tv PBS News Hour PBS October 23, 2015 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: a massive hurricane bears down on mexico; residents and tourists flee, and the country declares a state of emergency. then, seeking a new way forward in syria. secretary of state kerry meets with leaders from russia and the middle east. old wind turbines come tumbling down, part of an effort to save california's golden eagles. >> those are the most dangerous turbines in the altamont pass on record. there's one 120 kilowatt turbine down there, now removed, but it's on record as having killed one eagle per year for ten years. >> woodruff: and it's friday. mark shields and david brooks are here, to analyze the week's
solutions to the world's most pressing problems-- skollfoundation.org. >> the ford foundation. working with visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and friends of the newshour. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: a storm for the ages is blasting ashore on mexico's west coast tonight. hurricane "patricia" has the strongest sustained winds ever recorded in this part of the
world, and it spent in the day in a slow-motion assault on the mainland. sirens blared and lights flashed as police and fire units combed puerto vallarta this morning, urging people to flee the popular mexican pacific beach resort. the storm burst to life tuesday and by last night, it topped the scale, with winds of 200 miles an hour, prompting dire descriptions from mexico's weather service. >> ( translated ): the national hurricane center in miami has determined that this storm is the strongest storm ever seen on the american continent. however, after considerable research for the national meteorological service of the additionally, some international experts have already noted that this hurricane is the most powerful hurricane that has ever existed on the planet in all of history. >> woodruff: all told, a hurricane warning stretched
along more than 300 miles of mexico's pacific coast. the storm's track had its center heading between the bustling port city of manzanillo and puerto vallarta tonight. heavy rain started falling last night, and today people hurried to board up windows, as crews filled sand bags. the region's airports closed, and tourists rushed to check out, and catch flights. >> i'm just worried because if we don't get out of here-- and we drove into town to get out, which is not the direction we wanted to go-- so, if we don't make the flight, then we're, we are riding it out here. >> woodruff: forecasters said the hurricane will start weakening tomorrow, as it passes inland, moving north toward texas. the remnants will add to heavy rains already battering the lone-star state from another weather system. more than 2.5 inches fell at the dallas-fort worth airport yesterday, breaking a record set in 1908. and to the west, flooding at a mobile home park picked up
trailers and carried them away. today, the mayor of houston appealed to people to keep an eye on what's coming. >> we really encourage folks to, once the rain starts, just stay home and stay off the roads. >> woodruff: "patricia" is already being compared with typhoon "haiyan" that left more than 7,300 dead or missing in the philippines, two years ago. and today, as waves pounded the mexican coast, one expert warned: "it's looking like a very bad disaster is shaping up." >> woodruff: we got an on-the- ground dispatch from a storm shelter in puerto vallarta. david alire garcia is there for reuters. i spoke with him by skype late this afternoon as the hurricane moved closer to landfall. david, thank you for talking with us. first of all, tell us where you are and what are the state of preparations there? >> well, i'm in puerto vallarta.
i'm at the university campus which is a makeshift shelter. wasn't supposed to be a shelter, but because of problems with nearby shelters, particularly a big convention center and risks of flooding, this was opened up and there is about 500 people here, a mix of tourists and also many locals as well. >> woodruff: what about the state of preparations in the area, puerto vallarta? >> well, the local government, the state governor, the municipal government opened up more than a dozen shelters. there have been problems with some like i mentioned a second ago that have been opened and closed because of corpsries they're too close to rivers. the authorities are everywhere here. they're trucking in people. a little while ago, there were a handful of trucks that arrived. this shelter is at its capacity. there are thousands of folks who need shelter and not entirely clear all of them will get that, but steams like the authorities, if you listen to radio or tv, there are all kinds of announcements that people find shelter and find someplace safe
and get off the streets. >> woodruff: it still appears, though, this storm has formed very, very quickly, that it wasn't until late last night that people understood the tbravty of it -- the gravity of it. is it your sense people have evacuated who needed to evacuate? >> i think so. just earlier, i was driving around the tourist part of puerto vallarta, and there are -- you know, it's a ghost town. windows are boarded up, windows are taped up, sandbags at the hotels protecting store fronts, bars, restaurants. of course, it's a big tourist town here, so seems like there is a lot of preparation going on. time will tell if it really is adequate for the storm that's about to arrive. >> woodruff: as i speak to you, it's just a little after 4:00 eastern. it looks like the weather is still pretty calm right now. >> that's the crazy thing now is there is barely a tiny drizzle. there is hardly any wind, as you can see behind me.
here, there is a lot of folks taking refuge here. the weather conditions at the moment are not that bad but, of course, you know, things are projected to get a lot worse, particularly the winds which could have caused a lot of damage and have caused a lot of damage. there was a big hurricane here a few years back that many people still remember that did cause lots of damage because of flying debris, and i think that's one of the main worries, in addition to flooding in the low-lying areas, here in puerto vallarta most people are concerned about. >> woodruff: we hope you and everyone else is able to stay safe. savedavid alire garcia, we thank you. >> thank you. >> woodruff: we'll turn to how this storm got so big, so fast, after the news summary. two dozen states, including west virginia, texas and florida, went to federal court today to block curbs on carbon dioxide emissions. the environmental protection agency's "clean power plan" seeks to curb the power plant
emissions by 32% in 2030, from 2005 levels. the states say the move is illegal overreach and will devastate their economies. for the second time this week, a candidate has dropped out of the contest for the democratic presidential nomination. lincoln chafee, former rhode island senator and governor, and one-time republican, had struggled to raise money and make any impression in the polls. chafee made his announcement today during a speech to a democratic women's event in washington. >> i pledge all my energy towards a big 2016 victory for democrats across the country. but after much thought, i've decided to end my campaign for the president today. thank you. >> woodruff: former virginia senator jim webb dropped out of the democratic race a couple of days ago. on the republican side, there was word that jeb bush is imposing across-the-board salary cuts for his staff, and is downsizing his campaign headquarters in miami. news accounts cited an internal
memo on the money-saving moves. suicide bombers killed and wounded scores of muslims today in nigeria and pakistan. at least 42 people died in nigeria, in attacks on mosques in two cities. more than a hundred others were wounded. and in southern pakistan, a suicide bomber killed at least 18 people in a religious procession on a shi-ite. the balkan nations of serbia and croatia agreed today to move more refugees by train, and get them out of the rain and cold. last night, at least 5,000 people spent the night in near- freezing weather near one border crossing. the croatian interior minister called it "torture." meanwhile, greece reported a record 48,000 people crossed this week from turkey. prime minister alexis tsipras said it has to stop. >> ( translated ): only if we
are able to transfer the front line from the greek islands to the turkish shores, and start the process of resettling refugees from the turkish shores towards europe, and not from the greek islands to other european countries, can we then hope to face and diminish these huge refugee influxes that are impossible to cope with today. >> woodruff: the government of turkey, in turn, warned that a new wave of refugees is coming, as thousands more syrians flee military offensive backed by russian air strikes. police in sweden now say a masked man who attacked a school with a sword and knife yesterday, was racially motivated. he killed two people and wounded two in trollhattan, a town with a large immigrant population. all of the victims were dark- skinned. today, mourners paid their respects at a makeshift memorial, while the local police chief reported on the investigation. >> we have discovered a letter in his apartment and it has some notes in it that tells us that
he has planned the act and he also planned it out of a hate crime perspective. he's also told us by that letter that he considers that this will be his final act. >> woodruff: the attack came as the government announced sweden may take 190,000 refugees this year alone. but today, the government agreed to restrict the country's liberal immigration policies. france has suffered its deadliest auto accident in more than 30 years. 43 people were killed today in a collision between a tour bus and a truck. it happened on a narrow road near a town that's about three miles east of bordeaux. simon israel of independent television news filed this report. >> reporter: a group of pensioners all from the same village were on their way to savor the delights of traditional french cuisine. their coach collided head on
with a lorry carrying wood. there was, in the words of a fire chief, "a gigantic blaze." 41 on the coach were killed, but eight survived because the driver opened the doors seconds before the crash. french television has broadcast a reconstruction of one possible version of events where the coach came around a blind corner just before the crash. traumatized families gathered in the town of puisseguin to wait for news. identification will clearly take some time. >> i'm hoping yes, but i don't know anything. i don't know. i'm waiting. >> reporter: the french prime minister was among the various government officials to visit the scene today to express what he described as a nation's emotion for an appalling catastrophe. >> reporter: among the dead is also believed to be the lorry
drier and his young son. who was by his side. >> woodruff: a local lawmaker said the wreck happened on a dangerous curve. the president of france promised an investigation. back in this country, an american soldier killed in a hostage rescue in iraq was praised today as a hero who sacrificed himself. army master sergeant joshua wheeler helped free some 70 captives held by islamic state forces. defense secretary ash carter said wheeler sacrificed himself by joining a fire-fight to aid kurdish soldiers he was advising. former i.r.s. official lois lerner will not face criminal charges for allegedly targeting tea party groups. the justice department ended a two-year probe today, and said it found no evidence that anyone at the i.r.s. acted out of political motives. lerner once headed the unit that handles applications for tax-exempt status. and on wall street today, a rally in tech stocks helped push the broader market higher.
the dow jones industrial average gained 157 points to close at 17,646. the nasdaq rose nearly 112 points. and the s&p 500 rose 22. still to come on the newshour: what's next for the strongest hurricane on record in the western hemisphere; world leaders seek a solution in syria; new wind turbines could be a life-saver for golden eagles; and much more. >> woodruff: hurricane patricia has been described as potentially one of the most dangerous storms to ever hit the western hemisphere. meterologists are expecting winds of 200 miles an hour. william brangham has more on the storm itself and what fueled it. he recorded this interview a short time ago as the eye of the
storm was approaching mexico. >> brangham: henson is a meteorologist for weather underground, a show that has a weather show on the weather channel. bob henson, seems like meteorologists like yourself have run out of terms to describe the intensity of the storm. yesterday was a category 1. we wake up h this morning, it's a category 5. how did this storm get so big so fast? >> it's a true outlier. you know, there is only a very, very few hurricanes or typhoons in world history that we know about that have intensified so quickly. they've really only been observing these systems n depths for the last several decades, so we can't say how strong they were in the 1900s or 1800s. in satelliting, for a tropical storm to go to a cat 5 in 25, 30 hours, those numbers only happen
irarely. because it was over extremely warm water, it went to some depth and the winds didn't stir colder water to weaken it. upper winds were weak, intensifying it rapidly. all the ingredients came together in just the right way hich, surprisingly, doesn't happen all that often. >> brangham: you mentioned calling this a category 5 is almost an insufficient description of the storm. can you explain? >> yes, the saffir-simpson scale was developed several decades about ago and it breaks hurricanes into categories 1 through 5. category 5 starts at 156 miles an hour, but has no ceiling. it's 156 and up. this storm had peak winds of 200, so it was 45 miles an hour above the category 5 threshold. you might say if we had a cath 6
and 7, it would fall in the cath 77 cat 7 range. close to that. once you get to cat 5, it pretty much at the industries everything except a well-constructed building, so there is not much operational significance to it. >> brangham: at that level of intensity, is that what we're expecting will cause incredible damage on the coast of mexico? >> fortunately, it has weakened a little bit. if it approached land, it's still a for powerful hurricane, still a category 5, within the most recent observation in the last couple of hours, the storm surge will be significant over a relatively small area. it's not a gigantic hurricane but there will be an area of a few miles where i expect very severe destruction and, moreover, when it runs into steep mountains and hillsides inland, it will be dumping gigantic amounts of rain along
the way, so mudslides and floods will be a real issue. >> brangham: my understanding is the storm is likely to continue on breaking up but then heading into southern texas. what are you forecasting for texas to be looking at? >> still pretty stout winds. there will be high water along the texas coast. there may be a lot of rain. could be 6 to 12 inches of rain in places like houston. there is an ongoing heavy rain event in texas because of a separate storm, so very large local rainfall amounts. texas is notorious for october systems that bring in tropical moisture and hurricanes from the pacific. so it's something to watch as well. >> brangham: bob henson from weather underground. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> woodruff: secretary of state john kerry met in vienna today with his counter parts from russia, turkey and saudi arabia
in a renewed quest to find a political settlement for the war in syria. he spoke to reporters afterwards. >> today we came here aware of all of the pitfalls, aware of all of the hurdles. every foreign minister here has been wrestling with this issue for a period of time. but we came here with a commitment to try to find new ideas for how to break the impasse and end the conflict. >> woodruff: this came after an agreement monday between the u.s. and russian militaries on how to avoid accidental mid-air collisions as both countries bomb syria. and also that day, syrian president assad met with president putin in moscow. it was the first time assad has left syria since the war began in 2011. for more on the state of play between the u.s. and russia over syria, we turn to newshour chief foreign affairs correspondent margaret warner.
margaret, thank you. so we know that the u.s., russia and these other countries have been trying for two years, at least, to talk about to find a political settlement. no results. today any different? >> it's very hard to tell, judy. the one thing that indicates there maybe progress is they ree they will meet again attend of next week. when secretary kerry said, well, people thought of a lot of new ideas, publicly, we heard the same mantra. it should be democratic, secular, diverse. but no resolution of this huge hump over assad's future and, you know, turkey and saudi wa him gone now. russia is a frayed of the chaos that could result if he should fall precipitously and want him to say. it was clear that the u.s. is going to consider a transition in which assad may remain for a while. >> woodruff: what effect is
russia's military intervention in syria which the u.s. has not been happy with, what's been happening in those talks? >> secretary kerry has been telling aids this could be an action-forcing event even though you said the u.s. is serious about this because it strengthens assad. but the fact is it's given russia a different seat at the table in terms of figuring out syria's future. one it means russia has now a real interest in getting this resolved. it's going to be bombing forever and be in a military quagmire, otherwise. it's also forced the united states to up its game, more weapons to the rebels, revived the discussion internally to establish a "no fly" zone. so there is a feeling that, to a great extent, of course, the u.s. doesn't trust what putin's up to, but that something may happen as a result. >
>> woodruff: what about the meeting that happened this week in moscow where assad flew to moscow to meet with putin. what's known about that? >> from the russian sources i have, secondhand, is, one, it was very chilly. as one said to me, no one likes assad. two, poonlt was very firm about coordinating russian air power with syrian ground troops. he made it clear russia wasn't sending in ground troops but wanted to make sure the target was good so the russians didn't kill a mass of civilians. they did discuss the transition, but i'm told they talked about the diverse and, of course, putin did not pull the trigger and say, you know, mr. president assad, that will mean you have to go. so one person said to me, i feel they feel talking past each other. > >> woodruff: so, margaret, if putin wants some improved relationship with the u.s. and wants to work something out, what are the prospects of that
happening? >> the administration believes they're not great. he can change the targeting from 85 to 90% moderate rebels instead of i.s.i.s. and, two, really use his enhanced leverage with assad because he's got assad's back, to really push assad to recognize that ultimately there will be a process in which he goes. why would we do that? one because he's eager to end the isolation and sanctions and, two, as i referred to earlier, he has to fear being sucked into military quick sand in syria if it just goes on and on and there's no political solution. >> woodruff: margaret warner, great reporting. thank you. >> thanks, judy. >> woodruff: stay with us. coming up on the newshour: benghazi; presidential politics; and paul ryan. we discuss it all with mark shields and david brooks.
and who's in charge of american schools? journalist dale rusokoff investigates in her new book. but first, we turn to the topic of wind power. it's the country's fastest growing energy source, expected to triple by 2040. but wind turbines can also pose a threat to wildlife. thousands of birds are killed each year when they run into turbines or are hit by their blades. now, scientists at one of the nation's oldest wind farms have developed a strategy to help save protected species. our colleagues at public tv station kqed in san francisco bring you this story produced by gabriela quiroós and narrated by scott shafer. >> reporter: the altamont pass, east of san francisco, is home to hundreds of bird species. they hunt and play in the midst of 3,000 wind turbines, which can be deadly, especially to golden eagles.
>> eagle, eagle, eagle. below the horizon. >> reporter: biologists doug bell, shawn smallwood and joe didonato study golden eagles. >> we've got some good wind going today, so this might be a good day for seeing a few eagles. the altamont pass wind resource area is within and adjacent to one of the densest nesting populations of golden eagles in the world. >> reporter: golden eagles are protected under federal law. according to county estimates, 35 golden eagles were killed by the altamont's turbines in 2013. >> their population is going down the drain. the altamont is killing more eagles than the local population can reproduce. >> the primary injury on this bird is the left wing. the carpal bone is shattered. >> reporter: today, krysta rogers of the california department of fish and wildlife examines a golden eagle that was found injured on an altamont pass wind farm.
the bird had to be euthanized. >> we describe this as blunt force trauma, which is consistent with a wind turbine strike, given the location where the bird was found. >> the transmitter is going to stay on here about three years. >> reporter: the dead golden eagle was one of 18 that researchers had been tracking. though four of them have died after hitting turbines, scientists were still able to recover valuable data. >> one of the more valuable things that we've learned from our transmitters that we placed on eagles is that they use the altamont a lot. they go in and out throughout the course of the year. they'll spend weeks at a time there. >> reporter: for more than a decade, environmental groups have been trying to get wind companies to protect birds in this area, says the audubon society's michael lynes. >> the altamont was sort of seen as a black eye for renewable energy, because anytime someone was proposing a new wind farm, it would raise the specter of the altamont pass. >> reporter: after chapters of the audubon society and other environmental groups sued to get
birds protected, wind companies agreed to take down old wind turbines. >> we wanted to move towards getting the old turbines out of the altamont pass because, in a process called repowering, up to 30 old turbines can be replaced with one single new turbine, which then results usually in significantly less bird mortality. >> reporter: at this wind farm, 300 turbines are coming down and being replaced by only ten new ones, which together will produce double the amount of electricity-- enough to power 12,000 homes for a year. >> it's time to pull the old machines down and put new ones up. >> reporter: rick miller, of e.d.f. renewable energy, which owns the wind farm, says the repowering process will cost $35 million and is facilitated by federal tax credits for wind energy. >> the turbines are becoming much larger, much larger rotor diameters and much taller towers. so we've really been able to reduce the number of turbines required to produce a tremendous
amount of energy from the same site. >> reporter: and that means there are fewer turbines for birds to hit. companies can also place the turbines more strategically. >> three-hundred meters above ground. >> reporter: ecologist shawn smallwood advises companies on where to put their turbines to minimize bird deaths. >> this is where the old turbines were, and this is also where the burrowing owls nest. and so the fatality rate was pretty high. >> reporter: this wind farm was one of the first to get new, more efficient turbines. >> when we re-powered, we put the new turbines up on the top of the hill, where the burrowing owls are not. so our burrowing owl fatality rate dropped to zero, in three years of monitoring, and that's why. >> reporter: smallwood says that when wind energy companies first installed over 7,000 turbines in the altamont pass in the 1980s they gave little consideration to bird safety. >> those are the most dangerous turbines in the altamont pass on record. there's one 120 kilowatt turbine down there, now removed, but it's on record as having killed one eagle per year for ten years.
the reason is because there's a lot of eagle traffic through the lowest spots of the altamont pass. >> reporter: birds fly lower in some areas to avoid wind resistance and to hunt for prey. but with their keen eyesight focused on the ground, eagles might not see a wind turbine blade until it's too late. >> social interactions are very important. so eagle responding to other eagles, chasing each other around or chasing some other birds, these are dangerous social interactions that lead up to what we call events, near-misses. >> reporter: the federal government is increasing enforcement of laws aimed at protecting golden eagles, including bringing criminal charges against two companies whose turbines killed golden eagles in wyoming. scott flaherty of the u.s. fish and wildlife service says that was a significant step. >> the prosecution of those two companies certainly sent a message to companies across the country. there is incentive there to come in and work with us. >> reporter: that incentive is a new permitting system that allows companies to kill a
limited number of eagles each year. even the audubon society's michael lynes sees permits as a positive step. >> before it was sort of chaos. there was no real regulation, there was no real enforcement. and we know birds were getting killed in large numbers. now, we can actually keep track of that, we can hold people accountable, and we can take steps to remedy the problem. >> reporter: as the u.s. increases its wind power capability, scientists, including shawn smallwood, believe fewer turbines and better placement are key to protecting wildlife. >> we've learned a lot here. so it should be the number one laboratory in the country for learning what not to do wrong with wind development around the rest of the country. >> reporter: for the pbs newshour, i'm scott shafer. >> woodruff: it's been a busy week in the political world.
hillary clinton testified during a marathon benghazi committee hearing; paul ryan says yes to run for speaker of the house; and republican ben carson surpassed donald trump in the polls in iowa. for more we turn to the analysis of shields and brooks. that's syndicated columnist mark shields and "new york times" columnist david brooks. welcome, gentlemen. so, benghazi hearings, david, it was eight or nine hours of testimony. what if we learned? what was accomplished at this hearing? >> nothing was learned. we learned the republicans can't stump hillary clinton. she was composed, gave a lot of the same testimony she's given before, this thing has been going on forever, and so nothing happened really. that's good news for her. her composure was excellent. it was a big nothing breaker. why the republicans remain
obsessed with this at a time when the nation of iraq cease to exist, syria cease to exists, if you want to attack hillary clinton, there is a certain psychosis that goes through people's minds, especially with clinton scandals, where something smells and they think there must be something big and they imagine there will be a big revelation that will destroy their careers, but since 1991, that never happened, and the critics always overshot the mark and ended up helping the candidate. >> woodruff: they have survived some challenges in the past, the clintons, but, mark, nothing burger, is that what it adds up to? >> i'd feel better if it were just the clintons for the republicans. for the last seven or eight years the obama administration has been an obsession, not just to prove not only that the
administration is not effective but is somehow criminal. that's what was driving this benghazi hearing, that somehow there was an evil plot or scheme or diabolical, whatever. the emphasis on sid blum enthal, a long-time friend, whatever else he is, but hardly somebody of rasputin dimensions they wanted toll vat him to. in doing, so they were forced to go public with this hearing, which they didn't want to do. they looked bad. the republicans looked bad. hillary clinton looked disciplined. she showed remarkable stall navment she showed thorough preparation and she never went for the bait, to get her to do what she had done in the
previous hearing and show exasperation and a temper. she came off it, to use an adjective, presidential. and i think the republicans ought to drop this and move on, but i think it is symptomatic of a party that si is incapable of accepting its governing responsibility. >> woodruff: republicans, are they hurt by this or do they just move on? >> i don't think they're really hurt. i don't take the broad indictment. sometimes a scandal cottage industry gets started and it's fed by people with expertise and talk radio get into the reads and they imagine something big is about to happen, and the scandal cottage industries just go on forever and they think they hurt hillary clinton's poll numbers this way, but if they want to take a real issue, the disarray of the middle east policy is a real issue. benghazi, if you list foreign policy issues of importance, it would be 197.
>> reporter: this is a pretty good week for former secretary of state hillary clinton, not only the general interpretation of the hearings, the fact she doesn't have an opponent that many people thought she could have in vice president joe biden. he said he's not running. where does that leave everything? what did you make of his decision? were you surprised? >> i was surprised because i didn't know. everybody who said they knew who was talking didn't know, and everybody who apparently knew wasn't talking. but i did not know that he was not going to run. i will say this about joe biden -- his absence means the happy warrior will be missing from the democratic battle this year. joe biden has personally, at least, 35% of the world's known reserve of authenticity, and we're looking for the authentic. lindselindsey graham, republicam
south carolina who is himself a presidential candidate and active partisan said of joe biden, if you gotten like joe biden, you -- if you don't like joe biden, you should take a serious look at yourself because there is something wrong with you hurricanes is the nices -- g wrong with you, he is the nicest person i've ever met. so i think it takes a lot of courage to run. it takes a lot more courage to pull out. i will miss him and his presence in this race. >> hillary have gone from the doldrums to tun stoppable behemoth no one can touch. biden could be very much in touch with working class voters, he comes from that background. the other thing, when i was elected senator, i think -- he
was elected to senator when he was 29. he loves politics and talking to people. even getting out of the race means his political career will end with the administration. that's a hard thing for a guy to say because he's been serving all his life and loved the active service. >> woodruff: somebody trying to take a step up in his political career is paul ryan who decided this week he is going to run for speaker of the house. he managed to get enough of not just republicans but very conservative republicans so they they're going to support him and how did he do that? to do what john boehner and kevin mccarthy couldn't do, how did this happen? >> well, i think paul ryan is a very unique figure in the republican house and party. he's been a leader on philosophical and ideological issues. he was the candidate for vice president. he's been a leader within the caucus and respected across all divisions. he laid down conditions that he
would only accept speakership and seek it under certain conditions. interesting, one was family and parental leave, something republicans consistently opposed but paul ryan wants it for himself, admirably, wants to spend time with his children who are in their formative and teen years, would that he would extend this to all parents and i'm sure he will now that he's speaker, about to be speaker. but i think it was an acknowledgment on the part of republicans of just how desperate their straits were that they couldn't continue to flounder around. this is a party, right now, according to "wall street journal," nbc and other polls, that the party members have no respect for the party leaders and republicans think their own party is in terrible shape, whereas democrats either, rightly or wrongly, think that the democratic party is doing fine or okay.
so i just think that this was an knowledgement that they had to turn and swallow some of their differences. >> woodruff: what do you think about him, david, that wasn't acceptable and that wasn't there in boehner and mccarthy? >> they were good at not constructing and they knew they need add leader, there had to be a party leader to end what was going on. so when ryan went to meet with them, he said, if you want me, fine. i'm out of here, i don't need. this but he looked at the ideas of changing the way congress works and didn't concede to any of them but he said give me ideas and we'll discuss it, so he showed a little respect and he softened and they softened because they had no real alternative. it was their softening, his display of respect and because he is the most policy-oriented speak of our lifetimes. he is a policy person, primarily and has worked with democrats,
with patty murray, he's done stuff under entitlement reforms. so i think he may actually help the republican image because, a, he's an attractive guy, a nice, outgoing, friendly guy, but he alsoly cares about actually cares about policies. the tea party was right about boehner, he wasn't aggressive with ideas. democrats were coming out with proposals and ideas and republicans had a black hole. >> woodruff: will that mean they will be able to reach an agreement on the debt ceiling and do something about the highway bill? does this mean things will get down? >> i find it hard to believe they would ruin his early faith by shutting down the government and not doing the debt ceiling. further down the road, i think he'll have the same problems as boehner. >> the party has not consisted of including policy, other than
newt gingrich who was the exception here. i think, judy, part of the concession, he's making a mistake, and i think that the speaker's job description has been the one person who can hold that caucus together, and one of the tools used to do it, and john boehner did it tirelessly and so did nancy blowsy pelosi,d that is to go out and speak to members in districts. paul ryan doesn't want to do that. i don't think you can subcontract that out. you can't say, i can't make it this week, can sam -- >> woodruff: why is that? because it's the speaker. it's a transaction of personal relationship the speaker has with his members. remember, david, i came in when you had the tough primary and i said, and i need you on this one, that's part of being speaker. i think that's an added feature that paul ryan brings to this policy dimension. but there is no guarantee that
the freedom caucus is not going to bring a motion to vacate, which is of course what drove john boehner ultimately, a vote of no confidence, and i think david's right, john boehner will try to clear the decks of as many as he can of these controversy items before he leaves, but it's a big day coming when the government has to be funded and it's probably going to take the caps off discretionary and defense spending and i think that's where we'll see the caucus really rise up. >> woodruff: less than a minute, david. new poll numbers out in iowa that show a surge, at least in the last two months with ben carson, up 10 points over what he was in august. trump is down a little bit, cruz is up. what's going on? >> the evangelicals are coalescing around carson and a lot of women won't vote for
trump. i believe 'neath already get the nomination. history sometimes changes, but rubio did well in that poll, so i'm looking at him as the alternative if we ever get normal. jeb bush, mark announced he's cutting back on staff and headquarters. >> it isn't good. i agree with david about ben carson. he is broadly acceptable to more people in the republican party. a focus group this week of 12 republican voters in indiana and he came through. their admiration and affection for him, his moral leadership, and the doubts and skepticism about trump, and i think this is a problem the republicans have to deal with. experience and holding an office in this year has become a liability among republicans office seekers. >> woodruff: fascinating. mark shields, david brooks, we
thank you as always. >> woodruff: and a reminder, now you can get mark and david delivered to your inbox. find the subscribe link at the top of our homepage to receive our politics newsletter, and be the first to watch shields and brooks every week online. find the link at www.pbs.org/newshour. >> woodruff: it was meant to be a game-changer for public education in newark, new jersey, a plan launched five years ago that might show the entire country how to remake failing urban schools. reporter dale russakoff chronicled what became of those efforts in her new book "the prize: who's in charge of america's schools." william brangham recently spoke with her for our newshour bookshelf.
the money was to be used to help implement many school reform efforts tried out nationwide. paid for best teachers, open more charter schools and close the failing ones. there have been successes. last year 20% of new york's black students were enrolled in "above average schools," up from 12% in 2010, but the gains came at a price. the community remains distrustful of the reforms and the exodus of charter schools has fueled albudget crisis. in her new book, "the prize: who's in charge of america's schools," former "washington post" reporter dale russakoff redays where reformers got it right and where they got it wrong. i talked to her about it. dale russakoff, thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> sreenivasan: in your book you write the trio behind this,
you say their stated goal because not to repair education in newark but to develop a model to save it in all america and to do it in five years. what was their plan? >> i think they wanted first of all to repair education in newark first but saw they could create some kind of a model that could then be scaled up almost like a startup business, with just the way zuckerberg would be comfortable thinking about it at that time. but what they thought they would do is bring in charter schools and dramatically expand the existing footprint of the charter schools and then also turn the school district into their version of a high-performing business, with accountability all through the system for the teachers and the principals and using the student performance as the metric that everyone had to focus on. >> sreenivasan: it has been five years, they stated time frame. how is it going in newark? how are the kids doing?
>> the charter schools in newark, enrollment has doubled and 40% of children in newark go to charter schools and almost 50% of african-american children go to charter schools. there is been a big exodus, particularly in the most high poverty districts which also are the ones that have the highest proportion of african-american kids. those skills have performed a lot better than the district schools so the children in those schools are definitely doing better than they probably would have done in the district schools. in district schools the money follows them and there was a huge crisis, a $16 million gap in the budget, had to close and consolidate schools, thousands of kids changed schools because schools were closing or consolidating, teachers laid off, support staff which is a huge factor in newark because there is so much extreme poverty, violence, family dysfunction, the lack of support staff is a real problem, but there is a lot of factors that are affecting the district schools, but in spite of major
effort, they have not improved and in many cases they've gotten worse. >> one of the things you chronicle so devastatingly in the book is the failure of the reformers to bring the community into the process from the get-go. many people learned of it by watching oprah on television. how much do you think that is a factor in the results they've gotten? >> i don't know how much factor it is in the student achievement results but certainly in the opposition that the community rallied against this effort that it was a factor. you know, people have asked me was it the unions that brought upon reformers all this opposition. i honestly don't think the unions were capable of brig all this opposition. >> just organically. i think they helped fan it but i think the whole effort was done from outside, was done to newark instead of with newark. that's the phrase you hear all the time. the word you hear most often in
newark in response is disrespect, people felt disrespected. i think ordinary parents just ended up flooding riff public meeting, every school board meeting and trying to stop it in its tracks. >> do you think it would have been different if they had actively tried to bring the community along from the beginning, that it would have been different? >> well, you know, i think bringing a community along is a complicated idea. i think, had there been a real effort to find out from the best teachers in the district what do you need to succeed, what does the school need to succeed and have those kinds of ideas been at the heart of trying to improve the schools, i think then it would have been viewed as something that came more awe thennicly from the community and the people. you know, people said from the beginning, and i think it was true, that there was a consensus on the ground that the newark schools needed dramatic change. nobody thought the status quo was acceptable. >> you write this was really a
collection of some of the broader ideas of the reform movement that have been percolating across the country. so does newark say something about the broader national reform movement? >> i think the education reform movement is largely a movement of, you know, well-off people, well-educated people who are very, very concerned about the status of the schools, but -- and the status of public education nationally. i think that there are also people throughout the poorest communities that are also very concerned about education, and i think the challenge the education reform movement seems concerned with now is making sure all of those voices in the community, the affected communities are part of the answer as opposed to just being told what the answer is. >> brangham: obviously, now, five years on, cory booker is in the senate, chris christie is
trying to become president, but mark zuckerberg is still at this and doing it in a slightly different way, and it seems as if he learned something from newark or decided to change tack. can you tell me a little bit about what he's doing in california? >> yes, he said from the outset that -- you know, he was 26 when this started and he wanted to do something to better newark and he was open about how little he knew about philanthropy and education. signing he was serious about this and the way he's approaching the latest gift, he gave $120 million that's going to be used in bay area, very underserved communities for school improvement, and instead of, you know, looking for a model that can be imposed on the school districts, he's had the staff of his philanthropy spend a lot of time in the communities to try to make sure that what the community wants is what they're -- what they're doing is what the community wants. >> brangham: the book is
called "the prize: who's in charge of america's schools." dale russakoff, thank you so much for being here. >> thank you very much for having me. >> woodruff: on the newshour online: not everyone who marries a u.s. citizen gets u.s. citizenship-- there are exceptions to that rule. on this week's podcast "shortwave" we explore how those exceptions have affected one family, who have been barred for years from returning to the united states. we have a link to listen, on our home page at pbs.org/newshour. and a reminder about some upcoming programs from our pbs colleagues. gwen ifill is preparing for "washington week" which airs later this evening. here's a preview: >> ifill: how hillary clinton and paul ryan won the week; joe biden's unsurprising exit; while on the republican side, jeb bush struggles, while ben carson and donald trump lead the
field. we examine why this was the week that was, tonight on "washington week." judy? >> woodruff: on pbs newshour weekend tomorrow, a personal story of fleeing domestic violence in honduras, one of the world's most dangerous places for women. >> reporter: lilian says her boyfriend became increasingly dangerous after he got involved with a mexican drug cartel called "los zetas." >> ( translated ): he'd threaten me if i spoke to the police or made charges against him. he threatened to set fire to the house. >> reporter: last year, an uncle in texas offered to pay smugglers $4,000 to help lilian flee to the united states without a visa, a risky trip that thousands of other women opted to undertake as well. lilian met smugglers in guatemala and began the week- long trek through mexico. >> ( translated ): sometimes it's 24 hours in a bus or walking. there are times that you're locked up alone in a place without food.
>> woodruff: that's tomorrow on pbs newshour weekend. >> woodruff: and again, to our honor roll of american service personnel killed in iraq and the afghanistan conflict. we add them as their deaths are made official and photographs become available. here, in silence, is one more. that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. have a great weekend. thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> bnsf.
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>> this is "bbc world news america." >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, newman's own foundation, giving all profits from newman's own to charity and pursuing the common good, kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs, and sony pictures classics, now presenting "truth." >> ladies and gentlemen, dan rather. >> what is our next move? >> i might have something for the election. >> the president may have gone awol. >> he never even showed up. >> parts of his file were being tossed into the wastebasket. >> do you have these documents? >> tonight, we have w