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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  June 16, 2011 5:30pm-6:30pm PDT

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captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: demonstrators took to the streets in greece and their government braced for a shake-up, as that country grapples with a debt crisis with global repercussions. good evening, i'm judy woodruff. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. on the "newshour" tonight, we have the latest on the european troubles and their impact and look at how they compare to debt worries here. >> woodruff: kwame holman looks at the record of defense secretary robert gates, as he meets the press for the final time at the pentagon. >> brown: ray suarez talks to marcia coyle about today's supreme court decision on miranda warnings for children. >> woodruff: health correspondent betty ann bowser reports on some patients who
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developed severe side effects after taking certain anti- bacterial drugs. >> it's hard to know how many americans are harmed by quinolones, or any prescription drugs for that matter, because the u.s. has no accurate way to track them. >> brown: as al-qaeda names a successor to osama bin laden, we look at the new leader and the state of the terrorist organization. >> woodruff: and, from thailand, we follow an unlikely escape route for thousands of north koreans. that's all ahead on tonight's "newshour." major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> auto companies make huge profits. >> last year, chevron made a lot of money. >> where does it go? >> every penny and more went into bringing energy to the world. >> the economy is tough right now, everywhere. >> we pumped $21 million into local economies, into small businesses, communities, equipment, materials. >> that money could make a big difference to a lot of people.
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>> and by the bill and melinda gates foundation. dedicated to the idea that all people deserve the chance to live a healthy productive life. 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: anxiety over the greek debt crisis spooked markets in europe and asia again today as investors worried about spreading fallout. meanwhile, the embattled greek prime minister, george papandreou, held a seven-hour emergency meeting of his socialist party.
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but he delayed a cabinet reshuffle until tomorrow. we begin with daisy mcandrew of "independent television news," reporting from london's financial center, known as "the city." >> reporter: another day of protests and political chaos in athens has pushed the markets back to the brink of panic as they watched the greek prime minister prime minister fail to control either his people or parliament. with a 96 million bailout running out analysts know some sort of greek debt default are getting higher every dale. so in the city there are dark mutters that just as the collapse of the investment bank lehman brothers was in 2008, greek could be a catalyst for chaos. >> what the lehman situation really made clear was that everything depends on everything else. there is no isolation sheer. now-- here, now there's similar situation that this could happen in the euro zone and greece could be the
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trig their pulls down the pack of cards elsewhere for the badly affected countries. >> reporter: and so european politicians are readying themselves to bail out greece again. but many say it's a price worth paying to stop greece going bust because the affects of that would be felt throughout europe, given the number of countries whose banks act as creditors. french banks are the most at risk with $33 billion-of-greek debt, germany with 21 billion pounds and british banks have 8 billion bounds worth. and market analysts know that might not even be an end to it. >> if we see greece go and if that pushes contagion effect into spain, then that is when will you have the big problems. because then it will look like maybe germany won't even be able to afford to bail these countries out. it won't just be saying maybe the focus will go to italy, maybe then to france and when you get to that stage that has to be the end of the euro. >> brown: the drug told reach >> brown: the struggle to reach
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a deal on u.s. deficits and the federal debt ceiling continued as well today. vice president biden met again with a bi-partisan group of lawmakers trying to hammer out a compromise. meanwhile, on wall street: encouraging reports on home building and jobless claims helped to mute the worries about greece. the dow jones industrial average gained 64 points to close at 11,961. the nasdaq fell more than seven points to close at 2,623. >> woodruff: to discuss the broader threats posed by greece and the concerns over the u.s. situation, we turn to jacob kirkegaard, an economist and research fellow at the peterson institute for international economics. and roben farzad, senior writer at "bloomberg businessweek" magazine. we thank you both for being here. roben, i am going to start with you. remind us why is greece again in this kind of debt turmoil. >> simply, judy t wasn't enough. the package that was put forward last spring in the spring summer period of 2010 assumed several things. one, that the government inateen kos push through
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sufficiently tough austerity and exact cuts out of pensioners and the public union system there. two, that international bond investors would be wiing to lend to greece at decent levels. he bond yields were last quoted a the 30% which is prohibitive. and three, that economic growth in some manner, normal see in some ranner would return and vindicate the supposed shock and awe that we saw the subcontinent come together and package together last year. >> woodruff: so jaco kirkegaard what is the risk to other countries if they don't don't get this worked out. is the feeling it is going to get worked out or not reasons i believe that because the potential downside of a failure will be cat straufk-- catastrophic and everybody realizes inality ens, in berlin n brussels that unless you have a deal, europe has a real problem on its hands. so i believe there will be a deal am but the real problem
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is as the itn clip showed, is that actually this issue of contagion. first of all contagion through the banking system because if you have a default in greece, the greek domestic banking system is going to actually collapse, most likely because they hold a very large number of greek government bonds. and then you can have the sort of lehman type repercussions through the banking system. so that is the first type. the other one is the cross-country con stage-- contagion where large bond investors will say if you have a default in greece, maybe they are not the only one that might have a default. maybe ireland, maybe portugal, maybe even spain. and once you get to spain, that's really when you get to the sort of systemic threshold in which currently at least there is not enough money in the bailout packages to rescue a country like spain. and that's why it is very worrying that we have seen a st of gradual increase in the borrowing costs of spain today and in recent days. >> but given all this, roben
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farzad, isn't it in the interest of all these other countries to get something worked out so they avoid this worst-case scenario? >> it is, but the existences of the political realities on the ground, imagine if you are and angela merkel or scar cozy going back saying it is the torch bearers for the european union to suck it up in this tough economy and to wire some more billions to our brothers and cousins and sisters in greece it is to the being looked at this way. this marriage is very much troubled because when it works it works really well. you have open borders, a single currency, free trade. when it doesn't work the halfs are invariably hit up for money to get to the half nots. and the electorate is not happy about that. >> how do you see it working out. >> there is going to be some idea of chaos. i do subscribe to the idea that this is somewhat analogous to the events that we saw in wall street in september of 2008. i mean it was thought out there that while look, bear
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stearns was rescued at the beginning of 2008. lehman was next. we had to at some point let some banks fail and see where the chips fell. so at least the government didn't have to come out and make a blanket kind of blank check statement that the entire system will be bailed out. obviously the french and germans can't afford that again the risk here is that this goes from portugal, italy, ireland, greece and jumps to spain and heaven forbid it jumps from spain to france which truly has systemic exposure across the pond. >> so we're talking about potentially a number of ountries, jacob kirkegaard and mainly to an american audience here. what about the affects in the united states sm. >> well, i think the immediate affects if this is-- effects if this is contained f we can avoid con stage-- con stage on to spain, the immediate effect to the united states need not be very large. because actually the u.s. financial system is not particularly exposed to greece or to ireland. >> woodruff: the banks, the
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bondholders. >> yeah, the banks, the bondholders even if you go into the credit default swap market it is quite manageable. but once you get to spain this is where the exposure starts to rise to very dramatic levels. that is where really the potential for serious adverse sort of transatlantic shock starts to emerge. >> woodruff: well, i'm going to ask you to keep it here in the united states, roben farzad because the u.s. at the same time is dealing with its own debt situation. we mentioned, jeff mentioned a moment ago vice president biden meeting again today with a group of bipartisan senators. we have been hearing about the deadline on the debt ceiling. how does what the u.s. is looking at right now compare to what the two of you have been discussing in europe. >> well, with you would think, judy, that it would be immediately instructive that look, if you are foolish, if you are froflagate that bond investors will punish you and send your rates to prohibitive levels. greece is being asked to pay 30%. but the paradox is any time something like this happens,
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you have international investors pile into u.s. treasuries and the government here while you have capitol hill and the white house playing chicken over the game of the debt ceiling, is it going to be lifted, is it not going to be lifted, as it is happening the government is able to borrow for less and less for reasons that have nothing to do about this dangerous brinksman ship that is happening in dc. but to counter that, if this goes on for too long at international bond investors, they call them the bond vigilantes way back when start demanding more and more for short term borrowing from the federal government in the united states, you suddenly have a situation where immediately pain has to be asked for from the electorate. >> so jacob kirkegaard f you are sitting in the united states and are watching what is happening it in europe and you know the united states still has its own debt crisis to work out, debt problem to work out, how worried are you? i mean, the american banks have been through their own heart attack, if you will. >> i think you certainly should be worried because in
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many ways it is the same kind of political, as far as a zero sum poker game that's going on here, it is a political problem in europe. the money is there and you could solve the greek problem if you wanted it. if the political will was there. just as we have the situation in the united states. the united states could solve its debt problem and its fiscal problems if congress so decided there are ways to do that. it would be politically painful to do so but the chance, you know, we could do it. and that i think is really the key thing we need to look at. because what it means is that in the case of europe i don't believe this is going to be solved until the 11th hour right before we stand at the brink of disaster. unfortunately i think the same political lodge lick play out in the united states once we get to the end of july. >> just quickly rob-- roben farzad to wrap up, 11 hour in both places, in other words,. >> yeah, that's the way these things happen. because they are index trick below linked to the political realities on the
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ground. and that's the universitial of this problem. we can't say that those developing banana economies up to their business again, here goes another sovereign blowoff, no, we have to look in the mirror here an learn ourselve . >> woodruff: on that cheerful note, roben farzad, jacob kirkegaard, we thank you both. >> brown: still to come on the "newshour": defense secretary gates bids farewell to the press; the supreme court rules on miranda rights for juveniles; adverse reactions to antibiotics; the new head of al-qaeda and a 3,000 mile trip to freedom. but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: congressman anthony weiner gave up his fight to hang on to office today. he announced he is resigning in the wake of an online sex scandal. the seven-term new york democrat made his decision public at a senior center in brooklyn. >> i had hoped to be able to continue the work that the citizens of my district elected me to do-- to fight for the middle class and those struggling to make it.
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unfortunately, the distraction that i have created has ma that impossible. so today, i am announcing my resignation from congress >> sreenivasan: weiner had been considering a run for new york city mayor in 2013, but he said today his focus is now on his personal life. he spoke for less than five minutes and was repeatedly interrupted by hecklers. >> to repeat, most importantly... most importantly, so that i can continue to heal from the damage that i have caused. >> sreenivasan: the resignation marked the end of a three-week scandal over revelations that weiner engaged in online liaisons with several women. it started after he mistakenly posted a lewd photo on a twitter feed for the general public. he had intended it to be sent directly to a woman in seattle. the congressman initially claimed his account had been hacked, but the questions grew and other women came forward
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saying they had received similar images from him. >> i haven't told the truth, and i've done things that i deeply regret. >> sreenivasan: last week, weiner admitted sending the photos. he said he would not resign. instead, he took a leave of absence and checked in to a treatment facility. still, house minority leader nancy pelosi and other top democrats stepped up the pressure. and on monday, president obama told n.b.c. news, "if it was me, i would resign." weiner finally did so today, one day after his wife, huma abedin, returned from a trip to africa with her boss, secretary of state hillary clinton. at the u.s. capitol today, a media flurry swirled outside weiner's congressional office. but there was no sign of life inside, as staffers had turned off the lights and locked the doors. president obama drew more fire from congress today for claiming he does not need approval for the u.s. mission in libya. a white house report on wednesday argued u.s. forces are in a supporting role, and
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are not engaged in hostilities. house speaker john boehner shot back today that the president's claim does not pass the straight face test. he said congress might consider cutting off funds for the libyan operation. in syria, the government massed more forces around two northern towns, as part of the intensifying crackdown on dissenters. tanks and troops surrounded khan sheikhoun and maarat al- numaan. human rights activists reported hundreds of men and boys over the age of 16 were being detained. meanwhile, some 9,000 syrians were waiting in refugee camps, just inside turkey. many people who fled the violence said they do not trust their government's assurances that it is safe to return home. more than 200 militants from afghanistan attacked a village inside northeastern pakistan today killing five people and kidnapping 20 others. it was the second such cro- border raid in recent weeks. separately, pakistani army chief ashfaq kayani was reported to be struggling to save his job. the general has come under pressure from his colleagues,
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since the u.s. raid that killed osama bin laden. vancouver, canada began cleaning up today and trying to explain the rioting that erupted after their ice hockey team, the canucks lost the stanley cup last night. violence erupted when the boston bruins won game seven of the title series. crowds set fires, looted stores and fought with police in downtown streets. nearly 100 people were arrested and almost 150 others were sent to the hospital. the city's mayor blamed organized hoodlums. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to judy. >> woodruff: defense secretary robert gates heading for retirement at the end of the month holds a farewell pentagon news conference. kwame holman reports. >> reporter: november 2006: republicans lose control of congress in the mid-term elections largely because of a single issue: the grinding, deadly iraq war. the lightning rod leader of that effort, defense secretary donald rumsfeld is forced to resign. his replacement: robert gates called back to government service from the presidency of
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texas a&m university. >> because our long-term strategic interests and our national and homeland security are at risk, because so many of america's sons and daughters in our armed forces are in harm's way, i did not hesitate when the president asked me to return to duty. >> reporter: taking over at the pentagon, the former c.i.a. director and aide to six previous presidents immediately burnished his reputation for blunt candor. as at his confirmatiohearing in december 2006... >> mr. gates, do you believe that we are currently winning in iraq? >> no, sir. >> reporter: that kind of straight talk also appealed to president obama, who asked gates to stay on after his election in 2008. in the end, the man who implemented the iraq troop surge policy for president bush would oversee for president obama the winding down of that war. in 2009 and 2010, gates also presided over two large troop deployments into afghanistan--
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tripling the size of the u.s. force there. away from the battlefield, gates was quick to dismiss top officers and officials who, in his view, failed in command. >> this is unacceptable and it will not continue. >> reporter: in 2007, the secretary of the army and others were dismissed/shown the door over sub-par care for injured troops at walter reed army medical center in washington. that same year, gates fired the air force secretary and chief of staff for lackluster nuclear weapons security. and in 2009, he relieved u.s. army general david mckiernan of command of the afghan coalition. >> we have a new strategy, a new mission, and a new ambassador. i believe that new military leadership also is needed. >> reporter: gates also challenged the defense establishment, in congress and his own building, canceling, for example, the costly f-22 fighter program. but he sought much greater and faster spending to protect
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troops in the field. he saluted them, on his last trip to afghanistan ten days ago. >> you all are in my thoughts every minu of every day. i understand your hardship and your sacrifice and the burdens >> reporter: on that same overseas swing, the secretary took a tough tone with nato allies-- charging they've let american power carry the burden. >> what i've sketched out is the real possibility for a dim, if not dismal future for the trans- atlantic alliance. >> reporter: during his four and a half years on the job, gates has won accolades from across the political spectrum for managing two wars and taking on the pentagon bureaucracy. but even with that widespread praise, some longtime defense anasts see shortcomings in the secretary's tenure. lawrence korb is a former assistant secretary of defense. >> i think he's gotten credit for a lot more things then he really deserves. and he's going to leave his successor leon panetta with a lot of problems that have not been solved.
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first of all, it's going to be the budget, secretary gates did not cut the defense budget and he gives him a very difficult situation in afghanistan that is more difficult than it should have been if gates in his first years in office had sent the troops that were needed there to stabilize that particular situation. >> reporter: gates leaves office june 30, and today joined by departing joint chiefs chairman mike mullen gates held his final pentagon news conference. during a low-key and business- like appearance, the secretary was asked the same question about afghanistan that he answered with a blunt "no" about iraq four-and-a-half years ago: is the u.s. winning? >> i have learned a few things in four and a half years, and one of them is to try and stay away from loaded words li "winning" and "losing." what i will say is that i believe we are being successful in implementing the president's strategy, and i believe that our
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military operations are being successful in denying the taliban control of populated areas, degrading their capabilities and improving the capabilities of the afghan national security forces. >> reporter: with pakistani- american diplomatic and military relations at a low ebb, gates was asked what could stop a seeming downward spiral. >> we need each other, and we need each other more than just in the context of afghanistan. pakistan is an important player in terms of regional stability and in terms of central asia. and so my view is that this is a relationship where we just need to keep working at it. there is the reality that pakistan is a country that has a number of nuclear weapons. and again, keeping those lines of communication open, it seems to me, is very important. >> reporter: still to be
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determined in gates's last days in office-- the size of the first drawdown of u.s. troops from afghanistan, a decision the president is expected to make soon. >> brown: the u.s. supreme court said today that age matters when it comes to police interrogation. ray suarez has the story. justices ruled five to four that juveniles suspected of a crime are entitled to miranda protections when questioned at school by the police. marcia coyle of the "national law journal" is here to explain the significance of the decision. marsia-- marcia, remind us what was involved in this case and how it got. to the high court. >> the police suspected a 13-year-old boy was involved in two break-ins in a residential neighborhood.
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and they went to his middle school. they had one of the uniformed officers that actually served at the school take him out of the classroom and take him to a conference room within the school. in that conference room, which was closed door conference room, was-- were two police officers, an assistant principal and an administrative intern. the police officer who suspected the boy of being involved began the questioning. questioned him for about 30 to 45 minutes. knew how old he was. after the boy admitted that he was involved in the break-ins along wi a friend, the police officer then told him that he had the right not to answer any more questions and was free to leave. the boy's lawyer later tried to have the boy's confession statements suppressed at trial claiming that his miranda rights had been violated. >> suarez: in the original argument there seemed to be two thrusts, one over
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whether the boy was, in fact, in custody if he was being questioned at school by police. and whether questioning a boy is different from questioning an adult, a man. >> that's right, ray. and those two threads came together in the 5-4 decision. miranda rights are triggered if you or i are in custody. and custody is a formal arrest or a restraint on our freedom such that we don't feel we can leave or free to leave or it's very similar to a formal arrest. so this case was really about essentially about whether the boy was in custody, whether his age is a factor to consider when you're determining that someone is in custody. >> suarez: well, in the opinion one quote jumped out at me. our history is replete with laws and judicial recognition that children cannot be viewed simply as miniature adults. is that how they ruled, basically? >> yes, justice sotomayor
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wrote the majority opinion. she said it is basically a matter of common sense that a child being questioned by police is to the going to feel free to leave as an adult would feel if in the same situation or circumstances. she said age, a child's age is more than a chronological fact. that we know for a fact that children don't have mature judgement, that they don't possess a complete understanding of the world around them. so age has to be a factor in determining whether this child believes he or she is free to leave and is in custody. >> suarez: who joined justice sotomayor to make that vote a majority. >> justice stephen breyer, justice ruth bader ginsburg, justice anthony kenny and justice elena kagan. >> so kennedy was the key point. >> he was the swing vote and it is interesting to note that he has always in the criminal context, particularly the death
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penalty, he has had a special solicitude for the problems of youth juveniles in the criminal justice system. >> suarez: what did the dissint ares have to say and who was their leader. >> justice alice-- alito was the main dissent joined by anthony scalia and clarence thomas. he said miranda was a bright line rule for police, something that was easy to apply. and when you looked at whether someone was in custody it was an objective analysis. you didn't bring in subjective factors like age. he felt that the majority hadn't shown why age was different from say education, intelligence. he said that he felt also that what was going to happen here was that you would soon see defense lawyers and maybe even prosecutors arguing in cases in trials that other factors, personal characteristics were important in determining custody. he also felt that the decision wasn't necessary. he felt juveniles' rights
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were protected a little later in the process. their lawyer kos claim that a confession was not voluntary. justice sotomayor, though, said that miranda exists precisely because the courts have found that the voluntary test isn't adequate. >> suarez: so where does this leave a policeman somewhere in america about to arrest a juvenile? must you always give that person a miranda warning? >> well, if you say arrest, then yes. because an arrest triggers custody, triggers miranda. police have to consider all the circumstances and age is going to be one of them in determining whether this person is in custody. as do courts have to consider that now. it's my understanding that in a number of states there are police policies that direct police to consider age right now. if you believe justice alito, he feels it's going to be very difficult for police
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especially in the heat of the moment to know what somebody's age is. if you believe justice sotomayor, it's not. it's common sense. you don't need a degree in advanced psychology to know that a three-year-old is not a 7-year-old and neither is an adult, she said. >> but somewhere along the line there's going to be a kid who won't understand such a warning and a kid who will. >> that's true. but in terms of the test for determining whether that kid is in custody, the officer has to make a judgement about age. either the officer knows the age or it's reasonably evident from the child in front of him or her what basically the age is srz marcia coyle of the national law journal, thanks for talking with us. >> my pleasure, ray. >> woodruff: next, a health unit report about a medical mystery and the questions it's raising
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about the drug monitoring system. it involves a class of anti- biotic drugs that some people say are making them very ill. health correspondent betty ann bowser has the story. >> reporter: just a few years ago, jenne wilcox was a happily married healthy first grade teacher in oroville, california helping husband rob raise his son cole from a previous marriage. but that all changed suddenly, after she took a prescription drug called levaquin to prevent infection following routine sinus surgery. wilcox developed severe pain in her joints and muscles and even when she stopped taking the medication. the symptoms grew worse. >> i couldn't even hold my head up and i was bedridden for over a year. and when i say that, i mean i couldn't even get myself out of
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bed to get into my wheelchair to go use the restroom. i had to be picked up out of bed. >> reporter: today wilcox struggles through at least three therapy sessions a week. her neurologist continues to treat her for levaquin toxicity. the medical problems have also taken their toll on her quality of life. she became so disabled she had to give up her teaching job and without her income the wilcox family lost their home. levaquin is a powerful antibiotic, in a class of drugs called "floroquinilones," known more simply as "quinolones." they are some of the most popular anti-bacterial drugs on the market today, and are supposed to be used to treat serious bacterial infections. dr. david flockhart heads the department of clinical pharmacology at the medical school of indiana university. >> i think you have to start any
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conversation about quinolones by saying they're useful drugs. they're tremendously powerful antibiotic. they kill a wide range of pathogenic or dangerous bacteria and they have save many, many people's lives. >> reporter: but flockhart is among a group of doctors who also believes quinolones are over prescribed and may cause more damage to patients than mainstream medicine has previously acknowledged. >> you don't use these big guns for killing mosquitos-- for little infections. you should use them appropriately for big infections that they're useful for. >> reporter: 46-year-old john fratti of hummelstown pennsylvania was prescribed levaquin a few years ago for a minor bacterial infection. >> it caused nerve damage, tendon damage, and central nervous system damage.
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central nervous system damage is brain damage. >> reporter: before taking levaquin fratti had no major medical problems, but after taking levaquin he became disabled. >> i've lost my job. i've lost over a quarter of a million dollars in lost wages. i've spent about $30,000 out of my own pocket in medical and insurance costs. and i haven't received a dime back for this. >> reporter: fratti and wilcox are partf a growing network of websites where thousand of people have reported adverse reactions to quinolone drugs. many say they were prescribed the drugs for minor sinus and urinary tract infections. and while f.d.a. believes only a small percentage of people who take quinolones have negative side effects. the scope of the problem is a mystery. no one really knows how many people are harmed by quinolone drugs because there is no
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accurate national system for reporting adverse drug reactions. the food and drug administration but even with that inadequate system aers picked up reports of it only picks up about 10 percent of all bad side effects people experience from prescription drugs. and an f.d.a. advisory board report this month found there was universal agreement that the current aers data base is outdated and inadequate to the tasks" of fda. but even with that inadequate system aers picked up reports of 2,500 deaths linked to but not necessarily cause by quinolones between 1997 and 2010. another 45,000 reports of negative side effects were reported in that same time period. and dr. flockhart says that means only a small number of adverse drug reactions ever get the attention of fda. >> fundamentally, it's a voluntary thing.
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so a doctor placed in the unusual position of having to report an adverse reaction in a patient usually that he or she has prescribed the drug to. so there is an inherent conflict. >> reporter: concern about the adverse side effects of quinlolones got national attention some years ago when philadelphia writer stephen fried's wife became psychotic and developed seizures after taking just one pill. >> just one pill that morning and we were launched into this mysterious, scary, fascinating, intellectually challenging emotionally challenging world of adverse drug reactions and looking for answers to her situation. >> reporter: five years of digging led fried to write the
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book "bitter pills" that was a best seller. >> i think that it's fairly clear that adverse drug reactions have been considered for some time now to be the fourth leading cause of death in america. i think it's an accurate number and so the number has always been bandied about between one and 200,000 a year. fried'book and advocacy work along with the advocacy group public citizen were instrumental in getting the f.d.a. to put a first black box warning on quinolones four years ago for potential tendon damage. a black box warning is the most serious action f.d.a. can take short of pulling a drug from the market. in march the fda added a second black box warning indicating for the first time that quinolones may have neuromuscular blocking activity. but ray woosley a pharmacologist and internist who heads the non profit critical path institute in tucson says consumers are
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usually unaware of these warnings. >> the black box warning is actually intended for prescribers. the patient guides that are required for some medications are worded at the lay person level and its two totally different types of info and many times the serious warning the doctors are informed of may not be in the patient info. >> reporter: woosley also says like most drugs, quinolones went on the market without regulators knowing enough about their adverse affects on the general population. >> they only study a few thousand people with a very discreet and defined problem and then it goes on the market and its given to a lot of other people who weren't studied. these are very potent medicines and potent medicines have potent harm. so the problem with the floroquinolones is that they're so effective is they're given in
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ways that weren't studied. >> reporter: the f.d.a. refused our requests for an on camera interview about quinolones but did say for the record that it has found no common thread of negative evidence that would lead the agency to remove quinolones from the market. and ortho-macneil-- the pharmaceutical company that makes levaquin-- says the drug is safe, when used as directed. in a written statement provided to the newshour, the company said we "believe strongly in and proactively support the appropriate prescribing of fluoroquinolones." dr. woosley says the only way to settle a drug safety issue like quinolones is for the u.s. to develop a reliable system to accurately track adverse drug reactions. >> as a nation, we don't have a fair and effective system that serves the drug industry, the patients or the caregivers.
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everyone is suffering in some way because of our lack of investment in the safe use of our medicines. you can go on the internet and you can print out a list of all the companies and all the suitcases the airlines have lost each month for over a decade. but i can't go anywhere and tell you how many people were harmed. >> reporter: over the past two years, jenne wilcox's medical condition has improved but her doctors are unable to say her if she will ever fully recover. john fratti has gone to work part time for the f.d.a., as a patient advocate working to increase public knowledge about the dangers of quinolones drugs. meanwhile, f.d.a. officials say they are working hard to develop new, more accurate methods of tracking drugs and their effect on the millions of americans who take them each year.
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>> brown: now, the heir apparent takes the top job at al qaeda. it's been 45 days since u.s. navy seals killed osama bin laden at his compound in pakistan. and ever since, one question has been: who will lead al-qaeda now? the answer came today: bin laden's long-time deputy. a statement posted on an islamist website said: "the general leadership of al qaeda group, after the completion of consultation, announces that sheikh dr. ayman al-zawahri, may god give him success, has assumed responsibility for command of the group." the new al-qaeda leader will turn 60 on sunday and has been in hiding for many years. he's on the f.b.i.'s most wanted terrorist list, with a $25 million-dollar bounty on his head. and since going underground has been seen only on videos, repeatedly urging worldwide jihad.
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the latest message came last week, in a eulogy to bin laden. >> ( translated ): the man has terrified america when he was alive and is terrifying it even when he is dead, to the extent that they denied him a tomb. >> brown: the new top leader was born in egypt and lived in grew up at this family home in cairo. there, he was trained as a doctor, but was radicalized early on. when assassins killed egyptian president anwar sadat in 1981, al-zawahri was one of hundreds of islamic militants put on trial. he spent three years in prison, then left egypt. in the mid-1980s, he met bin laden in afghanistan, helping fight the soviet occupation of that country. al-zawahri became bin laden's personal advisor and physician and ultimately, the deputy leader, often described as the group's chief tactician. he's widely thought to have been the ornizational mastermind of the september 11th plot. before that, it's believed he helped plan the 1998 bombings of the u.s. embassies in africa and the 2000 bombing of the u.s.s. cole.
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still, in washington today, a state department spokesperson played down the al-qaeda leadership announcement. >> we have seen the reports. what i'd like to say today is frankly, it barely matters who runs al qaeda. it is a bankrupt ideology. >> brown: that, of course, is what intelligence experts will now be watching as al-zawahri takes over an al qaeda that's become more globalized, with branches in many parts of the world. in his june 8th message, he urged them on to new attacks. he vowed the u.s. killing of bin laden will be met, "blood for blood." for more, we go to juliette kayyem, now a national security columnist for the "boston globe" and a former assistant secretary of homeland security. and daniel byman, director of the security studies program at georgetown university and author of a new book on israeli counter-terrorism.
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test juliette kayyem, i'll start with you, fill in the portrait of al-zawahiri what is important to know about his biography and experience. >> i think the biography begins with who he was when he was born. he comes from an elite family with long ties to egyptian leadership, not unlike bin laden was. bin laden's family was with the saudis. so he is of a certain ilk and elite that does not represent sort of the young al qaeda movement right now. nonetheless, he spent his entire life committed to the egyptian islamic jihad and ultimately getting together with bin laden. our interest in him begins with the africa embassy bombings going on to the u.s.s. cole. he's been as we know and as you reported, he's been in hiding. and i think the most important thing right now is just simply the timing of this announcement. it is six weeks later. and there is a debate about whether that represented a movement to get rid of him, and not have an egyptian lead al qaeda. and or is it the nature that here is a group that has clearly been compromised.
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they don't know what we know. and it just took them a long time to essentially eevate bin laden' heir apparent. >> brown: what about that, there has been that speculation. was this a po per-- power struggle during this time or just normal process? >> we don't really know. this is an organization that has often thought internal consultation and a degree of unity. and since the members are being hunted not only by pakistanies but especially with the drone program, having that consultation is of more difficult. but zawahiri is diadvicive figure. he's someone without does not have the loyalty that bin laden inspired or his charisma. so there may be individuals within the organization and certainly there are individuals within the movement, that question whether he is the one to take bin laden's case. >> brown: do we know when we say he was chosen as leader, do we know what that means? who chooses and what is the process? it's not that they take a vote or do they? how does it work? >> it's the enigma of the
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day, people in government and abroad have been somewhat opaque. i find it hard to believe that there was a physical meeting although al qaeda's statement about zawahiri does about consultation so they may be wanting to portray the fact that there is at least some members who got together, more likely this was done through proxies and couriers who were representing the leadership of al qaeda. it is not a vote for one or against another. it's simply just an elevation or affirmation that zawahiri would take command. i think one of the most important things is imagine if al jida not picked zawahiri. that would be the story, and i think the leadership was clearly intending on saying you know, we're still driving this boat. because if they had sort of undermine wad bin laden wanted, his number two not getting elevated it would have appeared to the outside world, the outside world that they are trying to appeal to that they were really in disarray.
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>> daniel byman, this notion we heard from the state department spokeswoman that it barely mattered, that was her word,s too who is in charge of al qaeda. pars that for us a bit. could that be true and is it a question of the leadership or about the strength of the organization. how do we think about it now now? >> to be the most charitable way to take that statement is that from a u.s. point of view we're going to fight al qaeda and associate movements regardless of who is in charge but clearly it makes a tremendous difference without is in charge. zawahiri has perhaps is less able than bin laden to raise money. his ability to recruit in the same way is also questionable. and also where he's going to put the movement. is he going to emphasize working with affiliates like those in yemen or ff size attacks in the west. all these are things that leaders have tremendous influence over so it does matter who leads al qaeda. >> juliette kayyem, do you agree, do you think matters a lot and in what way? >> absolutely. i understand why the state
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department said that because they clearly want this you know, part of the idea 4r8 fight with al qaeda between the u.s. and terrorist organizations is to make them seem irrelevant. to us. but it does matter. and i think it matters in terms of the tactics. what al qaeda facing now is essentially al qaeda central, essentially an unsuccessful terrorist attack since 2007 in britain. so the question for zawahiri is do i make a big, bold statement in the farland, right, sort of in the west or do i piggyback off the arab spring and what we now call at rab summer and the unrest in libya, yemen, and syria, and try to do sort of a near sight. and that is going to be a track call decision. al qaeda has been on the sidelines of the arab springs. the summer is looking like a lot of unrest and that is where al qaeda fits in well. >> in fact, daniel byman, the arab spring, many people arc lot of commentary that that even suggested kind of
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irrelevance for al qaeda in at rab world or at least partial irrelevance. >> at rab spring is mixed for al qaeda. the bad news for them is that it gives a completely different message that peaceful demonstrations can overthrow tyrannical regimes. al qaeda for years has pushed the idea that force and only forces the answer. on the other hand, though, the security services of these regimes were tremendously effective against groups like zawahiri in egypt. and you're going to have an easing of pressure. in fact even the regimes now surviving are going to focus primarily on peaceful dissenters, rather than on terrorist groups so there will be more freedom of operation. and should the arab spring, arab summer turn sour, should repression occur, should islamists in particular be frozen out of power, could see a radicallizing effect that over time increases support for violence. >> what do you think about the possibility that juliette kayyem just raised, the possibility or even
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expectation that al qaeda might do something kind of large now to make a statement about new leadership and relevance? >> al qaeda certainly wants to do something right now, simply to show it's in the game. in part to get revenge for bin laden and in part to show its supporters that it's relevant. the real question is can it do something large it has wanted to do something large for some time so whether they can pull something off the shelf right now to me is a very open question. >> brown: and juliette kayyem, the stance forth u.s. at this point, does it change in any way with the new leadership? >> probably not at least in terms of counterterrorism efforts there is no suspicion that this elevates any sort of threat for us here in the home larbd. he's already had the 25 million bounty on his head, presumably once bin laden was kilted, he was next in line for intelligence and law enforce. agencies. there is some speculation that he was on hillary clinton's list when she met
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with pakistani leaders on where he is and could be he in pakistan like bin laden. so the focus is already there. this was sort of a fait accompli it took a long tile for reasons we discussed and now we sort of have to determine what are going to be his tactics both short term and long term to make himself relevant and a good leader and of course the move. relevant at a time which dan said, at a time when at rab world has essentially moved on. >> all right, juliette kayyem, daniel byman, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> woodruff: finally tonight, as famine grips their country, some north koreans are choosing to make a difficult journey to thailand through a modern-ay underground railroad. john sparks of "independent television news" has the story. >> reporter: the river is wide and treacherous, but for an increasing number of north koreans, it must be crossed.
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freedom and food await. the mekong river-- the final obstacle. once these waters are negotiated, their lives will change dramatically. 67 north koreans are led in groups to rusty old bus. they hide their faces, but it's a happy occasion. in a few hours, they'll be locked up in a cell in central bangkok. and it's a privilege many are risking their lives for this, a different sort of photo op. king jong ill, north korea's elusive dictator, in china a few weeks ago for hugs and handshakes. at home however, his people are starving to death. the u.n. says six million need urgent assistance, while the dear leader enjoyed the sites. a u.s. diplomac team landed in north korea, there to consider pleas for emergency food aid. the e.u. has a team in the country this week.
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many north koreans can't wait. they know their neighbors south korea will accept them and support them with a settlement grant, but they have to get there first. people traffickers move them across the border into china, then down towards laos. they risk their lives. they'll be sent back if they're caught. the final challenge-- crossing the mekong river into thailand. one thing they don't have worry about is how to pay for the trip. a trafficker told us why. >> ( translated ): the traffickers charge about $5,000 each, but the refugees don't have the cash, so they hand over their settlement money when they get to south korea. >> reporter: this money is now financing a modern day underground railroad. seven years ago, 46 north koreans crossed the mekong into thailand. but last year, 2,500 did. we asked the thai police whether they'd tried to stop them.
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>> impossible. no country stop this. we don't have the budget. >> reporter: when we visited, five north koreans had taken up residence in the old police station. they were also free to walk around. we tried to speak to them but they were too frightened a church volunteer told us how they'd survived in their homeland. >> ( translated ): the food shortage is so bad, they couldn't stand it anymore. in winter, they ate straw and roots. they had to wash out the dirt and eat them. >> reporter: they'll stay in this scruffy, well-stocked border town for a few days before being moved to a detention center. but all done quietly. few wish to acknowledge this secretive migration. >> it is a very sensitive issue. the thai government wants to be friends with all nations, we
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don't want to get involved in other countries problems. >> reporter: it is an unlikely coalition-- of people traffiers, church groups and governments-- who have given these people with something they never had at home-- hope. >> brown: again, the major developments of the day: the greek debt crisis roiled markets in europe and asia again, amid rising fears that greece will default on its debt and trigger other defaults across europe. new york congressman anthony weiner announced he'll resign in the wake of an online sex scandal. and al-qaeda named osama bin laden's long-time deputy-- ayman al-zawahri-- to be its new leader. and to hari sreenivasan for what's on the "newshour" online. hari? >> sreenivasan: we asked four military analysts to give us their grade on secretary gates' tenure as defense chief. find that report card and the full video of today's press conference. and a new pew research center poll finds that social media users are now older on average than in past years.
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we explore the numbers in an interactive graphic. plus, there's new research on some the oldest known black holes in outer space. our science unit breaks down the basics. all that and more is on our web site: newshour.pbs.org. >> woodruff: and again to our honor roll of american service personnel killed in the iraq and >> woodruff: and that's the "newshour" for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. we'll see you online and again here tomorrow evening with mark shields and david brooks, among others. thank you and good night. 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. and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and...
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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. captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
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which foot was it? best make that "best wishes." we don't want them getng their hopes up, do we? no, i suppose not. have always done it. why should she watch the flowers? nobody really remembers,

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