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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  June 14, 2012 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: president obama accused his republican rival today of pursuing policies that will plunge the nation back into a financial crisis and mitt romney attacked the president's economic stewardship. good evening, i'm judy woodruff. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. on the "newshour" tonight: we have the latest on the dueling speeches-- delivered about the same time this afternoon in the same battleground state. >> woodruff: plus, we talk with senator john mccain about presidential politics, national security leaks and u.s. foreign policy in syria. >> america leads, just like ronald reagan led during the cold war, and where we can make a difference, we should, and
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that does not mean, i emphasize, an american ground invasion. >> brown: then, a scientific breakthrough. we examine a new genetic map of the trillions of micro-organisms that live in and on our bodies. >> woodruff: from cambodia, fred de sam lazaro reports on the working conditions in the country's garment industry, which exports much of its clothing to the united states. >> many factories have been plagued by labor unrest, occasionally it's been violent. there have been frequent reports of workers fainting on the factory floor. >> brown: margaret warner handles the daily download. tonight's topic: politicians and others using phony social-media pages to attack their opponents. >> woodruff: and spencer michels interviews a filmmaker who has chronicled the early days of the aids epidemic in san francisco. that's all ahead on tonight's "newshour." major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> growing up in arctic norway, everybody took fish oil to stay healthy.
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when i moved to the united states almos, i could not find an omega-3 fish oil that worked for me. i became inspired to bring a new definition of fish oil quality to the world. today, nordic naturals is working to fulfill our mission of bringing omega-3s to everyone, because we believe omega-3s are essential to life. 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.
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>> brown: the presidential campaign spotlight shone squarely today on the economy and a single battleground state. the two contenders took their appeals to two cities, just 250 miles apart. it was a day of high political theater for president obama and republican challenger mitt romney and the stage was ohio, critical to both men, come november. several recent polls show the race in ohio may be tightening. one has romney ahead by three points. underscoring the stakes, one new and today, romney began his event 15 minutes early in cincinnati, getting in the first blow. >> now, you may have heard that president obama is on the other side of the state, and he's going to be delivering a speech on the economy. he's doing that because he hasn't delivered a recovery for the economy. >> brown: romney offered no new specific proposals and neither did president obama when he spoke in cleveland a short time later in what was billed as his
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first major economic speech of the general election campaign. >> both parties have laid out their policies on the table for all to see. what's holding us back is a stalemate in washington between two fundamentally different views of which direction america should take. and this election is your chance to break that stalemate. >> brown: the president was seeking to reset the debate over economic policy after days of rough going. first came may's disappointing jobs numbers. and then, last friday's rhetorical slip-up at a white house news conference. >> the private sector is doing fine. >> reporter: later, the president said what he meant was that private business is creating at least some jobs, but the public sector is laying people off. today, he acknowledged his gaffe and urged voters to look beyond. >> over the next five months, this election will take many
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twists and many turns, polls will go up and polls will go down, there will be no shortage of gaffes and controversies that keep both campaigns busy and give the press something to write about. >> brown: still, the romney camp made clear today with a new television ad that the issue isn't going away. >> brown: coincidentally, that ad was almost identical to one the obama campaign ran in 2008, against republican john mccain, after mccain said the fundamentals of our economy are strong. ultimately, as the "newshour's" vote 2012 map center shows, candidate obama carried ohio 51% to 47% over mccain. the cleveland area-- shaded blue -- gave the president his greatest support in the state. dmccainid best in southwestern ohio's red zone-- aroundca
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cincinnati and its surroundings -- where romney appeared today. no republican has won the white house without the state's 18 electoral votes, and romney appealed to voters in ohio and elsewhere that it's not what the president says, but what he does. >> look around ohio, look around the country, and you'll see that a lot of people are hurting, a lot of people have had some real tough times, and the policies the president put in place did not make america create more jobs. as a matter of fact, he made it harder for america to create more jobs. >> brown: statewide unemployment in ohio topped 10% in 2009. since then, the buckeye state's jobless rate has fallen to 7.4%- - well below the national rate. the president today claimed some credit for that progress and he warned against republican policies. >> remember that the economic vision of mr. romney and his allies in congress was tested just a few years ago.
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we tried this. their policies did not grow the economy. they did not grow the middle class. they did not reduce our debt. why would we think that they would work better this time? >> brown: while voters in ohio think that over, the president heads to new york for a fundraiser. mitt romney will be back in ohio this weekend, as part of a bus tour through the midwest. >> woodruff: still to come on the "newshour": arizona senator john mccain; a snapshot of the microbes among us; the plight of workers in cambodia's factories; fake social media accounts to wage political warfare and the early days of the aids epidemic. but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: new numbers on claims for unemployment benefits reinforced questions about the recovery today. the labor department reported first-time claims rose last week and the four-week average was the highest in six months. but wall street rallied anyway.
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stocks made a late-day surge after news that major central banks might pump more money into the world banking system. the dow jones industrial average gained 155 points to close near 12,652. the nasdaq rose 17 points to close at 2,836. meanwhile, in europe, the governments of spain and italy came under new pressure as their cost of borrowing money rose again. the turmoil in the european bond markets intensified as investors looked ahead to elections in greece this weekend. if leftist parties win power, they may cancel the terms of an international bailout and quit the euro-zone. in egypt, the country's highest court dealt a double blow to the newly empowered muslim brotherhood. the judges found the law governing last fall's elections was unconstitutional and they ordered the new, islamist- dominated parliament dissolved. they also rejected a bid to bar former prime minister ahmad shafiq from this weekend's presidential runoff, against mohamed morsy, the muslim brotherhood candidate. shafiq served under ousted
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president hosni mubarak and his supporters hailed the ruling. >> ( translated ): this is only fair. we did not like the parliament result of parliamentary elections. i am very happy that the court did not disqualify shafiq and i am optimistic that he will become president. >> sreenivasan: a senior leader in the muslim brotherhood said the rulings amounted to a full- fledged coup by the ruling military, and by the judges, who are holdovers from the mubarak era. and islamist supporters gathered in the streets. >> ( translated ): everyone is here outside the court today demanding shafiq's disenfranchisement, as he is a remnant of the old guard. all political powers agree on the necessity to disqualify shafiq because this is a humiliation to egypt and its revolution. secretary of state hillary >> sreenivasan: in washington... secretary of state hillary clinton urged the military council to make a full transfer of power to a civilian government. she warned there must be no going back on the move to democracy in egypt. u.n. observers finally entered the syrian town of haffa today, a day after government troops recaptured the place.
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u.s. and u.n. officials had warned of a potential massacre there. the monitors found the coastal town wrecked and nearly deserted. army guns had shelled haffa, virtually without pause, for nine days. also today, a car bomb exploded in a suburb outside the capital of damascus. the blast wounded 14 people and damaged a shi-ite shrine. british prime minister david cameron faced questioning today about his ties to top officials of the murdoch newspapers. the "leveson inquiry"-- as it's known-- zeroed in on cameron's ties to rebekah brooks. she's facing criminal charges over phone hacking by the murdoch tabloid that she once ran. we have a report from gary gibbon of independent television news. >> reporter: last summer, david cameron said politicians got too close to the press bosses. the court room today got a flavor of how close. with rebekah brooks, the newss
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>> i think what it means was that as she put, we're friends but professionally-- me as leader of the conservative party and her in newspapers-- we were going to be pushing the same political agenda. >> reporter: david cameron rubbished gordon brown's claim that to win murdoch newspapers' support, david cameron had switched policies on media regulation and the bbc. there was, he insisted, no pre- election grand bargain with the murdochs. >> there was no overt deal for support. there was no covert deal. there was no nods and winks. there was a conservative politician-- me-- trying to win over newspapers, trying to win over television, trying to win over proprietors, but not trading policies for that support.
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mr. cameron claimed he was more >> reporter: lord justice leveson wanted to know just how far down the track of new rules for the press the prime minister is willing to go. >> sreenivasan: cameron himself initiated the public inquiry into british media standards last july. former texas tycoon r. allen stanford was sentenced today to 110 years in prison for bilking investors of more than $7 billion. the one-time billionaire was convicted last march, in one of the largest ponzi schemes in american history. he has been jailed since june of 2009. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to judy...
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>> woodruff: and to our interview with arizona senator john mccain. he's criticized president obama's foreign policy on syria and called for an independent investigation of high-profile leaks about drone attacks and cyber warfare. i sat down with the 2008 presidential nominee in his senate office this afternoon to talk about those issues ... plus campaign finance and the economy. senator john mccain, thank you very much for4ñh> talking with . >> thank you. rough fluff this election year, american voters facing two very different visions about what should be done about the economy. what would governor romney do that would give the economy a boost? get it moving? >> i think one of the things that governor romney would do is to declare that we would basically have a halt to new federal regulations, that he would make sure that the tax cuts are permanent, at least untilññ'l economy can... is on a road to recovery i think there's no doubt that for example we have $1.5 trillion sitting overseas if businesses would provide a plan for investment and hiring he'd let them come back and not be taxed at the
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highest corporate tax rate in the world. but most of all i think he would give confidence to the markets and to the businesses that are holding back into that we would have a climate that which is basically pro-business. now, whether it's right or wrong there are many businesses today that believe this administration is anti-business so therefore they're holding back on hireen ago investment. >> woodruff: as you know, governor romney is not only criticizing president obama for the comment he made about the private sector doing fine he's running a television ad that's almost identical to the ad the obama campaign ran four years ago after you made a comment about the underlying fundamentals of the economy were strong. are those adds fair or are they just wrong? >> well, again, i think they're a little bit different because we're in the midst of a fiscal
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meltdown. i said we're in a terrible fiscal crisis but the fundamentals of our economy are strong. not long after president obama was elected he said basically the same thing. i think that's different than saying the private sector is doing fine.udn9ñ the private sect knorr arizona is not doing fine. the private sector is in still serious, serious trouble. so i think there is a difference between the two. but we also know we're in a political season and we also know that when there is a... either intended or unintended misspeak like when governor romney said that he liked firing people. the other side is going to be exploit that. i think that's unfortunate because then it keeps everybody on script almost but it's the reality of the world we live in today. >> woodruff: let me turn you, if you will, to foreign policy, syria. you've argued that military intervention is a necessary prerequisite toll a political
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solution there. what specifically do you think needs to be done? >> first of all we need american leadership and moral support for the people being massacred. the president had a press conference just last friday. he hasn't spoken out in favor of these people, in sympathy for the massers can and the torture and rape taking place. remarkable. we need american leadership. what does that mean? it means getting weapons to the people who are fighting in against bashar al-assad. the tanks and helicopters and artillery are overwhelming compared with what the resistance has which is light weapons. the torture and the rape and the murder continue on in an unfair fight. >> woodruff: do you still believe senator, as you've said in march, that the united states should lead an international effort to have air strikes against assad's military?
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>> i think first of all we need to give them weapons with which to defend themselves. second of all i think we need establish a sanctuary with other countries, you are the any particular but other countries in the region and we need to tell the... bashar assad if he attacks that sanctuary he will be punished with air power and that air power would be a number of countries air power, not just u.s. air power is needed to do so. i don't believe bashar assad can last long if he experienced a very robust resistance because he's obviously lost the support of the syrian people. >> woodruff: but would you also need some sort of ground forces in the area? >> no. >> woodruff: because assad's forces are operating very much in the middle of the civilian population. >> we would not. putting u.s. ground forcesíco in would be not only not appropriate but counterproductive. we just need to arm and equip these people, the same way we did in libya.
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>> woodruff: i asked because you mentioned... when you talk about air strikes, when their forces are very close to civilian forces, how8yv are you going to distinguish? >> well they were fat gates of benghazi and we were able to stop them there. we have precision-guided bombs, we could have people on the ground as air controllers i think it's a very doable kind of situation. >> woodruff: and what about, senator, the argument that former republicans secretaries of state-- henry kissinger and james baker-- both of whom have said that for reasons of cost and because there's no real clarity about what's going to replace the assad regime that it would be a mistake to move militarily? >> well in all due respect, i've seen this movie before. i saw the movie when people said we shouldn't go to bosnia. i saw the movie when think said we shouldn't go to kosovo. i saw the movie when they said anduv((qqbed that we shouldn't intervene in rwanda and
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850,000 people were slaughtered. >> woodruff: government leaks, you've made it very clear in the last few days you favor an outside independent council to investigate possible leaks of classified information from the obama administration. today there is a lead editorial in the "washington post" that points out past investigations like this have taken a long time they've been very costly and ult mayly they've been kunt productive, in part because disclosing classified information in and of itself is not illegal. what's the right answer here?. >> well, first of all, i think it's important to put these leaks in the context that the chairperson of the intelligence committee senator feinstein put it into. she said it was the worst security breach in the 11 years she's been in the intelligence committee and that it's placed american lives at risk.sck now if actions are taken by anybody that puts american lives at risk then we should find out
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who's doing it and bring it to g stop! i mean, it's unconscionable for me to... and i think the american people to say well, that's okay. if they take actions that put american lives at risk. >> woodruff: final question, senator, about campaign money. you have long been passionate about the idea of restricting the amount of money that flows in campaigns but in the wake of the supreme court decision, citizens united we are seeing enormous sums of money going into this campaign, to the campaigns themselves, to outside supporters. is this inevitable we're now in a period where money is going to be playing this dominant role in american politics? >> i'm afraid at least for the time being that's going to be the case because of the most misguided, naive, uninformed, egregious decision of the united states supreme court i think in the 21st century.
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to somehow view money as not having an effect on election, a corrupting effect on election flies in the face of reality. i just wish one of them had run for county sheriff. >> woodruff: you mean one of the justices? >> one of the five supreme court justices that voted to invalidate what we know of as mccain-feingold. look, i guarantee you, judy, there will be scandals. there is too much money washing around political campaigns today and it will take scandals and then maybe we can have the supreme court go back and revisit this issue. remember president supreme court rules on constitutionality so just passing another law doesn't get it. so i'm afraid we're in for a$iv very bleak period in american politics. you know, we all talk about... and you just did about how much money is in the presidential campaign. suppose there's a senate
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campaign in a small state and ten people get together and decide to contribute $10 million each. you think that wouldn't affect that senate campaign? >> woodruff: this question of campaign money highlighted today by the announcement that there's a luge amount of money coming in from one donor in the state of nevada. >> mr. adeleson who gave large amounts of money to the gingrich campaign and much of mr. adele son's casino profits that go to him come from this casino in macaw. >> woodruff: which says what? >> this which says maybe in a round about way foreign money is coming into an american political campaign. >> woodruff: because of the profits that the casinos... >> yes, that is a great deal of money and, again, we need a level playing field and we need to go back to the realization that teddy roosevelt had that we have to have a limit on the flow
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of money and that corporations are not people. that's why we have different laws that govern corporations than govern individual citizens. and so to say that corporations are people, again, flies in the face of all the traditional supreme court decisions that we have made that have been made in the past. >> woodruff: senator john mccain we thank you for talking with us. >> it's nice to be with you again. macau. >> woodruff: there's more from our interview with senator mccain online. he accuses the obama administration of antagonizing pakistan by encouraging india to form a closer relationship with afghantan. and here on the broadcast, we will talk with a senate democrat in the coming days. >> brown: it's the sort of thing that might literally make your skin crawl, but it's very much a fact of life: each of us harbors trillions of bacteria and other micro-organisms on and in our
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bodies. another fact: very little has been known about these microbes what they are, where they are, how they differ on an individual person and from person to person. but now scientists, more than 200 of them involved in a five year project called the "human micro-biome project" have completed the first microbial map of healthy human beings. and that could eventually help understand and combat some diseases. the research has just been published. here to tell us about it is dr. eric green, director of the national human genome research institute, part of the national institutes of health, which funded the research. >> back up a little so we can understand all this. first of all, what are we talking about? what are these microorganisms? >> we're talking about the simple organisms like single-cell bacteria, single-cell yeast, even things like viruses. and then we have communities of these microbes that together what we refer to as the
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microbiome. >> brown: so they live on and in us, in some sense a part of us but not? >> yeah, we are an organism that consists of ten trillion human cells then we're outnumbered. there's of these microbial cells and viruses and so forth. we're outnumbered about 10e 12 and most of the time we live in harmony, but the reason we chose to study the microbiome the way we did to better understand what's there and how might the microbiome change in disease. >> brown: they attach to us throughout our lives from birth, right? >> well, when we're born we're sterile and then through passage through the birth canal, for example, we start to collect these microbes and when we start eating more microbes and before you know it they outnumber us. but, again, this is an ecosystem that we exist in and most of the time it's a perfectly healthy and happy ecosystem.
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>> brown: when you refer to mapping, what do you mean? >> the better word would be more like taking a census. >> brown: you mean of the trillions... >> of the trillions of millions. and it's really important to recognize we're outnumbered 10-1 on these microbes, one hundred trillion of them and yet less than 10% of them have ever been isolated and studied in a research laboratory. >> brown: why is that? >> well, because we've not figured out how to replicate the happy home they have in us and on us in an a laboratory environment. so we've been blind to them. yet we know they're important but we haven't really had a good inventory or census of what's there. >> brown: when you talk about taking census you mean literally which parts of the body... what's going listen to? >> and which critters are there and in what numbers. >> brown: we knew there were trillions but one of the surprises here, we didn't know how different than they were from each other and how different they are person to person? >> and from site to site, as you
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point out. >> brown: so what does that mean different from site to site? >> well, the composition. in other words the collection of different microorganisms and the numbers that are present so if you go to even two different parts of your body, whether you're talking about your mouth or different parts of your skin, we'll have a very different collection of these microbes. >> brown: and each person has a very different collection? >> absolutely. you're going to have a different collection at different sites depending upon who you are, maybe where you live, what environmental exposures you have and so forth. >> brown: would i have different from my wife, for example, if i'm living in a similar environment? >> you almost for certain would because, of course, your own genetic makeup is different and there's an interplay of your own genetics and the genetics of all the microbes. >> brown: you receive said most of the time we live in harmony with these microbes8xn and in t i guantanamoer there's a beneficial quality to them? >> of course, we couldn't digest
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the food we eat completely in it wasn't for the health of the microbes that live in our g.i. tract. they protect us from many disorders. but what we wanted to do was to have a better understanding of what is normal. what do all of us carry? what's that inventory of different microbes so we could have a foundation of information for studying different disease processes to see how does the microbiome change with disease. >> brown: but sometimes... so most of the time in harmony but sometimes something goes out of whack. >> exactly. >> brown: technical term. >> but it does go out of whack. and for so long we would typically only study those microbes that we could isolate-- which is only about 10%-- and we would only study microbes like a bacteria one at a time. but we know it's much more complicated than one bacteria because there's a whole community interacting with one another and we needed to understand what that interaction looked like amongst themselves and within our own selves.
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>> brown: do we know why they go out of whack or what happens that suddenly something that was benign is no longer? >> well it could be a environmental exposure. it could be related to a whole host of things including your own genetic makeup and how that influences the composition of those microbes. >> brown: so knowing more about them you begin to know more potential to help these certain kind of diseases. i realize it's a ways off but what are we talking about? >> brown: let me give you a couple exampleso learned. we have learned, for example, from the kinds of research we're discuss that individuals who are malnourished, the microbiome in their give tract is actually different than of a healthy individual. so what's interesting is if you then go and try to improve the health of those individuals by giving them proper nutrition sometimes their microbiome doesn't adjust and become normal. maybe part of the problem is we don't just need to give them nutrients, we need to think about giving them microbes that
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would help them get to their full health status again yet we were, again, blind to this until we started thinking about some of the things9ñ dealing with is not just human cells in our body but the microbes. >> brown: what's next? what's the process here? how far away are you from figuring out specific applications for diseases? >> let me also explain that the project we're reporting this week, the human microbiome project was about looking at healthy individuals. we looked at over 240 healthy individuals and sampled multiple body sites and created basically a reference of all the information about which microbes are there and how present are they and these individuals and collected information about those individuals and making all of that available to scientists around the world to share that data. now we have a foundation of what's normal and now we can go in and start studying individuals with different diseases and different processes and try to see how does the microbiome change. there are hints that there's very exciting developments to be found.
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certain skin diseases, g.i. diseases like ulcerative colitis crohn's disease where there's hints that maybe the microbiome is either involved in the disease process or might provide a signature with the state of the disease or recovery from the disease. >> brown: dr. eric green, thanks so much. >> woodruff: next, labor unrest in cambodia's clothing factories. workers are calling for fewer hours, better conditions and higher wages. that raises a question: are western consumers ready to pay more for apparel? special correspondent fred de sam lazaro reports. a version of this story aired recently on the pbs program "religion and ethics newsweekly." >> reporter: back in the 1990s, cambodia-impoverished and rebuilding after its genocidal khmer rouge years, took steps to give its new garment industry a competitive leg up
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it agreed to a system of labor standards, with minimum wages and a limit on working hours, union representation and freedom of expression. all would be open to international inspection. today, there are perhaps 400,000 garment workers in more than 300 factories in and near the capital, phnom penh. subcontractors to retailers and brands across europe and north america. >> beginning from scratch less than two decades ago, cambodia's garment industry has grown into the largest export earner for this country. three out of four dollars that come into cambodia come from the garment factories. >> reporter: the key question is how much all this has benefited workers, almost all of whom are female or, if you listen to the unions, whether it has benefited them at all. many factories have been plagued by labor unrest. occasionally it has been violent. there have been frequent reports of workers fainting on the factory floors.
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union leader chear mony blames unhealthy conditions and workers weak from malnourishment. >> ( translated ): workers have very low salaries, only 61 u.s. dollars per month. you cannot afford to live on that, day to day. there's no insurance if they get sick, no retirement benefit. >> reporter: chea introduced us to these workers. like most of their colleagues, they are young rural migrants, living in tight shared quarters, supporting extended families back home. >> ( translated ): we have to pay for the room, electricity, water. >> ( translated ): in the evening, we just buy some fish and make soup, sometimes we have to keep part of it for breakfast. >> reporter: chem savet supports a farm family in a rural province 60 miles away, including her husband, her parents and two-year-old daughter. >> ( translated ): i can only see her once a month, when i go home, she really misses me so she hugs me, especially when i
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must leave one day later. one time she put some of her clothes in when i was packing, she wanted to come with me. >> reporter: the standard six day 48 hour week plus overtime leaves little time to travel and see family. factory managers aren't sympathetic during family emergencies, they complained, and many workers are on temporary instead of permanent contracts. >> ( translated ): previously we saw a lot of strikes but those haven't happened recently in our factory because there are a lot of newcomers. >> ( translated ): they are like legal slaves. >> reporter: ken loo, who represents cambodia's garment factory owners, sees a very different reality. >> they're not whipped, you know. they're not chained. they come to work willingly. >> reporter: he says garment workers are on average paid much more than the $61 minimum wage, closer to $90 a month, higher with overtime. that's more than policemen, teachers or most civil servants, he notes.
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>> we have to put things in context. per capita g.d.p. if you use that as a, as a gauge the average common factory worker earns 40% more than national per capita g.d.p. if you use that as a, as a gauge i think any worker in america would be glad to get 40% more than national per capita g.d.p. >> reporter: cambodia's minister of commerce says factory owners have little wiggle room because they are no more than contract tailors. >> they do not own the fabric. they do not own the brand; they just import the fabric, cut suit, pant, and then sell. >> reporter: cham prasidh could impose higher wages in the factories, most of them owned by investors from china, taiwan, korea and malaysia. but he said that would be suicidal. >> there is a lot of
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demonstration to ask for living condition, us to increase the minimum wage and what happen? the investor just pack their sewing machine and they go home! >> reporter: or they go to another country? >> they go to another country. so we have to compare our price with bangladesh, we have to compare our price with pakistan or india, yeah, or even with china. >> reporter: san francisco-based gap is the largest buyer of garments made in cambodia. it also buys from dozens of other developing nations. spokeswoman bobbi silten says gap, which owns the old navy and banana republic chains as well, has no plans to leave cambodia. >> we have very longstanding relationships with many of the vendors in cambodia. it's been one of our top ten sourcing countries for the last ten years. so we are very committed to being there, and we think that the labor standards that they have put in place is one of the reasons why we continue to stay. >> reporter: ken loo is not reassured. in 2008, when the global
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recession began, he says buyers, including gap, cut back in cambodia forcing many factories to close. at the same time, he says bangladesh with lower wages and no agreement to comply with labor standards saw an increase in business. >> it just confirms our knowledge that indeed compliance or labor standards is the icing on the cake. but price is the cake. >> it is a race to the bottom and cambodia, to survive we have to, to create something special. >> reporter: jill tucker says cambodia does have a special competitive advantage since buyers want to be associated with ethical labor standards. tucker heads an agency supported by the u.n. and the us government that conducts factory inspections for compliance with the labor standards. >> in the olden days, that is, maybe ten years ago, it was more of a cat and mouse game than it
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is now. and the really smart producers i think realize that you need to treat your workers well to retain your workers and, and that it's just not worth it to, to not treat your workers well. >> reporter: she cites this factory, run by a taiwan based company called q.m.i., as an example. there's plenty of air and light and relatively good labor relations. all 10,000 of q.m.i.s workers are on permanent contracts and wages range from $90 to as high as $150 a month. it's well above the industry norm but still below what unions say is adequate, given the rising cost of living, especially food. but tucker says demands for more pay, however justified, are a tough sell given realities in the u.s., the biggest market. >> i really wonder if american consumers are willing to pay
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significantly more for their apparel. >> reporter: really? >> yeah, the cost of apparel has only dropped over the past decade. none of us are paying more for our garments than we were ten years ago. >> we do need to think about what consumers are willing to pay, where we can source these goods to achieve, you know, get the math to work for everyone. from a macro standpoint it's a very complex issue. >> reporter: gaps silten isn't sure if consumers would pay more for ethically produced garments. and retailers, pressured by investors, aren't likely to ask them to do so, says david schilling. he's with the new york based interfaith center on corporate responsibility. >> the companies are being evaluated every single day and wall street is very much a part of that very, very short-term calculus. that needs to be broadened.
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>> reporter: schilling says consumer awareness campaigns have already begun to bring results on the environmental issues and will be broadened to include social issues, like the plight of workers. >> you'll notice that there's more and more advertising around, you know, sort of ecologically sound products. i think more and more that's going to happen within the social space as well. >> reporter: he says that couldn't happen fast enough for workers in cambodia and, even more so those in many more countries that have not committed to international labor standards. >> woodruff: fred's reporting is a partnership with the undertold sties project at st. marys university in minnesota. >> brown: back to politics now and to how the campaign is playing out online. margaret warner has tonight's edition of the "daily download."
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>> warner: that's our regular segment on social media and the web. we're journaled by two journalists from the web site www.daily-download dot-com. lauren ashe burn is the site's editor-in-chief formerly with "u.s.a. today" live and howard kurtz is with news week and host of cnn's "reliable president obama his his pich to cleveland today and his campaign went to great lengths to amplify this through social media. >> they did. they were live streaming it on your computers and before and during the speech david axelrod, campaign strategist for president obama, asked the questions and then would later have a town hall in his which he would answer the questions and the way he would know that therm questions for the town hall is if you put the hashtag-- which
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is a symbol where you can search for things, obama 2012. and some of the questions, margaret, were very good. if bush tax cuts caused these deficits why did you exend? it was a thoughtful question. what is his job plan? and the other one was is hiding under his mustache? it did range. >> warner: did the president respond to these? did these get through and become part of the event? >> well, the president wasn't taking questions on twitter. he's done that twice before, campaigned very aggressive in the use of twitter but i think they bobbled the ball on this one. an hour after the speech axelrod hadn't posted any answers and things move quickly on line and i think they missed the moment. also with more conservative detractors of the president using that hashtag it was a mixed message. >> warner: so we are hearing a lot about these parody accounts in socialki$sqdia. what are those? >> well, parody accounts are basically made up by somebody. >> brown: this is on twiter? >> it was on twitter by somebody
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posing as somebody else. so in this instance the romneypr campaign posed as bill clinton and said... tweeting as bill clinton "there's no quesp÷nñ that mitt romney had a sterling business career." which is playing up as something he actually said. and then the next one was "a vote for barack obama is a crap shoot" which is a word that he had used but not quite in this context. >> but we can report to you twitter has taken down this fake bill clinton account. twit a twitter spokeswoman telling me while they're liberal about letting people use parody accounts, it has to be crystal clear in the way this one wasn't that it's not the real person and the romney campaign told me it did not take this down voluntarily. twitter had a complaint by the democratic side so now the romney camp-- which apparently is in love with the clinton approach-- is putting theíñ president clinton tweets on its own web site, no longer on twitter.
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>> brown: we're very clear it's a romney product. now is mitt romney a target of these? >> he most certainly is. here's another one we found. the real mitt and your french is much better but it basically says "the unions are dead, le boo-hoo." which i don't think need to be translated. >> there are a number of fake or parody mitt romney accounts which includes ann romney's horse so the horse has a twitter account and i think it's probably clear this is phony. >> warner: but this isn't pretending to be mitt romney, right? >> it's a nice picture of them. >> warner: so twitter wouldn't take this down. >> exactly. the. >> warner: it's moving out ofhe ittwr d into the presidential campaign? >> it has and if you look on pin tryst that's the social media sharing site where where you can
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title your board and they've done claire mccaskell, senator from missouri saying this is a parody and that the posts are by american cross roads. >> and that is, of course, the republican superpac founded by karl rove which is trying hard to elect mitt romney. some of that food looks pretty good. >> it's funny because the board is what to eat at a d.c. fund-raiser and then there's a sushi and a $5,000 price tag. >> there's another category called fun on air claire and that's senator mccaskell's private jet where she had to pay a lot of back taxes. >> warner: this is the first campaign where we've scene this in full flower. what do the campaigns think they're accomplishing and is there any evidence that these have a real effect?
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>> we disagree. campaigns think they are attracting a young audience here who really does enjoy mark? >> kind of a daley show... >> in a way that maybe older voters don't helping to turn out the vote. 4 but a lot of people who are older feel this is sandbox talk. >> mockery can have a tool in any campaign and i'm remind to have had famous video of john edwards combing his hair or john kerry wind surfing. >> warner: these were real things. >> and sometimes they're built on real things like bill clinton's statement. so if this kind of mockery can get into the political mainstream on blogs people tend to remember it and it can stuff up a candidate's image. >> one other thing to sad that david axelrod has
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96,000 followers on twitierer so people like to hear what he has to say and by doing this just the level the obama campaign is doing you're engaging people >> and that's social media more broadly. >> we live a culture where people... where letterman and leno and colbert and jon stewart are doing and this collectively are using an attempt to tap into this and have fun with what can be a serious business of politics. >> warner: deadly serious, thank you both howie and lauren. >> woodruff: finally tonight, remembering the early days of the aids epidemic and the toll it took on so many. that's the focus of an award- winning documentary that premieres on the pbs program, "independent lens" tonight. "newshour" correspondent spencer michels talked with the filmmaker in san francisco. >> reporter: san francisco's
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castro district has become a little more fashionable, a little more heterosexual since the days when aids was devastating the gay male population that was centered here. but the castro remains a focal point of gay life, perhaps not still the place gay youngers come to find the freedom and acceptance that was hard to find at home. >> i think the castro is really still probably the gayest neighborhood in the world. >> reporter: nearly 20,000 it's where david weissman produced and directed his film, "we were here", and where he still feels most at home.
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>> reporter: weissman chose five people who lived through that the disease is mostly controlled through drugs. even in the middle of thelñn epidemic i came back from living abroad and i expected tumbleweeds to be blowing down castro street. but one of the things to look back at this, even in the midst of terrible horror and trauma life has to go on. you don't have a choice. >> reporter: through his film weissman shows five people who lived through the horror to tell in a simple straightforward way what it was like. >> i remember looking in the window of star pharmacy and there was these little polaroid photographs that the young man had made of himself.
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there were at least three, maybe four of them. the first one was like this. and inside, these big, purple splotches. >> even in the middle of the epidemic, i came back to san you never knew when the bomb was going to drop.
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this community was tested in a way no community was tested. >> reporter: weissman recalls how alone the gay community felt. >> it was a tremendous amount oz homophobia and all of a sudden this epidemic comes that is sexually transmitted and no one came to our defense except our own community. >> you talk about discrimination and bigotry, one of the characters in your documentary said that some of the people were glad gays were dying. >> i think for many people in that era they saw aids as god's punishment on us and they had no interest in helping us and they saw that, well, who cares if the gay people die? >> reporter: the gay community's ownd÷ newspapers-- including the "by a area reporter" filled pages with obituaries. ed wolf worked as a volunteer with aids patients. >> there was one issue that started to run all the photos.
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of the people that had died in the last year. it was just page after page after page after page, and i was stunned by how many of them i fewm working onhe unit. f and i, you know, i... i realized i couldn't... i just couldn't... couldn't do it anymore. >> being the flower man, i was thrown into the middle of it because a lot of people would say, "guy, my friend died, and i don't have enough money to buy flowers, and i neenisome help. can you help us?" they wanted to bury their friends with a lot of dignity and beauty. >> reporter: but there was more than just sadness. in even in the face of death--in
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the hospital, there was community. >> every other sunday, there is a party on ward 5-b. the hostess is a travel agent named rita berger, but the nurses and the patients know her as rita rocket. >> she came on an easter to offer to do an easter brunch. it went so well it turned into like she would come on sundays. >> reporter: those kind of experiences produced a sense of camaraderie that persists even today, says weissman. >> nowadays, i'll often walk down the street and i'll recognize a face from that era and there's a kind of a moment of acknowledgement whether i know this person or not, that we're survivors. that we were here before, and we're here now. and that's not that many of us here, and there's a kind of a very bittersweet felling when one has that experience on the street.
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>> reporter: weissman's film shows on the pbs program "independent lens" in mid june. >> woodruff: independent lens airs on most pbs stations tonight. find a link to their web site on ours. also there, spencer shares his own recollections from his days reporting on the aids crisis and the gay community in san francisco. >> brown: again, the major developments of the day: president obama and republican mitt romney traded economic attacks in ohio. the president said republican policies would trigger a new crisis. romney charged the obama policies have failed. egypt's highest court ordered the islamist-dominated parliament dissolved. it also let a former mubarak-era prime minister stay in the presidential run-off. and on the "newshour", republican senator john mccain demanded stronger action against the syrian government. he said the obama administration's policy has been shameful. online, it's science thursday. hari sreenivasan has the details.
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>> sreenivasan: we look at the science of storytelling with author jonathan gottschall. his new book, "the storytelling animal," examines why telling stories is as natural to humans as breathing. patchwork nation looks at the new challenges facing the obama campaign to bring the college students, who supported him in 2008, on board this year. and we report on governor scott walker's meeting with reporters in washington today. find out what advice the wisconsin republican had for mitt romney. those stories are all on the rundown and there's much more on our website: newshour.pbs.org. judy? >> woodruff: and that's the "newshour" for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. we'll see you online and again here tomorrow evening with mark shields and michael gerson, among others. thank you and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: and the william and flora hewlett foundation, working to
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solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world. and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org el
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