tv PBS News Hour PBS June 17, 2014 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> ifill: u.s. special forces, in a secret weekend raid, captured a suspected ringleader of the deadly 2012 attack on the american consulate in benghazi, libya. good evening, i'm gwen ifill. judy woodruff is on assignment. also ahead, protecting the wonders of the deep blue sea. president obama acts to create the world's largest marine sanctuary, in the pacific ocean. plus, how one california school district is trying to push students facing homelessness to academic success, and a path to a brighter future. >> when every time, i try to give up, i think about it and i'm, you know what, no, i'm not going to give up now that i've
accomplished so many things. i'm not going to give up. >> ifill: 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: >> at bae systems, our pride and dedication show in everything we do; from electronics systems to intelligence analysis and cyber- operations; from combat vehicles and weapons to the maintenance and modernization of ships, aircraft, and critical infrastructure. knowing our work makes a difference inspires us everyday. that's bae systems. that's inspired work. >> i've been around long enough to recognize the people who are out there owning it. the ones getting involved, staying engaged. they are not afraid to question the path they're on. because the one question they
never want to ask is, "how did i end up here?" i started schwab with those people. people who want to take ownership of their investments, like they do in every other aspect of their lives. >> united healthcare, online at uhc.com. >> and the william and flora hewlett foundation, helping people build immeasurably better lives. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions 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. >> ifill: kenya's president blamed local political leaders for two nights of attacks that
killed at least 60 people along the coast. the somali militant group "al shabab" had claimed responsibility for the killings near the tourist resort island of lamu that targeted non-muslims. but president uhuru kenyatta, in a nationally televised address, pointed the finger at people he described as "hate-mongers" without directly naming anyone. >> the attack in lamu was well planned, orchestrated and politically motivated ethnic violence against the kenyan community with the intention of profiling and evicting them for political reasons. this, therefore, was not an al- shabaab terrorist attack. >> ifill: security was tightened in the area today, as kenyan officials searched for the attackers. they erected roadblocks, and asked people to come forward with any information. an explosion hit the main pipeline that carries russian natural gas across ukraine to europe, and ukrainian officials said it might be terrorism. it happened in the center of the
country, far from the unrest with pro-russian separatists in the east. and it comes a day after russia cut off natural gas supplies to ukraine over a pricing dispute. newly released records show workers at the phoenix veterans affairs hospital received about $10 million in merit-based bonuses. it's the same hospital an inspector general's report found had excessive wait times and inappropriate scheduling of patients. records show the bonuses went to about 2,100 employees over three years and each year the amount increased. in nebraska, two farming towns were reeling today at destruction wrought by rare double tornadoes. the twin twisters ripped through the small towns of stanton and pilger yesterday afternoon. they touched down roughly a mile from one another, before merging. a five-year-old girl was killed and 18 others were injured. pilger was nearly 75% destroyed. the county sheriff warned it will take a long time to rebuild.
>> the business district is gone. city hall is gone. the fire department is destroyed. public library has severe damage. we have numerous houses that are just gone and lots and lots of houses with structural damage that will take 100% repair which means they're going to have to tear them down and start from scratch. >> ifill: president obama signed a disaster declaration today to send federal funds and resources to the area. >> ifill: in world cup soccer news, u.s. fans were still celebrating last night's first round win over ghana. team captain clint dempsey scored 30 seconds into the game, making it the fifth quickest goal in world cup history. after ghana tied the score, john brooks bounced a header in to win the match. next up for the u.s. is portugal on sunday. >> ifill: curators and scientists have discovered one of pablo picasso's first masterpieces "the blue room," has had a secret all these years. a second painting is concealed
behind the first and that one holds a secret of its own: the identity of the bow-tied man in the portrait. the 1901 painting has been a part of the phillips collection in washington since 1927. museum experts used infrared and x-ray technology to find and refine the hidden portrait over the past five years. stocks extended their gains on wall street today. the dow jones industrial average added 27 points to close at 16,808. the nasdaq rose 16 points to close at 4,337. and the s-and-p 500 gained four points to close at nearly 1,942. still to come on the newshour: u.s. commandos nab a suspected ringleader of the benghazi attack. what iraq's insurgency means for its neighbors. protecting the wonders of the pacific ocean. the challenge of being homeless in high school. and a long-time reporter's new take on president nixon, and his life after watergate.
>> ifill: nearly two years after the attacks in benghazi, libya, the u.s. has captured one of the suspected ring leaders in the offensive. president obama heralded the mission this afternoon at an event in pittsburgh, shortly after the news broke. >> we are all aware of the tragedy that happened in benghazi where four americans including our ambassador there clint stephens was killed in an i ac on a consulate office there. i said at the time my absolute commitment was to make sure we brought to justice those who had been responsible, and yesterday our special forces showing incredible courage and precision were able to capture an individual, abu khattala, who is alleged to have been one of the
masterminds of the attack. (applause) and he is now being transported back to the united states. i say that first of all because, you know, we continue to think about and pray for the families of those who were killed during that terrible attack, but more importantly it's important for us to send a message to the world that when americans are attacked, no matter how long it takes, we will find those responsible and bring them to justice. >> ifill: jeffrey brown has more on the dramatic capture. >> brown: the special forces team apprehended abu khattala, with the help of the f.b.i. in a secret raid outside benghazi. he's the first accused perpetrator of the 2012 attacks to be nabbed and taken into u.s. custody. joining me now is the reporter who first broke this story: karen deyoung of the washington post.
karen, thanks for joining us. how much detail do we know at this point about the operation that led to his capture? >> well, we don't know a whole lot. we know that it occurred on sunday afternoon washington time, that it was, according to the pentagon, months in the planning, that president obama approved it on friday, and that pretty much carried out without any violence at all. nobody was hurt, and he was very quickly removed from his villa in the south of benghazi. >> and done with or without the cooperation or coordination with the libyan government? >> the libyans were not informed prior to this operation. of course, there have been previous operations in libya, notably one last october where an al quaida suspect was abducted, and at that time the administration informed libya what it was also interested in
getting abu khattala, they did not get him at that point and they did not tell them, again. their response was, it's no surprise to us, that we have been trying to get him. >> brown: where is abu khattala now? are we trying to get him here to arraign him to stand trial? >> he is in a secure location outside libya. that's all the administration has said. previously when incidents like this have happened, they have taken people and put them aboard u.s. warships for initial interrogation. there has been a criminal complaint filed against him in district court in the district of columbia. you know, most of these cases have been tried in europe, but this one, i think, will be the first terrorist trial, big-time terrorist trial in washington, d.c. and, so, he would be brought here shortly is the only term they will use to
be arraigned and ultimately stand trial. >> brown: one of the stranger aspects of all of this is the reporters have sat down with him in the past two years with abu khattala since the benghazi attacks. there was some sense he was hiding in plain sight. what's the explanation at this point for why it took so long to capture him? >> well, certainly, initially, right after the september 2012 attacks in benghazi, for several months afterwards and into the beginning of last year, he was fairly frequently interviewed by american, british and other media in benghazi. the actual criminal complaint against him was not filed until last summer, and the explanation that the administration has for why is it so easy for them to find him more than a year ago, and not that it's necessarily difficult to know where he was,
but to arrange the kind of raid where they carried out where no one was hurt, where there was no known surprise, where they could get quickly in and out. that's their story and they're sticking to it. >> brown: and what about the evidence that links him to what happened in benghazi? what does the government say about how solid it is? this is a way for you to backtrack a little and remind us who he is in connections to various groups. >> he is the head of the benghazi branch of ansar al-sharia, which is a militant group formed after the fall of gadhafi. abu khattala was imprisoned by muammar gadhafi for many years. in the witness statements compiled after the benghazi attacks, there were members of ansar al-sharia, there were
some indications he, in some interviews, acknowledged he was there although he usually said that he came upon the assault of the dim pact compound when it was almost over but did not parts at a time in the initial assault. they athey have witnesses and, again, they do have some video. >> now, the u.s. authorities, i gather, they think that -- well, they fairly believe others were involved in the attacks. so are they still in pursuit in what's the situation there? >> they're in this criminal complaint that was filed under seal last summer here in the district of columbia. there were as many as a dozen others listed as wanted for the same attacks. they say they're still after them. they haven't caught them yet. we don't know what all their names are but that the investigation is still ongoing and that they're still trying to
capture them. >> everything, of course, related to benghazi has been a major political issue, and i saw some of the reaction right away today. mitch mcconnell saying that the suspect needs to be interrogated extensively. he said we should not read limb his rights and get him a lawyer. you said earlier the intent is to bring him to trial in new york, perhaps. >> in washington. so this is going to continue, clearly, in american politics? >> well, and it's interesting, the very first reaction this morning in the story book was, good for you, american military, you did a great job, but very quickly became divided along part of the minds with many republicans saying we hope you're not going to treat him as a normal criminal defendant. this is a line that is very familiar in these kinds of cases suggesting that he be taken to guantanamo, which, of course, the obama administration is not
going to do. they have been trying to close guantanamo and refused to put in an addition there. they say they've had much better luck with civilian criminal trials and there have been many of them and many convictions and many people are in jail, while the track record of the commission in guantanamo is not good in terms of commissions and a lot of people there they don't know what to do with because they can't convict them. >> brown: all that to unfold in coming months. karen deyoung, thank you so much. >> you're welcome. >> ifill: president obama is expected to meet with congressional leaders on iraq tomorrow. at the same time, a state department spokeswoman said she doesn't expect the u.s. and iran to have any more discussions about iraq on the sidelines of nuclear talks in vienna. in baghdad, 10 people were killed and dozens injured in a car bombing in a shi'ite neighborhood today.
and the country's prime minister dismissed four of his top security officers after the city of mosul fell to insurgent forces last week. in the north, it appears shia militia are beginning to fill the void left by fleeing government forces. jonathan rugman of independent television news is there. >> reporter: these shia militiamen are chanting that they are answering their country's call. scores of them filmed apparently headed to tal afar today. the army seemingly deserted them in the face of sunni extremists. so now it's guerrilla warfare on both sides. their city fell to isis yesterday. but it was fear of government airstrikes which sent this family packing, leaving home at 3:00 this morning. tal afar is a city of 200,000 people. now, unknown numbers of sunni and shia are fleeing it, joining those still escaping from mosul, iraq's second biggest city, which fell a week ago.
in mosul itself, residents filmed isis militants as if they were a tourist attraction. even if some of the jihadists are probably foreigners, and conflict tourists themselves. the bustle of everyday life here, shown perhaps as a deliberate contrast with the executions and atrocities of recent days. though this isis fighter is ordering a woman to cover her head up. at this checkpoint near the city, ibrahim salim told us he couldn't be sure which side in this conflict frightened him the most. were you frightened of them? because they are radical jihadists? >> it's really, you don't know who's your enemy. you don't know if the government of iraq or you don't know if that, or the jihadis is your enemy. you don't know. everybody like, in the beginning of two days, there was bombing the civilians. >> reporter: by whom?
>> you don't know! just the bomb fell down on the people. >> reporter: merging into this crowd, we found soldiers from tal afar now seeking sanctuary in the kurdish north, after abandoning their posts in fighting yesterday. islamic extremists were driven out of tal afar by the american army. but the story, which seems to be emerging from these people who have fled from the conflict today, is the army that the americans trained gave up. it ran away. without putting up too much of a fight. this soldier feared reprisals from either side. he said he had surrendered to isis after his commanders escaped first. >> reporter: did the americans train you though to fight? >> ( translated ): yes, we were trained by the americans for three to eight months. but the issue was, we'd ran out of ammunition. otherwise, we would've resisted. >> reporter: how many dead
people did you see with your own eyes? >> ( translated ): i have seen many dead people. between 100-150. two of my friends were killed. we haven't found their bodies yet. >> reporter: we can't verify that figure. another soldier told us he feared the sunnis of isis would disfigure or execute him if they found out he was a shia from the south. >> ( translated ): it was very frightening coming through the isis checkpoint. isis are terrorists. it's terrifying. they're against civilians, and they are against the army. >> reporter: tonight, isis launched a chilling, new global recruitment video, for what it called the decisive battle. hungry lions are being unleashed, it said. calling this a jihad against shiites. it's stated target, baghdad. >> ifill: late this evening in baghdad, reuters reports that iraq's shi'ite and sunni political leaders, including the
prime minister, made a joint call for national unity. tonight, we take a closer look at what the iraq crisis, and it's sectarian divisions, means for an already volatile region. i'm joined by hisham melhem, washington bureau chief of al-arabiya news channel. and mary-jane deeb, chief of the african and middle eastern division of the library of congress. the views she express here are her own. what is the dangerous, hisham, that the sunni shiites we've become familiar with now is going to spread beyond the borders of iraq throughout the region? >> what we see now in terms of shia-sunni rivalry is unprecedented in the history of islam. this is the first time we see blood letting on the continue cl front from iraq to syria to lebanon and bahrain and lebanon. this has never happened in modern history, anytime throughout the history of islamic and that's why it's
extremely dangerous. you add two countries rallying along ethnic lines, syria and iraq, and refugee problems in lebanon and jordan, you add to that leadership in the region and europe, which makes leadership important, unfortunately leadership was absent in the last two years. because we didn't do much about the rise of isis in the so-called islamic state, we didn't do much to check the power in syria, allow them in that environment, we see them moving from syria to iraq and we have two major non-state actors, hezbollah and isis, throwing their weight around the region and ablght acting like states. >> ifill: so many say i.s.i.l.
is scarier than isis. i want to ask you, mary jane deeb, about this conflict hisham describes, is it becoming regional or already is? >> it already is in many because because the idea of isis, the islamic group, is not to change a government within that particular reason, it is to change the region as a whole to turn it into an islamic state. so we see the situation developing along a number of lines. not only is it sectarian, sunni-shiite, but i think it is also an actor that we do not see, and that is, i would say, the old army, iraqi army. the army that is being broken up and sent back home. and that may be the background, the backstage, if you want, of
what is happening in iraq today. >> there was a lot of attention paid in vienna this week where there was some discussion on the sidelines between the u.s. and iran. how critical a player is or should iran be in the middle of all this? >> iran is on the side which is why production powier in syria and iraq, his blah is securing the countries of the gulf and turkey. these are sunni powers, extremely concerned about the rise of the iranian vote and will be more concerned because of signs the united states is willing to discuss iraq with iran and, in fact, even john kerry yesterday said it in a fleeting moment that you may be willing to collaborate militarily. >> ifill: and he pulled back. he pulled back, of course. this is the first tame in american history where they
talk. the point is iran's influence in iraq are calling on the united states to collaborate militarily. this is the same iran responsible for the deaths of hundreds of hundreds of millions of conservatives in iraq in the last ten years. >> ifill: any collaboration that might exist, whether diplomatic or otherwise with iran, does that put on nuclear talks? >> this is one of the major dangers is if we start talking now about what is happening in iraq, we are stopping the discussion under -- on the nuclear issue, and that is of immense importance because iran can play the game of, yes, let's move and do this. anyway, continue building up this nuclear forces. >> ifill: the other country you mentioned including -- also
including libya and egypt and turkey, they have different skin in this game, different concerns about what happens in iraq. any agreement on a solution? >> i would say it was about iranian influence, primarily, and we would like to see the united states. but other countries have these agendas and a number of countries would like to see the sunnies come back to power in iraq and say to the -- i would say that countries like egypt, for instance, would like to see a return and a strengthening of sunnis in the region. >> ifill: would these countries perhaps like to see iraq partitioned? >> i think we are watching the death of a country.
it's falling apart along sectarian-ethnic lines and the kurds i will argue will go their separate way, maybe the shia will go their separate way in the south and leave the sunnis in the center. >> ifill: something joe biden talked about years ago. >> exactly but not through this kind of violence. the sunnis will be sullen and angry and armed and they're not going to accept the situation like that. >> ifill: but isis will continue to exist even if this deal exists. but the ce comes because isis has access to a lot of resources and money and part of the question is who is giving them this money? any of these regional actors help to support -- >> it is very possible that some of them are supporting, that money is coming in. it could be individual, it could be foundations, it could be -- it could even be governments.
>> and they have hundreds of millions of dollars -- >> attacking others, attacking banks, shops, economic institutions. it's like the mafia. but i think there is more serous from these groups. >> you need a political solution and allies to fight isis. that is our main stake in syria, we did not invest in the syrian opposition and take on these groups and nip it in the bud. >> ifill: who is al-mmaliki's friend in this? >> that's dangerous because iran might be asked to move in. >> ifill: so is there pressure from any of the nations or us for maliki to move assayed? >> i think the u.s. should have
exercised their option a while ago. the sang same thing with the obama administration. he owes his position to americans and they didn't act as such. >> ifill: final world. who will take his place. after all, he was elected, so who are we expecting to take over? it has to be, i suppose, a coalition that needs to be pulled together and i don't know who can do that. >> the same dilemma, periodically replaces people. quite remarkable. thank you both. >> thank you. >> ifill: the president used the power of executive authority again today, this time to protect a wider expanse of the central pacific ocean. jeffrey brown has the story, and why scientists believe the area needs special safeguards.
>> if we drain our oceans of their resources we won't just be squandering one of humanity's greatest treasures we'll be cutting off one of the world's major sources of food and economic growth. >> brown: president obama announced his plan to create the world's largest marine preserve in a video message delivered today at a state department conference on oceans conservation. >> and like presidents clinton and bush before me i'm going to use my authority as president to protect some of our most precious marine landscapes just like we do for mountains and rivers and forests. >> brown: today's directive would add to u.s. marine monuments in the central pacific designated by president george w. bush during his administration. president obama's proposal could expand protection areas around seven islands and atolls in the u.s. territorial waters from 50 miles to 200. and while final boundaries have not yet been determined, the executive step would expand the
sparsely inhabited "pacific remote islands marine national monument" from almost 87,000 square miles to more than 780,000. that would put drilling, fishing and other activities in the new preserves off limits. some republican lawmakers, like house natural resources committee chairman doc hastings claimed the move was an overreach of presidential powers. in a statement, he said: "this is yet another example of how an imperial president is intent on taking unilateral action, behind closed doors, to impose new regulations and layers of restrictive red-tape." oceans, like our federal lands, are intended to be multiple-use and open for a wide range of economic activities that includes fishing, recreation, conservation, and energy production." the president also today issued a memorandum to federal agencies today to develop a program that would ensure all seafood sold in the u.s. is both sustainable and traceable. in the meantime,
any expansion of the pacific marine reserves will be implemented later this year. after a public comment period. >> brown: the u.s. controls more than 13% of all ocean areas overseen by countries, and today's action was being watched by international observers, as well as on capitol hill. we're joined by: joshua reichert is executive vice president of the pew charitable trusts where he directs environmental initiatives. and juliet eilperin, who reported this story for the washington post. welcome to both of you. >> thanks so much. >> brown: joshua reichert, let me start with you. tell us more about this area of the ocean and why is it important to protect? >> well, it's one of the most isolated, remote areas of the ocean that's under the jurisdiction of the united states, and because it's isolated and hard to get to, these islands have been uninhabited essentially forever. so the amount of ocean life that they contain is absolutely remarkable. it's a staggering assemblage of
fish, sea birds, marine mammals and critical habitat needed by a wide variety of species that occupy these areas. >> brown: i suppose if it's so little remote or unused why does it need protection? >> the world is shrinking and areas that were considered inaccessible 50 years ago, today are not that way. i think over the short to medium term, these areas will be opened up and they will not be nearly as remote as they are today. fishing vessels now are a part of these waters on a regular basis and 50 years ago, they did not. >> juliet, what can you tell us about the process of this executive action. >> when you look at the issue starting with the executive action, this is something that the president has done for decades under the antiquities
act, they've had the authority for 100 years to essentially designate lands for protection of waters without congressional approval. so that's nothing new. what is interesting is president obama who used that authority 11 times already to protect areas on land never used it in the ocean and what it reflects is a renewed focus on this driven by two members of his administration, john pedesta his counselor and john kerry, both of them were looking for the president to do something big and symbolic on this issue. >> and i refer in the introduction to some opposition voiced by republicans. are they seeing this differently from what president bush did? >> the question, i talked to chairman hastings about this, and one thing i asked is since president bush actually created the initial monument in 2009, i asked him whether he had voiced concern then. he replied that he had not been
on the natural resources committee at that point. but there was very little outcry from congressional republicans when president bush undertook several steps to declare parts of the ocean off limits. >> start with you, joshua reichert, what does it mean to declare a wide swath of ocean a monument? what will not or what will happen? how do you protect or do that? >> the management plan created for these areas, i think the assumption here is that all extractive activity within the parameters of these monuments will be prohibited. so the production of oil and gas, fishing, deep sea mining, they're areas that are designed to be set aside and, as juliet indicated, the antiquities act has been used by presidents over the past century to protect
areas like this. >> brown: do you know how much the plan is already set? or is this what happened over the next period? >> this plan is not set and they will have to work through it. they will get some public input. what's interesting is partially because this is something that really came together in recent weeks is there isn't a detailed plan and, also, since the president could do this by themselves, there's no designated time for how long they take public comment but certainly they will be basically waiting to hear from folks over the next couple of months. >> and i know you reached out for a reaction from people in the fishing industry. what did they have to say? >> members of the recreational fishing industry have some concerns about this. they received an exemption when the monument was created under president bush because they don't like the precedent of prohibiting sports fishing in any area and they will be looking to keep that exemption and are a little concerned about it. within the tuna industry which operates in this region hasn't
been public about how they'll weigh in but i'm quite confident they will express their concerns. >> what about hue this plays out with other countries? how does it jibe or not jibe with what other countries are doing? will there be questions about the u.s.'s rights in an area like this to take an action like that? >> this is all within the jurisdiction of the united states, so there won't be questions like that. i think what we're seeing and what we have been seeing in the course of the past decade or two is the growing recognition of the value of the world's oceans to people and the fact they're in trouble. and so that there has been more effort made over the course of the past several decades to protect areas of the ocean than has ever been made before. the decision by a sitting president to designate an area as a national monument requires the balancing of different kinds of interests -- economic, biological, cultural,
aesthetic -- and clearly, in this case, two presidents made a determines that the value of these areas far transcends the amount of profit that can be gotten out of them every year by commercial fishing. >> brown: do you think there might be more to come here in terms of more actions like this, specifically in the oceans? you were talking about -- >> right, i think that's an intriguing part of what president obama said in his video today. he talked about the idea he would use this authority in the future. so i think we could expect that there would be further action, and it also was interesting that, whether you're talking about the president or his deputies, they were emphasizing the economic value of the ocean and arguing there was in fact more economic benefit by putting part off limits so i think we'll see them using that in selected incidences. >> brown: are you expecting to see more? >> we are. we have been trying to over the
course of the past five or six years to encourage the governments, that arous governments, the united states and others, to construct the first generation of the world's great marine parks similar to what was done on land. >> brown: and there is this comment period coming, so anybody in industry outside or in, this may change a bit. >> absolutely. that's one of the interesting things the commerce and interior departments will presumably be holder hearings and hearing from folks and can go 200 miles from shore or pair back. so we'll be watching in the weeks and months to go. >> joshua reichert and juliet eiplerin. thank you so much. >> thank you. >> ifill: it's high school graduation season, and one of the country's largest school districts is celebrating the accomplishments of dozens of
students who've had a particularly difficult time earning a diploma. they've all been homeless, which drastically increases the likelihood of dropping out. but as david nazar of p.b.s. so- cal explains, a concerted effort to help those students graduate has been paying off. it's the latest report for our "american graduate project," a public media initiative funded by the corporation for public broadcasting. >> reporter: nora perez just graduated from roybal learning center, a high school in los angeles. those four years can be an uphill battle for many students but nora faced a mountain of challenges. this is what she called home during high school. the back of a car, parked on a city street. it's where nora slept and ate, and studied after school. >> you don't even have your own room, you don't have your own bed, you don't even know where to shower, and it was really difficult. it was really difficult and it brings tears to my eye because going through all those moments, all those cold nights that i looked at my parents and saw
their pain in their face. >> reporter: the difficult road for nora began during her freshman year, after her father lost his job and then the family lost its house. >> at that point i thought everything was falling apart completely and i was losing everything that i had. it was just too much pain at that point and i felt like giving up. >> reporter: that pain motivated nora to look for help and she found it in the district's "homeless education program," designed to provide assistance to students and their families who don't have a place to live. >> one of the first things the program addresses: essentials the students may have had to do without. >> homeless students and families have a lot of instability in their lives and it's very difficult for them to access services that they need. >> reporter: debra duardo is the executive director of the district's student health and human services department and helps oversee 14 wellness centers built over the past five years with $40 million in voter- approved bond money.
officials have raised 50 million dollars to build even more. something they say no other district in the country has been able to do. >> reporter: many of our students or families become homeless as a result of mental illness, domestic violence, coming back from war, substance abuse so when you're a child and dealing with some of these issues in your family often you're going to have symptoms of anxiety depression, haven't been taken to a doctor for regular care, lacking dental services. >> reporter: while the centers help all the district's most at- risk kids, a lot of effort is spent on those who are homeless, and there are many of them: california's homeless population is the highest in the country by far. last year the u.s. department of housing and urban development estimated there were about 137,000 homeless people living here. the los angeles unified school district alone has identified
15,000 children within its boundaries who don't have a regular place to stay, but officials say there could be hundreds or possibly even thousands more who haven't come forward. it can be very difficult to simply get them in the door: >> we don't always know which of our students are homeless because they aren't always forthcoming with that information. there's a big stigma, they're embarrassed, they feel humiliated and so even if they need services or there's access to services, sometimes we don't know about it, if they're not willing to share that information. >> reporter: in addition to the stigma of homelessness, many students fear the intake process because of their immigration status. the district is nearly 80% hispanic, and the school system says it has the highest percentage of immigrant families and undocumented students in the country. nora was one of them. >> i am undocumented. i wasn't born here, i was born in mexico and i was born and raised until i was eight and then i came here. >> reporter: another
complication in this effort is the sheer size of the district. it covers more than 200 square miles of the los angeles metro area, with students scattered from the san fernando valley to the north, to san pedro in the south and from downtown's skid row to the pacific ocean. that's why a big part of the homeless education program's philosophy is to reach the kids where they are. nancy gutierrez, the program's coordinator, spends a lot of time on skid row. >> we want to empower them with the same opportunities as any other student to be able to break the cycle of extreme poverty they're facing. >> reporter: gutierrez's program, like all those nationwide, does receive federal funding under the "mckinney- vento homeless assistance act" to address pervasive issues homeless students face, like enrollment delays due to a lack of documentation. but it's not nearly enough. >> some of the barriers that our students experience range from the minimal to not having school supplies, the basic needs that these students don't have, they sometimes don't have a
toothbrush, toothpaste, a washcloth to wash themselves. >> reporter: all those things can get expensive, and that's why the program has many partners: we have formed partnerships with the city of los angeles to have matching funds and we work with independent organizations, even banks and individuals in the community to have grants and sponsorships so that we can make sure we get also private funds so that we can provide all of the services necessary because as you can imagine, even providing a backpack to 15,000 students is a huge cost. >> reporter: one of the organizations the district works with, is "school on wheels," a non-profit learning center in downtown l.a., which provides tutoring and mentoring to kids in kindergarten through 12th grade. >> our goal is to find the gaps in the education of homeless students and fill in those gaps, help those students catch up. >> reporter: matt raab is the group's program director. he says "school on wheels" has nearly 2,000 volunteers who crisscross some of the city's worst neighborhoods to find children living in motels, shelters, or on the street.
they either teach the kids there, or bring them back here, to the skid row center. >> reporter: it's difficult because every time there's a new student that we match up with a volunteer tutor and we see what we can do for those students, and we see them succeed in school, there's another family right behind them that needs our help and that's what we've been seeing over the years. it's just a constant steady increase in the number of homeless families and that makes our work that much more challenging. >> reporter: another challenge the district faces: helping homeless students pay for the public transportation they may need to get to school. the district gets some money under the mckinney vento act, and uses some its own money to pay for city bus passes, but many of its own employees pitch- in too. services like that have helped 100 homeless students, including nora, earn a diploma this year. and district officials say they're proud to have one of the highest homeless student graduation rates in the country. >> we see many of our students going on to college four year
universities getting scholarships, because of the services they are getting early on. >> reporter: and even though nora perez isn't able to enroll in college right now, she is determined she will eventually earn a university diploma too, and one day become an f.b.i. agent. >> when every time i try to give up i think about it and i'm like you know what, no, i'm not going to give up now that i've accomplished so many things, i'm not going to give up. >> reporter: and it may soon be a little easier. in just the past few weeks, nora and her family have finally found an apartment they can all move into. >> ifill: finally tonight, 40 years after president nixon left office in disgrace, another look at that tumultuous period and mr. nixon's post-presidential life. judy woodruff recorded this book conversation earlier. >> woodruff: that perspective
comes from veteran journalist elizabeth drew, the long-time washington correspondent for the "new yorker" magazine. in 1974 she wrote the book "washington journal," reporting water gate and richard nixon's downfall which captured the players and the political upheaval to have the scandal as it unfolded. the book was rereleased this movement to mark the 40t 40th anniversary of president nixon's resignation. elizabeth drew has written an afterward which looks at the man and his path to political rehabilitation and joins me now. elizabeth drew, good to see you again. >> nice to see you, judy. >> woodruff: so the original book stands as a classic of american political journalism, the story you tell. why put it out again? >> it coincides with the anniversary, but it was out of print and i felt very strongly this was a book that should be kept alive. my great mentor john garvin
advised i had a dream assignment -- >> woodruff: in 1970. late in 1973 he said, what do you think you'll write about? i said i thing we'll change vice presidents and presidents in a year. so this was a way out thought. hso i kept a journal. he said, 40 years now, people can say, so that's what it was like. so you can capture that extraordinary period. >> woodruff: every bit of it captures what happened in the last days when president nixon resigned. he lived another 20 years. you write about how he was determined the redeem himself. >> i don't that very many people would have survived the crushing blow that he suffered. he worked all those years to be president, finally got there and
he ruined it. he kind of knew he would. he says in there you learn early how to be tough and fight back and he was always in combat. he always thought people were looking down on him and he had to show them and fight. well, he wasn't going to give in again. so he made a plan, a secret plan called "the wizard" and it was how he was going to get respectability back. >> woodruff: which was entirely in character for him to try to do that, to try to make a comeback. >> he says a man is never defeated unless he quits. i am not a quitter, and he never because quitter and he wasn't going to be a quitter then. it was very innate to him. but he had a long way to go to come back from this great disgrace. >> woodruff: at a couple of points you write, sometimes it seemed nixon never had a chance. he was trapped in a character that wouldn't permit him to be content. you write one can almost
empathize with a man a prisoner of his own resentments, suspicions and hay treads. did you almost empathize with this? >> yes, thank you for that quote. that was a good one to pick. he was trapped in his own character from a very young age. he didn't have friends. he felt the other boys were stronger than he was so he went out for football just to show them that he could. he was not invited into right clubs, so he was filled with resentments and he was a loner. it's a very strange figure to go into politics much less succeed at the level he did because he didn't have friends, and he didn't like people in particular and people didn't like him, but he kept on and was not going to quit now. >> woodruff: did he succeed in redeeming himself in any regard? >> i think in his own terms, yes, he did. you would have loved his funeral, judy. he had an -- you had an acting president, president ford was
there, four ex-presidents were there, all sorts of statesmen, a lot of senators and congressmen. whey would have thought, okay, i won, i showed them. he worked very hard at this several years. it was funny about the ways he worked at it and conned people or make blaild people or whatever it is, but in his own terms, yes, he got it back. is he a national hero now? i don't think so. we would be amazed to find he's a cult figure now. >> woodruff: for the generations who don't know what watergate was, what was it? >> it was a constitutional crisis. was the president accountable to congress, to the courts? nixon was trying not to be but not obeying a court order to turn over the tapes, by not obeying subpoenas asking for
information from the congress. and the house judiciary committee drew up three articles of impeachment we would have passed had there not been another tape found that really incriminated him. it was very scary. i realized i wrote about it at the time but i didn't focus on the subject. the party in power decided who they did or didn't want him to run against. i can see him in 1972, and he confused opponents with enemies. he had them tailed, wire tapped. the break-in to the national committee was just one of many, many things. so some hilarious but a very scary time. >> woodruff: 40 years later, riveting, "washington journal" reporting watergate and richard nixon's downfall. thank you. >> thank you, judy. >> ifill: again, the major
developments of the day. a u.s. special forces team has captured the alleged ringleader of the benghazi attacks that killed the u.s. ambassador to libya and three other americans. there were further signs sectarian strife is taking hold in iraq, with reprisal killings reaching the capital. and president obama acted to create the world's largest ocean preserve in the pacific ocean. on the newshour online right now, we update the mystery of those disappearing sea stars, what you might know as starfish. on the west coast, citizens and scientists have observed a dramatic die-off of the animal, raising concerns about local extinction of some species. now researchers may be zeroing in on a link between warming waters and the rising body count. find that story from our public media partners "earthfix" on our science page. all that and more is on our web site, newshour.pbs.org. and that's the newshour for tonight. on wednesday, recall-plagued general motors executives testify in congress. i'm gwen ifill, we'll see you
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. this is nightly business we port with tyler mathisen and suzy. >> will interest rate hikes become sooner rather than later at the news conference tomorrow? >> big ideas, the three startups that are changing everything, revolutionizing business and one day maybe wall street high flyers. >> and want a tip? a ground breaking new study says one quarter of all public company deals may involve some kind of insider trading. we have all that and more tonight on "nightly business report" for tuesday, june 17th. good evening, everyone and welcome. some people think the great war on inflation begun more than 30 years ago but