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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  August 8, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT

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and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> brown: egypt staged its first air strikes into the sinai peninsula today since its 1973 war with israel, but this time the targets were islamic guerrillas. we begin with a report from john ray of independent television news. ( gunfire ) >> reporter: deadliest clashes in decades along a border upon which the peace of two nations and so much beyond depends. overnight, the egyptian military
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moved in on militants blamed for a surge in violence that climaxed in a dramatic cross- border raid on sunday. gunmen had already killed 16 egyptian guards before they commandeered this armored car. only a missile from an israeli aircraft brought them finally to a halt more than a mile inside this israeli territory. israel's prime minister called this a wake-up call for egypt to root out radical groups taking up residence in the sinai desert. >> we felt for the last year and a half that the sinai region has become the wild west. the wild west may have been fun in the movies, but in reality you see what happens. different terrorist elements come in, they sit down and they can use it because there's no one there to stop them, and that's a direct threat for us. >> reporter: today, security forces on both sides of the border were on high alert. the upsurge in violence along this border is a challenge to israel, but it's an even bigger
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problem for egypt's new islamist government, a test of its ability and resolve to stick to security commitments that underpin the 30-year-old peace treaty between these two nations. the deaths of the egyptian border guards unleashed a wave of fury. today, president morsi fired his intelligence chief. israel believes he's passed an important test, but among his supporters there is much anti- israel feeling. and the egyptian army is limited by international agreement on the size of its presence in the sinai, so one assault is unlikely to ease the tension or end the threat of violence. >> brown: and for more on the latest tension and violence, we turn to: nancy youssef in cairo, where she's reporting for mcclatchy newspapers; and here in washington, samer shehata, from the center for contemporary arab studies at georgetown university. nancy youssef, start with you, what led to the egyptian
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military-- what led it to take action in the sinai? what's behind this? >> reporter: well, on sunday 16 egyptian soldiers were killed by islamist militants along the border, marking the deadliest day for egyptian certainlies since the 1979 peace accords. because of the public pressure, because of the gravity of the situation, some hope the egyptians recognize the threat of extremists in their own country, egypt decided to respond with helicopter,r8- to the killing ofçóñr 20çóçóçóx] noose according to state media, >> brown: when we sayw3 "militants" when we use thatxd word, do we know what we're talking about? what is known? >> reporter: the sinai is perhaps the most ungoverned andi since>e uprising that led toc al of hosniñi mubar
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regime 20 months ago, it has the border, and more vowsw3 fror various groups basedt(w3ñrñi thr this was sort ofñi an oun going fear that this kind ofñho)÷ctioi would be happening inçów3 theç'i governed than it was before the fall of the regime. we haven't received any confirmation of which islamist groupçóñi5a attacked these tro. no groups that claimed responsibility nor has the government identified any group responsible. wean there are various groups active in that part of the country,ñr and committed to sort of creating cross-border tensions and problems for egypt. >> brown: sha, tell us more about the sinai and the
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situation there. >> it's a place the egyptian government hasn't focused on for decades. the sinai is relatively, lightly inhabited. and many of the residents, the bedouin, as well as the other residents in the smaller cities, 3 society,çó egyptian politics and successivejf regimes have educationli health,ñr infrastructure. e've really viewed the sinai only through two prissisms, a security prism through what we saw with incredible force, and a source of revenue with regard to tourism which hasn't largely benefitted the inhab at that points of sinai. so it is a marginalized area of the country compared to the-- compared to the dealt accompaired to cairo ask other cities. >> brown: so the militancy, is that new that has gone into a
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vacuum here in the post-mubarak era, or has that always been there and been controlled? >> there has always been-- i should say, there has been for many years now, violence directed at both egyptian state as well as israel and israeli interests in the sinai. i mean, many years ago, there was a horrific bombing at the taba hilton, which killed many rells, as well as egyptians. there have been a number of terrorist attacks in sham el-sheikh, another major tourist center, and both attacks have been directed against egypt state when mubarak was in power as well as against israeli interest. so there has always been this element of ungovernability, or outside of the rule of law in sinai. >> brown: nancy youssef, so putting us in that post-mubarak contest of this new egypt, we saw president morsey, he fired his intelligence chief. what kind of position does this
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put him in to? what are the constraints and pressures he's under right now? >> reporter: well, it was an attempt by moresy to reclaim some of his presidential authority. under the interim constitution he has no say over military matters, so one of the three people dismissed taished the chief of military police was dismissed by mohammed sentaoui, leader of the military council. president morrissey has faced some difficulty asserting his authority since becoming president, and the muslim brotherhood through which he rose to power has been focused on domestic issues. last week, the president from moated his cabinet, and most of the social services went to the muslim brotherhood freedom of justice party members, and the international and top positions, if you will in defense and finance, stayed within technocrats or with the mubarak regime, and so mubarak--
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president morsey needed to sort of assert himself as president. this week, in a way, really exposed the limits of his presidency. he didn't attend the funeral for those 16 soldiers here. it was led by tentoui. his prime minister tried to attend and was attacked, and when he went to the attack say the, he could only spend 25 minutes there because of the security threat. and so in this balance of power, struggle, if you will, that's going on between the ruling military council and the prz against, this was morsey's attempt to appear authoritative over the security situation not only in sinai but egypt at large, even though, frank,ly, he doesn't really have much authority over either. >> reporter: samer shehata, what does this do to the situation or relations to israel, between israel and egypt? is there cooperation over something like this? or does it possibly lead to new tensions? >> well, it doesn't necessarily
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need to lead to new tensions. in fact, the israelis applauded the egyptian government's penalty strikes in sinai. in fact, both egypt and israel and, interestingly enough, hamas, has an interest in security in sinai, and it not being a place where extremists are attacking egyptian forces or israelis and so on. so this could potentially, if the stars align, lead to some kind of cooperation among, at least the egyptians and israelis, and maybe even the egyptians and the palestinians. >> brown: in the meantime, it's correct to see, as nancy was saying, this all sort of fits into larger problems in egypt over security and all kinds of things. >> right. e two most pressing concerns in egypt right now are the economy and security, not necessarily in that order. and in fact, morsey has pledged to concentrate on those and other things in his first 100 days. this is the first major test of his presidenciy, and we'll see
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by determining how effective he is at controlling security and bring about economic benefit how successful he is in fulfilling those promises. >> brown: all right, samer shehata here, and nancy youssef in cairo, thank you very much. >> woodruff: still to come on the newshour: the battle for aleppo rages in syria; the rise of hate groups in the u.s.; a power play in colorado; the growing cyber threat; plus poet priscilla uppall on the olympic spirit. but first, the other news of the day. here's kwame holman. >> reporter: a suicide attack in eastern afghanistan killed three nato troops and an afghan civilian today. two taliban bombers struck in kunar province, an insurgent stronghold on the pakistan border. in all, 15 nato troops have been killed in the afghan fighting so far this august. in the u.s. presidential campaign, the major candidates traded fire today over welfare and health care. republican mitt romney stepped up his accusations that
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president obama has weakened welfare reforms. romney spoke at a rally in des moines, iowa. >> with a very careful executive action, he removed the requirement of work from welfare. it is wrong to make any change that would make america more of a nation of government dependency. we must restore-- and i will restore-- work into welfare. ( applause ) >> reporter: the obama campaign insisted again that the president simply granted states more flexibility to deal with welfare paperwork. and in denver, the president addressed a largely female crowd and talked about what romney's vow to repeal health care reform would mean. >> mr. romney is running as the candidate of conservative values. there's nothing conservative about a government that prevents a woman from making her own health care decisions. he says he's the candidate of freedom, but freedom's the chance, the opportunity to determine for yourself the care that you need when you it. >> reporter: the president is on a two-day campaign swing.
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romney is set to begin a multi- state bus tour on friday. republicans have picked their nominee for one of the most closely watched races in the battle for the u.s. senate. on tuesday, missouri congressman todd akin won the g.o.p. primary and will go head-to-head with democratic senator claire mccaskill. also tuesday, two democratic congressmen were defeated by house colleagues after their districts were redrawn. in missouri, representative william lacy clay defeated fellow democrat russ carnahan, and in michigan congressman gary peters topped representative hansen clarke after they landed in the same district. for the first time, the u.s. began work today on cleaning up remnants of dioxin in vietnam. the chemical was widely used in the herbicide agent orange during the vietnam war, but dioxin has been linked to cancer and other health problems, and it stays in soil and river bottoms for decades. the initial cleanup will excavate two and a half million cubic feet of soil at the danang
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airport at a cost of $43 million. wall street struggled to keep its winning streak going today after mcdonald's and others warned that weak demand in europe is hurting their earnings. the dow jones industrial average did gain seven points to close at 13,175, but the nasdaq fell four points to close at 3,011. at the london olympics, it was a big day for the americans in track and field. spoiler alert: if you don't want to hear some of today's results, tune out for the next few moments. in women's beach volleyball, kerri walsh and misty may- treanor took home gold against fellow americans april ross and jennifer kessy. allyson felix won gold in the women's 200 meters after getting silver in both athens and bejing. brittney reese placed first in the women's long jump. and aries merritt got gold in
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the men's 110 meter hurdles. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to judy. >> woodruff: the fighting in syria grew more intense today. troops loyal to the government assaulted rebel strongholds in aleppo in one of their biggest ground attacks since rebels seized chunks of syria's biggest city three weeks ago. those left in this small town just outside aleppo climbed over rubble today even as the city itself came under a fierce ground assault. state tv reported government troops made a major push into aleppo's salaheddine district, southern gateway to the city. rebels claimed they repelled the attack. overhead, government warplanes kept up their strikes across the region, adding more bomb craters. indeed, these satellite images show hundreds of impact craters from bombing and shelling, in
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and around aleppo. amnesty international released the images today, compiled from late july into early august. hundreds of refugees have escaped the fighting, pouring across syria's borders looking for safety. another 2,400 crossed into turkey overnight. and the first official u.n. refugee camp in jordan was rapidly filling. >> last night, we had another 600 syrians cross the border, again mostly women and children. unfortunately, what we don't know is how many more syrians are going to be following every night, and that's the difficult issue. we've just got... every night that we put up more tents they are fully occupied, so it's a never-ending battle at this point. >> woodruff: the syrian refugees told stories of the violence and terror they left behind. >> ( translated ): i've called relatives in syria, and they told me the situation is tragic. they are slaughtering the people in underground shelters, killing children and raping women.
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that's what they've told me. >> woodruff: also escaping to jordan: syrian premier riyad hijab, the highest-level defector so far. his arrival was confirmed today. >> ( translated ): we were expecting his attempt to enter jordan, so we were ready to deal with this case if it happened, and that's what happened on wednesday morning. >> woodruff: meanwhile, syrian rebels continued to hold 48 iranians who were seized over the weekend. iran today acknowledged some are retired soldiers or revolutionary guards, but it claimed they were religious pilgrims and not on active service. >> brown: global-post correspondent james foley has been in aleppo for 12 days and filed this report on what life is like in a rebel-controlled neighborhood there. a warning: his report contains pictures some will find disturbing. ( gunfire ) >> reporter: a grim routine has taken hold in the fight for
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syria's largest city. army bombers strafe neighborhoods across aleppo, while opposition fighters struggle to hold ground with much-less-powerful weapons. >> second way, we die. we have no third way. >> reporter: the fight for aleppo began some three weeks ago on the first day of ramadan. as rebel forces took over some city neighborhoods. the army surrounded the city, helicopters began firing on rebel strongholds, and a week later, the jets started bombing. >> look at the billions here. all the buildings are destroyed because of them. >> reporter: this barber shop owner tries to salvage what he can from his shop in the neighborhood of salaheddine, which has seen some of the most intense fighting. >> now, i don't know where i will go. i don't know where i will go. >> reporter: there are no soiled estimates of victims
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killed, but activists say at least 300 have died. this man has been searching for missing relatives after a bomb strug their building. >> now i found two, i saw with my eyes, my brother and his daughter, dead. and one is totally damaged. they are now trying to save his life. >> reporter: he just found the body of his niece and nephew at one field hospital. >> there is another in here. >> reporter: the fighting continues day and night. both sides are sending in reinforcements. the price may be the destruction of syria's most populated city. >> brown: that was global-post correspondent james foley. in an update filed a short time ago, he reports that syrian army tanks are now in the center of the salaheddine neighborhood.
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>> woodruff: now, an update on the man responsible for sunday's shooting rampage in wisconsin. law enforcement authorities said today that wade michael page took his own life on sunday with a single shot to his head after police had shot him in the stomach. page killed six people and wounded three others at a sikh temple on sunday. f.b.i. officials said they are still trying to learn of a possible motive and are investigating his links with white supremacy and neo-nazi groups. an army veteran, page played guitar and bass with so-called white power rock bands that are known for hateful lyrics. during a press conference today, f.b.i. officials were asked how they track white supremacy groups. >> this is an issue where law enforcement has to continually balance the civil liberties, the rights that every u.s. citizen has, to think what they want, believe what they want, and say what they want. obviously, we cannot investigate
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people for any of those things. so no matter how horrendous or reprehensible though things may be, until somebody actually threatens, there's a threat of force or violence, we cannot open an investigation on them. >> woodruff: for more about these groups and about page himself, we turn to two people who have followed this closely: mark pitcavage is the director of investigative research at the anti-defamation league; and pete simi is an associate professor of criminal justice at the university of nebraska-omaha who studies extremist movements. he's the author of the book "american swatstika." he met page while doing research. gentlemen, we thank you both for being with us. mark pitcavage, to you, first. we know that language matters in talking about these extremist groups. how do you describe the groups that-- that wade michael page was known to associate himself with. >> reporter: well, the major group that page associate himself with was a racist
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skinhead group called the hammer skins. and the hammer skins are one of the largest and oldest hard-core racist skinhead groups in the united states. they started in texas, in the mid to late 1980s and spread out from there. they have pockets of members and supporters in a number of different places around the country. the largest one being in florida. but, also, in north carolina, where page himself lived for a number of years. >> woodruff: so you're describing it as a racist skinhead group. how do you distinguish that from other so-called white supremacist groups, hate groups? how would you-- help us understand what this particular group stands for, how it stands out from the others. >> sure. the white supremacist movement in the united states today actually has five main submovements in it-- neo-nazis, traditional whies supremacists,
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like the ku klux klan. racist prison gangs. christian identity, which is a racist and antisemitic religious sect. and racist skinheads. and racist skinheads have more or less the same ideology as the neo-nazis do, but what differentiates them is racist skinheads also constitute a distinct subculture where they have a subcult that you are began in great britain in the late 60s and early 70s and eventually a racist offshoot of that subculture developed and came to the united states. and they have distinct traditions and clothing and hairstyles, and musical styles, and like any subculture-- like the punk subculture, or the goth subculture. so the hammer skins are distinct because they're one of the most respected groups in that
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subculture, and in particular, they have a very dominant role in the white power music scene in the united states, hosting every year a number of the major white power music consers -- major by their stashedz-- and a number of white power music bands affiliate themes themselves with the hammer skins. expaij himself had been associated with the hammer skins for a number of years, largely through his-- two of his bands, in apathy and definiteate. by 2011 he formally became a hammer skin himself. >> woodruff: pete simi, you actually got to know wade michael page. you spent some time with him. tell us about him and about how he fit in with this group. >> well, i met page back in 2001, and at that time, i was conducting field work in the united states with members of white supremacist groups across the country. i'd been doing that since 1997 and by about 1999, i began to
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focus on southern california and had met a number of folks active in white supremacist groups in that area. i met page through another one of my contacts, another one of my research contacts. page ended up living with this person so they were housemates. from 2001 for almost three years, page became one of my regular research subjects, one of my regular contacts who i ended up spending quite a bit of time with doing interviews, but also just kind of hanging out around his house, talking with him, kind of observing him, going to music shows with him, and just trying to figure out kind of how he got involved and why he got involved. and what i learned from him was that, you know, he had moved out to california shortly before i met him. he moved out there to join a band, young land, and became a member of that band, and that was first white power band he had become involved in. he met some of those members of
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that band earlier around 2000 at a music event, and this was, you know, a couple of years after he had knotten out of the military. he met some of these folk folksm this band young land. they really liked him, they kind of clicked, and shortly thereafter he decided to relocate to southern california. and he was pretty new to southern california when i met him. so he was kind of just starting to get kind of acclimated to the scene in southern california, and he was hanging out with members of lots of different groups. he didn't have any specific membership or affiliation with any one particular group at that point in time. but he was definitely starting to get involve and was really identifying with the music part especially. >> woodruff: and pete simi, can you characterize for us what he believed and how the music fit in with that? >> well, when i met him, he was already pretty indoctrinate
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rinnateed inateed innateed in t. he was antisemitic at that time, talked about zionist or jewish conspiracy to dominate world affairs. he spoke a lot in terms of antiblack terms and felt that blacks were preying on whites on a regular basis. he felt that whites were generally discriminated against within society, and that whites routinely got the short end of the stick and were essentially on the verge of extinction. he by that time aadopted the core elements of white supremacist world view. >> woodruff: and mark pitcavage, we know you have taken a special interest in studying the music of these groups. how does the music, the lyrics, how does-- how do they use the music to express their views? >> well, you know as you know, music can be extremely powerful, directly or indirectly, and they
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use the music in a number of different ways. obviously, and probably what concerns most people is that they can use music to agitate their audiences, to make them angry, ask direct that anger at particular targets-- at news, nonwhites, immigrants, gay people. they also use the music for other reasons as well. the music can convey a shared sense of community, a sense that they're all together as part of the same struggle, the same movement. sometimes the music will-- the lyrics will recall or glorify heroes or-- quote-- martyrs of the quite supremacist movement. sometimes it will exalt particular groups. it will be sort of self-promotional. and all of these things together
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basically form-- form one of the pillars of the subculture that permeates the white supremacist movement displood let me ask you, pete simi, what about the attitude, just quickly, of these groups toward violence and how do they draw a line between having such strong views and signaling to their members whether it's all right or not all right to act on those views? >> it's a fine line. there's a-- i mean, the rhetor rhetoric, whether it's the music, whether it's other types of propagand aliterature, things on web sites or just the everyday conversations that occur among folks that are involved in this world, it's filled with aggressive talk and violence is a prominent feet nur terms of how they see the world, in particular because they see that whites are on the verge of extinction, they feel that violence to a certain extent, to a large extent, is justifiable. you can view even unprovoked predatory violence can be viewedaise form of self-defense
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by white to try and essentially save the race. and so the line between advocating violence very clearly and trying to take a more kind of rutle approach sometimes is easy to skew, and some groups heavily involved in violence after it occures, will denounce an act of violence such as the incident in wis consip,. it's a very fine line between the advocacy and the actual practice of violence. >> woodruff: well, it is a big, big subject, and, obviously, one that's very troubling, and we thank both of you for talking with with us pete simi, mark pitcavage, thank you both. >> brown: next, ray suarez continues his series about the changing energy picture in this country.
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tonight, he visits colorado, where natural gas is taking center stage, prompting questions about the future of both coal and alternative energy resources. >> suarez: for a long time, it was simple and straightforward here in colorado: the coal sits in big fat seams close to the surface. strip off a layer of soil, pull out the coal, burn it right next door to make electricity and sell what you don't burn right here. >> federal regulations have made it tougher to meet e.p.a. guidelines burning only coal. at the same time, the price of natural gas has been dropping, and we're finding it in more and more places, setting up a tough battle between coal companies and the natural gas industry. when the new regulations are fully phased in, colorado utilities are going to burn a lot less coal, converting some
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plants to burning natural gas, shutting others down all together. >> we went in and reformed all the rules. >> colorado's former governor brokered a deal with the state's largest electricity producer. >> over time, the use of coal will depend a lot on what kind of research and development can lead to cleaner coal alternatives. if they're not there and they're not economical and they cant compete with gas or renewables, then they'll go away. >> suarez: the united states is in the midst of a gas revolution. more deposits are found with every passing year that can be drilled economically. right now, gas is really cheap to burn and cleaner than coal. >> so, by transitioning from coal to natural gas, you can reduce carbon monoxide and particulates by 90%. you can reduce nitrogen oxides by 80%, carbon dioxide by more than 40%. you can essentially reduce or eliminate sulfur dioxide
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altogether. these are significant benefits for coloradans' health and for overall air quality here. >> suarez: cheap, abundant gas. less pollution. less coal getting burned. to the secretary of the interior, natural gas is transforming the economics of making power in america. >> i think it will become the centerpiece of our energy portfolio for the next century for a lot of rsons. it's one of the greatest opportunities we've seen for our national security, economic security and environmental security. >> suarez: sounds so simple you might ask: why make all that investment in wind, solar and other forms of renewables when there's so much gas? >> in my view, and the president's view, this does not at all displace what we want to do with solar and with wind energy. >> he says both gaz gasand renewables reduce the country's energy imports and make economic sense. some environmentalists worry that the gas boom, instead of leading to a clean energy
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future, gets us hooked on a new fossil fuel. >> the bar just got a bit higher for the entrance of some of these new and alternative energies into the energy mix. >> suarez: dan arvisu directs the national renewable energy lab in colorado. he concedes the new supplies of cheap gas havehallenged the cost-effectiveness of new technologies. natural gas is a bridge to the new technologies his scientists are inventing, he says, not a replacement for them. cheap gas buys some time. >> if we did not have natural gas as this potential opportunity, then i think we would be in a much more urgent set of conditions than we are today. so it would give us a little bit of time to really solve the problem much more deliberately, and hopefully that has long lasting impacts. >> suarez: arvisu notes every energy source has benefits and costs. gas offers flexibility-- after all, the sun doesn't always
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shine and the wind doesn't always blow. a power plant can throw a switch and start burning gas, something you can't do with coal. >> so, backing off of this is a really bad idea. >> suarez: the former governor told me you can't stop investing in renewables even while taking full advantage of new gas supplies. >> we have to view this as a global competition where we actually can capture the innovation part of it. our scientists are still the best in the world. we own the innovation space, and then we have to decide how much of the manufacturing space we want to own. >> suarez: that's the vision, but right now there are looming deadlines to meet for colorado's energy producers. xcel energy has a portfolio of old coal-burning plas, like this one just north of denver, that has to stop burning coal soon to meet the new targets. demolition to make way for the new generator is under way. >> we've already shut unit one down, now.
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>> suarez: david eves, c.e.o. of denver's main electric utility, says the new gas-burning capacity and the closure of aging coal-only plants protects his customers against the costs of future regulation and price swings even while they pay to build the new plants. >> the other thing our customers get out of this plan is a good balance of energy. at the end of the decade, 48% of our energy will still come from coal-fired plants, a third of our energy will come from gas plants, including here, and the other 25% or so will come from solar and other renewable sources. >> suarez: catch that? even with all the new gas supply, new plant investment and regulation, coal will still account for almost half colorado's electricity. that's still way down from earlier levels, and that has the coal industry pushing back. >> i think it's a shame if we move away from coal production and from the use of coal for electricity in this country.
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number one, it's our most abundant energy fuel. >> suarez: not only is much of the world's coal in the u.s., sanderson says, the natural gas industry has done a great public relations job exaggerating the environmental advantages of gas, for one. without mentioning frequent spikes in & drops in price. >> coal is also associated with much lower electricity rates for energy consumers, and in fact our data shows that the price of natural gas over time doubles that of coal, with much more volatility. >> the coal industry still has its supporters. tristate, the energy cooperative that serves rural colorado, is suing the federal government to stop the regulatory pressure to burn less coal. >> the e.p.a. has grossly exceeded their authority when it
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comes to new regulations that effect coal plants. we need to make sure we don't arbitrarily take options off the table. we can't take a coal option off the table. we can't only rely on gas. >> suarez: so much american electricity comes from coal, the country won't have a way of doing without it any time soon. they will likely keep a close watch on the changes in colorado. >> >> brown: tomorrow, ray reports from utah, where a new approach to managing resources and public land has led to a remarkable partnership. and there's much more online tonight, where you can find just about everything you wanted to know about hydraulic fracturing, commonly called "fracking." it's the controversial practice largely responsible for the boom in natural gas production here. >> woodruff: next, another look at some of the work congress failed to finish before leaving for its august recess.
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tonight, the subject is cybersecurity. margaret warner has the story. >> warner: america is increasingly exposed to the threat of cyber attacks as hackers go after money, intellectual property and other data from individuals, the financial industry, corporations, government and the defense establishment. last thursday, the u.s. senate took up a bill to address the vulnerability in one key sector: the country's critical infrastructure, including the electrical grid, nuclear power plants, oil and gas lines, water supply and transit systems. >> the motion is not agreed to. >> warner: but republicans filibustered the measure, and it fell well short of the 60 votes needed to cut off debate. with that, lawmakers left for the august recess, leaving the bill's co-sponsors, joe lieberman and susan collins, frustrated. >> am i disappointed? you bet i am. am i angry? yes, i am. because once again the members
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of congress have failed to come together to deal with a serious national problem. >> it just is incomprehensible to me that we would not proceed to this bill. >> warner: in a statement, the white house also denounced the senate's failure to act. it read: senate minority leader mitch mcconnell charged democrats had tried to ram the bill through without proper consideration. >> this bill was backed up right against a recess, never went to committee, no amendments were allowed, and we decided to not finish it today.
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so this vote was not the end of the discussion but rather the beginning of the discussion. >> warner: in its original form, the cyber security act would have imposed mandatory minimum standards on companies that run the country's vital systems, including businesses involved in energy and electricity, water and transportation. later, to gain more votes, the bill was watered down to make compliance with the standards voluntary. but business groups, led by the u.s. chamber of commerce, opposed both versions as regulatory overreach that would be too costly to implement. in the senate, republican john mccain of arizona was a leading voice of the opposition. >> the people most affected by this legislation-- and that is the business community of america-- are unalterably opposed to this legislation in its present form! >> warner: the obama administration lobbied vigorously for it behind closed
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doors, and president obama even wrote an op-ed column in the "wall street journal" appealing for action. today, at the council on foreign relations in washington, white house counterterrorism chief john brennan said he found the senate's move incomprehensible. >> right now, i can tell you with great certainty that the vulnerabilities are there, that the capabilities on the threat side are there. and so it's a question of intent, whether or not certain actors are going to operationalize their capability to go against the vulnerabilities of this in the system. clearly the market has not developed in a way that it has developed on its own cybersecurity requirements. >> warner: the senate may take another look at the bill this fall. brennan said the white house is looking at actions the president can take under his executive authority. >> for a closer look at the cyber threat to the infrastructure, we turn to joel brenner, former senior council at the national security agency. before that he was with the office of the director of
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national intecialtion coordinating counter-intelligence activityes of 17 federal agencies. a lawyer and security consultant, he's the author of "america the vulnerable-- inside the new threat matrix of digital espionage, crime, and warfare." and, joel brenner, welcome. so how serious are the threats to america's infrastructure? how easy would it be to take down one critical element-- water supplies, electricity grid? >> we've seen a real spike in the attacks on the industrial control systems that run a lot of these-- this infrastructure. when d.h.s.-- >> warner: department of homeland security security. >> deps of homeland security began keeping figure on this in 2009, there were no such attacks. last year there were 198. the numbers are pretee they really tell the story. >> warner: how many have actually-- how many times have elements been penetrated? >> i'm talking about a tax that
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really in many cases get in. you know, there are different levels will of penetration, but i'm not talking just about pings, knocks on the door. i'm talk are about more significant, concerted attempts to get into infrastructure. and we've seen it in water supply stuff, as well as electricity. >> warner: who are the major perpetrators? >> we-- i can say what is publicly disclosed is a number of people in the intelligence business have seen the iranian-- the chinese and the russians inside of some of our critical systems, and we know the iranians are trying. there are also, you know, hackers at different levels. but the nation state stuff is what we really worry about. >> warner: now the world wide web on the internet was invented-- i think it's 21 years ago this week. how did we become-- how did businesses become so dependent on that as really the backbone?
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and is that part of the way they do business and is that part of the problem? >> yes. the internet is a little older than that. its origins go back to the 60s. >> warner: yes, but the world wide web-- >> the web, people would be shocked until 1992, 20 years ago, it was against the law to use use the intirnltd for commercial purposes. and in that period, which is the twirchg ling of an eye, in terms of developing the country, we have taken a porous and insecure system designed originally as a research tool and connected to it all of our financial infrastructure, much of our operational and manufacturing infrastructure-- everything we do, including the air conditioning in this building and the switches on the subway systems in every major city-- are reachable through the internet. it's very dangerous. >> warner: we did get some e-mails, e-mail questions from viewers:
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what are companies doing now to protect against cyber attacks? >> you know, again, it's hard to generalize, but i see in my practice, my consulting and law practice, many-- though not all companies-- shockingly indifferent to the threats they face. after there's a breach, then they come and see, ." >> what happened?" repeated studies sh many of the-- most of the data breaches that companies are having to deal with, could easily have been prevented with midlevel controls. this is really quite astonishing. it's not just small companies. it's companies small and large. so, yes, i would say that the
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question really does have a basis but it's not true with every company out there. >> warner: what's the solution. >> i'd like to see the electricity sector in particular to begin to develop up and down the line on itself the kind of standards that it believes would raise its security a great deal. you know, you can't talk about a whole industry and paint it with one brush. there are some very sophisticated companies that work really hard on security, and there are others that really don't. and when the grid is all connected and you can get into it through some of the less-secure companies, then we've got a problem that could affect large parts of the country at once. >> warner: all right, joel brenner, thank you very much, and we'll continue this conversation online. >> pleasure. >> brown: and finally tonight, an olympics story that for once
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requires no spoiler alert, for this one focuses on the games and the words-- the olympics and, yes, poetry. priscilla uppal is a toronto- based writer and professor at york university whose work includes eight collections of verse. she's in london these two weeks serving as poet in residence on behalf of canadian athletes now, a non-profit group supporting that country's athletes. i spoke with her earlier today. priscila uppal, thanks for joining us. i can see i didn't need to say which country you're supporting. it looks like you're having a good time. >> i'm having a fabulous time here at the olympics. i think i have the best job. >> brown: so what is the job? what does a poet in residence at the olympics do? >> i have wonderful days. i get up and i get to attend events. some of the sporting athletic events and sometimes other celebratory events and i try my best to find ways to write about the different sports, using some of the history of the sports,
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some of the wonderful vocabulary of the sport in poetry, and i get to celebrate the summer sports, the athletes' events at the olympics, and the people they meet from all over the world who are attending the games and. >> brown: tell me about the language of the sports. each has its unique terms and words. all of us as viewers are learning them. all of that is good material for you, i guess? >> yit's wonderful material and it's material a lot of poets have not tapped into because it's really like an entirely different language. as many people might feel when they're experiencing those sports on air. and i just love it because it's really metaphorical. it's very playful. many of the sport terms are basically invent bide teenagers and young people as they're inventing moves of the sport. there's a lot of met fork possibility. there's room for cleverness, playfulness, but also sometimes
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for seriousness for thinking about the sports and what they teach us and how i can put that into a poem. >> brown: can you give us an example of something play-off, something you had fun with. >> i love the terms in beach volleyball, for instance. they have a lot of terms that have to do with food, for some reason. so tuna is when someone gets caught in the volleyball net. but also they have this wonderful term for when a serve is sent over the net, and the two players, none of them goes after it, so the ball just drops between them. and they call this "husband and wifing." >> brown: husband and wifing." that is terrible and perfect, right? >> it's absolutely perfect. and then we've seen a lot of crashes, unfortunately, in cycling, and when there's a crash and gear flies off and water bottles end up on the street they call this a "yard sale." >> brown: that's great, too. poetry, of course, has a long, longer history and tradition at the olympics, ancient and modern, right? >> it actually does.
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there was an ancient poet named pinnedar who wrote a number of odes to olympic athletes. and february even in the modern era, from 1912 to 1948, there were medal awarded in sport art in five different categories and poetry was one of the five categories. so you could potentially have won a medal in athletics as well as art, and in fact two people did an american and a hungarian. and i think that's a tradition that ought to be brought back. we should have gold medals for poetry. >> brown: not likely, i suppose. is that getting much traction there? >> uhm, i'm not sure, exactly, but there are a number of people who think it would be a good idea. the reason it was actually discontinued was because the artists were considered to be professionals, while the athletes were considered to be amateurs and now that's really quite reversed so i might be able to get more traction with that argument. >> brown: i'll say. those worlds have really turned, haven't they?
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>> yes. >> brown: could you read one of our poems? >> this is called gymnastics love poem "i can honestly say i've bent over backwards for executed front flips and twists and somersaults in your name i've tumbled my way into and out of corners i've kicked up storms and spun my wheels i've learned to balance my heart on my sleeve while remaining flexible to all your judgments and evens the art of loving is the art of vaulting through the air without a safety net, and landing firmly on your feet the art of loving is the art of iron crosses and crash mats and when you've built up your strength, the seizing of rings." >> brown: priscila uppal, a poet in residence at the london
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olympics. thanks for joining us. >> thank you. >> brown: and on our "art beat" page, you can watch priscilla uppal read another of her poems, called "obsessive compulsive cycling disorder." that's at >> woodruff: again, the major developments of the day: the egyptian military staged air strikes into the sinai peninsula, attacking islamic militants just days after they killed 16 egyptian soldiers at a border post. >> the syrian military with an assault into part upon aleppo. the f.b.i. said the gunman in the sikh temple shooting in wisconsin took his own life sunday after killing six people and being wounded by police. at the summer olympics in london in beach volleyball, americans misty may trainer, and kerri walsh jennings in their third straight olympics beat fellow
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americans april ross, and jennifer cesy. on our web site, paul solman expands on his recent interview with the former inspector general for the u.s. treasury department's troubled asset relief program. kwame holman has the details. >> reporter: on our "making sense" blog, you can watch excerpts from paul's interview with neil barofsky, author of the new book, "bailout." today, the tarp cop discusses trying to deal with the washington power structure. judy sres voter views in this week's "notebook" as a preview of her upcoming report on the swing state of virginia. that's on our "politics" page. and on "art beat," musician jeff tweedy of "wilco" talks about his recordings of songs by woody guthrie and what he sings to his kids at bedtime. all that and more is on our web site, judy? >> woodruff: and that's the newshour for tonight. on thursday, margaret warner has an interview with supreme court justice antonin scalia. i'm judy woodruff. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. we'll see you online and again here tomorrow evening. thank you and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions captioned by media access group at wgbh
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>> this is n.b.r. >> susie: good evening everyone. i'm susie gharib. home prices head higher, as the housing recovery digs in. >> tom: i'm tom hudson. mcdonald's shares tumble. the fast food giant posts its first monthly sales drop in nearly a decade. >> susie: and the u.s. futures market, it's been hit by scandal, but investors are still buying in. we continue our look at confidence and the markets. >> tom: that and more tonight on "n.b.r."! >> tom: there's more evidence the housing market is recovering. two reports show home prices jumped significantly in the second quarter. and it's a classic story of supply and demand. fewer homes for sale has helped push up prices for those looking for buyers. real estate data firm core logic
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finds home prices up 6% in the second quarter. freddie mac's survey has prices up 4.8%. this are the largest quarter over quarter price hike in at least seven years. housing had been a drag on the economy, but fewer homes for sale and record low mortgage rates have continued to repair the sector even though consumers remain cautious. >> tom: we saw the latest evidence of that caution from mcdonald's today. july sales at the fast food restaurant fell flat, surprising investors, and sending its stock lower. sales at u.s. stores open more than a year fell slightly last month, down 0.1%, that marks the first time in almost a decade monthly sales didn't rise. like other analysts, morningstar's rj hottovy expected sales to slow, but thought they'd still be positive. whether it be sluggish wage growth and an uneven housing recovery and just a lot of headlines about a worsening global macroeconomic picture, i think a combination of those


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