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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  November 30, 2017 6:00pm-7:01pm PST

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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, debate on the g.o.p. tax overhaul heats up ahead of a senate vote-- republicans sounding more optimistic as the hours go by. then, i sit down with former israeli prime minister ehud barak to discuss president trump's israel policy, the location of the u.s. embassy and the current upheaval in the middle east. also ahead, in the fierce bidding war for amazon's next headquarters, a look at philadelphia's chances as it goes all in to compete for one of the nation's biggest employment opportunities. >> i think the biggest thing that philly has over most other cities is our diversity. it's really big right now for silicon valley and tech start- ups to be focusing more on what they're doing in the community
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and how they're key to becoming more diverse. >> woodruff: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> 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 individuals.
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>> 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: two main stories out of congress tonight: on sexual misconduct and taxes. we begin with the senate debating into the night on the republican tax bill, as the measure picks up some key votes. lisa desjardins begins our coverage. >> if you look at who benefits from this. >> desjardins: in the sharply political senate, today, a meaty, substantive debate. >> the argument again that this is somehow simply a tax cut for the rich just doesn't pass the smell test. it doesn't comport with reality.
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clearly the numbers tell a very different story. >> desjardins: as republicans seemed to fuse together over a bill that would affect every american taxpayer, they say cutting most business and individual taxes. but democrats argue it's a philosophical shift toward the wealthy. >> if my friends here want to give a tax cut to the middle class, why don't we give a tax cut to the middle class? we do this bill-- if we pass this bill-- big tax cuts for the wealthiest people in this country, we drive a hole in the budget deficit, we come back and make the middle class and working families pay to fill that hole. that's irresponsible, that's morally reprehensible, mr. speaker. >> desjardins: within minutes, texas's john cornyn, the chamber's number-two republican, responded that democrats have no equivalent plan. >> they must like the fact that wages in america are stagnant. they must like the fact that working american families have not seen a pay increase because of that stagnant wages. we can't do better when you've
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got your head in the sand, and the only thing you've got to do is to blow up our efforts to try to improve the quality of life, the standard of living, the take-home pay, and to reawaken the slumbering giant that is the u.s. economy. >> desjardins: fellow republican pat toomey of pennsylvania made his party's central argument: that cutting corporate and individual taxes will grow jobs. >> so that our workers can compete and win anywhere in the world. so that we'll have more jobs, more companies, existing companies are expanding. that's what's in this bill, and that's why this is a good deal for the people i represent. >> desjardins: to that, democrat cory booker of new jersey was happy to respond. >> now some of my colleagues are going to argue that this bill- giving a trillion dollars to corporations will somehow result in a trickling down of things like raises for workers, and somehow creating new jobs. but to me, this is a fantasy.
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>> desjardins: there was another important divide: the process. democrats like leader chuck schumer stressed there were no hearings on this bill, and a relatively fast debate. >> the republican tax bill has made a mockery of the legislative process. republican leaders disappeared behind closed doors, negotiated the framework of a tax bill without a shred of democratic input. significant changes will likely be made by the majority leader today. we'll get huge changes to the bill today and try to vote on it tonight. and this is tax-- one of the most complicated issues before us. >> i want to express my thanks to the majority leader, my colleagues and the administration for working with me. >> desjardins: all this as key votes, like republican susan collins of maine, seemed to warm to the bill. she indicated that talks she had about her concerns make her hopeful.
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but the critical news today may have come with this statement from arizona's john mccain, saying he is now for the bill, though he still thinks it's "far from perfect." he said it is generally positive. and he is on board. >> woodruff: the prospects of passing a tax bill gave another big boost to wall street. the dow jones industrial average gained 331 points, more than one percent, to close above 24,000 for the first time. the nasdaq rose 49 points, and the s&p 500 added 21. as the senate talked taxes today, many in the u.s. house of representatives focused on the fate of its longest serving member. multiple women have accused 88- year-old michigan democratic congressman john conyers of sexual misconduct, and last night, he was hospitalized in detroit for a stress-related condition. in washington today, house minority leader nancy pelosi, who had initially called conyers an "icon," said it's time for him to go.
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>> the allegations against congressman conyers as we have learned more since sunday, are serious, disappointing and very credible. it's very sad. the brave women who came forward are owed justice. i pray for congressman conyers and his family, and wish them well. however, congressman conyers should resign. >> woodruff: conyers' attorney flatly rejected the call to resign. he told reporters that leader pelosi "sure as hell won't be the one to tell the congressman to leave." for more on both of the day's big stories on capitol hill, we turn again to lisa desjardins. >> i'm going to ask you about congressman conyers but let's talk about taxes. things seem to be moving towards a vote but you are telling me that the parliamentarian has come up with some issues that
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calls him to go back to the drawing board. >> judy, as key leaders gather around the central part of the change, the parliamentarian told them the issue of the deficit trigger, cannot pass muster, under budget reconciliation, which is how they're going to do this. this is a big bill to this blow because, two reasons. there are a lot of disiftd hawks, people like senator bob corker, i talked to corker after this news that the trigger can't pass muster, he says the plan is now instead of having a trigger that would change the equation if the deficits went up, now the bill will automatically change the tax structure. judy what that means is the republicans are now working on restructuring the senate bill, so the tax cuts don't go as deep.
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that could be controversial, and i don't know how many votes that would cost, but what republicans home for seems like a verve long shot. >> woodruff: an important part of the bill has been obamacare, the priority of republicans to do away with it. tell us how that stands right now. >> we see protests all day long. around i've been with republicans like senator flake when constituents come up to them, say. don't vote for this bill. the individual mandate, a reminder that the congressional budget office noound that would mean more than 10 million americans fewer would have health insurance than do now. some much those would be by choice, some would be because they didn't sienl up for med cascade, but it would raise the deficit so much that it would cause automatic spending cuts like medicare, now republicans
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say they would vote to reverse that cut but some folks are nervous because obviously it handy happened yet and there is a medical deduction, that would be taken away in this bill. many factors, and judy to add to all that i neglected to say earlier on this question of deficits, we got big news today on the joint committee on taxation. they added in something that the republicans wanted to see, affecting the economy of these tax cuts and they still found that the senate bill would add a trillion dollars to the deficit not something the republicans wanted to see. >> woodruff: and congressman conyers, his support bhoong democrats eroded tremendously, what have you heard about that? >> they says it is time for conyers to resign, one exception is mr. conyers himself, democrats that know him and have worked with him, say that he is
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waiting to do it on his own time line, he is a stubborn man, he says he's innocent, and he's not going to want to resign when leaders call for it. a lot of stress, i can't emphasize enough, them not able to solve all the problems yet. >> woodruff: our debate goes on into the night. our lisa desjardins, thank you lisa. in the day's other news, the senate ethics committee opened an investigation after a fifth woman is accusing minnesota democratic senator al franken of groping her. an army veteran, she said it happened in kuwait in 2003, when franken was a comedian on a u.s.o. tour, and having pictures taken. meanwhile, congressman joe barton said he won't run for reelection, after a nude photo of him was posted online. elected in 1984, barton is the longest serving house member from texas. also today, music mogul russell simmons announced he is stepping
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down from def jam recordings and his other companies, over allegations of sexual misconduct. and, matt lauer issued an apology after being ousted from nbc's "today" show. he said, in part: "some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth... to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed." washington was alive with talk today that rex tillerson may be pushed out as secretary of state, and replaced by c.i.a. director mike pompeo. "the new york times" and others reported it's being actively discussed inside the administration, but said president trump has not yet approved the plan. on camera, white house press secretary sarah sanders did not directly deny the reports. >> when the president loses confidence in someone they will no longer serve in the capacity that they're in. the president was here today with the secretary of state. they engaged in a foreign leader
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visit and are continuing to work together to close out what we've seen to be an incredible year. the secretary of state's a pretty tough guy and i think he'll be just fine carrying this job out >> woodruff: the state department said today that white house chief of staff john kelly called tillerson's chief of staff, and told her that the news reports are not true. in britain, the furor grew today over president trump's using twitter to spread anti-muslim videos from a far-right british activist group. politicians in and out of the government condemned mr. trump. prime minister theresa may was in amman, jordan. she spoke out again after the president reacted to her criticism by urging her to focus on islamist terrorism, instead of on him. >> the fact that we work together does not mean that we're afraid to say when we think the united states has got it wrong, and to be very clear with them, and i'm very clear, that retweeting from britain first was the wrong thing to do. >> woodruff: despite that criticism, may's government
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rejected new calls to cancel mr. trump's state visit planned for next year. the pentagon now says at least 800 civilians have died in air strikes by the u.s.-led coalition fighting the islamic state group. the number released today includes deaths in iraq and syria since 2014. various monitoring groups, however, say the count is far higher. pope francis appealed today for "decisive measures" to end the crisis engulfing the rohingya muslims of myanmar. hundreds of thousands have fled a military crackdown in the buddhist country. now, they're crowded into refugee camps in neighboring bangladesh. the pope avoided using the term "rohingya" today, as he arrived in bangladesh from myanmar, but he sharpened his language. >> ( translated ): none of us can fail to be aware of the gravity of the situation, the immense toll of human suffering involved, and the precarious living conditions of so many of our brothers and sisters, a majority of whom are women and
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children, crowded into refugee camps. >> woodruff: the president of bangladesh, abdul hamid, accused myanmar of "ruthless atrocities" against the rohingya. back in this country, president trump has nominated economist marvin goodfriend for a seat on the federal reserve board. the carnegie mellon university professor would fill one of three empty seats. the nomination, for a 14-year term, is subject to senate confirmation. and, the actor who gained fame as tv's "gomer pyle" in the 1960's, has died. jim nabors passed away today at his home in hawaii. he first played the dim-witted but good-hearted "gomer" character on "the andy griffith show." then, he had a five-year run as a marine recruit in "gomer pyle, u.s.m.c." nabors also had an operatic voice that he showcased on variety shows and las vegas stages. jim nabors was 87 years old. still to come on the newshour: who gets the biggest cuts in the
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republican tax reform plan? a former israeli prime minister on the latest turmoil in the middle east. making sense of the bidding war for amazon's second headquarters, and much more. >> woodruff: much has been made about how the corporate tax rate is getting cut under the republican tax bills. but there's another tax cut, one impacting small businesses, that's also been the source of debate and dealing. hari sreenivasan looks at what's at stake in that battle. >> sreenivasan: we're talking about what's known as the "pass- through" tax rate. it sounds obscure, but it's a rate affecting millions of businesses-- ones that are not corporations, per se. and it's called pass-through because the income of these businesses is passed through, so the owner pays the individual tax rate. it affects the kind of classic
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"small business" you might think of, say, the corner dry cleaner, but it's not limited to just those. hedge funds, partnerships, and law firms also can pay this rate. some republican senators held out to adjust that tax as part of the deal. jim tankersley of the "new york times" is here to help walk us through this. >> had a couple of different examples here but help me understand who is the primary beneficiary of pass through rates? >> it's a lot of people. just as you said it starts with that small corner store mom and pop store and goes up to lobby shops here in washington and big law firms. it's really any corporation, sorry, any business that is not a corporation and in particular, it's a huge amount of economic activity right now in the united states, the majority of money earned in america comes through pass throughs not traditional corporations. >> sreenivasan: so why is this rate or the adjustment of this rate so important to the people
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who benefit from this? >> they want a level playing field, they have asked for a lot of special treatment compared to just regular workers, who pay through all sets of the individual income tax. >> sreenivasan: what are the rates now and how are they being changed? i know they're still being negotiated in some level. >> that's right, there's there are still moving pieces. the top individual income tax rate, the senate bill would cut that to 38% for every individual at the very top and beyond that, no matter what your rates were they would give you a 20% reduction on the income you earned through your pass through up to $500,000 for couples $250 thousand for individuals. >> there's a business range of businesses so so to speak that aren't corporations. is there any idea of how many of these small mom and pop stores actually make enough money that
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they would benefit from not having to pay 39% but now maybe down to 20%? >> well, the rate, it's a deduction so it actually helps up and down the income scale. so if you pay the 25% rate now and you get a tax cut here a rate cut then you're also going to get a deduction on top of that. it's going to help you if you pay the 12% rate. interestingly enough it is going to also help the trump corporation, big companies that are again earning that top rate. what you have here is a deduction and what that deduction does is gives everybody up and down the scale some help. >> sreenivasan: there has to be some political considerations here of not wanting to look like you're helping one constituency over another. is it the size or i guess the peer group of the trump corporations, are they likely to benefit more just because they're bigger? >> sure, they're going to benefit more because they get more of a break. this special benefit phases out, you only get half after
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$500,000. but it's still a reduction, in the reduction of the rates overall the business that ernl the most are going -- earn the most are going to get the bulk of the benefits. we already know that 70% go to the top of 1% of american income earners. it is a cut for small businesses. it is also a cut that will predominantly help the rich. >> sreenivasan: one of the larger mayor i stiffs here is the struggle to see who benefits the most. what about the overall distribution of how this tax plan is coming together? >> sort of a mixed bag of anybody at any income level but predominantly a tax cut that predominantly helps the rich but also -- in pure dollar figures but also has a lot in it for most middle class families but not all of them. there are millions of middle class families that would actually see an increase right away and at the end of the decade all american families
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would see a tax increase because the individual income tax cuts expire at the end of 2025. >> sreenivasan: while we might be woning ou wonk ing about tan, there are so many righters, protection of the -- riders, protection of the unborn and so many other things affected by taxes. >> drilling in the arctic national wild life refuge has been added, at the insistence of lisa murkowski of alaska. you can expect more changes and perhaps extraneous and perhaps very central things to the bill in that attempt to win votes. >> sreenivasan: jim tankersley of the new york times, thanks so much. >> thank you.
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>> woodruff: over his lengthy public career, ehud barak has served as prime minister of israel, as its defense minister, foreign minister and military chief of the general staff. he is a longstanding supporter of the israeli-palestinian peace process, and of the "two-state" solution. he is in new york tonight to speak to american supporters of those efforts. when i spoke with him a short time ago, i began by asking how he sizes up relations between the trump white house and israel. i think it's close relationship, still waiting for the trump program, or plan for the regional negotiation and for the how to move forward with the palestinians. basically, the president made an impact in the middle east when he basically said, leave aside for the time being nurturing democracy or dealing with human
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rights. let's focus on fighting terror and cornering the iranian nuclear intention. that was his basic message to the senate and to israel. >> woodruff: let's take these issues one by one. the president -- the administration faces a deadline this weekend in saying whether it does or doesn't want to see the u.s. embassy moved from tel aviv to l jerusalem. what do you think they with do or what do you think they should do? >> this deadline comes every year or half a year. we want to see all the not just american embassies, but all embassies in jerusalem. for some reason, like presidents for the last 30 years always announce good relation with israel but never maird the step. let's wait and see. >> woodruff: we are seeing some early reporting, ton
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associated press, that what the administration play do is simply say they recognize jerusalem the capital but not yet move the embassy. >> that -- we know it is the capital of israel and it's always good to hear it from other nations, especially from america, which is the leading power an -- on earth. but the real test is ultimately in action. and we wait for the right time and we hope it will be early that the embassy will move to jerusalem. i think it's proper. >> woodruff: you mentioned a moment ago relations between the israelis and the palestinians. president trump has said it's a priority of him. he's asked his son-in-law jared kushner to oversee this. do you see any progress at all, is it doable? >> there is some work done under it, swr jared kushner visited or
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neighbors, and every israeli and palestinian, every issue has been addressed. the question is at what stage they will provide a plan which has a chance to win the support of at least to be starting point for negotiations, by both sides. that is still a question. as i understand, for proposing a plan but let's wait and see. >> woodruff: another issue is the iran nuclear deal, this has been an ongoing issue for this administration. you have urged president trump not to decertify this deal but yet you your self has been a harsh critic of iran. why should he not decertify? >> i was very hawkish at the time, more hawkish than bebeor
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anybody else in the government. it is a bad deal, no doubt. but it's been done, it is a done deal, even if america pulled out the rest of the signatories are there. iran so enjoy the benefits and the legitimization to break out, based on the fact that america pulled out of it. so i don't think that it's helpful technically. i think that iran are bad guises and their they should be the iran challenge. especially now when there's a need i believe to drag north korea into a certain kind of compliance, probably backed by china, russia and the united states. so it would be quite questionable once american pulls out or questions the iran deal, how can you convince the north
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koreans to encumber a new one. >> woodruff: syria. general barak, now the war is winding down with president assad still very much in power, influential roles being played 50 russia and by iran, how threatened should israel be by a postwar syria? >> we are very worried about syria close to our borders in the golan heights and to establish a plan to produce highly accurate missiles for hezbollah, in syria. we will do whatever it takes to stop them from developing the kind of advanced weaponry plant in syria for the hezbollah or move advance technologies into the hands of hezbollah, as well as we keep the rights to respond whenever anything happens on the golan heights initiateby the
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iranians. we hope that the russians being basically a stabilizing power now in syria and in the region to take responsibility and to make sure that that won't happen. but only time will tell. >> woodruff: but just very quickly: israel is more threadenned by syria now than before the war? >> i don't think so. the combination of the syrian army, about ten heavy divisions, thousands of arterial pieces, thousand of advance ed jets, and especially, earlier some years ago, with iraq with some 30 or 40 divisions, this was a real threat. now adays, we are facing a differently threat. it's mainly the missiles and rockets of the hezbollah. probably in the future, missiles and rockets from syria as well. and the activity along the border which is classed a low
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level terror but something that could be easily as we saw in the past, so it's a different threat. we will never -- can underestimate any threat, cannot afford to ignore any of them. but in terms of military threat, the heavy divisions will probably be a heavier threat. >> woodruff: former israeli prime minister ehud barak. thank you very much. >> thank you, judy. >> woodruff: stay with us, coming up on the newshour: a marine and a war photographer's joint story of war. and a brief but spectacular take on talking to white people about race. but first, amazon is searching for a place to build a second headquarters. the scale of the project is massive.
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it comes with a proposed eight million square foot campus that would cost $5 billion and promise up to 50,000 new jobs. as economics correspondent paul solman reports, that's created an unprecedented bidding war between cities and states. it's part of his weekly series "making sense" which airs every thursday. >> alexa, where should amazon locate hq2? >> huh, frisco, texas. >> reporter: city officials across north america have come up with quirky, some might say desperate, ways of getting the attention of amazon, the country's fourth largest company. birmingham alabama boosters built giant delivery boxes around the city. southern arizona promoters sent the company a cactus. while other places touted traits they're not usually known for. >> las vegas is well positioned to be a catalyst for the most advanced smart city technology in america.
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>> reporter: dallas' pitch: livability. >> flavor, vibe, margaritas, culture, because it's great for kids, it's great for your homes. >> reporter: detroit's case: make a difference. >> move here, move the world. >> reporter: 238 cities and regions are bidding for what's being called amazon hq2; the company, looking for assets like the tech talent that drew it to seattle thanks to microsoft. so, no surprise that's part of wil reynolds' pitch: >> great university system with a great group of millennials. it's a growing population here, great arts and culture, >> reporter: reynolds founded an internet marketing firm here in 2002. not much tech where he was back then. >> today, people have tons of options if they want to work in tech industry and that's just been in the last 10 years. >> reporter: the hot tech hub reynolds is pushing? philadelphia, which has even branded north 3rd st., where reynolds founded his company,"
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nerd street". >> i think the biggest thing that philly has over most other cities is our diversity. it's really big right now for silicon valley and tech start- ups to be focusing more on what they're doing in the community and how they're key to becoming more diverse. >> reporter: but philadelphia already is. and that's a huge plus, says reynolds. >> amazon sells stuff to all kinds of people, so you got blacks, whites, rich and poor. >> reporter: a diverse customer base is best served, according to reynolds, by a diverse workforce. but wait, amazon has also made it clear it wants downtown real estate, easy access to public transportation. your prayers are answered, says the city's professional booster. >> we are on market street, market west, 30th street station right here it's the third busiest rail station in the amtrak system. it's adjacent to bus terminal, trolley stop. and just behind us is university city. >> reporter: as head of select
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greater philadelphia, it's matt cabrey's job to hawk the city of brotherly love. which is why he's pushing the 14-acre skookill yards, supposedly primed for amazon. >> everything from the size of population, to the transportation infrastructure, and the mass transit, this particular with fits perfectly. >> reporter: so "perfect for amazon," he alleges, and of course not too bad for philadelphia. is this the biggest such project ever? >> we have not been able to find another project that comes near it. >> reporter: site selection consultant jay biggins, whose own company is based in new jersey, says the economic benefits amazon would bring to a philadelphia are gi-normous. >> you have $5 billion in payroll that drops into your market now that wasn't there before. you're creating contractor opportunities, the coffee shop and the hair salon, and millions of others that are all generating more activity to themselves. they're all spending more because they're making more. >> reporter: the benefits are
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why 238 bidders are in the game. but in any transaction, there are also the costs. forever bidding against each other for new business, cities and states dangle not just prime real estate but money, mainly tax breaks. case in point: outgoing new jersey governor chris christie's newark bid: >> all of the economic incentives put together from the city and the state would realize $7 billion in potential credits against amazon state and city taxes. >> reporter: so what's the cost/benefit bottom line? >> these tax incentives are not good for taxpayers. >> reporter: brookings scholar amy liu studies regional economic development. >> the bulk of job creation in a state and city, comes, not from business attraction deals, they only make up three percent of all the jobs created in a community. real job creation comes from entrepreneurship, start-ups, helping scale new firms and helping existing companies grow. >> reporter: liu argues that investments in affordable
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housing, infrastructure, and education would do a local economy more good than tax lures. >> it creates a perverse incentive of doing the wrong thing. >> there's really nothing at all perverse about that. we revere competition in all other aspects of american economic life. in fact, we insist on it as a matter of law. the only way to really think about incentives in this context is that it's a pricing tool. >> reporter: so how much are up to 50,000 jobs worth? philly's tax bid: a reported $3 billion. albuquerque can't offer much money so outgoing mayor richard berry is making a different argument. >> we're not going to buy your love but we're going to earn your business. and we think we have a lot of things to offer. jeff bezos who's actually born here. >> reporter: what's your pitch? >> you can succeed here, jeff. you were born here. come home. >> reporter: actually, philadelphia nurses similar dreams. >> one of the things that's often under recognized is it's not just the city where it's
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located, it's where the c.e.o. or c-suite want to live. >> well, jeff bezos has a connection to washington, d.c., owns the "washington post," has a house down there as well. >> he does and he's a princeton grad and he has family connections in greater philadelphia region so those kinds of factors might be part of that decision making. > reporter: and then there's little rock, arkansas. >> amazon, you have so much going for you and you'll find what you're looking for, but it's just not us. >> reporter: mayor mark stodola published an open letter in the "washington post" saying little rock was not bidding because 50,000 amazon workers "would be a bummer," that "ease of getting around would be totally wrecked." >> we're great but i don't think we were meant to be together this time around so we're going to kiss you goodbye before you can kiss us goodbye. >> reporter: wil reynolds admits there will be drawbacks if his city wins. >> i'm going to have more competition. >> reporter: they are going to
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compete for talent? >> absolutely. >> reporter: and they're going to drive up prices of houses like yours. >> absolutely. if you look at the capitol hill neighborhood of seattle, where one of my really good friends lives. he can barely afford to live there now. so there's definitely some ngatives spillover, but i think the positives outweigh the negatives so much in terms of what it would do for this city, for the kids of our city. i'm willing to take the fact that my job is going to get a little bit harder for what's good for the whole city and to me it's the whole city. >> reporter: okay, but what are this whole city's chances? >> so the odds for greater philadelphia of getting the amazon h2q project is 80% in my opinion. >> reporter: 80%? >> 80%. >> reporter: but that would make you a prohibitive favorite. >> absolutely, yeah. we're a perfect fit for this project on several levels. >> reporter: now if it weren't both unseemly and illegal, i would have offered a bet on the spot. ireland's gambling website paddy powr, has philadelphia in 9th place at 16-1, a less than six
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percent chance. even the betting public's favorite, atlanta, is 3-1. against: a 25 percent chance. but even if the city is among the 237 losers, consoles skeptical scholar, amy liu... >> i do think there's a silver lining in this bid for amazon hq2, and that is that amazon essentially has given every single city a playbook on what matters to survive and prosper in this digital economy. >> reporter: to survive and prosper with or without seducing the biggest prospective catch in corporate history. this is economics correspondent paul solman reporting from ever- loving philadelphia. >> woodruff: and now from the newshour bookshelf, the story of two lives that came together in war: an embedded photographer in
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afghanistan and a combat marine wounded in an ambush explosion. special correspondent nick schifrin sits down with the authors thomas brennan and finbarr o'reilly. >> this is a book about what its two authors caught a strange alliance. thomas brennan, and finbarr o'reilly, that is where the two met, in afghanistan in 2010 and 2011. and together they have written a searing dual memoir call shooting ghosts. they went through the intensity of combat and loneliness and doubt that follows combat. finbarr, i want to start with you, the very first scene in the book. you are a photojournalist, you have started this memoir not
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about the photo you took but the impact the photo you took on thomas's mother. why start the book that way? >> it is a book about war but also the home front and what happens there. by look at the impact not only on us but the family members who are affected that was one way to dive into the narrative and to bridge this distance between what happens at war and what happens at home. is. >> the photo you took or the photos you took that day were so shocking thomas's mother because they showed a very horrific scene, an injury in fact. thomas can you describe what is hang there? that is you on the left. >> that is me on the left. i don't remember too much from the day, unless i'm looking -- but that is shortly after i had been blown up by a rocket prop propelled grenade, in hell manprovinchellmanprovince, thatt
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represented the loss of my career. those photos represent one of the worst days of my life and something that continues to impact my family and myself each and every day. >> and do you grapple with taking that photo? >> no i don't. that's what i was there to do. i was there to photograph. and even before this incident happened, we had had this conversation, because my bunk at the combat outpost in afghanistan was right next to him. he specifically said to me, if something happens to me, i want the people back home to know the sacrifices i've made. in my way i was doing my job but honoring his request. >> thomas, you talk about a war wounded body but also a war wounded soul. how wounded were you after this? >> i think that one of the things that was most difficult to grapple with coming home is i looked fine and people love to tell me that i look fine, you can't really see my injuries. but the reality about invisible
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wounds such as brain injury is that whether invisible to most they're very visible to myself, they are very visible to my family and friends and they manifest in very strange ways. as far as the war wounded soul i think that comes from trying to reframe, understand and accept, what you've done and what happens to you and your fellow marines and service members during war. >> we end up being scared, doing things we may not be terribly proud of and may not want to tell people about in our own behavior in these places or in tj's cases he had to do things he has to live with. the injury in afghanistan is one of part of it. but the issues in iraq, is another thing. the moral wounds of having to kill in combat and grappling with that. you never really get over a
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trauma, you get through it. and that's really what the book is taking a look at, how to do that. >> and the key part of this book is about redemption for both of you. finbarr, first for you. you write about for a survivor, war never ends. is this book a way to get a little peace? i've got another photo of you cycling in ireland, have you found a little peace? >> yes definitely. we've both stepped back from the front lines. the last time i was covering a war was in gaza with you. it was clear i no longer wanted to be a part of that theater. it was a point for me where i knew i had to get away from it, or go down a very kind of negative spiral. we all deal with traumatic events in our life and the book looks at how we manage that how we move through it. >> you're journalist now thomas, you created the war harass
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newsroom, are you through your trauma? >> i still have my bad days and i'm going to have many, many more bad days to come but i'm starting to find peace with my war and the book definitely helped me do that and my relationship with finn, and my relationship with life helped me come home. the book's a success in my eyes if one veteran who finds himself as lonely as i was when itried kill myself actually doesn't go through with the act and decides to not end their life. so that's where the success in the book will come for me is knowing that i've made that impact on a truly micro-level and another veteran knows that they're not alone. >> finbarr o'reilly, thomas brennan, thank you very much, the book is shooting ghosts. thank you >> woodruff: and we'll be back shortly with another in our brief but spectacular series. but first, take a moment to hear from your local pbs station.
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it's a chance to offer your
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>> woodruff: now to another brief but spectacular episode where we ask people about their passions. tonight, we hear from reni eddo- lodge. she is a london-based journalist, whose thought provoking book, "why i'm no longer talking to white people about race", was recently released in the u.s. >> when somebody tells me that they don't see race, i say, i mean, that's fine. you know, you can choose not to see the sky, but it exists. i'm told i was four years old when i turned to my mom and i said you know, ¡when am i going to turn white?' i was consuming and engaging with media and culture around
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me, a lot of cartoons, a lot of kids tv, comics, etc, etc, and all the good people were white, and i considered myself to be a good person. i realized at that early age that to be white was to be human, you know? i was attempting to discuss race in white dominated circles and really getting nowhere. i wrote a blog post. i titled it, ¡why i'm no longer talking to white people about race.' let's say we were having a broad conversation about inequality, as soon as i tried to raise the topic of race, there was almost an immediate clamp down, shut down, denial from my conversation partner. they tried to find ways to convince me that, absolutely no, race had nothing to do with it, that actually i had a chip on my shoulder and that, why was i trying to make everything about race? i actually decided to have a conversation with a person who i can now confidently say is probably is a white anti-racist, a white critical anti-racist and i spoke to her about her journey and i said, ¡well what's led to you being somebody who is so
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aware of how race shapes inequality?' she said that a lot of her defensiveness, initially, when it came to these conversations about race, was a fear a being wrong, a fear of-she said a lot of it was to do with her ego-- a fear of being implicated in existing inequalities, a fear that she actually wasn't doing enough. i know that i have not spoken out in the past for fear of losing a job, or losing a friend or losing a space in a house share because when you discuss race in the conversation, you become the troublemaker, you become the problem. i dedicated a whole chapter in the book to discussing intersectionality and it's really from the perspective of my doomed encounters with white british feminism and they were really doomed because i was surrounded by very nice, white middle class women who just didn't want to hear about race.
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and that was really a galling time for me because i don't really have the option of separating these two issues. in britain, in terms of who is setting the narrative on race, like power is still very white here. you know, black and minority ethnic people are about 14% of the population, but that definitely is not reflected in the corridors of power in who shapes culture, who shapes politics, who shapes the arts. no one's asking the gatekeepers to examine their own prejudices and ask, well why aren't you recruiting people who are not like you and not from your background? i heard a great quote and can't remember who said it. but the person said, you know,¡ you can't ask me why i haven't been invited to the party, you have to ask the host.' my name's reni eddo-lodge and this is my brief but spectacular take on talking to white people about race. >> woodruff: you can find additional brief but spectacular episodes on our website, on the newshour online right now, what do world leaders and foreign policy analysts think about president trump's
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spreading anti-muslim videos on twitter? we've gathered several reactions on our web site, and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online and again here tomorrow evening with mark shields and michael gerson. 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. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh martha stewart: are you eager to learn how to update
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your favorite recipes with better for you ingredients from the modern pantry? then you won't want to miss this season of "martha bakes." join me in my kitchen where i'll teach you how to transform everything from traditional cakes, pies and even breads with new ingredients, plus mouthwatering gluten and dairy free treats for everyday and every occasion. welcome to a new way to bake. narrator: "martha bakes" is made possible by. for more than 200 years, domino and c&h sugars have been used by home bakers to help bring recipes to life and create memories for each new generation of baking enthusiasts. ♪