tv PBS News Hour PBS November 22, 2012 12:00am-1:00am PST
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: israel and hamas agreed to a cease-fire today, ending eight days of deadly conflict. good evening, i'm judy woodruff. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. on the "newshour" tonight: we have reports from tel aviv, gaza, and cairo. and ray suarez examines the prospects ahead for the peace deal. >> woodruff: then, margaret warner reports from turkey where the syrian civil war is having an impact along the shared 500 mile border and in ankara. >> with fighting in syrian areas, spilling over into
turkish towns, turkey finds itself walking a fine line between defending its interests, and being drawn into a regional war. >> brown: after the deluge: we assess the impact of all the money spent in the most expensive campaign in history. >> woodruff: as recovery costs from superstorm sandy continue to rise, paul solman looks at weather risks and the business of insurance. >> all insurance companies are paying very careful attention to the variability and the volatility in the climate. >> brown: and poet joy harjo celebrates the focal point of families and thanksgiving: the kitchen table. >> woodruff: that's all ahead on tonight's "newshour." major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪
moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: after another day of violence, a ceasefire deal between israel and hamas was finally announced in cairo
today. but further negotiations on key longer-term sticking points between the two sides were put off for now. egypt's foreign minister, mohammed kamel amr, announced the breakthrough with secretary of state hillary clinton at his side. >> egypt has exerted efforts and conducted intensive discussions since the renewed outbreak of hostilities in the gaza strip with all parties: the palestinian leadership, the these efforts and communications managed to reach an agreement to a ceasefire and the return of calm and halt of the violence and the bloodshed that was witnessed recently. >> the united states welcomes the agreement today for a ceasefire in gaza. for it to hold, the rocket attacks must end, a broader calm returned. in the days ahead, the united states will work with partners across region to consolidate this progess, improve conditions for the people of gaza, provide security for the people of israel.
>> woodruff: a short time later this afternoon, israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu told reporters he leaves open the possibility of a ground invasion of gaza at a later date, but agreeing to a ceasefire made sense now. >> i know there are citizens expecting a more severe military action, and perhaps we shall need to do so, but at this time the right thing for the state of israel is to use this opportunity to achieve a long- lasting ceasefire. >> brown: the deal followed another bloody day in israel and gaza. we begin with a report by john irvine of independent television news in tel aviv. he filed it soon after the cease fire was announced. >> reporter: as the world's top diplomats were trying to write a new chapter, the israeli- palestinian conflict was clinging stubbornly to the same old narrative. depressingly familiar, bus bombings were back. it may be six years since the
last big explosion like this in tel aviv, but the emergency services are old hands. they quickly established that the bomber had fled on foot. and soon, the security had a suspect. we watched as he was strip searched and taken away. one of the first things the israeli police will be trying to ascertain is if this was a strike by a lone wolf, or a bombing that heralds the start of a new campaign. the bomb had been left under a seat. and predictably on a city center bus, there were many passengers. they became the many injured. the bus bombing came as they were cleaning up after a missile strike in a suburb of tel aviv. an air raid siren had saved the lives of the elderly couple who call this apartment home. bus bombings by compairosn are
so terrifying because they come with no warning. this was the first such attack of its kind. this time round, only a ceasefire would give it any chance of being the last. >> woodruff: residents of gaza endured another barrage of air assaults today before the ceasefire was called. john ray of independent television news was on the ground in the territory today. >> reporter: after a week of air strikes, gaza has been pummeled by the most intense barrage yet. under the plumes of smoke and fire, there's a sports stadium israel claims is used to train terrorists. news of that terrorist attack in tel aviv was proclaimed from the minnerettes. sweets were handed out but the celebration soon gave way to
worry about israeli retaliation. these people already spent week in line of fire and finally they have fled. today we found thousands sheltering in school. it is crowded and chaotic, but safer than the homes they were warned to evacuate by the israeli military. mohammed sultan said the bombs dropped all around his neighborhood and each time his children would cling to their mother in fear. the death toll, hamas said, has topped 150. israel has also wrought vast destruction on the symbols and seats of hamas power. as the two sides have circled round a ceasefire deal, the violence has only gotten worse. this is all that remains of goverment compound. today, this has not felt or looked like war coming to an end.
( explosions ) but if the guns are now to fall >> brown: a short time ago i spoke to npr's layla fadel from cairo. layla, welcome. what's known about what finally led to this ceasefire? >> reporter: well, at this point, really the major sticking point that we were seeing last night was the issue of the blockade of the gaza strip. and basically, what they did to get past that hurdle was delay the issue completely. so either though we have a cessation of violence on both sides, they basically put off discussions of the easing of that blockade for 24 hours, until after 24 hours of the cease-fire, and then israel has agreed to discuss easing the restrictions by land and sea into the gaza strip. glow >> sreenivasan: so that's
interesting. this really is a short-term issue now. and you're saying they're going to come back. they are going to talk about longer term things. >> reporter: yes, basically, i think the way it's being described to us is a start and not an end. , this basically, was a way to stop the violence. gaza has been under intense bombardment for eight days, more than 140 people killed. of course, palestinian militant investigation firing rockets into israel. this is a way to bring this to an end now. and one the sease fiber holds for 24 hours they'll talk about a much bigger issue, the blockade of the gaza strip, something the gazaans have been living for years and say is necessary to protect their land. the palestinians is saying we need freedom of movement. that's really the bigger issue, and it's only then that we'll be able to see if this really is a deal that can hold. >> now what was the role of the secretary clinton-- or how is this being seen there? is it an egyptian-led agreement
or one broker bide both egypt and the u.s.? >> reporter: this is really being seen as an egyptian-brokered keel. i mean, the president here, is the only person involved that is actually speaking to both sides because they have contact wgz the israelis through the security channeles, which they've had for years. and, also, they are in contact with hamas. hose me mubarak was not in touch with hamas. they wouldn't speak to him at all and often closed the side to journalists it. the difference is mursi was able to speak to hamas and exprl mediate the deal. that's really never been possible before. of course, without american influence, this would never have come to pass. they are, in speaking to egyptian officials and speaking to palestinian officiales, everybody here said we really need the americans to lean on israel and only when hillary clinton came to the region, did
a deal come to fruition. >> and finally, just even in the next day or days, is it clear how this is enforced? it didn't seem to be in any language, other than sort of leaving it to each side to enforce the deal. >> reporter: right. it's been very simple. hamas has agreed to control all palestinians' action. nobody will fire into israel. israel has agreed to stop the bombardment. at 9:00 p.m. everything went quiet. the israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu warned and said we're ready to ramp it up again if there's one breaking of that cease-fire. basically, the idea, is it is an honor agreement. each side will stop. >> fa. thank you. shortly after that conversation i talked to sheera frenkel. what are you hearing from israeli officials you're talking to. did they get what they wanted and do they think this will
smold. >> the israeli leadership is definitely trying to portray at this point, the feeling of success to the israeli public. we've heard from spokespeople from israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu, from defense minister ehud barak, that they achieved a lot of theirs goals, a cease-fire agreement with hamas in which they agree to not fire rockets. on a military level, they say they've managed to take out a lot of hamas' long-range rockets. that's something at the very beginning of this military operation, israeli officials promised the public here. >> now in the meantime today, there was the bombing in tel aviv. how much is known at this point about who did it and how they were able to do it? >> we've heard a lot of different groups take responsibility at this point. and we don't know yet who is responsible. rel officials say they're still looking for the person behind it. it had a couple of suspects that have been apprehended but no one has been named as the
perpetrator of that attack. what we do know from the israeli police is they came from the west bank about two minutes past 12:00 here, which was just at the time when most people were taking their lunch break, they threw a bag on to a bus that was travelinged in the city of tel aviv. a few minute after, that the bag exploded, causing injuries to people on the bus there. >> let me ask you about gaza because i know you're also talking to sources in gaza today. how are they seeing this agreement? what are they saying about it and the prospects? >> we're seeing a lot of celebration in gaza. i just got off the phone with a friend of mine in gaza city. he said the last few nights he been able to sleep because of rocket fire and tonight he can't sleep because of the celebratory gunfire and fireworks all across the gaza strip. he said there's a real sense of victory and achievement there. for some palestinians, that's because they managed to hit cities in central israel like tel aviv and jerusalem.
for others, it's more about recognition from the arab world. in the last week we have seen a dip lo make the whirlwind for hamas. they've had visits from country nptz arab world. they had a center of the arab delegations. they're standing in the arab world has really risen in the last week, and i think a lot of people inside gaza and across this region, are going to be looking at this as a real sort of achievement for hamas. >> and finally, sheer awe heard earlier in the program, than of the important longer term issues here, the blockade of gaza and other things, were put on hold, basically, that it will be taken up latter. what have you been hearing on both sides about the prospecs for addressing those kinds of issues? >> what we've understood from israeli officials that this cease-fire agreement is actual flee two stages. the first is just cessation of violence. it's no, i don't later stages, which is probably not gog start for the next 24 hours at the earliest, that the two parties will be negotiating other
things, along the list of items we were provided earlier today was change the buffer zone around the gaza strip. easing the blockade of gaza. reestablishing the rarah crossing between gaza and egypt, so the people of the gaza strip can have normalized trade replapgz the stopping of rearming of militant groups in gaza. there are a long list of items that both sides want to see addressed. but there's not going to happen for quite some time. part of the issue that i think both israelis and palestinians have had with the cease-fire agreement is that they feel those issues should have been addressed before the seeps fire was established. today in southern israel, there were protests tha in cities that have come under fire and they seem to object that they had not hammered up on the the terms of the agreement before agreeing to the cease-fire. >> sheera frenkel in tel aviv, thank you very much.
>> woodruff: still to come on the "newshour": the road ahead in the middle east; the syrian war spills over into turkey; record spending in the 2012 presidential race; measuring risk and climate change and a thanksgiving poem. but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: thousands of soldiers and policemen in eastern congo defected to the rebels' side today. they could be seen laying down their weapons in goma-- a day after rebels captured that city. rebel leaders have vowed to take control of the entire country, including its capital, kinshasa. meanwhile, a new united nations report concluded that rwanda and uganda are providing direct military support to the rebels. both countries have denied those claims. general john allen-- the top u.s. and nato commander in afghanistan is back in kabul today to resume his duties. he'd been in washington to testify before congress when he became embroiled in the scandal of david petraeus. allen is now under investigation by the pentagon for potentially inappropriate emails with a woman linked to the scandal. allen will continue his duties
in afghanistan during the probe, while his nomination for commander of u.s. european command and top nato general remains on hold. india has executed the last surviving attacker from the 2008 terror attack that killed 166 people. mohammed ajmal kasab was hanged in secret early today at a jail in pune. public celebrations broke out across the country as news spread of his execution. kasab was part of a pakistani- based squad of militants who carried out the three-day-long siege on india's financial capital. they targeted key sites like luxury hotels and a jewish center. newly released documents show a government agency took 684 days to warn of earlier problems at a pharmacy linked to the meningitis outbreak. the food and drug administration issued a warning letter over the massachusetts lab in 2007 but it took nearly 18 months longer than an average response. the f.d.a. acknowledged there had been a delay but said it was because of the agency's limited, unclear authority. 34 people in the u.s. have died
after receiving tainted pain- killing injections from the massachusetts based lab. congressman jesse jackson junior-- a democrat from illinois-- resigned from the house of representatives today. he had been on medical leave for treatment of bipolar disorder since june. jackson has also been under investigation for misuse of campaign funds and was facing a congressional ethics probe. he won re-election to the house in november. jackson's seat is now expected to be filled through a special election. mortgage rates in the u.s. fell to record lows this week-- helping to boost home sales. the average 30-year loan rate dropped to 3.3%, the lowest on record since records began in 1971. on wall street today stocks moved slightly higher ahead of the thanksgiving holiday. the dow jones industrial average gained 48 points to close under 12,837. the nasdaq rose nearly ten points to close above 2,926. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to judy. >> woodruff: and more now on the mid east story. will the cease fire reached today between israel and hamas,
hold? and what about longer-term, more difficult issues between the two sides? ray suarez picks it up. >> suarez: i'm joined now by veteran diplomat and former ambassador nicholas burns. and hisham melhem, washington bureau chief for al arabiya tv. mr. ambassador, as you heard from the reporters earlier in the program, the shooting has stopped but has it really ended the conflict? >> ray, it certainly hasn't ended the conflict. i do think there's a fairly good chance that this cease-fire will hold for two reasons. first the israelis had had a very, very tough week. their entire civilian population in the southern part of the country has been in bomb shelteres, out of school, out of work. they had the terrible bombing in tel aviv today and rockets fired for the very first time in jerusalem, where several hundred,000 palestinians live. they have made the point they will defend their country, their iron dome missile system
responded very, very well. on the palestinian side, i think egypt, turkey, and qatar will make sure hamas adheres to the cease-fire terms. they will put enormous pressure on the hamas leadership to cease and desist. i think in the immediate sense we'll see the cease-fire hold but the bigger question is what can the united states and egypt do now to
role? >> i think there is the possibility of a wider american role but it will be different than the typical role of trying to negotiate a peace agreement between the rels and palestinians. that is really not possible now. the palestinian community is so divide 20 palestinian authority in are you malaon the west bank, and hamas in gaza, the united states could take a page out of the history books. henry kissinger after the october wars in 1973, negotiated a series of disengagement agreements between the egyptian and israeli armies at that time. will israel agree to ease up on the economic restrictions -- a very badly suffering civilian population among the palestinians, and can the israelis be given, in turn, some confidence that hamas is not going to strike again? i think that's where you'll see the american effort over the next couple of days and weeks and i do think this crisis points to the rep vault of the united states. are not playing the same role in the middle east as we did before the arab revolution.
saw that the cease-fire was not able to be put together until secretary of state hillary clinton arrived in jerusalem, and then shuttled between meetings with netten vahue and president mohamed mursi. i think i'll say finally there, this was a very important test of the egyptian leadership and they passed it. they put pressure on hamas. they put the original deal together. and they are now a very important force in the middle east, the new brotherhood-dominated government. >> suarez: you've both been very cautious. should we also be talking a little bit what is not happening? after the bus bombing there were rising calls inside israel for a land invasion of gaza, and that's not happening. should the world be relieved by that? >> well, the world should be relieved by that. the civilian population in gaza should be relieved by that you know when you go in, you don't know the conditions that will prevail when you're trying to
disengage. and this disengagement is not easy. let me address the point ambassador burns mentioned. he was focused on gaza, and he's correct. by the way, hamas all along wanted to have a truth or armstis. not a peace treaty no, peace agreement. they may get that. the point is gaza is only one piece of the puzzle. the main palestinian territory is in the west bank. one of the biggest losers now is president abbas and the palestinian authority where the israelis continue their settlement activities and now hamas addressed the leader of hamas in cairo today, and addressed president abbas by saying there are lessons to be learned here, and the main lesson is resistance-- quote, unquote-- works, and that's the only choice. now nobody is talking to the leaders-- leadership in are, umalah. the secretary went to rumalah.
but the real power now is wielded by the palestinians in gaza. where they can claim radicalism and militancy and resistance pays off. and i think this is an issue that only can be address seriously by the united states. the united states is stilt indispensable power in the middle east and i think there has to be a's vival of the traditional american-- even when the parties are not close, if you leave the palestinians and israelis to their own devices forever,dthey will not reach peace because the israelis are too powerful to make concessio. >> suarez: in the very little amount of time we have left, ambassador, was this a big moment for the government for mohamed mursi? was this their first, like their coming out party on the world stage? and did they pass a kind of test? >> this was a major moment for mohamed mursi. there were a lot of doubts about how he would lead egypt? whether he would maintain the
peace agreement with israel. he can be, based on this performance, i think an important partner for the united states. >> suarez: ambassador burns, hisham melhem, good to talk to you both. >> thank you upon >> brown: and now to the conflict in syria. nato said today that it would consider a turkish request to deploy patriot missiles to protect itself from syrian attacks. turkey and syria share a 560 mile border and after syrian mortar rounds landed in turkish territory, concerns have risen that the civil war fighting could spread further. in margaret warner's latest report, she examines the spill-over that's already happening. >> reporter: nestled up against the border with syria, ceylanpinar, turkey has an all-
too-up-close view of the civil war next door, as fighting rages in its syrian twin city of ras- al-ain. for days last week on the syrian side, president bashar al assad's forces fought rebels of the free syrian army, or f.s.a., to control ras-al-ain. terrified syrian civilians scrambled, some over razor wire, into ceylanpinar. the f.s.a. finally took over the syrian town, but not before badly fraying nerves in its turkish neighbor. turk abdulazziz guven said he'd had to rescue his cousins from the syrian side. >> ( translated ): the fight started at 3:00. at 7:00 am we went to the border, called our cousins there and told them to come to the border. they are staying at my house now as my guests. >> reporter: with the fighting in syrian areas like ras al ain- - just 100 yards behind me-- spilling over into turkish towns like here in ceylanpinar, turkey finds itself walking a fine
line, between defending its interests, and getting drawn into a regional war. yesterday, turkish soldiers were patrolling their side of the border, while f.s.a. rebels drove along their side, flag flying. now there's new factional fighting in ras al ain between the f.s.a. and syrian kurds. and locals in the turkish town are nervous about what's to come. >> bullets are coming from the other side to here. our children are scared. many families moved away because they are scared. >> ( translated ): when she hears the planes, my daughter says, "father, are the planes of bashar coming here?" we're very much concerned that the war will get much wider throughout the middle east. it wasn't always this way- turkey and syria were once allies. but prime minister recep tayyip erdogan broke with damascus in august, 2011, after his appeals to assad to negotiate with democracy protestors were answered with deadly bombings against them during ramadan. since then, turkey has provided
safe haven to syrian refugees and fighters. stray fire from the syrian side has killed turkish civilians, prompting turkey to fire back. now turkey, a nato member, is poised to receive patriot missile batteries from the alliance to fortify this 500- mile border. turks throughout the country are fretting about the prospect of wider war, even people like inci altinok, out for a sunday stroll in istanbul hundreds of miles from the conflict. >> ( translated ): i would not support a war. but if it comes, turkey would finish syria in minutes. turkey is a very strong country, we would all come together and strangle syria. >> reporter: but polls show theres little appetite for war. cetin ingiz said he had to leave his border province of hatay for istanbul because tensions from the war had dried up local jobs. >> ( translated ): mr. erdogan is provoking syria at the moment, and he's screaming about war. people in hatay used to live on
money from the outside. before there would be ten, 15, even 50 buses coming every day from syria. now there are no buses. >> the most visible consequence of the crisis and the violence in syria on turkey is an economic one. >> reporter: political scientist kemal kirisci of istanbul's bogazici university says border provinces like hatay have been hardest hit. >> there was a very heavy truck transit traffic going through syria. a lot of turkish companies were doing business with the arab world beyond syria: jordan, egypt, the gulf states. by last summer, i mean this trade and businesses grinded to a halt. >> reporter: part of that lost trade: shopping in places like hatay's capital, antakya. syrians used to flock here by the busloads to buy everything from clothing to household wares
of the variety and quality they couldn't get at home. but since civil war erupted in syria, that boom in business has evaporated. jewelry store owner zena buyukleya says her sales are down 50% >> ( translated ): when they came they would buy everything: gold and jewelry. and it's not only our business, everybody else's is going down here. >> reporter: the break with syria has also been felt in the sprawling city of gaziantep, a manufacturing powerhouse just 30 miles north of syria. exports have fueled businesses like naksan, now one of the top five plastic bag and packing makers in the world. but most of its exports to the middle east and north africa went through syria. we caught up with gaziantep mayor asim guzelbey, at his city's newly opened museum for ancient mosaics. he sought to downplay the impact, but conceded the loss of trade between gaziantep and its sister city, aleppo, two hours
south. >> ( translated ): we had very good relations. the trading between turkey and syria was large. and syria was important to turkey for exports. but those things are left in the past now. >> reporter: a medical doctor by training, he says syrians now come here for different reasons. >> of course, a lot of injured people come to gaziantep. >> reporter: and where are they treated? >> ( translated ): we treat them in our hospitals in gaziantep and throughout turkey, and the expenses are paid by the turkish government. >> reporter: turks are also footing the bill for an ever- growing number of camps in its borderlands, which now shelter more than 100,000 syrian refugees fleeing from the violence. this former tobacco factory in yaylada was the first. most of its 2,400 residents are settling in for their second winter in tents equipped with electricity and satellite tv. for some, bricks and mortar are replacing canvas and tarps. cemal argol is a turkish-arabic translator at the camp.
>> ( translated ): neither we nor them know when they will go back and even if they go back most of them have nothing. >> reporter: but 18-month camp resident armani karnibo made it clear, she and her family yearn to go home. what are these symbols of? >> ( translated ): these are symbols of victory. >> reporter: she has fashioned artwork out of seeds, grains, rice and paint. >> ( translated ): we want to show we refugees are here not only eating and sleeping. we have a goal to achieve, we want to go back to our homes. >> reporter: maryam hajyoussef and her husband ahmed had one son killed by assad's security forces and now their second son is fighting with the resistance. >> ( translated ): they took everything, they stole our homes and burned them. >> reporter: her anger ebbed when she spoke of what turkey has done. >> ( translated ): thanks to god we are here. thanks to them for their hospitality. >> reporter: what would you do if turkey wasn't providing this place? >> they would have killed us all. >> i think the turkish public by
and large feels a lot of empathy with these refugees. >> reporter: but now, says kemal kirisci, there's a growing backlash against them, particularly among members of turkey's minority allawi sect, who share bonds with assad's ruling allawites in syria. >> that the conflict in syria that sometimes has been defined in turkey as a conflict between a regime that is minority base allawi or slash alawite, versus a sunni majority has had a spillover effect in turkey. >> reporter: indeed, we heard that scorn for the mostly sunni refugees and it was loudly expressed in the central square of the mostly allawi seaside town of samanda. >> ( translated ): they are all al qaida. they are terrorists, and criminals, brought here from afghanistan, libya, iraq. the c.i.a. paid them each
$50,000 to come here. >> ( translated ): we are allawites here, too. if they have sectarian problems over there we feel the pain over here, too. provocation and this sectarian problem, that's happening here now. >> reporter: yet however much the turks would like to find a way out of the conflict next door. desperate syrians, like this mother and her four children, will keep trying to find their way in. >> brown: you can watch margaret's previous reports from turkey and syria on our website. >> woodruff: and we turn now to politics. the most expensive set of campaigns in history is in the books. candidates, parties and outside groups spent a record $6 billion on elections in 2012. up $700 million from the previous record of $5.3 billion in 2008. driven by almost $1 billion in outside spending, three times the amount shelled out in 2008.
and, of that, more than $300 million was spent by groups not required by law to disclose their donors. for more on where all that money went, what it bought, and what it means for future elections we turn to two reporters who've been tracking those numbers: matea gold of "the los angeles times." and eliza newlin carney, who covers this for "roll call" newspaper. and we thank you both for being with us. matea gold, let me start with you. most expensive election in history. how did that manifest itself? >> well, i think there's no question money played a remarkable and prominent role in this campaign in a way we haven't seen in recent years. this was the first presidential campaigns since a series of important federal government decisions, including the supreme court's decision in citizenses united that opened the door to more outside spending. that's what drove us to the record $6 billion spending you mentioned. outside groups played this enormous role, both pummeling the airwaves with ads from the presidential campaigns and senate and house races. i think there's no question they
made the tenor of all the campaigns much more negative. and they also really contributed to a kind of inflation in campaign spending and campaign fund-raising. president obama raised a record $1 billion largely because he was warning his supporters urgently that we are going to be outspent by these outside groups. >> woodruff: eliza newlin carney, how did you see the difference between money spending this year and four years ago? >> yeah, there's no question that the outside spending was the big takeaway from this election. as you said, it was more than three times what had been spent four years ago, and most of that was spent by the super pacs, created by the of citizenses united decision and a lower court ruling called "speech now," and the politically active tax exempt groups which also represented the other most important trend hereby the growth in undisclosed money. these groups call themselves social welfare groups even though they're very political in their messages, and social welfare groups don't have to say who their donors are or where their money comes from.
so that's a really big change. >> woodruff: matea gold, how did they operate differently from what we've seen in the past? many of them don't have to disclose-- some do, but many don't. what else was different? >> well, i think as, liga mentioned, the c-4 activity is new. we saw it in past elections but citizenses united gave them a legal right to engage in independent political spending and they really did so with vigor. one of the things that is important to remember remember when we talk about the $1 billion in outside spending. that's just the spending that was reported. there are probably hundreds of millions of dollars more that we don't know about. >> woodruff: and what did the money go toward? we assume, eliza, that a lot of it went to television stations? >> a great deal of it did go to television stayings, but as matea said, there's a lot a little ambiguous here, and i think there was activity that went into get out the vote activities and ground operations, some of which is not immediately reported. the big spending by outside
groups on campaign ads was not always fully effective. some of the groups that really flood the airwaves new bedford they didn't have the greatest return on their investment. but that was where a lot of money went. and i think the groups that did not succeed this time as well as they would have hoped might be looking at that a little more closely in the next campaign. >> woodruff: i want to ask you both about that. tell us a little bit more, matea, about who these groups are. who were the big spenders in this election? >> well, the biggest spenders were a pair of groups cofound by karl rove. american crossroads and crossroads g.p.s., the sister nonprofit, which does not disclose its donors. we saw a lot of big, traditional republican donors give to american crossroads, which does. americans for prosperity, which has had backing in the past from the koch brothers, who are known for being really patons of conservative causes, they were really a huge force in this election. . >> woodruff: and as you were pointing out, eliza newlin carney, for many of them, that
money didn't pay off. i mean, many of those-- the candidates they were backing from mitt romney on, didn't make it. >> yeah. in fact, the success on the part of americans crossroads was less than 2%. it was a little bit better for crossroads g.p.s., 14% purpose there were groups, including those backing house runners that had a much higher rate of return, in the 60% range. what you saw this time around were the really big winners were the liberal groups-- planned parenthood. 98% success rate. now of course that's because most of their money went for obama, i believe. service employees international union, around an 80% return on its investment. afscme, same thing. and environmental groups as well did quite well. so you had a much higher rate of return on the part of these liberal groups. again, i think part of what they did was they spent their money early. they really target third money. what we've always heard from political scientists is there's a point of diminishing return
with big money. what you really need a threshold minimum to get your message out. and after that, more is not necessarily better. but i think that's part of what this election illustrate. >> woodruff: two things, matea, will we know eventually who all the whos, who gave money in this election 82 no, we won't think and i think that's a very important point. they do not have to disclose their donors and many don't have to report basic tax information until next spring or a year later at the earliest. they can put some pretty rudimentary information in the tax filing filings and we might never know a lot of forces behind some of the spending. >> woodruff: so is there any backlash to that? and what are the lessons being talked about, the lessons learned from this election? >> well, there are many efforts right now to pass legislation to change this. there are a lot of questions about the rule by the irs, is or is not cracking down on these groups, which are social welfare
therkz are politically active. i think there will be increased scrutiny. whether anything can happen and change i think is really going to be up to congress. >> woodruff: eliza, how do you see the future in the next election, in the next election for these groups? >> well, they're gog continue growing and they're going to remain very active and they're going to keep pushing the envelope as much as they can but i think there's a sense of inevitability in the so-called reform lobby that this is going to lead to scandal and corruption, and i think there's a growing sense on capitol hill that this system as it is currently constructed cannot continue indefinitely. the president and mitt romney were not the only ones who spent a huge amount of time fund raising in this campaign. we ran a story in "roll call" about how house and senate conditions were spending an increasing amount of time fund-raising instead of on the campaign trail. i think there is more of a mood on capitol hill that is receptive to change. the challenge will be defining what form that change takes. i think disclosure will be front and center for those who want to discuss changes. and i think you'll see not only
a revival of the push for the so-called disclose act but you'll also see an attempt to get better regulation enforcement by the federal election commission, and the internal revenue service. >> woodruff: a lot to chew on here. and we'll see how much lessons were learned. eliza newlin carney, matea gold, thank you both. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> brown: now, we continue our coverage on the impact of superstorm sandy. tonight, lessons being learned and how insurers are preparing for the future. "newshour" economics correspondent paul solman has the story. part of his ongoing reporting: "making sense of financial news." >> reporter: manhattan's unprepared south street seaport sustained some portion of the $50 billion in losses from sandy, only $20 billion or so insured. a shock to most folks, but not
to the insurance industry. >> unfortunately, these are not once in a blue moon events any more. >> reporter: bob hartwig of the insurance information institute at red, his favorite local eating hole-- a real hole now. even its inventory, down the drain. >> we are seeing an increased frequency in the number of natural disasters, roughly tripled or quadrupled since 1980, and the costs have doubled, tripled and quadrupled as well. >> reporter: so is extreme weather here to stay? and if so, have insurers priced the new level of risk into their policies? no, says mindy lubber, president of ceres, an environmental advocacy group. she blames the new risk on global warming. >> climate change is our new normal. we're seeing more increased storms everywhere, all across the country. it is costing us tens, and tens of billions of dollars. $32 billion to the insurance sector last year.
but last year when we surveyed 88 insurance companies and asked them, do you have climate policies in place? are you acting on climate? 11 out of 88 companies had a plan to address climate risks to their bottom line. >> reporter: the rest did not. the industry's comeback? >> all insurance companies are paying very careful attention to the variability and the volatility in the climate. you can have a big debate about what the cause of that is. but insurers use all the information at their disposal in order to ascertain the risk and measure that risk, in a very scientific manner, and assign a price to that risk. >> reporter: a higher price, presumably, to compensate for the greater risk. but for most primary insurers, the weather risk has become so high, they've stopped writing flood insurance. the government stepped in and now covers more than a trillion
dollars in potential damages. some re-insurers are still in the game too. >> there's very few things that you could ask me about that we don't already reinsure. >> reporter: eric smith heads the america's division of swiss re. >> reinsurance is about all forms of risk, whether its health, or life, or your home, or your property, the math behind it works the most effectively if you can spread the risk around the globe in all sorts of different forms. >> reporter: insurance companies buy their own insurance-- reinsurance-- from huge firms like swiss re which, because of their size, can afford the fullest data, plug in into the most sophisticated risk models. and doing just that, swiss re actually warned us of an east coast storm like sandy in 2006. after hurricane katrina, swiss re's head of catastrophe perils, andy castaldi, worried aloud about warming seas and more violent storms in the gulf.
but, he told me: >> i'm also concerned about the new york bay and long island would be inundated by a flood, due to a category 3 storm. a storm surge could completely flood the airport at jfk. 13 feet of sea water is not out of or to 17 feet is not out of the question. >> reporter: so the blue is sandy's storm surge. we interviewed castaldi again last week, after sandy. >> that's the footprint of the storm surge that was produced by the superstorm sandy, as you can see in the center of the screen is john f. kennedy airport. now i'm going to toggle back to the coastal flood map that we had prior to the storm and you can see just about the same areas as the sandy footprint we knew was exposed to a storm surge. >> reporter: six years ago, you said that you thought that climate change was a major factor in recent storm activity. do you think that more today?
>> i can't really attribute sandy to climate change. it could be within the normal variability of these types of storms, but i do know that climate change is occurring. and it is starting to exaggerate some of the hazards, most notably in this area, sea level rise. and as the sea level rises, it stands to reason that the next storm will produce a larger storm surge, just because it has more water and the waters higher than ever before. >> reporter: and more people and property at risk. we were at water street, for example. from here to the east river: landfill. >> for most of the time the storm came through no one lived here, or very few people lived here. now, we have millions of people concentrated in, for instance, in the new york area. we have tons of infrastructure, we have important business assets that are exposed, and that's what's different. >> reporter: yes, says mindy lubber, and therefore insurance companies should raise their premiums to signal the rising
dangers. >> they can impact all of our behavior by the way they price products. they might say the following, if you build a building, and you want us to insure it, you have to build it in a way that its prepared to deal with storm damage, climate change. >> reporter: so we put the question to castaldi of swiss re, a european firm known as a climate change leader. is climate change in this model? >> the way we build our models is that they're based on historical data. we typically focus on the last 100 years because the data was better. if the storms are becoming more frequent and more severe, they get incorporated into our models. >> reporter: but lubber thinks that's not enough. >> the insurance industry often develops prices and risk models based on what happened last year and the year before and obviously we have some good data from the last couple of years. but they also have to look at
what science is telling us, that we're going to see consistent storms happening more and more all across the country and the world and more intensely. >> reporter: to castaldi however, that may be premature. >> we do believe climate change is a real threat, a real risk to us, but at this point in time, there's not enough conclusive scientific evidence to really encourage us to make those type of changes. >> reporter: even so, swiss re has been especially vocal about the threat of climate change. c.e.o. smith explained why primary insurers aren't doing as much on the issue as reinsurers like swiss re. >> climate change is still a bit of a controversial issue, especially in the u.s. and, you know, they are a business that serves consumers. they serve millions of consumers, so they have to be very sensitive to public opinion and public opinion is still a little bit split. to start charging rates on
so, with climate change, how quickly will it happen? and how accurate... how accurate can we be with the change each year-over-year? and i think most people would argue that it's going to be more subtle. and so for an insurance company to try to factor that in and charge people, that'd be a hard position to justify. >> reporter: a hard position, perhaps. but if climate change really is causing more extreme weather, as most experts think, one that even the most skeptical of insurance companies will be taking eventually. >> woodruff: finally tonight, some words to celebrate what millions will be doing tomorrow: gathering around the table to eat, talk, give thanks, and be together. they come from poet joy harjo, a member of the muscogee creek nation in oklahoma, and longtime teacher at the university of new mexico. she's the author of seven books of verse and a new memoir titled "crazy brave".
her poem is titled, "perhaps the world ends here." >> the world beginnings at a kitchen table no matter what, we must eat to live. the gifts of earth are broad and prepared, set on the table so it has been since creation, and it will go on. we chase chickens or dogs away from it. babies teeth at the corners. they scrape their knees under it. it is here that children are given instructions on what it means to be human. we make men at it. we make women. at this table we gossip. our dreams drink coffee with us, put their arms around our children. they laugh with us at our poor, falling down selfs and as we put ourselves back together once again at the kitchen table. this table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella in the
sun. wars have begun and ended at this table. it is a place to hide in the shadow of terror, a place to celebrate the terrible victory. we have given birth on this table. and have prepared our parents for burial here. at this table, we sing with joy, with sorrow. we pray of suffering and remorse. we give thanks. perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table. while we are laughing and crying eating of the last, sweet bite. >> brown: that was joy harjo reading perhaps the world ends here. and if you're hungry for more verse about eating, her poem is included in a new anthology called "the hungry ear: poems of food and drink" edited by kevin young, another poet we've featured in our regular coverage of poets and poetry.
>> brown: again, the major developments of the day: israel reached a ceasefire agreement with hamas, ending eight-days of fighting. under the agreement, air strikes and rocket attacks from both sides will come to an end and after a 24-hour cooling off period, the truce calls for new border arrangements to let people and goods move more freely. and online: it's become a regular thanksgiving tradition: politicians pardoning turkeys. hari sreenivasan has more. >> sreenivasan: president obama declared gobbler and cobbler free birds today. you can watch that pardon ceremony, plus see a slideshow of how state governors mark the thanksgiving holiday. and, blaming your after dinner nap on eating turkey? we ask a doctor if that's fact or fiction. and we still want you to help us grade the 2012 election. we partnered with pew research center to create a quiz on voter satisfaction. fill it out and share it with friends on our politics page. all that and more is on our website newshour.pbs.org. judy? >> woodruff: and that's the "newshour" for tonight. i'm judy woodruff.
>> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. for everyone traveling tonight or in the morning for thanksgiving. please be safe and enjoy the holiday. we'll see you online and, yes, again here tomorrow evening. thank you and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you.