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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  February 20, 2012 5:30pm-6:30pm PST

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caponing sponsored by macnl/leer productions >> brown: rick santorum stayed in the national campaign spotlight today, calling global warming "political science," not climate science. good evening. i'm jeffrey brown. >> warner: and i'm margaret warner. on the newshour tonight, we explore the former pennsylvania senator's rise in the polls, and his past and present stands on key issues. >> brown: then, we get the latest on the uprising in syria, and thmounting humanitarian crisis there. >> warnerjudy woodruff talks with former senator and astronaut john glenn, 50 years after he became the first
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american to orbit the earth. >> brown: from india, fred de sam lazaro reports on the campaign to immunize children against a debilitating disease. >> as recently at 2009 there were 741 cases of polio in india, more than any other nation. by last year, 2011, the number had dwindled to one solitary case. >> warner: and we close with a presidents' day conversation. hari sreenivasan talks with historian richard norton smith about a new museum dedicated to abrahalincn. >> why is lincoln an icon that we see so much in pop culture today? >> he is just one of those figures who is synonymous with integrity. >> brown: that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> bnsf railway. >> and by the bill and melinda gates foundation. dedicated to the idea that all people deserve the chance to
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live a healthy, productivlife. 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. >> brown: on this presidents' day, the republicans who would be president drove home their points in key upcoming primary states. and the latest seeming front- runner drew crowds and criticism. rick santorum's rise in the polls continued today heading into next week's primary contest and two weeks before super tuesday. new gallup tracking poll showed santorum leading with 36% of republican voters. mitt romney is eight points
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back at 28%. next is newt gingrich at 13%. and ron paul comes in fourth at 11%. polls out yesterday showed santorum ahead in oklahomaand in ohio and upcoming super tuesday state where he grabbed support from the state's attorney general who previously endorsed mitt romney. in ohio today, the former pennsylvania senator continued a line of attack against president obama which he had begun yesterday, arguing that global warming is, quote, not climate science but political science. >> they have nothing to do with real cost-benefit analysis, real understanding of how we have to value both the environment and its impact on man and the world. they have radical ideas. >> brown: over the weekend santorum drew attention for how he described the president's agenda at a rally in columbus ohio. >> it's about some phony ideal,
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some phony theology. oh, not a theology based on the bible. a different theology. >> brown: yesterday on abc's this week, obama campaign strategist robert gibdz said the comments went too far. >> i can't help but think that tho remarks are well over the line. it's wrong. it's destructive. it makes it virtually impossible to solve the problems that we all face together as americans. >> he's the man of the hour in republican politics. >> brown: but that same day on cbs's "face the nation," santorum defended his remarks. >> i wasn't suggesting the president is not a christian. i accept the fact that the president is a christian. i just said that when you have a world view that elevates the earth above man and says that we can't take those resources because we're going to harm the earth by things that frankly are just not scientifically proven. >> brown: santorum's republican opponents continued
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to campaign in crucial super tuesday states. in ohio today former massachusetts governor mitt romney insisted he's the only candidate capable of beating president obama in november. >> i have had the experience of leading. i have led four different enterprises. i happen to think that one of the criteria for selecting a president oughtto be, has this person led something before? our current president had not. and i think we've seen the consequence of that in some of the errors he's made. >> brown: in tulsa, oklahoma, former house speaker newt gingrich said he's not planning on drop out of the race any time soon and continuing to focus on states with caucuses, texas representative ron paul turned his attention on north dakota. today his campaign said it had raised $4.5 million in january. nonetheless, most attention today was santorum who has seen his stock rise since winning contests in colorado,
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minnesota, and missouri three weeks ago. that scrutiny will only increase as his numbers rise in romney's home state of michigan. site of one of next week's two key primary contests. late today the newest gallup poll was released showing santorum up by ten points over mitt romney. and we take a closer look at rick santorum's rise, with susan page, washington bureau chief of "u.s.a. today." and from harrisburg, pennsylvania, terry manna, director of the center for politics and public affairs at frankn and marshall clege. susan, start with some context here. who is rick santorum speaking to or reaching out to? what kind of reception is getting on the trail? >> he's getting a great reception among republican primary voters. this is a group of voters that is very conservative. lots of tea party supporters. a majority of them in some states like michigan say they are evangelical or born again christians. so when he talks about public education or about global warming in the way that he's doing, this has really drawn
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him big crowds and broughtim to standings in the poll and sustained a standing in the poll that is pretty remarkable. there are big risks for him in audiences that are also hearing what he's saying. that would be more moderate republicans and especially the people who you turn to when you're the nominee in a general election like independent voters and women voters. they may be hearing some of the things he's saying and thinking is this someone i would really feel comfortable with in the oval office. >> brown: i'm wondering after so many months where the economy was the main focus of all this, to turn to these kinds of issues you just nameded some of them but also in the past couple of days prenatalare, public school education, birth control health care mandate, does he see these as his issues in a sense as opposed to economic.... >> the social conservative issues made him different, say, from mitt romney but he has been trying to look like a more three dimensional candidate to talk about foreign policy, for instance, policy toward iran, to talk about manufacturing policy.
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i was with him in detroit last thursday when he addressed a detroit economic club talking about the deficit, talking about economic policy talking about the manufacturing secto and how to encourage it. he's had some appeal in his home state of pennsylvania, as i'm sure terry will talk about, with the kind of voters the kind of blue collar voters that predominate in places like michigan, and ohio. >> brown: let me bring you in, terry. you've followed santorum for a long time. is this the appeal to conservatives and talking about social issues? has that been part of who he is for as long as he's been in politics? >> susan is exactly right. i mean, when he started, for example, in 1980 when he defeated an incumbent demrat, none gave then rick santorum lawyer santorum a chance to win that race in a democratic district. he amassed lots of volunteers many of whom were pro-life. he won his senate seat in 1994 with the help of the christian coalition.
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he was solidly pro-life. but the fact of the matter is until you get to the late 1990s, it does not become sort of an overarching, over reaching issue, compelling issue. the way it certainly has become in the last decade. he talked about fiscal tters, government reform, tax policy, that's what got him elected in 1990 to the house and what got him elected in 1994 in the senate. the other thing that susan points out that is, i think, very important, he's the only one of the four republican candidates who had the niche among social conservatives. he could always sort of rely on them. in the polls that i've done and others have done, tea party activists are overwhelmingly social conservatives. so he could reach that blend of fiscal conservative and smll governmt, limited vernnt, ge rid of the deficit. at the same time he could talk about social issues. >> brown: terry, what about as a legislator in the state and then in the senate?
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what became the key sort of issues that he worked on or became associated with? one was welfare reform, right? >> absolutely. he was a leader for welfare reform. by the way, that's the first time we really see this aspect of sort of the religious issues, moral issues come to play when he fought for and insisted on faith-based grants and tax cut, you know, use of the money in we will... welfare to go to faith-based organizations. as a senator he did and critics are accurate he did fight and brought home hundreds of millions of dollars for pennsylvania projects. he supported minimum wage. he was never cozy or close to the unions but he was certainly helpful to u.s. steel. he worked on projects for the pharmaceutical and technology industries in the south eastern part of the state. he was a typical sort of light- blue, if i can, senator who could not ignore the interests
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of the state. >> brown: susan, you talked about some of the risks of getting into some of these issues. now you have, of course, the other republicans hitting back. you have, i guess what you would call the republican mainstream sort of expressing some worry, some publicly, some, you know, behind the scenes. what are you hearing there? >> i think there's tremendous concern among republicans in washington, among elected officials including members of the house who are going to run, be running with whoever the presidential nominee is in november. about rickantorum and his ability to appeal to a broader electorate than the electorate we see in say the iowa caucuses. i think there is talk about whether, if rick santorum wins in michigan next tuesday, that would be a catastrophic event for mitt romney and raise questions about a rather smooth path to the nomination perhaps for rick santorum. would the republican leads then try to step in in some way, draft somebody new to get this race or could you get to
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a convention where no one had a mathematical clinch on the omation and you might have a negotiation about who was going to get that prize. >> brown: i suppose one thing that republican leaders would be worried about is exactly what happened to rick santorum in 2006. he lost real big, right, in his home state. what happened there? >> yeah, by... well, in 2006 by 18 points to bob casey. well, it was no doubt about it the democratic wave. the iraq wary lex. there was also his social conservatism hurting. backto susan's pointing, really hurt him in the uth eastern part of pennsylvania. in the suburbs of philadelphia where senator casey was pro-life just as rick santorum was but i think senator santorum's outspokenness and some of the provocative things that he had said about gays, about abortion and supreme court decisions, and about
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women's role in the work force. very provocative. senator casey used some of that against him in the campaign. and then there was residency. he had a home in virginia. senator casey made the argument that he wasn't a resident of pennsylvania anymore and his kids were going to school, paid for by the tax payers of pennsylvania while they lived in virginia. it was a cyber school. all in all, i mean, it was not a good year for santorum. it's like the revolution had simply run away from him. he lost in the vital areas of the states in pennsylvania and virginia and florida and missouri that rublicans are going to have... republican candidate is going to have to win or he's not going to win the electoral votes of those swing states. >> brown: briefly, susan, what about president obama and his advisors, do you sense they're taking rick santorum a little more seriously now. >> taking him a little more seriously because he looks
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more serious. they continue to think that mitt romney is the stronger general election candidate. the longer rick santorum stays in beating up on mitt romney. that's fine with them. if he ends up being the nominee i think that they that would all right. watch what you wish for. i remember the first campaign i covered in 1980her the carter people were so pleased that ronald reagan had the nom thags. that didn't turn out the way they had hoped. >> brown: thank you both very much. >> warner: still to come on newshour, aid groups trying to help in syria; the first american to orbit the earth; the battle against polio in india; and a new museum honoring abraham lincoln. but first, the other news of the day. here's kwame holman. >> holman: the eurozone's finance ministers moved closer today to approving a second bailout for greece at a meeting in brussels. greece must implement more tough austerity measures in exchange for the $171 billion rescue package to avoid defaulting on its debts next month. several finance ministers spoke to reporters ahead of the decision.
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. >> we need final clarity about the participation of private credits about a program that will ensure that greece's debt is reduced and does not exceed around 120% of gross domestic product by the year 2020. >> greece knows what it has to do and we'll watch over it continually. we also know what we have to do. we asked for a lot of things. we have been working for 18 months on elements to stabilize the eurozone in order to reassure investors from outside that they can trust the eurozone. >> holman: an uncontrolled bankruptcy likely would mean greece leaving the eurozone and returning to its old currency, the drachma. u.n. nuclear inspectors began a two-day visit to tehran today to press for information on iran's nuclear program. the team will meet with iranian nuclear scientists and visit a military weapons development facility. iran insists its nuclear activity is for peaceful purposes. it's the second visit of the u.n. inspectors in less than a month.
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rebels in the darfur region of sudan announced today they are holding 52 international peacekeepers. they are accusing them of working with sudan's security service. the peacekeepers are part of a joint u.n. african union force and many originally are from senegal. peacekeepers from the force often have found themselves in the middle of fighting between government troops and insurgents over the past ten years. officials in northern mexico today accused prison staff of helping carry out a violent jailbreak. imprisoned members of the zetas drug cartel reportedly killed 44 members of a rival cartel. it happened yesterday at a prison in monterrey. 30 inmates later escaped. families protested outside the facility over a lack of information about the victims. the prison's director and three other officials were fired and are under investigation. 18 guards also were detained for questioning. three men who died in an avalanche in washington were
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identified today, and all were expert skiers well-known in the ski community. about a dozen people were backcountry skiing in an out-of- bounds area near stevens pass, a popular ski resort. the avalanche carried them 1,500 feet down a chute, burying all of them. elyse saugstad was one of the skiers who survived, thanks to an airbag installed in her vest. she explained to abc news how deploying it saved her life. >> it keeps you above the avalanche not above per se but so you're staying on top. and i will stay it's not like you're actually having an inner tube right down the snow. it's definitely not like that. you are still very much in the avalanche itself. it's kind of like you're in a washing machine. you're being tossed and turned. you don't know which way is up or down. but the system team... keeps you up above so you have a very good chance of survival. >> holman: avalanche experts have said the risk of more avalanches is high partly
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because the base layer of snow is so weak from a mainly dry winter. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to margaret. >> warner: it was another bloody weekend in syria as government forces continued their assault on the city of homs. fresh troops and tanks massed outside that city. elsewhere, people lined up for food, with supplies running desperately low. and in the north syrian town of idlib, a senior state prosecutor and a judge were shot dead yesterday. the syrian news agency blamed the attack on a "terrorist group." but jonathan rugman of independent television news got an entirely different view from the area, as he reports. >> in a small town in northern syria, the men folk are paying their condolences to the relatives of this uising's latest victims. the man, a prosecutor, was shot dead in his car yesterday on his way to work. state medium claimed armed terrorists had killed him but in his hometown, the prosecutor's friends say the
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real culprits are the security forces. and they're so frightened of being killed themselves that nobody would talk to us openly. >> if he talked, the government will take all of these families to prison. >> reporter: locals say the prosecutor's house was first targeted by army snipers two months ago. it was from these positions on a building site that the town was apparent leiterorized before the snipers withdrew. we watched syrian military helicopters hovering over an air base nearby. and the fear is that it's only a matter of time before the army returns. but if the townspeople are terrified there are also defiant. yesterday afternoon they fimed the prosecutor's funeral and posted it on the internet. we're not afraid of snipers and tanks, they chanted. we will answer this debt with
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revenge. and this is just one of so many syrian towns radicalized by state terror. this man told us he had been shot twice in the leg for demonstrating against the regime. while his friend says he was tortured for the same offense. his name is hassan. he says he only got home yesterday after almost three months in jail. his eyes reddened, he says, by being granted just one hour's sleep a night. his neck and arms scorched with burning cigarettes. "we were packed 120 prisoners to a room," he told me. "i was only released because the jail was overflowing." what's been most striking about our time here is that this uprisin has clearly spread to the remostest parts
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of this country. >> warner: today the international committee of the red cross called for a two-hour cease-fire on both sides to create a wind owe for delivering medical supplies and aid to civilians. for more on the challenges of providing humanitarian assiance in this type of conflict, we turn to joel charny, vice president for humanitarian policy at interaction. it's an umbrella organization of humanitarian and development nongovernmental organizations. mr. charny, what can you tell us? what do we know about the humanitarian situation on the ground in syria particularly when it comes to medical aid? >> we've had reports that there are two key issues right now. one is just maintaining normal element services. for example, if you have appendicitis or, you know, a problem with childbirth or whatever, it's very difficult for people to get access to hospitals and get that kind of
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routine emergency care. but then there's just the whole question of the number of wounded, civilian casualties and there's severe difficulty in getting the wounded the medical care that they need as well. >> warner: the i.c.r.c. suggests it is in there in some fashion. what do we know about that? >> they're there officially. they've been there for decades. they're talking to the government and they're trying to negotiate a temporary hold in hostilities to deliver basic assistance. they're operating openly with thr partners the syrian red crescent. in a situation like this, i.c.r.c., being the organization mandated by the geneva convention to operate in the midst of conflict, they really are in the best position to respond. >> warner: now, other ngos like doctors without borders say they cannot operate there at all. is it the case that there are no other international ngos
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there and why is that? >> there are very few organizations that are base tsdzed inside basically because syria is... has historically within the last ten years or so has been a middle-income country not a place of humanitarian crisis. to the extent that there are ngos present, they got permission to be there to work with iraqi refugees. >> warner: and were pouring across the border. >> and were pouring across the borders in 2005, 2006, 2007. there's a small ngo community there but how they're able to operate under current circumstances is the real question. >> warner: so what does an ngo... what do ngos do in a situation like this? if we look a facebook or twitter or whatever, these people are trying out for aid but what can an ngo do? >> the first thing is to examine where it is possible to people. i would emphasize the... that
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there are refugees who are crossing borders into turkey, into lebanon, into jordan. so part of it is, you know, just being... finding ways to work where it's safe and where there's access. if you're sitting in damasc right now, pretty much the only thing you can do is try to maintain your existing programs in a possible talk to the syrian authorities to see if you might be able to reach people in need. but, you know, because there's no front line, because there's no safe zone, because there's no liberated zone, it's a shifting conflict that makes it virtually impossible for a group that isn't there now to intervene. >> warner: compare it, for instance, to libya, where at least... i mean there were areas that didn't get any assistance but there were areas that did. >> libya, there was a clear
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demarcation between areas controlled by the rebels in the east and areas that continued to be controlled by the qaddafi government until its fall. the difficulty was in, of course, the conflict areas. but there was a sense in libya that there was a liberated zone which non-governmental organizations were able to access with medical assistance and other supplies. that does not exist in syria, and that makes it virtually impossible for organizations to try and enter and get something done. >> warner: now, doctors without borders has also put out a statement saying that they have reports that medical personnel and medical as if facilities have actually been targeted by security forces. have you been able to confirm any of that? what's that about? >> i have not been able to confirm that. some of that is coming from groups that are in touch with individuals inside the country. to get independent
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confirmation of something like that is very difficult. but i think it's plausible. the regime... the assad government, they see this as an existential struggle for their survival. and unfortunately they're going to do almost anything to assure that survival. if that means preventing medical supplies from going to rebel areas or people that are associated with the resistance, they're probably going to do that. snrg or people who are thought to have been even wounded resisting? >> that's right. >> warner: we saw that in bahrain. the french foreign minister has suggested establishing some sort of humanitarian corridor. but the turks occasionally have indicated interest. what is he talking about? and how does the ngo community in general feel about something like that? >> we're not enthusiastic for humanitarian corridors. who is going to enforce it? i mean, let's take the path of
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the red cross and see if a cease-fire can be negotiated. a humanitarianorridor is something that is forced through a military presence which means some foreign military on the ground in syria. and are the french willing to do that, to take that risk? and if even they do, would they be able to guarantee the safety of people within the corridor and the humanitarian organizations that would be trying to reach them? it doesn't sound feasible to me, given the current situation in syria. >> warner: certainly what you're saying has been reflected by other ngos. thank you, joel charny very much. >> you're very welcome. >> brown: now, a blast-off that changed the space race, and the man at the center of the historic mission. we begin with a look back.
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>> brown: 50 years ago today, nasa astronaut john glenn clad in a silver space suit was. there he entered the tiny capsule dubbed friendship 7 and received a final word from mission control. >> godspeed, john glenn. >> brown: after blast off, glen became the first american to orbit the earth from space, circling the globe three times at speeds reaching 17,000 miles an hour. >> that view is tremendous. >> brown: the trip was not wous incident. the automated steering system jammed and there was fear that the capsule's heat shield had begun to tear away on reentry. >> the condition is good but that was a real fire ball, boy. >> brown: it turned out that the capsule's retro rockets had burned off while the heat shield held. >> 10,800 feet and beautiful.
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>> brown: after nearly five hours in space, friendship 7 splashed down safely in the atlantic ocean. >> looks good from here. >> brown: glen's trip marked a major turning point in the space race with the soviet union which had been first to get a human into earth's orbit in apl of 1961. >> roger, lift off. the clock has started. >> brown: three weeks later the americans had launched alan shepherd though he was unable to achieve orbit. days after glen's return from space, president kennedy arrived at cape canaveral to present him with a nasa service medal. glen had hoped for another flight but was reportedly considered by the kennedy administration to be too much of a national icon to risk his return to space. instead he found another avenue to prominent public service, representing his home state of ohio in the senate for 24 years and campaigning for president in 1984.
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in the end john glenn did get his wish to return to space. in 1998 at age 77 he became the oldest american to orbit the earth aboard the space shuttle discovery. >> warner: earlier today judy woodruff spoke to john glenn from ohio. >> woodruff: senator glen, thank you for talking with us. you were piloting this space craft manually. you were dealing with the possibility that that heat shield was burning up. on reentry. your flight director said there was nothing about this flight that was easy. how much more dangerous was it than you had expected? >> well, obviously you train for all the things that may happen. you don't train for a normal mission where everything goes okay. some of the things though that happened were ones that we had not been able to practice. so at the end of the first orbit the automatic control system went out. so i had to take over manually and control. and that wasn't a big problem. then at the end of the flight though, that's where there was
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an indication that the heat shield might be loose. that required then that we leave the retro pack on to help hold the heat shield in place. it burned off during reentry. i could look up over my head out the little window and see burning chunks of that coming by but the heat shield worked fine. the retro pack did burn off. it made a good reentry with that and everything worked out okay. >> warner: how did you keep your cool? >> well, you know, there's no need to panic at something like that, judy. you just keep working through as you trained to do. mainly keeping the attitude of the space craft exactly where it should be so you get the maximum protection from the heat shield. you just keep right on working right on through it. if something is going to happen, the worst thing you could do is be panicky in there. i just kept on working as we had trained and everything worked out okay. >> woodruff: this was such a critical moment in u.s.-soviet competition. how aware were you then of
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what was at stake and the extent to which americans were invested in your success in the wake of sputnik? >> we were very much aware of this. it was something that... those were the depths of the cold war. and the soviets at that time were claiming technical superiority to the u.s. because their rockets were launching while ours were too often blowing up on the launch pad. we were anxious to prove to the rest of the world that this was not true. in fact, the soviets been taking thousands of kids into russia and giving them their education and sending them back. it was still, whether communism would be a wave of the future or not hadn't been settled at that time. it's something we were aware of. it guided us i guess a little bit or put impetus behind it. we trained for about two years. there were equipment delays that added another year to that. it was a time period where i think the... some of those early flights helped bring america back into sort of looking at ourselves a little
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bit differently. it was good for the american psyche. i'm glad we could have some impact on that. >> woodruff: senator, you are seen as an american hero for what he did. what do that mean to you? >> well, to me i leave those observations up to other people. i don't look at myself that way. i can guarantee you that. but i think if we can help some of these events of the past help bring alive some of those experiences for our young people today, where we... their interest in science and technology and engineering and math, the stem things as we call them, it will all be well worthwhile. you know, we more research. i see the things that built this country-- education and basic research-- i see those as being equally important now to what they've ever been in the past. i think the nation of the world that leads in those areas will be the nation that leads the world 50 or 75 years
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from now. i think it fits in that category. if we can help inspire some of the kids today to do their own thing in their own time, we'll just be a stepping stone in the future for new achievements that they have. >> woodruff: what about this argument though that the united states has so many problems here on earth and other needs for science research that it's frivolous to spend a huge amount of money in space. >> well, you know, that money gets spent here on the ground. it doesn't get spent in space. any time... i don't think any time in history we can say that we're going to solve every problem there is to be solved before we make inquiry into the new or do basic research. if people like edison had waited to make every or ben franklin or some of those people had waited to solve every problem on earth before ey did their research or bere they were curious about doing something new we wouldn't have made the progress we had. >> woodruff: with the shuttle program behind us, what should
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the u.s. be doing in space exploration. >> it's too bad that the shuttle is behind us. i think the previous administration that made that decision i think made a grave error. i don't think that was a right decision at all because it means now that for this time period through these number of years we're passing through right now, we do not have an american space craft on which we can go into space to get our people up there to the international space station to do the rearch it was built to do. we spent over $100 billion on that. we should have had a continuity program that let us build, research, and that the research we do up there is of benefit to everybody right here on earth. >> woodruff: before we go, senator, you're an aston astonishing 90 years old. you seem remarkably healthy. you look wonderful. what's your secret? >> you know, i think as you get old, i think attitude and exercise. quite often when i've getting up in the morning i think my warranty is running out on these body parts because it's not working quite theay it used to. but anyway, i think keeping
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busy and have a purpose in every day. if you can do that and do some exercise every day, i think that helps you out. >> woodruff: senator john glenn, thank you for walking with us. >> judy, thank you. >> brown: next to india, a poor and populous country long plagued by polio. but now health officials have come close to wiping out the disease. special correspondent fred de sam lazaro explains how that was accomplished. >> in india the battle against polio is being fought one mouthful at a time. vaccinateors have fanned out with coolers containing viles of the oral vaccine on a scale befitting a nation of 1.2 billion says the campaign strategist for the u.n..
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>> we reach almost 75 million children. 150,000 super sizeors, 1.2 million vaccinated. >> reporter: they look for families especially at bus and train stations in the populous northern states where polio is most endemic. they look for young children making sure first to check their pinky fingers where an indelible ink is placed once a child is immunized. thousands of times each vaccinateor has administered the two-drop dose of the vaccine. as a result india one of four countries where polio is still endemic may soon become free of . it's easier to see how india can be a breeding ground for polio. hundreds of millions of people lack proper sanitation, conditions that allow the virus to spread usually attacking children, causing paralysis in some victims and in a few cases death. in addition it's difficult for public health workers to track the movements of india's huge
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nomadic and migrant populations. on any given day, 19 million people are on a train somewhere in india. that's why experts say the huge drop in polio cases that were up to 150,000 a year in the '80s is remarkable. as recently as 2009 there were 741 cases of polio in india, more than any other nation. by last year 2011 the number had dwindled to one solitary case. what campaigners hope will be the last one they'll ever find in india. >> i have to pinch myself once in a while to really real... to really realize that we almost ended it. for me it's amazing. it's part history. we are making history here. >> reporter: he is the unicef with along the world health organizations, the u.s. centers for disease control partnered with the indian government in the multi-year two-plus billion dollar campaign.
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he says a few years ago many impoverished communities resisted the vaccine. >> these are communities which have not benefited from all the progress in india. they have no working sanitation. you c reach usith vaccine, why not education and health and sanitation? that is one thing. >> reporter: they were suspicious. >> quite suspicious. >> reporter: suspicion that the vaccine wasn't what was claimed was particularly high among india's muslim minority. this person, imam of the mosque in old dehli, says memories are still vivid of coercive attempts by the government in the '70s to sterilize people here. people thought thatn the polio vaccine they placed a medicine to sterilize people. they think just like in the time of gandhi when
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sterilization operations were going on, they think now instead of doing operations, they can give this medicine to the muslim community and our men and women will not be able to have children. >> reporter: he was among many religious leaders who were approached by doctors and the u.n. agencies reassured of their intentions and brought on board to endorse the polio campaign. also coaxed in were bollywood mega strsike thi person. in this tv spot he angrily tell parents to put aside excuses like the fear of caste or religious discrimination and immunize their children. >> have you lost your mind? >> reporter: his so star in the add is muslim. >> his anger is justified. what's the connection between caste and religion or polio? any child can get this disease. that's why i too have vaccinated my kids against polio. now you please go and do the same.
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>> reporter: perhaps the most significant buy-in that helped the polio campaign came from the government at all levels according to this doctor with the world health organization. >> the largest chunk of this up to $250 million each year which is unprecedented compared to other countries. >> reporter: the government declared that any polio virus must be treated as a public health emergency. he said that allowed for vigorous surveillance and response. old reports of paralysis in children were investigated. >> in 2011 nearly 60,000 cases of paralysis were reported. and investigated. only one of those cases, the one that was on the 13th of january we were able to isolate the virus. the other cases were due to non-polio issues. that tells you how sensitive the system is.
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there are international standards. and those standards are now being exceeded. >> reporter: he says the big lesson from india, nigeria, afghanistan and pakistan, three other countries where the virus is endemic, is that polio here became a huge, widely publicized national cause, much more than a public health campaign. >> you're talking about community leaders, religious leaders, academic leaders, opinion leaders. just getting... really turning it into sort of a national movement so that everybody thinks that they are part of this movement. it's not only just the department that has to deliver on this. i think that's the kind of tipping point for nigerian... i mean they have done a lot of good work and made a lot of progress. what it is going to take to bring them to the tipping point where india is now. >> reporter: for india the challenge is to remain vigilant and polio free for two more years to officially fall off the list of endemic countries. government officials say they
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next want to use the polio system to tackle other relatively neglected diseases like measles. longer term, the challenge is to build basic sanitation and education systems, things that can prevent disease in the first place. >> warner: it is a partnership >> warner: on our web site, hari sreenivasan talks with two doctors from the centers for disease control about curable and preventable diseases. fred's reporting is a partnership with the under-told stories project at saint mary's university in minnesota. >> brown: finally tonight, on this presidents' day holiday, a fresh take on the legacy of abraham lincoln. hari eenivasan toured the new ford's theatre center for education and leadership here in washington, d.c., with historian richard norton smith. . >> walking into the new theater center is like taking a step back in time to the
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cobblestone streets of washington on april 16, 1855, the day after president abraham lincoln's death. newspaper headlines cover the walls of the new exhibit which open today in a building across the street from ford's theater where the president was assassinated. >> you walk to the third floor and you come to this mothy attic. the chronological treatment. >> reporter: presidential historian richard norton smith who helped design the center says its mission is to examine how lincoln has influenced americans great and small since his death. in part, that influence is symbolized by the 34-foot high book tower that connects the center's three floors. it's made of aluminum and represents some of the roughly 15,000 works written about lincoln. >> the story didn't end on april 15. in some ways the story begins. the story of what we want
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lincoln to be. which lincoln are we talking about? the evolution of the posthumous lincoln. it's like a mirror held up to the evolution of the country itself. >> sreenivasan: it's almost like his words and possibly his life is a poem to be constantly reinterpreted? i mean over your shoulder are two very different presidents using his words. >> absolutely. nowhere has lincoln posthumous influence been greater than on the presidency itself. the classic example of how everyone needs to, as one historian says, get right with lincoln. we have eisenhower and franklin roosevelt. ike from the right, fdr from the left each of them admiring lincoln. there's a quote, a famous quote about the role of government. talk interest something contemporary. well, both eisenhower and fdr regarded it as their favorite
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lincoln quote. in fact, barack obama quoted from the same passage in his state of the union address. >> i'm a democrat. but i believe what republican abraham lincoln believed: that government should do for people only what they cannot do better by themselves and no more. >> you can take away from lincoln almost anything that you want. presidents in war time, embattled presidents, unpopular presidents, they all look to lincoln. he's their patron saint because no president was more embattled or more unpopular than lincoln was during his presidency. we think he was born on mount rushmore. not so. theodore roosevelt hung his picture in the president's office and said whenever i have a major decision to make, i always ask myself would lincoln would do. woodrow wilson who was a son of the south who remembered seeing jefferson davis in
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chains being led past him at the end of the war nevertheless developed something of a hero worship for lincoln. richard nixon as a 12-year-old was given a portrait of lincoln that he hung over his bed. nixon also justified what would late be seen as abuses of power by comparing america in the vietnam era to the country during the civil war. so over and over again, lincoln is always there if you want to cite him to justify the expansion of presidential power, particularly in war time. >> sreenivasan: why do you think it is that people keep coming back to lincoln to study and to wite and rewrite? >> it's a great question. he's not washington or jefferson. about whom scholars obviously continue to write but who seem more remote. lincoln seems more accessible to us. in many ways lincoln is one of us. a number of reasons for that. first of all he had a sense of
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humor which does more than anything to humanize people. he had an unhappy marriage. which makes him somehow accessible. he had children. he experienceded tragedy. of the events of lincoln's life and how he dealt with them and the personal growth, that makes lincoln very nearly timeless. >> sreenivasan: lincoln is an icon we see so much in pop culture today. give us some examples of how lincoln is so used. >> used and abused. i'm sure there are viewers out this who when they think of lincoln they think of the, depending on their ages, raymo massey or henry fonda or hal holbok oregory peck or others who have played lincoln in the movies. >> furthermore, it's well known that the more a man speaks, the less he's understood. >> lincoln has in fact been used almost from days of his
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assassination to sell products. we have lincoln logs. for a younger generation, the excellent adventure includes lincoln. he is just one of those figures if you're selling a product that's synonymous with integrity whether it's an automobile or insurance or a remedy for sleep deprivation. >> honest abe. >> absolutely. honest abe. everyone wants lincoln on their side. almost everyone can devise a rationale to justify that. we go on debating who he is, what he really believed, and how it influences our politics and our culture to this day. >> sreenivasan: and that story is not over. >> that story is far from over. we deliberately wanted an unfinished quality about this
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museum, about the story that we're telling here. because the one thing we know is the last word about lincoln will never be written, and the next generation and the generation after that will discover and interpret lincoln for themselves just as we have. and in doing so, they're really looking in the mirror. they're asking themselves what kind of people do we want to be, what kind of country do we want to have? >> sreenivasan: richard norton smith, thanks so much for your time. >> thanks for your interest. >> warner: again, the major developments of the day. republican presidential candidates headed into a key week of campaigning before next week's primaries in michigan and , the red cross tried to broker arizona. the red cross tried to broker a cease-fire in syria in order to deliver humanitarian aid. and the eurozone's finance
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ministers moved closer to approving a second bailout for greece at a meeting in brussels. online, we have a story about an outbreak of measles in indiana. kwame holman explains. kwame? >> holman: we look at fears that people who attended super bowl festivities in indianapolis may have been exposed to the disease. that's on the rundown. also there, ray suarez talks to illinois governor pat quinn about the state's financial troubles and budget priorities. he delivers his annual budget address on wednesday. and tonight, the pbs program "american experience" continues its series on the presidents with a look at bill clinton. here's an excerpt about mr. clinton's resolve to pass his budget plan in 1993. >> there wasn't anything he wasn't willing to do. he would call, he would meet he would grove he will. he would strong arm. he would use every tactic any leader has at his disposal to try to get this thing done.
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>> but the days when a president could command votes even from members of his own party were long over. >> bill clinton was used to arkansas. you know, he knew the good old boys. he knew who he had to go to. he could walk on the floor of the legislature and basically, you know, with a smile and a pat on a back he could get any vote he wanted. that wasn't true here in washington. and in many ways it was frustrating for him because he really felt that he knew what was best for the country and that by cheer power of his personality and his words and his smile, that mehow he could make it work. >> the budget wented its way through a series of committee and floor votes in the house and the senate. >> getting calls during the voting process of, you know, someone had turned, someone had moved. these things are being won by
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one vote. imagine that. i mean, this is the budget. this is like his entire presidency goes down if he fails. you know, you're up, you know, to one vote. ou know, eachtime. >> in early august, the final budget bill reached the floor of the house. with the vote still in doubt, all eyes turned to a freshman democrat from an historically republican district. >> we had her down as voting yes. she votes no. early on. and so we said, go in there, find out what the hell is going on. try to turn her vote around. first of all, i mean, as a form he member if you're going to vote against the leadership, vote and get the hell out of there. she didn't do that. she stayed there. suddenly these guys are all pouring on her. she's standing there. they're saying, come on. you have to change your vote. this is important to the administration. she then says something like, "i'll do this but the president has to come into my
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district." so they call me back in the office and they say, the will the president come into her district. i said absolutely. whatever it takes. we're going to do it. >> with the vote and his presidency on the line, clinton paced nervously in a small office in the west wing. >> we're all crowded around this little television set. really with a high level of uncertainty. >> finally, she cast her vote yes and the budget passed. >> holman: for the record, former congresswoman marjorie margolies-mezvinsky's son, marc, now is married to chelsea clinton. and leon panetta currently serves as u.s. secretary of defense. "american experience" airs on most pbs stations tonight. you can find a link to their web site on ours. all that and more is at >> warner: and that's the newshour for tonight. on tuesday, we'll look at the financial reports filed by presidential candidates and big
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donors, offering snapshots of the financial state of each campaign. i'm margaret warner. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. we'll see you online, and again here tomorrow evening. enjoy the rest of the holiday. thank you, and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: moving r economy for 160 year bnsf, the enginthat connects
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us 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 mdia access group at wgbh
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