tv PBS News Hour PBS November 27, 2013 3:00pm-4:01pm PST
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: rain and snow made one of the busiest travel days of the year, that much messier, as millions of americans hit the road for thanksgiving. good evening, i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. also ahead this wednesday, the obama administration announced a delay in another key component of the new health care law: small businesses will have an extra year to sign up for federal insurance exchanges. >> woodruff: plus, take some sweet corn, tomato sauce, tuna fish and make a massive sculpture in a competition aimed at boosting holiday food drives. >> the moment that that template comes down, and you can actually
see the light from the other side of the arch, that's the moment of, yes, it works. >> 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: >> supported by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. more information at macfound.org >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
>> ifill: a major winter storm system slammed into the mid- atlantic and northeast today, just as millions of americans hit the roads, rails and skies for the thanksgiving holiday. a dismal mix of rain, snow, wind and sleet greeted holiday travelers, who braved long airport lines, heavy traffic and dangerous road conditions on one of the busiest travel days of the year. >> i just lost control and hit the side of the bridge and i guess i spun and landed over there. >> ifill: north of pittsburgh, this man managed to escape with minor injuries after flipping his car. and up and down the east coast the wintry mix led vehicles to spin out and drivers to throttle back. >> yeah, i usually try to slow down a little bit, even though i have a lead foot. >> definitely the speed limit, a little bit up under. and check your tires, you know, that's very important. >> ifill: some 39 million
drivers are expected to hit the road over the long holiday weekend. but for those taking to the skies, about 200 flights were canceled earlier today, mostly in the busy northeast hubs of newark, philadelphia and new york's laguardia. while there were many weather- related delays, overall the situation wasn't as bad as once feared. at washington's reagan international airport passengers were trying to stay positive. >> i tried to get on an earlier flight but that flight was full so i might be stuck here for a while. >> we rriefd two hours early for our flight because we were concerned about weather delays, and we do, in fact, have weather delays. hopefully we'll get out under a three-hour range. >> ifill: it was a busy day at nearby union station, where train passengers said they were glad they'd avoided the roads. >> ladies and gentlemen, we have a very full train this afternoon which means we will need every seat available.
>> i could be on a bus so i'm thinking this is better than being on a bus. >> ifill: the national weather service says more than a foot of snow could still fall in western pennsylvania, new york and vermont before lifting tomorrow. but in many areas, the storm's expected to clear out as temperatures fall through the evening. that may be too late for macy's annual thanksgiving parade in new york city. dancers donned ponchos in herald square, practicing their routines in the rain. but high winds are threatening to take the air out of the larger-than-life balloons that parade down broadway for the first time in more than 40 years; characters like snoopy and spongebob squarepants might be grounded. officials plan to make that call early tomorrow. for the latest on the storms and how they are affecting holiday travel, we turn to bernie rayno, senior meteorologist at accuweather. bernie, as far as late fall, early winter stoorms go, how big is this one? >> it's a big storm, certainly,
but certainly storms we have seen in the past and typically these kind of storms produce mostly rain along the east coast with the snows across interior parts of pennsylvania be and new york state, and that's certainly what we've had with this storm. unfortunately, this storm occurred on the worst possible day, that being the busiest travel day of the year. >> ifill: so the busiest travel day of the year, in pretty big transportation corridors. where is it hitting hardest? we're talking ice in some place, rain in some place, snow in others? >> at this point right now the biggest impact has been the rain. back edge of the rain is pushing through philadelphia. we're going to continue to get soaking rains from boston all the way up toward portland, maine. at least the strong winds we had out ahead of this storm have the east for now. i-95, southern new england, up in into maine, still some sloe downs. watch yourself if you're
traveling in new york state and pennsylvania. while we're not look at any big amounts of snow and ice from hereon out there certainly can be some slippery spots on the road especially the bridgees and overpasses. >> ifill: it sounds like the most treacherous is slippery roadses and ice on power outages. have we had any report of that? >> we certainly have had that over the last 24 hours, especially across new york state and pennsylvania. but thankfully now, most of the precipitation with the storm is occurring in the warm air. so the snow and ice that we were seeing last night, mostly just some snow showers, still some slippery spots on roads. but things have gotten a little better where it was snowing in the last 24 hours. >> ifill: how are the wind? i know there were a lot of worries that some of these thanksgiving day parades might not be able to happen? >> well, that's still a close call in new york city for tomorrow because behind this storm, while we certainly had
lots of wind ahead of it, behind the storm the wind will start picking up. certainly this evening, philadelphia, washington, d.c., late tonight, tomorrow morning in new york city. we're going to see gust betweens 30-35 miles per hour. but in new york city, gusts around 20-30 tomorrow morning. that may cause some problems but from what i understand, for the macy's day parade, you need sustained wind between 20 and 25 miles per hour. i don't think they're going to be that strong on thanksgiving morning, but it's certainly going to be a close call. >> ifill: by the time everybody sits down with the turkey tomorrow most of this will be passed? >> it will be long gone. you know what the big story is going to be is the cold. we're looking at record cold temperatures on our wednesday night-thursday morning, all the way down into parts of florida and texas. in fact, we're looking at temperatures below freezing, across the florida panhandle.
it certainly will not feel like the end of november. it will feel like january. >> ifill: i'm cold just thinking about it. bernie rayno, thank you very much. >> ifill: another aspect of the health care law will be delayed. this time, the online health insurance marketplace for small businesses. obama administration officials announced the one-year delay during a conference call with reporters today. they said pushing back the deadline for implementation would give the troubled healthcare.gov website time to make needed fixes. we'll get more details on the delay and what it means to small business owners after this news summary. afghan president hamid karzai softened some of his security demands today. he told radio free europe he'd sign a deal with the u.s. if military raids on afghan homes end and if the u.s. helps restart peace talks with the taliban. he said, "whenever the americans meet these two demands of mine, i am ready to sign the agreement." that agreement would govern the
future of american troops in afghanistan beyond 2014. the u.s. wants it signed by the end of the year, but karzai has said it can wait until next spring. a string of attacks across iraq left at least 36 people dead today. the violence ranged from suicide bombings to drive-by shootings to an assault on a police station. separately, police found the corpses of 13 men killed execution style in shi-ite neighborhoods of baghdad. the men had no identification on them and their legs and arms had been tied before they were shot in the head. one more person was rescued today from a sailboat that capsized in the bahamas, bringing the total rescues to 111. but officials estimate between 20 and 30 of the haitian migrants crammed on board died. u.s. coast guard video shows survivors clinging to the overloaded boat's hull and mast. others grabbed driftwood and took refuge on small islands nearby. officials think the boat was headed to the u.s.
an accident at brazil's main world cup stadium in sao paulo killed two workers today. a crane collapsed while it was lifting a section of the soccer stadium's roof into place. the metal structure sliced through the stadium's outer wall, destroying rows of seats. brazil's preparations for next year's world cup have been plagued with problems, including delays, accidents and overspending. the prime minister of latvia resigned today in the wake of a supermarket collapse that triggered public outrage in the baltic state. 54 people were killed last week when the building's roof collapsed during peak shopping hours. the latvian government came under fire for its lack of oversight of building projects. prime minister valdis dombrov- skis ackowledged the disaster in his announcement. >> ( translated ): considering the tragedy in zolitude, and taking into account that a government with a clear majority in parliament is needed to solve the situation that has developed in the country, i announce my resignation from the post of prime minister, taking political
responsibility for the tragedy. >> ifill: a criminal investigation into the supermarket's construction is underway. the italian senate expelled former premier silvio berlusconi from parliament over a tax fraud conviction. despite the move, the 77-year old pledged to stay involved in politics. without a seat in parliament, however, berlusconi is no longer immune from prosecution. he has multiple cases pending against him, including political bribery and paying for sex with a minor. on wall street today, stocks headed into the holiday break with record highs for both the dow and s&p 500. the dow jones industrial average gained 24 points to close at 16,097. the nasdaq rose 27 points to close above 4,044. the first book printed in america sold at auction last night for a record $14.2 million. the bay psalm book was auctioned off at sotheby's in new york. it was printed in 1640 by the leaders of the massachusetts bay
colony. only 11 copies are known to survive. auctioneer david redden explained what the buyer intends to do with it. >> it sold for $14 million to david rubenstein a philanthropist who will be sharing it with libraries around this country and eventually putting it on long term deposit at one of those libraries. >> ifill: the seller of the book was boston's old south church, which sold it to finance its ongoing ministries. the church still has another copy. president obama kicked off the thanksgiving holiday early at the white house today with the traditional annual turkey pardon. flanked by his daughters, the president officially saved a bird named "popcorn" from ending up on a thanksgiving table. a second, back-up turkey named "caramel" was also pardoned but didn't appear at the ceremony. pardoned turkeys end up at george washington's mount vernon estate in virginia. still to come on the "newshour": another delay for the health care law; the bribery scandal
that's rocked the navy; teaching the arts in elementary school; who's paying for climate change and making massive sculptures out of canned food. >> woodruff: now, the white house announcement that another key element of president obama's health care law is not ready to go: small businesses will not be able to enroll their employees on the federal website until november of next year. coverage would not take effect until january of 2015. they can continue to go through insurance companies and brokers. it is the latest in a series of set-backs that have plagued implementation of the president's plan. to fill us in on the details, we turn to louise radnofsky of the wall street journal.. louise, welcome back to program. why did the administration do this? >> well, they did it because it
wasn't ready and because they said they were focusing on other things-- getting the web site up and running for individuals. this is something they felt thaibd jettison, and they did. >> woodruff: tell us which small businesses are affected. i know not all of them have to pay attention to this regulation, those with employees under 50? is that right? >> yes, and a number of small businesses do voluntarily provide coverage to their employees right now and want to continue doing so next year. there's nothing in the law that requires them to do so, but the law includes tax credits towards the cost of the coverage in some cases. for small businesses anthrax buy through healthcare.gov, which would be in one of the 36 states where the exchange isn't being run by the state itself, they're not going to be able to use the web site. they're going to have to continue to go to an insurer or agent or broker-- probably somebody they're using already-- and they'll have the opportunity to apply later in the year for tax credits, basically any time before they file their taxes. >> woodruff: expand on that.
explain what is the difference going to be? if you run a small business and were counting on signing up through the exchange, and now you're told you need to go through an insurance company or broker what, will the difference be? >> the difference is-- it's quite a big cloa blowto the idea of the exchange which was supposed to be an online marketplace to compare plans and findize the process. it was designed to increase competition and more transparency. you can still go online starting december 1 and browse through oppositions, but you can't complete it. >> woodruff: do you lose out because you're not eligible for any sort of tax credit subs bee? >> you're still able to get the tax credit. the tax credit is supposed to be applied to any plan that the agent or broker or insurers is offering that would have been available on the exchange. in other words, it had been certified as being compliant with the new requirement nptz law. the requirements of the law for small group plans go a little
further. they do affect the way small group insurance is priced for the first time-- again, no preexisting conditions -- and so small businesses across the board, however they get their coverage will benefit from that. but the exchange was such an important centerpiece of this glied glood louise, how big a blow is this to the implementation of this new law? >> it only affects small businesses, and clearly, for the most high-profile part of the law, attempting to extend coverage to individuals who don't have it, it doesn't affect it. if you think in terms of what it would have meant if it had been individuals. it's the administration basically saying we can't get this particular part of the exchange up and running for another year so we're giving up. go back to your insurer and we'll try to fig out the tax subs bee later. >> woodruff: the administration announced another change saying they are replace the web hosting provider for the online exchange. tell bus that. >> well, this is a decision that, apparently, was reached in
the summer or earlier, but the web-- the verizon provider of the data center that was supporting the site had a number of outages that started to emerge after october 1. it's been very embarrassing for everybody involved. they are making a switch. they're planning to do that by the end of march. what people need ton is first of all, the existing proirld will be staying in place for the time being and that provider has had some problems. but secondly, the transition itself, they have to get this into gear, could be bumpy, and it's not as if the web site doesn't have enough problems already. >> woodruff: and so summing it all up for people who have been look at the november 30 deadline, the administration set, as the new deadline for people to be able to sign up, they said the web site's going to be faster starting this weekend. what should people expect? >> well what, we think we know is that the payments are loading faster. a lot of errors aren't emerging. in other words, the site looks better at the front end. the administration said they've also been working on the backend, the really complicated
issues that might not be immediately apparent to people but could cause them to have difficulty signing up for coverage. the administration says people will not only be able to navigate the site. they'll be able to use the system as a whole, the vast majority, to successfully enroll in coverage opinion we will find out december 1 is it that is the case. >> woodruff: louise radnofsky of the "wall street journal," thank you. >> ifill: it could be the biggest fraud scandal to hit the navy in years, involving allegations that top commanders received cash, prostitutes and other favors for inflated contracts that cost the pentagon hundreds of millions of dollars. jeffrey brown has the story. >> brown: for decades, leonard francis, known as "fat leonard" for his imposing girth, has been well-connected in top u.s. navy circles, perhaps too connected. his company, glenn defense marine, provided logistics
support for u.s warships at ports in east asia. since 2011, the company has won more than $200 million in navy contracts. contracts that federal investigators now charge are at the center of an elaborate criminal conspiracy involving bribery, fraud and more. in october, "the washington post" reported that francis plied top navy commanders with prostitutes, cash, luxury hotel rooms... ( cheers and applause ) ...even tickets to a lady gaga concert in thailand. in return, officials at the justice department say, francis received classified information on ship deployments. he also allegedly pressured commanders to steer ships to ports where his company would then overcharge for services like sewage disposal and tugboats. in september, the justice department arrested francis as well as a top agent in the naval criminal investigative service
who had been feeding him information and two navy commanders. two admirals, including the director of naval intelligence, have been placed on leave and lost their security clearances. for more on this, i'm joined by craig whitlock. he broke the story for "the washington post." welcome back. >> thanks, jeff. >> brown: first describe the alleged schemes here. what kind of contracts are we talking about? >> it's really the nuts and bolts of keeping the navy ships serviced and supplied in asia. most of the navy ships are in the pacific. and this company, glenn defense marine, they would supply the ships when they would come to port, they would give them a tugboat, gangway, security, food resupplies, they pumped out the bibof lge and sewage. anything they needed when they came to port this company was supposed to provide those services. >> brown: presumably a competitive business, at least normally. >> a very competitive business, that's right. >> brown: the man at the heart of this is a-- he's got the
nickname-- but he's a colorful character in many ways. >> he is a colorful character and an extremely well-known in the navy. his nickname is "fat leonard" because he's a large guy. his lawyer jokingly referred to him as big learned. and his competition refers to him as leonard. he would lavish gifts on people in port. he had a mansion in sing porwith christmas lice everywhere. he was at all sorts of parties. he definitely was a character. >> brown: i gather he bragged about his connections to top naval brass. >> that's right. and as you saw in your report he had pictures with his arms around and shaking hands at appearances. it was not uncommon to go to an event like that. people would warn him, his moles inside the navy, they had say,
"you need to watch out. they're on to you about this or that and asking questions." and he would brag, "don't worry, i got it covered." and prosecutors allege he had moles envelope the naval investigative service that would feet feedhim information. >> brown: in addition to the moles, what else are they-- >> ciewzed of in terms of bribery and getting him information? >> they would steer navy ships to ports in southeast asia why he had a leg up, where he could allegedly charge a lot more for basic services, or fake ipvoices or make fraudulent claims. he would say, hey, baby, send that aircraft carry tore my port in malaysia" and he knew how to submit fake bills to the navy. if he went to other major ports in singapore it was a little harder for him to get away with it. the navy officers, he would loan on them to steer the ships to
his ports, where he could control things and overcharge the government. >> brown: in exchange, we heard some of the things they are alleged to have received. >> the basic temptations of life. he would provide prostitutes, according to the government. he would provide cash. he'd provide travel. he'd set them up in luxury hotel rooms throughout asia. in one case he gave lady gaga tickets, "lion king" tickets and even travel for family members of these navy officers. he knew how-- what would work with them. >> brown: the two admiral they say mentioned have been placed on leave. what is thought to be their involvement? it's before they were made admirals; is that correct? that's right. these are not just admirals. one is a three-star admiral director of naval intelligence, and one of his deputies who is also in naval intelligence. they report accused of doing anything in their current jobs but they both served in the pacific and the navy said it's some sort of personal misconduct
connected with the investigation. we don't what kind of personal misconduct. that hasn't come out yet. but for the navy to suspend or put on leave two admirals of that rank and that kind of position, it's a very serious matter. >> brown: is there supposed to be some kind of oversight of these contracts or are these the very people that are supposed to be overseeing them? >> there is supposed to be lots of oversight. they say competitive business. these contract goes out for bid. they're supposed to be picked over, all the companies' bids, who has the comparative advantage, and that's what the investigators are looking at is how did leonard and his company get these contract overs time despite some clear problems with some of the services he was providing. and the fact that they had been under investigation for some years, and yet they kept getting more contracts. >> brown: that's what i was wondering about. there were all kinds of red flags, apparently, along the way. this guy has been looked at fair long time. is the thinking now that it was not taken seriously enough or they didn't have enough evidence?
>> that's a really good question. the navy says they didn't have enough evidence, and that they were thwarted in their investigation by these moles who would enable him to stay a step ahead. but there were so many red flags. it does raise questions, why would they keep giving him contracts, additional contracts, as recently as this past july they gave him a no-bid contract for more port services be even though he was still under investigation. so that's definitely a very major question in this case. >> brown: i guess another big question is whether this is a very specific type of example-- bad example-- or is it-- does it signify some larger systemic problem that the navy or perhaps the rest of the military has? >> well, i think the military in general does have a problem. we see this kind of case come up not infrequently where contract fraud, people overcharge the government. it's a very chummy business with retired navy or military officers. leonard had retired navy officers on his payroll.
and so i don't think this is an isolated case. and i think we may see some more investigations into this kind of business with the navy, not just his company but others as well. >> brown: and leonard francis himself remains in jail. >> he's in jail, federal prison in san diego. he tried to get bond and the judge said no he was too much of a flight risk. >> brown: briefly, what happens next? which case comes next? >> we don't know which would go to trial yet. they've still been suspending and charging so many, i think they're still trying to get to the bottom of it and see how far it goes. the navy has been very open that they expect more officers to be implicated, and this is not the end of it. >> brown: so we have not seen the end of this. >> no, i don't think so. >> brown: craig whitlock of the "washington post," thanks so much. >> thanks, jeff. >> woodruff: schools nationwide are implementing new shared standards in math and reading, but what about for the arts? are those required to be taught, as well? the "newshour's" special
correspondent for education, john merrow, has this report. >> reporter: most public schools in the united states offer some sort of music instruction. but, according to a federal government report, about four million elementary school students do not get instruction in the visual arts. >> not by the hair of my chinni, chinni chin. >> not by the hair of my chinni, chin-chin. >> reporter: 96% of public elementary schools do not offer theatre or drama and 97% do not offer dance. these grim numbers contradict what most states say about the arts. 46 states require that the arts be taught in elementary school, including north carolina, which mandates that every student receive equal access to art instruction.
it's a law that does not seem to be enforced. jones county, in rural north carolina, serves 1,200 students, most from low income families. while its four elementary schools do offer music instruction once a week, not one offers instruction in dance, theater or art. >> every year we kind of joke about it and we ask, "oh, are we getting an art teacher this year?" i mean, i was hired into this county probably ten years ago. and i cannot remember having an elementary art teacher. >> reporter: with no art teacher on staff, principal jimmi parker of maysville elementary has had to rely on local talent. >> we do our best. we have volunteers come in. all kinds of artists live in our area. >> reporter: these sixth graders remember when a professional artist came to their school for a month. >> i liked the work we did with her, when we did the shadows with the trees. >> reporter: unfortunately, that was three years ago, when these students were in the third grade. >> would you like to have more
art? >> everyone says yes. >> reporter: two hours west of jones county, the picture is very different. like maysville, bugg elementary school in raleigh serves mostly low income families. but unlike maysville, bugg has four full-time, certified arts teachers in dance. ♪ ...music... >> time to work and sleep and play. ♪ ...the visual arts... and theatre. >> once upon a time... >> reporter: i asked these fifth graders how many minutes of the arts they have in a week. >> during the week, the calculation would be... >> um, about nine hours. >> i'd say about 15 hours. >> i would say around ten hours a week. >> okay. so we've got seven and a half, ten, nine, 15. >> i love the idea that the kids couldn't fully answer that.
>> so she called up the doctor and the doctor said... >> reporter: michael armstrong is principal at bugg elementary >> they definitely have 45 minutes a day with a true, trained arts teacher. and then because all of our staff are trained in the arts that will bleed over into more time. >> i'm going to turn into the beanstalk now and i want you to understand the beanstalks side of the story. >> reporter: first grade teacher maria eby is using the story of jack and the beanstalk to teach drama and science. >> we are studying plants and what they need and what they give and how they relate to the world. what are three things that plants do for us. >> they give us food. >> they give us food, like beans. >> and then the drama part of it, they had to improvise as that character. >> you are the old lady that gave them the beans. but then why did you let him in the castle? >> because... >> reporter: what's the goal, do kids learn more? >> well, children all learn in
different ways and its our job to make sure were presenting things in different ways. >> reporter: but nobody said dress up like a beanstalk. >> nobody made me do that, no. that was my own free will. >> pull out your ipads with your portfolios, okay? >> reporter: this school feels rich. >> yeah. >> reporter: are you? >> not at all. there's two parts to that. the money is one part, mindset is another whole thing. so if you really believe that the arts are of power, that alone, can have an impact. and if you don't have that mindset, then i don't think there's enough money in the world to pay for a strong enough arts program. >> reporter: but money makes a difference. bugg elementary is what's known as a "magnet" school. magnet schools receive additional resources to attract a diverse student body. bugg gets an extra $406 per child, nearly $250,000 a year. principal armstrong spends much of that money on the arts, and says he has watched his students thrive. >> students that have been in this program from kindergarten
to fifth grade have a higher self-confidence, have a higher understanding of how they learn, and are actually making higher test scores. >> reporter: in contrast, instead of the arts, jones county has focused its efforts on improving math and reading instruction. over the past few years, both schools have improved, although maysville elementary has outperformed bugg on most state tests. this year the mindset in jones county seems to be changing. the district hired an elementary art teacher. >> you see all the different kind of coral. >> reporter: at maysville elementary, cindy odaniel teaches seven art classes, back to back, with just one break and no time between classes to set up, or clean up. i was looking at your schedule on the wall, looks like a pretty hectic day >> we move quickly but the 45 minutes is a better time slot to get something accomplished. i have other schools that its 30 minutes so it's hurry up and
start, hurry up and finish. >> hey, you guys, listen up. we're running out of time. >> reporter: one of her classes is actually two kindergarten classes combined. >> oh, daniel. >> it is organized chaos and its tough to get around to all the students in a regular class size in 45 minutes. >> reporter: and maysville is not her only school. how many schools do you teach in? >> four. >> reporter: how many kids do you work with? >> i haven't slowed down long enough to figure it out. >> reporter: nationwide, nearly half of elementary school art teachers work in more than one school. i asked these students at bugg how they'd feel about having only 45 minutes of art a week. >> i guess if i'd never been in this school to start with, i would think it's normal. but now that i'm here, i realize if i were to go to another school and it only has 45 minutes of art, i would not feel like it's a real school. >> i would love for it to be every other day.
i would like them to have more time to think, more time to absorb, to assess information, instead of hurry up, hurry up, clean up, time is running out. >> reporter: do the kids at your school get enough art? >> no. they still don't get enough art. >> reporter: how much is enough? >> i guess, enough would be when the kids are satisfied. when we ask them, "do you get enough art?" and they can say, "yes, i feel like i have art in everything i do every day." it might not ever reach that point. but when they tell us they're getting art, that will be enough. >> reporter: you're a ways from there. >> a long ways from there. a long ways. >> reporter: in 2014, a coalition of arts organizations will release new standards for the arts. but it will be up to each state to decide whether to adopt and enforce them.
>> woodruff: the devastating typhoon that struck the philippines illustrated the vulnerability of island nations to extreme weather and added a spark to the international debate already underway over who bears the costs from climate change. >> climate is a global issue, global problem and global opportunity at the same time. >> wooduff: the united nations 12-day conference on climate change began earlier this month with an audacious goal: a new agreement to cut climate- altering greenhouse gas emissions. they met with renewed purpose: typhoon haiyan had just slammed into the philippines with 195- mph winds. among the strongest storms ever recorded, it caused massive flooding, widespread destruction
and took at least 5,200 lives. although scientists have not pointed to global warming as the direct cause for massive superstorms. they caution that greenhouse gas-fueled climate change could bring about extreme weather. a delegate from the philippines went on hunger strike to demand an ambitious deal. >> we stand together on this urgent call for climate action. and solidarity among the most vulnerable peoples on earth. >> wooduff: last week in poland, talks focused not only on the global effects, but on a shared responsibility for curbing emissions. >> every single country, small or large, every single sector, every single city, has to contribute because otherwise we're not going to be able to change the trajectory of greenhouse gases. >> wooduff: but the great disparity between the emissions
produced by the industrialized, leading economies of the world and developing nations hung over the talks. how to finance assistance for developing nations to build cleaner-emitting industry was a major issue, as were demands for compensation by nations already suffering effects of climate change. a delegate looked at that proposal skeptically: >> we cannot have a system where there will be automatic compensation whenever severe weather events are happening one place or other around the planet. you can understand why that is not feasible. >> wooduff: the talks were fractious: environmental activists staged a walk out, disappointed at what they saw as lack of progress. marathon negotiations ended early sunday, pointing towards a make-or-break agreement in 2015. now i'm joined by two people who
atended the u.n. climate conference in warsaw. brandon woo is a senior policy analyst at action aid u.s.a., an international development organization. and robert stabbens is a professor of business and government, and director of the environmental economics program at harvard university. welcome to you both. i want to ask both of you just in a sentence why was this conference held? and i'll start with you, robert stabeps, what question or questions was it supposed to resolve? >> the basic question that needed to be in warsaw was whether or not the countries of the world could remain on the track that was started two years ago at a similar conference in durbin to build up to paris two years from now, where a final agreement needs to be reached, which is essentially the post-kyoto international climate change agreement. if that sounds like the goal was mainly procedural, you're right. >> woodruff: brandon woo, how would you put it in a sentence?
what was supposed to be resolve here? >> i agree with that. we're supposed to be on a track to a new global regime. there also needed to be more concrete things on the table. there needed to be more clarity on what is called climate finance, money for developing countries to help deal with the intoocts of climate change and their own emissions. and there needed to be a mechanism created around what's called loss and damage, which is how countries deal with impacts after they happen, for example, how the philippines can deal with typhoon haiyan, after that happened. >> woodruff: before we talk about what went wrong-- and there were some problems-- robert stavins, what was accomplished? was anything accomplished at this conference? >> well, one of the things that was accomplished -- and i know this will sound mild or trivial-- is that no harm was done. that is, the countries of the world stayed on track to paris to, put together a new climate
agreement, one that will have a substantially larger foundation in terms of the number of participating countries than what we currently have under the kyoto regime. that may not sound like much but in the world of annual climate negotiations that are acceptionally challenging that's what success looks like. >> woodruff: brandon wu, would you agree that was one positive that came out of this? >> i think that's one positive. that's the political reality. the political reality is the negotiations are incredibly challenging. it's very difficult to get countries to agree to, say, ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. but there is a scientific reality that we're on track for a world that is going to be massively warmer than it was before the industrial era, and we know-- we at least have some sense of how catastrophic some of the impacts of that might be. so we have a scientific reality where we need to deal with this
member urgently, and then we have a political reality where we can't and we need to shift that political reality. >> woodruff: i hear you. so let's talk about the specifics, robert stavins of what didn't happen here. for one thing, there was a massive walkout. some 800 participants just walked out of the meetings one day. what was the main disagreement there over? >> well, i think there was rampant it disappointment, particularly from members from civil society, from activist groups, and i stully understand that disappointment. the way i see it is the current structure we have been using in the kyoto protocol, is equivalent-- if you allow me to use a metaphor-- it's equivalent to building a 70-story skyscraper on top of a foundation that is 10 feet by 10 feet. you might be able to build the first floor, you might even build the second floor, but i you will not get the ambition
required. the kyoto protocol, which includes a very limited set of countries, part of what the industrialed world is, it accounts for only 14% of global emissions. what's happening now is that the countries of the world are it trying to establish a larger foundation that includes all countries -- importantlily, the key, large, growing upon countries plus the rich countries of the world in a larger foundation to build a meaningful agreement to really address this crucial problem. i think activists and many members of civil society look at that and say, wait, we have one floor built, and now they're going back to building the foundation, but i think that was essential. >> woodruff: brandon wu, you were part of the this walkout. you supported the idea. what about the question mr. stavins just raised, the idea it was originally a small number of developed country bearing most of the responsibility, but now the world is changing. there's growth in a lot of
countries that were previously considered developing and needy. and that the balance and responsibility needs to shift. >> that's true. however, the devil's in the details. i would agree that all countries have to do their fair share to deal with the global problem of climate change, but how you define "fair share" exactly is where we run into disagreements. and just to raise the oppositional points about the world is changing, you know, there are some countries we considered poor that are no longer so poor. even now, if we look at the developed world-- so the u.s., other industrialized countries children is less than 20% of the population-- those countries responsible for over 70% of the greenhouse gases that are in the earth's atmosphere, and these are countries, therefore, that have a responsibility to deal with this problem. whereas, countries like the philippines, bangladesh, people in those countries have very little to do with the climate
crisis, and yet they're the people most vulnerable tots impacts. >> woodruff: what about you, mr. stavins, china, israel, and brazil are growing fast but it is the far-along developed countries that have contributed principally to the pollution and emissions that are in the atmosphere. >> so we could earth look at the problem by look backwarpds or look at the problem by looking forwards. if we look backwardst problem, historically, the bulk of the emissions in the atmosphere, as mr. wu points out correctly, has come from what the industrial ides world. although the united states is the leadener cumulative emissiones to the atmosphere, china is going to surpass the united states, as it already has, of course, in annual emissions, is going to pass the united states in cumulative emissions, depending on the rates of economic growth of the two countries, somewhere in a decade or maybe two decades.
if we're look forward-- which i think we need to do if we want to reduce emissions, then it's a different picture. if the o.e.c.d., if those countries upon to cut their their emissions not by 20% or 50% or 80%, by 100%, completely eliminate their emissions, never the less the the next year or the year after that worldwide emissions will increase because 62% of worldwide emissions are now coming from countries outside the existing agreement gl given that and in less than a minute, brandon wu. how do you bridge the gap? you said the devil is in the details. how do you bridge the gap given the lack of progress at a meeting like the wan in warsaw. >> there's a gap in trust. i agree, countries like china and india, they will need to do something in the future to reduce emissions.
it's not going to work if only developed countries do this. the fact of the matter is developed countries agreed to reduce emissions decades ago and what we've seen from them has been a lack of action. they have not reduced emissions to the extent they need to. so developing countries have very little reason to trust if they move forward on their actions to reduce climate change impacts, that developed countries will follow along. they're waiting for other developed countries to take the lead, as they are i legally obligated to in the u.n. >> of. >> woodruff: we high pressure you both. thank you. >> ifill: finally tonight, our thanksgiving week food series continues with a look at a global competition by architects and engineers, designed to be a fresh twist on the typical holiday food drive.
jeffrey brown is back with that. >> brown: pork and beans, sweet corn, tomato sauce and tuna fish. mix them together and what do you get? well, if you're in norfolk, virginia, you get a 12-foot arched bridge. elsewhere, similar ingredients have cooked up a football on the 20-yard line. a sea creature stuck in the sand. video games gone wild. even a beating heart. this is can-struction, an annual competition dating back to 1992 and now held in more than 150 cities throughout the world where architects, engineers and designers face off to build the most elaborate structures out of full canned goods all for a good cause. the rules are basic. the statues must be self- supporting formed almost entirely of cans and completed in just six hours. ribbons go for structural
ingenuity, best use of labels, and potential to make a nutritious meal, among others. after a few days in the spotlight, the edible building blocks are donated to local food banks. mark hinckley has been organizing the competition in norfolk for the past 17 years >> architects by nature like to compete against each other. there's always a lot of architects and engineers that are going after the same projects. and it's nice to have those bragging rights when you can beat out your competition, especially if you're a smaller firm going up against the more goliath firms that are in the area. >> brown: but what occasionally looks like child's play, has a very serious puose. organizers hope these canstructions will raise a little more awareness about hunger in local communities throughout the globe and bring in far more donations than the typical food drive. it usually takes between 5,000 to 10,000 cans to build a statue
this big and that translates to 30,000 to 90,000 pounds of donated food each year in norfolk. the worldwide total from canstruction events in 2012 alone clocked in at 3.4 million pounds. and the statues just keep getting bigger. disney broke the guinness world record for largest canstruction statue to date in 2010. just to be plowed under by john deere's creation in chicago a year later, built with more than 300,000 cans. >> we've gotten far more than we had to. >> brown: but these, of course, only begin to address the needs of so many struggling in a difficult economy. at the foodbank of southeastern virginia, c.e.o. joanne batson says the haul from this year's canstruction will be gone in a few days. as soon as they come in, we'll get them out. we deal with, at this facility, over a million pounds of food every month, so it's in and it's out.
>> brown: batson said that the city of norfolk and the wider area, known as hampton roads, were rocked hard by the economic downturn and the government cutbacks that followed. and she said the trend has deepened in recent weeks after many families saw a reduction in their food stamp dollars. >> we've seen, just in the 65% increase since 2008 in the number of people that need our help, and most recently, we've seen 40% of the people that are coming to us now, at this one location, over the past month, are new people. they've never been to the food bank before. >> brown: deana ogbe is one of those out of work and down on her luck. she had almost given up on the idea of fixing a thanksgiving meal this year for the ten-year- old granddaughter she's raising. >> we are a family of two and we're only getting $63 now.
there's no way to get thanksgiving dinner with that. >> brown: then ogbe heard about a local church giving away thanksgiving meal kits, including cans from the food bank. >> it just means the world that we're going to have a turkey on our table for thanksgiving and we'll be together. >> brown: stories like that represent the larger, serious goals of canstruction. even if the way to get there is a bit adventuresome, even risky, getting cans of tuna to do something like this. the arched bridge by a team of students from tidewater community college contains over 11,000 pounds of food. building it in just six hours left everyone on edge >> the most minimum mistake can have the biggest impact on it. towards the last part, we miscalculated by about a half an inch. and it kept us struggling for a good 20 minutes to get it finished. >> and there was a lot of people-- not only us, but other
competitors all standing around watching us. it was very nervous. >> brown: in line with the rules, the arch is built mostly of cans-- 13,000 of them-- but it also contains some small wooden wedges to help the tuna cans form the arch and cardboard to help stabilize the layers. no permanent adhesives are allowed, making for an uneasy couple of minutes when the team removed the central wooden support known as the template. >> the moment that that template comes down, and you can actually see the light from the other side of the arch, that's the moment of, yes, it works. >> brown: bin the end, the tidewater students came out on top for structural ingenuity. faceblock took home the award for juror's favorite. images of both of these creations will be sent to the next level, where the two-can compete for a slice of national action and much bigger glory at the american institute of architects convention next year.
>> ifill: on art beat you can take a closer look at some of the canstructions, and vote for your favorite. >> woodruff: again, the major developments of the day: a wintry mix of snow, sleet and rain snarled thanksgiving holiday travel for millions of americans on the busiest travel day of the year. and the obama administration announced another delay in the roll out of the health care law. it pushed back the launch of an online site for small businesses shopping the health insurance marketplace by a year. >> ifill: on the "newshour" online right now, we have details on how you can watch a thanksgiving day showdown between the sun and a tiny comet that could last for the next few weeks. and in the interest of holiday civility, mark shields and david brooks have advice on how to avoid conflict at the thanksgiving day dinner table. mark's best tip? don't talk politics, talk football. our online team built a bingo board that you can use to follow all the games on thursday.
find it on the rundown. all that and more is on our website newshour.pbs.org. >> woodruff: and that's the "newshour" for tonight. on thursday, we'll have three special thanksgiving stories. a conversation with chef, author and activist alice waters, paul solman on the different economic attitudes of the pilgrims and native people in plymouth. plus, a look back at norman rockwell's "freedom from want." i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. we'll see you online and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us here at the "pbs newshour," happy hannukah, happy thanksgiving, and have a good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪
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solutions for small businesses and major corporations. what can we do for you? ♪ >> and now, "bbc world news america." this is bbc world news america. reporting from washington, am katty kay. a few islands in the south china sea and a pair of american bombers caused a whole lot of tension between beijing and washington. italy's most controversial, colorful, combative leader. is this really good for silvio berlusconi? and it has been around for four point 5 billion years, and now, meetingment -- comet is the sun. we could be in for a real treat.