tv PBS News Hour PBS September 12, 2013 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> ifill: secretary of state john kerry met today with his russian counterpart in geneva, as both searched for a diplomatic solution to securing syria's chemical weapons. >> woodruff: also tonight, the remarkable life story of an internet genius, who was almost certainly the first victim of 9- 11, murdered as he tried to stop the hijackers on one of the planes to hit the world trade center. >> ifill: and we begin a new series: "where poetry lives." >> once upon a midnight dreary. once upon a midnight dreary.
>> ifill: jeffrey brown teams up with poet laureate natasha trethewey, to examine a program aimed at improving the lives of people with alzheimer's disease. >> during the session earlier where gary said emma lazurus, you immediately said... >> "give me your tired and your poor, your huddled masses..." >> ifill: good evening. i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. those are just some of the stories we're covering on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects
us. >> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. >> 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. >> woodruff: our lead story tonight, syria's president publicly agreed to ban chemical weapons and give up his stockpile, under a russian plan. but, bashar assad wants more time before sharing data on his arsenal.
he's also insisting the u.s. give up on military action. meanwhile, u.s. secretary of state john kerry began talks with the russians. we'll have more, right after the other news of the day. >> ifill: the interim president of egypt formally extended a national state of emergency today, for another two months. the country's prime minister first previewed the move last night on "the newshour". the state of emergency has allowed security forces to conduct a crackdown on islamist supporters of ousted president mohammed morsi. it turns out the u.s. national security agency routinely passes raw surveillance data to israel, containing details about american citizens. london's "guardian" newspaper reported that today, based on still more documents from n.s.a. leaker edward snowden. the story said a 2009 agreement with israel calls for safeguarding privacy rights, but there is no legally binding enforcement mechanism. severe flooding in colorado killed at least three people early today. heavy rain sent torrents blasting down mountainsides
where recent wildfires had laid the ground bare. the downpour began overnight, dumping as much as six inches of rain in boulder county alone over a 12-hour timespan and triggering emergencies. entire roads were washed out, cutting off mountain towns, and rescuers worked to free people trapped in cars. boulder county sheriff joe pelle said it's dangerous work. >> this is not your ordinary day, not ordinary disaster and all the preparation in the world, can't put people up those canyons while those walls of water and debris are coming down. >> ifill: also today, fire officials in northern california reported damage is worse than first believed, in a wildfire about 150 miles north of sacramento. 68 homes have been destroyed, with one person killed. the fire is now 65% contained. a major fire erupted today in a
new jersey town that was hit hard by hurricane "sandy" last year. flames blazed across several blocks of the boardwalk in seaside park, after spreading from an ice cream store. police said tar roofs and high winds fanned the fire and sent heavy smoke billowing down the beach. foreclosures across the u.s. were down substantially in august. the listing firm realty-trac says only 56,000 homes went into foreclosure. that's the smallest number in nearly eight years. but, the company said, the risk of foreclosure remains high in florida, nevada and ohio. supporters of raising hourly pay to what they call a living wage encountered a setback today in washington d.c. mayor vincent gray vetoed a bill that would have forced large retailers to pay employees at least $12.50 an hour. he called it a job killer. the bill centered on wal-mart and its plans to build new retail stores in the nation's capital. in business news, twitter has
confirmed it's going public. the company announced it today in a tweet. it gave no details. and on wall street, stocks gave a little ground. the dow jones industrial average lost nearly 26 points to close at 15,300. the nasdaq fell nine points to close below 3,716. the "voyager one" spacecraft is now, officially, going where no man-made object has gone before. nasa announced today that voyager has traveled beyond the sun's influence, 36 years after its launch. as seen in this animation, the spacecraft actually made its exit in august of 2012, but scientists needed until now to confirm that it's sailed into interstellar space. still ahead on the "newshour": the u.s. and russia push for a diplomatic solution to syria; budget roadblocks and showdowns ahead in congress; yet another new way to watch t.v. online; the remarkable life and death of 9/11's first victim and a poetic
way to cope with alzheimer's. >> woodruff: now, we delve fully into the syria story. the diplomatic dance intensified today with damascus endorsing a global ban on poison gas, and the u.s. pressing for a verifiable plan. the announcement came from syrian president bashar assad, on russian state t.v.: his government is formally applying to join the international convention on chemical weapons. >> ( translated ): of course in syria will send an appeal to the united nations and to the organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons, and this after this the work which will in the end lead to the signing of the convention and the ban of chemical weapons will start. >> woodruff: officials at the u.n. confirmed receiving the application document from damascus. assad also said he's willing to hand over his chemical arsenal
to outside control, under a russian proposal with one key condition. >> ( translated ): it should be a two-sided process, and it's aimed first of all at stopping the u.s. from threatening syria, and it also depends on how when we see that the u.s. really wants stability in our region and will stop threatening and aiming to attack, and stop supplying weapons to terrorists, then we will consider the process can be brought to the final stage. >> woodruff: but in geneva, u.s. secretary of state john kerry gave no sign that condition would be acceptable. >> president obama has made clear that should diplomacy fail, force might be necessary to deter and degrade assad's capacity to deliver these weapons. >> woodruff: kerry also dismissed assad's offer, which the syrian leader called standard process, to wait 30 days after signing the convention to submit chemical weapons information. >> there is nothing standard about this process. the words of the syrian regime in our judgment are not enough.
>> woodruff: the secretary of state is in geneva, for at least two days of talks with his russian counterpart, sergey lavrov, on how to secure and destroy syria's vast chemical weapons stockpiles. the u.s. goal: to gauge just how credible russia's proposal is. >> this is not a game and i said that to my friend sergey when we talked about it initially. it has to be real. it has to be comprehensive. it has to be verifiable. it has to be credible. it has to be timely and implemented in a timely fashion. and finally, there ought to be consequences if it doesn't take place. >> woodruff: in washington, president obama said he was optimistic about kerry's diplomatic efforts abroad. >> i am hopeful that the discussions that secretary kerry has with foreign minister lavrov
as well as some of the other players in this can yield a concrete result. >> woodruff: at the same time, russian president vladimir putin aired his own views in "the new york times" on the web and in the paper. he wrote: >> woodruff: meanwhile, in syria, the civil war raged on. new amateur video out today showed victims of aerial bombing, filling a hospital at a rebel stronghold in the north, near aleppo. the rebels have been pleading for u.s. weapons, and "the washington post" reported that after months of delays, the c.i.a. began shipping them light arms and other munitions over the past two weeks.
that was disputed by general salim idris, who commands the main rebel faction. he told npr that u.s. assistance has been limited to food and medical materials, as well as flak jackets and communications gear. so, can the u.s. and russia- who have been at loggerheads for years over syria come to an agreement? for answers, i'm joined by angela stent - director of the center for eurasian, russian and east european studies at georgetown university. she has served in the state department and at the national intelligence council. and andranik migranyan is the director of the institute for democracy and cooperation, a non-governmental organization- that has close ties to russia's leadership. welcome to you both to both to the "newshour." angela stent to you first. why are the russians deciding to get involved in this after all these years? >> i think president putin has
seen a major opportunity. for 20 years russia has complained or tried to block what the u.s. did, or went along and said they didn't have an opportunity to shaipt agenda. they have an opportunity now. there's division in the u.s. the president has hesitated about what to do. russia does have a special relationship with president assad. and i welcome the fact that they've now tried to take the initiative, and find some solution to this awful legislation. >> woodruff: andranik migranyan, so it's just taking advantage of a window of opportunity? >> no, i don't think so. we have another perception. yesterday, the "wall street journal" published information that a year ago, during the summit of g-20 put the problem of syrian chemical weapons and purported the idea to put the weapons under international control. even in april, when kerry visited moscow, they raised this question together with lavrov,
but, unfortunately, at that time, president obama already said assad has to go. that's why they didn't pick this opportunity. otherwise, a year ago, this process could start. and, unfortunately, if americans at that time agreed with russians, they had to legitimize assad's power in syria because you can't put under control chemical weapons if you don't talk to the acting president. and this is the sad reality, which means russia's position always was constructive. >> woodruff: let's come back to angela stent. his version is the russians have been trying to do something here for years and the u.s. just hasn't taken advantage of it. >> well, i don't really think that-- i wouldn't share that view. >> this is-- >> woodruff: just a moment. >> i wouldn't share that strew. >> this is yesterday's "wall street journal" publication. >> the russians from the beginning have notmented to see
assad go and they believed he could prevail. and maybe they're right. maybe he will prevail. so they've been very reluct of luctant to do anything to undermine his position there. i think we've now gotten to the point that chemical weapons have been used even though president putin said in the article it was the rebels, the opposition that used them, not the u.s. we're in a position where they realize something has to be done. they would still like to keep assad in power and the way to do this is to do away with the chemical weapons issue while they still provide conventional weapons to syria, of course. >> woodruff: what does russia want to see happen in syria? >> russia's position is constant. russia's position is putin is not stuck with assad, and today he repeated that in his article. lavrov several times said about that, russia was in favor of negotiating settlement when both sides involved in the conflict
could participate in this negotiations. but, you know, again, american position and western position was assad has to go. but, listen, assad enjoyed large support over the population over there. large support of ethnic and religious minorities. he enjoyed the support of his large army. somebody had to represent this group of people. you can say just go. who is coming next? this is russia's position. that's why russia was very constructive in the sense because americans showed a very bad credit history within this region because their involve independent iraq was disaster. involve in libya was disaster. involvement in egypt was disaster! that's why this is the time to listen to moscow! not to the united states, but just follow-- >> woodruff: i hear the message, and-- i hear your message, and i want to give miss stent a chance to respond. >> well, we are listening to
moscow. so you know, we had insisted before that we thought assad had to go before you could have any solution. it's clear that at the moment, that's not going to happen. i mean, obviously, the united states has had to modify its position there because of events on the ground and because russia has blocked any u.n. resolution to anything that would in fact enable one to talk about a transition away from assad. and i think in the end, maybe we and the russians don't share such a different view of what we would like to happen in syria eventually, which is a stable government not controlled by extremists. the problem is how you get there, and this may be a first step toward getting there but we do have to wait and see how this is going to pan out. >> woodruff: if that's the case, if the goal is the same, why haven't the two sides been able to get together do you think? >> i think it has to do with assad himself wa diagnosis of what is the problem and i think with the russian concern, which mr. putin expressed in the article and what mr. migranyan
is expressing, what comes afterred and the fear that extremist elements will come to power and threaten the region and russian itself. >> woodruff: mr. migranyan, do you accept the idea that what the u.s. and russia want ultimately in syria is a stable country and so maybe the interest is shared. it's just how do you get there that's different? >> that's true and i absolutely agree. but the only problem is russia knows better the region and russia always thinks what comes next? because americans and western erms killed gaddafi's country is in ruins. washington demanded mubarak goes and the country is in chaos. and that's why one must be very cautious making statements which is then hard to play back. that's the reality. >> woodruff: mr. migranyan, what do you think the prospects are that the two sides will come together, that mr. kerry, mr. lavrov, the u.s. and russia
will be able to come to some agreement that will actually manage to separate the syrians from their chemical weapons? >> i think that if congress will be determined not to give authority to president to strike against syria in this case, we can have a success in diplomatic area. otherwise, if i am afraid-- and i dare to say if obama enjoyed the support of congress, he could ignore security council as that happened with reagan, with clinton, with bush jr., and could unilaterally act against assad because he once said he is causincause crossing the red li. fortunately, congress is making more sober policy. >> woodruff: angela stent, it sounds as if he is saying if the threat of military force is taken off the table maybe they can come together.
how do you see it? >> i think the prospects -- at the moment, let's be optimistic, but it's a question of timing. how long is it going to take, first of all, for syria to sign this convention, then to allow-- to show where its chemical weapons stockpiles are and there to start getting rid of them. and one can foresee a situation, a scenario where this could keep drag out, and at some point the president has made it clear that he would act, even without congress' support. he made that clear in his speech. and then i think it's a serious question can you center a u.n. resolution that doesn't have some sanction against assad. if you don't say if he doesn't comply with this the threat of force is always there. if russia doesn't agree with that, how much pledge do you have? i think we have to sit back and see what mr. kerry and mr. lavrov can accomplish but i think timing is going to be the major question. >> woodruff: we hear you both, angela stent, andranik migranyan, thank you.
>> ifill: we turn now to capitol hill, where intraparty fights over health care could force another round of showdowns and setbacks on the budget. without an agreement, the federal government could shut down in less than three weeks. >> there's all this speculation about... about these deadlines that are coming up. i'm well aware of the deadlines and so are my colleagues. >> ifill: the first of the deadlines hanging over house speaker john boehner and the rest of congress arrives october first, at the start of the new fiscal year. that's when lawmakers have to approve major spending bills, or risk shutting the federal government down. but a core group of house republicans, spurred on by tea party activists, are insisting that funding for the health care law now universally nicknamed obamacare be cut first. >> we've got to send a message from all across america-- to members in the house and the
senate and particularly to the leadership-- we're not going to put up with funding obamacare. we've got to get rid of it and this is our last best chance. ( cheers ) >> ifill: in one showdown this week, tea party republicans refused to support a temporary spending proposal that would have allowed the senate to restore obamacare. still, boehner said today he's confident an agreement can be reached. >> we're working with our colleagues to work our way through these issues. i think there's a way to get there. i'm going to be continuing to work with my fellow leaders and our members to address those concerns. >> ifill: but time is short, so house majority leader eric cantor announced congressional recess scheduled for later this month may not happen. >> members are advised that pending ongoing discussions on the continuing resolution, the house may need to be in session during the week of september 23 and possibly into the weekend.
>> ifill: democrats say republicans need to back off. house minority whip steny hoyer: >> there was a poll taken, november 2012. the president of the united states won that poll. but your myopic focus on that one issue threatens to shut down government and put at risk the credit-worthiness of the united states of america. >> ifill: that same message was delivered by senate majority leader harry reid, who met behind closed doors today with house leaders. >> if the republican leaders keep giving in to the tea party and their impossible demands, they must be rooting for a shutdown. >> ifill: and turning from discussion of syria, president obama echoed the same message at a white house cabinet meeting. >> the american people are still interested in making sure that our kids are getting the kind of education they deserve, that we're putting people back to work, that we are dealing
properly with a federal budget, that bills are getting paid on time, that the full faith and credit of the united states is preserved. >> ifill: that last item refers to the other key deadline: the government could default on its obligations by mid-october, unless congress raises the national debt limit in the next few weeks. >> ifill: joining me to help explain what's behind all the political maneuvering is todd zwillich. he covers congress for "the takeaway" from public radio international and wnyc. first, explain to people who are confused about this, what does obamacare, the health care law, have to do with the budget? >> nothing until you factor in the politics of the right. tea party members, not exclusively tea party members, are investment about getting obamacare defunded and repealed. we've talked time after time. what are they up to now, 33, 34, 35 votes to eviscerate obamacare. why not? there's another deadline you didn't discuss in the piece there, also october 1, the day
obamacare exchanges launch. you heard congressmanbroun say this is our last best chance. he means it. they've tried again and again. they had an election and a supreme court court decision but the republicans know once the exchanges are up, once the subsidies are flowing, they know obama p obamaed care will become an entitlement people are used to. >> ifill: this is also being spurred on by people in the senate, senator cruz and marco rubio. they're also juicing this along, haven't they? >> they are, and it has back a way for the right, like cruz and heritage action and freedom workes and senator rubio, to snow their conservative bona fides, intut also to use the vehemence of the right to put pressure on their own party. much of this is not, gwen, putting pressure on the democrats. this is about republicans on the right putting pressure on republicans of the establishment, putting pressure on the john boehners and mitch
mcconnells. >> ifill: what is john boehner's plan? he obviously thinks it's a bad idea to put everything in the health care, the obamacare basket. what is his way around it? >> it is unclear and he has a quip sailing,ness, if you have any ideas send them my way." he said today in the press conference where you showed videos, there are a million ideas floating around out there. we'll find one. house minority leader nancy pelosi also intimating there weren't really ideas and democrats are sitting back and wait ago. >> ifill: democrats aren't heartbroken about this? >> no, they are confident nobody wants a shutdown. they know speaker boehner doesn't. it would be terrible politics for republicans-- or so they believe. democrats feel they're in the power seat sitting back and waiting for john boehner and the republicans to come up with something that doesn't defund obamacare and then they can fight about spending levels. >> ifill: let's talk about what is at the root of it.
where does the spending debate stand? >> this is interest, because this is actually where john boehner's probably about to get a little bit of a win here underneath all the dust about obamacare. remember sequestration? of course. those cuts, automatic cuts hanging over everything. this continuing resolution, they're usually designed to continue spending levels at the current levels. we don't have an agreement yet. let's just kick the can two or three months. that's what this is going to be but here's the debate between republicans and democrats -- democrats say sequestration, we want to try to fix that. we want to plug that. we don't want to assume sequestration stays in effect. >> ifill: how? >> their budget assumes it's going to be fixed with a bigger deal, maybe surrounding the debt limit, come up with some tax increase or spend cuts in other areas to get rid of what the president calls the meat ax approach. here's the republican's play on this-- their continuing resolution has the sequestration cuts baked in. these are the new levels, the new baseline, $988 billion, to
throw one number at you. democrats have shown really not much of a-- an appetite to fight over the number. they're pointing to obamacare fight because it makes the republicans look divided and weak and they are divided on this. on the number, john boehner seems to be pushing a 988 number and democrats don't really seem to show much motivation to fight it. >> ifill: yet, this is the not the first time john boehner has run into resistance, an unyielding member of his own caucus, also on the farm bill. >> farm bill, transportation bill, the debt limit fight last year where john boehner put a legislative gamut on the floor to satisfy conservatives and watched it fail. he had to yank it off the floor. he is going to get a little win. conservatives at the end of this are probably going to be very upset with john boehner. obamacare won't be repealed. we know the president won't sign it. harry reid won't put it on the floor. if we gets the 988 he wants, they might like the lower spending numbers even though
conservatives want cuts even deeper. an extra $20 billion john boehner is getting for defense problems that republicans like. the whole point of sequestration was everybody feels the pain-- domestic programs, democrats feel the pain. defense, republicans feel the pain. that's still in effect, except an extra $20 billion going towards defense to ease up the pressure on defense. that's not the final deal pup but it looks like where this is headed and if it does boehner has something to show to republicans,s financial though he doesn't get the obamacare repeal. >> ifill: rubber hitting road. >> in a big way. lot of deadlines coming up and we're a long way from it. >> ifill: todd zwillich of the nyc, thanks again. >> woodruff: the new fall t.v. season is getting under way-- a critical time for broadcast networks and the industry. but it's a business that's evolving faster than ever with new players hungry for eyeballs and dollars and established veterans seeking to hold on to
their turf, while often trying to remake themselves along the way. we begin an occasional series tonight about what's at stake for the future of tv. hari sreenivasan kicks it off. >> sreenivasan: you can still shop for a t.v. at your local electronics store. and you can still use it to watch network and cable t.v. but that traditional model is just one in a dizzying array of options these days. on larger, thinner and increasingly h.d.t.vs, viewers set their d.v.rs or tivos to record their favorite cable and network shows. or, using devices like a roku box, apple t.v., or a gaming console like xbox. consumers stream video from online subscription services like netflix, amazon and hulu, which increasingly are creating their own shows. by one estimate, the online video market attracts an average of 75 million viewers every day and streams nearly 40 blion
videos each month in the u.s. alone. in fact, the future of t.v. increasingly doesn't even involve a t.v., as more people turn to cell phones, tablets and laptops to view content. >> the state of video has never been stronger. >> sreenivasan: at a house hearing yesterday on innovation and regulation, executives from companies operating in this rapidly changing environment spoke to both the opportunities and challenges it presents. dave rozzelle is with suddenlink communications, a regional cable and internet provider. >> the path to continued growth for cable is to enhance and expand its customer's use and enjoyment of our networks. cable is investing billions annually to ensure that this potential can be realized and as >> sreenivasan: but as consumers change what they watch and how, new fault lines are emerging over who produces and distributes content, how it's delivered, and what happens to the old economic models of the business. this summer a dispute between time warner cable and cbs led to
a blackout of cbs for millions of customers. the argument was over retransmission fees-- payments that networks charge cable companies to carry their shows. those fees are also now at the heart of a fight over a new company called aereo. for as little as $8 a month, aereo offers subscribers here in new york and several other cities the ability to watch and record free broadcast t.v. live, without having an antenna or paying for a cable connection. aereo streams live t.v. over the web to phones, computers and other devices. to do that, aereo has millions of dime-sized antennas that capture freely available broadcasts and then transmits them to the customer. the company says it is perfectly legal. but networks, including nbc, cbs, abc, fox and pbs, are suing aereo. they say it's stealing content and depriving them of revenue since aereo does not pay the
retransmission fees. so far, aereo-- which also provides service in boston, atlanta, miami and salt lake city, and hopes to be in nearly 18 more cities within a year-- has won a pair of decisions from federal judges. this week, another federal judge shut down a similar streaming service called filmon. i recently spoke with the chief of aereo in our new york studio. we're joined by c.e.o. chet kanojia. >> the goal of aereo was to create an alternative, a parallel system if you will, because the system where you get television is a highly integrated. -based system. the goal was to create an alternative. so we can do more things later on that may be better user interfaces, additional content may come in, all kinds of different things could be possibilities. >> sreenivasan: the people profiting from the traditional systems, include the broadcasters are, fighting back
aggressively, a huge consortium in the new york market, including the pbs station that hosts this program sued you saying, listen, you are giving away our content. you are making money off of it and we don't have any control. is it copyright infringement? >> three federal courts have said it's not. it's been validated by-- it's an important distinction that i want to make is aereo is a technology provider, and as such, since broadcasting started, companies have sold antennas, television, vcrs-- all manner of equipment-- and made money doing that and it's perfectly legitimate and permitted by law. just because it's a new way of doing things-- i mean, there's no-- there's no reason why technology should stand still. >> sreenivasan: you've got the antenna farms that you're building, essentially in i'm a customer i have one particular antennad in the aereo room, so to speak. does is seem like a
technicality. you don't need 5,000 antennas in the room. are you violating the spirit of the law? >> not at all. i think congress always intended for consumers to have the ability to have an antenna. whether i put it on my window or roof or neighbor's roof those aren't restrictions congress intended or proposed. i think it complies with actually the spirit of the law as well, and perhaps more so, because the idea that consumers should have a choice was always intended by congress. >> sreenivasan: let's talk a little bit about the bigger picture about the future of tv and television as we know it. let's look at the revenue model this is challenging. if you have a dvr allowing people to skip advertising, as iters are upset. if you have the ability to go around retransmission fees, the broadcasters say that's another huge revenue stream. you can see why they're fighting back. what is technology like this doing to television as we know it. >> we firmly believe these will
increase audiences, tremendous opportunities in different types of models. let's not forget in the 70s, the same broadcaster fought cable television who they now sometimes embrace-- although currently they're still fighting them. vcr-- and all these industries created billions of dollars for everybody involved gloo. >> sreenivasan: is what is happening to tv now what has happened to newspapers and print in the last 10 years? >> i think there is a transformation under way. when you have sufficient banded width, and consumers have flexibility and choice, change is forced upon the system glarp how do you see this shaking out? let's say in a perfect world, there is a disaggregation, unbundling of channels, people are allowed to choose the channels they want. what does that do to the way television is packaged today? >> i think any rational person would agree there is no need for
500 or 700 channels. there's no justification for that. it's a legacy model. back then, when these models were developed there was not digital on-demand-- people like on demand. netflix say great example of what is going on. we think the revolution is going to be a separation (live and-- live access is going to be a function of technology. picture quality, the availability of a device, social features, all those things, and libraries are going to be distinguished by proprietary unique content those libraries create. we think that's the way the future is. >> sreenivasan: what happens to that communal, shared, live event? the super bowl or the end of some "dancing with the stars" show. where people are-- let's say the elections, where they're watching it together at the same time. what does a disruption like this
do? >> i think it just creates-- it creates the ability for them to be able to be freed up so they can consume on any device, anywhere. and there's absolutely-- today, those consumers can do that today with an an taken. i think there are statistics somewhere around 54 million people use an antenna in the same way, shape, and form. i think the obsession with the disruption which i don't think is necessarily true. this is evolution where a modern consumer wants things to be. it's inevitable. it's going to happen, wherew or without aereo. >> sreenivasan: what about the idea of control which distributors say they'd like to have. they create the content, package the content, and essentially we're seedin ceding that to a distributor they don't have a relationship with. >> aereo only applies to free over-the-air television. we're equipment supplier to the consumer. this is not applied to espn, hbo, or any of those kind of
things. those are separate types. they're cable networks or cable channels. >> sreenivasan: do we have a future where aereo complements existing television as we know it? >> i think aereo is a wedge into start the discussion on where the evolution is likely to go. i think an open platform in which technology and program regular decoupled. the platform is purely about how consumers may use programming is where we think the future is going to be. today, we don't know what the future is or not. it's not written, obviously. but we certainly think that it's going to be highly extremitiary to a lot of people in this ecosystem. >> sreenivasan: all right, chet kanojia, thank you so much for your time. >> my pleasure. >> ifill: in new york city last night, what has become an annual tribute to the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks lit up the sky once again. the display, which marks where
the twin towers once stood, remembers those lost that day. a new book about one of the victims-- a passenger on the first hijacked jet-- talks about life as well as loss. ray suarez has our conversation. >> suarez: danny lewin was one of 92 people aboard american airlines flight 11 on september 11, 2001 heading originally to los angeles. but terrorists took over the plane and flew it into the world trade center north tower. lewin's role has been largely unknown until now. but it is believed that he tried stopping the hijacking before the plane flew into the north tower and was killed in the struggle. lewin was a 31-year-old internet entreprenuer. he had a major role in transforming the way the web worked and working on algorithms that speeded up the delivery of content considerably. his story is the subject of a new book, "no better time: the brief, remarkable life of danny lewin, the genius who transformed the internet." the author is molly knight
raskin, a journalist who has also worked previously for the "newshour." molly good to have you with us. >> good to be here. >> suarez: this is your first book. what got you interested in the story of danny lewin? >> well, i first heard about danny on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, which surprised me because i thought i had heard so many stories until then, and didn't really expect to hear a story i would want to go out and tell. and a friend of a friend came to me and said, "there's a story of this victim of 9/11, and his company, which is based in cambridge, wants to produce a documentary about him as a tribute." this was a private thing. but the more i learned about his life and began to research and interview people, the more i just felt that it was a story that needed to be told. >> suarez: the idea, the man who saved the internet, that's a pretty big title to hang around anyone's neck or put on their resume. how did he do it?
what was the problem? take us back to the late 90s and the growing pains of the world wide web. >> i think everybody, if you used the internet back then, or tried to, in the mid-90s, the biggest impet pedestrianiment to the growth of the internet was really this problem of congestion. the internet is a distributed system, and it still is today, so instead of having one tunnel through which information can be processed and content can be sent, there's this whole sort of tangled web of roots through which all this content passes every day. and basically, danny wrote a set of algorithms for his thesis at m.i.t., and he came up with this idea by using math, combined with theoretical computer science, he could have some practical application to the internet, and he could end what at the time was being called the worldwide wait. if you remember, you would dial into a web site, and, you know, these days it would probably
seem like an eternity. you would wait and wait and hear the beeping and chirping, and most of the time you get the message, please wait. the server is busy. of so in that environment, it was almost impossible to grow business where people needed to click and get products or information fast. so danny wrote this set of algorithms and basically what he did was use them to program software, which he patented with his professor at m.i.t., tom leighton, and create this distributed system, a layer on top of the internet that functioned in a very different way, that used his math to make intelligent software that was like a fedex for the internet. it knew the fastest route and it knew how to get around the traffic jams. >> suarez: it was a sensation from its first days of taking on some big customers. but when the dot-com bubble burst, the company started to sail through some rough waters. september 11 cast a long shadow
across this book, and i think one of the most beautiful, carmic convergences of the whole thing is when the story of september 11 itself backs one of the first meganews stories of the internet age and it's the day that kills danny lewin at the same time. >> yeah, it's really the tragic irony-of-the-story. i mean, danny spent so many years going out there and trying to sell this technology. in the early days twasn't easy. he basically said there will be a day on which the internet will get a crush of requests. it will be a crush unlike asking you've ever seen. and everything he predicted proved true on that day, 12 years ago. and he, sadly, perished that day, and was unable to see his company not only survive the crash but also akamai's technology, the underpinnings of
which were his algorithms, were responsible for keeping all of these web sites live on september 11 that people used who were in desperate search for information about lives that were lost. it was-- it was the web equivalent of the 100-year flood. and sebsz like cnn.com were struggling and in fact, crashed that morning, and the first call a lot of them made was to akam akamai. >> suarez: in a tribute to danny lewin one of his best friend called him the first carb ultimate of the first war of the 21st century. what do we know about the way he died? >> well, we don't know exactly what happened on flight 11, and we never will. it happened very fast. it happened before really anybody knew anything about that terrible day. but what we do know from the facts gathered by the 9/11 commission is that the passenger seated in 9b, in business class, which was danny's seat, according to the flight manifest, was stabbed and killed in some kind of a struggle on that flight. and we also know that danny was
a trained warrior. he had trained in one of the most elite counter-terrorism units of the israeli army. so his friend and family say the moment they heard about the crash and knew there had been a struggle in his seat, that he had stood up and tried to fight back. and at that time, nobody had perished yet from the attacks. >> suarez: the book is "no better time." molly knight raskin, thanks for joining us. >> thanks for having me >> woodruff: finally tonight, the first in a new series we'll be bringing you over the coming months. we're calling this project, "where poetry lives," jeffrey brown tells us about it. >> reporter: we have a special guide traveling with us: poet laureate natasha trethewey. our goal is to explore poetry and literature in various corners of american life, in sometimes unexpected ways and places and we'll seek to connect
these trips to aspects of natasha's personal experience. and, no doubt, to the experiences of many of you. we'll encounter some difficult and even painful problems. but also, we hope, capture the joy and more that art can bring. we certainly saw all of that in this, our first report. >> mortal though, not sleeping, we must save it! >> reporter: marianne moore's poem, "the camperdown elm" and standing before the tree itself on a beautiful day in prospect park, brooklyn, poet gary glazner led a recitation. >> okay, i say it, you say it. props are needed and tree food. >> and tree food. >> reporter: it's a performance, a kind of game, and something more: for these are men and women at various stages of dementia, now participants in the alzheimer's poetry project created by glazner almost a decade ago. >> a poem as lovely as a tree, a
tree that looks at god's old age. >> omentary happiness and satisfaction, quality of life. i think that's the thing we can learn from people living with dementia. that they live in the moment and in that moment, if we're playful and we're joking around and we're doing poetry together, it's just beautiful. natasha trethewey and i joined glazner and his group on their recent outing in the park, as they listened, recited and even created some poetry of their own. >> it's a perfect day. i don't call this a cloud. >> reporter: it was part of a project that now operates in 24 states as well as germany, poland and south korea. in new york, it operates out of the new york memory center, a community-based non-profit organization that's designed a rigorous day program for people experiencing memory disorders, including: yoga classes... >> feel comfortable. >> reporter: ...computer skills
instruction and poetry. several times a month, they're joined by pre-schoolers housed in the same building. on this day, they recited william wordsworth. >> "and then my heart with pleasure fills, dancing with the daffodils." >> reporter: natasha joined in a lighter moment. >> i'm a poet and i know it and my feet surely show it. >> my feet surely show it. >> because they're longfellows. >> because they're longfellows. >> reporter: she also worked separately with glazner and the alzheimer's group on the ode to the statue of liberty by emma lazarus. >> give me your tired, your poor. >> reporter: 75-year-old ola hightower first came to the center nine years ago.
where gary said in the lazurus poem, you immediately said... "give me your tired and your poor, your huddled masses..." >> now how did you memorize that poem? >> well i guess i learned it when i was in college you know and i remember stuff and like reading-- oh god, you should see my library. >> reporter: memories of poems, of family members, of one's own self: they're what alzheimer's steals: short term memory first and then, progressively, longer term memory. today, some five million americans live with the disease. as the population ages some estimates show the number rising to as high as 13.8 million in 40 years. it's something that touches so many of us, including natasha, who told of how watching a beloved aunt living with alzheimers affected her and her early poetry. >> the idea that what she was losing was personal history
because she was losing memory, that's the first thing that i tried to make sense of and how i saw her trying to grasp or hold onto things as she was losing so much in her head. >> reporter: there's a lot still not known about the causes of alzheimer's and there's no cure. but memory center executive director christopher nadeau says scientists and psychologists are seeing clear care benefits from working with language and art. what we're seeing is as more and more studies come out showing that we can certainly improve the quality of life of individuals who are living with alzheimer's and related dementia and it translates into improved levels of self esteem, a decrease in depression levels and sustaining people in the community for longer periods of time. >> reporter: we saw simple but direct examples of language triggering memory and a bit of
fun: as gary glazner finished reciting edward lear's "the owl and the pussycat", ending on the word moon. ♪ fly me to the moon let me play across the stars ♪ >> reporter: 79-year-old norman marcus, a retired stockbroker and frank sinatra fan, launched into a old favorite. as is common with alzheimers, these days 84-year-old kathleen bradley goes to the 'memory center' every day and quietly joins in the activities. >> you like going to the memory center? >> yes, i do >> you what? >> get out of the house! >> you like getting out of the house? you have friends there? >> yes! >> mom is very lucid and things come out and can come out very clearly and it's like wow.
and other days it's not that easy and it's sometimes seems like you don't know what's going on or what she really is understanding at the moment. sometime it seems like she is but then it's forgotten. >> reporter: and then there was bernie packer, a former cook, who talked, kidded and sang his way through the stroll. >> well, i'm 94. i do the best i can. i'll be honest. my short term memory is getting pretty short so it's not that great anymore but i made a deal with god , you know, that he could do anything he wants to my body but he must not fool with my brain. i want to remain sane until the day i go you know. >> and how's the deal going? i live in the present that's
>> reporter: living in the >> reporter: joy was the word for one moment we all experienced in the park, as we came upon a saxophonist playing for the birds and passersby. he joined glazner and the group for an improvised version of edgar allen poe's "the raven." a short walk in the park, a sax, and a lot of poetry: memories lost, moments gained. we have much more on this story online, including: gary glazner and natasha trethewey reciting their own poems about memory and loss. natasha has also written a short essay about our trip. and you can send us your thoughts and questions about our report. natasha and i will answer them in an online chat we'll post next week. next up in our series: a visit to detroit and a report on inside out, a writing program in inner city schools. we'll have that for you in
october. >> woodruff: that was lovely. again, the major developments of the day: syria's president agreed to join a global ban on chemical weapons and give up his stockpile, under a russian plan. meanwhile, secretary of state kerry opened talks with the russians. and severe flooding in colorado killed at least three people as heavy rain sent torrents blasting down mountainsides. >> ifill: online, finding a sense of community in a faraway place. for many coptic christians in the u.s., adjusting to life thousands of miles from their homeland in egypt can be a challenge. we traveled to one church in virginia that has become a place of refuge for those who've fled recent violence. all that and more is on our website newshour.pbs.org. >> woodruff: before we go tonight, another piece of news about the "newshour" family. tonight is opening night for a new play here in washington. it's called "bell" and the playwright is our own jim lehrer. the subject is alexander graham
bell, inventor of the telephone and many other things. he was also the second president of the national geographic society, which is presenting the play in honor of its 125th anniversary. word is tonight's performance is sold out. >> ifill: and that's the "newshour" for tonight. so break a leg, jim, and did you know reading about bell today, i found out alexander graham bell's mother and wife were both hearing impaired. >> ifill: all i know is jim's incentive is he is not sitting here with us. we wish him all good luck tonight. and that's the "newshour" for tonight. i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. we'll see you online and again here tomorrow evening with mark shields and david brooks, among others on behalf of all of us at the "pbs newshour." thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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