do that pretty quickly. they may have an idea even right now or tomorrow about the universe of these. there are hundreds of thousands of e-mails, but the computer will be able to quickly weed out which ones are new. at that point they will have a sense of, okay, we have dozens, hundreds of thousands of new e-mails we really need to dig into. >> woodruff: what is known about what could be here? they're looking for e-mails that came from hillary clinton's server. is there a belief that there is classified material here? >> well, you know, the definitions of classified proved taylor malleable in this investigation. so it really wouldn't surprise me if there are additional copies as michael says of the same e-mails. i don't think that would change
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much in the way this investigation went forward. of course, if there are more e-mails of a different kind or ilk and particularly if there are any messages on here that reflect people's thoughts on this issue, for example if anyone talks about, i know this anyway, seems unlikely anyone would do that. there wasn't much evidence of that in the first tens of thousands of e-mails that the f.b.i. went through but any messages like that could be potentially incriminating of someone who sent it. >> woodruff: is it your undrstanding f.b.i. officials already know what's here or are they truly looking for something unknown. >> if you look at director comey's letter to congress, he basically says we haven't had a chance to look at these yet. i sort of find it hard to believe that the f.b.i. would go with such an aggressive step of tell congress without really having some idea of what is truly here.
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if these end up to be a bunch of do yoduplicates, this would havn a big hubbub over nothing. so i'm wondering what the f.b.i. really knows and did that lead them to push as far as they did. >> woodruff: it certainly race that question. josh gerstein, i understand you recently heard from huma abedin's attorney. what are they saying? what is she saying? >> well, we reported on this this morning that huma abedin told colleagues she was mystified by why there were any of her e-mails on this computer. she insisted this is mr. wiener's laptop, not hers, and she never stored any e-mails intentionally on this computer at any point. so she's not sure exactly how this all came to pass. she says she's cooperating with the f.b.i. but that they actually never reached out to her in connection with this most recent dramatic development in the investigation. there was thought maybe she would be asked for her consent to go through the e-mails, that never happened. the f.b.i. instead ended up getting a warrant perhaps
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because the laptop does belong to mr. wiener. he probably wouldn't have consented to them going further so they probably decided to go that route but she is saying she doesn't know how her messagings got on to this laptop in the first place. >> woodruff: the reporting over the weekend of whether director comey acted because of pressure of some sort that f.b.i. agents thought he wasn't being tough enough on hillary clinton, what is your reporting telling you about that? >> i find that hard to believe. i think the line f.b.i. agents who knew what was going on with the email investigation understood why director comey came out and said that the bureau was not recommending charges. i think they realized there was not criminal intent there. so the idea that director comey would do this facing some insurrection by f.b.i. agents i think is probably not true. >> woodruff: all right, we're going to leave it there for now. i know both of you continue to watch this very closely.
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michael schmidt, josh gerstein, we thank you. >> thank you, judy. diswhrmplegh >> woodruff: and now for a closer look at director comey's decisions and some of the behind the scenes at the f.b.i., we turn to peter zeidenberg, an attorney and partner at arent fox, he spent 17 years at the justice department as a federal prosecutor. he's also joined 100 others in an open letter critical of comey's actions. and daniel richman, professor at columbia law school, he's a former federal prosecutor, and current policy advisor to director comey. and we welcome both of you to the program. daniel richman, starting with you. as we have been discussing, there is a lot of criticism directed at director comey for what he did friday. what do you know about what motivated him and whether this was a result of criticism from the f.b.i. or something else? >> i think this is less about criticism from anybody and more
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about protecting the credibility of the organization and of his own credibility with congress. here we had him having made statements about the completion of the investigation, about the completion of the reveal of the e-mails back in july. all confronted with very little notice with a trove of e-mails that appeared to be pertinent. the next step is what to do, and i think what he figured he needed to do immediately is get the information that he had these right out. was this extraordinary? yes. but this is at a time when, as everyone focused on, there is an election going. the last statement he made was about the investigation having been completed. the last thing he wanted was somewhere down the line information coming out that he sat on these e-mails while the election was during its fanal days and while congress was obviously monitoring the progress.
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>> woodruff: peter zeidenberg, what do you make of that explanation? >> well, i think it was premature to notify congress before he had a chance to look at the e-mails and i think it was a mistake and i think it was irresponsible to drop this bomb. as josh gerstein mentioned, it's very possible if not likely all these e-mails have been looked at already. they could all be duplicates. >> woodruff: are you saying he was trying to influence the outcome of the presidential race? >> no, i'm not, and i'm not questioning mr. comey's motives or his integrity. i just think it was a bad decision. >> woodruff: you mean just on the spur of the moment? how do you explain it? >> i think that, from the context, that he was -- congress put a lot of pressure on him and i think he was concerned about being viewed as being not completely forthright. but i think it would -- and he was in a difficult position. but the fact is he's going to
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get criticism either way, and if there were criticism after the fact of not being forthcoming enough, i think the response is i didn't know what i had, and it would have been irresponsible to make a pronouncement before examining these e-mails. >> woodruff: daniel richman, how do you explain him doing this against the advice of attorney general loretta lynch, deputy attorney general, that's a pretty significant recommendation to go against. >> they are significant recommendations but had they wanted him not to do that, they could have order him not to do that. they have hierarchical power over him and i think it's interesting to note they didn't. there is a reason why. the fact is this is an extraordinary place to be, already. yes, there are important departmental guidelines that have really good reasons, but at
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the same time all guidelines are in the hands of enforcement and interpretation and in application in the highest justice department officials of which the director is one. so here you had two officials who are hierarchically above him who left it to him to make the decisions. he made the decisions. obviously, reasonable minds can differ and they have differedder. but to put him out alone as they have done and snap at him seems to be not very professional. >> woodruff: peter zeidenberg, how do you comment on that? >> well, i think, as i said, he act opened his own, apparently, against advice, and, you know, i think, as i said, it's surprising, disappointing and unprecedented. >> woodruff: we have been hearing about divisions inside the justice department, f.b.i. officials have been reporting, most anonymous, about f.b.i.
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officials critical of director comey that he was perhaps feeling pressure in that way. we heard the report,. we heard michael schmidt of the "new york times" say he didn't think that would be the case. how do you read the atmosphere to have the department of justice over all this? >> that would call for a bit of speculation on my part. i would say it's unfortunate how we got here. there is a series of events. i think, you know, president clinton getting on the plane, loretta lynch feeling she had to recuse herself, then handing it to jim comey who felt restrained to give the press conference, which was incredible, back in july. then he testified and said, i'll keep you apprised, to congress. i think that was a pies take to say, i'll keep you apprised. it was premature. the congress shouldn't be involved intimately with an ongoing investigation. >> woodruff: and just quickly,
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daniel richman, back to you, today the clinton campaign and others pointed out there is now new reporting that director comey did not want it to be known that the administration confirmed that the russians were behind the has beening of the democratic national committee, arguing it was too close to the election, that this would influence the election. is there inconsistency here? >> there is only inconsistency in the sense there are really different facts. i certainly don't know all the facts with regard to the internal deliberations with regard to the russian hacking, but, yes, it certainly is the norm that the department does not confirm or deny investigations and does not confirm or deny the focus on any particular party. this goes back to, as mr. zeidenberg said, as to what was thought coive to have been the need and i think the director decided it was in july about making a statement that
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there not being an investigation here. once you make the statement, it does come with an obligation to correct it. >> woodruff: peter zeidenberg, finally, the public watching all this, how much confidence can they have that the justice department in general is not suffused with politics? >> well, that really has been my experience when i was in public integrity section and i believe that to be the case that career prosecutors are not political and, you know, unfortunately, this has gotten pulled into that, and i think it will raise questions in people's mind that's unfair and very unfortunate. >> woodruff: peter zeidenberg, daniel richman, we thank you both. >> thank you. >> woodruff: even before the f.b.i. news broke friday, i wanted to go out on the campaign trail myself on this next-to- the-last weekend before election day to see both candidates up close, and talk directly to
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voters. on saturday, i headed first to a clinton event in daytona beach, florida. 24 hours after f.b.i. director comey's letter jolted the race for president these florida voters waiting to see hillary clinton said they were not deterred by the news. it doesn't bother you? >> no, she has nothing to hide. if she had... no, she doesn't. do you want trump as a president? really, think about it; you gotta weigh the pros and cons. >> woodruff: in fact, barbara ballach and her friend lisa perez sounded protective of clinton. >> so she has nothing to hide; as soon as it gets exposed people can put it to rest. i'm not worried about her mails, i'm more worried about the issues. >> woodruff: like what? >> our economy. i feel real strong about immigration, and what trump is threatening to do.
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>> he's going to build a wall, he's going to ship people home and break up families. he's going to shame the statue of liberty. >> he's going to bring us down. he's going to make the economy worse. he is going to divide us. >> woodruff: charles ferguson, a registered republican. did you consider donald trump? >> absolutely not. i think donald trump would be a disaster for this country. i really think it would be absolute chaos, and it would be... he would make this country his piggy bank, and he'd be the chief pig. >> woodruff: when clinton arrived to speak, she raised comey's move. >> it's pretty strange to put something like that out with such little information right before an election. >> woodruff: but many who came to see her, like marlo duffy,
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ignored the e-mail matter altogether. who is this young person? >> this is samuel, he's six weeks old today. >> woodruff: why are you and samuel here? >> i want to hear our future president speak. this is historical, the first woman president >> woodruff: to make that happen the campaign is counting on canvassers: supporters who knock on doors, make contact with voters who need a nudge to get to the polls. >> we just reached a milestone. more than 200 million americans are registered to vote. and that includes 50 million young people. >> woodruff: including the three woody sisters. >> there was no doubt in my mind who my first vote would be cast for. hillary clinton is well qualified to serve our country and she needs to be the president. >> woodruff: did you even consider mr. trump? >> no, definitely not. he's just ridiculous, and he doesn't know how to run the country. he doesn't even know what he is talking about at any point. >> woodruff: what do you think it would mean if he were elected president? >> it would set us back years in
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progress as far as race relations, people getting along and i think he honestly he >> woodruff: their mother debra, and dad, carlos, rounded out the picture. >> i feel that hillary clinton will not only be the answer for my girls, but all young women and the entire country. >> mr. trump is very volatile. i am a registered republican. and i will not vote for him. edit you have a situation if you had satan who was a republican. >> woodruff: did you mean to compare donald trump to satan? >> i think when you look at it he is a cold, callous individual and i don't think he has a conscience, i really don't. so the comparison is what it is. >> woodruff: from daytona beach, we traveled 2,300 miles west, to las vegas, to find donald trump newly energized by f.b.i. director comey's letter to congress. >> hillary has nobody but herself to blame for her mounting legal problems. >> woodruff: trump's accusations play directly into the dark image of clinton that animates so many of his supporters.
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now where are you from? >> chicago, illinois. >> woodruff: and you came all the way to las vegas? why? >> absolutely, because i don't want a liar in the office. >> woodruff: crystal howard was especially excited because the first time she came to see a trump rally, it was so crowded she couldn't get in. what do you think he will do as president? >> i hope that he secures our borders. and hopefully takes care of our economy. >> woodruff: what needs to change about the economy? >> jobs, we need more jobs we more production, we need our jobs to quit leaving america, we need jobs for our kids when they get out of college. >> woodruff: several trump fans told us they know he has flaws, but like him anyway. >> i am supporting him mainly because he is the lesser of the two evils, you know. they both have a lot of baggage. >> woodruff: a registered democrat, richard jarrett was a delegate to the 1996 democratic convention in chicago. when you say baggage what are you referring to? >> well i mean he won't release his tax returns, there are questions about the women who came out against him, there's
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other questions about how up and down he is about saying crazy stuff about conspiracies and so forth, but all of that is better than what the clinton crime family has to offer. >> woodruff: rebecca burr-- another democrat who supported bernie sanders in the nevada caucuses-- came in costume. u.s. department of justice inmate hillary rodham clinton. >> yes, absolutely i'm looking at the bigger picture here. i am looking for someone who doesn't rig an election. i am looking for someone who doesn't take money from foreign interest from overseas. you know, i am not saying trump is perfect, but he is far better than hillary clinton any day. >> woodruff: what was your reaction about mr. trumps comments in 2005, the "access hollywood" tape? >> i thought was that was something that hillary knew all along, i know that she has a lot of tricks up her sleeves and i wouldn't be surprised if she has more dirt on him.
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but as far as does it offend me as a woman, no. >> as your president, i will go into the poorest communities and work on a national plan for revitalization, we will break decades of failure. >> woodruff: failures that arizonan james barber knows first hand. >> i want him to go into the inner cities and fix them. it has not gotten better in the 50 years that the democrats have run that city in that area. so hopefully he will bring a much needed change. >> woodruff: and that bring us to politics monday. joining me are amy walter of the cook political report and from the "new york times," yamiche alcindor. tamara keith is away. eight days to go. welcome to both of you. so, aim's thumbs up. >> we're so close. >> woodruff: where does the race stand and how much is this f.b.i. news having? >> seems like the race stands at a place where it's always wanted to go which is basically between a two-point and four-point clinton lead. even before the notes of the f.b.i. investigation came out,
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we already started to see a tightening of the race that hillary clinton's big, big lead, in some cases double digits, was narrowing down, in part because whenever the focus is on one candidate, the other candidate benefits. for most of october, the focus was on donald trump and all of his problems, whether debates or his other troubles. for the last week, even before the f.b.i. story, it was about the clinton foundation. it was about obamacare rates increasing. what we're starting to see is that republicans started to come home, the focus was on her negative trait. so i think that this race still is a hillary clinton lead, smaller, and it now comes down to discussing the battleground states where she continues to have an advantage. this may have stopped his fall in some of these states but i don't think it's enough to push him over the top. >> woodruff: so yamiche, you
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have been watching the campaign trails. when you look at what the candidates are saying on the trail, did they look like they changed their approach in some way? >> i think that hillary clinton has changed her approach a bit because she was really talking a lot about donald trump and all his problems, talking a lot about his sexual assault allegations and him being unqualified and doubling down on the idea that she has the experience. now we're seeing she's also talking about the f.b.i. and talking about whether or not there is any partisanship or what's going on with the fact that this announcement was made so late in the game. so i think she's done a little bit of shifting. i think when i talked to a lot of her supporters, they're wanting her to go back to little donald trump full time. but donald trump has doubled down on the idea she's corrupt, with regards of whether or not the f.b.i. had made in announcement friday, he would double down on the idea of the
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clinton foundation being corrupt and she belongs in jail and not be allowed to run. i think he's seizing on the opportunity to talk about her e-mails through the f.b.i. he would have been talking about the e-mails regardless. >> woodruff: a amy, you were telling us that with regard to the e-mails, there are still real questions out there that have to be answered. >> yeah, and part of the reason that we don't know what impact it's going to have is we don't know what's in there. we're just getting a sense whether we'll get an actual investigation into them whether a search warrant actually has been given so we'll actually be digging into these e-mails. maybe it will be weeks and weeks to find out if there's anything substantive. a drip, drip, drip coming out of this, not good for hillary clinton. the clinton campaign wants this ultimately to be a referendum on donald trump, not on e-mails.
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>> woodruff: in the mean time, yamiche, you were in north carolina talking to voters. do you get the sense that they are changing, that it's affecting how they think about this race at this point? >> when i was out in north carolina, i went to the city of charlotte, and i also went to some suburbs surrounding the city, and people told me that they were still going to go with the person they were going for, so when i talked to trump supporters, they were still very much trump supporters and clinton supporters. they were still very much in their camp. i was in north carolina 7:30 a.m. saturday and people were lined up two hours to get into the polls. i talked to a man who said i saw the news of the e-mails flash on my phone friday and i said i'm coming to the polls early. i think it's not so much changing people's ideas as it is about the idea that both sets of
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supporters think the other supporters will be motivated by this news and, thus, they want to show out. >> woodruff: interesting. amy, you were talking about the downballot races, the senate races in particular that may be affected by this. >> this was the biggest kern of republicans a week and a half ago is that republicans were depressed about how donald trump had done in the debate that they wouldn't show up to vote. this may be something to motivate them to vote -- this is what woe don't like about hillary clinton so we have to come out and vote -- and maybe bolsters the argument that they should vote against hillary clinton. >> woodruff: yamiche, what do you want to know about the senate races that are really close? >> what i'm hearing from voters
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and a little from the republicans who don't want to vote for donald trump, they don't seem as qualified but who will split their ticket and go and vote for republicans to go down ballot, the interesting thing is a lot of people for the last eight years have watched barack obama struggle with this idea that he couldn't get a lot of ideas past the republican majority in both the house and the senate. so when i talk to people who say i don't want another four years of that, i don't want another hillary clinton to have to face the same issues barack obama faced, so even this idea they want to have a check on hillary clinton, a lot of people say i want her to be able to go in there and get things done. i think that's why a lot of democrats are coming out and talking to me about this idea of voting down ballot and the importance of races. republicans are happy to split the ticket because they don't want to see hillary clinton enact some of the things she was talking about.
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she said she would deal with immigration reform and republicans are worried she might have the idea of open borders. >> woodruff: the clock is ticking. thank you both. >> woodruff: we go now to the nation of colombia where one of the most brutal and long lasting civil wars in south america appeared to be coming to a peaceful end earlier this month. but the landmark peace agreement between the government and rebels was narrowly rejected in a nation wide referendum. now both sides are struggling to pick up the pieces. special correspondent nadja drost and her producer bruno federico have this report. >> reporter: it happened barely more than a month ago, but it seems like another age, a moving, and hopeful ceremony in the port city of cartagena to
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mark what many colombians never thought possible: the armed insurgency farc and the government signing off on a peace agreement to end 52 years of war. in front of hundreds at the shore, a women's choir, sings a goodbye to war, and a welcome to peace. ♪ they brought their traditional songs of mourning to the ceremony from here: bojayá, a town reached only by river in the isolated northwest of colombia, in a church, where they commemorate those who lost their lives in what has become a symbol of the war's brutality. on may 2, 2002, hundreds of residents were taking shelter in this church, from fighting between paramilitaries and farc guerrillas, when the farc launched a homemade mortar round. it landed inside the church, and killed 79 people, over half of them children. later, thousands fled, tearing apart the community.
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since then, the church has been rebuilt and maintained in memory of the victims and survivors like macaria allin. >> ( translated ): i was here, with my three children the cylinder bomb fell over there. this whole area was full of people, everyone who was around here died. everyone, no one was left alive. >> reporter: the village was eventually abandoned, its residents displaced throughout the region, until it was relocated a mile upstream. since the massacre, bojayá has continued to suffer the worst of the conflict, caught in the cross-fire of farc guerrillas fighting the army and paramilitaries, the river and its banks converted into a large cemetery. maxima asprilla is one of the women who sang in cartagena. >> ( translated ): when i was singing-- and that's why we sang with such emotion and effort-- the only thing i was thinking was, we want peace. >> reporter: perhaps because of being so hard hit by the
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conflict, bojayá residents voted overwhelmingly-- 95%-- in support of the peace accords. now, with the peace deal rejected nationally and mired in uncertainty, many here fear they may have lost their only, and long-awaited chance to live in peace. >> ( translated ): we feel abandoned, betrayed. we thought they would support us, those who have lived the war. the half-country who voted for no turned their back on us. the criticism by vocal opponents prompted the president to call the referendum, with a hope that a show of public support could strengthen the deal. >> many people warned me against it, but i said this is something i believe will be positive for the whole process.
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the decision backfired because we lost by a very small margin. >> reporter: with only 37% of voters bothering to go to the polls, and the no side winning by a mere 53,000 votes out of 13 and a half million, there is perhaps no one more consumed with why the deal was rejected than the man who just won the nobel peace prize for its signing. why do you think colombians, in voted against the peace accords? >> of course there's been a lot of misinformation, a lot of lack of information, and maybe i'm a bit responsible for not being more effective in this process of telling people what the agreement was all about. >> reporter: the peace accords were defeated by a no campaign led by santos' archrival and former president alvaro uribe, and his central democratic party. but the campaign has been
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questioned over the claims it made to voters: that the country would become a socialist state like venezuela, or that farc leaders would receive impunity for their crimes. rodrigo uprimny, a constitutional law expert close to the peace talks, says the no campaign even made claims that had nothing to do with the peace accord. >> they say to them: these peace accords are going to destroy your family because this peace accord is in favor of homosexuality, which clearly is not true. >> reporter: ivan zuluaga, the central democratic party's director, and a former presidential candidate who lost to santos in the last election, says the no vote's victory sends a clear mandate to overhaul the agreements. >> they have to recognize that colombians vote for it, so they have to accept-- not only the government but even the farc-- deep changes, fundamental changes. >> reporter: farc leaders have said they are open to making some changes, but warn it will
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be difficult change the agreement's core. we traveled via river from bojayá to visit a farc unit. mid-level commanders known as "pablo atrato" and "natalie mistral," a french citizen, led us to a camp where their troops, like thousands of others spread out amongst jungle enclaves, are waiting amid the uncertainty. both mistral and atrato were at negotiations in havana. >> ( translated ): after years of negotiations, to resolve all this in two or three months, i don't think it's possible. >> reporter: the peace accords will grant immunity to much of the farcs rank and file, but those accused of crimes against humanity will receive alternative sentences in exchange for confessing the truth-- not jail, but restrictions on their liberty. but many in the opposition say that is unacceptable. >> they have to go to jail-- five years. if they are in jail, they are not able to be eligible politically. and instead of that, the
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treatment says, and the agreement with the farc says, that they aren't going to jail and can be eligible for any major president or congress for example. >> but that's the deal: if you want an armed political actor like the farc to become a peaceful political actor, then you can not block them to make politics. that's the crucial issue in a peace accord. >> ( translated ): i'm not willing to spend time in jail, and i'm not willing to let my superiors go to jail either. to serve jail time would nullify us politically. it's unacceptable within a peace negotiation. >> reporter: while santos has said his government is trying to satisfy the no side, he has made clear there will be disagreement on issues in reaching a new agreement. the desire for a new deal is seen and heard in the capital almost daily.
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but santos's government and the farc face an enormous challenge: making sufficient changes to the peace agreement to gain broader support of the public, without making the tectonic-sh changes that could break it down. >> ( translated ): the risks are that this gets drawn out and we end up again in a spiral of war. i think that's how it could end up if we're not capable in the next two or three months to find a way out of this. >> i am absolutely determined to not allow the country to go back to war with farc. the farc doesn't want it, we don't want it. we're trying to find the best and most rapid path to get out of this situation, and that's to have a new agreement as soon as possible. >> reporter: santos told us he hopes to get a new peace deal by the end of the year. but delay could jeopardize the current cease-fire. bojayá residents like maxima asprilla are finally feeling peace in their town, and have seen changes among the farc. >> ( translated ): after having
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signed the cease-fire, they got into a different mode, and the tension went down. >> reporter: in fact, the farc even apologized to the community last year. >> ( translated ): we ask you to forgive us... >> reporter: after so many years of singing lamentations for their dead, these women hope to have a reason to compose a song in celebration of life, and the peace they so badly want. ♪ "we colombians," they sing, "asking that war not repeat but whether bojaya's plea for peace is answered, is far from certain. from bojayá, colombia, reporting with bruno federico, i'm nadja drost for the pbs newshour. >> woodruff: you can see more of our interview with the colombian president on our website:
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>> woodruff: now, a special treat on this halloween. a story about the magic of movies and zombies. the newshour's mike melia has our update. >> reporter: you don't often get to see someone's dreams come true, even if they are the stuff of nightmares. we first met sam suchmann and mattie zufelt two years ago-- when all they had was a big idea and a kickstarter-- to make an epic zombie movie. >> it's going to be like between horror and comedy, drama, same kind of thing. >> we have every average, everyday teen drama, like love triangles, or like heartbreaks or betrayals, or people living like... >> or it could be like teenagers' secret life. >> what i do to mattie is, i leave him behind. >> yes. >> and that is not cool. >> no. you can't leave a friend behind. >> reporter: the best friends-- both with down syndrome-- first
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met at the special olympics in grade school. from his living room in rhode island, sam told us a very personal reason for wanting to make the movie. >> "my whole life, i feel like i never fit in anywhere or had a voice, but some day that will change, i will be somebody. and that day is today." >> reporter: in many ways, sam was right-- their lives were about to change in dramatic ways. their kickstarter raised nearly $70,000. they gathered together family, friends, along with film industry and special effects professionals. it was all happening. we got invited on set for a day, when they were filming a party scene on a yacht-- sam and mattie originally wanted a cruise ship, but this was close. peter farrelly-- behind hits like "dumb and dumber" and "something about mary"-- was also on set. i was transformed into a zombie- - but more on that later. the day before, the jersey shore's d.j. pauly d was there. he had been at the top of sam and mattie's wish list for celebrity cameos. in some ways, they were becoming famous. >> i want to be famous because i
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want to be a d.j. >> yes. i want to be famous because i love to sing. >> yes. he has a good voice. >> i'm a singer. and i can rap, too. i'm do a little rap. maybe you want to hear. >> reporter: i would love to hear it. >> right here. >> yo, yo, you can't see me. yo, that's right. i got swagger, yo, check it. yeah, what. >> yes, that's really good. you're good. >> reporter: there are no record deals yet, but since our story first aired, sam and mattie have been profiled by "people" magazine, "the today show," "the huffington post"-- just to name a few. microsoft flew them to l.a. as the official "spokes dudes" for the special olympics world games in 2015. >> stay tuned for more! >> reporter: and they also made
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the movie. "spring break zombie massacre" premiered in september in their hometown of providence. a week later, they were guests on conan o'brien's show. >> what i love about what you guys have done is you met years ago, you talked about this dream, and you made it happen. here we are, all these years later, and you made you made your zombie movie. you did a spectacular job. you had a premiere, a premiere that the press attended. everyone loves the movie, and then you fly out here to come on our show. this is pretty spectacular. >> reporter: it is pretty spectacular. i caught up with them for the film's new york city premiere. they pulled up to the red carpet in a bloody jeep, to a long line of fans waiting outside. don't be confused-- this is not a kids movie. >> this is a hard "r." there is guts, there is urinating on guts, okay. >> reporter: jesse suchman is sam's brother. he helped put together the original kickstarter and help orchestrate everything since. >> i have learned so much from them and i want to be like them i think their confidence in their ideas and clarity of vision and confidence in themselves is so intoxicating to
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everyone around strives everyone to do better. >> reporter: it's been a wild ride for me, too. remember when i said i became a zombie? turns out-- and here's a mini- spoiler-- in the climatic fight seen, i get my head split open by a record thrown by d.j. pauly d. after the new york screening, i asked sam and mattie what it's been like for them. >> it is a hell of a ride, never expecting much people see this movie. >> chase your dreams, always follow your dreams, don't be a victim to bullies, do not party like me and mattie. i'm looking forward to having more sam and mattie adventures along the way. mattie, i can't wait. it's going to be fun. >> reporter: just yesterday, they were featured on cbs "sunday morning." >> woodruff: don't do it for fame. i do it because i love it. and i do it for the money. >> for the money. i do it because i love it. you get rich so far.
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not yet. >> reporter: they are also making a documentary about their journey. tim forester is leading that project. >> there are so many stories we >> we that as big culmination of this thing, movie stand out on own, but to see the time the effort, patients involved making this movie, that's the real story. >> reporter: on this halloween, updating a feel good zombie story, i'm mike melia for the pbs newshour. >> woodruff: sam and mattie have a big future, we want to be there to cover the whole thing. finally, we stay in the halloween spirit for our newshour shares, something that caught our eye that we thought would be of interest to you, too. the vampire bat is hardly the agent-of-evil its association with dracula would suggest. we asked smithsonian researcher and vampire bat expert gerry carter to clear up some of the myths. >> i'm gerry carter, and i study
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food sharing relationships in vampire bats. vampire bats are small, neotropical bats. they weigh about 30 grams, and they drink nothing but blood. the legend of the vampire actually came first before the bat was discovered by europeans. so the bat is actually named after the monster and noy the other way around. one idea about vampire bats that's very common-- especially in latin america-- is that most bats are vampire bats, and that's certainly not true. there are only three species of vampire bats, and there are roughly 1,300 species of bats. the common vampire bat usually feeds on mammals and livestock. the white-winged vampire bat will often climb on the underside of a branch to feed on the toes of a bird. and the hairy-legged vampire bat will actually land on a bird like a chicken and hide in the feathers, so it's like a giant tick. vampire bats have these razor- sharp teeth that they use to make a small cut, and then they lick the wound. and they have an anticoagulant in their saliva which keeps the blood flowing, and they'll take about a tablespoon of blood. and if they're successful then the animal is none the wiser, never finds out that the bat was
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there until the next morning maybe. and one of the interesting things about the biology of vampire bats is they're very susceptible to starvation. so they don't put on fat, they don't store energy, and they can starve if they miss more than two meals. but other bats in their roosts will often regurgitate a portion of their blood meals to feed them. you can fast an individual, and then another individual will save that individual's life essentially. and that's one of the things that makes the vampire case so interesting in terms of an example of cooperation. these vampire bats, they're like these alien life forms, and yet there are so many things they do that seem very convergent with what people do, what primates do. vampire bats do things like they groom each other, they seem to have these friendship-like relationships, and yet every else about them is so strange. i don't think people should be scared of vampire bats. even within bats, i think vampire bats are probably the most hated and feared of all of
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the bats. but i think the more you learn about vampire bats, the more realize just how incredible they are. >> woodruff: i just saw one fly through the studio. that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, happy halloween and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: lincoln financial is committed to helping you take charge of your future. >> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial
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literacy in the 21st century. >> 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 >> 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 newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh
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>> this is "bbc world news america." funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, newman's own foundation, giving all profits from newman's own to charity and pursuing the common good, kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs, and aruba tourism authority. >> planning a vacation escape that is relaxing, inviting, and exciting is a lot easier than you think. you can find it here, in aruba. families, couples, and friends can all find their escape on the island with warm, sunny days, cooling trade winds, and t


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