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tv   PBS News Hour Weekend  PBS  December 29, 2013 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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on this edition for sunday, december 29th, the constitutionality of the government's collection of phone records. it might be left to the supreme court to decide. keeping young offenders out of jail by focusing on families. >> no welcome mats on the floor, you know, you have to develop relationships with the parents. i had a mother slam the door in my face a few times. and, the future of the u.s. post office next on "pbs newshour weekend." >> announcer: "pbs newshour weekend" is made possibledy
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louisfeld coleman, judy and josh westin. joyce, b. hail. the wallick family. the cheryl and philip milstein family. bernard and irene schwartz. roselyn p. walter. corporate funding is provided by mutual of america designing customized, individual, and group retirement products and that's why we are your retirement company. additional support is provided by -- and by, the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions by your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. from the tisch wnet studios at lincoln center in new york this is "pbs newshour weekend." good evening, thanks for joining us. the obama administration says enrollment for health care benefits serves this month, though it is far behind administration projections. the government says nearly a million people signed up in december, that's about six times as many registrations as when
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the website was plagued by problems. does not include california and new york, that run their own exchanges. boy scout leaders say the organization is moving ahead with its plan to move last may to accept openly gay youth. the new rules take effect new year's day. the organization is encouraging scout leaders to provide privacy for scouts. the boy scouts have more than 2.5 million members. secretary of state john kerry will return to the middle east this week. israel said yesterday it will free 26 palestinian prisoners, but it is also expected to announce plans for more jewish settlements. in another development, rockets fired from lebanon struck northern israel, but caused no damage or injuries. israel responded by shelling the area where the rockets were launched. authorities in russia
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stepped up security following a suicide bombing earlier today. 18 people killed and dozens wounded after a woman blew herself up near the train station in a southern russian city. nobody claimed responsibility, but a month ago a chechen leader called for attacks in russia. the winter olympics begin hundreds of miles from today's bombing site in six weeks. a classified report warns that taliban influence in afghanistan will grow significantly in the next few years, even if some american troops are still deployed there. the report quoted in today's "washington post" warns that the situation will deteriorate much more rapidly if afghanistan does not agree on a new security pact with the united states. if it does not, all u.s. troops will leave afghanistan by the end of next year. the national intelligence estimate relied on input from 16 intelligence agencies.
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international monitors say that syria will not meet the year-end deadline for removing its most deadly chemical weapons, including substances that create sarin and nerve gas. the monitor blamed the delay on bad weather and difficulty transporting the weapons past rebels battling the assad regime. a human rights group said today that the syrian government bombing campaign against rebels in aleppo has resulted in more than 500 deaths during the last two weeks and said the victims including 151 children. and from england tonight, more than 400-year-old work by anthony van dyke has been discovered. the painting had been purchased at an antique shop by an english priest who paid $660 for it because he liked the frame. it's reportedly worth $660,000. the priest says he will sell the painting and restore the bells
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of the chapel at a religious retreat. the whole story unfolded on the bbc's version of "antiques roadshow." >> we want to turn to an important story that broke friday. the government's collection of phone records is constitutional, in contrast to another judge's ruling 11 days earlier that said it likely wasn't. for more on the timing and about what constitutional issues might determine the outcome of the case, we're joined now by washington from adam liptack. so the judges couldn't have disagreed more on more things in these rulings. let's first start about the disagreement on whether or not this government program to capture data from our cell phone records even worked. >> they were far apart on every part of this case, on the facts, the most recent judge, one in new york on friday, said that this program, nsa program that collects records could have prevented 9/11 and he seemed persuaded by several other
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instances in which the government asserts the program made a difference in preventing terrorist attacks. >> let's talk about the constitutionality question underneath. what's interesting, the most recent judge said we have a fundamental right, but not an absolute right to privacy and that looks at the unreasonable search and seizures under the fourth amendment. >> right. the constitutional question starts with, do we have a reasonable expectation of privacy in information we turn over to third parties like phone companies? the supreme court back in 1979 in a very different era said we do not, and, therefore, the fourth amendment doesn't even get implicated. the judge two weeks ago in washington said that 1979 decision doesn't make any sense in the modern age of smartphones and big data and the ability to put together a whole mosaic of information about our private lives. the new judge said, listen, third party data is not protected and i'm not going beyond what the supreme court says.
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>> what happens next, is this likely where two judges disagree? are there other cases pending? eventually does the supreme court decide to hear it? >> there are several other cases pending. these two will take the lead and go to federal appeals courts in new york and washington. if they disagree, it surely goes to the supreme court, and if any appeals court strikes down a major national security agency program, the supreme court's very likely to take it, but there's another scenario, too, which is that the washington decision striking down the program starts to look like an outlier and if all the appeals courts say, no, it's okay, maybe the supreme court stays out of it. >> and the supreme court is likely to do what in terms of they are very, very cautious about challenging previous decisions that they've made. >> that's true, although just in 2012 in a case involving gps devices, five different justices, albeit in concurring opinions, expressed hesitation about this old rule, saying that
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new technology might require re-examination of the idea that merely because third parties know our data, we lose an expectation of privacy in it. >> if this issue does make it to the supreme court, is there any indication how the justices would break? is this a liberal versus a conservative issue? >> if you look at it through the lens of national security, the answer would be yes. if you look through the lens of fourth amendment more generally, the court has been scrambled and a conservative like justice scalia has occasionally taken a more protective attitude towards privacy rights, so it depends which lens you look at it through. >> adam liptack from "the new york times," thanks so much. >> good to be here. ♪ and now to our signature segment, our in-depth reports
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from around the nation and around the world. tonight we look at an innovative program here in new york city designed to keep young offenders from becoming repeat offenders. it involves new thinking about policing and new tasks police officers perform as a result. here's our report. >> reporter: on this wednesday evening in east harlem, officers james docco and victor ramos pay a visit to a young man in the neighborhood. he's a 20-year-old named jordan raus and was arrested a few years ago on a robbery charge, but they are not here to arrest him today, they are here to make sure he stays out of trouble. >> all right. any luck yet? >> not no luck right now. >> okay. >> this is what we do. we go visit. hey, what's going on, what's up? even though you haven't gotten in trouble in awhile, we want you to continue that route. we're here to prevent them from being arrested instead of being
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the person that arrests them. >> this kind of proactive policing is at the heart of a little-known program within the nypd called "the juvenile robbery intervention program," or j-rip. its aim is to steer every teenager who's arrested from a robbery away from a life of crime. the focus is on two new york city neighborhoods. officers make repeated visits to the teens' homes, getting to know their families and monitoring their whereabouts. >> in the police department we usually look at where crime is happening, and that's where we deploy our personnel, and that was only working, you know, a bit here. >> joanne is the housing bureau chief for nypd. she oversees hundreds of housing developments. only about 5% of the city's residents live in public housing, but approximately 20% of violent crime takes place in them. in late 2006, she noticed a spike in robberies committed by teens in public housing units in the brownsville area of brooklyn.
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>> a lot of it, the majority of it, was youth-on-youth robberies, where young teenagers were stealing property of other young kids that lived in the area. and we knew we had to do something, and what i started to look at is, where did the robbers that are committing robberies live? >> that's when she came up with j-rip. >> and the idea was now, we were going to go to every juvenile and we were going to give them a message. if they continued to engage in criminal conduct, we would do everything in our power to make sure that they stay in jail. the second component to the program was really to get involved with them and their families and identify resources to assist the family as a whole. >> what you're talking about sounds a lot like social work. is this really the role of a police officer or police unit? >> i think so much of what we do is social work. there's a true overlap. here, we're talking about young kids, young adults, that have an opportunity, we have an
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opportunity to help them and their families change their lives. >> the program began in 2007, and now tracks a total of 317 teenagers in brownsville, brooklyn, and in east harlem. both areas with high rates of robberies committed by teens. why is this program focused on robberies? >> a lot of kids aren't involved in homicides, you know, kids are involved in robberies. they are stealing property, and some of them don't even realize that what they are doing is a serious, serious felony crime. >> jordan raus says that was the case for him. he was arrested in 2009 at the age of 16, charged with robbery by physical force. he stole someone's cell phone. >> everything i did was for that moment. i didn't think about past or future. it was just here and now. >> jordan lives alone with his mother. growing up, he rarely saw his father, and his mom says keeping him on the right path wasn't
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easy. >> there was nights i can't watch him when i'm not here, so basically, he was going to school and not doing anything. >> in the nearly four years that the officers have been monitoring jordan, they've offered him advice on how to land a job and encouraged him to enroll in vocational training classes. >> if you want to go, kept resisting, and after, you know, just constantly harassing him about it, basically, if that's how you want to say it, harassing, he finally decided to go. went, and actually earned his diploma out of there. >> keep him on his toes. let him know, you know what, officer will be coming around. you got to, you know, step up your game. you have to, you know, improve yourself. >> for officers in this program, it's a job that requires time and resources to develop and maintain these relationships. everything from driving teens to doctors appointments to connecting families with
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childcare options. but gaining the trust of families isn't always so easy. especially in neighborhoods where the controversial use of stop and frisk has created tension. >> there's not all welcome mats on the floor, you know, you have to develop relationships with the parents. it may take weeks. i had a mother slam the door in my face a few times. >> what if they say i don't want to be in this program, i don't want to have anything to do with it. >> great question. guess what, they don't have a choice. they are in a program we're going to monitor and mentor them. they can not allow us to mentor them, but we can monitor them. >> this is their group. >> that means monitoring them any way they can, even posing as teenagers on social media websites. >> you have kids out there that used to be in these crews -- >> detective patrick kennedy has a fake facebook profile he uses to monitor accounts of teens in the program every day. >> if we see somebody stating
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there's a party on saturday, we'll let the proper precinct know about it, and they'll go and shut it down before it even happens. >> how would they feel if they know you're looking at their facebook pages? >> they know. you see them saying, you know, let the feds or nypd watching us. >> some tactics like setting up a dummy facebook page and trying to access the social media websites of other kids in the community, i mean, is that crossing a line? >> i don't think it is. you know, we get information from kids, and we just do our homework. >> someone might look at that and say it's invasive, it's misrepresenting who that person is. how do you respond to that? >> i would say that i don't think it is. >> since the program is so small, it has attracted relatively little attention, and even less criticism. david kennedy, an expert on crime reduction, says these kinds of tactics are not
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surprising. >> look, police watch the public. the police have always watched the public, and when police have reason to think that particular people are particularly active and dangerous, they are going to watch them more closely. >> kennedy is considered a renowned authority on criminal justice policies in the u.s. his philosophy, which has been widely implemented with great success, is to have regular dialogue among offenders, community members, and law enforcement. >> these are neighborhoods that need more public safety. they need a different kind of criminal justice, one that works for them without locking everybody up, and they need to have reset relationships between the community and the cops. >> the juvenile robbery intervention program, he says, is putting this idea into practice. >> nypd is a no-nonsense police department, and the fact that they have invented this
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institutionalized it, and are backing it, is really a breakthrough for policing, and it's a testament to how seriously they are taking this way of thinking about things. >> so is the program making a difference? of the 317 teens that the nypd is monitoring this year, only 30 were arrested from january through november. that's a recidivism rate of just more than 10%. the nypd doesn't track numbers to make a citywide comparison, but says the rate is an indicator of success, and says some things can't be measured at all, like the ripple effect on friends and families of the teens in the program. police commissioner ray kelly applauds the program, but says adding more resources to it is not likely any time soon. >> we have about 6,000 fewer police officers than we had 12 years ago, so we're doing more with less. we'd like to do more of j-rip in
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the immediate future, probably going to be difficult to expand it in any significant way. >> you're investing heavily in these individuals, so when a young person becomes a repeat offender, is that investment squandered? >> no, i don't think so, because for the kids that continue to be involved in criminal conduct, we need to get them off the streets. we need to protect the public, and our duty is protect these other kids, and i think we as a society and we in the police department have to do everything we can to first help these kids change their lives. >> at the end of each year, officers in east harlem throw a holiday party to nurture new and old relationships with families in the program. tonight, officers surprised this grandmother with a birthday
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cake. jordan raus and his mother are here. jordan says that his goal is to apply to colleges next year and work towards becoming a corrections officer. >> i don't see things the way i used to. i see the bigger picture in life, basically. you know, get a job, go to school. i wasn't really thinking like that at the time. i was just a moment type of guy. if i wanted it, i'd take it, but not no more. join us online to learn more about the attack on the u.s. diplomatic mission in benghazi, libya, that killed four americans. watch my interview with "new york times" reporter david kirkpatrick at another story that came and went was the announcement that the price of the first-class stamp will rise from 46 to 49
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cents in late january. this got us wondering about the future of mail delivery in this country. for more, we're joined by bradley clapper. he covered the story for the associated press. let's talk about how important this price hike in our stamps is to the viability of the postal system today. >> well, certainly, the postal service hopes this is going to help it generate more revenue. they were hard hit by the recession. they've also been hard hit by increased competition from private postal carriers, as well as the internet, which makes a lot of things we used to do by post not necessary any longer, but for consumers, i don't think there will be immediate drastic effects. yes, three cents more a stamp and considering how much less consumers are mailing today, it shouldn't be a dramatic pinch in the pocketbook. >> what about the companies that use bulk mail often, whether it's the magazines or publisher's clearinghouse, are
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they going to feel the pinch much worse? >> this is where the louder protests are coming from, whether it's greeting cards, magazines, charities, they are really upset with this. they say this could effect the bottom lines, this could mean lost jobs, this could really impact the way they do business. >> over the holidays, we've seen how people are depending more and more on companies like ups and fedex to get their packages done. over time, does this mean the viability of a state-run postal service is in jeopardy? >> it's a time of change, clearly, for postal services worldwide, fewer and fewer are now state owned. a lot have to go through difficult restructuring in the last couple of decades. in cankhan canada, there's a mo to curtail home delivery and other services. in the united states, despite high level of losses in recent years, the services are still
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there, so changes may be around the corner. >> so the money that the postal service will raise from the increased price of stamps, is that going to be enough to get it back on a financially solvent track? >> that alone isn't going to do it and is something the postal service recognizes. the regulators recognized they could raise the price of a stamp and bulk mail and other services for about two years, and the idea was that they would be able to recoup $2.8 million, but losses last year for the postal service were about $6 billion, the year before were about $15 billion, so that alone is not going to make it a suddenly financially solvent enterprise. >> all right. bradley clapper from the associated press, thanks so much. >> appreciate it.
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this is "pbs newshour weekend sunday." finally tonight, a long-running debate that defies national borders, the question whether parents should ever hit their children. now, a movement is under way in great britain that would make it illegal. advocates of the ban say current laws do a better job of protecting family pets than children. robin dwyer reports. >> reporter: to smack or not to smack is the question that still promotes arguments among parents. >> generally, i wouldn't smack them, but i think people have discretion. >> i would smack, i think it works. >> it's
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shoved or smack or hit or any sort of way but a young infant and baby doesn't have that same type of protection. >> content 75, not content, 250. >> nine years ago, parliament rejected an outright ban, legislating instead to allow parents to give a light smack that didn't leave a mark. the man behind the reform, lord lester, told itb news, i am dead against smacking, but also dead against criminalizing all parents. it's a view that many parents and politicians share, making any immediate change in the law unlikely. robin dwyer, itb news.
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♪ join us on the newshour tomorrow on air and online. author and journalist david ignatius discusses his recent trip to iran. that's it for this edition of "pbs newshour weekend," thanks for watching. "pbs newshour weekend," thanks for watching. ♪ -- captions by vitac --
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pbs newshour weekend is made possible by -- lewis b. cullman and louise hirschfeld cullman, mutual of america, judy and josh weston, citi foundation, in memory of miriam and ira d. wallach, cheryl and philip milstein family, rosalind p. walter. corporate funding is provided by -- mutual of america. designing customized, individual, and group retirement products. that's why we're your retirement company. additional support is provided by -- and by -- the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
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