tv PBS News Hour PBS January 3, 2013 5:30pm-6:30pm PST
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> brown: a new congress with old problems. 94 freshmen house and senate members were sworn in today as the most diverse legislature in american history opened for business. good evening, i'm jeffrey brown. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. on the "newshour" tonight, we profile this new congress with its record number of women and minorities and look at the hurdles ahead. >> brown: then, the cliffhanger and the cliffs to come. maya macguineas, robert reich, and douglas holtz-eakin debate the deal struck by congress and the white house. >> woodruff: margaret warner has the latest from india where the suspects in a new delhi gang- rape were officially charged with murder, rape, and kidnapping today. >> brown: the crisis beneath the streets. miles o'brien reports on a growing threat to the country's infrastructure-- aging sewer systems. >> in detroit, there are 3,500 miles of sewer lines, some of them dating back to the mid 19th century, the crumbling pipes offer a glimpse at a huge
national engineering challenge that is largely unseen and unappreciated. >> woodruff: and ray suarez examines the changing face of cable television as al jezeera, the pan arab news giant, buys current tv, a television channel founded by al gore. >> brown: that's all ahead on tonight's "newshour." >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> and 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... >> 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: on this third day of the new year, the u.s. congress officially re-convened for the 113th time. bringing a new set of faces, to join those already in place; and a familiar set of issues. with the prospect of more battles over taxes, spending and deficits. >> if the senators to be sworn will now present themselves at the desk. >> woodruff: high noon was swearing-in time in the senate
today. vice president joe biden, who serves as senate president, administered the oath of office to the freshmen and re-elected members. >> do you so solemnly swear that you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies foreign and domestic. >> woodruff: the ceremony came just hours after the old congress worked down to the wire, passing the fiscal cliff legislation. and, president obama, on vacation in hawaii, signed the bill into law on wednesday. on the senate floor today, republican minority leader mitch mcconnell, tookote of the week's events. >> i'd like to welcome everybody back after what i realize was a somewhat abbreviated recess. >> woodruff: mcconnell's minority will be smaller still in the new senate. democrats now have 53 seats to 45 republicans and two independents will caucus with the democrats. in all, there are 12 newly elected senators: eight democrats, three republicans and one independent, angus king of
maine. and five women won seats, bringing the total to 20-- th mo ever. some other notables: tammy baldwin of wisconsin, the first openly gay person elected to the senate. and mazie hirono of hawaii, the first asian american woman. both are democrats. on the republican side, ted cruz of texas becomes just the third senator of hispanic heritage. and tim scott of south carolina- - appointed to fill the seat vacated by jim demint-- is the senate's only black member, and the first black republican senator since 1979. freshmen on both sides will now join, in earnest, the fight over spending and taxes, as majority leader reid made clear today. >> as we advance the debate over the best way to strengthen our economy and reduce our deficit during the 113th congress, democrats will continue to stand strong for the principle of
balance. >> woodruff: on the house side, republicans are still in control, albeit with fewer members-- 233 to the democrats' 200. there will be 82 freshmen: 47 democrats and 35 republicans. as in the senate, the house now has a record number of women, 81 in all. minority leader nancy pelosi held a photo op today with the women of her democratic caucus this morning. but the spotlight today was primarily on house speaker john boehner. he's coming off bruising battles over the fiscal cliff bill, within his own caucus, and criticism for delaying a vote on hurricane sandy funding. boehner grew emotional as he dressed the chamber today. >> if you ve come he humbled by the opportunity to serve; if you have come here to be the determined voice of the people;
if you have come here to carry the standard of leadership demanded not just by our constituents but by the times, then you have come to the right place. >> woodruff: today, he won another two-year term as speaker with 220 votes. a dozen republicans either voted against him, voted present, or abstained. with the voting over, the speaker swore in the new house. >> congratulations, you are now members of the 113th congress! >> woodruff: one of the first orders of business will come tomorrow, a vote on the first installment of sandy aid. then, there's a full plate of challenges left by the last congress. within the next two months, the lawmakers will again face the prospect of automatic spending cuts and the need to raise the nation's debt ceiling. >> brown: still to come on the "newshour" tonight: weighing the
fiscal cliff deal; charges in the india gang rape case; the country's crumbling sewage system and an expanding american reach for al jazeera. but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: for another member of congress, today marked an especially momentous return to work. republican senator mark kirk of illinois suffered a stroke 10 months ago, and had to learn how to walk again. today, he climbed the 45 steps of the capitol, with vice president biden and west virginia senator joe manchin on hand for support. secretary of state hillary clinton will return to work at the state department sometime next week. clinton was discharged yesterday from a new york hospital, where she had been treated for a blood clot in her head. a state department spokeswoman said clinton is now resting at her home in new york, but wants to get back to washington.
>> some of the senior staff who spoke to her half an hour ago said that she's sounding >> some of the senior staff who spoke to her half an hour ago said that she's sounding terrific, upbeat, raring to go. she's looking forward to getting back to the office. she is very much planning to do so next week and we'll have further precise details about that as she continues tmake progress. >> sreenivasan: clinton is stepping down soon. senator john kerry has been nominated to be the next secretary of state. classes resumed today for the connecticut children whose school was the scene of a december massacre. 20 children and six adults were killed at sandy hook elementary school in newtown, nearly three weeks ago. scene, so today, more than 400 students were welcomed back to a freshly refurbished school in the nearby town of monroe. they arrived amid heightened security, as police lieutenant keith white looked on. >> watching them get off the bus, most of the kids were excited. they had seen friends they hadn't seen in awhile. they were anxious to get into the hallways and meet up with you could see the teachers had
the same response. they were quite excited to see the students all together. >> eenivasan: in a bid to ease any tensions, classrooms were made to resemble the ones at sandy hook. and, parents were allowed to visit their children throughout the day. fighting raged in syria today around key areas that have seen repeated attacks and counter- attacks. in the northwest, rebels made a new attempt to storm a strategic air base in idlib province. state-run media said government troops forced them to retreat. and in damascus, opposition activists reported new government air strikes and shelling in the southern suburbs. the military has been trying to recapture the neighborhoods for weeks. the federal trade commission has decided there's not enough evidence to charge google with anti-trust violations. today's announcement capped a 19-month investigation. competitors charged google unfairly highlights its own services in online search results and buries links to competing sites. google defended its practices, but it did agree to charge lower licensing fees for its android phone system patents. u.s. auto sales ended 2012 on a strong note. chrysler had the best year among detroit's car makers, with sales jumping 21%. g.m rose 3.7%, and ford edged up 5%. toyota's 2012 sales rose a
whopping 27%, and volkswagen dominated the european carmakers with a gain of 35%. wall street's new year rally didn't last long. the dow jones industrial average lost 21 points to close at 13,391. the nasdaq fell 11 points to close at 3100. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to jeff. >> brown: from one cliff to the next: where do we go from here? to look at the economic consquences of the deal reached this week, we're joined by: maya macguineas, president of the committee for a responsible federal budget at the new america foundation. she serves on the campaign to fix the debt, a group pushing congresso reac a boad deicit deal. doug holtz-eakin served on the council of economic advisers under george w. bush and as adviser to john mccain's presidential campaign. he's now president of the american action forum, a policy think tank. and robert reich served as bill clinton's secretary of labor. he's now professor of public policy at the university of
california, berkeley. maya, i saw that the fix the debt web site blog today said "the good, the bad and the ugly" of the deal. explain what you saw. >> well, the good news is th we didn't go over the fiscal cliff. i truly believe that would have been so damaging for the country and the economy and likely put us back in recession. what we also didn't do is fix the problem of the deficits and debt in this country. >> brown: the problem. >> that we're borrowing much too much and our debt is growing faster than our economy. we didn't take this opportunity to replace the cliff with a big comprehensive plan that would deal with all the broken parts of the budget and gradually, not abruptly, but graduately put the debt on a downward path. and in this deal that we had, the revenues probably not enough to fix the problems and notably absent were any changes to the nation's entitlement programs and once again we waited until the 11th hour to do this deal and the result was partisanship and toxic nature in washington has grown worse. we have problems to deal with and i'm worried ant how we'll move forward and get the changes done.
>> brown: that's a lot on the table. robert reich, let me turn to you. give us a brief overview of what you saw was and was not accomplished. >> well, i share manyf maya's concerns president net revenues coming in from this deal are relatively small certainly in proportion to the very, very large looming budget deficits we see in the out years. that means most americans will either have to in the future bear higher taxes, middle-class americans or most people will see their services. safety nets, public investments and everything from sewers and infrastructure over all the education all of that will be cut and may be cut quite dramatically. the oer thing that worries me,
jeffrey, is that there was no agreement on the debt kreiling which means that we're likely to see a continuation of this trench warfare we've had in washington at least since the summer of 2011 with almost no hesitation i think that the republicans in the 113th congress will use the threat of not going along with a rise in the debt ceiling as a way of extracting more concessions with regard to spending cuts. some of the spending cuts, as i said, particularly with regard to infrastructure and safety net programs, programs for the poor, are very critical for the future. >> brown: doug holtz-eakin, i guess there's consensus there's more to come, right? >> no question, we got a mixed bag. it got us past theliff and the biggest thing is addition by subtraction. we have a recession, that's the best news. for 98% of the taxpayers it gave them a permanent current tax law and took uncertainty out. but from another perspective it wasn't very brave. in the end we taxed rich people to spend on the current programs and we kicked down the road cutting any new ones so it really wasn't a solution to the debt and it was not a great solution to avoiding a recession. >> pelley: so you start us
looking -- picking up on looking forward where robert reich started already and so did maya. but the debt issues, the debt limit issue, that's the next thing to come. >> the next thick to come isn't dealing with the debt. the debt limit is a symptom of that and we have to see both sides come forward with entitlement reforms. that's the height of this problem. it's been noted for ten years by the c.b.o. among others that we can't grow or tax our way out of this. it's an entitlement spending problem that has to be brought under control. and we will never solve debt limits unless we solve the debt so the way to get ahead of this is for the president to take some lead herbship and put on the table what he thinks are the right ways to deal with the entitlement program and then to have this go through congress, have the house deal it with, the senate deal with it, and stop the 11th hour approach to. this let's solve problems using the legislative process. >> brown: maya, have you seen any signs that that is likely or possible given what we've just been through? >> i think everybody's catching their breath and recovering for what was a very difficult
negotiation. we've started with talk about putting in place the bigger changes that have to get done both entitlement reform and tax reform and as we negotiate it down, the deal got smaller and things got more toxic, as i said. people need to sort of regroup and think about how we'll move forward. we did do one things which the sequester, the across-the-board spending cuts that were going to hit, were extended for only two months. that means there's another action in two months and we have to get real. we have to have a real conversation about what we're going to do to deal with entitlements, spending and revenues, tax reform, all of these issues, we have too talk about them a less partisan way, a less finger pointing way because they'll be hard and if we continue to delay we'll have no economic stability which is what we lack right now. we'll have -- real risk that we're going to have an economic down turn because of concerns or some kind of fiscal crisis and that debt ceiling is sitting out about how we're going to resolve this. >> brown: let me ask you about
the tax issue, robert reich. the president said he wanted to raise more in revenues. the liberals are now suggesting he didn't get enough and i'm just wondering is there still the possibility of getting more or that a done deal and we turn to the spending issues? >> well, hopefully there is the possibility of getting more, particularly from the wealthie members of our society. those bush tax cuts are now pretty much permanent. they are now built into law, they are no longer temporary. it will be very difficult to revisit them but not impossible. i think the president could and should go back and see if it's possible for the wealthy in this country, who have not been nearly this wealthy ever before, taking home a larger percentage of total income than they have in 60 years to contribute a little bit more to deficit reduction. the other point i want to make in response to both douglas and mia's points about entitlement reform ishat the real long-term problem is not entitlements per se. the long-term problem is health
care costs that continue to go up for this nation coupled with baby boomers who were going to require more and more health care. those health care costs are now 18% of total gross domestic product, the total economy. and those are we what we have to deal with and we have to get control over them. medicare is not the problem. medicare costs are going up because health care costs are going up. >> brown: doug, do you buy that? that that's where the emphasis should be instead of the -- as opposed to entitlements? >> well, i think there are three important points here. first, health care reform means medicare reform. medicare drives the practice of medicine in america. it's a system that rewards quantity over qualitoñ it's a system that's fragmented, we pay doctors one way, hospitals another, insurance companies another, drug companies a fourth way. it needs to be overhauled so that it rewards quality and provides coordination so medicare reform is health care reform. the second is sort of how do we get there? i think it's important to
recognize that this country often has the situation we have-- mixed government-- that's more and more an exception and when we do debt ceiling ceiling increases it is the norm. 11 out of the 14 previous debt ceiling increases have legislation to affect the greater deficit with them. so we should recognize that's how it's going to end up. the president should put the legislation he wants on the table and we should go from there. we shouldn't have this silliness that somehow we're going to raise the debt ceiling and ignore the debt. >> brown: but i'm wondering now, you all three watched the economics of our political system and we saw judy's piece looking at a new congress. a lot of people are talking about a broken political system, looking at what just happened. >> it feels broken right now. it feels like we should have a political system that is not up to making difficult choices and solving hard problems. and compromising when it's so much easier to just pull back and start sort of playing the blame game. but this is too important. when we're talking about health care costs or the aging of
society these are issues we know are there and we're going to disagree about the way to address them but you can't pretend we don't have to fix th. we do have to fix them. and compromise and being willing to come out of your boxes and work together will be key to doing in particular these difficult choices. so i worry about the political system to step up but it's too important to not keep trying. >> reporter: robert reich, you got the most distance of the group here, at least on the west coast. how does it look? >> well, there's obviously more kind of paralysis in washington than anybody has seen in living memory and we do have a huge debt and receive dit problem but don't forget the way the public understands the key issue in front of us is the way r representatives respond. and the key issue, at least in the foreseeable future, the next few years, is not deficit or debt, it's jobs, wages. we have an unemployment report but we have 23 million americans who are underemployed or unemployed and their median wage continues to drop. that's the issue.
that's the issue we ought to be tackling. >> brown: robert reich, maya macguineas and douglas holtz-eakin, thank you very much. >> woodruff: five men accused of the brutal gang rape of a university student for hours on a bus in india were charged today. the incident has sparked massive protests. we begin with this report by geraint vincent of "independent television news." >> reporter: the judicial process has begun in delhi but even for the professionals, not moving quickly enough. while lawyers here call for the courts to better protect india's women, the father of one murdered woman whose anonymity must still be protected called for her killers to be put to death. >> ( translated ): laws are made by the government but all i ask is that the laws be as tough as they can be.
the death penalty is compulsory for a crime so great, the silence must be hanged. the courts must give these men the death penalty. >> reporter: in a country of more than a billion people, there are dozens of news channels delivering constant coverage of case of a gang of men who lured a young couple onto a bus with the promise that they would take them home. according to charges filed day the men beat them both then subjected the 23-year-old woman to a sex attack so brutal she dies of her injuries 2 weeks later. the assault lasted for about an hour and it took place behind the closed curtains of the bus as it made its way around the streets of south delhi. when the gang finished, they dumped the couple by the side of this road. and police reports say they tried to finish the woman off here by running her over. but her boyfriend managed to pull her out of the way. his testimony will now form the basis of the prosecution case,
together with what his girlfriend managed to pass on before she died. elsewhere on the streets of the capital shock has awakened old resentments. one group of protesters told me they had been brought up to regard sexual harassment as something that had to be endured. they don't want the same for their daughters. >> nothing has changed. people keep on telling that mindsets should be changed. it will take another 100 years to change the mindset. the women of india cannot allow men to keep on raping until the mindset is changed. that is one issue. but i think it should be a capital punishment. nothing less than they should be hanged. >> reporter: horror at what happened on these roads has stretched across india. the legacy of the woman that was raped and beaten and thrown from the bus may yet be just as eat. >> woodruff: earlier today margaret warner talked to "new york times" reporter heather timmons in new delhi.
>> warner: heather timmons, thank you for joining us. what can you tell us about the suspects in this case? >> right now there's not a whole lot of information available about the suspects. there are two brothers, they were x friends that hung out together, at least four of them lived in the same neighborhood. one of them is from be haar. one is being tried as a juvenile although that is a matter of some debate. i believe he is going to be -- his actual bone deity is going to be tested to see ether he's 17 or 18 and can be tried as an adult. one was a fruit seller and one of them was a cleaner. i mean, they were all -- i believe they were all from outside of delhi doing maybe not odd jobs but not full-time career professional jobs around the city. >> warner: what's emerged about the police's theory of the case. for example, on whether this was
an opportunistic crime or pre-pland? >> well, if you look at the charges that were filed, they are being accused of basically e-planning the crime. the charge includes something called conspiracy. so according to the police earlier, what the men did is went on the bus, road around on what the police called a joyride picked up someone else at one point who they beat up and threw off and then picked up this couple afterwards. so it's being considered a premeditated crime. >> warner: what's known about what kind of evidence the police have amassed. >> the police have filed a charge sheet with the court which is not made public yet and nonof uhaveeen it yet. it is expected to run into the hundreds of pages. right now the only information we have about specific evidence in there is that they have d.n.a. evidence against all of the gentlemen who have been charged with the crime. >> warner: now, the victim's name isn't being made public, but her family is talking?
>> the woman's name has been withheld which is not always the case, actually, in rape cases in india. but her family has come forward. her uncle -- she's from a small village in utter pradesh. herncle was quoted talking about how her family paid for her education and her brothers -- her parents had not much money and her brother worked at the airport, working double shifts so she could pursue an education. >> warner: has anything concrete come out of all the outrage and protest this is case has generated? >> a couple concrete things have emerged. the supreme court -- sorry, the judicial community has set up a three-member committee to sort of review how crimes against women are treated in general. they're going to come out with a report about a mth. the best -- a court was set up in delhi where this trial is being held to deal with crimes like this. and there was a hotline set up for women in delhi. and the delhi police have pledged to set up a public
registry of offenders, people in are convicted sexual offenders which will include their photos and names and addresses. we've also seen around the rest of the country in other states some of them making some of the same moves. talking about setting up records and registries. >> warner: what sort of public discussion has it sparked about what's at the ot of the high rate of sexual assaults in general in india? >> it has really sparked a huge amount of -- many are calling it soul searching. it seems to be an incidence in crime which is involve packs of men attacking women. there are a lot of theories being thrown around about why those are happening. one of them involves the extra men, as they're called, because india has had a long history of female fetuside. there are more men than women. sompeople sayhese extra men clump together in packs when they're unmarried and go out and
commit crimes, violent crime is on the rise significantly. so that's one theory. in more than india there's also a lot of discussion just about how men are taught to treat women. are they raised to respect them? are women considered property? are they considered someone that's at the same level as you or not? and so those are the kind of discussions happening here. >> warner: what happens next? >> what happened today it was police filed charges to the court. the court willeview them and then there will be an actual court trial that will start and this will be a -- we're under the impression the judge may be a woman who has been pretty active before on crimes against women so that might make a very interesting situation. >> warner: heather timmons of the "new york times" in new delhi, thank you. >> thank you so much. >> brown: now, the smelly depths of our aging infrastructure.
our intrepid "newshour" science correspondent miles o'brien takes a deep dive into some very murky waters. >> reporter: this is the entire map of the sewer system? >> reporter: i am suiting up for a stomach turning trek beneath the streets of detroit. rappelling into a repelling place-- a huge sewer line called the detroit river interceptor. in short order, i am knee deep in that which rhymes with it. you sure wouldn't want to drop anything valuable in here. woah! glasses. bye bye bifocals, right? watch what my visionary hero does bare-handed.
in detroit, there are 3,500 miles of sewer lines, some of them dating back to the mid 19th century, like the brick lined pipe beneath this sink hole downtown. the crumbling pipes offer a glimpse at a huge national engineering challenge that is largely unseen and unappreciated, unless you are the business of keeping the water flowing. sue mccormick, director of the detroit water and sewerage department, describes her profession as: >> silent service. >> reporter: what does that mean? >> the public took for granted but if they turn the water tap on, the water came and if they flush the toilet, it went away. >> reporter: is there a sense in the community of people of your
peers across the nation that there is a crisis looming beneath the streets? >> absolutely. >> reporter: what kind of crisis? >> i won't say a crisis of epic proportions, but a crisis that is based on the belief at w have deferred replacement in the public systems. and that ultimately were going to see potential significant rises and failures. >> reporter: unfortunately, it usually takes a big failure to get the people to pay attention. politicians don't win elections by promising new sewers and the $800 billion in federal stimulus money doled out starting back in 2009 offered lots of money for bridges and roads, but only five billion or one half of one percent went to the pipes that lie beneath. it's enough to prompt the silent service to start making some noise. the american society of civil engineers, which issued that dismal infrastructure report
card in 2009. greg diloreto is president of the american society of civil what does a "d-minus" mean? >> well, in this particular case, a "d-minus" would mean that were short $84 billion over the next eight years to bring it to a good condition over what were currently speing.ou cl it? >> yeah, polish the water. >> reporter: 30% of that polished water goes into the san antonio river, the remaining 70% is captured and reused. the polish, yet non potable water, in the purple pipes supplies manufacturers and irrigates golf courses and even keeps the famous riverwalk from becoming a dry river-bed-walk. >> the water that you don't use, you don't have to treat. so there's also savings in our wastewater treatment plants. so much so that we close one of our plants instead of expanding,
although during this growth, we actually closed one of our four plants. >> reporter: really? >> yes. >> reporter: the city is growing and you can shutdown plants. >> tremendous amount of savings. >> reporter: so maybe the best way our aging water systems can avoid flunking the grade is by finding ways use need them less. for starters, we shouldn't take for granted the unsung heroes that keep the stuff flowing. >> woodruff: miles blogs about his plunge into detroit's sewer system. read about it on our science page. >> brown: finally tonight: why al jazeera news is willing to spend a reported half billion dollars on a little-watched cable network in the u.s. ray suarez reports. >> suarez: the pan-arab news
channel al jazeera has long wanted to boost its reach in the u.s. beyond a few large metropolitan areas. with its purchase of current, al jazeera has expanded its potential audience nearly ninefold to about 40 million homes. current was co-founded in 2005 by former vice president al gore. the channel confirmed the sale in a statement yesterday, saying al jazeera shares current tv's mission to: al jazeera, plans to transform current into a new network called "al jazeera america." it will add between five and 10 new bureaus in the u.s. beyond the five it currently operates. al jazeera has struggled to increased u.s. viewership from its earliest days. cable and satellite companies have been reluctant to carry al jazeera. the english and arabic-language networks are owned by the government of the small persian gulf emirate of qatar.
it signed on from the capital, doha, in 1996. al jazeera's arabic network gained worldwide attention after american and allied troops invaded afghanistan, when it was the only channel to cover the war live. al jazeera english launched in 2006. it has a different staff and budget from the arabic network. but both are overseen by a member of qatar's royal family. and both actively covered the arab spring which helped the english channel win a prestigious peabody award to add to a number of other high profile journalistic laurels it was awarded last year. there are already signs of trouble for the new american channel. yesterday, the nation's second largest cable tv operator, time warner, dropped current as soon as the current-al jazeera deal was confirmed. for its part, current tv tried to make its mark promoting user- generated content from the public. but it's recently evolveinto a
more conventional talk format with a liberal leaning. its ratings have been very small. according to the nielsen ratings company, 42,000 people watched current programming on a typical night in 2012. the network is expected to post $114 million in revenue this year. >> suarez: robert wheelock is the executive producer of news gathering for al jazeera in the americas and he joins us now. conservatively, estimated north of $500 million, that's a lot of money for a channel watched by very few people. what did current have that al jazeera needed? >> access. access across this country, across the united states, somethat that we tried in various forms to gain and this availability and this opportunity came and i must say the editorial board and the management of the company have very aggressively pursued this but not without knowledge that
there's risk. >> suarez: can you be sure that you're going to keep that access if cable operators can now reexamine their agreements and say, well, it's not current anymore, maybe we don't want to run it anymore. >> we think so. look, obviously people have done market research, people have just said some things. we know, for instance, that we have a very large traffic on the web and 40% of that is driven from the united states. there's an appetite, there's interest. we don't buy -- i don't buy into the edict that americans aren't interested in international news. americans don't have enough international news available to them. they watch what's available. we offer an alternative. it's a broader coverage of news. it's a broader spectrum into countries that aren't traditionally covered and will increase accordingly also our coverage of american news and in latin america which we're quite proud of. >> suarez: it's interesting you say that. this is a time when people are watching less news on television. they are looking to television
less often. this is educated adults to get a picture of what's going on in the world and here you are entering an already crowded marketplace. >> again, maybe they're watching less because what they see is the same. channel after channel after channel, peopleave 800 channels to choose from. we do offer something that's different. we offer what we believe is editorially correct content, not politically correct. we offer, as i said, coverage in countries that other networks are not invested in, we have 71 bureaus around the world. we're proud of that. we're proud that we're in timbuktu, we're in peru, we cover stories that you won't see everywhere else. is all the world going to tune in and watch al jazeera on any one night? no. but can we get a good hunk of that? we think we can and we think our content speaks for itself and we've got a reputation now as a good news provider. >> suarez: when cctv signed on there were questions about
editorial independence because it's in property of the chinese government. can we ask the same questions about al jazeera since it is owned by a foreign entity with a direct managerial pipeline for the royal family? >> you can and you are and it's been asked repeatedly. again, i think the content speaks for itself. we've won a number of awards, last year the rts-- royal television society-- gave us cable network television of the year. that was big for us. the bbc was based in england, does that mean they were driven by english coverage. cnn started in atlanta, did they have a bias towards the south? no. that happens to be where we're headquartered. it happens to be where the impetus this for this came from. but this is a long time plan for global expansion. we have a balkans network, we have a swahili network, a turkish network. we have children's programming and sports. this is a keynd very much needed part for that expansion. >> but you're best known -- or
co-best known, if that's a word, for the arabic language service and people who watch this very closely, who've made academic study of it say there are two kettles of fish, al jazeera in arabic and al jazeera in english. how are they different and how would you explain that to an american who has heard a lot of things that haven't been complementary about the arabic language service. >> the difference is who's your audience. to be honesit's targeted towards an audience and the coverage we rely on arabic for some material, too, they rely on us, we share some facilities. editorially we have different takes on these. we're doing things for the americans, they're doing things for more -- than middle east. it's the -- the allegations that we're corrupted in our views, everybody -- i always hear this from people never directly but
it's also sort of referred but never referred to by people who say "here's an example." they haven't watched it. i've always said-- and it sounds corny-- if you watch us you're going to like us. you'll find it interesting. now we'll have an opportunity for more people to watch it. that's been when what we're offering. >> pelley: robert wheelock of al jazeera, thank you for joining us. >> thank you, i appreciate it. >> woodruff: finally, an encore look at a story we aired last june, about the health impacts of soda and junk food in el salvador. producer roberto daza and correspondent carl nazeman are graduates of the journalism school at the university of california berkeley. they produced this report for the "newshour." >> reporter: this is santa ana, el salvador, where the american shopping mall and diet have arrived. it's el salvador's second largest city. but the food and the waistlines are straight out of the united
states. companies like pepsi, coca cola, and mcdonald's have become part of the local diet. junk food here is cheap and its everywhere, from the mall to the most remote villages. in cities like santa ana, junk food is leading to a very american problem-- obesity. but in the countryside, it's causing something different. we're headed into the mountains about two hours north of san salvador. out here, there's still plenty of junk food for sale, but there's little or no access to proper dental care. this mobile clinic is one of the few places to see a dentist. it's run by a local non-profit called asaprosar, which provides free health services in rural areas. dentists like jorge graniello treat children with mouths full of painful, rotting teeth. >> ( translated ): there's many cavities, there are many signs of tooth decay. there are some that are rotten down to the roots.
>> reporter: dentists here say they're seeing an epidemic of tooth decay across the countryside. more than half of the smiles at today's clinic look just like this. they blame the sugar and starch from junk food, and aack of education about dental care. >> ( translated ): it's sad to see that the child could have been better, if the parent had known that the only way to prevent a cavity is with a tooth brush. and that is a sad part of the story. >> reporter: silvia canales is one of the nearly 100 mothers at today's clinic. she says her daughters mouth pain made it difficult to eat. >> ( translated ): she told me that it hurt. it hurt and the tooth was inflamed answelled up here. >> reporter: most parents here cant afford to take their children to a dentist. but even with a high level of poverty, health experts say kids teeth used to be better. one of the first to notice a decline in dental health was
karen sokal-gutierrez, a pediatrician and professor at u.c. berkeley. she showed us pictures from 30 years ago, when kids had healthy teeth. but just one generation later, the photos look different. >> this is a child who has all of the teeth on the bottom rotten and all of the teeth on the top. years late, when i'd go to a village and the kids would come flock around us and hug us and smile and that's when i saw, "oh, my god. their teeth are all black and rotten." i'd never seen this before. what happened? so, you want to treat your patient. >> reporter: professor gutierrez and her team of volunteers work on the ground in el salvador, training health workers and donating supplies. she estimates that 85% of kids in rural areas of el salvador have tooth decay and nearly half experience mouth pain, leading to serious problems, like jaw infections, tooth loss, and malnutrition. she puts much of the blame on snack food imported from the
united states. with sales peaking at home, american companies are searching for new markets. in 2009, 25% of coca colas operating profits came from latin america. and last year, nearly half of pepsis sales were from outside the u.s. >> what i'm concerned about is that the marketing of junk food, candy, chips, soda at very low price really takes advantage of the poorest people. they're trying to show this image that if you drink soda or eat the junk food, you'll be healthy, happy, modern. >> reporter: but coke and pepsi insist their products should not be singled out for the rise in tooth decay. in a statement for the "newshour," pepsico officials said: coca-cola officials said in a statement:
but in el salvador it's not just imported soda and chips. local companies also churn out cheap, unhealthy food. the local brand of cola costs less than a quarter. and soda here is super sized-- these three liter bottles are bigger than most you'd find in the united states. >> i have three liters of orange soda and pepsi. >> reporter: just down the road from the dental clinic, we find kids buying soda and chips from a store next to the local school. pedro lemus is the owner. >> ( translated ): what the kids ask for the most are these, chips. >> reporter: he sells more than 100 bags of chips each day. >> ( translated ): at about 10:00 in the morning, i know that they need something in their stomach, juice, soda, pastries-- a treat.
i know junk food isn't healthy, but they want it and i have to take advantage of what they want. >> reporter: in the countryside, tortillas are still made the old fashioned way. but local health officials say the change in diet is a matter of economics. >> ( translated ): we ate real food. food, fruit, carts would go by selling chilled fruit and real food. but now, junk food is cheaper this shouldn't be. how is it possible that a tortilla chip is cheaper than a tortilla? >> reporter: the salvadoran association for rural health, or asaprosar, is doing what it can to stem the damage, with free dental clinics and health classes. the lessons include what not to put in the baby bottle.
>> ( translated ): when mothers don't know better, when they don't have milk to put their kid to sleep, the put soda, coffee, lemonade, or sugar water in the baby bottle. both pepsi and coca-cola have pledged to stop marketing directly to kids. but their products and other snack foods are as popular as ever. >> ( translated ): whenever i got shopping, she says mommy, bring me sweets, bring me candy, and she starts to cry if i don't bring it. i tell her, they're not good for you. but, i always give her candy always. >> reporter: for parents here, prevention is a big part of dealing with the american diet. but like moms everywhere know, it can be hard to say no to your kids. >> woodruff: again, the major developments of the day: the 113th congress was sworn in
-- facing the prospect of major new fights over fiscal policy. and the state department announced that secretary of state hillary clinton will return to work next week. she's recovering from a blood clot in her head. get to know more about the new faces of capitol hill. we have some facts and figures about the freshman class. hari sreenivasan has more. >> sreenivasan: meet the newest members of the house and senate, making up the most diverse congress ever. read some of their stories on our politics page. all that and more is on our web site. >> brown: and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm jeffrey brown. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. we'll see you online and again here tomorrow with mark shields and david brooks among others. thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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