tv PBS News Hour PBS January 21, 2015 6:00pm-7:01pm EST
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> the shadow of crisis has passed, and the state of the union is strong. >> woodruff: president
obama takes his state of the union message on the road we talk with mayors about how his proposals might affect main street. good evening, i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. also ahead this wednesday, a historic meeting in havana. american and cuban officials begin the hard work of restoring diplomatic ties severed at the height of the cold war. >> i don't see not baking a cake as causing any harm. >> woodruff: can businesses refuse to provide services based on an owner's religious beliefs? the legal controversy for one
denver bakery that turned away a gay couple's request for a wedding cake. >> we strongly support the right for people to believe whatever they believe in their hearts, but a bakery is not a church. it is a place of business open to the public. >> woodruff: those are some of the stories we're covering on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us.
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>> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> ifill: on this day after the state of the union, president obama took the next steps toward trying to make his agenda a reality. he sought a new setting, and a new audience far from washington. with the big speech behind him, the president journeyed deep into republican territory to sell his economic program in boise, idaho. >> middle class economics works! expanding opportunity works! these policies will keep on working as long as politics in washington doesn't get in the way of our progress! let's make sure all our people have the tools and the support
that they need to go as far as their dreams and their effort will take them!
>> ifill: the road trip is designed to build on last night's address to congress and the nation and on the president's declaration that years of recession and war are finally over. >> it has been, and still is, a hard time for many, but tonight, we turn the page. >> ifill: and for mr. obama turning that page means pushing a newly assertive agenda despite last fall's democratic losses. the agenda includes first-time proposals, such as: making community college free for many americans. requiring businesses to provide paid sick leave to their employees. and bolstering efforts to prevent cyber attacks. overseas, he's calling for new authority to use force against the islamic state. plus, lifting the decades-long embargo on cuba. but it was clear last night what the new republican majorities in the house and senate think of
the president's calls for new taxes. >> but for far too long, lobbyists have rigged
the tax code with loopholes that let some corporations pay nothing while others pay full freight. >> ifill: and of his plan to raise the minimum wage. >> if you truly believe you could work full-time and support a family on less than $15,000 a year, try it. if not, vote to give millions of the hardest working people in america a raise. >> ifill: today, house speaker john boehner drove home the point. >> all the president really offered last night was more taxes, more government, more of the same approach that has failed the middle class for decades. these just aren't the wrong policies they're the wrong priorities. >> ifill: top republicans also criticized the president's pledge to veto bills that could roll back health care and immigration policies. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell. >> we know the president may not
be wild about the people's choice of a congress, but he owes it to the american people to find a serious way to work with the representatives that they elected. and if the president is willing to put the veto threats away and the designed-to-fail talking points aside, we can still cooperate to get some smart things done for the people we represent. >> ifill: but as the president said last night, with no more campaigns to run, he will put all his energy into pushing his ideas. today, minnesota senator amy klobuchar and other democrats said they're invigorated by that approach. >> the president is not going to be spending his next year and a half slouched in his armchair planning his presidential library. i think what we saw last night is a president that wants to get things done in his remaining time in office and i think that we see an energized country that also wants to get through the gridlock and move forward.
>> ifill: president obama plans to move forward again tomorrow, with an event in another heavily republican state: kansas. we'll ask two of the nation's mayors how the president's state of the union priorities will affect them right after the news summary. >> woodruff: the president faced new challenges on iran today from here in washington, and from both sides of the capitol. senators pressed a bi-partisan bill that imposes new sanctions unless iran accepts curbs on its nuclear program by july 6th. new jersey democrat robert menendez helped draft the bill. at a hearing, he said iran is dragging out negotiations. >> after 18 months of stalling, iran needs to know that there will be consequences for failure. now some of us believe those consequences should be additional sanctions. while we are playing nice, however, iran is playing an asymmetrical game violating, in my view, the spirit and intent
of sanctions. >> ifill: the president warned again last night that he would veto a sanctions bill. and at today's hearing, deputy secretary of state tony blinken warned iran would simply walk away from the talks. >> iran is well aware that a sword of damocles hangs over its head. it needs no further motivation. so the sanctions, new sanctions at this point are not necessary, but we also believe their passage now would put at risk getting to a final deal over the next several months. >> woodruff: meanwhile, house speaker john boehner invited israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu to address congress on iran, and netanyahu accepted. the white house was not consulted in advance. it said the invitation goes against diplomatic protocol. >> ifill: shiite rebels in yemen took the pro-american president captive in his own home today. hours later, the state news agency reported that president abd-rabbu mansour hadi reached a deal with the rebels. the agreement calls for the gunmen to pull away from the
hadi residence, and to give the shiites more say in yemen's affairs. that includes more representation in parliament. >> woodruff: france has announced nearly half a billion dollars in new spending, over three years to fight terror. the measures include hiring more than $2,500 new officers, giving them better weapons and expanding surveillance of some 3,000 islamist radicals in france and abroad. prime minister manuel valls says the paris attacks show the need to act. >> ( translated ): one should never under-estimate the magnitude and the difficulty of the tasks of the intelligence services. that's why the first urgency the first requirement is to further reinforce the human and technical means of our intelligence services. i say further because we need to go further than our commitments since 2012. >> woodruff: also today, police in belgium arrested a fifth suspect in an alleged terror cell that was raided last week.
>> ifill: meanwhile, in iraq, prime minister haider al-abadi appealed for more help against islamic state forces. he said the u.s. coalition isn't moving fast enough to deliver weapons and train iraqi troops. >> there is a lot of things being said and being spoken and very little on the ground. we are very thankful for the air campaign to support our military but i think you cannot achieve victory without a real fight on the ground and we are doing this fight and we are expecting other countries to match our fight. >> ifill: and in japan, prime minister shinzo abe arrived home from the middle east, saying time is running short to save two japanese hostages. islamic state militants are demanding $200 million to let them live. >> woodruff: in nigeria, boko haram militants claimed responsibility today for recent mass killings. amnesty international says up to 2,000 people died in the northeastern town of baga. in a youtube video, the boko haram leader showed off a stockpile of weapons.
he warned that baga was just, "the tip of the iceberg." >> ifill: there's been another palestinian attack on israelis in tel aviv. a man stabbed 11 people on and near a bus during morning rush hour. soon after, ambulances and medical workers rushed to the scene. the attacker was a 23-year-old man from the west bank. police shot him, then took him into custody. >> woodruff: and fighting escalated today in eastern ukraine, as the government charged russia has sent more tanks and troops across the border. associated press video showed an armored convoy of pro-russian forces near luhansk. ukrainian officials in kiev said in fact the russians are supplying the fighters and weapons. the allegations came as four-way peace talks were set to resume, in germany. >> ifill: back in this country house republicans pushed through a bill to set one year limits on approving natural gas pipelines. democrats said there is no need to short circuit the established process. the bill goes now to the senate, president obama has threatened a
veto. >> woodruff: wall street, managed small gains on hopes that the european union central bank will announce new stimulus measures tomorrow. the dow jons industrial average gained 39 points to close at 17,554; the nasdaq rose 12 points to close at 4,667; and the s&p 500 added nine to finish at 2,032. >> ifill: still to come on the newshour: how the state of the union plays on main street. historic talks with cuba. the supreme court weighs fair housing laws. can expressions of faith discriminate? an update on the fight to contain ebola. and, did the new england patriots cheat by using under- inflated footballs? >> woodruff: a day after the president's state of the union address, both republicans and
democrats predict most of his proposals won't go very far. the gridlock in washington has left the heavy lifting of government to more local levels the cities and towns across the country. we wanted to find out what local leaders think about the issues raised last night what the economy and infrastructure look like to those managing it. for perspective on that, we are joined by two mayors. they are democrat stephen benjamin is the mayor of columbia, south carolina. he's had the job since 2010. and richard berry is mayor of albuquerque, new mexico. he has been at his city's helm since 2009 and was the city's first republican mayor in three decades. we welcome you both to the program. >> good evening. glad to be here. >> woodruff: mayor berry, let's start first with a question about the president's speech last night. what did you hear that you could support and what did you hear that you couldn't support? >> as a republican leader that takes pride in being able to work with the white house, there are things i heard that are
exciting to me because we're working on those in our city. women's pay equity is important nationally. we're the first city in the country to put forward an incentive for our local companies to make that a priority. from the standpoint of taxing the capital gains, can support a middle class tax cut, but as a small business person myself with my wife and i having worked hard for 20 years to build a business, i think he's off with the capital gains tax because it will hurt those trying to create jobs in our country. >> woodruff: though the purpose would be to put money in the pockets of the middle class. >> right, but you can do that in many ways. we're heading toward aim goals but maybe just different no, sir phis on how to get here. >> woodruff: mayor benjamin, what did you like and what gave you pause? >> we heard a great deal to support. pay equity obviously making childcare more affordable making access to higher
education, community college being potentially free, a focus on apprenticeships and getting more people into the workforce and starting earlier directing children towards real opportunities in the 21st 21st century economy. all of those were very appealing. what i wanted to hear more we'll certainly wait for the president's budget is to hear more talk about infrastructure and the way in which we finance infrastructure. as you know, over 90% of america's gross domestic product is created in cities and metropolitan economies, and our ability to invest in infrastructure, water, sewer or roads using the tax exempt municipal bonds is essential to america's prosperity and our ability to compete globally. so we want the make sure that our message, that we protect that 100-year-old tax exemption on municipal bonds. local governments don't tax debt
and we're asking municipal government not the tax debt. >> woodruff: what about in albuquerque, mayor berry, how much is that an issue? >> the infrastructure is a big issue. we have a great example in our community how we understand we can't do it ourselves and just rely on dollars coming from washington for a major infrastructure project where people in my state teams with the federal government to get things done. we need to do more of that. yesterday our governor outlined an infrastructure proposal for the state. we have an aging infrastructure in new mexico and the country and we need to do more. i agree, we need to protect the tax-free municipal bonds the cities can put out and do more in our country to rebuild the infrastructure. >> woodruff: is federal help on infrastructure going to be important? >> it's important but we have to have a target that's set and the problem in the last couple of
years is continuing resolutions not having things solidified in washington. we have uncertainty and it wants difficult to finance the projects we need to do. this is where i think mayors have important lessons for washington in scwen, for our friends in congress and the president and others, let's work together and make take some of the bipartisanningship out of some of the discussions and get some of that common sense from main street going up here. >> woodruff: what about that? couldn't agree with richard more. the reality is that there's no republican way to pick up the trash or democratic way to pick up the trash it's got to be picked up, and america's cities we have to get it done. columbia, south carolina is experiencing some signature economic growth now. $1 billion invested downtown in the past four years. unemployment rate's been cut by 40% over the last four years, columbia is on fire and i don't mean it in the general sherman sense. next year we commemorate 150
years since the burning of columbia. it's risen like a phoenix from ashes and it's because we don't allow partisan gridlock to shut us down. we have to get things done and work across the aisles on a regular basis to get things done. >> woodruff: i know you mayor benjamin. you put emphasis on job training. we know the employment story has picked up in columbia. is there federal asens that's helped you that you are looking for or that you don't need? >> we work well with the administration on the transportation piece you mentioned earlier. we received an $11 million infrastructure grant, tiger grant that's helped us that's going to help us complete a $40 million project to redevelop our city. there are really exciting apprenticeship opportunities that secretary perez at the department of labor a $100 million grant opportunity he's sharing with mayors all around the country. really, you know, a four-year college is not for every young
person. i know there are some young people who have a certificate from a community college in a particular discipline and they'll make more than someone graduating from some of our universities with a four-year degree. creating opportunities for everyone regardless of strikes they may have against them giving them a chance to create in economic prosperity of our country is the goal. >> woodruff: to albuquerque i look at you're looking at job training to expand. >> we're overly relying on federal government spending to diversify our economy. some of the gridlock that's happened in washington is hurting our cities so we're trying to bring nawrpship -- entrepreneurship to the forefront. to help people be more economically mobile, this is what leaders are working on the
set the basis for the 21 century economy to give people the skills to success seat rather than just another program. >> woodruff: does it matter whether democrats or republicans cooperate in washington. >> it's vital. once again, this is where mayors have an important lesson for washington. we're getting it done in our cities. mayor benjamin and i work together. democratic majors have to balance budget. republican mayors are working on homeless initiatives. we are not allowing ourselves to be pigeon holed and i think is needed in the country. >> do you say that? absolutely, working across the aisle is essential. there are no quick fixes. these are complex issues. some took years to create, will take years to fix. long-term solutions are key. we have been able to in our city and are required by law to balance our budgets. i know mayor beer berry is as well. we've balance owrd budget in eight years with a tax increase.
that comes with planning. being able to do that along with state government being a participant and being able to bland into a long-term federal budget would be an incredible blessing. >> we're glad to have both of you tell some of the story of what's happening. mayor steve benjamin from columbia and mayor richard rodriguez from albuquerque, we thank you both. >> thank you. >> ifill: now, to cuba, where the diplomatic ice is breaking after decades of estrangement. havana is known for its vintage cars, on the road since the u.s. embargo, and colorful buildings. but this week, there's something new, an american flag, symbol of warming relations. the two nations opened their highest level talks in 35 years today, aimed at normalizing long-strained relations. >> ( translated ): we are discussing migratory tendencies between cuba and the united states.
we are analyzing the immigration flows between both countries. >> ifill: the historic talks were made possible after president obama and cuban president raul
castro announced a diplomatic breakthrough last month. mr. obama formally asked congress last night, to end the half-century old embargo. >> when what you're doing doesn't work for fifty years, it's time to try something new. ( laughter ) >> ifill: but not all in congress support the president's moves on cuba, as republican ileana ros-lehtinen of florida told the newshour last night. >> he gave no words of encouragement for freedom, for liberty, for human rights. all he did was give away the store to the castro regime. it's a shameful thing. >> ifill: back in cuba, ordinary citizens said this week they're looking to the material gains that a changing relationship could bring. >> ( translated ): i hope they open more businesses, that there is more tourism, that food imports come in, spare parts come in, that lots of things start coming in that we need to see here in cuba. >> ifill: cuba is already
drawing more tourists each year, but the u.s. hopes to see more american diplomats allowed in as well. for more on this turning point in u.s.-cuban relations, we turn to indira lakshmanan of bloomberg news. she's in havana tonight, and i spoke with her a short time ago. indira, thanks for joining us. between the expectations of the talks, is there a middle ground somewhere? >> i think there definitely has been a lowering of expectations on both sides from initially a month ago we heard both president obama and castro talking about the normalization of relations, and what we've heard since yesterday from the cuban side as well as from the american side is a new vocabulary. instead of talking normalization, they're talking reestablishment of diplomatic relations which i think is in its own way a way to reset the thought of how long this will take. you can put a flag up at each intersection, turn it into an embassy, set up ambassadors but
it will take longer to have normal trade and relations between the two countries who have been under an embargo 53 years, the u.s. against cuba so it will take a lot of redoing on the relationship. won't happen in a day. >> ifill: today's conversation was about migration. describe what they were talking about. >> evers since the clinton administration in 1994 the u.s. and cuba got together andhead a migration accord saying that the united states would legally allow in about 20,000 cubans a year to discourage cubans from coming on rafts which is a dangerous way of coming and to decrease human trafficking and illegal migration. the talks happen every six months but this is the first time the talks have happened in such an atmosphere on the eve of attempts to reestablish diplomatic relations and what we saw was a bit of a clash today between the u.s. side saying
despite the announcements they will continue the wet foot-dry foot policy which is a special preferential treatment for cuban immigrants which is anybody who gets to the united states from cuba to have legal residency as opposed from any other country. the cubans said we're not happy with this, this is a policy that encourages people to come to the united states illegally and also said that the united states was encouraging their doctors and medical workers to effectively defect from third countries and that this was unethical and depriving people in poor countries of treatment by cuban doctors. so clearly they have issues that still need to be ironed out. >> ifill: cuba would also like to iron out this matter of whether it's on the u.s.-state sponsored list of terrorism. is that something which is at least on the table? >> absolutely. this is something we didn't know at the time but president obama had instructed his state department on december 17 to undertake a six-month review. so by june we will know whether
the united states intelligence and evidence still considers cuba to be a state sponsor of terrorism. now, here's the thing -- the american officials have said that regardless of the outcome of that review whether cuba is or is not state-sponsored terrorism they plan to go ahead with reestablishing diplomatic relations. the cubans say we expect to be taken off the list. we don't want to be on the list with iran and syria and sudan and won't go forward with normalization unless we get taken off the list. that will be a point of contention if the u.s. review doesn't turn out the way the cubaups want it. >> ifill: doesn't the obama administration have broader bilateral goals in mind and is it threatened by the re assistance we're seeing on capitol hill from people like senator marco rubio and ileana ros-lehtinen and others? >> they knew they would get resistance from cuban americans in congress.
i think they know that will be a slow uphill battle but i think we saw from the president's state of the union last night that he is making this a priority and willing to act aggressively unilaterally using executive power to the extent that he can. he so far said he thinks it's up to congress to lift the embargo, that he can't do it alone etch though there are legal analysts who believe he has more power than he's actually at the time lteing on. i think congress will be an impediment for the president but we also see in polling that younger cuban americans in the united states under age 40 are in favor of reestablishing relations with the united states and cuba as opposed to older cuban-americans. so we are seeing a generational shift here, too. >> ifill: we're assuming this is beginning of the conversation, not the end. >> absolutely. i think we're taking, i would say a matter of months, you know, before we see flags flying in each capital over embassies
and ambassadors named and at least in the case of the united states trying to name an ambassador before it being blocked by congress. but i think the longer process of trade not to mention trust will be a longer process. i've asked u.s. officials about this and we don't know how long that's going to take. i think on the u.s. side they're hopeful sooner rather than later but those talks will be happening tomorrow and along with other bilateral conversations about cooperation on global health, against ebola, environment, coast guard. we'll see how far they get. >> ifill: thank you for joining us from havana. >> thanks. >> woodruff: to the supreme court now, where arguments were heard today on a housing discrimination case that could have sweeping effects across the country. to walk us through what happened is newshour contributor marcia coyle of "the national law
journal." welcome back. we saw you just last night. >> yes, you did. happy to be back. >> woodruff: a lot going on at the court. marcia, this is a case closely watched in many places including the civil rights community. tell us what's going on. >> the texas housing agency administers a system of federal tax credits to developers who will build housing for low-income families. the inclusive communities project in texas is app organization that advocates integration of predominantly white suburbs of dallas, texas. the project sued the texas housing agency claiming it had violated the federal fair housing act because most of the development that was receiving federal tax credits was being done in poor minority communities. the lower federal courts said that the project could bring the kind of claim that it has brought under the federal law something we call disparate
impact claim. that claim says texas housing agency seems to have a policy for these tax credits neutral on its face but it has a discriminatory effect when it's actually applied. the question before the supreme court which was brought by the state of texas is whether you can bring this type of claim which has been available for 40-some years, under the fair housing act. >> woodruff: so at the core -- some of what's at the core of this is whether it discriminates, even though there wasn't intention, the effect is to discriminate. >> yes. >> woodruff: these are the kinds of cases they haven't come to the court in recent years. >> this particular question has not reached the court, although ten federal courts of appeals have addressed it and found that this type of claim is available under the housing act. >> woodruff: tell us about the arguments made and how the justices reacting. >> anytime this particular court
deals with a rails-related question, it seems to almost always divide them ideologically, and that played out a bit during the arguments today. you had justices ginsburg breyer, sotomayor and kagan having the toughest questions to the housing agency lawyer. justice breyer said why should we say it's not available under this particular law and the texas lawyer made two arguments. he said this t plain language of the federal law doesn't say it's available. it only addresses intentional discrimination, not impact discrimination. also, he said if governments and zoning officers, the banks, lenders are faced with disparate impact liability, they're going to be forced to make race-conscious decisions. on the other side, we heard
arguments, the solicitor general of the united states and the lawyer for the project that's sued defended the use of these claims. chief justice roberts and justice ali alito and scalia had problems with the claim. chief justice roberts said how do you tell whether there's a good or a bad impact? maybe the community wants development because the neighborhood is blighted and this is a community that's predominantly minority or there's a community that wants to be integrated. so how do you tell? the solicitor general of the united states said this is the disparate impact process, it's played out in court. the agency has to come forward to justify the policy that's being questioned and if it does have a discriminatory effect, it has to come up with another race-knewneutral alternative. >> woodruff: sounds lively. very lively, and civil rights groups have been very concerned
because several justices have criticized the availability of disparate impact claims. >> woodruff: we said earlier whatever is decided could have repercussions beyond housing. >> that's right because this claim addresses second-generation discrimination. just about everybody knows intentional discrimination on the basis of race or another protected characteristic is illegal, but discrimination today is much more subtle and civil rights groups say this is an extremely effective tool for rooting out that type of discrimination. >> woodruff: separately and quickly, a little excitement at the court before all the arguments got underway. >> were unusual. today was the fifth anniversary of citizens united campaign finance decision. after the justices took their seat, someone popped up in the back of the public audience and started shouting something to the effect "i arise because of
democracy." the guards immediately moved to take that person out of the courtroom. then one after another almost seven total, i believe, popped up at different points to make comments. like one person one vote. money is not speech. we are the 99%. they were later charged under a law that prohibits ha ranging, loudoloud orations in the supreme court building and charged with conspiracy. >> woodruff: the white house issued a statement from the president saying citizens united doing real harm in the five years. >> if i recall it correctly he mentioned it during a state of the union address newt not too long ago. >> woodruff: you're right. marcia coyle, thank you. >> my pleasure, judy. >> ifill: three dozen states have moved to legalize same sex
marriage, but in some quarters, a backlash is underway. one example, colorado, where one bakery owner says the state should not force him to cater gay weddings. hari sreenivasan takes a look at the ongoing legal battle between religious expression and equal rights. >> sreenivasan: colorado baker jack phillips estimates he's made 5,000 wedding cakes since he opened his shop masterpiece cakeshop 20 years ago. >> i just like everything about the baking business. with a wedding i get to know the bride, the groom, if i can. you know, as much personality and things as i can. >> sreenivasan: while his portfolio of wedding cakes is vast there's one cake the bakerrer fuses to bake. phillips will not make a cake for a same-sex marriage. >> it's a cake i don't do because of my christian faith. >> sreenivasan: deeply religious, he says he'll bake
for same sex couples not just the wedding cake. >> part of me goes to the reception and in this case that part of me doesn't want to be represented in a ceremony that i believe is unbibbicle. >> sreenivasan: that doesn't work for the colorado civil rights division. they say phillips must offer the same services to all customers regardless of race gender or sexual orientation according to statute. an administrative judge ordered phillips to cease and desist his wedding cake policy. as the number of states allowing same-sex marriages increases, so too, have the number of business owners refusing to provide wedding services. cases like a florist in washington state, a bed and breakfast in hawaii, a printer in kentucky, and a photographer in new mexico. >> we're on a collision course with homosexual rights versus rights of conscience.
>> sreenivasan: nicole martin is representing jack phillips in a case before the colorado court of appeals. it began when phillips refused to make a wedding cake in 2013. >> jack declined because of his religious beliefs about marriage not because of who the complaintants are. >> sreenivasan: the complaintens are colorado couple charlie craig and david mullins. >> your mom and dad gave me a giant hug. >> sreenivasan: craig and mullins made it official by getting married in 2012. at the same time, same-sex marriage was illegal in colorado so the couple traveled to massachusetts where they married surrounded by friends and family who made the trip with them. >> they celebrated us and the people who had come together for us. and i feel like those are the fundamental things that everyone wants in their wedding. >> sreenivasan: the couple then planned their reception in
colorado and went to masterpiece cakeshop to look at cakes. >> we sat down with the opener jack phillips, opened the book of ideas and almost instantly he asked us if the cake was for us. we said it was. and he told us that he would not make a cake -- a wedding cake for a gay couple. what followed was an incredibly awkward pregnant pause before we got up and left. >> sreenivasan: jack phillips describes the meeting in much is the same way. >> i said i'm sorry, guys, i don't do cakes for a same-sex wedding. at which time they stormed out. >> we were mortified and embarrassed. the fact charlie's mother was there, you don't want your mother to see that. >> it hurt me and made me feel i was not worthy. >> being told and treated unequally makes you feel like a second-class citizen. it makes you feel like you matter less than the person standing next to you.
>> sreenivasan: craig and mullins filed a complaint with the colorado civil rights decision. amanda represents craig and mullins. says jack phillips' faith doesn't allow him to refuse services. >> it's always been in america you have a right to believe what you want and practice your faith. that doesn't go so far that means that you can practice your faith that exclude other people from public life and cause harm to other people. >> i don't see not baking a cake is causing anybody harm. there's a bakery across the street that would make it for them. >> it's not just about the cake. what we're talking about here is access to public life, and the same law that says a bakery as a retail business can't discriminate also applies to all sorts of other establishments open to the public, everything from banks to hospitals to parks to hotels and motels.
>> sreenivasan: nicole martin agrees the debate is about something bigger. she says it's a first amendment issue. >> this case is about the government forcing jack to express a message that is deep riat odds with his convictions. >> i feel like i'm discriminated against. the u.s. constitution first amendment clearly says congress shall pass no law for an establishment of religion or for exercise of it. >> selling an order for a customer is just that. there are all sorts of ways he could communicate if he country agree with the messages involved in creating a particular order. >> would you come up with side veggie? >> sreenivasan: craig and mullins says this led them to speak out in a way they wouldn't have before. >> we strongly support the right for people to believe whatever they believe in their hearts but a bakery is not a church.
it is a place of business open to the public, and if you are in a business open to the public, that is governed by civil laws and not religious laws. >> sreenivasan: jack phillips stopped taking wedding cake orders till the colorado court of appeals weighs in on his case. mean whiecialtion similar cases have prompted cases in other states. i'm. >> sreenivasan: for the pbs "newshour". >> woodruff: now, taking stock of the continuing battle against the deadly ebola virus in west africa, from a leading worker and organizer who was there early on, and is about to return with an evolving mission. jeffrey brown has the story. >> brown: ebola has killled more than 8,500 people since it began nearly one-year-ago.
a major health emergency that's brought out
a major and often dangerous response effort from health workers. in his state of the union address last night, president obama hailed americans who've served on the front lines. >> in west africa, our troops, our scientists, our doctors, our nurses and healthcare workers are rolling back ebola. >> brown: sitting with the first lady during the speech, dr. pranav shetty served as the embodiment of that effort. >> brown: as global emergency health coordinator for the non- profit international medical corps, shetty is more typically found in health hot-spots around the world. in august he went to liberia to help establish and oversee two ebola treatment units and a training center for health workers. shortly before going to the capitol last night, and just days before leaving for guinea to continue the work against ebola. he came to our studio to talk.
is it fair to say the worst case scenario of spinning out of control has been avoided at this point? >> we can say tremendous strides have been made in addressing the response. the worst-case scenario was predicated on the fact that nothing was done and that we were at the state we were especially in liberia, you know, several, several months ago. so now i think what we've seen is because of the strength and the speed of the response, you know and the big push that occurred, i think that we hopefully have turned a corner and passed the worst and now really kneed to focus on finishing the job there. >> brown: there were stories in "the washington post" about the u.s. treatment centers built by the u.s. that are mostly empty. is it too late and they did their job and things have turned the corner? >> i think they did their job. to address this outbreak, we need to hit it hard and fast and that's what we did.
international medical corporation was one of the actsies and we responded as quickly and aggressively as we can and stemmed the tide of the outbreak. >> brown: what about in liberia itself, the foft, the uponlation, to the extent things are better do we know why? did they respond well and learn what was happening? >> definitely. i think the community and local involvement is key to addressing this type of outbreak because every aspect of the response that needs to occur is rooted in the community buy-in and leadership from safe and effect effective burial to community tracing to contact trace through surveillance through isolation, it's all rooted in the community so the social mobilization campaigns that really went forward with the building of the treatment centers and all the other more visible parts to have the response was really a key factor. >> brown: what are the biggest needs now? >> the biggest needs now have to do with reconstructing the health system and getting to
zero at the same time. so international medical corporation, we have three pillars in our response, one is around isolation and case management to get to zero because until we get to zero cases we can't say we've won the war against ebola in west africa. >> brown: is it possible to get to zero? >> we think it's possible. the response has shown we can make tremendous strides and it's the last part on the last leg that we need to make the strong push to do so. so continued focus and continued attention predicated on the tenets of response we've seen so far is crucial to getting to zero. >> brown: you were talking about the health infrastructures, the other leg of this devastated through all of this. >> definitely. the health system in liberia essentially collapsed when ebola was first seen there and went out of control. so we're starting with a very fragile health system to begin with. adding on the components
specifically targeted toward ebola as you mentioned isolation and adding on the training component for ebola as well as any other infectious outbreak an health strengthening and activation is important. the international medical corps is committed to working in these three pillars. >> brown: you're going back to guinea. >> correct. >> brown: because you're seeing more needs there? >> in guinea in particular there hasn't been a huge spike of cases as we've seen in libraryia but we've also not seen a tremendous decline in the same time period. in guinea, there is some issues with resistance especially in the rural areas so this requires a more adaptive approach. we'll have to be more flexible and address the needs geographically spread out across the country. so we're going to assess the needs and respond as best we can. >> brown: there is a lot going on in the world, right?
are you worried people are no longer paying as much attention to this? >> i think the folks we need is helping people understand that this fight is not over. you know, we really kneed to have put the resources and the financial human resources behind us to really get to the point that we have zero cases because this outbreak started by one case and it can start again unless we put all our focus and attention on stamping it out now, now that we've made some strides in the right direction to finish the job. >> brown: interest pranav shetty of the international international medical corps, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> ifill: the new england patriots are on their way to their eighth super bowl, a trip to the big game that followed a blowout victory over the indianapolis colts this weekend. but now the team is being accused of cheating, amid quesitons they violated league policy by using under-inflated footballs, which can be easier
to throw and catch. reports out today say an n.f.l. investigation found the balls were indeed deflated, raising questions of fairness for one of the league's most successful teams. hari, in our new york studio picks up the story for there. >> sreenivasan: here's what supposed to happen, each team provides game officials with a dozen footballs before the game that it will use during the game. the referees then inspect those balls a little more than two hours before kickoff. footballs are supposed to be inflated to between 12-and-a- half and 13-and-a-half pounds per inch of pressure. but on sunday, when the colts got their hands on a ball when they intercepted a pass from the patriots, they grew suspicious. officials then swapped out a ball during the third quarter. today, espn and "the boston globe" reported the league's initial findings of a potential violation. the n.f.l. told the newshour it's continuing to investigate the matter. ben volin is the national n.f.l. reporter for "the boston globe" who broke the latest today, and he joins me now. so what has the league found so far, ben? >> all the league has found is that the patriots did in fact
use underinflated footballs on sunday night against the colts. the league actually sent a letter to the patriots monday informing them their initial investigation did turn up this fact that the balls were not properly inflated and, so, now you have league officials here in new england in foxboro interviewing team personnel the officials from to the night, ball boys, anyone who could have been affiliated with the chain of custody with the footballs. we're trying to determine how the balls got underinflated. the n.f.l. has not accused the patriots of anything yet. could have been improper protocol from officials, perhaps the cold weather played into it but the n.f.l. confirmed the patriots' footballs were underinflated. >> sreenivasan: even a 12-year-old is asks questions why didn't the rest feel the difference? the refs touch the ball between every play. >> that's a great question. i haven't been able to wrap my head around that one. i have been able to actually
today we've taken a few footballs and given them various pressure. you can't always tell immediately if one ball is slightly less inflated than another and in the heat of the game with so much going on perhaps, you know the ball felt light enough for the official and they're not sitting there with a pressure gauge and taking the pressure of the football all the time, so i'm with you i don't quite understand how the officials weren't able to come up with this but it's true the colts first -- the ball boy on the sideline informed the coach who told the general manager who told a league official who then relayed it to the referees on the field. at half time they checked all 12 footballs for the patriots. they used two different gauges and checked each ball twice and came up they were underinflated. not sure how the refs missed it but they got it at half time. >> sreenivasan: a couple reasons around the watercooler people are talking about this is, one, the coach of the
new england patriots had been find in 2007 for cheating before and this was the game that got them into the super bowl. this isn't game two and maybe a minor infraction. >> absolutely. the patriots have lost the benefit of the doubt because of the spy scandal from 2007 and is a bigger stage. this isn't week 11 of the regular season. there's been a lot of talk about green bay packers' quarterback aaron rodgers. he likes to overinflate the footballs beyond what the n.f.l. likes to do. people say why didn't that create a stir? he wasn't caught doing it and not in the championship game like the patriots were. that's why it's a big story. i don't think it's the worst cheating in the world. it's closer to a lesser infraction, but, at the same time, they most likely were caught cheating here. >> sreenivasan: this makes me ask the question, overinflation, underinflation, teams having their own control, this doesn't
happen in basketball there's no different sizes of be ables. why can't there one standard football that shows up on the field, both teams use the same thing that's already been decided on, that's properly inflated? why do we have this variation? >> it's interesting that the n.f.l. has so many rules that are specific about what certain color socks you can wear and color cleats you can wear but there is a lot of grey area with the football and allow the teams to kind of have control of their own footballs and provide their own football to the game. i think the obvious solution is to have the n.f.l. do this. but at the same time you will see pitchers kind of scuff up a baseball to their specifics or a basketball referee, you will see him kind of press the basketball. so you're allowed to rub some dirt on the football take the slickness away, i don't think that's wrong. but certainly when officials check the balls two hours before game time and if a team potentially tries to take air out of the football afterwards that's a big no no.
>> sreenivasan: ben volin of the "boston globe," thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you. >> woodruff: again, the major developments of the day. president obama began a two-day road trip, to idaho and kansas, to sell the economic program he outlined in his state of the union address. republicans dismissed his calls for new taxes and a higher minimum wage. shiite rebels in yemen took the pro-american president captive in his own home. hours later, he agreed to deal granting them a greater share of power. and u.s. and cuban delegations met in havana, in their highest level talks in decades. they will work toward normalizing relations. >> ifill: on the newshour online right now, we wanted to capture reaction to president obama's state of the union address last night, so we sent a crew out to some of d.c.'s finest watering holes for a more playful point of view. we call it, pubs and politics.
e president has two more years in office. what do you hope he accomplishes in that time? >> raise minimum-wage for sure. i think it was funny hat the only thing that the entire congress could agree upon was that we're going to space for a year. isn't that great? >> would you rather do zumba with nancy pelosi? >> nancy pelosi. >> woodruff: a lot of wisdom. all of that and more on our web site pbs.org/"newshour". >> woodruff: all that and more is on our web site, pbs.org/newshour. and that's the newshour for tonight. on thursday, we'll look at how england is combating a rise in extremism in an interview with the british foreign secretary. i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. we'll see you on-line and again here tomorrow evening, for all of us here at the pbs newshour, thank you and good night.
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report" with tyler mathisen and sue herera. waiting on mario. the head of the bank mario draghi expected to make a major move tomorrow to help the struggling euro zone economy and the stakes are high. historic meeting. a delegation from the u.s. arrives in cuba in an attempt to reestablish economic ties. american express reports a rise in profits but plans to lay off thousands. all that and more tonight for "nightly business report," january 21st. good evening, everyone. i'm sue herera. tyler will join us later in the program from the morning star fund manager of the year awards. wall street wraps up another