tv PBS News Hour PBS August 16, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: officials in the dallas area prepare for an aerial assault on mosquitoes to combat the spread of the deadly west nile virus. good evening, i'm judy woodruff >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. on the "newshour" tonight, we have the latest on the outbreak that's killed 16 in texas alone. the state that accounts for more than half of some 700 cases nationwide. >> woodruff: then, we update the diplomatic showdown brewing in london, after ecuador granted asylum to wikileaks founder julian assange. >> brown: from our series on "coping with climate change," hari sreenivasan reports on the sour season for cherry farmers in michigan. >> statewide more than 90% of the tart cherry crop was lost when freezing weather followed an unusually warm spring.
>> woodruff: we look at the outpouring of young undocumented immigrants who lined up yesterday across the country for the chance to defer deportation. >> we've all been waiting for this, you know? i mean it's not the dream act, but it's something. the main thing is school-- go to college, be somebody, help my family. >> brown: and on the "daily download," we examine how the no-holds barred campaign rhetoric is playing online. >> woodruff: that's all ahead. on tonight's "newshour." major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: and the william and flora hewlett foundation, working to solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world. 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: after tonight, dallas, texas begins an air war. the enemy is west nile virus and the immediate targets are the insects that transmit it from infected birds to humans. on two feet and four wheels, crews in dallas county, texas are already spraying insecticide at ground level, to kill mosquitoes that carry west nile virus. >> we are talking about a third- world virus. we don't have a blueprint that says this works, you know, versus another plan. >> brown: the county declared a state of emergency last week. and yesterday, dallas mayor mike rawlings followed suit, clearing the way for aerial spraying for the first time since 1966. >> i'm in a tight window because we have people dying. we have to have a sense of used to having aerial spraying or insectictol lying ce
to one of the casualties, evidence, perhaps, that the protesters, too, were armed. there's been a weak of increasingly violent protests at this mine. 3,000 workers walked out en masse last friday. >> we work whard the machine wes use but we can't afford to send our kids to school. all we want is money. even though they have sent these police here, there's no point. we're not fighting against anyone, all we want is money. >> reporter: when some miners tried to go back to work on saturday they were attacked by strikers. things turned uglier on sunday. two security guards were dragged from their cars and hacked to death. and the killing spree continued since then. at the beginning of the week mobs of men armed with sticks and machetes killed two other workers and overpowered police. that was the first time police officers opened fire, they kill lead the miners.
on tuesday the body of a man bludgeoned to death was found, taking the number of people killed to ten. >> rubber bullets and live ammunition. >> reporter: the shocking scenes of police firing on demonstrators to some will be a disturbing echo of the political violence and turmoil of south africa's apartheid past. >> sreenivasan: south africa has 80% of the world's known reserves of platinum. but the country's mines have seen eight months of unrest as two unions struggle for dominance. officials in northeast congo now confirm at least 60 gold miners died monday in a landslide at their mine. they were about 100 yards below the surface at the time. rescue efforts were hampered because the jungle surrounding the mine is controlled by a militia. seven american troops were killed today when their black hawk helicopter crashed in afghanistan. that made july the deadliest month this year for u.s. forces deployed there with more than 40 killed. the helicopter went down in kandahar province in the south. three afghan soldiers and a civilian interpreter also died. the taliban claimed it shot down the chopper.
nato said the cause was still under investigation. taliban fighters in neighboring pakistan blasted their way into an air force base today, touching off a two-hour battle. all nine attackers and one security official were killed. the air base has possible ties to pakistan's nuclear program. elsewhere, 20 shi-ites were killed by gunmen in northern pakistan. in iraq, at least two dozen people died in a wave of bombings. three of the attacks were in kirkuk and came in close succession. mangled metal lined the streets of a restaurant district after a parked car exploded there. in all, more than 120 iraqis have died in violence this month. the u.n. security council will allow an observer mission to syria to expire on sunday, in favor of a new civilian office there. today's decision acknowledged that the observers have been largely confined to their damascus hotel as the civil war escalates. meanwhile, thousands of syrians are crossing into neighboring countries to escape the fighting. and in damascus, the u.n. humanitarian chief, valerie amos, said the relief problem inside syria is mushrooming. 30 vtr
>> back in march we estimated that a million people were in need of help. now as many as 2.5 million are in need of assistance and we are working to update our plans and our funding requirements. over the last two days i have visited displaced people in damascus and in an nabak. the families i met are tired, anxious, and many have no prospect of going home any time soon. >> sreenivasan: amos also appealed to the world to help. a request in march for $180 million in assistance is only 40% funded so far. the drought across much of the u.s. has eased slightly in some places, but it's still getting worse in others. this week's government survey found conditions improved just a bit in iowa and illinois after rain last week. but in nebraska and kansas, the amount of acreage in exceptional drought rose sharply. republican presidential
candidate mitt romney insisted today that he has paid taxes every year in the last decade at a rate of at least 13%. but he declined, again, to make public his returns from years before 2010. instead, he said there are more important things to talk about. >> given the challenge that americans face-- 23 million people out of work, iran about to go nuclear, 1 out of 6 americans in poverty, the fascination woth taxes i've paid i find to be very small minded compared to the broad issues we face, but i did go back and look at my taxes, and over the past ten years, i never paid less than 13%. >> sreenivasan: the senate's democratic majority leader harry reid has charged that romney paid no taxes in some years. romney said today that's totally false. baby boomers are being urged
to get tested for the hepatitis "c" virus. the centers for disease control recommended the one-time blood test today for all americans born between 1945 and 1965. they account for some two-thirds of the three million americans who have the virus. hepatitis "c" is most often spread through shared drug needles or during blood transfusions. it kills more than 15,000 americans every year. wall street took heart today from a jump in building permits in july and some upbeat corporate earnings. the dow jones industrial average gained 85 points to close at 13,250. the nasdaq rose 31 points to close at 3062. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to judy... >> woodruff: and to the international tug-of-war over wikileaks founder julian assange. in 2010 his organization began publishing huge troves of u.s. diplomatic and military documents. there have been calls to prosecute him here. separately, he's been charged with sexual assault in sweden and to avoid extradition to there, he's been holed up in the ecuadorian embassy in london for two months.
today, ecuador granted him asylum, but the story doesn't stop there. jonathan miller of independent television news reports. >> reporter: ever since he jumped bail in june this standoff was looming. police positioned outside the ecuadorian embassy to arrest julian assange the minute he stepped outside. he didn't. members of the hackers group, anonymous, were on the frontline to support the founder of wikileaks, who, holed up in a small room inside the embassy for 56 days, was pinning his hopes on quito granting him political asylum. there were three arrests among protestors. the press pack gathered force; the ecuadorians expressed indignation over what they branded british hostility. then, from ecuador, came the news assange was waiting for. >> the ecuadorian government, loyal to its tradition to protect those who seek protection in its territory or in its diplomatic buildings, has decided to grant diplomatic
asylum to julian assange, following his request to the president of the republic. >> reporter: but britain remains determined to extradite australian-born assange to sweden where he's accused of rape and sexual assault on two former wikileaks supporters. he exhausted his legal appeals against extradition in may. but julian assange suspects there's a hidden agenda here that he'll end up being sent to the united states, where he fears prosecution over his whistle blowing coup. he believes he's a bona fide dissident, a victim of political persecution. but this is not the first standoff at a foreign embassy in london. in 1984 a police woman, policing a protest outside the libyan embassy was shot dead by someone inside. embassy staff were eventually allowed to leave, and were expelled from britain. well, 28 years on, this is the
after that, britain determined that diplomatic premises should never again be allowed to be abused in such a manner. three years later, the diplomatic and consular premises act was introduced, permitting the legal revocation of the diplomatic status of a building. last night the ecuadorian government leaked a letter they'd received from the foreign office, raising the specter of britain enforcing this law. we very much hope not to get to this point, the letter said, but if you cannot resolve the issue of mr. assange's presence on your premises, this route is open to us. standoff. this evening, in the face of ecuadorian indignation, the foreign secretary stuck to his guns. >> there are no time limits that is a problem more for the embassy and for mr. assange than for this country except for the fact that we are going to fulfil our obligations under the extradition act to sweden. >> reporter: so where on earth does this go now? well, absolutely nowhere, for julian assange. he's stuck.
>> woodruff: curious about other famous asylum-seekers? you can watch a slideshow -- that includes roman polanski, sitting bull and others -- on our website. >> brown: now, agriculture and climate change in michigan. it's been a summer of drought impacting corn and other crops around the nation. but northwestern michigan has faced a different problem that's placed its signature cherry crop in grave danger. our report is part of our series on "coping with climate change". and again we turn to hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: how far can you spit a cherry pit? at the national cherry festival in traverse city, michigan, the record stands at 74 feet. every summer thousands flock here to feast on cherries, to spit cherry pits, and even crown a cherry queen.
traverse city calls itself the cherry capital of the world. the surrounding great lakes and rolling hills create a perfect climate for fruit growing. the region produces roughly 75% of the country's tart cherry crop each year. those are the ones that go into pies, juice and preserves. once upon a time sara mcguire was the reigning royalty. >> it's a romantic story. pat and i got engaged in 1995. and that was the year that i was the national cherry queen. and that was also the year that we started the farm. and pat said that we should name it after me, and that we should call it royal farms. >> reporter: but this year running royal farms has been anything but a fairy tale. statewide more than 90% of the tart cherry crop was lost when freezing weather followed an
unusually warm spring. >> we've had to lay people off, we've had to work extra hours, we did everything we could in the spring to minimize the effects of the freezes that we did have. we felt like we just lost a fight. >> sreenivasan: the mcguires are not alone. 2012 has been the worst year in recorded history for michigan fruits. >> it's hard to tell what's been harvested already. >> sreenivasan: jim nugent is a farmer and a researcher. he has been growing cherries his whole life and he is also the former district horticulturist at the michigan agricultural extension center. >> on a normal year, the tart cherries being so red really stand out. but this year as you dve by the orchard, they just look green. >> sreenivasan: he says cherry trees wait for a spring warming in order to bloom. that happened much earlier than usual this year. in michigan, march temperatures
reached nearly 14 degrees above the state average. >> so when you're in the mid 80s for five or six days in march, it was just unbelievably warm. so that pushed the trees to a stage of development that was about five and a half weeks ahead of their normal. >> sreenivasan: the early bloom left the fruit buds vulnerable. between march and may there were more than a dozen nights where temperatures dipped below freezing. those cold snaps killed not only cherries, but also juice grapes, peaches and apples. estimated losses are $210 million across the state. >> so, we're about two point nine million dollars less in income than we had a year ago. >> sreenivasan: don gregory is co-owner of cherry bay orchards, the largest producer of tart cherries in the country growing an average of 10 million to 15 million pounds of cherries a year. this season that's down to one hundred thousand pounds.
>> it would be like somebody telling you, "hey, you're not going to get a paycheck for 16 months. now we expect you to come to work every day, we expect you to pay all your bills, and we'll get back to a normal paycheck in about 16 months from now." and so that's as close as i can come to equating what this is kind of like. >> sreenivasan: farmers are now left with all the costs of maintaining their orchards, but with none of their revenue. there is no crop insurance available for tart cherries in the united states. the only compensation for crop loss is filing for disaster relief which offers farmers low interest loans. jeff andresen, climatologist at michigan state university points out that this years early spring was an extreme weather event. but the existing record for cherry tree blooms gives him cause for concern. >> and we know now, from our climate records, that our seasonal warm-up is beginning on the average of about a week and a half earlier than it did just 30 years ago. so that's a rapid change.
>> sreenivasan: this year wasn't the first time in recent years that cherry farmers saw low yields. what really scares farmers is that a similar sequence of early spring warm ups and frost events occurred in 2002. >> well two of these types of years in ten is something we don't think has occurred before, at least not in the last century. >> i had a young farmer tell me a couple of months ago, he said, the old timers told me that 2002 was a once-in-a-lifetime thing. and now we have this. they lied to me. i said, easy. they didn't lie to you, they just don't know. nobody knows. >> sreenivasan: nobody knows but looking at the historical data, andresen fears that frequent freeze events could become more likely. >> historically, looking at the actual data, we also have very, very strong evidence that the number of freeze events following the, really, the beginning of development for these tree fruit crop, that has
increased. so overall for the grower, for the industry, what we see now is essentially more risk with time. there's a longer timeframe where that crop is vulnerable to those, those spring freezes than used to be the case 30, 40, 50 years ago. >> sreenivasan: there is also the fear that the damage will not be limited to this season. the wet and cool temperatures left fruit trees vulnerable to diseases like bacterial canker which invades the tissue and can permanently damage trees. >> now we're talking about tree health, and we've been hit with a bacterial disease and a fungal disease that's, you know, weakening these trees, and then if we have another weather event, like a really cold winter, what we see then is a lot of tree mortality. >> sreenivasan: nikki rothwell is a horticulturist at the michigan state university extension station. she is working with the fruit industry to adapt to the new realities that a changing climate may bring.
>> if climate is changing, you know, how are we going to address this, how are we going to give growers kind of those tools that they need. is there a cherry out there through breeding that blooms later, less susceptible to these frost situations? >> sreenivasan: michigan scientists are joining with international researchers to investigate how climate change will further affect the global cherry industry. and meanwhile crop loss has ripple effects beyond the farmer. honey bees needed for spring pollination had to be brought north five weeks early killing hives and beekeepers profits when the frosts hit. those who harvest the fruit have struggled to find enough work to stay afloat. processors have had to lay off workers and shut down operation lines. and of course, there's the final product, the pie. in the height of the summer fruit season, the grand traverse pie company makes more than 750 pies, by hand, a day. in order to keep using only michigan fruit, they bought up much of the fruit crop that
survived from a local grower and raised their prices by two dollars a pie. but mike busley, the owner, says at this rate, he might have to look elsewhere for enough cherries to stay in business. >> if we were getting cherries from somebody we didn't know, we've never been there, we would make the pie, but i don't know that it would be quite the same. so, i'd hate to have that happen. >> sreenivasan: and back at royal farms, sara and pat are making do by selling cherry products from past years but that may not be enough. >> we're not out of the woods of putting the out of business on the door. >> sreenivasan: they knew when they started that farming is a risky business and they say years like this one are daunting for young people considering a future on the farm. >> and to have a year like this, i think that probably is a bit discouraging and a little spooky. you know, is that really what i want to choose for myself, is
this not going to happen now for 50 years? am i safe in my career timeframe, or is it going to happen again next year or the year after? >> and i've had that thought. what if we don't have fruit next year? how do you plan for that? >> reporter: and while no one is ready to write off the cherry industry here altogether, it is a sour thought in the back of the minds of many farmers. >> brown: there's more of hari's reporting online including a slide show and stories about how seasonal workers and bee-keepers are being affected. >> woodruff: next the story of young undocumented immigrants anxious to stay in the united states. yesterday was the first day they could apply for deportation waivers under changes announced by president obama earlier this summer. under the new program, young illegals will not be deported if:
thousands of immigrants flooded their local offices yesterday. paris schutz of wttw chicago reports on the scene there. >> reporter: they were lined up in and around navy pooeshgs some camping out in the wee hours of the morning. how long have you been at navy pier? >> seven hours today. seven hours since the morning. >> reporter: yusuf salazar says today is like a coming out of the shadows for he and other undocumenteds. his future looks a little brighter. >> we've been waiting for this, you know? it's not the dream act but it's something. the main thing is school, go to college, be somebody, help my family. my parents, mainly. >> if you are not eligible for deferred action your application will be denied. >> reporter: lawyers and immigrants right activists
assist undocumenteds with their paperwork. >> you'll go to them on monday and they'll just check andake sure everything is okay. >> reporter: if it checks out and they can prove they've finished high school and have a clean criminal record they can stay here, get a driver's license, seek further schooling and go to work. because of the here is number of people here today some had to be turned away. in all, about 1,500 were able to complete their application and, in about a month, they'll receive their new deferred status. xavier manning, who lives in glendale heights, was one of the unlucky ones who didn't make it in. >> they didn't have enough applications done. but they had a lot of volunteers coming around giving them our e-mail and stuff and they'll e-mail us for the next workshop to be done so we'll just hope for the best and wait for that. >> reporter: today iss especially bittersweet for theresa lee. born in brazil and brought here by her parents at the age of two. when she was eight her parents revealed she was not legally a u.s. citizen. >> my dad told us "keep it is a
secret, you can't tell anyone outside of our family otherwise our families will be separated." >> reporter: theresa, an accomplished pianist, was unable to accept invitations to attend prestigious colleges because of her immigration status. her story inspired senator durbin to author the dream act which would provide a path to permanent citizenship for certain undocumenteds. it's passed the house but has yet to muster enough votes in the senate. republicans have called the president's order a cynical election year ploy to woo the hispanic vote. theresa lee, now married and a legal u.s. citizen sees it differently. >> this is a historic first step for the dreamers. this is just the first step. we really need to push for the dream act we need comprehensive immigration reform in the long run. >> reporter: once granted, the new status is good for two years when undocumenteds can then reapply. >> woodruff: to help give a sense of how yesterday's events
unfolded across the country, we turn to brian bennett. he covers homeland security for the "los angeles times." thank you for being with us. >> happy to be here. >> woodruff: so i read today that about 1.7 million young people were eligible, the 40% of those in that age group. how good a job did the government do of getting the word out about this? >> the government announced it in june but really it was a grass-roots level organization that put it out. so you have people who are eligible for this program. a lot of them have been advocating for some sort of legislation for more than two years, like the dream act which would have created a path to citizenship for young people who came here in childhood. they have a robust lobbying organization that they have activated over the last year, year and a half. >> woodruff: and these pro-immigrant organizations? >> that's right. they are across the country in many major cities. >> woodruff: and brian, you talked to a number of young people yesterday both here in the washington area and on the phone in different parts of the
country. what were they saying to you about how it went for them and why they did this. >> reporter: there was a lot of excitement yesterday among this group of undocumented young people i spoke with people in ohio, for example, and one young man had been waiting just to apply for a job to work in a political office. he wanted to work for his local state senator and because he's undocument head could don't this. he was excited to apply for this because he would be able to get a work permit and full his dream of working in politics which he hadn't been able to do until this moment. >> reporter: and the ability to get an education. just the fact they don't have to worry about being deported for many of them makes a difference. >> and this is not going to give them legal status. but it is going to put their minds at ease they that they won't be deported for at least two years. i spoke with one young man who wanted to be an electrician but he wasn't able to get a job to afford to class to become an electrician. he felt like if he was give an work permit he could finally go to school and become an electrician. >> woodruff: you said you also
talked to young people who expressed nervousness about this because of exposing other members of their family. >> that's right. there were a number of people who were uncertain about whether they should apply. they were afraid it would expose members of their family who are undocumented. d.h.s. has promised.... >> woodruff: homeland security. >> the department of homeland security has promised they won't go after family members. there's a concern they'll get rejected and be deported. if someone has a criminal record for example, ice and homeland security said they could deport them. and also there's just the concern that they could apply and that another president would come into power who would reverse the program and they're afraid that they would have given this information to the government and be a target. >> brown: what is the sense that if president obama is not reelected in november, if mitt romney were to become president, what is the sense of what would happen to this program? >> so we don't know what mitt romney would do. he's been asked about this. he said he opposed the program.
that he thinks it's an end run around congress, that it shouldn't have been done but he has not said he would roll back the program if he became president. >> woodruff: did you get a sense on balance most young people felt it was worth taking risk or what? >> the vast majority of the young people i spoke with were very excited to apply. thousands of them showed up to get legal assistance yesterday in cities around the country and the vast majority of them wanted to step forward, come out of the shadows and apply for this program. >> woodruff: we also know that some states... in fact, every state has the ability to implement this differently. we know in the state of arizona that governor jan brewer said she doesn't want these young people to be eligible for driver's licenses. how is that going to affect... >> so once a young person gets a work permit through this program they will also get a social security card. and they could also apply for a state driver's license. and, of course, it depends on the laws of the state as to what kind of documentation is required and i'm sure, like in
arizona, some states will be looking at this program and deciding whether or not they want to allow people who participate in this program and get a work permit to get a driver's license as well. >> woodruff: so the young people you talked to all of them were able to apply yesterday at least what about... we heard the young man in the video report saying he wasn't able to sign up right now but there will be other workshops. is that how it goes going forward from here? >> what's going to happen is yesterday was the first day you could apply for this program. anyone can apply. you can download the forms from the homeland security web site and mail them in and what organizations have done is they've made lawyers available over the next several months to do a consultation with someone before they send in their paperwork to make sure they have the right documentation and that they aren't putting up red flags that might get them deported in the end. >> woodruff: so they can either download or they're able to
disease ae we heard in that report-- there are workshops where they will apply. >> that's exactly right. >> woodruff: so what do they have to look forward to? they wait for something to be sent to them in the mail? >> they'll download the application online, fill it out, mail it in, and get a receipt that they completed the application. they can follow the status of the application online. they have to go in for an appointment to have their fingerprints taken and they'll receive a background check. their fingerprints will be checked against law enforcement databases and the documentation will be reviewed and eventually, it could be several months, they could receive their work permit and not be deported for two years. >> woodruff: one of the things we didn't mention, brian bennett for these young people, they have to come up with money to get this? $465? is that a uniform amount they have to pay around the country? >> it is. it's $465 to apply for the program. the program itself is going to
be... the implementation will be covered by those fees so what that's meant is the department of homeland security hasn't hired any new people to process these applications until the fees start coming in. so there's a concern that there could be a backlog because you have the same number of people at home as security as you had the day before the program. you have potentially hundreds of thousands of applications coming in and they won't hire anyone until the fees are collected. >> woodruff: that was going to be my last question. is the government prepared to handle all this? >> the government says they are. the department of homeland security is used to handling six million visa applications and residency applications a year. this could add to that program almost two million pieces of paperwork. so that's more than a 25% increase and it's unclear as to whether or not the government has the work force or money to handle that workload. >> woodruff: brian bennett with the los angeles angels of anaheim, thank you very much. >> happy to be here. >> brown: we'll be back shortly with the "daily download," our regular look at the campaign and social media. but first: this is pledge week
on pbs. this break allows your public television station to ask for your support. and that support helps keep programs like ours on the air. >> woodruff: for those stations not taking a pledge break. we take an encore look at an invasive species threatening the great lakes-- asian carp. ashar quraishi of wttw chicago reports. >> reporter: you definitely don't want these voracious fish invading the great lakes but now that they're in the illinois river and here to stay, scientists are wondering if there's a profitable way to keep their populations in check. this is stratton state park about 60 miles southwest of chicago. >> this is kind of like the battle ground right here. >> reporter: it's a story we've heard before. >> the fish are moving up from the mississippi river through
illinois and up towards the great lakes. >> reporter: but there's an ironic twist to this doomsday story which could be solved by striking a delicate balance between economics and the environment. vic santucci is the asian carp specialist for the illinois department of natural resources. >> let them get the net out. we won't try to scare the fish away. >> reporter: he and his team are evaluating whether the carp can be controlled the old fashioned way, by catching them. >> they're trying to drive fish into one of their commercial nets and that's contracted fishermen. >> reporter: the catch-22 is that while the ultimate goal is to fish down the populations to prevent ecological damage there have to be enough asian carp left to make the business lucrative for commercial fishermen. >> it's really driven by free market principles-- how much they can get for fish, how much it costs to catch those fish and that type of thing and then you need a market, you know, what can you do with the fish. >> reporter: santucci says it's a numbers game. removing asian carp from this population downstream prevents strays from making their way up toward the electric barrier in the chicago sanitary and ship
canal. this has been the army corps of engineers last line of defense to block the asian carp from invading lake michigan and all of the great lakes. >> the consensus among scientists is that it works really, really well but is probably not perfect, so if only a few asian carp reach the electric barrier, it will probably repel them, but if thousands reach the electric barrier, some might slip through. >> reporter: philip willink a senior research biologist at the john g. shedd aquarium says the focus now needs to be on developing ways to prevent the fish from breeding near the electric barrier because smaller, juvenile fish are more likely to slip through the blockade. >> and one of the ways to do that is to sponsor commercial fisherman to go out there and try to catch as many as they can. >> reporter: today gary shaw is one of ten commercial fisherman who's allowed to fish these backwaters accompanied by state biologists. >> pound fishing with gill nets is the best way to get right now. >> reporter: it's not a bad
haul. >> he's approaching 50 i'd say. >> reporter: according to the army corps of engineers asian carp are capable of eating 20% to 120% of their body weight each day. but for commercial fishermen, big fish, don't always translate into big money. >> one of the problems with getting people interested in eating asian carp is they happen to have a lot of bones in some strange places so they're really hard to filet. >> reporter: add to that the common misperceptions that these fish don't taste very good because people assume they're bottom feeders and you have a brand problem. schafer fisheries in thompson, illinois is addressing both those problems. ever since the fish first turned up the company has been looking for innovative ways to process and market asian carp. >> on the fresh side, it would be the asian community here in the u.s. and on the frozen side it would be ethnic communities around the world. the u.s. is the only country that does not eat a carp. >> americans have this mentality
>> reporter: schafer says that once all the bones are removed an asian carp filet yields a relatively small and expensive four to five ounce portion that can't compete with more economical alternatives, which is why they have turned to alternative methods of extracting the meat. >> basically we run it through a mincing machine which is soft meat separator. >> reporter: the meat is then ground up much like beef and nothing is wasted. >> so this removes all the bones and anything you don't want in the meat. >> yep so here are your tendons you can see and all your bones are in there. >> reporter: and this will go eventually go to become fertilizer? >> all this will be organic fertilizer. >> reporter: in a structure next to the fish processing plant a large machine the schaefers call the human body, digests the discarded bones, skins and tendons. enzymes much like those found in the stomach break down the leftovers to create an organic liquid fertilizer. and business has been good, schafer says over the last six years processing of asian carp has more than doubled to about 15 million pounds each year.
and they are in the final stages of research and development on several new asian carp-based products including hot dogs. it's something the company hopes will open the door to asian carp for many skeptical consumers. >> the toughest challenge is changing the perspective and just getting people to try the fish. >> reporter: the company is fully invested in marketing asian carp products like salami, bologna and even asian carp jerky. here at the taste of chicago-- the city's largest food festival-- illinois department of natural resources working with its partners has found a sure-fire way of getting people to try it. by grilling it up and giving it away. >> you just mention the word carp and people make a face first and then i convince them to try it and then they go into the store and buy it. >> reporter: free food means long lines and open minds. >> it's really fantastic. it's really well seasoned and it's moist. it's yummy. people should try it.
>> reporter: in case it catches scientists are also studying the long-term prospects of keeping up with potential demand. james garvey is the director of the center for fisheries, aquaculture and aquatic sciences at southern illinois university. >> see you've got some nice resolution now. >> reporter: for the last year garvey has been sailing the illinois river and literally counting asian carp. using sophisticated equipment much like the sonar on a submarine the team is scanning the waters. the s.i.u. research is important for commercial fishermen because knowing how many fish are in the water is a good indicator of how sustainable an asian carp business could be in the lg- run. >> if there's not enough fish out there, nobody's going to invest any money in it. >> reporter: the hope is that by the end of this year, researchers, government agencies and commercial fisheries will each have a better sense of their role in keeping asian carp
out of the great lakes by perhaps putting it on your plate. >> brown: if anyone needed evidence of the changing world of media and technology, more came today in the form of a poll published by "time" magazine that checked in consumers in eight nations, including the u.s. among the highlights 20,% of respondents said they check their mobile device every 10 minutes and 84% said they couldn't go a single day without their mobile devices. we, of course, have been taking a regular look at how such changes are playing out in the presidential campaign and our team from the daily download web site is back again tonight. lauren ashe burne is the site's editor-in-chief, howard curt is host of cnn's "reliable sources q." what do you make of those numbers? >> it's a wired world.
i check mine more frequently. >> brown: you're not shocked. >> not at all. >> brown: the biggest news in the campaign was the selection of paul ryan. how did that play out in your world? >> well the campaign itself has turned online on twitter, for example, paul ryan's selection as mitt romney's running mate the tone is more mocking than vitriolic. one person tweeting "mitt romney should release his tax returns to distract from the paul ryan disaster." what struck me, though, is how many more negative and snarky comments there have been versus positive comments, at least on twitter when i was looking. >> brown: what about in terms of numbers and volume? >> in terms of numbers, look at this chart we put together. on august 9, which was the friday before the announcement came 11,837 references to paul ryan were made on twitter. well, the next day it jumped to 390,000. >> going viral.
>> so it just shows you the power of twitter. the power of social media and the ability to capture people's reaction? >> you've seen this play out in campaign stops along the way. but it's playing out in twitter and social media. >> i think people can be more snarky online, hidden than they can be in person so television, i think, you're less likely to take a pot shot at somebody. but if you're doing it online, you're more likely to. >> and the campaign operatives have learned to play the snarkyness game online in a way maybe they would be more cautious. as you say, lauren, in front of a television camera. >> reporter: a running theme for you two in all of our talks has been how the campaigns just use digital tools and the extent to which they engage people along the way. so now there's a new poll out that helps put meat on this. >> a study by the project for ethics in journalism, part of the pew research center and if
you can go to the next graphic we'll give you an example. we've talked about how much more active president obama is online compared to mitt romney. here's some evidence. just looking at a period of less than two weeks in a single recent month. >> in june. >> in june. 29 twitter messages, just one for romney. a little more equal on facebook and youtube although the youtube president's team has posted twice as many videos as the romney side. he's been president for four years, he's had a big head start but it's a striking comparison. >> what it what it shows is that really the obama campaign values twitter and the obama campaign is on nine different platforms in addition to twitter, facebook and youtube. they're on tumbler and the other ones we've talked about on the program. >> instagram. >> and they also... you know, they really try to get reaction from people and get those people to post and to share that information. >> reaction meaning, like actually engaging them a two way
conversation? >> one of the interesting things of this study you cannot just join the obama web site but they've carved it up from 18 different subgroups to jewish americans to native americans so they are microtargeting people on line. environmentalists >> african americans. >> young people, african americans, every conceivable demographic group sglochlt >> so you asked the question about engagement. what we're saying... we're calling citizen tweets >> ordinary folks. >> right. ordinary joes who get on twitter. >> brown: you know who you are. >> say their piece. on one day obama put together 404. >> probably a longer period of time. >> sorry, two weeks. 404 tweets. 12 of those were shared. >> or retreated which means you send it to your followers and they can send it to their followers. >> so president obama and his team are trying to engage
>> so what's interesting about this is that it's almost a one-way form of communication. you think it's two way but the campaign sends out this information and when they see someone like a regular joe tweet something they don't really push it along on their own behalf. >> a little footnote on the one message that was retreated or shared by mitt romney that was from one of his sons. not exactly a regular joe. >> brown: of course the tweets don't necessarily translate to votes, right? >> no, we've talked about this and we don't know what it translates to other than awareness. they use it to try to drive money and try to drive engagement meaning come to the site. the other piece of this report that we found fascinating is that it shows voters are playing a large role in communicating campaign messages and that the role of the traditional news
media as an authority to validate has been lessened. >> but i would briefly note that one other thing that's driven on twitter even if there's not a lot of it is zen engagement is it drives media coverage because journalists follow the messages and amplify them on television and elsewhere. >> brown: to be continued. next we'll look ahead to the conventions, right, howard kurtz lauren ashburn, thanks so much. >> thank you. >> woodruff: again, the major developments of the day: officials in the dallas area made ready to begin aerial spraying tonight, to kill and a black hawk helicopter crashed in afghanistan, killing seven american troops and four afghans. the taliban claimed it shot down the helicopter. it's science thursday online and we go all the way to coast of newfoundland. hari sreenevasan explains. >> sreenivasan: that's where scientists are drilling deep into the ocean floor. their aim: to uncover clues
about the earth's ancient climate. we talked to a lead scientist about the mission. we've got a primer on vice presidential hopeful paul ryan's plan to reform medicare prepared by our partners at kaiser health news. that's on the rundown. tomorrow, we'll look at his approach to medicaid. all that and more is on our web site: newshour.pbs.org. >> woodruff: and that's the "newshour" for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. we'll see you online and again here tomorrow evening with mark shields and rich lowry among others. thank you and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us.
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