tv PBS News Hour PBS August 15, 2011 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT
>> ifill: the republican presidential race sharpens, as texas governor rick perry jumps in, former minnesota governor tim pawlenty jumps out and congresswoman michele bachmann wins the iowa straw poll. good evening. i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. on the "newshour" tonight: we look at the top tier of g.o.p. hopefuls and political editor david chalian examines president obama's response as he kicks off a three-day "economy and jobs" bus tour in the midwest. >> ifill: then, margaret warner gets an update on the fighting in libya as rebels gain new ground. >> woodruff: we talk with the norwegian foreign minister about how his country is coping in the aftermath of mass killings that left 77 dead. >> we will be marked forever after by the 2nd of july. such an experience collect tifl has marked us in addition to the terrible suffering of those affected directly. >> ifill: and jeffrey brown
talks with australian actors cate blanchett and richard roxburgh about the challenges of bringing chekov to the stage. >> it's very easy to make chekov very small and it's epic. it's epic moments in people's very small domestic lives. >> ifill: that's all ahead on tonight's "newshour." major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> oil companies have changed my country. >> oil companies can make a difference. >> we have the chance to build the economy. >> create jobs, keep people healthy and improve schools. >> ... and our communities. >> in angola chevron helps train engineers, teachers and farmers; launch child's programs. >> it's not just good business. >> i'm hopeful about my country's future. >> it's my country's future. ♪ ♪
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>> ifill: a whirlwind few days in iowa has launched campaign 2012 into high gear for now. the republican field has effectively split into two tiers with three candidates emerging as the top contenders to challenge president obama. iowa's ames straw poll weekend came complete with all the normal trappings of a full-blown red white and blue campaign-- country music, corn-on-the-cob and plenty of games for the kids. as michele bachmann, the iowa- born congresswoman from minnesota, claimed the first big victory oher seven-week-old campaign. >> if we stick together in this huge movement: fiscal conservatives, national security conservatives, social conservatives and the tea party movement, there is no doubt in my mind: we are the team that
can't be beat for 2012 ( cheers ) >> ifill: but bachmann's victory lap was almost immediately upstaged by the arrival in the state and in the race of texas governor rick perry. at a republican party dinner in waterloo last night, perry worked the crowd as if he had been in the race for far more than 24 just hours. perry, who did not compete in saturday's straw poll, explained his late entrance into the race by comparing it to the 16 years it took to marry his wife. >> sometimes it takes me awhile to get into something. like this presidential race. but let me tell you, when i'm in, i'm in all the way! ( applause ) >> ifill: the republican contest to unseat president obama took more than one dramatic turn over the weekend. tim pawlenty, the former minnesota governor who came in third in the straw poll-- far
behind bachmann and texas congressman ron paul-- dropped out hours later. >> i think the measure of us in this phase was really, can you get some lift out of ames to get the ante, if you will, to get to the next round? and that didn't happen, unfortunately. >> ifill: as the president's approval ratings continue to slide, g.o.p. hopefuls are sharpening their attacks. >> people feel it now. the fire. they recognize that obama can be beat. and they want to make sure that we don't just have the other team wearing the other jersey. they want to make sure they have a champion. a fighter. someone who's going to stand up and have guts. >> folks, the president has a pen. it's called a veto pen. and i will use it until the ink runs out if that's what it takes to get the message were not spending all the money. ( cheers ) >> ifill: perry's entry into the race sets up a defining moment
for the republican party. will they be able to defeat a weakened president by tapping into tea party energy? the choice will play out in this battleground state. president obama won here in 2008, but it may be up for grabs in 2012. early frontrunner mitt romney skipped the straw poll this year, even though he won it four years ago. >> you'll see me plenty in iowa. and i'll be participating in the iowa caucus process, hoping to win the delegates i need to win the nomination. >> ifill: mike huckabee came in second in the 2007 straw poll, and won the 2008 caucuses. but this time around, he appeared as entertainer, not candidate. the former arkansas governor said the ground is shifting for republicans this year. >> i do think there is an opportunity for unifying the conservative movement and tying all those issues together.
and the candidate who can do that, that can show these are integrated issues, not isolated, is probably going to be the best candidate to go against obama. >> ifill: mary howard, who lost her job at the university of iowa and is in danger of losing her home, is the type of republican voter the candidates hope to attract. so for you right now, the economy trumps social issues? >> right now, yes. right now, we need results and sometimes you have to compromise to get results. and obama has done some of that. but jobs aren't coming back and we have to deal with that. >> ifill: bachmann gears her appeal to social conservatives, but is also emphasizing her position on economic issues like the debt ceiling compromise, which she opposed. >> they want someone who means what they say and say what they mean. and that's what i've been doing in washington. i've been at the tip of the spear on issue after issue. whether it was the tarp bailout,
the $750 billion bailout. and i was at the tip of the spear on obamacare. fighting to make sure it wouldn't come into effect. >> ifill: perry, too, says he can do a better job of turning the economy around. >> i happen to think the two most important issues of our time are jobs and debt. from 2009 until currently, 40% of all jobs created in america were created in texas. >> ifill: iowa pollster ann selzer credits the tea party movement for crystallizing issues for the republican field. >> i think the tea party has really blended it. it used to be that social conservatives, that's all they wanted to talk about and the fiscal people were left without a country. and the tea party has helped meld those two together. >> ifill: ann rosenthal, an iowa republican who describes herself as a social conservative,
listened to both bachmann and perry last night. >> we're never going to find a perfect candidate. there's always going to be something about a person that people don't like. and the important thing is for republicans to get behind somebody who carries the biggest message on the economy. >> ifill: straw poll voters, among the most enthusiastic and engaged activists at this early stage said that's what they're looking for too. who did you vote for? >> michele bachmann. >> ifill: why? >> i don't know that she'll really be the candidate, but i voted for her because i want her ideas to be very strong so whoever does get the nomination will know there are a big group of republicans who would like to see her ideas brought forth. >> ifill: those ideas, republicans hope, will provide the key to defeating an incumbent president for the first time in two decades. >> woodruff: president obama responded today by hitting the
road for a series of campaign- style events. in the process, he also hit back at his challengers. the president embarked on his three-day bus tour with republican attacks still echoing from iowa. his departure came after a gallup tracking poll on sunday had his approval at 39%-- his lowest ever. the rolling three-day average was back up to 41% by today. mr. obama sought to bolster his support at the first in a series of town halls, starting in the small city of cannon falls, in southeastern minnesota. without naming any names, he attacked the republican presidential field for blanket opposition to any new taxes. >> i know it's not election season yet, but i just have to mention the debate the other party candidates were having the other day, when they were asked
to reduce our deficit, reduce our debt, would you be willing to take a deal where it was $5 of spending cuts for every $1 in increased revenues. who would take it? everybody said no. they said how about 10 to 1? $10 of cuts for every dollar increase in revenue. are you saying none of you would take it? and everybody raised their hand. none of them would take it. think about that. that's just not common sense. >> woodruff: the president also tried to turn around the attacks on his landmark health care legislation dubbed "obamacare" by republicans. >> i have no problem with folks saying obama cares. i do care. if the other side wants to be the folks who don't care, that's fine with me. >> woodruff: at the same time,
he acknowledged public frustration over the economy and jobs, but he urged voters to press congress for action. >> we can put people back to work again. small businesses can start growing again. but i'm going to need your help to make it happen. you've got to send a message to washington that it's time for the games to stop. it's time to put country first. >> woodruff: from minnesota, the president traveled on to iowa. later this week, he'll close his tour of the heartland with a visit to his home state of illinois. >> ifill: for more now on how the 2012 campaign is reshaping itself, we turn to "newshour" political editor david chalian. david, you and i i spent a long weekend in iowa. we saw a lot of this red, white and blue campaigning. how is what the president is doing today any different from what we're watching. >> he doesn't have obama 2012 posters. that's the only difference. the white house is trying to make the point. this is an official event.
this is the president as president going out and talking to americans. you and i know that's a distinction without a difference. he is a declareded presidential candidate, raising money every week for his campaign. his team is sue preemly focused on november 2012. they are of course short-term focused on the economy as well. that's what he is keeping the focus of this entire tour. it's not like he's choosing his spots randomly, right? he's going through these critical mid western battle ground states-- minnesota, iowa-- and iowa and the timing of this is no mistake either. the white house was keenly aware that the republican candidates would be dominating the iowa landscape because of the straw poll and that debate. they wanted to get the president in there to have the counterargument. >> ifill: have they starteded at the white house to look at this top tier we've identified and said this one, this one, this one, which one would i rather run against. >> they would relish the chance to run against michele bachmann because they don't think her appeal is wide enough or deep enough to be a real threat to them in
november 2012 especially her appeal with independent candidates. with independent voters i mean. but, you know, they are just starting to look at rick perry. they had not done a deep dive on him and getting into his past. you can tell that their talking points on him right now are just a little shallow so that they are learning about rick perry as we are all learning about him. but they see mitt romney still as a potential threat. you can just tell. if you look at david axelrod, the senior advisor to president obama, if you look at his twitter feed there's only one candidate he's been talking about on the twitter for the last couple months. that's mitt romney. if you look at the outside group priorities usa run by former gauty press secretary bill burton they've put up an ad only against mitt romney. the obama world is focused on mitt romney as a potential threat. >> ifill: do they think mitt romney deciding to forego the hoopla of the straw poll-- he's still going to run in the caucuses-- did they have a
sense about whether this was a good idea. >> this is where their expertise and how a republican- nominating electorate only goes so far. they are watching what we are all watching which is how bloody will this republican nomination fight get now. we identified this tier. talking to white house folks and the campaign folks at the obama election headquarters in chicago when they're eager to see a prolonged republican nomination fight they would like to see rick perry and michele bachmann battle it out in iowa and they would like to see them battle it out for a while. there's a cautionary note. the same people you'll remember from four years ago who said they benefited from a prolonged fight with hillary clinton and that nomination process not only did they benefit how to learn to be a better candidate in barack obama himself but they energize the electorate which helped them in november 2008. does this top three guarantee a longer fight, this particular group of people or is it a shorter fight? does it again strength more
rapidly now. >> the length of the fight i think is going to largely be determined on these new rules that republicans are use. they're not using a winner take all system for delegates in every one of these contests. they're going to have this proportional allocation. there's the chance that if michele bachmann wins iowa, a potential likelihood if mitt romney wins new hampshire where he's strongest. if governor perry now darling of the south wins south carolina. if you have that kind of split decision in those early states that this could drag on for some time. >> ifill: one of the lingering questions. are other people who might still get into this? >> we're seeing the field as it is is now. i do think that was slow forming really did get into focus this weekend. some of the lingering questions out there about this top tier. can michele bachmann translate a straw poll win into raising a lot of money and starting to endear herself with the republican establishment so she's not just a sort of social conservative tea party republican but starts broadening that out? wall street journal editorial page was questionable about that. they are sort of the signal.
>> ifill: they were suggesting other people could still drop in. >> exactly. with rick perry the big question is can he handle the scrutiny that's about to come his way. he's been a governor for ten years. he's certainly no stranger to scrutiny but it's a national presidential contest, gwen. it's a very different ballgame. when negative stories start coming out, how he responds to that is something we'll all be watching. we just don't know. we haven't been tested that way. the question for mitt romney is probably the most interesting question that remains. does he now have to get off this per much of above the fray i'm just going to try to focus on barack obama and the economy not really mix it up with my republican opponents. now that perry is presenting a serious threat does he need to get down and start one on one with rick perry and start making differentiation to the republican nominated electorate in a way he hasn't yet. >> ifill: especially if they start attacking him instead of president obama which is exactly what they're doing right now. >> exactly.
>> woodruff: still to come on the "newshour": libyan rebels gain ground; coping with unimaginable tragedy in norway and an australian take on chekov. but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: markets around the world started the new week on a strong note, after the turmoil of last week. on wall street, stocks were up for the third session in a row. the dow jones industrial average gained nearly 214 points to close just under 11,483. the dow has now erased all of its losses from last week. the nasdaq rose 47 points to close at 2,555. the market got a boost from google's announcement that it plans to buy motorola mobility for $12.5 billion in cash. the cell phone maker builds devices that run on google's android platform. industry analysts said the internet giant wants to stake its claim in a mushrooming market. >> google clearly is very interested in making sure that they are there when people are trying to get to the internet through a mobile device. mobile devices are growing at the fastest rates in the industry. already today, more than 10% of all google paid views are
happening on mobile devices. so they need to make sure that if you want to get to the internet, and you have a smartphone, they want you going through their device and not just through apple or microsoft or others. >> sreenivasan: the acquisition also gives google control of up to 25,000 patents either already held by motorola or pending approval. that, in turn, could help google fight a string of legal battles with competitors apple, microsoft and oracle. a wave of bombings swept across much of iraq today killing at least 63 police and civilians. the attacks hit cities from north to south and demonstrated that insurgents still have the ability to strike where they will. the deadliest incident came in the southern city of kut. at least 37 people were killed there, when twin explosions blasted a crowded market. and in najaf, a suicide bomber plowed his vehicle into a police checkpoint. four people were killed, and 32 were wounded. in afghanistan, at least nine people died in separate attacks by militants. one attacker hit a fuel depot near the main international military base in the south.
a day earlier, a team of suicide bombers killed 22 people at a security meeting near kabul. three more nato troops were killed on sunday as well. two more cities in syria faced heavy assault today by the country's military. the attack on the coastal city of latakia began over the weekend, including tanks, troops and even naval gunboats. soldiers also stormed part of homs in central syria. meanwhile, the foreign minister of neighboring turkey warned the syrian government to end the bloodshed or face unspecified action. there was word today that thousands of pounds of food meant for famine victims in somalia have been stolen and sold for cash. the associated press found sacks of food from the u.n., the u.s. and other donors in markets throughout mogadishu. one official estimated half of all aid sent to somalia has been diverted. refugees in the city appealed again for help. >> i haven't received any food aid from the u.n. agency since we came here, even the little
food we get from the people is extorted by the militias and the thugs who think we are weak and vulnerable. >> sreenivasan: a spokesman for the somali government said he does not believe the stealing of food aid is occurring on a large scale. a judge in egypt has ordered cameras out of the courtroom in the trial of ousted president hosni mubarak. the order came after a hearing today turned into a near-circus. some lawyers bickered and nearly came to blows, while others waved at the cameras as the judge looked on all the while. the ailing, 83-year-old mubarak was also there. he is accused of complicity in killing protesters during the uprising against his rule. the trial has now recessed until september 5. residents waited for the water nearly 55,000 gallons of oil have spilled from a north sea rig east of scottland. the splil began last week but went unreported until friday. by today it covered an area 19 miles long and more than 2.5 miles wide. the oil company said the spill was under control and was unlikely to reach shore.
it was small in comparison to last year's spill in the gulf of mexico. but still ranked as the worst off britain in a decade. residents waited for the water to recede today in parts of the u.s. northeast. record-setting rain hit the region on sunday. in southern new jersey, flash floods washed out roads and submerged cars after 11 inches of rain fell. the downpours also flooded roads in connecticut and new york state. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to gwen. >> ifill: the latest developments in the see-saw fight for control of libya. we begin with a report narrated by jonathan miller of independent television news. >> reporter: don't jump the gun. it's not over yet. this is zawiyah this morning. tonight it's a ghost town again. moammar qaddafi's men are fighting back. for nearly 24 hours zawiyah was back in rebel hands. it's only 30 miles west of tripoli. it's qaddafi's life line,
supplying food and fuel to a city running on empty. the noose is tightening. "victory is is coming and coming soon," this man says. "we will smoke the rats out of their bunker." colonel qaddafi urged libyans to free the country from traitors today, as broadcast on state tv. >> pick up your weapons. go to fight for liberating libya inch by inch from the traitors and from nato. the end of the rats is near. >> reporter: but towns are falling like dominos to those desert rats. battles intense and still raging. it's exactly six months since the uprising erupted. first in been ghazi and then zawiyah but loyalist forces
fought back. by the time the u.n. security council authorized the use of all necessary measures to protect civilians, qaddafi's army was at the base of been ghazi. providing air cover for the rebels libyan forces retreated west wards. since mid march the strategic town and the oil ports of brega have repeatedly changed hands. further west ms. rat a self lib liberated after a long, bloody siege. it's only in reset days that opposition fighters claim to have liberated the garrison town and now zawiyah. 40 minutes down the road in tripoli and it's another country. >> of course we will not let them into tripoli. we will stand together. >> reporter: tonight the rumor mill is in overdrive though. strange goings on at tripoli airport. a u.n. envoy joining talks been regime and rebels in next
door tunisia where the first buds of this long arab spring first blossomed nine months ago. also reportedly at those talks representatives from venezuela, the u.s., nato, the arab league. qaddafi's men making demands, seeking safe passage. despite regime denials, colonel qaddafi is, after 42 years, more isolated than ever before, surrounded by enemies, plagued by defections. a revolt reaching critical mass. >> ifill: margaret warner takes the story from there. >> warner: the rebels' recent military gains, which obama administration officials applauded today, come after setbacks, including the killing last month of the rebel military commander abdul fattah younis, apparently by his own men. that was the most visible sign of disarry in the rebel movement, headed by the transitional national council, or t.n.c.. for more, we go to brian conley, who recently returned from his second trip to eastern libya, where he is training local journalists.
and dirk vandewalle, a professor of government at dartmouth college and author of "a history of modern libya." welcome, gentlemen. thank you both for joining us. professor vandewalle beginning with you, what do you make of these rebel advances? is is this a sign that regaining some momentum or just another flip of the see-saw? >> as your reporter indicated, we have seen these battles rage back and forth. we have seen a number of cities, miss rat a and all along the eastern coast, being taken by rebels and being taken back by government forces. and indeed going back and forth a number of times in the case of miss rat a and other cities. but i think that if indeed the news is is true that zawiyah has fallen to the rebels and that perhaps the rebels could then move on to the actual refinery of zawiyah, then i think we really are in a whole different ballgame because zawiyah really is one of only
two roots that the government can use to bring supplies in and ultimately as one of your correspondents mentioned the noose is tightening. the supplies that the qaddafi have, the resources at its disposal are gradually being undercut. so it is a matter of time but certainly the fall of zawiyah would be a significant tipping point if indeed the rebels can hold on to it in the near future. >> warner: n the reports from zawiyah are murky as to the status at this point. let me ask you about the qaddafi camp because today the interior minister of libya showed up in egypt with his whole family amidst rumors of defections. on the other hand we heard ka qaddafi's defiant message. how well is his government holding together and his whole regime? >> as i mentioned this is truly an instance of steadily diminishing resources. there is still a good amount of money there. but there are emerging
problems, for example, with the food supply. there is also some emerging evidence of probably uprisings within tripoli again. so all of that means that steadily very slowly it's a death of a thousand cuts in many ways. for the qaddafi government. and so ultimately, of course, we don't know how long ultimately means but ultimately i think in the end this is perhaps the beginning of the end although again i wouldn't want to speculate on when exactly that end will come. >> let me bring brian connelly in here because mr. connelly you've actually been living and working in eastern libya a couple of times in the last six months. how well do rebels seem to be in control of at least the areas they control technically and then what is life like there? >> sure, yeah, on this last trip i was in the west.
i think they are fairly in control. i mean it's different in both sides. for example, in benghazi, things are pretty stable. there's not a lot of influence from qaddafi. so you're starting to see some conflicts emerge between parties, you know, with the recent dissolution of the executive council and of course prior to that the killing of fatah younis. it's uncertain but by and large people are going about their day. everyone is preparing that after ram dan schools will reopen. a lot of businesses that have closed will reopen. people will get back to work. people seem very hopeful in benghazi. but in the west where it does seem that they are relatively in control i have more questions about how much real inter-play there is between the military command in the west and then the civilian command in the east. how much direction really is there. how much is just being defaulted to sort of local
council decision-making? it's unclear to me at this time. >> warner: professor vandewalle back to you. the concern in the government is what brian connelly just referred to about reports of splits emerging within the rebel movement which now the west has embraced. how serious are those splits and what are they based on? >> ithink the splits we started to see particularly after the killing of abdul fatah younis. >> warner: the general. >> they were quite serious. exactly. the general. >> warner: who i should point out used to be a qaddafi commander who defected and was running the rebel army. >> exactly. but, of course, the problem is that many of the people that are now on the transitional council were themselves qaddafi people before, indeed. in a kind of a dictatorship like qaddafi that has lasted 42 years it would be very, very difficult to find people who can now step up to the plate and to some extent were
not implicated or have not worked for the regime. but i think the death of younis in a sense really opened up a pandora's box of all kinds of conflicts that the tnc until then had quietly not wanted to talk about. when we saw, for example, the press conference that was held after the death of younis, how that was handled, how the tribes were brought in, all of that, to me, hints at the fact that there is is a lot moore cleavages and breaking points than the tnc is leting on right now. not only concerning the death of younis and who killed younis exactly but also, for example, the young people who are actually fighting in the field versus those that are in benghazi. libyans that are actually within the eastern part of libya versus those that are coming in from the outside. it lackists versus secularists. and that are emerging now as well. so i think there are a number of breaking points that
undoubtedly the way i look at it will probably become more severe as this government faces what will be the biggest challenge of all and that is first of all bringing tripoli into the country again so to speak. >> warner: thank you. let me get back to brian connelly before we end because mr. connelly, of course, having to cope with all this are just ordinary people who may or may not be fighting part time at the front lines. how are they getting by? i mean, do they have food? do they have electricity? can they get medical care some. >> yes. in benghazi and in the east certainly there's food. there's, you know, hospitals are working. even the police recently in maybe two or three weeks back got a whole new fleet of police vehicles, right? things are moving slowly. on the other hand, at the same time we have been seeing steadily increasing power cuts and, you know, that seems to be due to oil and the
accessibility of refinery and things of this nature. which are moving forward. you know, things are improving. i think there's a question about whether they're improving fast enough. then when you have things like the death of younis, the disdissolution of the executive council, people start wondering. those things start coming together. that s the tension we have to watch out for. >> warner: we're going to have to leave it there. thank you both. >> my pleasure. >> thank you. >> woodruff: next, the scandinavian nation of norway confronts its trauma. just more than three weeks ago on july 22, norway was shaken by the worst violence on its soil since world war two. at about 3:30 that afternoon, a car bomb exploded in the heart of the capital oslo killing eight people and wounding dozens more. a short time later and some 25 miles north, a man opened fire
at a youth political camp on the island of utoya. 69 people were killed-- most of them teenagers-- and at least 60 more were injured. after 90 minutes, police captured the gunman 32-year old anders behring breivik. he admitted to carrying out both attacks, calling them part of his plan for a cultural revolution. his lawyer has claimed breivik is most likely insane and investigators say they believe he acted alone. this weekend they took him back to utoya to re-enact events there and confirm details for his trial. the twin attacks have plunged norway into mourning with politicians and the royal family joining in an outpouring of grief. on friday, in washington, norway's foreign minister jonas gahr store met with secretary of state hillary clinton,
who expressed her sympathies. i spoke with minister store a short time later. mr. minister, thank you very much for joining us. your country went through such a terrible shock. in a nation with fewer than 5 million people where so many must know one another, is it harder to get through something like this? >> well, i think it's hard for any country experiencing the effects of terror on civilians. the strength of my country i believe is that we come out with a sense of togetherness when something like this happens because the killed ones came from all over norway so almost every community in one way or another was affected. so there was a strong sense, you know, quite quickly that
immigration? >> that's democracy. i think it's fair to have questions and fair to have those, you know, concerns about it. the notion of "we" is very important. i think for any family, any community to be able to say "we" in this family, it means something. it's dangerous to society when somebody will place himself or herself on the outside of "we." . i'm not included. i don't have responsibilities. we live in the age of migration. that also reaches to norway although we have a small immigrant population. we have to reach out and say that all citizens, be they immigrants or not, have rights and obligations. we all should, you know, be part of that "we", which needs to be larger and mon inclusive with a more diverse society than the one i grew up in. these changes have happened fast. norway has a secure economy but in other european
countries where the economy is more vulnerable there are more dangerous ingredients to the political climate. >> woodruff: what about the broader european picture because it isn't just norway. is it a function of, in immigration, of so many people coming in so quickly? is that what's happening? >> i think, you know, that partly coupled with poor integration, you know, language, education, the labor market, housing, you get different standards in society. and if there are economic slowdowns, you know, you quickly get the issue whose fault is this? who is taking my job? these are dangerous trends that we have to address. the prime minister's response and the golf's response has been to say that our prime source is democracy, is openness, is debate. we're not going to close in this society and shy those debates to the side but take them openly. >> woodruff: having said that, do you think your country has been changed by what happened? >> my take is the following. we will be marked foreverafter
by the 22nd of july. such an experience collectively has marked us in addition to the terrible suffering of those who were directly hit. but we have pledgeded i think as a society, as a country that we will be recognizable. norway will be recognized as an open democracy with the rule of law and a broad international engagement on the international scene taking for ourselves responsibilities. we are in a peaceful corner of the world living in peace. we will shoulder part of that responsibity after the 22nd of july and even more so because these values are our prime instruments to deal with society. >> woodruff: finally, the victims, most of them were young people at that camp on the island. what do you think the effect is going to be on the young every generation in norway? >> we, we are three weeks after. i have been saying when i go to these memorials that i was there the day before. i spent the day with the kids, the youth. such a fantastic group of
people. when you meet these teenagers who kind of slowly decide that i will engage. i see that if i want to change in my local community it's through politics. they get them there to learn more about it in addition to having the fun of a summer camp. and then they are being massacred. what is the message? what we have seen during these three weeks is that membership in youth organizations across the board has gone up. sharply. we have seen that intentions to vote in the regional elections on the 12th of september have gone up sharply. so i'm happy to see that because that is a democratic response to a highly undemocratic challenge which is terror. again it's the best way we can show our back to the ideas and the actions of this man is to do precisely that. you know, the youth is the hope and the way they respond to it. they have said very clearly this notion has gone around the world if one man can hate
that much, imagine what we can do together with our combined love. it's a sentiment of a teenager but i think it's a good message after the massacre that inspires us. >> wdruff: mr. minister, we appreciate you being with us and again our condolences to you and your countrymen and- women. >> thank you so much. >> ifill: finally tonight: australian film stars; a russian playwright and a return to an american stage. jeffrey brown has the story. >> reporter: from queen elizabeth: to, unlikely as it seems, bob dylan: cate blanchett has engaged and surprised audiences in a variety of roles. she's become one of the world's most admired film stars and joined a group of fellow australians-- russell crowe, nicole kidman, hugh jackman and others-- who these days light up the big screen.
she's received five oscar nominations, including for her role as a young teacher in the psychological thriller, "notes on a scandal". and she won for her portrayal of a star of the past, katherine hepburn, in "the aviat" but cate blanchett came from the theater and to the theater she's returned in a big way. with her husband, andrew upton, a writer and director, she now heads the sydney theater company. last year, they brought a production of "streetcar named desire" to the u.s. with blanchett in an acclaimed performance as blanche dubois. now they're back at washington's kennedy center with another classic: anton chekhov's "uncle vanya." having tapped a renowned chekhov interpreter, tamas asher from hungary, to direct and lured an all-star cast of australian actors to join, including richard roxburgh, who's appeared in numerous films. i talked with blanchett and roxbrough recently about their
work in the theater and why they chose to do "uncle vanya" given the famous difficulties of staging and performing chekhov for a modern audience. >> when you think about doing chekhov, you have to have actors. it's all actor-based. so it really arose through a conversation with richard, trying to lure him back on stage, because he's one of the finest stage actors in the country. it's true-- i'm not your agent, but it's true. and vanya came up, amongst a whole lot of others. >> yeah, yeah. chekhov is really tricky to do. and i don't think australia's had a particularly happy relationship with it overtime. >> reporter: why? what's the problem? >> to my mind, a lot of the time we've inherited a kind of anglo tradition of doing it, in which the pauses are so terribly leaden. and it starts to feel like noel coward without the jokes. so to my mind, chekhov is really
funny. he's full of humanity but he's also very funny. so it was important that we find a world where that was going to happen. >> reporter: you can't help but note that this isn't like most of the epic stories we're used to in our entertainment world today. it's a country estate. they're sitting around moaning a lot of the time, right? >> it's very easy to make chekov very small. and it is epic... >> reporter: you feel it's epic? >> it's epic moments in pele's very small domestic lives. that's the balance, opening up the time spent with those people. chekov is tricky. as we say in australia, he's a "bugger" to perform. i don't know, can i say that on american television? >> reporter: i think you can say that, yes. >> it means something slightly different in our culture. but it's very, very exposing. and i found the process of rehearsing it, it was a bit like doing a clowning workshop.
not that we were trying to get up there and be funny. but in a way that you've to get up there and risk doing nothing. >> reporter: you both have active film careers. is there a difference in acting between the films and what you're doing now in uncle vanya? >> what you find working in film is you spend a day doing some menial, terribly dull activity. he scratches his head, he yawns and gets out of bed, walks to the show-- that is three quarters of the day in film land. and of course that is slightly reductive. all put together it can be fantastic. but in terms of acting itself, nothing for me is as wonderful or frankly as nourishing as doing film, as doing theater. theater gives back to you because you get to do the big thing every night.
the big thing and all of it. and that's very good for your skills as well. >> one of the first things i did when i got out of drama school was working opposite geoffrey rush in a production of "oleanna" which is a play that hit the audience. it was one of the most powerful experiences i've ever had with an audience. and thought, this is actually really important. it's a socially important enterprise, putting on a play. and that does not always happen, but that is what you're always trying to do. and it is very immediate. that is the addictive thing. the audience will get as much as they put into it, but you're also responsible for shaping their experience very tangibly. and that is a very powerful experience to have. >> reporter: blanchett and her husband had lived in london for many years with her concentrating on her film work, before their decision to return to sydney to head the theater company in 2008. i want to ask you about coming
back with your husband to co- direct the theater company. why do that? surely you don't need to do that. and surely there must be headaches that come with... >> migraines, migraines! well, we were asked to apply and it was the most left of field thing that's ever been asked of us, really. and we were so shocked by the request to apply for the job that it made us ask-- we had the most fascinating discussion with each other, we were up all night talking about the potential, what could be done. and then we got frightened. and then we thought if we don't apply, it would just be cowardice. and then we got the job. >> what's been interesting since cate and andrew have taken over, in my mind, the company has really opened up that we live, australia lives in the world.
and australia, as beautiful as it is, can tend to be an extremely insular environment. we can be terribly protective of our borders. and so it feels the company has opened up and internationalized in a way, so that for the first time really, people like tomas asher can be invited in to direct something and it an acceptance to the fact that we are a global community. and there is no point in hiding from that anymore. >> reporter: i have to ask, you've talked so much about australia-- what is about australia that has generated so many wonderful actors? so many of our biggest stars are australians. >> i think it's just that most people in australia now are actors. it's a numbers game. most people are actors over there. >> reporter: that's how it feels?
>> yeah. >> i think we're quite adventurous as performers. and i don't think-- we're not polite. i don't think we have, for better or worse, boundaries or boxes we should be in. that is what makes people curious about australian performers is you're not able to pigeonhole people as clearly. we somehow fit between or understand american culture and english culture but we're something other. so i think it's in that something other that provides that open space to become something unique. >> reporter: cate blanchett, richard roxburgh, thanks for talking to us. >> thank you. >> ifill: the sydney theater company's production of "uncle vanya continues at washington's kennedy center-- its only u.s. venue-- through august 27th. >> woodruff: again, the major developments of the day: campaign 2012 moved into high gear-- at least for now-- after the republican race sharpened over the weekend. texas governor rick perry, and
minnesota congresswoman michelle bachmann joined former massachusetts governor mitt romney in the top tier. president obama opened a three- state bus tour of the midwest. he attacked his republican rivals for opposing any new taxes, and said, "that's just not common sense." and markets around the world started the new week on a strong note. on wall street, the dow jones industrial average gained nearly 214 points, erasing all of its losses from last week. and to hari sreenivasan for what's on the "newshour" online. hari? >> sreenivasan: you can watch jeff's entire interview with cate blanchett and richard roxburough on our art beat blog and on this week's political checklist, judy debriefs gwen and political editor david chalian about their reporting trip to iowa and the new shape of the 2012 g.o.p. field. plus every monday our foreign affairs beat recaps the week ahead in international news and which stories to watch. that's on our world page. all that and more is on our web site: newshour.pbs.org.
>> ifill: and that's the "newshour" for tonight. on tuesday, paul solman examines economic inequality in the united states. i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. we'll see you online and again here tomorrow evening. thank you and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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