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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  November 3, 2011 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> brown: the crisis in greece overshadowed the meeting of world leaders in the south of france today. the greek prime minister called off a referendum on the european bailout. but fears persisted that the loan deal could unravel. good evening, i'm jeffrey brown. >> warner: and i'm margaret warner. on the "newshour" tonight, we get the latest from m hehe a a the g gererent teeterededwawaing a a ototof confidence t tmomooww and from the economic summit in cannes. >> brown: then, we examine the rise and concentration of poverty in america, including its increasing impact in suburban life. >> warner: judy woodruff reports on the growing generational divide among voters, one year before the presidential election.
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>> there are huge value differences between the youngest and oldest voters in the country, that almost seem baked in >> brown: gwen ifill talks with condoleezza rice about her new memoir on her time as secretary of state, including what she calls a creepy video made for her by former libyan leader moammar qaddafi. >> it was actually just scene after scene of me where vladimir putin or jintao but then set to this song black flower in the white house that he had written by libya's best composer, he said. >> warner: and we have another in our "economist film project" series. this one about the legal battle waged by an abused woman convicted and imprisoned in the murder of her boyfriend. >> brown: that's all ahead on tonight's "newshour." major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> computing surrounds us. sometimes it's obvious and sometimes it's very surprising where you find it. soon, computing intelligence in unexpected places will change
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>> brown: it was a long day of political turmoil in greece with broader implications for europe and the world. under heavy pressure, prime minister george papandreou scrapped plans to have his citizens vote on a new european bailout. he also managed to stay in power, at least for one more day. we have two reports from "independent television news," beginning with james mates, in athens. >> reporter: the changing of the guard outside 9 presidential palace in athens goes on whatever political crisis is raging in the capitol but there was to be no ceremonial handover inside today. for several hours the press had waited for greece's prime minister to come here to resign. tonight he is still clinging on. but the referendum plan that put europe into such turmoil is now dead from early morning his mps, even cabinet ministers who filed into a hastily arranged
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meeting had been telling the prime minister to back down. suddenly greece's membership of the euro, even of the eu itself seem to be at risk and that had put the whole establishment here into head long retreat. prime minister papandreou told his ministers the referendum threat had been a gambit to force the opposition into supporting the painful bailout plan. whether that's true or not, it has had that effect. suddenly an austerity package looks certain to pass. when the greeks adopted the euro almost ten years ago they were so determined to dispatch the drachma to history that they actually put up a memorial in its history. so when france and germany suggested they might have to go back to this, well, they feared nervously over the edge a bit and quickly withdrew. as for the greek people who for 48 hours looked likely to be asked their opinion, there was little joy to be found on the streets today. >> it sucks, what else i can
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say. it is a-- for greece t this situation. >> and it's all based for local advantage among the different political parties, and nobody, nobody's looking really at the interests of the eurozone nor really at the interests of the long-term interests of the country. >> reporter: prime minister papandreou addressed his parliamentary tonight making it clear he's not going anywhere, and hoping to bring the opposition fully on board with what europe's demanding. >> we would never raise euro membership as a referendum question. we believe that's evident. but if we don't meet our obligations, euro membership is at stake. >> reporter: outside the protestors were beginning to gather once again in athens central square. they have been pretty quiet these last few days but on another round of government spending cuts are certain to see them back in court.
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>> warner: papandreou will need the support of opposition conservatives to survive a no-confidence vote tomorrow. but they walked out of parliament today, demanding the prime minister resign and call quick elections. the greek drama was closely watched at the g-20 summit in france. gary gibbon reports from cannes. >> the eurozone leaders who are here at the g-20 gathered to talk about what they must do now to convince the world's markets that some of their biggest economies can't go bust. last night chancellor merkel and president sarkozy sent the greek prime minister packing, back to athens . they told him his country could soon be bankrupt and friendless, evicted from the euro and the eu. by phone, they told his opposition party the same. >> i don't want to give any idea that we're trying to get involved in greek domestic politics. but if we're talking about defending the eurozone, the euro and europe, then that's our obligation, our duty.
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>> reporter: was he pondering the lost dream of a summit that was supposed to be a showcase for france? a moment when the world's 120 strongest countries shaped a new, better world economy. instead today the eurozone crisis smoth erred everything. leaders checked their black berries throughout the meeting for the latest news from greece. >> i think the obvious resignation is ready. >> reporter: actually, he hadn't. many leaders including david cameron called the imf to boost its bailout strength. insisted that it wasn't an admission that the european bailout fund wouldn't be up to the job. but if they can agree, billions more available from the imf by tomorrow to bail out debt-ridden countries, everyone knows who's on their mind. >> when the world is in crisis it's right that you consider boosting the imf, the international monetary fund, an organization founded by britain in which
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we're a leading player. and no government ever lost money by lending money to the imf that supports countries right around the world. but what we wouldn't support is the imf investing directly in some euro bailout fund that wouldn't be right and we won't back it. >> reporter: they hoped that when their meeting finishes tomorrow, they will be able to announce a new figure for the imf lend pog we are, a number with a lot of zeroes attached. a giant anti-anxiety pill, they hope, for the market. >> warner: for more, we turn to steven erlanger, paris bureau chief of the "new york times." he's been following the eurozone crisis closely and is in cannes for the g-20 summit. and steve, welcome back. this was an incredibly dramatic day. give us a feel for what it was like, at this summit. i mean how high was the tension level as they waited for the greek drama to play out and what's the mood now? >> well, everyone was paying attention to greece. i mean everyone else didn't
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seem to matter. it was greece or italy. everyone had their eye on the tv screen, on their i phones or their blackberries. i mean it's like the g-20 didn't happen. you had all these leaders here, and none of them were of any interest even to each other, i think, until they found out what was going on in greece. it was a very dramatic day because for many people it, the fate of the euro and for some people the fate of the european union hung on what the greeks decided. >> tell us more if you can speaking of that about last night's show down meeting with papandreou, sarkozy and merkel what were they demanding? i mean were they basically saying you either abandon this referendum or you're going to be cut off or was it softer than that? >> no, it was even harder than that, i think. they were very angry. and this is the sort of thing that doesn't often happen among leaders. i mean it was a very heated conversation. i'm told people were not shouting but the arguments
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were very direct and both under merck el and sarkozy berated papandreou for putting the whole project at risk, for not consulting his allies and friends, for turning his back within days on an agreement that all 17 countries of the eurozone had hammered out with such difficulty all night long, till 4:30 in the morning in brussels. they were very, very angry. and they said look, you know, greece has to decide. we won't mettle in greece internal affairs but we want clarity, this uncertainty is destroying our interest rates. it's making the world unhappy. and greece has to decide, if you are going to have a referendum we want it fast. you get no more money until you clear up this uncertainty. greece has to decide does it want to stay in the european union or does it not. and that's the only question that matters. and if you do, you have to live up to your agreement. because a very firm conversation. and it raised the stakes in
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way i haven't heard it raised in quite a long time, i have to say. >> warner: so what are they trying to cook up now today with the imf, in terms of what the imf would also do? >> well, the imf is an integral part of this eurozone rescue plan which seems to be, i think, back on track. the biggest hold on it is this big bailout fund and who is going to invest in it and how is it going to protect italy which after all has nearly 2 trillion your owes worth of debt, greece has only $350 billion, and after the bank cut 250 billion. so the imf, you know, after all it's being run by a former french finance minister. it wants to play a bigger role in europe but the americans don't really want to go back to congress and ask for money more more money for the imf which is designed to help poor countries, more than rich ones. so they've decided to let the imf grow through voluntary contributions from
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countries because other big countries like china, russia would much rather invest in europe or help europe through the agency of the imf than directly through some other funds. so i think that's what is really going on. the french want a more flexible imf, a larger imf, an imf with a little less conditionality, able to more quickly come to the rescue of suddenly troubled countries but the europeans also need an agency through which to build up this rescue fund. and the imf seems to be the agency of choice. >> warner: now the american economy is being hugely effected or whip sawed, or certainly the markets are here by the eurozone crisis. what is president obama's role at this summit? there were pieces here that he is sort of a bystander or on the sidelines or is he engaged, or involved? >> look, he's engaged but he's not the center of attention. which is very different for an american president. it's like being, you know, a
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very good role actor in a much-- in somebody else's great big drama. i mean the greeks are having trouble. the gods are angry with the greeks. the your pones are in a mess. obama is trying to be supportive but he's also saying listen, you guys have got to get this out. because frankly my economy and my re-election are just as dependent on what's going on as anybody else. so mr. sarkozy you have an election coming. you want things to work. mr. obama says fine, we're there to help. but get your house in in order. the global economy needs stability. >> warner: and of course this wasn't what they had planned all these leaders for this g-20 summit. has the larger agenda about boosting global growth, has that just been completely overrun here? >> well, it's been overshad owed. they are certainly talking about it. the g-20 is an odd instrument. i mean it's almost too big to make any decisions. there's really no structure.
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it's a great place to talk about things but it doesn't have a mechanism for all these different countries and agencies to come to decision. so it's always a bit of a talking shop. and i think perhaps we expect a little too much of it. the advantage is it gets countries very different kind all over the world that matter. and makes them players in the world economy. but i think to look at it as a decision-making body is probably wrong. but you know, frankly, sarkozy wanted it as the great crowning achievement of his year-long presidency of g-20. he wanted it as a string board for his re-election campaign. it's a little bit been spoiled by mr. papandreou's gambit, i'm afraid. >> woodruff: . >> warner: well, steven erlanger of "the new york times", thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you. >> brown: still to come on the "newshour": a new portrait of poverty in america; the widening gap between young and old voters; a memoir from
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condoleezza rice and a film about one woman's quest for justice. but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: stocks around the world rose after greece scrapped plans for a bailout referendum. a surprise interest rate cut by the the european central bank also helped. and so did the news that first- time claims for unemployment benefits in the u.s. fell below 400,000 last week. the dow jones industrial average gained more than 208 points to close at 12,044. the nasdaq rose nearly 58 points to close just under 2,698. senate republicans have blocked another piece of the president's jobs plan. the vote today was on $60 billion to build and repair roads, bridges and rail lines. democrats said it would create thousands of construction jobs. republicans opposed paying for it with a tax surcharge on incomes over $1 million. they said it would hit small business owners. city crews in oakland, california cleaned up today, after a night of clashes between protesters and police. and organizers of the occupy oakland movement disavowed the
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rioters. "newshour" correspondent spencer michels has our report. >> reporter: the trouble erupted last night when bands of demonstrators threw fire bombs and concrete chunks, occupied a building and lit bonfires in the street in downtown oakland. police in riot gear moved in, firing tear gas and arresting dozens of people. today, protest leaders blamed groups of youths who, they said, do not represent the larger movement. they said the violence would only fuel criticism of their cause. in fact, the rioting marred what had been, up until then, a peaceful day of protests with thousands of people marching, without incident. >> today was amazing, beautiful. you know after the trauma a couple of weeks ago, where the police just took a military style operation. >> reporter: the protests and general strike also stalled maritime activity as thousands of demonstrators swarmed the port of oakland climbing trucks
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and scaling a metal structure in the port's rail yard. organizers said it was an attempt to stop the flow of capital. the port stopped functioning, and some truck drivers trying to use the port had mixed feelings. >> just trying to get into the you know, i don't know a whole lot about it; i'm just trying to make a living; i'm supporting whatever they're doing, i guess, because they're for america, they're for the working people. >> reporter: meanwhile, a new rally took place in washington d.c. today. protesters gathered outside the treasury department and urged secretary timothy geithner to support international efforts for a tax big banks to aid poor nations. and in new york, 78 occupy wall street protesters who were arrested in september had their first court appearance in manhattan. meanwhile, in oakland, demonstrators vowed to continue their occupation, though they gave no indication of how long they'll be there.
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>> sreenivasan: cyber-attacks by china and russia have stolen huge amounts of u.s. high-tech research data to fuel economic growth. the associated press reported that finding today by u.s. intelligence agencies. the study warned the cyber- attacks now pose a persistent threat to u.s. economic security. u.s. officials have complained for years about cyber-attacks by china. the new findings mark some of the sharpest, most direct criticism yet. in syria, activists reported tanks fired on demonstrators today, killing at least 12. it happened in the city of homs, one day after the government accepted an arab league plan to end the bloodshed. the plan calls for the regime to withdraw its tanks from cities; stop all of the violence against protesters and set political prisoners free. cubans will soon be able to buy and sell their own property legally. it is the first time that has been allowed since fidel castro came to power in 1959. with today's announcement, makeshift signs on cardboard and cloth banners began popping up across havana.
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the new law officially takes effect on november 10. cuban citizens living in cuba and permanent residents from other countries will be allowed to own one home in the city and another in the country. cuban exiles are barred from taking part. the level of greenhouses gases emitted in 2010 jumped by the biggest amount on record, up 6% from the year before. a new report by the u.s. department of energy, found emissions were worse than the worst-case scenarios outlined just four years ago. pollution from the united states and china accounted for more than half the increases, and greater manufacturing around the world and travel also were contributors. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to jeff. >> brown: it's a stark portrait of america. its haves and especially its have-nots. new census data out today showed one in 15 americans now lives in extreme poverty-- the poorest of the poor defined as earning less than 50% of the official poverty line. in 2010, that meant an income of around $5,500 for an individual
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and just over $11,000 for a family of four. there was also a new analysis of poverty in the last decade today from the brookings institution. among its findings, a rise in the concentration of poverty, particularly in the midwest and sunbelt and increasingly in the suburbs. and a jump in the population living in extremely poor neighborhoods, where at least 40% of individuals live below the poverty line. elizabeth kneebone of the brookings institution joins us now. first start by explaining this idea of concentration, of poverty in neighborhoods. what does that mean and what did you find? >> so in this study we first start by looking at the number of neighborhoods where 40% or more of the residents live below the federal poverty line. and those neighbored wes consider in extreme poverty from there we look at within a region how many of the poor population live within these very poor neighborhoods. that's the concentration of
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poverty we're talking about. >> an you're seeing that rise. >> that's right, after we saw some gains in these numbers it in the 90s, targeted policiesnd a booming economy, that helped bring down the number of these neighborhoods and helped people move out of these types of neighborhoods, the rough economy of the 2000 has seen these numbers on the rise again. >> so you are seeing the rise of these neighborhoods and then you're also seeing concentration in particular. where is it happening around the country? >> well, we've seen it in all kinds of communities. in cies and suburbs, even in rural areas and smaller metropolitan areas. but in particular they the largest increases have been in a lot of midwestern regions and rust belt areas in the northeast and midwest, that had a real focus on auto manufacturing and had been hurting since the first downturn of the decade. and didn't necessarily recover from those job losses and that downturn before we were hit with the great recession. >> now focus a little bit on the increase in the suburbs, something you came out with in the last-- that was a couple weeks ago in looking
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at census data. but bring us up to date there. a lot of poverty is now moving into the suburbs. >> right, generally what we have seen with poverty trends overall is that the poor population grew twice as fast in the suburbs over the 2000 than in the cities. 53% in suburban areas and as we have seen that growth, we have also seen increased concentration of the poor. these neighborhoods aren't just isolated in you are been-- urban communities any more, we are cease -- seeing them increasingly in suburban areas. >> so this other data of the poorest of the poor, where does that fit in. >> i think in keeping with these trends are more generally, the last decade, typical house hold incomes fell, we are seeing more people touched by poverty. more people in extreme poverty. and more people in very poor areas. >> brown: now when you look at the causes here, you are talking about what's happened in recent years but if i am understanding right,
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you are saying a lot of these trends were already taking place earlier in the decade. >> right this was already unfolding in the early 2,000. again we ended the 90s in this booming economy but almost immediately in starting the next decade the economy turned down. and places that had been listed with that strong economy were now on the front lines of some of these increased concentrations of poverty is so that's where we see places in the mid west who have been struggling all decade but more recently joined by what we project are increases in sunbelt places that were more recently hit with the collapse of the housing market and onset of the great recession. >> so things like housing, clearly, things that we cover all the time on the program are having that kind of impact. >> right, these regions that are still hurting from the fallout of the great recession with the collapse of the housing market and also the construction jobs and related industries around that. they are still struggling now, rising poverty and growing concentration. >> so give us just to make it more concrete when you look around the country is there an example or two that
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fleshes this out a bit? of a particular city? >> sure, if you take for instance someplace like chicago or detroit, areas that really benefitted in the '90s with a decline in concentrated poverty, these places also saw a proliferation of these higher poverty neighborhoods once we saw the economy turn down over the decade and more recently. so they are seeing increased pockets of poverty, not just in the city centers but also increasingly in suburban communities that may not necessarily have the resources to deal with these kinds of challenges. >> brown: and one of the most important issues clearly is that when you have concentrated poverty, it locks people in, in a sense? you reach a point where they are so concentrated that they sense they are surrounded by it and can't find anyway out. >> that's right. there is a reason we want to track not just the poverty trends overall but where the poverty trend might be clustering or concentrating. that's because very poor neighborhoods often have a whole host of challenges that come along with them.
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like poorer performing schools, poorer health outcomes for their residents. often higher crime rates and fewer job opportunities or economic opportunities. and those things taken together can make it that much harder for a poor person to connect to the sort of opportunities that can help them work their way out of poverty. >> brown: but is that how the thesis works, that there is sort of-- normally we think that there is a way out, but there is a tipping point you say of concentration where it makes it all the much harder. >> where in these neighborhoods it's really a double burden. it's not just an individual or family struggling with their own poverty and making those tough day-to-day decision on how to get by but also struggling with all these challenges that come with being in a very poor neighborhood. >> and all of this clearly has deep implications for local governments. >> right. i mean there is something that local governments and regional governments can do to help ameliorate these trends in terms of thinking about rather than concentrating and clustering these difficulties, dealing with the additional costs that come with those, they can do things like zone for affordable housing and mixed
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income areas. not just reinvesting in these neighborhoods to create opportunities but opening up opportunities elsewhere in the region where there might be better jobs and better schools. >> but just to pile on. all this happens as they have less money coming in, right. and as there is more poverty they have less tax resources coming in. >> right. and that makes it all the more important not to cluster these issues together in an isolated, economically segregated neighborhood where you are going to see higher crime rates, worse health outcomes, lower performing schools. the more we can integrate these neighborhoods through things like zoning, by making sure transportation policy is connecting people to areas of opportunity where the jobs are, the bet their is for the region and also for the families that are dealing with these challenges. >> brown: all right, elizabeth kneebone of the brookings institution, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> warner: now to politics. with the presidential election a year away, the pew research center has taken a look at the state of the american
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electorate, and its divisions along age lines. it is the most pronounced generation gap in decades. judy woodruff reports. >> woodruff: for the past few national elections younger people have voted notably more democratic than other age groups. while older voters have leaned reliably more republican. pews president andy kohut says this generational divide promises to be even more dram thick time around. >> there are huge value differences between the youngest and oldest voters in the country, that almost seem baked in. >> woodruff: so the called millennial generation, voters 18 to 30 still like president obama more than any other age group. but just half say they approve of the job he is doing. down 24 points from when he took office. >> the millennials gave obama his biggest margin over 20 percentage points.
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and the margin now is lower but more importantly than the actual margin, the level of engagement is much lower than it was four years ago. >> woodruff: this should worry democrats like strategist maria carkona who says young people are vital to president obama's re-election. >> millennials are going to have a tremendous influence in this election. you are going to see president obama and democrats and the white house continue to speak specifically to them about the issues that they care most. >> woodruff: indeed, the obama re-election campaign is rolling out a new initiative using social media to court young potential voters on college campuses. >> you're our new generation of leaders and we're stronger together than we could ever be on our own. so let's do this. thanks. >> woodruff: republican strategist terry hold agrees that millennials are critical to obama's chances. >> if they don't turn out in the numbers that they did in the 2008 race, president
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obama probably can't be elected. the problem that president obama has with that age group in particular is that they came into the election process with sky-high expectations. they were essentially promised hope and change. and a lot of things that they then poured their observe hopes into. >> woodruff: an if young people are increasingly apathetic says pews, kohut. >> among older people the numbers have just reversed. older people are more engaged than they were four years ago. >> woodruff: many americans are angry with government and seniors especially so. just 16% of seniors say they can trust the government, all or most of the time. while 26% of millennials say they do. in fact, seniors are slightly more comfortable economically than other generations. middle-aged people have been particularly hard hit by the recession says kohut. >> boomers, 54% say their
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financial situation is worse off than it had been prior to the recession, higher than any other age group. many of them think they're going to have to put off retirement, social security is not going to be there, this really has to be a troublesome set of statistics for the democrats wrz and democratic strategist cardone-- cardoneo as regardless of age the frustration people are feeling comes back to one thing. >> well, i think the drop of support that we've seen in most of the polls for president obama comes from a frustration of americans that spans the economic and the political spectrum about how washington is not doing anything in the face of a struggling economy. >> woodruff: the pew report shows the economy is the dominant issue in every age group but one. >> among older people, among these seniors, it's as often
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social security as it is the economy. and that is one of the fisures in the situation with respect to the republican grip among senior voters. because these older people are very inclined to look at social security and it's the only issue in which they don't favor the republicans clearly over the democrats. >> woodruff: it's an issue playing out in the run-up to the election as underscored by presidential hopefuls on the campaign trail. >> i believe in social security. there are tens of millions of americans who rely upon social security to meet their needs. i want to protect it. >> woodruff: and this recent aarp ad. >> we are 50 million seniors who earned our benefits. and you will be hearing from us today and on election day. >> woodruff: republican strategist terry hold says this presents a challenge for his party. >> the dichotomy with senior
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voters is that while we connect very well with them on fiscal issues and on value issues, within entitlement reform like social security and medicare, seniors are afraid that the government is going to hurt them somehow. so republicans have to reach out and appeal to seniors and at the same time give them assurances that they're not going to privatize social security. that they're not going to gut medicare. and that's the challenge. >> woodruff: pew's andy kohut says one more factor when comparing age groups is race. >> there's a huge racial difference between young americans and older americans. only 59% of the so-called millennials, the younger people are white, nonhispanics. if you go to the older group and it's 90% white, nonhispanics. older people look at the changing face of america and say is this, all of these latinos and asians and
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immigrants and the way the country is changing a good thing? and a few of them, relatively few a say good thing. the younger people look at these changes and say of course it's a good thing. that's us. >> woodruff: maria says the growth of the latina population presents a political opportunity. >> the one thing that i will tell you will never help is the fearmongering that happens on behalf of the republican party. and frankly the tea party has been very engaged in this, where they talk about quote, unquote, illegals, where they talk about anchor babies, where they talk about electrifying the border fence even if it is a joke as herman cain mentions. >> woodruff: republican strated gist terry hold doesn't disagree. >> the republican party has policies that should appeal to hispanic voters, low tax, low tax initiatives, control of government spending, conservative social values, all of those things appeal to hispanic voters.
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but we haven't done a good job of connecting with them. and if we don't find a way to have a different conversation about immigration,, then we're cutting our own throat. >> woodruff: there are about 16 million new potential voters who were too young to vote in the the last presidential election. half of them are now registered. if turnout for voters under 30 mirrors that of 2008, millennials could make up one fourth of voters in the 2012 election. >> brown: next, turbulent times around the world in the years of george w. bush. yesterday in new york, gwen ifill sat down with former secretary of state condoleezza rice to discuss her new memoir. >> reporter: secretary rice, thank you for joining us. >> pleasure to be with you, gwen. >> reporter: so you wrote the last in the series of bush administration cabinet secretaries, aides, advisers out with a memoir of the bush years. and in some of them, you weren't
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treated very nicely, especially in the cheney and rumsfeld biographies. what did you think about that? >> people had strong views and strong disagreements. i always thought they were substantive, not personal. i have a lot of respect for vice president cheney. we didn't agree a lot of the time. and don rumsfeld's been a good friend for a long time. and, you know, don's a little bit of a grumpy guy, but we're still friends. >> reporter: so when you write that the department of defense was often high-handed and dismissive toward you, both as national security adviser and as secretary of state, that wasn't personal? >> well, not as secretary of state. because as secretary of state, you are a cabinet officer and you pull your own weight with your own assets. and it's actually a much different position than being national security adviser, where you really are trying to coordinate and bring everybody to the table. i used to tell president bush that it was a little bit like trying to do foreign policy by remote control, trying to get secretary "a" to do this and secretary "b" to do... to do that. but ultimately, i'm sorry that
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some of the relationships didn't work better. but we were under a lot of stress and strain, and personalities come to the fore when you're under those sorts of stresses. >> reporter: did you ever wonder-- you were very close, personally close to president bush. did you ever wonder that that was the source of some of... some of the friction with president bush? >> well, possible. because i know, in dons case, he as much as said it in his own book: he thought that i was representing myself in coming and saying that the president wanted this, the president wanted that. but, of course, i was doing what the president had asked me to do. i would say, you know, mr. president, it's really time you sit down with colin. or, i think, maybe don needs to come in alone. because i didn't want to interpose myself between those relationships. but i think, particularly, maybe, in don's case, he felt that sometimes. >> reporter: if there's one theme that runs through the book, it's the administrations handling of the war in iraq and its aftermath. do you, at this point, now,
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looking back, have any regrets about the case that was made for war? >> i think that the case that was made for war, perhaps, overemphasized-- and i say this in the book-- what i've called the intelligence nuggets, rather than the totality of the picture about saddam hussein. we didn't invent the threat of saddam hussein. he'd used weapons of mass destruction-- chemicals-- against the iranians and against his own people. >> reporter: but he didn't have them. >> well, he didn't have stockpiles of them. i do think that when we made the case, we should have made that broader case, not just the case about weapons of mass destruction. we had gone to war against him in '91. president clinton had used force against him in 1998. there hadn't been an inspector in iraq since 1998. he was continuing to threaten his neighbors. he tried to assassinate george h.w. bush. he was paying palestinian suicide bombers $25,000. and, oh, by the way, he put 400,000 people in mass graves. you want to talk about a humanitarian disaster.
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>> reporter: so knowing now what you knew then, you would do it again. >> i would because saddam hussein was at the center of an unstable middle east. we would not have an arab spring in iraq. the arab spring in iraq would have started in 9:00 and been done at 4:00 because this is-- was the world's-- the region's most brutal dictator. it would have made what we're looking at in syria seem relatively mild in retrospect. and so i'm very glad that he's gone. >> reporter: how many times did you consider quitting? you write throughout the book about different moments, different setbacks, different oversights in which you said, i considered resigning. >> well, there were, as i remember, three times. and they were of different character. and it wasn't that-- i never actually went to the president and said, about, for instance, testifying before the 9/11 commission, where the idea that
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the president's aides shouldn't testify under oath and at that point, had i not been able to testify about what we had done, i think my credibility as the national security adviser would have been shot. and it wouldn't have been worth staying. i did go to the president and say, when the military commissions executive order came out and i had not known about it, that if that happened again, either i would have to resign or the white house counsel would. the one time that it was really more within me was a kind of flashback, if you will, standing on the white house lawn in 2006 right after the 9/11 commemorative service had been over and at the church. and there was a plane that was coming, it seemed to me, at us. obviously, it was on a normal approach. and i just came up short. i thought, oh, my god, it's headed right for us. and after that experience, i thought, maybe i've been doing this too long. >> reporter: each and every
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time, why didn't you? >> i think i felt an obligation to keep going. and in the final analysis, i liked what i was doing. >> reporter: at any point, was there any special pressure being the woman in the inner circle or even the african-american woman in the inner circle? >> oh, i never particularly felt any pressure about being the woman in the inner circle. there was-- the president had some strong women around him, starting, of course, with his book-- around katrina, i misread what it meant to be the highest- ranking african-american in the administration. i thought of myself as secretary of state. i went to new york, when katrina happened, to go on vacation after having traveled miles and miles and miles. and i thought to myself, how could you have been so stupid? this is a huge crisis. you're one of the presidents closest advisers. and this tragedy in new orleans has an undeniably sad black face. and you need to be there. >> reporter: you had forgotten that you were a symbol?
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but, yeah, maybe i'd forgotten. and not just a symbol, maybe i'd forgotten that i was a touchtone for people with the administration because of being a high-ranking african-american. >> reporter: i have to ask you about moammar qaddafi. >> ah, yeah. i kind of thought you might. >> reporter: you thought i might. but it's been widely written that he had a fascination with you, and actually wrote a song about you? >> yes, yes. well, it was kind of creepy, right? and i knew before i went to libya, because a couple foreign minister friends had told me, so when i went there, i kept thinking, "all right, whatever his bizarre crush is, you have your job is to go there, represent the united states, get a supply route through libya for humanitarian supplies into sudan, and get out. that's your job." and so we were through the diplomatic exchange, which was eerily normal, actually, with qaddafi. and then he said, i have a video for you. and i thought, "oh, no, what in the world is this?"
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and it was actually just scene after scene of me with vladimir putin or hu jintao. but then set to this song, "black flower in the white house," that he had written by libya's best composer, he said. so i was glad to get on the plane for algeria. >> reporter: i want to end by talking about where we are today. syria, iran-- both run by dictators showing no sign of going anywhere. the u.s. seems to be pushing, but not to any good outcome. which is the bigger threat? >> well, iran, in the sense that it has-- it's the poster-child for state sponsorship of terrorism, that it is seeking and making some progress toward a nuclear device. although, i sometimes think the iranians overstate their progress. but we shouldn't underestimate the impact of syria on iran's reach. syria is iran's handmaiden in the middle east. and if the bashar al-assad
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regime were to go down, which i think in time it will, it will significantly undermine iranian reach into the arab world. and so we ought to be doing everything that we can to put pressure on the syrian regime. it has lost the support of its people, and its lost the support, largely, of the region. and so it will be a very good day when both of those regimes go. they have worked in concert to bring greater instability to the middle east than anyone since saddam hussein went down. >> reporter: how heavy a hand should the u.s. apply to make that happen? >> well, in terms of using financial sanctions and rallying the international community and doing whatever we can by whatever means, we should play a pretty heavy hand. it doesn't have to be, necessarily, an overwhelmingly public or rhetorical hand. but i think we've relearned a lesson. the administration said that
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they were going to reach out a hand of friendship to the iranians and the syrians. and the iranians and the syrians bit it off. and so when you deal with those regimes, you'd better deal with them from a position of strength, because these are regimes that do-- will never have our best interests at heart. >> reporter: condoleezza rice. thank you so much. >> thank you. pleasure to be with you. >> warner: finally tonight, we return to our "economist film project" series with a film called "crime after crime." it documents the dramatic legal battle to free deborah peagler, a woman imprisoned for more than two decades for the murder of her abusive boyfriend. she finds hope for freedom when two attorneys step forward to take her case on a pro bono basis. the director is yoav potash. here is an excerpt.
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>> hi. >> my name is deborah peagler, and i am convicted of first-degree murder and 25 years to life. >> nadia and i began representing deborah peagler shortly after california became the first state in the nation to adopt a law specifically designed to help incarcerated survivors of domestic violence win their freedom. it's a huge problem, a national problem, probably an international problem. and this law is just the first step. debbie was connected to the murder of the man that abused her. but the evidence of that abuse was never presented to the court. and if she had been charged appropriately, she would have served a maximum of 6 years in prison. instead by the time we took her case, she had already been in for 20 years, and been denied release by the pas role board twice. >> this isn't a case where debbi peagler didn't have anything to do with the crime. but when you look at all of the facts and circumstances surrounding what occurred, any reasonable court, any reasonable parole board and any reasonable person would
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conclude that she has served enough time and she should be released from prison. >> he started hitting me with his fist, making me lay on the floor, on the couch and beat me way bull whip. and so i would have whipped. he never, never hit me on my face. didn't want to mess with my face sow could be the perfect hostess for his friends. so i could easily wear long sleeves to court bruises. >> debbi tried to escape on numerous occasion but he kept bring her back by force or death threat. >> debbi's mom said she le let-- make oliver leave her alone. >> they were crypt gang members that controlled the area where debbi's mom lived. it was their turf. and when oliver showed up with a group of armed guys
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threatening to kill everyone in their neighborhood, that was the last straw. that wasn't going to happen on their watch. >> the you see him go to, grabbing her, choking her, sock her. he used to beat on her like she was a guy, you know. so two or three times i had to beat on him like he was a guy, you know. and just once to try to protect her and two, to show the dude that this is what you are doing to her. >> he was just making him leave me alone. yeah, we'll take care of it we'll take care of it. >> okay. >> after oliver wilson was killed he did take 75,000 in life insurance proceeds. most went to oliver's mother to pay for an elaborate funeral for oliver. and the county district attorney's office took this evidence of life insurance as proof that debbie had
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oliver killed for financial gain. >> proving, wondering, was there a better way, was there a different way, like today i know there is. there are shelters and people out there available now. >> in 1983 when debbie peagler went to prison the battered women's movement was still in its infancy, they were just tarting to be battered women's shelters. it was the very beginning of having restraining orders. >> over time with committed activists they started bringing victims out of the shadows to share their stories. and police became educated. and the general public became educated about this issue. >> five years passed, ten years passed, people start talking about battered women's syndrome. they even start aid domestic violence program at the prison and group therapy. >> they are always talking about victims that died, in our case, but we're a victim too. >> he beat me till i was black and blue.
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and this was the only way coy ever get away from him. >> when debbi peagler was sent to prison the number of incarcerated women nationwide was less than 20,000. in the years since that number has just plain skyrocketedded, so that today there has been a more than six followed increase in the number of women in prison in less than 30 years. many of these women especially those who were serving life sentences like debbie are incarcerate ford a crime that is directly related to that abuse. after decades of advocacy battered women in prison and their supporters on the outside were finally successful in getting this law passed in california. the first law in the nation that allows domestic violence survivors to present their evidence and finally have a real chance at winning their freedom. i think it's astounding that california is the only state that is actually allowing
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cases to be reopened. because there are thousands and thousands of debbies across the united states. >> even in california the state is not providing these women with attorneys. and so the habeas project formed to connect women with attorneys who could take on these cases for free. that's how we found nadia and joshia for deb yee and they have been amazing. >> debting the prosecutors to agree that debbi should be released did not happen overnight. it took more than three years to get them to see the light and it was at that time that we were able to walk into that prison and give debbi that letter. >> we have bad news and we have good news. the bad news is you apparently have been incarcerated legally. the good news is the d.a. has agreed that your crime was voluntary manslaughter which means your maximum sentence would have been six years under the guidelines
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in effect at the time. what it means, what the next steps are, and how -- >> so the district attorney's office you presented significant issues and evidence which were unknown or unavailable at the time of trial. once the matter has been returned it to the jurisdiction of the los angeles superior court this office would be willing to offer a plea to one count of voluntary manslaughter in violation of penal code section 192 a with credit for the years of imprisonment, such disposition satisfies our office policy of requiring a plea to the charge which most accurately describes the defendant's criminal conduct. in context t also serves the interests of justice. >> oh my god. >> this is really happening. >> it's really happening. >> it's like you knew it could happen, but it's really happening. ♪ i prays and i prayed ♪ don't let it be too late ♪ and i turned it over to jesus ♪
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♪ i gave it over to the lord ♪ ♪ and he -- >> i had absolute faith that letter meant that the d.a. would do the right thing and that we would see our client released you know, very shortly. hi no doubt that it would happen. >> we filed our habeas petition based on that deal and a few weeks after filing our habeas petition we recletter from someone in the district attorney's office we never met before saying the deal is hereby withdrawn. >> the prosecuteser's office refused comment citing pending litigation. that litigation filed today by peagler's attorneys. >> we have asked the pas role board to reconsider their last finding. the d.a.'s office, we're suing them to force them to stick to their deal and we're appealing the superior court's de-- denial up to the court of appeal in the hope they will direct the court to do the right thing. >> there's a reason that your case is going to draw attention to this remedy.
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>> free debbi now. free debbi now. free debbi now. >> the victims' family, have no objection to her coming home they have been with her every parole hearing for the last six or seven years pleading with you all to let her come home. so if they have no objection tos it, who are you to keep her in there? >> california remains >> warner: california remains the only state that lets convicted and imprisoned survivors of domestic violence petition the courts for their freedom. you can watch "crime after crime" tonight on the oprah winfrey network at 9:00 pm eastern time. to learn more about the "economist film project" and to submit your own film, head to >> brown: again, the major developments of the day: the crisis in greece overshadowed the meeting of world leaders in france. the greek prime minister called off a referendum on the european bailout. stocks rose on the news from greece. the dow industrials added more than 200 points. a new census report found one in 15 americans is now among the poorest of the poor.
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and in syria, activists reported tank fire killed at least 12 demonstrators in the city of homs. it happened a day after the government accepted an arab league plan to end the violence. online, we often post more from our interviews on the program and we are doing that tonight. hari sreenivasan explains. hari? >> sreenivasan: watch more of gwen's conversation with condoleezza rice on the rundown blog. on our world page, find a list of the five things to watch for during the g-20 summit. plus we preview two upcoming stories about nicaragua. we debriefed ray suarez on the country's election this weekend and efforts to bring a lifesaving vaccine to nicaraguan children. all that and more is on our web site: margaret? >> warner: and that's the "newshour" for tonight. i'm margaret warner. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. we'll see you online and again here tomorrow evening with mark shields and david brooks, among others. thank you and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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