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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  March 28, 2013 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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>> wooduff: president obama renewed his call for stricter gun laws today, saying "shame on us if we've forgotten" the tragedies at newtown and elsewhere. good evening, i'm judy woodruff. >> suarez: and i'm ray suarez. on the "newshour" tonight, we update the lobbying efforts on both sides of thgun issue an talk with reporters in connecticut and arizona about the investigations into shootings there. >> wooduff: then, we turn to same-sex marriage, after two days in the spotlight at the supreme court. we get perspective from religious leaders. >> suarez: public media reporter cathy lewis examines the very real impact of across-the-board federal spending cuts on a southeastern virginia community that relies heavily on the military. >> wooduff: and we close with two stories on child development. how do you prevent bullying? a program in seattle is having success using babies. >> when i first heard about the program, i thought that's crazy to bring a new infant in a classroom of 23 five-year-olds.
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but then i saw it in action and i saw the power of it and i was a true believer. >> suarez: and we talk to the atlantic's hanna rosin about toddlers and young children choosing smartphones and tablets over rattles and teddy bears. >> wooduff: 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,
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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. >> wooduff: there were urgent appeals for new laws to curb gun violence today, at the white house and at gatherings nationwide. it was all part of efforts to build momentum for votes in congress. it was called a "national day to demand action". rallies took place across the country to push congress for gun reform. some gatherings were small, like this one in golden, colorado. >> colorado legislators have already been very brave and have
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taken measures to reduce gun violence. it's now time for our federal delegation to do the same thing. >> wooduff: in all, organizers said there were more than 100 events scheduled from coast to coast. the rallies are coordinated with an anti-gun ad campaign launched in 13 states this week by new york city mayor michael bloomberg and others. >> she just wanted to teach little kids, and she died doing it. >> wooduff: some of the ads feature family members of the school shooting victims in newtown, connecticut. bloomberg is spending $12 million of his own money on the campaign, to encourage support for stricter background checks on gun buyers. but the national rifle association's wayne lapierre had this message for the mayor on "meet the press" last sunday. >> he's going to find out this is a country of the people, by the people, and for the people.
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and he can't spend enough of his $27 billion to try to impose his will on the american public. they don't want him in their restaurants, they don't want him in their homes. they don'want him tellinghem what food to eat; they sure don't want him telling them what self-defense firearms to own. >> wooduff: tougher gun control legislation will be high on the agenda for congress next month, when members return from recess, but it faces a tough road. that was on president obama's mind today at the white house, joined by parents of the victims of gun violence. >> the grief doesn't ever go away. that loss, that pain sticks with you. it lingeron in places like blacksburg and tucson and aurora. that anguish is still fresh in newtown, it's been barely 100 days since 20 innocent children and six brave educators were
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taken from us by gun violence. >> wooduff: the president urged the nation not to forget newtown and not to let the moment pass. >> and the entire country was shocked. and the entire country pledged we would do something about it and this time would be different. shame on us if we've forgotten. i haven't forgotten those kids. shame on us if we've forgotten. >> wooduff: there were other reminders today. newly released search warrants showed that the newtown killer-- adam lanza-- had an even larger arsenal than previously known. police found his connecticut home had a cache of guns, more than 1,700 rounds of ammunition, a bayonet and swords. meanwhile, the man accused in another mass shooting, james holmes, has now offered to plead guilty to killing 12 people at a
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colorado movie theater last summer. he'd agree to spend life in prison in order to avoid the death penalty. we also learned new details in the past 24 hours about the behavior of jared lee loughner, the man who killed six people and injured 13 others in tucson in 2011, including former congresswoman gabby giffords. we get more on these stories from a pair of reporters sean holstege of the "arizona republic." and, ray rivera of the "new york times." ray, let's begin with you on the news from newtown. what's the most important thing police revealed about what they found at the home of adam lanza? >> i think most of what they revealed was known the extent of what was known, i think the extent is what's important here, that he had access to a great deal ofweaps.
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we didn't know how much was in there as you mentioned. the numerous rounds of ammunition. many of the rounds of ammunition belong to guns that they didn't find in the home, including .45-caliber and 303 caliber. you know, it's difficult to say exactly how many weapons they had access to. we also learned that -- go ahead i'm sorry. >> woodruff: a huge amou of wepons, ammitio, and he had access to all of it? it wasn't locked away? or is that clear? >> that's correct. it wasn't locked away and one of the search warrants affidavits, not in the inventory list itself says that the gun safe was in what they believed was his bedroom. >> woodruff: and, in addition, ray rivera, we saw that there were photographs of -- a photograph of a shooting victim apparently a dead person.
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there was school records from sandy hook elementary wree had gone to school. a -- books about asperger's and was there anything there to give a sense of any better idea of a motive on his part? >> i think that's what's really missing and we don't see that from these documents. they found numerous journals, i think seven journals as well as drawings and other things you mentioned, his school records. now without knowing what the contents of those journals were, it's hard to know exactly what his motives were. and we did see that they mentioned a newspaper clipping of school shooting from 2008 at northern illinois university which -- and we've seen some similar reports like that which raises a copy cat factor but,
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again, we don't really get a sense of what his motive was. that's been one of the big challenge -- big mysterys of this story so so few people seem to know adam lanza, including former classmates. he seemed to be so isolated that really much about him remains a mystery. >> woodruff: and video games? we saw there was some more information about that? anything else about his mother? >> i think what we see about his mother is really the extent to which she was a gun enthusiast or perhaps more. most of these weapons, it apars, that she purchased, one thing we note in there-- although we know it's not dated-- it's possible it's a typographical error but we see a holiday card with a check in it that she gave to him for what
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police identified as a firearm. that shows that she apparently was quite comfortable with her son having access to these firearms. >> woodruff: and video games? >> the video games -- again, we do't lea a great deal about video games from these warrants except that he had several different kinds of players. and we learned from an affidavit one witness or one person who apparently knew him said that he was an avid gamer and really enjoyed playing "call of duty" and other violent video games. this, i think, was already known. i think there's a lot of -- there's some debate about whether volent video games lead somebody to do something like this or somebody with the proclivity to do something like this chooses to play violent
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video games. >> woodruff: let me turn to sean holstege now with the arizona republic. sean, 2700 pages that the police put out. tell us what important comes from that? >> well, the documents that we read yesterday that were released after a court bad fill out the picture, they don't complete the picture. there were a couple of story narratives that were advanced by this. the biggest one that we were looking for, what happened in that house in northwest tucson? what exactly did jared lee loughner's parents randy and amy do to try and curb his behavior? we know quite a bit about jared loughner and his motives. we don't know what was done prevent him acting violently or how late in the narrative he started getting violent thoughts. >> woodruff: does more of a picture come together with this information, though, about how his parents were struggling with his apparent mental illness? >> absolutely. in the court testimony leading up to his sentencing while the
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judge was trying to reconcile whether he was competent to stand trial the psychologist who reviewed his file determined that he had visible signs of schizophrenia as early as 2007 or 2008. the randy and amy loughner both testified to police in their home about four hours after the shooting that they knew their son was sick. what we didn't know is what they tried to do about it and what they both told police was that the pima county community college people came to their house and told them if there were any guns in the house to keep them out of sight or locked away. randy put them the trunk of his car. we found out from amy that they tried to get and did get jared loughner drug tested some time after his expulsion or suspension in october before the shooting. so there are a number of things that indicated they were worried about his mental state. there were not a lot of indications and i'm not sure randy or amy would have had those indications that he was starting to think violently. he only bought the gun a few
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weeks before, a couple weeks before christmas, a month before the shooti. aittle more than a mnth bere the shooting. >> woodruff: and his parents were concerned enough they were disabling the car so he couldn't drive in the days leading up to the shooting. is that right? >> that's right they put a prohibition on him, a house rule, no driving at nighttime, because we want to make sure you're safe and we can keep an eye on you. they let him drive during the day so that he could find a job. and that gets to his motivations. he had had a string of failures going back a number of years. he could not keep a job. he could not stay in school. he lost a girlfriend in high school. there were just a number of disappointments. he couldn't enlist in the army. there were a number of disappointments in his life that in his writings online painted a clear picture he was angry, depressed, sometimes suicidal. all that was clear. what wasn't clear was what the parents could or were able to do about it because they've never given an interview, only released a one-paragraph statement in all this time. >> woodruff: all this information beginning to be
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pieced together. sean hole stwej the arizona "reap" ray rivera with the "new york times." we thank you both. >> pleasure. >> thank you, judy. >> suarez: you can follow our ongoing coverage on the gun debate in america. find that on our homepage. still to come on the "newshour": religious leaders weighing in on same sex marriage; southeastern virginia feeling the impact of budget cuts; babies helping older children learn compassion and toddlers using technology. but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: all eyes in south africa turned to former president nelson mandela today. he was hospitalized for the third time in four months, at the age of 94. we have a report from rohit kachroo, of "independent television news." >> reporter: they've heard these nelson mandela is not only the most revered person in the world, but an elderly man fighting a persistent lung infection. his 94th birthday last summer was a rare chance to see him in public, surrounded by his family.
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another glimpse of the former president last february. he gained weight. he looked healthier, but he's been taken to hospital twice since then. last night, he was taken from his johanesburg home to an unnamed hospital. >> the doctors are attending to him and ensuring that he receives the best possible expert medical treatment and is kept comfortable. president zuma has wished madeba a speedy recovery and appeals to >> reporter: 27 years in prison made mandela a global icon. this countries first black president, uniting his nation. many south africans yearn for his style of leadership today. but this is a young country and though south africans celebrate his birthday, most are too young to remember the dark years of racial segregation. a figure from the history books he may be, but he matters here and his health is a national
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concern. >> sreenivasan: this evening, the south african government said mandela is responding positively to treatment. and at the white house, president obama voiced hope for mandela's recovery, and said, "he's been an inspiration to all of us." in rome, pope francis marked holy thursday, by washing the feet of young jail inmates. the pontiff performed the ritual-- washing and then kissing the feet of a dozen young people-- at a juvenile detention center. they included orthodox and muslim detainees, and two young women. previous popes have celebrated the foot-washing ritual, but francis is the first to include women in the rite. new tensions are boiling over among thousands of syrians who fled the civil war in their country. refugees rioted today at one site in jordan, when guards stopped them from trying to go home. and unrest broke out in turkey yesterday, at a large camp near the syrian border. military police used tear gas and water cannons, but turkey denied reports that it is deporting at least 600 rioters. in geneva, switzerland, a
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spokeswoman for the united nations said the claims, if true, would be troubling. >> deportations to syria would be, if they occurred, against the principles of international law. and so we are very much hoping this didn't occur. we do remind refugees that they have a responsibility to abide by the law in turkey. >> sreenivasan: meanwhile in damascus, mortar shells struck an outdoor cafeteria at a university in damascus, killing at least ten people. syrian state t.v. broadcast images of the aftermath and the wounded. the regime blamed terrorists, the name it uses for all rebel groups. the u.s. military answered north korea's new threats today with a show of force, flying a pair of b-2 stealth bombers over south korea and dropping dummy munitions on a south korean island. the yonhap news agency in south korea captured stills of the b- 2s, south of seoul on mock bombing runs. they flew from a base in missouri, and returned there.
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in washington, state department spokeswoman victoria nuland said it's aeliberate response to north kore forlly known the democratic people's republic of korea. >> when a country says things like this you have to take it seriously and take steps and we say that when -- when we say we can and will defend our allies, that that is credible. >> sreenivasan: north korea has recently cut several hotlines with the south and even threatened to fire missiles at the u.s. that's after the u.n. imposed new sanctio to punish the north for conducti a nuclear test last month. banks in cyprus reopened today for the first time in nearly two weeks, but with strict controls on transactions. long lines formed outside banks as people waited to do what business they could. the controls were designed to prevent runs that would drain all funds from the country's financial system. to qualify for an international bailout, cyprus has agreed to shrink its banking sector and to impose heavy losses on large depositors.
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wall street passed a new milestone today. the s&p 500 closed at a record high of 1,569-- topping its previous peak, from october of 2007. the other main indexes also rallie the dow jones industrial average gained 52 points to close at 14,578. the nasdaq rose eleven points to close at 3,267. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to ray. >> suarez: same-sex marriage was the issue before the supreme court this week and for both supporters and opponents, their religious views were a guiding factor. the crowds outside the u.s. supreme court this week vocally and visually shared their views on same-sex marriage. and many made clear that their opinions are rooted in religious beliefs. >> we love all just as god loves everyone, god just doesn't like the sins that we do and one of the sins happen to be homosexuality and no one is >> well i think our faith, brings us to this issue, it's a moral issue all are god's children and are not to be
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discriminated against, this is >> suarez: that kind of division was also evident among religious leaders who turned out. >> we know that god created one man and one woman to be the holy marriage. and we oppose, most certainly not the people, but their ways. because the bible tells us differently; god definitely opposes it. >> it's really important for progressive religious people to be here to counter the notion that religious people are against marriage equality, there are lots of different ways of reading scripture. >> suarez: even during the legal arguments inside the court, moral overtones were never far away. at one point, attorney paul clement-- representing house republicans-- was asked about the beliefs behind their support of the "defense of marriage act", or doma. justice elena kagan: >> well, is what happened in 1996-- and i'm going to quote from the house report here-- is that "congress decided to
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reflect an honor of collective moral judgment and to express moral disapproval of homosexuality." is that what happened in 1996? >> does the house report say that? of course, the house report says that. and if that's enough to invalidate the statute, then you should invalidate the statute. >> suarez: along those same lines, chief justice john roberts questioned roberta kaplan -- the lawyer for a woman who challenged doma-- about the senate's vote. >> so 84 senators -it's the same senators based their vote on moral disapproval of gay people? >> no, i think... i think what is true, mr. chief justice, is that times can blind, and that back in 1996 people did not have the understanding that they have today, that there is no distinction, there is no constitutionally permissible distinction. >> well, does that mean-- times can blind. does that mean they did not base their votes on moral disapproval? >> no, some clearly did. >> suarez: now, both sides must wait to parse the high court's decisions on doma and cifornia's proposition 8 ban on gamarriage. theecisions areue by june.
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>> suarez: and we get two perspectives now on how leaders of different faiths are approaching the issue of same- sex marriage. michael schuenemeyer is minister for l.g.b.t. concerns with the united church of christ - the first protestant church to endorse gay marriage. and richard langer is professor of biblical studies at biola university. he's also an ordained minister with the evangelical free church of america. everd schuenemeyer, during the runup to these court cases religious groups were not shy about where they stood. did your denomination, the united church of christ, take a public decision? >> yes, we did. we were involved in at least three of the amicus aimee kas briefs that were submitted to supporting marriage equality in both the perry and hollingsworth case and the winds or case as well. we feel very strongly that
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everybody's relationship ought to be respected, that people ought to have equal rights and that governments should get out of this argument and allow everyone to have the freedom to marry. >> suarez: professor langer, did your school, viola, and the evangelical free church, take a public stand on these cases and, of course, being in california you're directly implicated by the prop 8 debate. >> yes, it's been a very controversial issue here in california as it has across the country. my particular domination didn't take an official stand because we don't have much of an official organization that carries forward those stands. but it definitely represents the denomination that would have been opposed to same-sex marriage as viola would be as well. >> suarez: the congress brought
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up morality repeatedly during the arguments as we noted in the tape report and, professor, in the legislation itself congress decided to reflect and honor-- the leslatiaid- collective moral judgment and to express moral disapproval of homosexuality that was 1996. in 2013, do you think the united states congress would right the same thing? >> i would doubt the united states congress would write the same thing in 2013. i think we really have had a lot of change in those kinds of broad public perceptions. that's different than the question of what a person might say coming from annderlying bbly caworl view or the christianaith. but i think there's been a lot of motion in our culture over the course of these last 17 years or so. >> suarez: during the time there's been a lot of motion, that has church basically -- or your branch of the church, stayed in the same place?
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>> i think so. i would argue that really the christian faith has always been somewhat out of tune with the cultural ethics of the time. if you go back to new testament times you have greco-roman culture that rtainly di't emod christian values in terms of human sexuality and christianity was countercultural and the old testament religion was countercull dhourl the canaanite context. so it isn't that big for us to feel out of step with our culture at some given time. >> suarez: reverend schuenemeyer the same question. did the united church of christ look at the same shifts in the culture and come from a different conclusion than professor langer? >> well, i think so. martin ther kg, jr. saidhe moral arc of the universe bends towards justice. my old testament professor walt brig man says and the moral arc
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of the gospel bends towards inclusion and that's certainly been something that's been foundational about the theology of the united church of christ where we believe that god is still speaking and that we continue to evolve as a society and come to understand how is it that we can live out the gospel and we find when we look at the life and ministry of jesus we don't find ver many peoplef anybodat all. actually, we say jesus never turned anyone away. those are very important values when we come to look at an issue like this. when we come to look at a relationship as important as marriage is, it's not just a piece of paper, it's about a relationship. and it's really not about the gender, it's about the quality of that relationship. about the love and respect, the communication, the kind of relationship that two people share. and society has come to understand narj a way that society can benefit from maiage. therere manyanble benefits
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society gets from marriage and the kind of social benefits that government offers to people who are married are very important. and they're important to the community, not just to the couple. >> suarez: one-third of the states the, home to more than one-third of the u.s. population have either gone to legalize gay marriage or recognize civil unions or legally recognize domestic partnerships. what has changed for religious organizations in those places that have already changed their laws? professor langer, anythg? >> you know, right now i live a state that hasn't -- that that is very much in flux and very much in question. i don't know that a huge amount of things have changed. a thing that's interesting to me is the notion that michael just mentioned about marriage not having anything to do with gender and i really think that's a revolutionary sort of statement. that's very, very different than
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what marriage is meant for millennia, frankly. it has been a thing that has been very much associated with gender and particur with heterosexual sex and reproduction there's a whole set of things that don't attach much to religion but just ordinary human life and nature that have made marriage something that you very much regulate and is very much associated with gender issues and very much associated with the next generation, with children. >> suarez: quick response, reverend schuenemeyer? >> well, i think that the aspect of gender really becomes neutral when we look at the vows of arriage theelves because we'reeally talking about in sickness and in health, in plenty and in want. and all the kinds of various conditions of life. and when two people are willing to make a loving commitment to each other for a life long relationship those are really what the values of marriage are about, that love and commitment
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and that sticktoitivness that people have in a relationship. and we've found in our experiences-- in fact my own personal experiences-- that people who are gay and lesbian are able to receive the vocation of marriage, to live out those vows faithfully and in ways that are life-giving to themselves and to their family and to their community. >> suarez: before we go, i want to hear from you both briefly on the very steady objections during this debate from religious organizations that oppose same-sex marriage that did not want to face coercion in states that changed their marriage laws. didn't want to do anything apart from what their consciences told them this matter once the law changed. in your awaress, in your view, has this been a problem anywhere among the states that have either contemplated the change or moved to the change? professor? >> i'm not aware of that having
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happened yet but i think that's definitely a concern they that i share is where where will this go in the long run? this has become a civil rights issue in terms of the way people like to frame it. it's not a question of definition of marriage but a question denying someone of civil rights and that's made it very problematic because if you end up on the wrong end of a civil right you can end up in prison,ou can end up losing a tax-exempt status, you can end up with all kinds of very, very strong consequences. so it's one of those areas you worry this isn't just a matter of hey, let people do what they want to do. as soon as that happens suddenly you can't do what you would like to do or you are required to do things that you never would have done by conscience. we've seen this happen with doctors and abortion issues where it's one thing to say abortion is permissible but it's not long until ob-gyns are required to do abortions and be trained in abortions or else they have to find a different specialty. >> suarez: reverend schuenemeyer do the states that have already changed their laws provide a test case where we can see where
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coercion of actions against religious belief are a problem? >> well, one of the important values of our country is religious liberty and i think that marriage equality allows everyone to practice their faith and to continue to do so. so i don't really see where coercion is going to be an issue. when two people marry each other there's the role at the states which to provide the rights and benefits and so the obligations. it's a publicly accountable relationship at that point. and then each religion has the responsibility to offer rights and blessings, sacraments, whatever it is they do in their traditions according to their teachings and doctrines and our values and our country respect that religious liberty. >> suarez: shaung both reverend schuenemeyer and professor langer. politics editor christina bellantoni headed a google hangout with leaders of
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different sides of the debate. watch their conversation on our home page. next to the automatic federal budget cuts known as the sequester. defense secretary chuck hagel said today that the pentagon is easing the impact on as many as 800,000 civilian employees, cutting the number of unpaid furlough days by a third. hagel credits a new spending bill signed by president obama. it gives the defense department more flexibility to deal with billions of dollars of across-the-board cuts that began on march first. at a news conference this afternoon, however, joint chiefs of staff chairman general martin dempsey said that the pentagon is still being forced to make difficult choices. >> on monday, we'll be halfway through the fiscal year and we'll be 80% spent in our operating funds. we don't yet have a satisfactory solution to that shortfall and we're doing everything we can to stretch our readiness out. to do this we will have to trade
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at some level and to some degree our future readiness for current operations. it'll cost us more eventually in both money and time to recover in the years to come. we'll be trying to recover lost readiness at the same time that we're trying to reshape the force. we can do it, but that's the uncomfortable truth. >> suarez: despite the defense department's efforts to mitigate the impact of sequestration on the nation's military readiness, the across the board budget cuts are already starting to take a toll in communities where federal spending is the backbone of the local economy. that's true of southeastern virginia. correspondent cathy lewis of whro in hampton roads brings us this update on how her region is coping. her story is part of our collaboration with public media partners across the country in a series we call "battleground dispatches." >> no more furloughs... >> reporter: these federal civilian workers know furlough notices are coming and they're
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not happy to lose the work. in the hampton roads region of southeastern virginia, where nearly half the economy relies on federal spending, workers were protesting being forced to take days off without pay between now and september. today's news from the defense department will ease that pain, reducing the number of furlough days from 22 to 14, but this region remains anxious over the impact of sequestration on the local economy. the cuts are the result of the so-called sequestration act-- the automatic, across the board reduction in spending that started to kick in march 1. it mandates roughly $85 billion cut from federal spending by september. >> hey, blow your horn! >> reporter: staying home one day a week adds up. >> it's going to effect my whole family! i got three kids. i got kids in school. it's ridiculous. it's a lot of money. it's about seven grand! >> reporter: hampton roads has
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the largest concentration of american military assets in the world. 6% of the population here wears a military uniform. it's the only place in the country where nuclear aircraft carriers are built, but the federal presence extends far beyond the fleet. the region is home to a nato command, the largest concentration of coast guard assets in the wld, and 13 federal departments including nasa and the jefferson lab. it's beginning to sink in that sequestration is part of a bigger trend here, an inevitable new normal of less defense spending now that the u.s. is out of iraq and disengaging in afghanistan. craig quigley is a retired rear admiral who now heads the hampton roads military and federal facilities alliance. >> we can get smaller in our defense establishment and i believe still do what the nation requiresheir mility to do, but sequester is not the mechanism to do it.
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it takes away all judgment. it does not allow for chopping off from the bottom of the least important prrams to protect the most important programs. >> reporter: while the president exempted uniformed personnel from paycuts, service-members are not spared the effects of sequestration. because it needed to reach the dollar targets of the sequester, the navy cancelled the six-month deployment of the aircraft carrier truman-- all with only two days notice. that sent more than 5,000 sailors scrambling. >> if you're a single sailor and you were expecting to deploy and that was stopped at the last minute. if you own a car, you have put it in storage or perhaps you've sold it. you've gotten out of an apartment or a home you may share with a few other people. you've put your household goods in storage. you've disconnected from the world.
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and now all of a sudden, you're notoing. and now i need to get that car back, i need to get my household goods out of storage, i need to find another apartment and the navy pays for none of that so >> reporter: there are also nearly 40,000 civilians employed at shipyards like this one. when a ship goes into the yard its called an availability. there were 11 such availabilities scheduled for this summer that were jeopardized by funding battles. for now, it looks like the money for those 11 availabilities, along with the overhaul of two aircraft carriers will be in the budget, but nobody's celebrating just yet. >> insecure... insecure, fear, a little angry. what can you do? >> if they were to cancel these availabilities, i can tell you, yeah, they were concerned about being able to put bread on the table from being furloughed or laid off or whatever and that may still come to pass, but i will also tell you that deep down in their heart each and
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every one of those 40,000 people take great pride in the fact that they play a part in the maintenance and readiness of the united states navy and they're doggone proud of that. >> reporter: both quigley and crow say in all their years around federal budgeting they've never seen anything like this. neither have the owners of davis interiors. for more than 58 years, they've custom built and installed the furniture that goes on ships at sea. it's a three-generation family business for whitney metzger. >> we know that we will be busy at least through may or june but after that were not entirely sure what's going to happen. right now, we have had to let go about five employees, unfortunately and we have furloughed most of our staff that were working three and four day workweeks. people are working fridays on an as needed basis but for the most part, it's empty here on fridays now. >> reporter: like many in the front offices and on the front
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lines, metzger worries about the future for her company and her employees and she wants washington to know that real people's livelihoods are on the line. >> this isn't a political game anit's frustrating to see so many politicians in washington turn it into that. >> reporter: ten of the 11 members of congress from virginia voted against the bill that would have avoided sequestration. metzger says trimming the staff now allows davis interiors to retain a smaller, but still highly skilled workforce. keeping those skilled workers in the area when work is becoming more scarce is a concern shared by the regions leaders who, some say, haven't done enough to diversify the economy. craig quigley says the potential loss of 12,000 good paying jobs, and more than $2 billion in the local economy may be a wake up call that's finally too loud to ignore. >> the day has arrived. the federal spending in hampton roads is going down.
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so we can accept a lower level of economic vitality, no growth, flat economy. is that really what we want? or do we want to get serious finally about diversifying the economy-- finding something to supplement, not replace. i don't want to go to zero in federal spending, but i want to supplent it and reduce it as a percentage of the gross regional product so we are not totally drug dependent on that. >> reporter: but this region that depends so heavily on the business of government had hoped for a phased withdrawal of federal spending. making so many cuts by september 30 feels to many like quitting cold turkey. >> wooduff: now, two stories about how children learn. the first focuses on a seale program that uses babies to prevent bullying. a recent study by the university
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of virginia found the dropout rate was 29% above average in schools with significant levels of teasing and bullying, compared to schools in the study with lower rates. our story is part of our ongoing "american graduate" series. at seven months old, claire fitzpatrick is a typical baby. she is sitting up on her own, eating solid foods and developing a little bit of a mischievous streak. but what separates claire from most infants is that she is also a teacher. once a month, jenny and kyle fitzpatrick, bring their daughter into a classroom full of seattle-area kindergartners. as soon as claire arrives, students welcome her with a song. then, for the next 40-minutes or so, claire is at the heart of
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lessons what it means to re for and about others, as part of the program roots of empathy. roots of empathy started in toronto in 1996 with the lofty mission of building more caring and peaceful societies by raising the level of empathy in children. empathy, as it turns out, has been found to reduce negative social behaviors like bullying and teasing. >> some people would actually describe empathy as one of the most important of all personality characteristics because it not only stops us from behaving aggressively to another person, it actually is the instigator of us helping another person. >> wooduff: kim schonert-reichl is a professor at the university of british columbia in vancouver who has studied the effectiveness of roots of empathy. she believes that babies can be powerful springboards for getting at difficult subjects that are seldom addressed in
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traditional classroom settings and that this program, which costs u.s. schools roughly $60 per student to plement has shown empathy can be taught. seattle-area students currently going through the program seem to be grasping the concept. >> empathy is to have like feelings for others and care about them. >> empathy is like if somebody is sad or frustrated, you feel empathy for them, because you are okay, because like if they >> empathy is if someone feels happy you are feeling happy for them, if somebody is feeling sad you are feeling sad for them. >> wooduff: students from kindergarten to eighth grade cover nine themes over the course of a school year with subjects ranging from the safety of the babies. >> why would you not want to leave the baby on the table? >> wooduff: to why babies cry. >> why do you think she is feeling this way? >> wooduff: but bringing a baby into a classroom full of
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children was a hard sell for aimee miner, the principal here at lake forest park elementary, one of the first u.s. schools to adopt roots of empathy >> when i first heard about the program, i thght, "that crazy to bring a new infant in a classroom of 23 five-year-olds." the first thought was you know risk management, what are they going to say about this, but then i saw it in action and i saw the power of it and i was a true believer and this is the right thing to teach kids. >> wooduff: so every month during the school year, claire and instructor marilyn enloe teach the kids social and emotional literacy by following claire's growth and development. >> let's put two balls out and see which one she grabs. >> wooduff: before each of claire's visits, students eagerly predict what she might have learned since they last saw her. and if claire should do
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something new, it's marked with curiosity. claire's mom jenny fitzpatrick says it's been a privilege to watch her daughter captivate the classroom. >> it made a lot of sense that you would teach through a baby because sometimes when you try to teach kids to respect each other just using their peers they don't always pay attention, but a baby is pretty much a universal you know little thing that people care about and especially kids they can relate to that and it's a really simple way because claire tells you how she's feeling, she's not going to pull any punches. >> wooduff: reflecting on how people are feeling is an integral part of every lesson and part of the plan to instill empathy at this young age says one of the program's instructors, rene hawkes. >> the piece that becomes really important with roots of empathy is havinghem understand tt you know some children enter kindergarten reading and some children are still working at
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reading in third grade and that's okay and so what can we do to help each other. and then it becomes not a piece of i'm smarter than you or i'm better than you it becomes a piece of, "hey, i've already learned how to do this. how can i help you do this as well." >> wooduff: kim schonert reichels research has shown that children who go through roots of empathy show more kindness and compassion in addition to becoming less aggressive and that students who don't actually become more aggressive over the course of the year. research has also shown that students receiving programs like this one perform better in the classroom. >> students who had received the social and emotional learning programs not only increased in their social and emotional skills and decreased in behavior problems but they also had an 11% point increase in standardized achievement test scores. roots of empathy class and baby. >> reporter: across town, autumn doss says the program has been a welcome relief inside her third
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grade classroom at olymc hills elementary. layla and andy haner bring their baby emory every month to see doss students-- many of whom come from low-income households with difficult family situations. >> it's been really hard to teach people that no matter how much you cram into their brains, no matter how long they have math, no matter how long their reading blocks are, if they are thinking about the trauma that they experienced last night or they are thinking about a kid who pushed them on the playground or they are thinking about somebody who took their ball or somebody that whispered something nasty about them, they are not learning. >> reporter: doss says her students are making up to two years of growth every school year in subjects like reading and math because the learning environment has become safer. >> with this program we are able to teach them how to deal with those feelings, how to solve those conflicts, how to take a breath and then they can go into the academics and that's when
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they are learning. >> reporter: and long after class is over, babies who take part in the program get an additional benefit from teaching these lessons. their students share their own tips on how to survive the perils of elementary school. third grader lacy george has this advice for little emory. >> try to do your homework a little earlier in the day not when you are really cranky at the end of the day or when you are really tired. you have to work hard and do your best work in school so make sure you're doing that. >> reporter: the program is now in three u.s. states, as well as canada, parts of europe and new zealand. the organization plans to expand in the coming year. >> wooduff: online, high school and middle school students from our reporting labs share their personal experiences with bullying and offer some solutions. "american graduate" is funded by the corporation for public
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broadcasting. >> suarez: and to our second story about very young children. this on the rapidly growing use of mobile technology among the toddler set. that's the subject of this month's cover story of the "atlantic." writer hannah rosin looks at the new touchscreen generation: why toddlers are learning to use tablets and smartphones before they're even out of diapers and the questions that change is raising. rosin joins me now. hannah, i guess because my youngest is a teenager i have to admit that i was unaware that the -- of the amount of smart phone and tablet use among the youngest children, two and younger! >> absolutely. it would seem alien to a parent with older children. i have older childen but i lues a little baby who came out exactly in the same time as the ipad -- who came of age, i should say, and it's kind of alarming watching a little kid, he was still in diapers, be so
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utterly xe twenty this piece of technology almost as if he was born knowing how to do it. he can swipe his fingers, it's extremely intuitive. very different from how my other children interacted with technology which is me teaching them how to use a mouse and what the relationship is between what they're doing with their hand and what's happening on the screen. with him it's a different story. it's like he was born to the technologyed. >> suarez: so what a r they doing? what kinds of activities he? >> there's a whole explosion of apps designed for kids. what i found is parents are confused. researchers found this the passback effect. we pass our phones to our children but we're very ambivalent. we're not sure if it's a good thing, is this wrecking their brains? largely there's anxiety out there so what i try to do is alleviate the anxiety a little bit. explain to parents that there are bodies of research here and that they're extremely good apps and things children can learn from this technology and it's
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here so we should accept it and learn how to use hit in the best way possible. >> suarez: since you mentioned the brain, do we know what's going on in the brains of young children using touch screen devices that's different in the nature of interaction and the level of engagement from, let's say, sitting and watching a television show? >> we doe do know about that. we do seem to know the more interactive technology is the more children learn from it. that's a little different than what's going nontheir blaines. that science is still developing but we know that theyre extremely engaged when they can hear a voice talking back to them. when they feel like the technology is including them in listening to their voice. television that's been studied far good 30 years, because when "sesame street" came out people found that alarming, that there was television designed for young children so they studied it closely. just recently there was something called the pause developed and for any parents with young children you'll recognize it from the show blues clues or dora the exploreer where the narrator asks the question and then there will be
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a pause and the child gets to answer the question. that that was researchers' first clue that if you had the child interact in some way that created a much richer experience for them and apps do that almost automatically. all apps are a form of interaction where the child can make something happen, the child talks and the voice echoes back, the child can draw a picture and narrate it. so the kind of technology you find on smart phones and ipads is much more enriching for children, let's say, than even television was. >> suarez: are some of the misgivings that you report on in your story just the a little technological terationf the sort of technology-based anxiety that comes along with every new technology? you mentioned people's misgivings about "sesame street". that was the late 1960s. >> yes, yes. i mean, it happened with the novel, flight? any time a new technology comes and we feel like it's about to be ubiquitous we get nervous about what it will do to the morals of our young children. right now we're in a neuroscience, neurobiology age
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so we worry about the brains of young children but each generation brings worry that this is not childhood as we know it and i think we need to get past that phase because these things are ubiquitous, they're very different from television. they're in your purse, on the kitchen table, they're really a part of our lives in the way no other technology has been so i think we just need to accept that young children can do interesting things with this technology. >> suarez: did you come away from your reporting with any rules from the road? some ways to discern between good screen time and bad screen time in the final analysis? >> yes, absolutely. i talk about some apps that i think good and why. largely this is a question of your individual child. i actually have different rules for different children. i have one child who's prone to sort of doing and watching and being engaged way too much so i put strict time limits on him. but my other two kids i let them explore quite a bit and i actually did an interesting experiment with my youngest son which i write about where i let slim free access to the ipad and he treated it almost like he treats every toy, his trucks and
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puzzles. he was obsessed about it for a couple weeks then just dropped it. just like with other toys. so interesting things can happen if we just relax our paranoia and nervousness. >> suarez: you wouldn't want it to exclude everything else. >> that's pretty clear. and there's a couple books which i mention the story which give you pretty good rules and one is if you find your child is doing that almost to the exclusion of other things or doing that in a way you feel is too much that's not to say at every half hour you should say "why is he playing the ipad, he could be outside." it's not a zero-sum game but if your child is doing it way too much or seems way too drawn to it, you'll know it. >> suarez: hannah rosin, thanks so much. >> thank you. >> wooduff: agai the major developmentof the day: president obama renewed his call for stricter gun laws saying, shame on us if we've forgotten the tragedies at newtown and elsewhere. and former south african president nelson mandela was
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hospitalized again with a lung infection. he is 94 years old. >> suarez: online, veterans voice their frustration over delays in their benefits. hari sreenivasan reports. >> sreenivasan: nearly a quarter million veterans wait more than a year for their medical claims, that's according to the center for investigative reporting. we talked to several veterans and shared some of their grievances v.a. secretary eric shinseki. watch a preview of that interview on our homepage. and look for the full report tomorrow. and on making sense, an argument for why lower tariffs on foreign goods help-- not hurt-- american producers. all that and more is on our website ray? >> suarez: and that's the "newshour" for tonight. i'm ray suarez. >> wooduff: and i'm judy wodruff 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 the william and flora hewlett foundation, working to solve social and environmental problems at home and around the
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world. >> 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. captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions captioned by media access group at wgbh


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