tv PBS News Hour PBS June 16, 2010 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> ifill: good evening. i'm gwen ifill. b.p. agreed today to set aside at least $20 billion dollars to pay damages caused by the gulf oil spill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. on the "newshour" tonight: the chairman of the company apologized to the american people for the disaster. after he and others met with the president at the white house. we interview one person who was at that meeting. b.p.'s managing director, bob dudley.
>> ifill: and we assess the political fallout from the continuing crisis with cynthia tucker, michael gerson and ellen fitzpatrick. >> woodruff: then, a report about a project aimed at moving from fossil fuels to wind energy just south of the u-s mexico border. >> ifill: and a second mexico story ... an update on the drug violence which has killed hundreds in the last week ... and thousands in the last four years ...ray suarez reports >> plus jeffrey brown tells the story of tap dance great maurice hines passing the torch and tradition to a new generation >> ifill: that's all ahead... on tonight's newshour.
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substantial insurance the claims business and people have will be honored. it is important to emphasize this is not a cap. the people of the gulf have my commitment that b.p. will meet its obligations to them. >> kenneth feinberg will oversee the payments. he ran the 9/11 victims' compensation fund and is currently the government's pay-czar, setting salary limits for bailedded out companies. in addition, b.p. upon contribute $100 million to help oil industry workers who have been idled by the federal moratorium on democratsea drilling. after today's talks, the
b.p. chairman also announced the oil giant will suspend dividend payments to its shareholders for the rest of the year to ensure it meets commitments to the gulf coast. >> i would like to take this opportunity to apologize to the american people on behalf of all the employees in b.p. many of whom are living on the gulf coast. i hear comment sometimes that large oil companies are greedy companies or don't care. but that is not the case in b.p. we care about the small people. >> woodruff: since the spill began 58 days ago, b.p.'s stock has been hammered down to half its previous value, and in recent days, talk of a claims fund raised new concerns in britain. prime minister david cameron warned today that b.p. sneaded a level of certainty that there won't be
claims entertained that are three or four times removed from the oil spill. but president obama's tough talk about b.p. in his televised address last night earned him plaudits from some leading democrats, including senator dick durbin of illinois. >> this president has been very firm and resolute that british petroleum, this oil company, is going to be held responsible for the damage that's been done. it will be at their expense and not at the expense of american taxpayers that we will help the businesses that are affected and do everything within our power to restore the devastation which has occur to the environment. >> woodruff: on the other hand, senate republican leader mirb mcconnell criticized the president for citing the spill in a renewed appeal for energy and climate legislation >> fact that the white house wants to use this crisis as an excuse to push more of its legislate agenda on the american people with the same kind of arguments it used to push health
care is really nothing short of startling. >> woodruff: along the gulf coast, reaction to last night's address was decidedly mixed, including this sampling at a marina in southern louisiana. >> in my opinion , he didn't talk enough about stopping the oil. >> he's president, and there's only so much he can do. everything is really in b.p.'s hands. >> woodruff: in the gulf today, b.p. cranked up a new system to burn up to 400,000 gallons of oil a day. the oil burning is part of b.p.'s larger plan to capture or burn 2.2 million gallons a day by the end of the month. that would be roughly 90% of the estimated total flow from the damaged well. bob dudley is managing director of b.p. and one of the company's executives who met with the president earlier today. mr. dudley, thank you for being with us again. >> good evening, judy. >> woodruff: the meeting at the
white house today, the president last night used the term "reckless" in speaking of b.p. he earlier talked about wanting to fire your c.e.o., tony hayward. what was the tone of today's discussion. >> judy, the tone today, the president was very direct, expressed his great concern for the people along the gulf coast, and businesses operating in the gulf coast, wants to make it clear his expectations were that b.p. would meet their obligation. we assured him that we would not only meet those obligations. we'd set aside $20 billion, put assets aside to make sure we can meet those obligations and transition the claims process we've set up to an independent claims producer. i think it was a-- it was a good meeting of the mind. it's what people on the gulf coast need and want to hear. it helps us put-- provide some certainty around what we're putting aside to move forward, and it was a very workman-like meeting that lasted about four and a half hours. >> woodruff: just to be clear
about this claims fund, this money is not going to be money that is capped. is that right? >> well, that's right. i mean, we have a well that continues to flow in the dwufl, and we're doing everything we can to shut off the flow of that well, but it would not be realistic to say anything can be capped yet. we have a plan to shut that off by august and contain the flow. but what this does is it provides real ashurps for people along the gulf coast that the money will be there to meet these claims. >> woodruff: and give us an example of that. because we understand it does not include cleanup costs. >> well, the fund does not, but b.p. will continue to fund what's called removal costs or cleanup costs out of our own cash flow in addition to the fund. but the majority of what we see of the claims and expense going forward will come out of that fund, so we'll have both. examples out of the fund would, of course, be small businesses, and we started writing checks this week for estimated projections of small-business losses as well as the individual
claims we've had in place for some time now. it will include the-- the fund would include state claims that may also come forward. it's a comprehensive fund. it does not-- setting up this esk row account does not preclude anybody else's legal rights to also come forward as well. but it does begin to provide the certainty, both for b.p. in being able to set aside these. we made a very, very difficult decision to stop dividend payments for the rest of the year, including a payment that was to be made on monday to shareholders that we had already promised. that's difficult because people were expecting those payments. but we think we need to do this to ensure we have the funding, the liquidity, and the certainty for the united states and the people of the gulf coast. we will meet our obligations. >> woodruff: the leak itself, we learned yesterday that the amount of oil escaping is much more than originally thought. it's now said to be up to 2.5 million gallons a day.
that number has changed so often mr. dudley, how can the american people trust what they're hearing from b.p.? >> well, as the summer has gone on, last month and a half, it's really a government estimate. it's a team of skifts led by the u.s. geological survey, and as we've continued to move forward on these containment devices, new estimates come forward, new data comes forward. we're revising our containment plans on that. it's a range. it's an estimate. and so we're going to respond to that, increasing the size of the containment by the end of the month before we eventually kill this thing in august. >> woodruff: and just briefly, what can you tell us is the latest on how much is being siphoned off or burned off versus how much is still flowing into the gulf. >> well, because we don't know. there's a range on the flow rates. but we have around 16,000 barrels a day coming out of
the first containment flow path, and we've start off the second one yesterday. that is up to about 5,000 barrels a day. total, we believe we can capture with this system that's in place now around 28,000 barrels a day. it's hard to say. it ranges now-- its ranges now are higher than that so there will be some additional flow. by the end of the month we're going to build a system that has redundancy up to 80,000 barrels a day, should it be need ed. >> woodruff: congressional hearings yesterday eye know you're aware there was information that came out of those hearings that indicates b.p. took a number of risky shortcuts in building this deep water horizon well. after seeing that information, how can the public believe anything other than that b.p. took risks it should not have? >> i don't know, jude y, this is an investigation of a very complicated action. it's been that way from the beginning. that's lots of conflicting information that comes out.
the tone that implies we've many shortcuts that somehow company policy we put in place over the last three years, programs that focus on safety, number one priority for the company. all of us would be deeply disturbed if that were the findings of the investigation. but it's early. it's too early to draw those conclusions and i think it's best the investigators conclude the process. >> woodruff: are you saying what we've seen, coming out of the hearings and e-mails and so forth that you can't already draw a conclusion that risky shortcuts were taken. >> jid, i don't know. circumstantial evidence, you can draw a single conclusion. i think this is a very complicated accident that happened with a series of decisions that were made and equipment failures that have led to this catastrophic combination of things that led not only to a rig burning but then second, an oil spill that -- it's a combination of accidents here.
i think we can't draw any conclusion. it's about as complicated an industrial investigation i think i have ever seen. >> woodruff: several of the things i want to ask you about. one is we heard president obama today say b.p. is a strong and viable company. and yet, we also learned today the bank of america has now told its traders not to engage in any long-term trades with b.p. does that not suggest there is concern about the long-term viability of b.p.? >> well, judy, i think that's one of the things that came out of this today. the markets don't like uncertainty. shareholders don't like uncertainty. there's been wide swings in both the share price of b.p. and the cost of its debt, and one of the things that should come out of it today, which is good for the country and good for b.p. is certainty about a stream of cash flows that we will put into this escrow account, and i think that's going to settle things wn. that's what we want. that's what the president wants. b.p. is a strong company, and should be able to fund and weather what will be a very
large set of claims and liabilities in the u.s. but that was the outcome today. >> woodruff: the last thing i want to ask you about, is the people on the gulf coast. we had two officials, one from louisiana, one of florida , critical of b.p. one said we can't count on b.p. for what we need, the other said b.p. is not protecting our coasts, our shorlz. what do you say to these officials? >> i have been down there and i spent a lot of time on the coast. i've seen the oil on parts of the louisiana shore. i've been in the claims centers. i think people are uncertain. they'd like this well stopped. they'd like it cleaned up. i think the economic concern is clearly there. we've set up 33 of these claims offices across the gulf. this is not our core competency, and yet i spent time speaking with ken feinberg, it will form the infrastructure for the independent claims process. i absolutely understand. i grew up on the gulf coast.
i know those beaches down there, and this is a very difficult time for people. and it's very difficult-- a lot of b.p. people live and their families are down there on the gulf coast as well. it's very personal for all of us. >> woodruff: finally, your chairman, mr. sonberg today, at the white house, in speaking to reporters, referred to the people who live in the gulf region as "small people." there's already been reaction to that, people taking offense. how can you-- what do you have to say about that? well, judy, i know how he feels. i know exactly what his intent was. english is his second language. his native language is swede expeditious what he was talking about is small businesses, and he's absolutely understanding of the way people feel. he's on his way to the gulf shortly. i think he just misspoke a little bit, but his intent was very clear. >> woodruff: bob dudley, managing director of b.p., we thank you very much. >> thank you, judy.
>> woodruff: we'll get an assessment of how the white house is handling the crisis later in the program. also still to come, harnessing the wind in baja, california. cracking down on drug cartels in mexico, and a tap dancing tradition alive and well. first, with the other news of the day here . >> the monthly u.s. death toll in afghanistan reached 30 when two americans died nay roadside bombing. congress scrutinized president obama's war strategy. senators like ted kaufman of delaware questioned david petraeus about the withdrawal timeline of july , 2011. >> the point at which, again, the term responsible drawdown of the surge forces begins at a rate to be determined by the conditions. >> so it's not whether we're going to draw down. it's the rate determined by the conditions on the ground. >> that's correct. >> there will be no more new introductions of troops. >> that is not the intention right now.
i would never rule out coming back and asking for something more. i think that would be irresponsible. >> also today, defense secretary robert gates cautioned against getting overly negative about the afghan war. he said while the current narrative among politicians and the media may be negative that progress is being made. the military in krygyzstan tried to regain control of osh after days of ethnic killing. the death toll grew to 189. at least 1900 others have been wounded but other estimates range far higher. most of the victims were minority uzbeks, and thousands tried to flee but they've been denied entry into uzbekistan and huddling in makeshift camps along the border. the head of a bankrupt u.s. mortgage lender has been indied d.c. unitedded for allegedly a huge fraud against. tarp. he was the chief executive of t.b.w..
he and coconspirators carried out a scheme, part of a failed teempt save their company and a major bank. >> court documents allege mr. farkas and others carried out a massive fraud that resulted in losses of more than $1.9 billion and contributed to the failure of t.b.w., along with colonial bank. one of the 50 largest banks in the united states in 2009. the alleged is stunning in its scale and complexity. >> investigators alerted the u.s. treasury before the money was paid out. the government sponsored mortgage lenders fannie mae and freddie mac will no longer be trade on the new york stock exchange. an announcement today said they're being delisted after their average stock price fell below $1 a share. as for the rest of the wall street, it was a relatively flat day.
the dow jones industrial average gained more than four points. the nasdaq rose a fraction of a point. a federal judge in san francisco heard closing arguments today in a landmark challenge to california's ban on gay marriage. two same-sex couples are suing to overturn the proposition 8 ballot measure that voters approved back in 2008. regardless of the outcome, the case is expected to go before an appeals court and will likely reach the u.s. supreme court. those are some of the day's major stories. now back to gwen. >> ifill: the president has received mixed reviews for his handling of what has become an unprecedented and chaotic trang dee with no end or clear solution in sight. he acknowledged as much last night. >> all right this oil spill is the worst environmental disaster america has ever faced. unlike an earthquake or hurricane it's not a single event that does its damage in a matter of minutes or days.
it is more like an epidemic, one we will be fighting months and even years sglaen as polls show confidence in the president fading and after today's b.p. apology, does last night's speech and today's announcement represent a pivot point in the ongoing crisis? to explore that question we turn to ellen fitzpatrick from the university of new hampshire. cynthia tucker, and "washington post" columnist michael gerson, former chief speech right for president george w. book. ellen fitzpatrick, i want to start with you. what about the pivot point question, last night and today feel like a pivot point to you? >> i don't think so, gwen, in the sense that it may be a pivot point in president obama's handling of the crisis. i think his follow-up today and the arrangements he's made with british petroleum are very important to secure the promises he made last night but many previous presidents have had to
deal with absolutely terrible environmental disasters, and visually all of them have suffered and struggled with the same kinds of responses, the frustration, the anger that president obama is facing today. and he is proceeding, it seems to me, and nv a constructive manner as have most of these presidents attempted to. >> give me an example, ellen, of what you mean when you say other presidents have dealt with disasters like this. >> we could go back to the 1930s and look at the drought , the devastated that country, that franklin roosevelt had to cope with, and what struck me in president obama's speech last night was how much his plan resembled the three r.s of the new deal-- relief, recovery, and reform, which is what president roosevelt attempted to carry out as well.
in 1969, a week after his inauguration, president nixon faced an oil spill off the coast of california near santa barbara that ultimately led to the creation of the environmental protection agency . 20 years later, george herbert walker bush faced the exxon "valdez" crisis in which his response was widely condemned as late and lame and that also led him to pursue regulatory reforms as well. so this is not new by any means. >> michael gerson, you were working for george w. bush when he had to deliver these big kind of oval office speech moments. how did last night compare? how does the entire handling of this compare? >> well, i was a little bit concerned about last night. using the oval office as a setting as a high-rofile setting
that spotlights the presidenciy. in the past you had john kennedy announcing a quarantine of cuba. and last night, the president seemed much more passive, much more input-oriented, he announced a czar. he announced a commission. when i was -- you know in the white house, we viewed these things as fairly weak policy inputs. you always want to push back, do something more active, more executive oriented as far as action are concerned. i thought proot had a pretty bad day yesterday, although actually a pretty good day today. i think the b.p. announcement was a good follow-up to the speech, but the speech itself was quite weak. >> when you were working for president bush you were the author of the speech delivered during katrina which was also widely-- how shall i say-- not embraced? how do the two compare from the inside and the outside? >> well, they compare-- i think in a lot of ways. the reality is, during that
process, for example, we had people within the bureaucracy proposing a commission to study the problem. i pushed back hard against that. presidents don't go on national television at-- in an evening address to the nation and announce commissions. there was an absence of active verbs in the speech they thought was a real challenge. and-- but, you know, i think you have to have some empathy for the president. this is a technical problem , you know, the spill itself. government has minimal competence in dealing with it. and, you know, sometimes you're faced with these kinds of insoluble problem as a president. that's part of the job. >> cynthia tucker, is it an insoluble problem and was last night's speech and today's announcement, was that the way to try to get back some sort of credibility for the issue on the president? >> well, mike expel i agree in thinking that last night's speech was a weak one. it wasn't a very good speech. i think the very idea of a speech was a bad idea. i think the timing was bad.
i think the setting was bad. >> it should have happened sooner or later? >> later. i think the pivot point will come when the oil-- when the well is finally plugged. that will happen. it will happen in august. that's a natural pivot point. the president should have waited until then. and if he's going to use the oval office, it ought to be a big, inspirational address to say we fixed that problem. the environmental crisis continues. we'll be working on that for decades. let's pitch forward and talk about ending our addiction to petroleum. and he didn't do nearly enough of that. let me also say, however, i feel sorry for the president. he's facing a huge challenge here. he is getting reams of advice from foes and allies alike, most of it in the neighborhood of do something, and there is not a whole lot the president can do here. this is a crisis that is -- he didn't create.
it is beyond his control. the government has no capacity to plug an oil well a mile beneath the ocean. but it is in the portfolio of the perez dense tow sometimes have to deal with outside expectations from voters. and so for good or for ill , fairly or not, he does own this crisis now. >> ellen fitzpatrick, let's talk about the expectations so many people seem to have. for instance, there's a new pew poll that say most people think offshore drilling is still a good idea and that limiting carbon emissions is a good idea. how do presidents handle these kind of competing desires on the parts of the public? >> i think it's extremely difficult to deal with these issues, and particularly for president obama who is dealing on the one hand with demands that the federal government do something very concrete, not only to stop
this spill but to compensate people who rightly have been deprived of their livelihoods and to address the long-term social and environmental impact of this catastrophe. so there's that. but at the same time , there are people who are very critical and some of the very same people of the over-reach of the federal government in the obama administration . so it's a time of very complex attitudes towards the federal government per se that president obama is having to deal with as well. 52% of the public soundly, resoundingly disapproved of george bush's handling of exxon "valdez" as having been inadequate. they wanted him to federalize the whole problem, and he refused to do so. so presidents face these expectations . they face the limits of the presidency, and they do their best for the most part within
that to try to address the long-term consequences . obama has actually done more than his predecessors already in that regard. >> let me ask you both briefly -- i guess to wrap all of this up-- is this for the president a political dlem aa practical dilemma, a leadership dilemma that overrides everything, michael? >> i think certainly there's a practical dilemma that he doesn't control very much. >> unless he gets the superman cape. >> exactly. that's the reality. but i do think there's a leadership element to this. the president was not early. he didn't seem on top of these issues. and, you know, i think that there's a cost to that. but i would say the political dilemma is a quite serious one as well. i mean, the president faces some bad narratives on the political agenda right now. the economy, views of the health care bill. he's got to do some things between now and november to
decisively break that narrative, to change the narrative. and the oil spill actually makes that harder going forward. >> cynthia? >> the oil spill makes that harder only because it forces the president to spend time on an issue when he wanted to be talking about the economy and jobs. and i think that bothers democrats more than anything else. as far as it affecting his presidency, the polls show-- this crise has been going on nearly two months. the deep water horizon blew up april 20, sarchg two days later, but the president's approval ratings have been more or less holding steady at about 50%. so this crisis has not, in that sense, affected his presidency negatively. does he need to move on to turn the page? yes, he does. again, he will have the opportunity to do that in august when the well is finally plugged. >> if the well is finally plugged in august. thank you all very much.
>> woodruff: one of the things president obama called for in his speech was an end to the country's addition to fossil fuel. we have a report on the complexities involved in achieving just one parent of that goal. it comes from the west coast where a project is trying to harness wind power from mexico to meet the demand for energy in california. our story is reported by independent filmmaker emma cot and was supported by a grant from the university of california berkeley journalism school. >> here in baja, just south of california 's border with mexico, the land is so dry, it can't be farmed. there's no work, either. small-town life depends on cash wired by relatives who slipped across the border. buthe area's fortune could be changing. as it turns out, this dusty town has something that california desperately needs-- wind. baja's first small wind farm
will be for use within mexico. but david munoz, the director of baja 's energy kmirkz envisions an international green energy future for his state. >> exporting wind is our next export. we have an excess of potential , and we have a huge market on the american side. >> reporter: baja and california have traded power generated from fossil fuels for decades. so sharing wind seems like the next logical step, especially since california has set a goal that utilities must get one-third of their power from renewable sources by the year 2020. michael folloni is one of a dozen california developers with an eye on baja. >> developers are flocking to baja, california, because it's the saudi arabia of wind. in california, where we're pioneers in wind energy, we're pretty much out of land that is windy enough and developable enough due to environmental
constrants. just across the border is a phenomenal wind power resource that is concentrated. >> reporter: experts estimate that baja has enough wind energy to personnel to power more than two million california homes. but it comes at a price. this windy mecca, which is colored hot pink on folloni's map, runs right through a pristine mountain range, the sierra de juarez. the vast majority of this wilderness is not protected. instead, it is owned by land cooperatives called ejido in spanish. in 2006, three of the largest ones signed 30-year landy leases with sempra. sempra plans to use the land for a 1,000-megawatt wind farm. it would span a quarter of the state of baja and feed power to
california. the first windmills would go up in ejido jacume. participating land owners say they are getting $2,000 a month and more will come once the turbines start spinning. residents are thrilled. >> ( translated ): it will help the community grow. maybe they'll build more schools and make us a border crossing here which we really need , lots of things. but work for our husbands, first and foremost, right? work for women and men. >> ( translated ): sure, it will affect the natural environment, but as mexicans say, money is what makes the world turn. for money, we'll pretty much sell our soul. >> claudia leyva from the university of baja, california, says she sympathizes with the
impoverished residents but worries about sempras' plans. she gave her student the assignment to evaluate the impact report currently under review by mexico's environmental agency. >> ( translated ): they began to review the document, and the principal thing they found were some omissions. this is supposedly a project with 1,000 turbines but when they described the project they only geographically pinpointed 50. >> reporter: the location of transmission lines, substations and up to 500 miles of new roads are also ill-defined in the reports says leyva. >> ( translated ): if the authority aproves such an open-ended proposal it would really make us worry. >> reporter: the company declined a request for an interview but a spokesman wrote in an e-mail:
>> reporter: mexico's environmental authority semarnat will be careful evaluating the process. >> i think that in general, semarnat welcomes all clean energy projects. that doesn't mean we'll approve everything with our eyes shut. we also have to evaluate the implications. if they destroy 25 acres, i can assure you with the environmental tax we charge, we will reforest 75 acres. >> reporter: if the project is approved it could break ground next year. even if all the environmental and financial hurdles in mexico are overcome, the next step will be to build the necessary transmission lines in california to carry all this new power. and that could cost the state an estimated $115 billion over the next 10 years.
>> ifill: now to a more immediate concern along the mexico border-- thed about deadly and escalating war between the government and robust drug cartels. ray suarez has our look. >> reporter: the latest spasm of violence has erupted at points all over mexico , including a drug rehab center where two dozen gunmen killed 19 people last week. that was in the northern city of chihuahua. 16 others were gunned down in ciudad madero, and major bloodshed in the west and south in region beyond mexico city. on monday 29 inmates died in this prison as rival gang members battled. they were among nearly 100 people killed that day across mexico, including a dozen federal police officers. and yesterday, troops killed 15 suspected gang
members in a shoot-out here among colonial buildings in the tourist counsel of taxco. in all, more than 23,000 people have died in the last three and a half years since president calderon ordered thousands of soldiers and federal police to stop the drug cartels. last night, calderon made a nationally televised appeal asking mexicans for help. >> ( translated ): your participation is vital because this is everyone's fight. for this reason, the information you give suskey in helping us advance in this fight. >> reporter: the mexican leader also wrote an essay in the country's newspapers monday blaming u.s. demand for drugs. he wrote, "the origin of our violence problem begins with the fact that mexico is located next to the country that has the highest levels of drug consumption in the world. calderon had voiced that same complaint in a speech to the u.s. congress last month. the the
mexican government is also taking aim at money laundering, announcing new limits on cash transactions in u.s. dollars. >> ( translated ): this measure is part of a strategy to combat not only drug trafficking but also organized crime which implies the closing of avenue dollars coming from possibly illicit origins. >> reporter: it's estimated $10 billion to $25 billion in drug profits flow to mexico each year from the u.s. for more on the escalating violence we're joined by andy selee director of the mexico constitute. and allert brown-gort, associate director of the institute for latino study at the university of notre dame. she a citizen of both mexico and the united states. and let me begin with you. was the president pushed to speak to his countrymen on television by this sudden upsurge in violence? >> oh, i think very much so because one of the things that is important to remember is that
it is the perception that is -- that is so important here, the perception of insecurity that is driving this. >> indeed, the mexicans call it the lack of safety. why do you think calderon went to the country last night? >> i think he's facing a situation where he's waging an all-out war on drug cartels, trying to do some very interesting things that mexico probably needs-- taking on organized crime, trying to make important institutional reforms-- but he hasn't really brought society along with him and there's skepticism about whether this is a war that is being won or last and i think he's trying to reach out, build a bridge to citizens and saying this is about the security in your communities. we'll have to see if it's too late or if he's able to build a larger consensus around what he's trying to do. >> the violence has been ongoing for several years. you can give us some insight into what's fueling this sudden upsurge, both in the ferocity and death toll of these crimes? >>
i think one of the things that we should see is we really don't know right now whether we're at a tipping point or not. but if we were to ask the government, i think the government would tell you that it is exactly the success of the work that they have been doing that has pushed criminal organizations into confrontation with one another into increased competition. one of the points they keep making is so many of the deaths, so much of the violence is really between drug gangs or really-- the organized crime syndicates. >> does that seem like a plausible explanation to you that the push-back is coming much harder because they're actually pressing these gangs? >> i think, certainly, that's part of it. i think we see that there are all sorts of changes going on. one of the things we can't take off the table is what is happening in the united states that
is responsible for part of this? what is the sppbls of the united states and are they being able-- are they successful in also squeezing the drug cartels from this end? >> are they? >> i think it's starting. i mean, we've seen a real increase in cooperation between mexico and the united states. i think we're starting to see some efforts to go after the finance of drug traffickers on this end, some attempt to go after -- to try and address prevention and treatment of drug addictions which would be-- >> what about the hardening of the border? has that contributed to this? >> very much so. i think you've seen a situation where the hardening of the border and the efforts the mexican government has done to make it harder to traffic drugs in mexico has put a premium on controlling transportation routes. so the cartels are fighting over each other because these things matter right now. it means a lot to control piece of the border, control major highways and control ports within mexico. >> allert, go ahead. >> i would say this-- i think
the hardening of the border-- we should be careful that it isn't only the question of fences. one of the most important things that this government has done, the obama administration has done, secretary napolitano has done, is really to start putting resources in interrupting the flow of guns and money into mexico. and i think that is-- that potentially would have more of an effect. >> where is mexican public opinion during all this? there was support initially, i understand, when the president escalated and militarized this war against the drug gangs. now that we're several years into it, where does it stand now? >> there's support and skepticism. i think people still think president calderon for the most part is doing the right thing, it's important to take on organized crime, this is a major issue. but they're skeptical the government has the capacity to do it. he's almost in the position that president obama was last night, where you need to make some sort of jest that you are gains public sympathy if you're going to step out there.
one thing president calderon might look at doing is how do you go after some of the public officials that have aided and abetted organized crime or make some sort of gesture that brings citizens in. right now, i think, people continue to think it's the right thing to do for the most part. they may be skeptical about parts of the strategy, but they think it's the right thing to do. but they're not quite certain if the government is going to succeed, and i think calderon is trying to say we can succeed. i need you with me, we need to do this together. >> professor, in mexico you only get one six-year term. we've spent fully half of the calderon administration at this work. has he staked his presidency on this? >> oh, i think very much so. i think this is really his legacy. he came into office very much believing in this fight. he has done much more than previous administrations to do this. in fact, he spent a lot of time on his speech the other night talking about why he felt like he needed to take action, and more importantly, i think,
an interesting part of that speech is how careful he was to make sure that everybody understood that what he is really going after is personal security. what he's really going after is the security of the average mexican citizen and not so much the fight against drugs. he tried to unlink that a little bit. >> andrew, both in his speech to congress , in his essays in the national newspapers and in his speech on television last night, president calderon reiterated his belief that american demand for drugs fuels most of his country's problem, and he called for more drug treatment in the united states, a shut-off of the flow of arms. does this kind of thing play well in mexico? do mexicans hear and that thus are sympathetic to his plight. >> i think first of all it's crew.
clearly, demand drives the drug trade. i also say it's a mixture of the world's largest drug market, the united states, next to a country which has a weak rule of law, in that case, mexico, that has really created this problem. i think it rings true to mexicans. it shows they're not the only fwhonz this. but it's good politics and good policy because he does need the united states to really invest in prevention and treatment of addictions. he needs the u.s. to do more on money laundering and arms trafficking, as well as as well as a lot more intelligence cooperation, share information-- that's happening. the ability to track the traffickers as they move across the border. >> thank you both very much. >> woodruff: finally tonight, a return to the stage and a chance to mentor a new generation. jeffrey brown looks at a dancing phenomenon.
>> brown: almost 30 years after appear in "sophisticate ladies" maurice hines is still at it. ♪ if it ain't got that swing ♪ >> brown: at 66, the man who gained fame tapping away with his brother, gregory, remains a marvel-- dancing, creating the choreography, and taking audiences through a review of the life of one america's greatest musician, duke ellington. >> it's the celebration of the greatness and genius of man. he really was quite exceptional as a musician. and as a personality, of course, when we said, "i love you madly, we love you madly," you can't make those things up. you can't make those things up. i'm the happiest i have been on the stage, with the exception of working with my brother. even with injuries, which you do get as a dancer, i can't wait to get on that stage. >> we, love, you, madly.
( applause ) >> brown: and there's added history to this revival being presented by arena stage. it's performed at the historic lincoln theater. ellington got his start in a club in what's now the theater's basement. and which sits in the neighborhood where he grew up in the heart of washington's u street district known in the 1920s as "the black broadaway." >> will be i'm tapping to his sound and musicianship which makes me invent and create and at this time in my career, that's a gift. >> brown: gregory and maurice hines began their act as young children, gained a large following through stage and tv appearances. as well as in films, including "the cotton club" in 1984." they were well aware of following in a great tradition of dancers, including other siblings, like the nicholas
brothers from the 1930s. and they were eager to keep that tradition alive. >> if i win, you take over. >> fiwin? >> brown: in the late eight ease gregory, who died in 2003, became mentor to savion glover. as maurice tells the story, gregory promised one day maurice too, would find dancers to mentor who shared his love of jazz, dance, and ballet as well as tap. that is what's now happened. during auditions for "sophisticated ladies" john and leo manzari high school brothers went through their paces in different styles of dance and kaud hines' attention. >> i said you're brothers and
they did the jazz and ballet. and i said let me ask this question, i know i'm taking a chance here, can you guys tap? john said uh-huh, with all this attitude. >> john manzari remembers it differently. >> i didn't mean to say it with attitude. here's what happened, he, at the end of the class, he was talking to us and everything, and he was just like, "can you tap?" and i was like, "yes, i can tap." but he did not believe me. he just kept asking me, "are you sure you can tap? i was like, "yes, i can tap." finally, the fifth time, i was like, "yes, i can tap upon. >> oh, he could. >> brown: and, yes, 17-year-old expwraun 15-year-old leo can tap. >> they came and they tapped for me and i was blown away. i looked up, i saw my brother, and he's looking, "i told you! i told you, jude find them." and i did. and they sing. they are monumental, i said. they're fabulous. >> brown: what do they have? what does a good tap danceer
have to have? >> first of all, they have great feet. you have to have that. they dance like musician, like a drummer and know all the syncopations and make stuff up. they're innovative and they're improvisational, and that's what my brother was. and so they could do anything that i wanted them to do, anything. and, also, they have the one thing they-- they love dancing together, like greg and i did. and they have the one thing that you're either born with-- you cannot make it, you cannot hype it up-- either you have charisma or you don't. they have it. gregory and i had it. they have it. >> brown: as youngsters, the manzari brothers watched the hines brothers dance on "sesame street."
on the lincoln theater stage, they showed us some brotherly trading, taps' tradition of give-and-take improvisation. >> if he does that step i can connect to that step and make another step or do the same step and just communicate through that. >> it's more of a communication than a connection that makes it fun. >> if you feel the rhythm and timing, you don't necessarily think of a step. i like at it as you just go. like, you just do your thing. you get out there. and it's cool because it's cool to see what you can come up with without thinking about anything. ( cheers and applause ) >> brown: in "sophisticate ed ladies" the brothers trade with the master, maurice hines. >> the humor is competitive, to make the crowd laugh and us laugh. and when we laugh onstage, it's not fake at all.
it's because maurice-- mr. hines is really easy and fun to work with. ( cheers and applause ) mr. hines is just hilarious by nature. he does a step and i'm like, i like that, but i can twist it up and make it better and throw it back in your face. >> brown: better than maurice hines? >> attempt to make it better. >> brown: maurice hines believes the manzari brothers have a very bright future. as for his own future, he's as busy as ever choreographing new works for the stage, including one on the life of sammy davis jr. for now, though, he's happy to star in a show that continues to pack the house and has been extended several times. >> i love the way i'm accepted here. and their rarmz open to me. "what have you got now, maurice? let's see it."
that's what a performer wants to do. >> brown: the hope is when "sophisticated ladies" finishes its washington, d.c. run, it will begin a two-year tour. ( applause ) >> ifill: again, the major developments of the day. b.p. agreed to set up a $20 billion fund to pay damage claims from the gulf of mexico oil spill. the chairman of the oil giant publicly apologized after a white house meeting. on the newshour, b.p.'s managing director called the encounter with the president a good meeting of the minds. he said a stream of cash flows into the new fund will help settle things down in the gulf and on the financial markets. and he said it was too early to reach conclusions about b.p.'s safety record in building and operating the deepwater horizon rig. the newshour is also on line.
we have a preview of what's there. >> you can watch more of jeff's interview with maurice hines. also, excerpts of the manzari brothers dancing. find out about another wind energy project in baja, and we posted a video timeline tracking president obama's comments over the past eight weeks. tomorrow we'll live blog b.p. c.e.o. tony hayward's testimony on capitol hill. all that and more is on our web site. gwen. >> ifill : and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm sglen ifill. >> and i'm judy woodruff. we'll see you tomorrow and here on line. good night, and thank you. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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