tv PBS News Hour PBS August 24, 2015 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, panic on wall street triggers stock prices to plummet, a global sell-off sparked by china's market meltdown. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill in new orleans. tonight we begin a week-long series looking back at the gulf coast 10 years after the calamitous hurricane katrina took hundreds of lives, altered the landscape and culture, and changed the region forever. tonight: is new orleans prepared for the next big storm? >> this is the kind of thing that shows us that there's a sustainable future for coastal louisiana. >> ifill: plus, i sit down with award winning author jesmyn ward, about how she rode out the storm, and turned the experience into searing fiction.
>> woodruff: and, migrants from the middle east and north africa push to enter europe: thousands march into serbia after borders re-open. all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us.
>> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and individuals. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: they cheered the closing bell on wall street today, out of relief that the day was over. the major u.s. indexes fell 3.5- 4%, driven by market chaos in china. the dow jones industrial average lost 588 points to close near 15,870.
the nasdaq fell nearly 180 points, and the s&p 500 dropped 77. u.s. oil prices also dropped sharply again, closing near $38 a barrel. we'll take you through this dizzying day after the news summary. north and south korea pulled back today from the brink of armed conflict. after three days of high-level talks, the north expressed regret for a land mine blast that killed two south korean soldiers. in turn, the south announced it would halt propaganda broadcasts near the border. the two sides had a brief artillery duel last week. three americans were awarded france's highest honor today, for stopping a gunman on a train bound for paris. u.s. airman spencer stone, national guardsman alek skarlatos and their friend, anthony sadler tackled the man friday night. today, in paris, president francois hollande pinned the legion of honor medals on them
and on a british man. he said they prevented a "veritable carnage." >> ( translated ): in the name of france, i want to thank you for what you did. since friday, the entire world admires your courage, your calm under pressure, your spirit of responsibility. this solidarity allowed you to with bare hands, your bare hands, subdue a heavily armed man and ready to do anything. your heroism must be an example for all, and a source of inspiration. >> woodruff: the suspect, a moroccan man named ayoub el- khazzani, remains in custody. his lawyer says he only intended to rob the train, and not to kill the passengers. the president of turkey, recip tayyip erdogan, today called for new elections after talks on forming a governing coalition failed. the vote could come on november first. erdogan's a.k. party has held power since 2002, but it lost its majority in elections in june. that left turkey in a kind of
political limbo, as it battles both kurdish rebels and islamic state militants. and in syria, there's word that islamic state forces have blown up a roman-era temple, their latest such attack. syria's antiquities chief says it happened sunday in the city of palmyra. u.n. officials condemned the destruction. krishnan guru-murthy of independent television news has a report. >> the ancient city of palmyra is one of the world's most important sull chiewrl sites and the temple of baal shamin was one of its most well known buildings,ñr dating back to 2,00 years, following the world renowned curator, khaled al-asaad. the 81-year-old refused to reveal where some to have the treasures were hidden for safekeeping. heaves beheaded in the square before his body was hung on
display. i.s.i.s. occupied palmyra in may. they toppled statutes and destroyed artifact in. march, they destroyed nimrud and the ruins. >> woodruff: islamic state militants have defended their attack on ancient ruins, saying they promote idolatry. meanwhile, in lebanon, a garbage crisis turned into violent clashes overnight in beirut. dozens of police and protesters were hurt when anti-government protests devolved into chaos. with that, the army took up positions around the capital. initially, the demonstrations were over trash that had piled up for weeks. now, the crowds are calling for the government to resign. back in this country, a giant group of fires in washington state is now the largest in the state's history. the so-called okanogan complex had burned across more than 400
square miles by today. and, despite some gains over the weekend, the fires are just 10% contained. >> we do continue to make progress but again, as i said earlier, with these fires, the only way to deal with them is like eating an elephant, one bite at a time. we have a lot left to eat. >> woodruff: with resources stretched thin, officials have called on more than 4,000 volunteers. and, fire crews from australia and new zealand will be joining the fight. general motors' fund to compensate victims of faulty ignition switches has rejected 91% of the claims. a spokeswoman said today about 400 claims were approved. she said others had no clear connection to the switch problem. families with successful claims will receive at least $1 million. president obama is taking new steps aimed at making it easier for people to invest in renewable energy. the executive actions and other
initiatives are part of an effort to cut carbon dioxide emissions by up to 28% over the next decade. they include fil incentives for households to install solar panels and new funding for renewable energy research. still to come on the newshour: investors panic causing drastic dips in stock prices. more than 10,000 migrants pass through macedonia and serbia on their way to europe. and much more. >> woodruff: the markets plunged early today, and late. investors were on a wild ride, not just here, but globally. trillions of dollars of value have been wiped out in the past few weeks. the swings of this day, like several others, started in asia. it began with a stunning sell-
off in china, where the main financial index plunged 8.5%. >> how can markets drop everyday like this? what we earned is all taken away by the market. >> woodruff: the rout rippled across europe, sending the french and german markets down about 5%. and, from there... >> the dow is down 1,000 points. >> woodruff: the opening bell on wall street triggered a frenzy of selling. >> i-i-i-i... this is... i gotta make some phone calls. >> woodruff: the market spent the next hours clawing its way back, as the white house urged calm. >> but what i would encourage people to evaluate is the ongoing strength and resilience of the u.s. economy. >> woodruff: in the end, though, the losses deepened again. the dow is now down almost 11% so far this year. let's try to get some further intelligence and analysis into what's happening, and why the markets are so volatile of late.
mohamed el-erian is chief economic adviser at allianz, a multinational financial services company, and a columnist for "bloomberg view." and, david lampton is director of the china studies program at johns hopkins university's school of advanced international studies. we welcome you both. mohamed a. el-erian, let me start with you. so the dow was down 1,000 last week, almost another 600 today. what is driving this? >> two things -- the market is trying to get to terms with, first, lower global growth, particularly out of emerging markets and china and, second, the market is worried the central banks have run out of ammunition. so put these two things together, and then investors are repricing the market lower. once you start moving lower, then the trigger of all sorts of
things. people have to sell so they sell to winners and losers, they're just trying to raise cash. then you get spreading melee throughout the growing market. that's what we have. >> woodruff: haven't investors known china was in trouble and had time to get prepared for this? >> you always think markets will get prepared burks people like staying in the trade. why? because, for years, now, we have been able to sustain prices well above fundamentals because central banks have been the markets' best friends, so markets have started to rely on central banks always coming in. this is different. it's not something out of greece and europe where the european central bank can intervene, it's not concerns about the fed or economy, it's concerns about emerging markets and investors have less faith that the central banks of the u.s. and europe are going to be able to intervene.
>> woodruff: so david lampton, let's talk about what's going on in china. we have been watching ups and downs over there. what else happening? people are used to seeing the government of china control everything. what's happened now? >> i think you have a number of things. first of all, the chinese market has had an most unbelievable year, and it's gone up 130% on one exchange, 170 on another, over 200% on another, and so, common sense, ultimately, is going to prevail, pricing ratios are anywhere from 32 to 80, where it might be 13 to 16 in the u.s. so i think the chinese market was just unbelievably overpriced. secondly, bad numbers started coming into the chinese, exports and imports dropped 8% in july. this not only panicked chinese exporters and people in the import business, bull, also,
china is the biggest trade partner for many countries in asia. so i think china has bricked the bubble. also, i think there is something very fundamental going on politically and that is in the last couple of years, all we've shown about the new leader xi jinping is how strong a leader he is, and i think people are beginning to see that governing china in the 21st century is different than 40 years ago, and i think they're beginning to ask how capable is this leadership with dealing with a much more integrated, independent economy? and part of this, i think, is a reduction in somewhat in confidence in the leadership. >> woodruff: mohamed a. el-erian, if that's the kind of uncertainty about what's happened in china and what the leeped is capable of, what does that mean investors should think? does that mean we'll see even more volatility in the days to
come? >> we'll certainly see more volatility because the market has to address to a new paradigm, a new reality, and it's doing this with leslie quiddity -- less liquidity. it has less wild swings. during the day we traveled back and forth 5,000 points on the dow, that's an enormous distance to travel in one day. the reason why is there isn't enough liquidity. every time a buyer comes in to rally, the sellers go the other way, and i think that type of volatility will continue until the market finds its footing. >> woodruff: does it say something about the underlying strength of the u.s. economy? >> so the biggest threat, and i think it's a risk scenario, not a baseline, is that the spillover from weak, global growth to the market then spills back to the u.s. why? because people get more
cautious, they worry about their 401k, they spend less. that's the big risk. i don't think it's going to happen just yet, but the u.s. has to cope with a slower global economy. we'll be selling less goods to china and other american countries. it's not just china, judy. it's china, brazil, indonesia, turkey, russia. there is a generalized slowdown in the emerging world. >> woodruff: to the extent china is a factor, david lampton, how are we to understand that? who's pulling the strings and making decisions? what should we be looking for out of china? >> well, i think one of the problems is the current leader xi jinping actually centralized policy to a rather extensive degree. whereas before when we wanted to know what was going on in the chinese economy we might talk to the premier, there were people we talked to in whom we had confidence. now he's putting in a new team.
we're not sure who they are in the economic realm, we know more the actors in the political realm, but in general i would say the chinese leadership is less transparent, we have less confidence how they're making decisions and their initial response to the dramatic fall last week in the stock market because really quite reversion back to the kind of planned economy measures you would see. so they seemed to have an impulse towards reform, but when things get tough, they fall back on the more planned economy, non-market features that they have. so non-transparency and inconsistent policy, i would say, is the fundamental problem. >> woodruff: if that's the case in china, mohamed a. el-erian, how are investors everywhere to read that? >> so they worry about corporate profits, they worry about the ability of companies to continue to buy back their stock, and they reprice the market.
and this is an issue, judy, related to the fundamental aspect, which is, for years, now, markets have been valued well above what's warranted by fundamentals, and by that i mean what's warranted by the ability of the global economy to grow. prices have been up here. the economic conditions have been down here, and the difference has been th has beene liquidity injected by central banks and now we're getting conversion of prices back about what would be in those conditions. >> woodruff: there has been all the expectation the federal reserve will raise interest rates starting in september. how does all this affect that? >> i think it means that it's very unlikely that the fed will raise interest rates in september. it's a very big risk to take right now to fuel financial instability further. so they will wait. by december, there will be
clarity on one of two things -- has this financial instability really impacted consumer spending and, therefore, caused a head wind to the economy? or alternatively, let's not forget that part of the selloff is in the commodity complex, pushing interest rates lower on government deals. so the other side of this is that the economy benefits from lower oil prices and lower interest rates. so the question is still on the table because of this competing force in the u.s. economy, but i in isn't it is highly unlikely -- in september i think it's unlikely the fed will raise interest rates r. you looking for stability in the economy? >> on this day of such volatility, it's wise to remindi ourselves there are positive fundamentals in the chinese economy. they have another 3 million people to urbanize. wages are going up and people are getting employed and, so,
the chinese economy hasn't had a meltdown as severe as today's numbers might suggest. >> woodruff: so keep looking for the positive. >> yeah. >> woodruff: david lampton, mohamed a. el-erian, we thank you both. >> woodruff: following last week's tear gassing of migrants at the greek border, macedonian authorities have begun allowing those seeking safety to pass through the country again as they travel north to serbia and beyond. lindsey hilsum of independent television news caught up with a group of migrants on that journey and reports on their stories as they rode the rails. >> reporter: night falls, but they keep on walking. only a few more yards and they'll have left greece behind.
they'll be in macedonia. by morning they're still walking. word has traveled back down the line: go to gevgelija station. some have spent the night here. they've seen worse places on their odyssey. it's dirty, but they do their best. the macedonians have managed to put order into chaos, despite the swelling numbers. syrians and others with small children are given priority. extra trains have been laid on to take them to the next border: with serbia. it's 110 miles away. a four-hour journey, easy compared to what they've been through before. they've paid 10 euros per ticket, like any other passenger. where are you from? from syria? from which place?
>> from aleppo and afrin. >> reporter: the u.n. high commission for refugees says 7,000 traveled to serbia this past weekend. many people on this train are going from syria to germany, so they're about half way through their journey and this is the point where they're full of hope. they're on the move, they think they've left the worst behind them. germany has said it'll take 800,000 people this year. that's a lot, but there are many more trains behind this one. they can't take everyone and there are thousands more people on the way. some are fleeing aleppo and bashar al assad, others raqqa and daesh, the islamic state. what difference does it make? >> hard situation in syria. no power, no water, no internet, no any help for us. we can't stay in syria.
bashar al assad attack us every day. morning, everytime. our baby so afraid from flight sound. >> reporter: of the bombs? >> the bombs and guns, every day, every day so we left. >> ( translated ): daesh-- beheading, they cut off hands for any reason. they'll always find an excuse to kill any human being. they have no problem in killing even children. young children have been slaughtered, flogged, even women. daesh has no mercy at all. they have nothing to do with religion or islam or humanity. >> reporter: it's the sleep of total exhaustion, born of weeks on the road and years of war. dreaming, maybe, of the way life used to be, before the bombs and the men in black masks, when you could live and work and bring up your children in syria. dreaming of the way life could
yet be if germany makes good on its promise or austria lets them in. not every traveler is from syria. vida's here with her brother. she presented a tv sports program back home in afghanistan until the death threats from those who hate women became too much. >> one day i saw very, very bad things. they came and fight, even they want to kill me with knife. >> i'm just on a transit. that's why i'm on this train. >> reporter: the nigerians lost their jobs as cleaners in istanbul so they're moving on. economic migrants, that's what they'll be called. bottom of the hierarchy of desperation. refugees, migrants, european politicians call them a burden. but maybe there's another way to look at it.
why do you think germany should agree to let you come in? >> because, i don't know. because they have a lot of old people and they need young people, i think. >> reporter: we're there, but not quite. still another mile or so walk to the border. it's hot but they keep going, even the kids. those who can't yet walk, or not as well as they used to. which town, aleppo? halab? >> idlib. >> reporter: idlib, idlib the border is somewhere in the field. no one knows when they've crossed it. but on the other side of the hill, the serbian police are waiting. they're polite and welcoming.
23,000 people have entered serbia this way in the last two weeks, 90,000 this year. but this is just a way station. there's a long road ahead through hungary where the welcome is not so warm. it's the summer of mass migration. those whom geography condemned to war have come to europe, and european politicians have turned away. >> woodruff: stay with us, coming up on the newshour: will plans to protect new orleans for the next hundred years stand up to future hurricanes? and, riding out katrina: the story of the rural poor, who could not escape. then, the week ahead in politics with amy walter and tamara keith. plus, baby panda twins born at the national zoo.
now to katrina ten years later. william brangham launches our series with a look at how the city of new orleans has rebuilt its defenses in areas like the hard-hid lower ninth ward and preparation for the next storm, when and if it hits. >> by most accounts, ten years after suffering a near mortal blow from hurricane katrina, new orleans is blooming. (music) the economy is thriving, the tourists, new businesses and new residents all flocking here. mitch landrieu was new orleans mayor. >> we have completely new redesigned education and healthcare systems and a levy protection system nobody thought you could ever have and it's one of the great turnaround stories the country's seen in a very long period of time. >> reporter: but is new orleans safe from the next
storm? if another big hurricane came charging from the north would the defenses hold up? >> the hurricane protection that existed was a system in name only. >> reporter: col. rick hansen runs the u.s. army corps of engineers in new orleans. >> what's built is the best level of storm reduction the city ever had. >> brangham: taxpayers spent more than $14 billion to strengthen the city. flood walls, new pumps and floodgates are installed, upgraded the large earthen levies and built the great wall of new orleans, a two-mile long structure on the eastern edge of new orleans. it has massive closeable gates to block surging storm waters and, they like to boast, it has enough steel inside to build eight eiffel towers.
>> this is the first line of defense for flow reduction. we're taking the fight to the storm. 133 miles of intigrated levies, flood walls, pump stations and gated structures and it's designed to defend against a 100-year storm surge event or a storm surge environment that has a 1% chance of occurring in any given year. >> brangham: these new protections have been tested by several lesser hurricanes, under the 100 year standard, including hurricane isaac three years ago and the system held up well with no major flooding inside tht city. but some, like berry, point out that the standard to which all new orleans protections were built is considered quite low. >> the city has got an good system that will provide the protection promised, which is so-called 100-year protection. the problem is that standard sounds great, it's really the lowest standard in the developed
world. >> reporter: barry wrote "the rising tide" about the 1927 mississippi flood and recently served on the board overseeing flood protections in much of new orleans. he says the 100-year standard isn't really enough to protect the city. >> flood experts pretty much everywhere and inside fema and the corps of engineers agreed at the time that any densely-populated areas like new orleans would require at least 500-year protection. >> brangham: but 500 year protection which means building defenses to guard against much more severe storms worse than katrina was never mandated by congress. there is another concern when it comes to new orleans long-term storm protection, for 300 years new orleans has been buffered by the national wetlands, swamps and forest along the coast of louisiana, span the length to have the state and 50 miles inland, but this line of defense is crumbling into the sea at an
alarming rate. a football field of land disappears every hour. over a year, that's as much land as manhattan gone. denise is one of louisiana's stop coastal scientists and took me to the wetlands to explain why they're vanishing. she said over thousands of years, the mississippi river built the entire coast of louisiana. >> what happened during that period of time is the mississippi river like a big muddy hose pipe went from one part of the coast to another and gradually built up this delta that we now live on. >> it's basically spraying dirt left to right across the coastline. >> yeah, weaving across. >> brangham: the mississippi river by flooding freshwater and dirt over banks built up the marshes over the centuries burks as humans moved in and built levies and walls to stop the floods, the marshes were starved
of sustenance they need to survive. on top of that, oil and gas companies carved tens of thousands of miles of the wetlands to get energy in underneath, allowed in more saltwater which killed the land. >> you end up with a recipe for divaster in terms of the wetlands, massive loss, hundreds of square miles turned to open water during the 20th century, and we're right close to new orleans and the airport and we have open water. that's not really a good situation. >> brangham: how bad? look at this map. this shows the coast in the 30sties when the impact on the area began. here's what's it looks like today. the greyishiary is roughly 2,000 square miles of land lost into the gulf. 50 years ago, the land behind me was a thick, old growth cypress forest full of big trees and marshes and grasses and you can imagine that as a hurricane came through the area, all of that land would have slowed the energy of the storm down and slowed the storm itself down.
now that the land is gone, the storm can sail through. denise reed says it's not totally helpless. scientists and engineers have figured out a way to rebuild the wetlands and they do it by replicating old mississippi floods. engineers cut huge gates into the levies at certain spots like this concrete structure that'll that allow freshwater and dirt to flood out into the weakened marshes along. denise showed me brand-new land created by one of the landmade funds. >> we starred to have islands like this pop up. to begin with, they were just mud. now we have something quite special. this is the kind of thing that shows us that there is a sustainable future for coastal louisiana. this is a solid piece of land. it's probably the newest land in the united states. >> brangham: the state of louisiana would love to construct dozens of projects like this. the state drafted an ambitious master plan to rebuild parts of
its coast, but its $50 billion price tag has barely been funded and could end up costing double that. the state and federal government has already put millions in and the b.p. settlement will add several billion more but the plan is still unfunded. who will pay? there's plenty of land to go around. >> the politicians in the state of louisiana all like to tell their voters, we're going to get it from the federal government. >> brangham: build the coast and the feds will pay? >> the federal government is going to pay for it, which is, frankly, politically a fantasy. >> reporter: mayor mitch landrieu argues the nation has enjoyed the fruits of louisiana's coast from the seafood, to shipping and abundant oil and gas, but that's come at an environmental cost, and now, he argues, the whole nation ought to help fix the damage that's been done. >> it's not engineering that's the problem, it's resources that
are the problem and the political philosophy we can destroy your land and put an entire city at risk, that's not going to work. louisiana is willing to drill but we ought not do it if we don't restore and the oil and gas companies and federal government and everybody should be aware because it's literally an existential threat. >> brangham: this week as we commemorate the lost to katrina and celebrates its survival, it takes some comfort that the flood protections are better, but the land between themselves and the gulf of mexico continues to slip away. for the pbs "newshour", william brangham in new orleans. >> woodruff: survival. >> ifill: survival is a running theme in katrina whether prose, poetry or music. jesmyn ward who grew up there and road out the storm with her
family won the national book award. i met her on the tulane campus. jesmyn ward, thank you so much for talking to us. when you wrote this book, "salvage the bones," you chose to tell the story of katrina by not telling the story of katrina, by telling the story of people whose stories are not normally told. why? >> because those are the kind of people i come from. my family has been poor working class for generations, and i live in this small community in southern mississippi where you don't evacuate and you've never evacuated because there are too many people in your family to evacuate. >> ifill: tell me about your experience with katrina. >> mwe were at my grandmother's house because my mother has a double-wide trailer and we can't take shelter in any kind of
manufactured homes. we made pallets in the living room and that's where we were sleeping. i looked at my feet and the water was filling up my footprints as i'm walking in the carpet. water had never come into my grandmother's house, right? we didn't know how far the storm surge was going to rise. so we actually went out into the middle of the storm. i mean, we didn't swim. we were wading, but the water was at least up to my waist, and watching trees snap in half, and i'm thinking the entire time, we're going to die. so we watched, and, so, the water went down a little bit. then my step-dad who was driving, we were in his truck, deemed it had gotten low enough for us to try to get across. >> ifill: seems to me like an experience you just described is
so scarring and so shaping that it gave you the language to write a book like this. i'm going to ask you to read a portion of it where you describe katrina and seems to me only what only a katrina survivor overcomer can do. >> i would tie the glass and stone with string, hang the shards above my bed so they would flash in the dark and tell the story of katrina, the mother that swept into the gulf and slaughtered. her chariot was a storm so great and black the greece would say it would harness the dragons. she was the murderous moth who are cut us to the bone but left us alive, naked and bewildered as naked newborn babies, as blind puppies, as newly hatched baby snakes. she left us a dark gulf and sat-burned land. she left us to learn to crawl and salvage.
katrina is the mother we will remember until the next moth were large merciless hands committed to blood comes. >> ifill: ten years later, are you optimistic or not about where this region has come from and to? >> that's a really hard question to answer. on the one hand, i can see -- you know, i have many family members -- i have many people in my extended family who left right after katrina, who relocated to different cities -- houston, atlanta. most of them have come back. when i think about my family, specifically, and my community, it makes me optimistic because i see that, you know, that, yes, we scattered a bit after the storm. and it was hard for us to rebuild, you know, to come back
to sort of reclaim our lives. but we did it. but then when i look at -- like, when i think about, you know, the mississippi gulf coast, right, and when i think about what it has become and how it's changed since katrina and how it's still really difficult for people to get work, you know, i think about the way that the economy on the coast has changed, how, you know, the kind of industry that we had before, the industries that we had before, a lot of them aren't here anymore, how the casinos, right, have basically sort of taken over the economy and are, like, the only source of employment that a lot of people that i know, you know, have access to, that makes me pessimistic, right, because i -- i see how hard it is, you know,
for the kind of people that i wrote about in "salvage the bones," you know, for the poor, the members of my family, for the people in my community to live here, make a living here, attempt to, you know, have some sort of future here. i think it's become especially difficult after the storm, and i'm not even, you know, talking about, like, housing costs, right? those have skyrocketed, right? and that has displaced a lot of people. i think some people want to come home but can't because they won't be able to afford a place to live here. >> ifill: and displacement became permanent for so many people. >> yes. >> ifill: jesmyn ward, thank you for talking to us and sharing your story. >> thank you for having me. >> woodruff: vice president joe
biden continues to weigh a potential entry into the 2016 race. bernie sanders in south carolina, trying to reach beyond his base. and how is donald trump causing the g.o.p. candidates to adjust? it's a perfect time for politics monday. i'm joined by tamara keith of npr and amy walter of the "cook political report." welcome back to you both. so we're sitting next to joe biden, he's staring at us. he's watching us. the stories continue every day. he's seriously taking a look, "the wall street journal" saying today he's leaning toward it. he met over the weekend with senator elizabeth warren of massachusetts. what is that all about? >> right,. >elizabeth warren is sopopular l progressive base of the democratic party, if joe biden were to get her endorsement, that would give him traction in a race where, right now, there
is no obviously lane for him. you know, there is nothing that really sets him apart in this race of hillary and bernie sanders and martin o'malley in that he's older than hillary clinton is, he's a white man, he doesn't have a natural constituency in the way that hillary clinton does among women and among african-american voters, so he's got to try to find the place there. and the elizabeth warren endorsement certainly would help that. >> woodruff: what would she bring? tamara, what is it about her? we know h she has her own following. >> hillary clinton met with elizabeth warren in february when she was considering getting into the race. a lot of people are meeting with elizabeth warren in part because a lot of people wanted elizabeth warren to run for president and she brings the progressive credentials a lot of people are
asking for. >> woodruff: has she completely ruled out running herself? >> i have no idea. (laughter) here's the thing, his people won't even officially confirmed it happened. they're saying they're not confirming it. so this is just one of very many things that show he is seriously thinking about it. he is having the conversations that a candidate who wants to be a democratic candidate needs to have. >> that's a great point because i don't know that elizabeth warren will endorse. but it is a sign of seriousness on his part. >> woodruff: you were saying it's a tougher path for him. what would be the joe biden path, amy? >> that's a good question. there is a lot of talk in the biden campaign that a we would reach out to the constituency that is comfortable with joe biden, the more blue collar, working-class democrats. he would also go to a place like south carolina where she's well known and well liked especially among the african-american
community however, when you look at the constituency now, the hillary clinton constituency is still very supportive of her and very big. when you look at her support among women, among non-white voters, it's significant, and the only way for joe biden to break into that is to go after her and after those voters. i don't know that that's something he's going to want to do. >> woodruff: that's a lot of ifs, tamara, and even with the email controversy. >> big ifs about whether joe biden really wants to get into the or ultimately will get into this. his stock is very high right now and, because of the email controversy, there is this angst among some democrats that i'm sure joe biden is hearing. people especially establishment democrats in south carolina are very concerned and i have been told he's hearing from them. so i think that's part of what's going on. but, yes, there is a giant "if."
if vice president biden wants to go through this again. he's run twice before. >> woodruff: the other big name is bernie sanders. he was in south carolina over the weekend. you know, we described it as reaching beyond his base. the point is made that the crowd who turned out for him was a largely white crowd. south carolina democrats are majority african-american. what is his path in the states where blacks make up a significant part of the democratic -- >> well, that's what he did this weekend is he went and spoke to groups and communities saying i'm going to learn about this, i'm going to reach out more to the african-american community. part of this with bernie sanders is he doesn't have a relationship not just in south carolina but with the african-american community at large. everybody knows who hillary clinton and joe biden is and they have long, deep relationships. bernie sanders is starting from scratch. he's a senator from vermont, not exactly the most diverse state out there. >> woodruff: but he's started
to make some policy statements. >> absolutely. bernie sanders came out with a pretty strong statement on criminal justice, something that the black lives matter movement wanted him to do and they're praising him for doing that. he had a meeting in south carolina with black lives matter and others. he's making a movement. he's trying, working on it, but the people who showed up for his rallies did not look like the democratic voters of south carolina, they looked like the democratic voters of new hampshire. >> woodruff: no political discussion is complete these days without a question about donald trump. he's now been, amy, in this race long enough for us to begin to try to get a handle on the effect he's having on the other republicans running. what are you seeing? is anything shaping up? >> i think it's definitely true. there's been a trump bump and candidates have reacted to that and some have been helped and some have been hurt by this. i think the person most hurt by
this has been scott walker. he's the candidate who going into the summer is considered the frontrunner. he was the conservative, he's the outsider. that's been taken away by donald trump. jeb bush has been helped in some ways because it's all on trump now. >> woodruff: what do you see, his effect on others? >> a colleague of mine interviewed someone at the iowa state fair who said about scott walker that he blanded himself off the map. meanwhile, standing -- >> woodruff: good verb. blanded. standing next to donald trump, who is anything but bland. i think one thing with donald trump is those of us who live inside of the beltway tried to figure him out based on sort of the party lines that we understand and i think donald trump is sort of breaking through the traditional party lines and, in reality, probably a lot of voters and a lot of people who support him don't actually fit clearly into the
democratic or republican bucket. >> woodruff: which is not only a challenge for political reporters, it's a challenge for the other candidates running against him trying to figure out what space is left for hem. all right, it's politics monday, amy walter, tamera keith, great to have you both. thanks and see you next monday. >> woodruff: our next story is one that's generated lots of excitement not just in washington, but around the country. the national zoo is home to new twin panda cubs, but the first weeks are critical and sometimes risky, and zoo officials said last night was a challenging one. jeffrey brown has the story. >> brown: it was a celebratory weekend for giant pandas and all at the national zoo in washington, bao bao marked her second birthday with a frozen cake of juice and fruit.
and her mother, mei xiang, surprised zoo staff when she gave birth to not one but two cubs. >> i heard her make a similar sound that she had made earlier in the day before she had given birth, sort of a grunting sound. and i looked over at the camera and out popped the cub. we immediately jumped into ok, what do we do now? >> brown: about half of panda births result in twins. the cubs are nearly hairless, fragile and only the size of a stick of butter, two cubs at once can present a challenge for their mothers. so the zoo's panda team quickly stepped in to help mei xiang. >> she was really struggling. she was trying but she wasn't able to pick up both of the cubs. so, we did go in and at the right moment, we were able to go in and grab one of the cubs and take it out safely when mei xiang was not close to it. >> brown: and that will be the drill for a while. the panda mother caring for her newborns one at a time, while veterinarians swap them in and out of incubators to monitor each cub's health.
with only 1800 pandas in the wild and 350 in captivity worldwide, each successful growth is critical to the long-term protection of the species. the twin the twin births in captivity are a rare thing. it marks just the third time that giant panda twins have been born in the u.s. and the odds of both surviving have not been favorable historically. dr. pierre comizzoli is the reproductive physiologist who has performed artificial inseminations on mei xiang every year since 2004. he's with the smithsonian conservation biology institute. welcome to you. the first question has to be how are they doing now? >> well, they are doing extremely well. last time i saw them was early in the afternoon, and they were squealing and wiggling and they were doing okay. >> brown: why is it so hard for a panda to become pregnant? i was reading about an exceedingly narrow window, right? >> yes, yes, because the female
has a really short opportunity to conceive. it's a period of time that varies between 24 and 36 hours, and that happens only once a year. >> brown: once a year. yes, once a year. so you don't want to miss that window of opportunity. >> brown: i've seen you referred to as fernl gynecologist to mei xiangish the personal gynecologist. so you are aware of the window. >> yes, and we are closely monitoring the female to know exactly when the window of opportunity is going to start and then going to end, so we have different ways to monitor that through hormones, behavior and, so, we know exactly what we are doing. >> brown: these cubs are born through artificial insemination? >> yes. >> brown: but i read you don't know who the daddy would be. >> not yet. we're going to do genetic testing to figure this out. >> brown: the possibilities are -- the sperm comes from?
>> the sperm comes from two different males, and the odds are that, you know, both cubs could be from the same father or one cub could be from one father and the other one from the other one. >> brown: well, so you have the wonder of the two born, but then also history tells us how difficult that is for any to survive, right? why is it so hard for panda cubs to survive? >> this is really challenging for the mother to take care of two small cubs that need a lot of attention and that need to nurse on a regular basis. so we don't know in the wild exactly how the mothers are doing that, but what we know is probably at some point they abandon one of the cubs and do not really raise the two cubs. but in captivity, we can definitely maintain the two cubs alive until the adult age. >> brown: in the wild, you're saying the mother would often pick one, ensuring the survival of one? >> yes, but, again, those are
really assumptions. we don't know exactly how it works in the wild. >> brown: well, so what do you do or can you do now? >> well, now, to really maximize the chances for both cubs to nurse properly and to bond with the mother, what we do is we remove one of the cubs. it stays in an incubator, proper temperature and humidity, while the mother is nursing one cub. then after that, we change, we swap, and it comes, you know, really easier for the mother to take care of one cub at a time. >> brown: i cited the number of pandas around the world. what is the threat to them and is the situation getting better because to have the work you're doing for them? >> of course. you have to realize the biggest threat the appearance to have the natural habitats, the bamboo forests in central china, but this year is getting better and better because there are a lot
of measures to protect the natural habitat of those animals. what we do in captivity is also extremely important because we provide, you know, extra animals that we can reintroduce in the natural habitats. >> brown: briefly, finally, have you figured out why they're so beloved, why people just love these animals? is it only the way they look or what is this. >> yes, i think they have this wonderful, you know, appearance, and they look so cuddly and fuzzy, and i think, you know, it refers to really teddy bears. they look like toys. they are carnivores and wild animals, but i think they are fascinating. >> brown: i know everyone is wishing you good luck over there. pierre comizzoli, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> woodruff: on the newshour
online: space lovers are marking the death of a planet today. exactly nine years ago, pluto was demoted to a dwarf planet, a call that is still controversial today. we look back at how this distant body has forever changed our view of the solar system. that's on our home page. all that and more is on our web site, pbs.org/newshour. as you saw, gwen's in new orleans today. she has a look at what's next in our series looking back at hurricane katrina. >> ifill: the tomorrow night, we go to new orleans-lower ninth ward to examine the challenges that recovering neighborhoods still faces ten years later. >> woodruff: and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online, and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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report" with tyler mathisen and sue herera. >> harrowing and historic. tumultuous move on wall street. the dow plummeting 1,000 points in early trading sending the s&p 500 into correction territory. economic shift, how the violence swings in the stock market may be i am mpacting the thinking ae feds. >> it's making me very nervous. i'm approaching retirement age and my husband is already retired. scary. >> reality check. money moves you should consider if you're retiring or nearing retirement and concerned about the market. all of that and more tonight on "nightly business report" for monday, august 24th. good evening, everyone. welcome. i'm sue