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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  August 3, 2017 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, ramping up the russia investigation. the "wall street journal" reports special counsel robert mueller convenes a grand jury in washington, d.c. to investigate russian meddling in the presidential election. then, a rare look inside the white house. leaked transcripts of president trump's initial calls to leaders of australia and mexico reveal contentious conversations and contradictory statements, especially on the border wall. and, part two of our look at drug-resistant superbugs-- why the economics of antibiotics make it hard to find a market solution.
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>> in any other field there would be venture capitalists running around funding these pre-clinical ideas. for antibiotics, because there's no big payday at the end, the business model is broken, there's very little private capital. >> woodruff: plus, an industrial building turned modern art museum. how the revolution of manufacturing is being played out in a small massachusetts town now harboring a massive art collection. >> without mass moca, believe me, there'd be nothing. i don't think there'd be anything left of north adams. that's the question: is it enough? that's the story all over the united states. >> woodruff: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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>> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. >> carnegie corporation of new york. supporting innovations in education, democratic engagement, and the advancement of international peace and security. at >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: and... 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.
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>> woodruff: the russia investigation ramps up. the "wall street journal" reports special counsel robert mueller convenes a grand jury, marking a new phase in the investigation possible collusion between the trump campaign and russia. joining me now to walk us through what all of this means for president trump and his associates is steve bunnell. he is the former chief of the criminal division at the u.s. attorney's office in washington, d.c. welcome to the program. first of all, explain to us, remind us of is a grand jury, what does it do? >> thank you, judy, for having me. a grand jury is 23 citizens who sit to review proposed charges and vote indictments. and in the federal system they typically are involved in long-term investigations as well. >> woodruff: so what, i mean we don't have all the information here but based o on what we know, what is the significance of this news? >> well trk appears that the investigation is getting more intensified, getting more
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serious, it could be a koition of grand jury investigations which have been reported in other districts but certainly a brand jury is used for collecting financial information and for doing long-term deep-dive investigations. >> woodruff: there had been reports that robert mueller was using a grand jury in virginia. perhaps using one in new york city. what would this new grand jury permit him to do that he couldn't do before? >> it wouldn't expand the authorities that he has. it may be a little more convenient for him. if he doesn't have to travel so far to actually present evidence. or to present witnesses. so it doesn't expand his ability to collect evidence. it may just make it more convenient. >> woodruff: does it say anything about the seriousness of what he is doing? >> well, it suggests that the investigation is not ramping down. it suggests that it is at an early stage of ramping up. and the fact that there is a new
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prosecutor that recently joined the team, that we've learned about, that suggests that this investigation will be a serious, intensive investigation that will go on for some time. >> woodruff: there, again, there have been reports that mr. mueller is not only looking at of course the russian activity but is he looking at financial transactions, possibly financial transactions on the part of president trump. can one read anything along those lines into this? >> well, bob mueller is a very experienced prosecutor and law enforcement individual. and he knows that you investigate potential crimes. you don't investigate peoplement and so i think what he's doing is investigating a set of allegations, a set of potential crimes. and whatever individuals may be involved in that will be sort of part of that investigation. >> woodruff: how does something like this get out into the public realm? it is supposed to be secret, am i right? so how does it, what happens? >> well, the federal rules of
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criminal procedure impose secretary resee obligations on the prosecutors, on the grand jurors themselves, on the agents that work with the prosecutors. but the witnesses who appear before a grand jury are people who receive spps are free to talk about what, you know, what the grand jury has asked them. and so it's not uncommon for grand jury investigations to get out into the public domain through witnesses or people who receive spps. >> woodruff: and final question, what does this say about how long this could take? i mean are we looking at weeks, months, longer? >> i would say longer. certainly not weeks. i would guess several, many months. federal grand juries are impaneled for 18 months and could be expanded another secretaries months. and financial investigations take a long time. especially if you are trying to obtain records from overseas locations. >> woodruff: steve bunnell, attorney here in washington, formers were cuter, thank you very much.
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>> thank you very much. >> woodruff: all this, as two separate pieces of bipartisan legislation emerged in the u.s. senate, meant to protect special counsel mueller if president trump decides to fire him. in other news, "the washington post" today published the transcripts of conversations president trump had with the leaders of mexico and australia during his first days in office. their contentious nature is at odds with the official white house report of the exchanges at the time. an excerpt from the call between mr. trump and mexico's president enrique pena nieto showed a significant focus on the president's campaign promise to build a wall along the u.s. mexico border. here's the exchange read by our newshour producers. >> the fact is we are both in a little bit of a political bind because i have to have mexico pay for the wall-- i have to. i have been talking about it for a two year period... if you are going to say that mexico is not going to pay for the wall, then i do not want to
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meet with you guys anymore because i cannot live with that. >> you have a very big mark on our back, mr. president, regarding who pays for the wall. but my position has been and will continue to be very firm saying that mexico cannot pay for that wall. >> but you cannot say that to the press. the press is going to go with that and i cannot live with that. >> this is an issue related to the dignity of mexico and goes to the national pride of my country. let us for now stop talking about the wall. >> okay, enrique, that is fine and i think it is fair. i do not bring up the wall but when the press brings up the wall, i will say, "let us see how it is going, let us see how it is working out with mexico." >> woodruff: a second phone call, this one with australia's prime minister malcolm turnbull, centered on an obama-era deal for the u.s. to screen and take in refugees who had been imprisoned after trying to enter australia by boat. the 24 minute exchange came just one day after the president had signed his original travel ban, barring people from seven
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majority muslim countries from entering the u.s. again, the voices of newshour producers. >> this is a stupid deal. this deal will make me look terrible. >> mr. president, i think this will make you look like a man who stands by the commitments of the united states. it shows that you are a committed-- >> okay, this shows me to be a dope. i am not like this but, if i have to do it, i will do it but i do not like this at all. i will be honest with you. not even a little bit. i think it is ridiculous and obama should have never signed it. i am going to get killed on this thing. >> you will not. >>m yes, i will be seen as a weak and ineffective leader in my first week by these people. this is a killer. >> woodruff: earlier in the conversation, the president referred to himself as "the world's greatest person" and close to the end of the conversation he told turnbull it was his, "most unpleasant call of the day." he has met with both world leaders in person since those phone calls. separately, today, president trump kept up his criticism of congress, after reluctantly
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signing into law new sanctions against russia. he tweeted this morning: "our relationship with russia is at an all-time and very dangerous low. you can thank congress." the republican chair of the senate foreign relations committee, bob corker, later retorted, and defended the sanctions, which lawmakers approved overwhelmingly. >> the relationship that we have with russia is solely because of putin. what he's done in is an affront to the american people to try to have an affect on the election outcomes here. it had to be spoken to. i think we did it in a very appropriate manner. i'm proud of the legislation. >> woodruff: secretary of state rex tillerson spoke on the phone today with his russian counterpart, sergey lavrov the two agreed to discuss u.s.- russia relations in person at a meeting in the philippines next week. in brazil, embattled president michel temer has narrowly avoided suspension from office
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for a bribery charge. the lower house of brazil's congress voted last night against sending temer to trial before the country's highest court. still, brazil's attorney general may bring additional charges in the case, which involves allegations temer took bribes from a meat-packer. china is welcoming some recent comments from the u.s. about north korea. on tuesday, secretary of state rex tillerson said the administration is not looking for regime change in pyongyang. speaking to reporters in beijing, the chinese foreign minister urged all parties to find a peaceful solution. >> ( translated ): we attach importance to state secretary tillerson's remarks on the korean peninsula. china hopes that all relevant parties move forward together, and, through equal dialogue, find fundamental solutions that address everyone's reasonable concerns over security. >> woodruff: president trump has expressed growing frustration over what he says is china's reluctance to rein in north korea. one soldier from the nato-led
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mission in afghanistan has died, in a suicide attack north of kabul. five other troops and an interpreter were wounded. and a sad update to a story we brought you recently. a man who died in an attack in western afghanistan this week has been identified as the father of a girl on the country's now-famous robotics team. the all-girls team won a silver medal in a u.s. competition last month, after being denied visas to america two times. we'll have more on america's involvement in afghanistan later in the program. the u.s. environmental protection agency now says it won't delay rules on reducing carbon emissions. e.p.a. head scott pruitt originally said he'd hold off on enforcing an october 1st deadline for states to start meeting new ozone pollution standards. but after 16 democratic state attorneys general sued pruitt over the change, he reversed course.
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a dangerous heat wave is hitting the pacific northwest with triple-digit highs. meanwhile, smoke from wildfires currently burning in southern british columbia, canada is creating health risk conditions downwind in the region. there are new questions about president trump's plan to hire 15,000 more border patrol agents and immigration officers. that's according to a recent report from the department of homeland security's inspector general. it said officials are "facing significant challenges in identifying, recruiting, hiring, and fielding the number of law enforcement officers the president mandated." canada is making space for hundreds of asylum seekers who have crossed the border from the u.s. in recent weeks. montreal opened the doors of its olympic stadium to hundreds of
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haitian newcomers to the country, as temporary housing options filled up. in the first half of this year, some 4,300 asylum seekers have arrived in canada from the u.s. many are unsure of their status under the trump administration. on wall street today, the dow jones industrial average gained 10 points to close at 22,026. the nasdaq fell 22 points. and the s&p 500 dropped five. still to come on the newshour: the white house policy on afghanistan in flux. why the n.a.a.c.p. is warning people not to travel to missouri. the financial barriers to creating new antibiotics, and much more. >> woodruff: the u.s. war in afghanistan has been underway for almost 16 years, and now, a
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third president is facing a policy decision on how to handle america's longest war. with 10 more american deaths on the ground there this year - and more than 2,400 since the war began, the trump administration's next moves are in the spotlight. p.j. tobia begins oucoverage. >> reporter: helicopters raced accross the afghan sky, transporting wounded from yesterday's taliban attack near kandahar city, in southern afghanistan. still on the ground: the charred husk of an american armored vehicle, destroyed by a suicide bomber. two u.s. servicemembers were killed and four others wounded. for months, a new afghan strategy has been the subject of divisive debate among the president and his national security team. >> we're going to be getting some ideas because we've been there, it's our longest war, we've been there for many years. we've been there for now close to 17 years, and i want to find out why we've been there for 17 years, how it's going, and what we should do in terms of
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additional ideas. >> reporter: progress has been slow, and mr. trump has apparently grown frustrated with his advisors. nbc news reported yesterday, mr. trump suggested that secretary of defense james mattis and chairman of the joint chiefs of staff marine general joe dunford fire the top commander in afghanistan: army general john nicholson. nicholson assumed command more than a year ago, the pentagon was reportedly considering extending his term. general h.r. mcmaster, the national security advisor, dismissed the charge in an interview yesterday with msnbc host hugh hewitt >> do you have confidence yourself in general nicholson the combatant commander in afghanistan? >> of course. i've known him for many years. i couldn't imagine a more capable commander on any mission. >> does secretary mattis, does the president? >> absolutely. >> reporter: today, republican senators came to nicholson's defense, and cautioned mr. trump against ignoring his advice. >> if you don't listen to the generals and you try to make this up as you go as obama and biden did, you're going to wind
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up losing afghanistan like we did iraq and the consequences to american are worse. >> reporter: the president's own position on afghanistan is unclear. in june, he authorized mattis and the pentagon to dictate troop levels in afghanistan. nicholson said earlier this year he need several thousand more troops to assist the roughly 8,500 americans and 5,000 nato personnel already on the ground. on capitol hill in june, mattis added: >> i understand the urgency, and i understand it's my responsibility. we are not winning in afghanistan right now, and we will correct this as soon as possible. >> reporter: but so far, there's been no formal announcement about adding troops. adding to the uncertainty: the "wall street journal" reports the administration is now also exploring the possibility of withdrawing troops. for the pbs newshour, i'm p.j. tobia. >> woodruff: for more on all of this we go to retired army general jack keane. he was vice chief of staff of the army from 1999 to 2003. he was an influential advocate for the surge of troops in iraq
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and now has his own consulting company. keane, thank you very much, it's good to see you again. what is the trump administration policy toward afghanistan? >> well, right now they're just maintaining the status quoa. the commander in the field hasçó address---- the president has asked for a strategic review of what is happening in afghanistan. the questions you just heard him ask are the appropriate ones. why are we there for 16 years. and i can just tell from you my own perspective when i had the opportunity to talk to president bush about why the strategy was failing in iraq and what we should do about it, that is the place to begin, judy, why. why 16 years and no enduring victory. the reason for that is simply this. a lack of political will and commitment to achieve an enduring victory and the lack of capacity and resources in support of that. and that began almost
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immediately after the taliban were defeated in 2001, when secretary rumsfeld in charge of the pentagon denied us the opportunity to put in the kind of trainers to build a security force that would keep the taliban down. we didn't do that. and then from 2003 to 2008, the united states was preoccupied with the war in iraq and afghanistan, judy, was put on a diet. then in 2009, president obama added more troops but he didn't give generals mcchrystal and petraeus what they wanted. they told them the minimal force required to win in afghanistan was 40,000. he cut that by 25% and pulled it out 15 months later. that doomed afghanistan to the protractive war we have today. >> woodruff: so you are talking about a lack of will, a failure of will, a lack of resources. is there agreement at least on what the goal is in afghanistan? what is it the united states wants the outcome to be there?
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>> well, i think they're probably is some agreement there. let me give it a try. number one, a fifth of all the terrorist organizations in the world reside in afghanistan and pakistan. so what we want to do because of our painful experience of 9/11, we want to deny a safe haven and target terrorists in afghanistan. we want to stop the taliban from overthrowing the afghan government which is a actually elected government. he with want to stop pakistan from supporting and providing safe haven to the afghanistan taliban. and we also want to continue international community support. we need to assist the government of afghanistan in providing more effectiveness, the rule of law and also assisting it with the incredible mineral capacity that they have. and finally we want to seek a political reconciliation to the war. that is kind of what, how i
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would shape what our strategy would be. >> woodruff: is the advice that president trump is getting as far as we know it going to lead to that outcome? >> i'm not convinced. the pastway to some kind of resolution favorable to the united states and the government of afghanistan has got to be trough pakistan, judy. there has never been an insurgency ever that was defeated when it had a bonafide safe haven outside of the combat zone and the afghan taliban have two in pakistan. not only that, the pakistan military provide them with intelligence and support for their operations, which is quite outrage us considering they're supposed to be an ally. that has to stop. >> woodruff: how much of a split is there among the people around the president, secretary of defense, secretary of state, general nicholson an others? >> i don't know the specifics on that. i do know that i think
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instictively the president would like to resolve this favorably but he doesn't want to get miered down in a long protractive war that his predecessors have done. but the reality is this, judy, afghanistan, if we do not stabilize that country, it will become a breeding ground for terrorists that will threaten europe and the united states and we cannot do that. so i think we've got a tough decision in front of us here. and it means more involvement in afghanistan, not less. >> woodruff: well, who is the most influential at this point in terms it of who the president listens to? >> i think the president certainly listens to hr mcmaster and also general mattis and the secretary of state rex tillerson. those are the three major players here when it comes to afghanistan. he'll always get certainly advice from jared kushner and also from steve bannon on any
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subject. but in terms of who's lane is this, that is the lane. and there is, i take it, because he's been briefed by these key figures, that he doesn't like the answers he's been given. >> if general mcmaster is saying that general nicholson in faith, who is in charge of u.s. forces in afghanistan, that the president is expressing frustration, how is that going to turn out? >> well, if i was one of those three people, i would just flat tell the president, i would say mr. president, the problem in afghanistan has never been our field generals. the problem in afghanistan has been the commander in chief, in not providing the resources and the political will to win this war. it is not the field commanders. >> woodruff: and do you think the president is prepared to do that? >> i honestly do not know, judy where he is going to come out on this. i don't want to try to speculate. >> woodruff: well, a lot of questions. i think more questions than
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answers tonight, general jack. >> i agree with you. >> woodruff: general jack keane, we thank you very much. >> you're welcome, judy. >> woodruff: the n.a.a.c.p. has issued a warning, what they're calling a "travel advisory," for women, minorities, and l.g.b.t. people traveling to the state of missouri. it is asking those travelers to use "extreme caution" when visiting. our hari sreenivasan has more. >> sreenivasan: it's the first time the n.a.a.c.p. has issued a travel warning for an entire state. it followed a new state law that makes it harder for fired employees to prove racial discrimination. joining us to discuss all this is attorney rod chapel, he's the president of the missouri n.a.a.c.p.. for the record, we invited missouri's governor to join, but he declined our invitation.
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mr. chapel what prompted this action now. i know this was approved statewide in june and this was a vote that still has to be ratified, but why now? >> what lead to the travel advisory are a couple of things. one, the recognition that there were widespread civil rights violations occurring in the state of missouri and those were not properly being addressed by local or state authorities. and that was compounded by the fact that senate bill 43 was signed into law. it will affect people in the workplace, people searching for housing, as well as just in the general public experience. it changes the standard that discrimination must be proved to, as well as gives immunity to individuals who discriminate and harass against others. >> sreenivasan: some of the language in your text say this travel advisor, travel with extreme caution, that you may not be safe while in missouri. you say this is not a boycott, what are you trying to accomplish. >> well, honestly, we've done about everything that we can to try it talk with state and local officials about the ways that laws are being enforced.
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asking that they have appropriate or better laws that allow people to live with dignity. that has not succeeded. so at this point we didn't have much of an option. we had to warn people so that they knew what they are coming into in the state of missouri or what conditions they're living under if they are already here. >> sreenivasan: what about the notion that this is trying to cut back on frivolous lawsuit, that was one of the rationale given when this was proposed. >> unfortunately we have heard that argument before. when i talk with the members of the chamber of commerce about it or people close to them, when i talk with the governor, one of the questions that we at the naacp had are how do you quantity fie that? and did you try?ñi there are no numbers for what they say are frivolous lawsuits. they have a hard time trying to identify businesses that will come forward and say that they had them. what they do have is a senator who got sued for discrimination in one of his rent-to-own stores in southeast missouri who introduced this legislation and he talked about frivolous lawsuits. but other than one person who would like to keep himself or his stores from being sued for
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discriminatory conduct, we haven't heard from a single individual or business that has advocated for senate bill 43 within the governor said the standards are you referencing would try to align miss o ouree with 38 other states with the laws on the books moving what is called a contributing factor to a motivating factor whether racism was a contributing factor in discrimination or the motivating factor. what is the response? >> you know, unfortunately, i feel like the missouri chamber of commerce has done a poor job of informing the governor on this issue. unfortunately, what has been adopted in missouri is not the federal standard. what this standard is, is the motivating factor. that means that it is the, and i can tell you, my mother is a professor. she would tell you that a and z do not mean the same thing. will are some injures dictions that have adopted a motivating factor but my third grader would also tell you that a and z are two separate words and you can't interchange them however you want to. iñr challenge those that have sd that, that if you had 38 other
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states that missouri will be joining and having the same law, show them to me. point that word out. show where it says the motivating factor. on top of the fact that i'm not aware that the federal standard would prevent people from being sued for discriminatory conduct. >> sreenivasan: finally, what about other states? i know you are responsible for the naacp in missouri but what is the bar for the naacp to put out a travel advisory like this? >> this is the first time it's been done. missouri is leading the way in this way. and regretfully so. we wouldn't have issued if it wasn't ultimately necessary to insure that people in the state and traveling through the state were safe. and i think that other states are going to have to make the same determinations. at the point though that you have people readopting what we have considered to be jim crow laws, where you say that entire segments of society cannot have access to the courts to address grieveances and worse than that, legalize what i can consider to be immoral conduct,
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discrimination and harassment of other people based on god given characteristics, then i think that the states really do haves to decide whether or not they've got an obligation to the people there in the state and people who may be traveling through to let them know the conditions that are happening. >> sreenivasan: rod chapel, thanks so much for joining it. >> thank you, i appreciate it >> woodruff: late today, the saint louis county n.a.a.c.p. released a statement calling on the national organization to revoke the advisory for missouri. "we suggest that if the n.a.a.c.p. does not rescind their advisory immediately, then they should add to it the other 38 states." they claim the advisory will hurt many of their members, especially those employed in hospitality.
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>> woodruff: stay with us, coming up on the newshour: the realistic prospects for reforming the u.s. tax code. a museum's decision to embrace its industrial past. and a brief but spectacular take on bringing doctors to rural africa. but first, our series on antibiotics and the dangerous s0-called superbugs building resistance to them. it's a joint project from our science correspondent, miles o'brien, and our economics correspondent, paul solman. last night, miles looked at the clear and present dangers for patients. tonight, we start tackling the hunt for new drugs, and why the market for creating them has just about collapsed. here's paul's report, part of our weekly series, "making sense". >> reporter: so, russian emigre, 1989, came here speaking no english. how do you like capitalism? >> i embraced it. >> reporter: slava epstein has been embracing novelty his
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entire life. told he'd never make it as an astrophysicist in the former soviet union, he swapped telescope for microscope and became a biologist instead. then, unable to find an academic job upon emigrating to the u.s., he volunteered at university labs while doing odd jobs to survive. >> painting houses takes no english. repairing roofs doesn't take very much english. paving driveways with bricks can be a silent job. >> reporter: and nearly 30 years later, epstein is still getting his hands dirty, looking for new antibiotics. >> one gram of dirt like this contains roughly, give or take, ten billion cells. >> reporter: and as he told my colleague miles o'brien... >> one percent has been more or less explored, the remaining 9.9 billion cells per gram have not. >> reporter: now, digging up dirt is actually a grand old tradition in antibiotics research. >> 100,000 samples of soil, to
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be scientifically searched for a life saving organism. >> reporter: a project made that much more urgent by the onset of world war ii, and the wounded soldiers who filled england's hospitals. >> chambers of horror seemed the best way to describe those septic wards. >> reporter: marie louise kerr of the history of science museum in oxford, where penicillin was developed into a drug. but by the end of world war ii, penicillin is a key factor in the allies winning the war, right? >> definitely. america was able to produce penicillin on a much larger scale and yes by 1944 to' 45 there was enough penicillin to treat every soldier involved in d-day and also civilians as well. >> reporter: but just two years after that, penicillin-resistant staph infections were already being reported, a pattern that's been repeated for every antibiotic since. >> resistance arises very quickly to antibiotics. really, in clinical use it takes
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just a few years. >> reporter: now this wasn't much of a problem during the so- called golden age of antibiotic discovery and development, but that age has been over for decades. >> the last time that we had a new class of gram-negative antibiotics, approved for human use, that drug was discovered the year that i was born, 1962. so we've had no new classes discovered in my entire lifetime. >> reporter: boston university law professor kevin outterson specializes in health law. >> so these drugs worked well for our parents' and grandparents' generation, but they won't work that way forever. resistance will undermine them, we have to replace them. >> reporter: okay, clear enough: as today's antibiotics begin to lose their oomph, a clear and present danger lurks. but here's where prudent medicine runs into the hard truths of economics. >> early on, if you bring in a new drug that goes one bacterium further so to speak, you'd say, i really need that, i need it
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today. i'm gonna start using that today. >> reporter: dr. john rex is a former pharmaceutical industry executive. >> but now you invent a new antibiotic that hits the very most resistant bacteria in the world, what we as a community want you to do with it is sit on it and save it for just that rainy day. >> reporter: that's because the last thing we want to do, as a society, is use a new super drug too soon, spurring the evolution of super-drug resistant bugs that will eventually render the new drug worthless. so then the increasing awareness of the overuse, potential overuse of an antibiotic because it will create resistance, makes the economics worse? >> it does. and also our awareness of how hard it is to find them so once we've found this precious jewel, we need to protect it. because every use of an antibiotic, even a correct use, drives resistance. >> it's not a question of if
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this is a problem, it's when. >> reporter: john rex and kevin outterson are both working on a new project called carb-x, a public/private partnership to spur development of new antibiotics, because the market just can't do the job by itself. after all, why would a drug company spend a fortune developing a new antibiotic, when no responsible doctor will prescribe it until there's no alternative? >> from the company perspective, it's a disaster because their novel, cutting edge, exciting product doesn't sell. >> reporter: and it's a product in which they've presumably invested a huge amount of capital. >> hundreds of millions of dollars. >> reporter: meanwhile, the patent that keeps any other company from making and selling a generic version runs out after only 14 years. >> two of the most highly used antibiotics in the united states, last ditch antibiotics, are colistin and vancomycin. and both of them have been off patent for decades. at the time that they entered the market, we had better drugs.
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now we need them, right? so this is a classic example of, if it's useful it's saved for the future, which makes the commercial prospects very difficult. >> reporter: another problem: for a relatively rare infection, a company might have to charge tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars to get a return on its investment. >> you see that for cancer. >> reporter: right. >> it's impossible to do that for antibiotics. >> reporter: why not? >> we lack the diagnostics that would tell the doctor immediately that this antibiotic is the one that would save this person's life. >> reporter: as if all that weren't enough of an economic disincentive for investing in new antibiotics, infectious disease specialist lindsey baden points out yet another one: length of treatment. >> often the treatments are short-- a week or two, and intermittent and that's very different than for hypertension, diabetes, hypercholesterol, where it's a treatment every day for the rest of your life. >> reporter: so does that mean
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that the market as currently constructed can't come up with new antibiotics, there just won't be the investment to making them? >> we won't get the sort of antibiotics we really need. what about the antibiotic that saves the life and returns you to full health of somebody who's 20 or 30 or 40? that antibiotic is worth, truthfully, millions of dollars. in any other field there would be venture capitalists running around funding these pre- clinical ideas. for antibiotics, because there's no big payday at the end, the business model is broken, there's very little private capital. >> reporter: so how does society change the economics to solve a problem that could be as important to the future of humanity as any? >> well i happen to be an optimist. >> reporter: that's where slava epstein comes in... >> an incurable optimist. >> reporter: yes, still dancing to his own beat.
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and while it still takes two to tango, epstein's eternal optimism is all his own. >> the probability of overwhelming success is over 100%. >> reporter: well, 100% seemed a bit high, to both me and miles o'brien. is slava epstein a piece of work or not, and i use that phrase in the best possible sense. >> absolutely. and he would not be offended. but his optimism i wonder about. now, you're the expert on the invisible hand, though i have a certain amount of expertise on this myself. let's put that aside. everybody i've spoken to along the way about this says this just cries out for some government intervention. >> reporter: yeah, and that's where we're going with the next story, how does government get involved when the market can't seem to solve a problem, as is the case here. for the pbs newshour this is economics correspondent paul solman. >> and i'm science correspondent miles o'brien.
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>> woodruff: there is no question health care has commanded the spotlight recently on capitol hill, but waiting in the wings, an issue equally important to republicans and one that's arguably even harder to solve: tax reform. our lisa desjardins is here to walk us through where efforts stand. lisa, we've been spending a lot of time looking at this, who has been pushing this, who is working on it and what do do they want to accomplish. >> this is a process very different than health reform and health care. >> let's look at who republicans are using, what is determining this, it is the big six leaders, the tresh rear secretary and the president's national economic advisor then leader mrk-- mcconnell and the chair of the senate finance committee and speak are ryne himself and his tax-writing chairman. here is what they came out with in the last week, an idea that they say they want to lower rates for individuals and businesses.
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they also want to simplify our large tax code. we hear that a lot. fewer brackets but also fewer deductions, it's not clear who wins or loses yet, but the white house has come up with a little more specifics. they have said they want to cut the corporate rate from 35% to 15%. >> so it's not clear, you're saying yet, who the winner and who is a loser, what income bracket stand to gain or lose. >> i think that's why we're talking about it tonight it is very important people start paying attention now because they are starting to make these decisions. >> so this is a massive undertaking. i happen to remember tax reform back in 1986 a long time ago it takes a long time, it's complicated. do they really hope to get this done by the end of the year. >> as it remember in 1986 it took almost a year for president reagan to do that, with the help of democrats. they only have a few months left and they want to get this done by the end of 2017. let's whip out the calender and see how that could possibly happen. here is what republicans are hoping happens. in september they're hoping the house can pass a tax reform bill, then sometime in october or in november, they would hand
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it over to the senate, they are hoping that is when the senate would pass its tax reform bill, you see that there. here is moar problem, judy. look back at sept, at the end of september they've got to fund all of government, also have to pass a debt ceiling increase, and oh by the way there is still talk of passing a health care stablization bill or affordable care act bill. that is an incredibly crowned calender and on top of all of that, swrudy, to even get to tax reform they have to pass a budget. and so far the house republicans have not found the votes for that. >> none of that is simple as you suggest. so let's talk about the money. i believe you were telling me they want this revenue neutral. they don't want it to raise the deficit. but there was income, there is money that we're couldn'ting on this year that hasn't materialized. >> right, they thought they would get money perhaps from an idea from house republicans which was to increase an import tax, or an border adjustment tax that is off the table because it ended up being too unpopular. also thought they would get
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nearly a trillion dollars from health-care reform. that doesn't look like it will happen. this was all money they would use to cut taxes. so without that money, where do they find the tax cut money so that they don't raise the deficit? it's a big question. one consideration right now is perhaps to cut mandatory programs like social security and medicare. so. >> woodruff: just backing off of this for a little, for republicans, why is this important? do they know what they want to accomplish here? at the core and what are democrats saying about all this. >> republicans see this as about the economy and jobs. i think a good sound bite is this one from a senator on he said on tuesday. >> we think tax reform needs to be built around the idea of economic growth. we get greater growth in our economy, it creates better paying jobs, higher wages, provides tax relief for middle class families in this country, simplify the code. >> it's interesting, democrats don't dises pute that, they also
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want economic growth and people's taxes lower. they say they are willing to work on this but have some requirements. they don't want a tax cut for the wealthy. they also say no cuts to medicare and social security in tax reform. areas where they clearly seem to disagree. >> woodruff: again today is august 3rd. when should people start paying serious attention to all of this. >> well, i think already we have seen this week the koch brothers and their organization have ruled out their effort to push for tax reform, also speaker ryne, next week an important speech by the ways and means chairman kevin gradey of california. but september is the time to pay attention. if the house can get something moving in september then this is a real ert. if they get stuck on the rocks, they have a realtime line problem. there is three weeks till september. >> woodruff: lisa des jarred insurance following it all at the capitol-- des jarred ibs following it at the capitol, thank you. >> my pleasure
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>> woodruff: the recent expansion of an art museum in western massachusetts has made it one of the nation's largest museums for contemporary art. the exhibition space has grown to more than 250,000 square feet, a huge showcase for modern creativity. as jeffrey brown reports, it is also a case study in reviving old industrial towns. >> brown: in james turrell's work, as the title promises, you can literally walk "into the light." tanja hollander presents nearly 6,000 images exploring¡ friendship' in the age of facebook. laurie anderson's large-scale charcoal drawings fill a gallery. the massachusetts museum of contemporary art, known as ¡mass moca', is a big space for big art. it first opened in 1999 in an old industrial factory in north adams, a small town in the berkshire mountains, and made a name for itself by commissioning
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and exhibiting works by many leading modern masters, including the sculptor nick cave, who filled this football field sized hall with, among much else, 12,000 ¡spinners' suspended from wire cables. mass moca's director joe thompson walked me through it. >> it's a challenging space. it's a lovely, beautifully proportioned space. we love the fact that it has light streaming in from both sides. >> brown: you pick the artist, but then you don't know what the artist is going to do with this space? >> i think that's the joy of this space. we pick our collaborators, then give the artist a lot of rope, a lot of latitude, a lot of time, and the help that they ask for. >> brown: the exhibitions here can be long term-- really long term: 25 years in the case of this gallery dedicated to the¡ wall drawings' of sol lewitt. a big part of the story here is
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the art, of course. but the walls, the paint, the architecture, well, they tell another story too, one about american industry, a changing culture, and about historic preservation. created from a shuttered network of 26 19th century brick buildings, at the confluence of two branches of the hoosic river. it was an industrial powerhouse in a region known since colonial times for its manufacturing, everything from shoes to machinery. from 1860 to 1942 the plant housed the arnold print works, a textile manufacturer. that was followed by sprague electric company, which built components for televisions, weapons and more, and was by far the largest employer in town, some 5,000 jobs in a total population of 20,000. >> people used to call it sprague town, because if you wanted to get a job in north adams, you went to work for sprague or someone who was a
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local contractor for sprague. so absolutely dominated the local economy. >> brown: john sprague, the company's last c.e.o., says he and his family closed the factory in 1985 due to labor disputes and competition from abroad. today, he walks through his old plant with a bit of wonder. >> this building was falling apart, and if something hadn't gone in it would eventually have just fallen apart, had been absolutely devastating. >> brown: signs of the old are everywhere, most notably in th¡' boiler house'. rusting away, with a soundtrack added, it's a kind of artwork in itself. museum director thompson worked with the design firm bruner/cott. >> layers of paint, worn floors, this wall -- >> brown: and you kept it? >> we kept it. it's beautiful for one. where are you going to get something that beautiful -- and
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on one hand it marks time. there's no designer willfulness in it. it's what came with the building. >> brown: some of the artists here play directly to this idea of making something new from the old. lonnie holly, who uses everyday found materials, is paired with dawn dedeaux, who features a wrecking ball, in an exhibit that goes beyond the mass moca concept, to the idea of renewing earth itself. >> i think you'll find in lonnie's work and mine, there's a lot of destruction, reconstruction, considering those types of possible, inevitable losses. >> we are taking all of these things and we are turning them into glamorous works of art. this is beautiful. this is like heaven. we called it... >> brown: this building-- >> we called it ¡holy moca', didn't we? we call it ¡holy moca'. >> brown: the museum might be a new kind of shrine, but can it be more? the original promise of mass
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moca was ambitious: to anchor a new local economy around culture and tourism. one local we met has seen the transition up close and personal: missy parisien heads security at the museum. long ago, her mother dolores worked for sprague electric. remember did the town, did your family, did it make any sense to them to turn it into a -- >> my family? yes! my family, yes. they're all about new things and bringing new things to the city, yes. >> brown: but other people were a little skeptical. >> others not so much. it's difficult to get through to the people of north adams what exactly it is we have here. i used to be one of those people, too, until i started working here seven years ago. >> brown: many years in, mass moca director joe thompson believes the economy here has finally turned upward. but it's been a slow process, beginning at the most basic level: jobs.
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>> you're talking about, you know, maybe 500 versus 5,000. a tenth of the labor pool. on the other hand, lots of people visit, you know. i think we'll have probably something like 200,000 people visit this year they obviously stay and spend time and money and that generates a lot of economic activity. but it's a completely different economic reality now. >> brown: at 87, john sprague has seen it all in this area, and he's written a book about its history, with the subtitle"" creation, disruption, and renewal in the northern berkshires." >> mass moca is certainly the prime example of renewal. without mass moca, believe me, there'd be nothing. i don't think there'd be anything left of north adams. that's the question: is it enough? that's the story all over the united states. it's not just the story of sprague electric or arnold print works. that's a manufacturing in the united states problem.
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>> brown: and another question: whether art, culture and tourism can be a solution. for the pbs newshour, i'm jeffrey brown at mass moca in north adams, massachusetts. >> woodruff: finally, another in our brief but spectacular series, where we ask people to describe their passions. tonight, we hear from christopher ategeka. the ugandan-born entrepreneur founded "health access corps" - a non-profit that aims to combat the shortage of health care professionals in sub-saharan africa. >> if you look at the united states, the doctor-patient ratio is about one doctor for every 390 people. but if you look at a country like uganda, my home country, the doctor-patient ratio is one doctor for every 24,000 people, i see myself in these people all
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the time because at one point, i was them. i was raised by a deaf-mute grandmother, my, my father and mother both died of h.i.v. and aids, my brother died of malaria before his 5th birthday. i got an opportunity through one of those, send-an-orphan-to- school programs. you've seen a lot of programs around the world where you send a couple dollars across the globe to help and orphan and they go to school, and you know, for you on the other side, you hope their life is somehow better. and for me, my program that supported me, it offered a little more than just sending me to a local school, it said, "we will send you to college." being born in, in the rural parts of uganda, and-and raised there, and seeing the devastating effects of not having healthcare access, there was no better place for me to
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apply my engineering talent and help individuals access quality healthcare. we are a non-profit organization that recruits, newly graduated doctors, nurses, and midwives, and places them to work in underserved regions. it all started with the problem of brain-drain of healthcare professionals on the african continent. what we've learned is no one wants to leave their food, their culture, their language, their family to go work elsewhere if they can find a job with the same conditions locally. if you look at the global health systems, they spend a lot of time and money and resources sending medical volunteers to go work in developing countries on short-term missions and, and they have good intentions, but if we could spend a small amount of that, of that money and those resources, and empower the
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locally-trained professionals to serve their own communities, in their own countries, we could have, you know, an exponential impact. i grew up in that environment, i know what it means not to have, you know, i wore my first pair of shoes when i was in my late teens being in the position that uh, i'm in now, of, of privilege to come back and, and, and help there's no better place to be for me. my name is christopher ategeka and this is my brief but spectacular take on providing health care for all. >> woodruff: you can watch more of our brief but spectacular episodes online at a news update before we g one of the world's tallest buildings, du bai, 86 story torch tower catches fire. it is still unclear how many if any people may have been injured.
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but there are initial reports that the building was successfully evacuated. we certainly hope so. on the newshour online, president donald trump speaks at a campaign rally this evening in huntington, west virginia, where he's promised an announcement. we'll be streaming his remarks live, scheduled for around 7:00 p.m. eastern, on our website, and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online and again here tomorrow evening with mark shields and david brooks. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you and see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh
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>> rose: welcome to the program. we begin tonight with graham allison from the kennedy school at harvard. he's written a fascinating new book called "destined for war," in which he looks at the possibility for wars between a rising power-- that would be china-- and an established china, which would be the united states. so we talk to graham allison about that possibility. >> long before donald trump found his banner, xi jinping had announced, when he became president, in 2012, his objective was to make china great again. he calls it in his language the great rejuvenation of the great chinese people. in his story, and in the story for most chinese, china was the great country for 5,000 years. there was this to00-year intermission when the west came