Skip to main content

tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  April 4, 2013 5:30pm-6:30pm PDT

5:30 pm
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> brown: north korea threatened again to strike the united states with nuclear weapons and moved a missile to its eastern coastline. good evening, i'm jeffrey brown. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. on the "newshour" tonight, we update the latest provocation from pyongya and the reactio in the u.s. and elsewhere. >> brown: then, we examine possible links between a white supremacist prison gang and recent murders of law enforcement officials. >> woodruff: we get the details on new research showing the soaring price tag for treating dementia now topping the cost of cancer and heart disease.
5:31 pm
>> brown: from the african nation of kenya: kira kay reports on the religious divide in the port city of mombasa. >> the salvation army is a christian congregation, nestled in the heart of a predominantly muslim city. their faith had never been an issue, but that changed in august last year. >> woodruff: and we talk with the supreme court's first female justice, sandra day o'connor about the court's storied history as told in her new book: "out of order." >> i think people know very little, really, about the court: how it works, and its history. and both of those things are important in our country. >> brown: and we remember roger ebert. the pulitzer-prize winning film critic known for giving movies a simple thumbs up or down, who died today. >> brown: that's all ahead on tonight's "newshour." >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
5:32 pm
♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connts 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 viewe like you.
5:33 pm
thank you. >> brown: there were new rumblings from north korea today, as it tried to bolster its latest threats against the u.s. by moving a missile with, quote, "considerable range" to its eastern coast. the announcement of that move came from south korea's defense minister. but he also said that the missile was not capable of reaching the united states. >> ( translated ): as i see, its firing range, it is not aimed at the u.s. mainland. we're closely monitoring north korea. we haven't found any signs of all-out war, but we consider that its provocation is always possible and we are ready for it. >> brown: pyongyang's newest provocation is part of its ongoing rallying cry against joint u.s.-south korea military exercises on the peninsula and a reaction to the u.n. security council's renunciation of the north korea nuclear test in february. state television broadcast north
5:34 pm
korea's latest threat against the u.s. >> ( translated ): we will cope with the u.s. nuclear threat with a merciless nuclear attack. and we will face the infiltration with a justified all-out-war. this is our military and our people's unchangeable stance. the u.s. and those followers should clearly know that everything is different in the era of respected kim jong un. >> brown: that response comes after the pentagon announced yesterday it deployed a land- based missile defense system to guam in response to north korea's escalating military threats. and for a second day, the border to a shared factory park in north korea remained closed to workers from the south. some south koreans were finally able to return home from the kaesong industrial park. they expressed concerns that heightened tension between the two countries was trickling down to employees still at work. >> ( translated ): i'm nervous, of course since it was suspended. i hope it would be normalized soon. both south and north korean
5:35 pm
workers are all nervous. >> brown: kim jong un's escalating rhetoric, including news the country would be restarting once-shuttered nuclear weapon production facilities, has come under fire from the inrnational community. today, russia's foreign ministry spokesman underscored north korea's nuclear intentions were unacceptable. >> ( translated ): for russia, a we are categorically against pyongyangs's indifference to the u.n. security council's resolutions that form the base in the sphere of nuclear non- proliferation. this radically complicates, if it doesn't in practice shut off, the prospects for resuming six- party talks to resolve the nuclear issue on the korean peninsula. >> brown: and state department press secretary victoria nuland said the u.s. would not back down from north korea's threats. >> it is incumbent upon uso take prudent steps to defend the united states, to defend our allies, to be prepared for a necessary deterrence, etc. that is reflected in the moves that you've seen from the
5:36 pm
pentagon, etc. that said, we continue to make the case that it doesn't have to go this way. the d.p.r.k. could chose a different course and the >> brown: despite the calls to defuse hostilities, north korean state television again aired undated footage of mass rallies against the u.s. and south korea. marchers chanted anti-american slogans and carried banners reading "let's destroy our mortal enemy, the united states." >> woodruff: the heated rhetoric is being watched closely on a small south korean island two miles from the maritime border with north korea. it is from there that john irvine of "independent television news" reports. >> reporter: this remote south korean outpost in the yellow sea paid the price the last time this conflict went beyond a slanging match. yeonpyeong island lies just off the north korean coast and two
5:37 pm
and a half years ago, it found itself in the cross-hairs of the rogue state. four people would be killed. in a single brazen daylight bombardment, the north koreans fired almost 200 artillery shells and missiles into this island. the south koreans have preserved these bombed-out buildings as a permanent reminder of who they're dealing with. this crisis has persuaded some residents of yeonpyeong island to leave. those still here have been on edge, ever since kim jung-un was seen rallying his troops on a nearby north korean island early last month. the images of an adoring throng waving and wading through icy waters added to the world's amusement back then. how serious things have become since with this region held hostage to the unknowable intentions of an inexperienced
5:38 pm
despot. these are dangerous, uncharted waters indeed. >> brown: still to come on the "newshour": new worries about white supremacists; the high costs of dementia; religious fault lines in kenya; former supreme court justice sandra day o'connor and a remembrance of film critic roger ebert. but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: the governor of connecticut has now signed into law some of the toughest gun control measures in the nation. he made it official at a signing ceremony in hartford, surrounded by family members of victims of gun violence, including december's newtown school massacre. the new legislation will restrict sales of high-capacity ammunition clips, and expand the list of guns on the state's assault weapons ban. it also requires a background check for all firearms sales. governor dannel malloy hailed it as a major step in the right direction. >> we have come together in a way that relatively few places in our nation have demonstrated an ability to do.
5:39 pm
in some senses, i hope this is an example to the rest of the nation, certainly to our leaders in washington who seem so deeply divided about an issue such as universal background checks where the country is not divided itself. >> sreenivasan: other states like california, new york, new jersey, and massachusetts have also imposed tough gun control measures of their own. congress is slated to take up gun legislation when members return from recess next week. the u.s. announced today it is looking for ways to keep the hunt for a notorious aican warlord on track. a recent change in leadership in the central african republic meant the search for joseph kony, the leader of the lord's resistance army, was suspended. but yesterday, the u.s. state department announced a new $5 million reward for any information leading to kony's arrest. his band of warriors abduct children and adults and turn
5:40 pm
them into fighters and sexual slaves. japan's central bank took a bold step today to stimulate its economy. the bank of japan announced it is flooding its financial system with money, buying more than $530 billion a year in government bonds. the move is designed to get people and companies to borrow and spend more. japanese stocks soared on the news but the yen sank. the bank of japan decision sent stocks on wall street edging slightly higher today. the dow jones industrial average gained more than 55 points to close at 14,606. the nasdaq rose six points to close at 3,225. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to judy. >> woodruff: we update the story of texas officials shot to death recently, as law enforcement investigates possible ties between the murders and a white supremacy group. mourners filled the first baptist church of sunnyvale, outside dallas, texas this afternoon to remember kaufman county district attorney mike
5:41 pm
mclelland and his wife cynthia. the couple was found shot to death inside their home over the weekend. their murders came two months after the county's assistant district attorney mark hasse was shot and killed. before today's memorial service, teas governor rick perry announced he had doubled the reward to $200,000 for information leading to arrests in both cases. >> we cannot react with fear. we gotta react with resolve. and our local, state and federal authorities are pursuing every lead, exhausting every line of inquiry in a relentless pursuit of those who are responsible for these crimes. >> woodruff: no suspects have been identified, but some attention has turned to a state prison gang-- the aryan brotherhood of texas. on tuesday, the assistant u.s. attorney in houston who was to head the prosecution in a 2012
5:42 pm
case involving 34 members of the white supremacist group, stepped aside from that role. he cited security concerns, according to an attorney for one of the defendants. >> i understand why someone would want to step back. and it makes sense to me. especially people that have families. >> woodruff: the indictment, tied to federal racketeering charges, was announced last november. state officials later issued a warning that the group was involved in issuing orders to inflict mass casualties or death to law enforcement tied to the case. mclelland was part of a multi- agency task force involved in the investigation. and in colorado, police continue the search for those tied to the murder of the state's prisons chief tom clements, who was gunned down last month. ex-convict evan ebel was one of the suspects.
5:43 pm
he was killed two days after clements' death, during a shootout with police in texas. colorado authorities are now looking for two other men, both associated with the white supremacist prison gang, the "two eleven crew." for the latest on what is unfolding in texas, we turn to tanya eiserer, reporter with the "dallas morning news." welcome to the program. tell us what the latest is on these cases. >> well, as you can imagine, authotiesre sll worki arou the cloc on this investigation. they have not identified a suspect. in fact, they have no solid leads about any particular individual or individuals which is, of course, of great concern given the nature of these assassinations. >> woodruff: when you say "no solid leads," literally no evidence at all? >> well, i know people vovpled in this investigation and they're running down hundreds of leads. there are many leads coming in regarding the aryan brotherhood. there are many leads coming in
5:44 pm
regarding possible cartel involvement as well as other people that were prosecuted by that office but they don't have any evidence that says this is the person or these are the people that might have done this. so it's -- from what i'm gathering from talking to people just last night one official said to me "it's a who done it." >> woodruff: so the only connection to the aryan brotherhood of texas and this prison gang is this threat that came out a few months ago? >> it's a little more than that. ye, the was the threat that me out in december. there has been some leads that investigators have been following about the kaufman county office. they had prosecute add fairly major case last year involving a high-ranking aryan brotherhood member and so there have been some tips that perhaps it's
5:45 pm
linked to that case but to say that they've developed solid evidence of it, i can't say that. >> woodruff: tell us a little bit more, tanya eiserer, about the aryan brotherhood of texas. >> well,hey're obvisly a very viont group. they were formed in texas prisons in the '80s. they modeled themselves after a california group. they are primarily involved in meth dealing and they are known for being particularly brutal in the way they do their business. >> woodruff: and active, obviously, inside the prisons but what's their record outside prison? >> well, in the indictments that were handed down in houston, those involved a number of murders outside of prison. and, in fact, very vicious murders and within those indictments there were a number of threats that involved law enforcement and threats to kill law enforcement and in the kaufman county case those involveed a pretty brutal
5:46 pm
kidnaping where this captain wanted to kill this guy because he wanted out of the group. >> woodruff: tell us, do you know any more about this houston assistant u.s. attorney that's recused himself or said he won't part of this anymore? >> yeah. he basically sent an e-mail to alof tttorneys that were involved in that investigation -- in that case tuesday morning telling name he had decided to remove himself from the case and he cited security concerns. i spoke to a number of the attorneys in that case and they said that he didn't -- he wasn't specific about what those concerns were. >> woodruff: so it's not known whether there's any connection to the aryan brotherhood of texas or any other particular group? >> he's obviously involved in the prosecution of the aryan brotherhood so obviously he must have had some concern. now the, the question is did he receive a specific threat? we don't know. but what some law enforcement
5:47 pm
officials have told she they're really concerned that when you start having prosecutors drop off cases that sends a really bad message to the criminals out there. >> woodruff: is there any sense that there may be more law enforcement officials who take themselves out of this investigation? out of this process? >> we haven't heard any reports of that. i have had a number of people who simply don't want their names in the paper. people in the past that would have been fine with having their names used, there's a lot of concern people don't know -- obviously you had the mcclellands kills and mark hasse killed but we don't know if there are other targets out there. >> woodruff: you mentioned cartel, i assume you meant mexican drug cartel or criminal cartel earlier. tell us what's known about any involvement they may have in this. >> well, there have been some tips related to the mexican cartels and perhaps that some of the cases that kaufman county had prosecuted might have some
5:48 pm
cartel involvement. kaufman county was known to be a district attorney's office that was very tough. i mean, they didn't cut sweet deals. they pretty much went to the mat. so there were a lot of angry criminals out there who could have had reason to want to harm someone in the d.a.'s office. >> woodruff: and finally, tell us a little bit about the additional security that is being provided law enforcement officials in the wake of all this in texas. >> they have around-the-clock security on many -- on the members of the d.a.'s office and not just them, the judges in kaufman county, the other elected officials out there and you have to question -- you have to wonder how long can it continue because obviously around-the-clock security is very expensive. and what i'm hearing from the
5:49 pm
people involved in this investigation is it will have to continue for some period of time because we don know who is doing this and why and are there other targets. >> woodruff: tanya eiserer with the dallas morning news, we thank you. >> thank you. >> brown: now, the rising toll from dementia-- economically, medically, and emotionally. a study by the rand corporation published in this week's "new england journal of medicine" estimates the cost of caring for americans with alzheimer's and other forms of dementia between $157 billion and $215 billion a year. on a per person basis, at transles into $41,000 to $56,000 annually. the costs include direct medical spending, informal family care, lost productivity and long-term care. the latter accounted for 84% of total costs. and the problem is growing fast: the costs and number of people with dementia are expected to more than double within 30 years.
5:50 pm
we explore the findings and implications with two experts. doctor ronald petersen, the director of the alzheimer's research center at the mayo clinic. and doctor richard hodes, the director of the national institute on aging, which financed the new study. dr. petersen, let me start with you. first, define dementia for us. what does that encompass? >> well, dementia is an umbrella term that involves individuals who have a problem usually with memory and with other thinking skills that is of sufficient severity to affect their daily function. so that's dementia. now, under dementia we look for a variety of causes of the dementia and in aging, in 70 and 80-year-old individual alzehimer's disease is the most common cause of the dementia. >> brown: dr. hodes, why the very steep rise, not just a rise
5:51 pm
but it's a very steep rise. why is that happening? >> well, the principal factor responsible for rise is the increased number of older people at risk. age is, in effect, the greatest risk factor for alzehimer's disease and due to successes in public health and many other aspects of our environments we've generated an increase in life expectancy, more people grow to be old and therefore become at risk for alzehimer's disease. >> brown: so the good news is we live longer but as we do this is part of the bad news? >> that's precisely right and that's why there's such an imperative to do something about it. to make sure these projection which is assume we won't be able to interfere to slow the progression of alzehimer's disease is not the case so we focused a great deal of attention on research with, i must say, a great deal of optimism as well as hope in finding ways to prevent that. >> brown: before we get to that i want to focus more on the study,r. persen because this study looked at the costs and that's the kind of news here is the ballooning costs. where are those costs rising the
5:52 pm
most? >> well, the costs are a combination of direct costs to the medical care system and then informal costs in terms of nursing home care, long-term care, individuals being cared for at home. it's really the latter aspect that escalate it is costs for dementia care over the upcoming years. the medical costs rise as well because people with dementia will cost the system rethan people without dementia for other medical illnesses like diabetes but the real cost increase comes from the care that these individuals either at home or in a nursing home environment. >> brown: and dr. hodes, some of that care especially at home would come from family members and we have an aging baby boom with the increased number of aging people. >> exactly, although we recognize what direct costs mean the costs that are consequent to penal who stay at home and provide care or the loss of
5:53 pm
income from those who can no longer be product sieve huge and with the baby boom generation moving on, we'll have a larger and larger number of older people and because families tend to be smaller and demographics are in that direction there will be fewer children who are able to sustain the roles that are traditionally those of caregivers so fewer people to take care of more people and an aging population with alzehimer's disease. >> brown: you started to talk about some of the diagnosis and treatment. where are we in terms of effective diagnosis and treatment? >> well, the past years have seen remarkable progress in the number of areas. for example we are able through biomarker studies to detect the early processes in alzehimer's disease years and decades before symptoms appear. this has given hope that it may be possible to test intervention at that early stage before a great deal of damage has been done in the grain and be more effective than we have been to
5:54 pm
date. >> brown: hope but where are we in the process in are we at the hope stage or early research? what do you tell the millions of people who might be facing this? >> research is over a spectrum but it includes the initiation of clinical trial which is for the first time are testing interconveniences, treatments at this very early stage before symptom symptoms so in the years to come we will learn about whether they are effective or not and have real reason to hope we may exceed the past disappointments. >> brown: dr. petersen, fill that in a little bit. how do you see that situation for research and what are the particular challenges of research and treatment over something like this? >> well, as dr. hodes says the current drugs on the market are called systematic drugss. so they treat some of the symptoms of alzehimer's disease but what we really need to have an impact on this disorder is to have disease-modifying therapies
5:55 pm
and there are many of these. 50 to 1200 at any given time are under investigation by a variety of biotechs, pharmaceutical industry these trials are ongoing and it just takes one two of these to hit to have an impact on the underlying disease process that will affect the numbers we've seen in this study from the rand corporation. >> brown: i'm imagining that many people watching this have personal connections or concerns about this. what do people look for? i'm going back to the definition of sdhaepl in a sense. what should people look for in themselves and loved ones when you talk about short-term memory loss, long-term memory loss. what are the signals? >> well, one of the areas of progress in the last few years has been our ability to detect the disease at an earlier and earlier state so we now don't wait for the dementia stage but we actually identify people at
5:56 pm
what's called the mild cognitive impairment stage. this is a stage which n which people are forgetful, more forgetful than they used to be and probably more forgetful than they ought to be for their age but otherwise their cognitive and functional abilities are preserved. nevertheless when we married thse subtle memory impairments with biomarkers we're able to detect those individuals who are at risk for developing the disease. so what families can look for is unusual atypical forgetfulness in their family member. so if somebody starts forgetting information that they typically would have remembered without difficulty: a doctor's appointment, a golf "t" time, things of that nature. and they start doing that on a repeated basis, doesn't mean they have alzehimer's disease, doesn't mean they have mild cognitive impairment but it may warrant a evaluation by their personal physician to see if there might be other interventions, treatsable causes that could account for those
5:57 pm
symptoms. >> brown: dr. hodes, coming back to the cost rise, whether it's personal cost or government cost all kinds of institutional costs what can be done? what can be done as a society? we just talked a little bit about individually. >> well, the united states in the past two years has initiated a national plan as have other nations across the world which is comprehensive so it calls for action at the research level but looks for ways in which clinical care of those affected and long-term care and support can be initiated. so we're in an era of improved coordination to address what are just enormous problems. >> brown: dr. petersen, a last word from you. what would you say? what can be done at this point? >> well, i think the national alzheimer's project act that led to the first united states plan for alzehimer's disease is a major step in that direction. this this plan, which was announced last may, outlined a
5:58 pm
blueprint for attacking this disease at the prevention level, at the treatment level, dealing with individuals and families who have the disease and how we'll measure this as a federal government. so i think we're going in the right direction and hopefully we'll be able to muster appropriate resources for it. >> brown: dr. ronald petersen and dr. richard hodes, thank you both very much. >> thank you very much. >> brown: online you can learn more about genetic testing and your own risk for alzheimer's, that's on our health page. >> woodruff: and now to kenya, a key u.s. ally. during last month's elections, only one part of the country saw violence: the coastal region, where 12 people were killed by separatist insurgents. and the coast also suffers from a religious divide-- it is a predominately muslim part of an otherwise christian nation. special correspondent kira kay recently traveled to the port city of mombasa to explore the
5:59 pm
new tensions. >> reporter: saturday mornings, the salvation army church in mombasa kenya is alive with choir practice. musical director charles muthama leads the rehearsal. >> we are very proud of this church, we are proud of the band, it is the only band in the coast, in the coast region. >> reporter: the salvation army is a christian congregation, nestled in the heart of a predominantly muslim city. but salvation army church member mary ivusa says their faith had never been an issue. >> they are our neighbors here, mt of these houses you see here they are muslims. we have been here for many years and we have never had problems with them. >> reporter: but that changed in august last year. hundreds of youths, angry over the suspicious death of their controversial muslim leader, took to the streets and attacked the salvation army church and
6:00 pm
several others in the city. five people were dead, dozens more injured, property was destroyed. >> i felt so bad. we had worked so hard. but in just a minute everything we had done had gone to ashes. band instruments were taken, some of them were destroyed, some of them even some of them were thrown on the roads. >> reporter: the overtly religious nature of the violence was unprecedented in a part of the world once known for co- existence. besides its many mosques, cathedrals and temples dot mombasa's streets. the city has east africa's largest port and its historic old town is a magnet for tourists. but human rights groups say a perfect storm had been brewing here in recent years, starting with the longstanding unhappiness of coastal residents over neglect by the central government. >> there has been, you know, very clear discrimination and marginalization of the muslim- dominated regions. that's a fact.
6:01 pm
>> reporter: hussein khalid runs the group muslims for human rights or muhuri. >> if you look at education for example. our region remains to be the one with the least number of schools per population if you compare the ratio. we have very poor infrastructure. there's no other region that has more resources than the coast, but unfortunately, it receives the least from the central government. >> reporter: while mombasa's grievances are shared by residents of all faiths, khalid says pressures on muslims in particular have been stoked by kenya's role in the global war on terror. kenya has been the target of major attacks, including the us embassy bombing in 1998. and it has become a significant player in regional stabilization fighting against the al qaeda- linked militants al-shabaab in neighboring somalia. there is evidence that al- shabaab has recruited youth from mombasa to fight against the kenyan troops and it has bombed targets on kenyan soil. but in response, local kenyan police have sometimes employed
6:02 pm
strong arm tactics that have come under criticism from international human rights groups. >> every other week you hear of a raid, police raiding a home, probably harassing people. and then a few hours later they would come back and tell you, well, we didn't find anything. and when a community feels when they are aggrieved, when they are harassed, then there's no way that someone will come to their aid, there's no way the law will be used to address their issues, then you feel completely helpless. >> reporter: a main target of kenyan investigators was controversial local sheikh aboud rogo mohammed. known for his anti government sermons and on us sanctions lists for his support of al- shabaab. sheikh rogo worried many of mombasa's other muslim leaders, including sheikh mudhar khitamy. >> we knew that there was going to be-- we are headed for, for bad things. because the youths were given-- the youths have got virgin minds and, you know, they were given these ideologies by this
6:03 pm
preacher. and when this particular preacher was assassinated, right, then the sentiments came out. >> reporter: on august 27th, sheikh rogo was shot more than a dozen times in broad daylight while driving down a main street. the salvation army church was next to rogo's mosque and became an easy target for followers who suspected rogo was assassinated by kenyan authorities. >> the youths were against the states. the states, to them, is represented by the christian faith, you know. >> reporter: father wilybard lagho, the vicar general of mombasa's catholic church, says he feared reprisal attacks from his own community. >> one needed only to attack a muslim mosque and it will appear like now it's a religious conflict. >> reporter: father lagho convened an emergency session of a group he chairs called the coast interfaith council of clerics.
6:04 pm
sheikh khitamy is a member of the council. >> we had to come out and condemn in the media, in the mosques. we went round the mosques, right, to preach peace. >> it is not part of the islamic tradition. >> and we sat together, we had a series of meetings with the church leaders, we went to the public. and you know, things went down. >> reporter: despite these successful efforts to calm the streets, father lagho believes radicalism has taken its toll on society here. >> this relationship has been strained a lot. because on the part of christians, they might not be able to distinguish whether this particular muslim is a radical muslim or he's a tolerant muslim and on the part of the muslims as well, they may not be able to distinguish between an intolerant christian preacher and the majority who are very peaceful christians. >> reporter: and so laghos council remains vigilant. >> there is a breakdown of communication between the youth
6:05 pm
and the elder structure. >> reporter: meeting regularly to share intelligence from within each religious community and craft responses when tensions emerge. >> the whole concept of interfaith, inter-religious dialog is new. it's new in the world. it's new ikenya. it's new in mombasa. some people view it like, are you trying to mix up religions? that mindset will change, with time. >> reporter: sheikh rogos assassination remains unsolved. mombasa government officials declined our requests for interviews but deny allegations of police brutality and say they have appointed a special counsel to investigate rogos murder. but human rights lawyer hussein khalid is skeptical. >> you cannot send the police to come and investigate a killing in which they are the prime suspects. we say this publicly. the police cannot investigate the police. the death of sheikh rogo will remain a mystery for many years to come, that's for sure.
6:06 pm
>> reporter: khalid does put some hope in kenya's new constitution. the country's recent election puts into office local senators and governors, who should have a greater say over coastal politics and resources. in the meantime, muhuri is focusing on at-risk youth. ruweidah obama is an outreach worker with muhuri. >> one of the biggest churches around here was burnt by young people. >> reporter: she says high unemployment and lack of education make the poor neighborhoods of mombasa fertile recruiting grounds for al- shabaab and other radical groups. >> when you don't have anything to do, what will you do? you'd rather join whoever is trying to push for issues of radicalization, so you would rather join the group in order for you to get some little cash, to help your family. >> reporter: to counter the lure of radical recruiters, muhuri has teamed up with a local theater group to scare the youth straight-- that joining radical groups can lead to injury and shame. >> i ask for forgiveness from
6:07 pm
you and dad, and promise as of today i will no longer burn churches, if you could just help me find a job. >> so this one was replaced, this is the new flag. >> reporter: back at the salvation army church, congregants like mary ivusa considered their future. >> the soldiers we have here-- we call them the soldiers-- they like this place very much. and we always think maybe god has a purpose for us to stay here. >> reporter: and so they picked up the pieces, repairing the damage and once again filling their hall with music, believing mombasa's history of co- existence will prevail over current pressures. >> brown: kira kay's story is part of our partnership with the bureau for international reporting. >> woodruff: next, a look at the inner workings of the supreme court, and her own approach to service there, as told by former justice sandra day o'connor.
6:08 pm
i sat down with her recently to talk about her new book, "out of order: stories from the history of the supreme court." justice sap draw day o'connor, welcome back to the newshour. >> thank you, i'm honored to be here. >> woodruff: so the book out of order, you suggested this was done in an effort to bring the supreme court to life for people who view it as a sort of distant forbidding place to make it more human. why did you think that was snorpt >> well, i don't know that it is but i think people no very little, really, about the court, how it works and its history. and both of those things are important in our country, but they're not things that citizens know much about. >> woodruff: you tell so many wonderful stories and write about the court in the very early days when the justices were riding circuit on horse
6:09 pm
back. >> that was a terrible and lengthy period of time for the court! imagine being assigned from some distant place to be on the court and then ordered to travel 90% of your time. and they had no trains, no buses no airplanes and they had to go horse and buggy or horse back. >> woodruff: long distance might have been a disqualifier. >> it would have been horrible! i think most people didn't want to do court duty. >> woodruff: you also write about fascinating choices for the court. andrew jackson picked one justice who ran for president four times while he was serving on the supreme court. >> y, can you imagine it was very different in those days, that's for sure. >> you did a lot of research for the book, justice o'connor, was there -- as you looked at the presidents over time and how they made their choices for the supreme court was there a set of qualities or a set of judgments
6:10 pm
that you think lent themselves to better choices for the court? >> well, yes i can pick out a few grounds that would improve the chances of getting a good one, but i don't think that was primaryin the case of most appointments. i think that great many of those appointments were really influenced a lot by the political situation. they wanted to put somebody on that the president himself thought was politically a wise choice and would not give him problems by virtue of poor appointments. i think a lot of consideration was given to things like that. >> woodruff: do you think that's still the case today? >> maybe to some extent but much less so. >> woodruff: you've spoken about this before and that is the fact that american public opinion of the supreme court has declined. just recently -- >> apparently it has. it has historically for many years it had been higher than
6:11 pm
that of the other branches and in very recent polls i've seen a rather steep decline and it may relate a little bit to the bush/gore case and all the unpleasant publicity that that produced. i don't know. you might have a better guess about it than i do. >> woodruff: do you think in the aftermath of that case and other controversial cases like the health care decision of last year on the affordable care act that the court could do a better job of explaining to the american people why it did what it did, including in "bush v. gore"? >> i don't think it's the court's perceived role to do explaining of a political nature. they aren't politicians. they aren't running for reelection. and what they do need to explain is the legal reasoning for a particular decision. that needs to be done. but it doesn't make for very
6:12 pm
exciting reading for people to read legal technicalities. often it turns on that. >> woodruff: do you think it matters how high the court is held in public -- in the public's regard? >> i don't know. it matters to me as a former member of the court. i like to think that the court will continue to be held in high regard by the public. i think it should be. it's an institution that depends on making tough decisions in close cases for reasons that it explains well and that in the past, at least, is proven satisfactory to the public. >> i notice you did another interview with rachel maddow and bhs nbc and she asks you if you feel sometimes the court's legitimacy is threatened and you answered "it's always threatened if there's an issue out there in which public opinion is divided. you want to be particularly
6:13 pm
careful about how you decided not to offend people." how do you decide which group you don't want to offend? >> well, you don't want to offend particularly the decisions in many cases but they will bother a great segment of the public. of necessity. some decisions are drawn by pretty fine lines but on the basis of arguments that don't have much resonance with the public. so i think it's inevitable that some of the court's decisions will be be found by a segment of the public to be -- you have to answer a question like it or not and the questions deserve valid legal response even if the response isn't one that will be
6:14 pm
easily understood. you have an obligation as a member of the court to do what you are bound to do under federal law even it is isn't an attractive resolution from a public standpoint. >> woodruff: i want to is ask you about -- one of the things you write about, justice o'connor, is the role of women, of course, is first on the court. the first woman justice. but you also write about the role of women as law clerks, very important -- very appointment appointments by the justices and how there have only been -- i guess recently there have been v only been -- as few of a third of them are women but more than half of the women coming out of law school -- of the studets coming out of law school are women. why -- the >> tum t number of -- >> why is it that it suspect keeping up with it? >> it took a long time before the court took any women law clerks. finally it did but the numbers have never matched very
6:15 pm
effectively the percentages of law graduates out of graduating classes. we have far more than we ever did before and it's continued to grow but it isn't a nice match yet. >> pelley: did you discuss this with other justices? >> i think it comes up on occasion but not frequently. each justices hire their own clerks and applications are made individually to the justices. it isn't a group decision. >> woodruff: was it something that was important to you to do? to bring in women? >> very much so. very much so. i like to have a pretty even distribution-- and did. >> woodruff: i have one last question because one of the reviewers i was reading of your book said he's still looking for book from sandra day o'connor that explains her judicial philosophy. is that a book that's coming? >> i don't think so. >> woodruff: why not? >> because i think it's not necessary i'm not on the court
6:16 pm
anymore so no use looking for my philosophy. if somebody's waiting for that, they can wait for another justice. >> woodruff: (laughs) all right, we will leave it there. former justice sandra day o'connor, thank you very much for talking with us. the book is "out of order: stories from the history of the supreme court." >> and i don't want to be out of order answering any questons. >> woodruff: (laughs) thank you. thank you. >> brown: finally tonight, remembering the popular and pulitzer prize-winning film critic and television co-host roger ebert. he died today at age 70. hari is back with that. >> sreenivasan: ebert was the longtime film critic for the "chicago sun-times" and was syndicated to more than 200 newspapers. he also became well known for co-hosting a weekly show with fellow critic gene siskel. and in 2005, he received a star on the hollywood walk of fame and spoke about his love for the movies. >> movies are the most powerful
6:17 pm
interesting machine of all the arts. when i got to a great movie i can live someone else life a little bit for a while. i can walk in someone else shoes. i can be a member of a different gender, a different race, a different economic class, live in a different time, have different belief. >> sreenivasan: ebert began a long battle with cancer in 2002. by 2006, he lost the ability to eat, speak and drink after surgeries for thyroid and salivary gland cancer. he continued to review and write about the movies and his own illness on his blog and on social media where he reached a robust new audience. on tuesday, he announced on his blog that his cancer had returned. for more we're joined by david edelstein, a colleague and friend. he's the film critic for "new york magazine" and for npr's "fresh air." thanks for being with us. >> my pleasure. on this sad occasion.
6:18 pm
>> brown: why was rger ebert's voice so large in the film industry? >> it's a funny thing. most of us don't remember in ebert's early days he was a bit of a hell raiser and a partier, went to the playboy mansion, drank a lot. he wrote about all this. but when he sobered up, he decided, i think, that he was going to be a public figure. now, most film critics are kind of private twisted loaners. myself included. but roger almost styled himself an ambassador of the movies. a mayor of movie criticville. and when he started the show he -- he was able to frame certain discussions about the movies. frame his own responses in a way that become enormously appealing to great numbers of people people who were rex reed types who would come on talk shows and drop insults and give their
6:19 pm
opinions. roger had a great gift for being able to speak in whole paragraphs. he knew from his topic sentence what his conclusion was going to be ande s going to pull you into that whether you were an elitist pointy head or just a guy wanting to be entertained. he could communicate with you what the joy of movies really was. >> he started writing in '67, he won in his pew litser in '75. habit been on t.v. in a half dozen years but here's a guy who has more than 800,000 followers on twitter. how did he transcend these generations? >> it's an amazing thing. when he first started on t.v., remember, he wasn't universally loved. he and gene siskel were -- penal tuned in to see them bicker because it was said that they kind of didn't like each other off camera. people referred to them derisively as the fat guy and the other one. but slowly as people grew up with roger, as new fans came of
6:20 pm
age he in part also because of his pulitzer managed to acquire a lot of her authority and to make film criticism serious on television which it hadn't been at that point. then what was absolutely stunning washat his greatest gift was his voice. his ability to speak extemporaneously. when he lost that, he reinvented himself. he turns himself into this amazing blogger, more passionate than ever. someone whose voice was infectious and who everyday set an example for all of us in what to do when i know life gives you a lemon. i think he wrote a thousand times better after he lost his voice than before he did before -- before in some ways, as terrible as a course it was, it w a blessing for him as a writer and a thinker that he could lay out his philosophy of life his aesthetic and his politics in a way he never had
6:21 pm
before. >> sreenivasan: what is it about the show that made him so successful. the two of them co-hosted for 23 24 years. >> a lot of critics went on t.v. and talked and were not challenged by anybody but they were very, very different people. you had siskel who was very prickley and scatter shot and reallyind of moody and not that much of intellectual and roger who was -- who managed to be very, very centered and to kind of people the discussion on track and they taught us not just how to think about movies-- which i think we knew how to do, but how to talk about them. do so we didn't just sit there and say "i liked it, i liked it, too, let's give it a yes." they actually engaged with each other. they thought. they aired different world views different personalities, different temperaments. and i think they created tplate for a lot of shows that followed-- none of them anywhere
6:22 pm
near as good as the original siskel and ebert "at the movies." >> sreenivasan: did getting a thumbs up or thumbs down have a measurable difference on a movie? >> oh, sure it did. look, the phrase "two thumbs up" has passed into the lexicon. there are people still now days who say "i give it two thumbs up" even if it's their own thumbs. yes, you know, it was -- roger often lamented that, you know, quote ads were all reduced to illy superlatives and adjectives and i once reminded him to his great irritation that as much as he wanted to see more intelligent quoted as, a lot of it was two big thumbs. on the other hand, if you could win over ebert and siskel you knew there was going to be an audience. you see, ebert didn't think just about his own responses. and he didn't think about the history of cinema. i mean, he did but first and
6:23 pm
foremost he thought about you the viewer at home, wh are you going to make of this. what can we learn from this? how can we support this film maker or that film maker? it's really an inspiring legacy. >> sreenivasan: it seems even facebook stole the thumbs up for the "like" button, right? >> he did copyright it, though. >> sreenivasan: did he really. >> yes, he did. oh, yeah. >> sreenivasan: what are you going to remember about him as a peer? i'm sure there's hundreds of movies that the two of you disagreed on but when you read his work and compared it to your own what will leap out at you? >> roger never really represent a certain aesthetic. his writing wasn't transformative the way pauline kale was whose aesthetic we still argue about. that public persona, the public dementia, he reminded that
6:24 pm
movies weren't some private thing that we sat in the dark bathed in the light of the screen. that each and every one of us, our own responses werea starting point for a larger debate, a larger cultural debate. what does this mean, what is this artist trying to do? how can movies transform all of our lives, teach us what it is to transsend our mundane reality that's what inspires me most about his legacy. not just even so much any individual things he wrote, although he was a fine writer, he was an an elusive writer. it was the -- it was that public dimension to what he did that is hugely important. >> brown:. >> sreenivasan: david edelstein, thank you so much for your time. >> woodruff: again, the major developments of the day: north korea moved a missile to its east coast as the latest in a series of escalating threats and the governor of connecticut signed some of the toughest gun control measures in the nation into law.
6:25 pm
>> brown: online, the latest in a series of debates over spending-versus-saving. today's argument: how modern economists get it wrong. that's on "making sense". today marks the forty-fifth anniversary of the death of martin luther king junior. we have a tribute from a class of washington, d.c. fourth graders. watch that on our homepage. all that and more is on our website 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 evening with mark shields and david brooks, among others. thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
6:26 pm
>> and the william and flora hewlett foundation, working to solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world. >> and with the ongoing support of these instutions an 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
6:27 pm
6:28 pm
6:29 pm


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on