tv PBS News Hour PBS September 24, 2013 5:30pm-6:31pm PDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: fresh smoke, more explosions, and word three floors have collapsed at the shopping mall in kenya, amid conflicting reports the standoff with terrorists is nearing an end. good evening. i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. and in new york today, president obama addressed the u.n. general assembly, reaching out to iran's new leader and demanding that the u.n. act against syria's current leader. >> if we cannot agree even on
this, then it will show that the united nations is incapable of enforcing the most basic of international laws. >> woodruff: and ray suarez talks to the author of a book that sheds new light on the life of jesus of nazareth. >> to try to get to the man himself was if for no other reason just to know him better. >> ifill: those are just some of the stories we're covering on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> 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 institutions and foundations. and... >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: our lead story tonight, the president of kenya proclaimed victory in the bloody siege of a shopping mall in nairobi. he put the death toll at 72, but the islamist attackers disputed his account.
>> at the tale end of the operation, three floors of the west gate mall collapsed and there are several bodies still trapped in the rubble, including the terrorists. >> woodruff: his address followed another day of conflicting reports of the status of the standoff and of the remaining hostages, if any. earlier, the somali group al-shabaab-- linked to al qaeda-- had released a photo of two fighters it said were still inside the mall. at the time, the group insisted the attackers still held hostages. also earlier, gunshots could be heard at the malcolm flex as soldiers circled outside. and smoke again billowed from the building. a smart time ago i spoke to reporter nicholas kulish in nairobi, he's been covering the story for the "new york times."
nicholas kulish, welcome to the program. so tell us where things stand right now. is this operation completely over or suspect it? >> well, you know, they've said that it's over and yet on my way here i was told -- i hit a roadblock and a soldier was told that for my own protection i had to go the long way around. there's still -- they're still clearing, they're still searching. this is an enormous mall with more than 80 stores in it and probably an almost unlimited number of hiding places. >> woodruff: how do you explain the fact that the president has now said several times that they were finished but then it turns out that they haven't. what has made this so difficult? >> well, i mean, i think it's been particularly difficult because the assailants inside the mall were extremely well armed. there is the fear that if they went in too hard they would kill potential hostages and so, i
mean, i think that mix of caution and extreme preparedness on the part of the militants made it very, very difficult for the kenyans to operate. >> woodruff: how much is known right now, nicholas kulish, about the militants behind this, about how well organized they were? who they were. >> it's clear they were extremely well organized, no question about that. and it's also there's no question that al-shabaab, the somali militant group, has taken responsibility for it. from there it gets a little more complicated. al-shabaab has allied itself with al qaeda and there are other groups that they've been working in combination with. it has been suggested that americans might have been involved, british people might have been involved, freedom the arab world. so there's a great uncertainty in terms of exactly who people were who staged this attack.
>> and finally tell us about what people in nairobi are saying. is there still a great sense of fear? how are people sensing all this? how are they handling it? >> well, i think there definitely is fear. people talk about not wanting to hang around in the food courts of malls or where people might strike next. i mean, there's real apprehension that comes from this attack. on the other hand, i think if the goal the militants had was to scare kenya and to drive it out of the parts of somalia where it has trooped stations then they'll failed quite spectacularly. there's incredible feeling of solidarity here, of binding together and a sense, i would say, a lot of people wanting to fight even more. >> woodruff: thank you. >> thanks for having me. >> woodruff: in other news, world leaders opened their annual gathering at the united nations general assembly today,
with the focus heavily on syria and iran. president obama called for "consequences" if syria balks at disposing of its chemical weapons. he also welcomed possible signs of moderation by iran's new president. we'll have much more on this story, in just a moment. the leader of brazil also addressed the u.n. general assembly and rebuked the u.s. for spying on her country. president dilma rousseff had already postponed a state visit to washington after learning the national security agency intercepted phone calls and her own e-mail. today she said espionage among friends is "totally unacceptable." >> ( translated ): medling in such a manner the life and affairs of other countries have a breach of international law and, as such, it is an affront to the principles that should otherwise govern relations among countries, especially among friendly nations. >> woodruff: rousseff said brazil, which is an important
hub for transatlantic fiber optic cables, is adopting new laws and technology to protect against illegal interceptions of communications in the future. for the first time, the former pope benedict xvi has publicly denied responsibility in covering up sexual abuse by priests. he did so in a letter to a prominent italian atheist. excerpts were published today in the newspaper "la repubblica." the retired pontiff wrote: "i never tried to cover up these things. that the power of evil penetrates to such a point is, for us, a source of suffering." four men in chicago were charged today in last week's shootings at a park that wounded 13 people. police superintendent garry mccarthy said one of the two accused shooters was convicted last year of illegal use of a weapon, but he was sentenced only to boot camp.
>> this state needs tougher penl these hold dangerous criminals accountable for carrying illegal firearms. illegal guns drive violence. illegal guns drive murder. >> woodruff: mccarthy said the park shootings were retaliation for an earlier gang-related shooting that same day. the prospect of a federal government shutdown loomed ever larger today, as the u.s. senate headed toward a key vote. at issue is a house-passed bill that keeps the government going, but defunds the president's health care law. democrats mean to strip out that provision, but it could take all week. we'll have more on this later in the program. the body that regulates college athletics will begin gradually restoring football scholarships to penn state university, starting next year. the school was stripped of scholarships after former coach jerry sandusky's conviction for sexually abusing 45 boys. today the n.c.a.a. said penn state has made substantial progress since then. the university is also serving a
five-year ban on post-season play. wall street struggled to hold its ground today. the dow jones industrial average lost 66 points to close at 15,334. the nasdaq rose nearly 3 points to close at 3768. still ahead on the newshour, the push for diplomacy at the general assembly; the budget showdown that could cause a government shutdown; options for young adults under health care reform; what the sale of blackberry says about the struggle to stay current; and the life and times of jesus of nazareth. >> ifill: diplomatic dilemmas in syria and iran occupied center stage today at the united nations, as president obama and other world leaders met for their annual meeting. chief foreign affairs correspondent margaret warner is there.
>> it's an insult to human reason and to the legitimacy of this institution to suggest that anyone other than the regime carried throughout attack. >> warner: president obama came to the u.n. gathering asserting he'd been entirely right to threaten military retaliation last month over syria's alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians. >> now, i know that in the immediate aftermath of the attack there were those who questioned the legitimacy of even a limited strike in the absence of a clear mandate from the security council. but without a credible military threat, the security council had demonstrated no inclination to act at all. >> warner: and now, said the president, it's essential the council does act to make sure the assad regime hands over its chemical stockpile for disposal as outlined in a u.s./russian agreement. >> there must be a strong security council resolution to verify that the assad regime is
keeping its commitments and there must be consequences for them to do so. if we cannot agree even on this then it will show that the united nations is incapable of enforcing the most basic of international laws. >> warner: but in moscow today it was clear the u.s. and russia remain at odds over whether any resolution should threaten military force or other punitive steps against syria if it fails to comply. russian deputy foreign minister. >> ( translated ): in this situation, the attempts of the americans actively supported by the english and french to push the security council that would obtain a direct danger to sere yo yah is illogical. >> warner: russia is negotiating a settlement to the two fwhaf year conflict but has stood by its long time ally president
bashar al-assad against calls for him to step down. back at the u.n. today, president obama was dismissive. >> the notion that syria can somehow return to a pre-war status quo is a fantasy. it's time for russia and iran to realize that insisting on assad's role will lead directly to the outcome that they fear, an increasingly violent space for extremists to operate. >> warner: turkey also wants regime change in syria and turkish president abdullah ghoul urged the u.n. on stopping not just the use of chemical weapons but the war itself. >> now we speak of over a hundred thousand deaths. if we cannot stop this conflict now let's assure the we will be talking about twice that number next year. i cannot emphasize enough agreement on chemical weapons must not be allowed to
substitute for the comprehensive strategy to address the situation in syria. >> warner: u.n. secretary general ban ki-moon also appealed for an end to the killing and to that end he urged a halt to all shipments of weapons into syria. >> we can hardly be satisfied with destroying chemical weapons while the wider world sr. akin to destroying whole syria. i appeal to both sides to stop the bloodshed and tend arms flow to all the parties. >> warner: the president's other major focus-- the prospect of a new diplomatic initiative resolve the standoff over iran's nuclear program. the country's newly elected president hassan rouhani has shown signs of moderation and has been willing to negotiate over the nuclear issue. mr. obama said he welcomed the change in tone. >> we are encouraged that
president rouhani receive from the iranian people a mandate to pursue a more moderate course and, given president rouhani's stated commitment to reach an agreement i am directing john kerry to pursue this effort with the iranian government in close cooperation with the european union, the united kingdom, france, germany, russia, and china. the roadblocks may prove to be too great but i firmly believe the diplomatic path must be tested. >> warner: but at the same time, the president insisted iran's words must be backed up by actions that a transparent and verifiable. >> we are not seeking regime change and we respect the right of the iranian people to access peaceful nuclear energy. instead we insist that the iranian government meet its responsibilities under the nuclear nonproliferation treaty and u.n. security council resolutions. >> warner: president rouhani plans to meet with european leaders on the sidelines of the
u.n. session. but he won't be meeting with president obama. a senior administration official said today that the iranians told the u.s. it was "too complicated" to meet this week. a short time ago, iranian president rouhani spoke at the united nations, striking a conciliatory tone on his country's nuclear program. he also said that he hopes president obama would not be swayed by "warmongering pressure groups." >> ( translated ): nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction have no place in iran's security and defense doctrine and contradict our fundamental religious and ethical convictions. our interests make it imperive that we remove any and all reasonable concerns about iran's peaceful nuclear program. we can al line a framework to
manage our differences. >> ifill: margaret joins me from the united nations now. margaret, earlier today, the president directed his secretary of state to meet with his counterpart. is -- his iranian counterpart than we expected and thought there might be a hand shake or a sideline meeting at the united nations between the two leaders, as you just reported, that didn't happen and now tonight rouhani is saying perhaps conditionally these meetings might occur. what's really happening? >> well, what's really happening gwen, is that to direct secretary of state john kerry to deal directly the iranian foreign minister bumps up these talks about iran's nuclear program to a whole new level they'll take place in the context of the p5+1 which is the permanent members of the security council plus germany
but these have gone for years, the entire obama first term, without any real results. this moves up to a new level a commitment from the leadership to have their senior diplomats engaged and some feel also may open the possibility of a direct sort of bilateral conversation between kerry and sharif. the reason is that the obama administration feels a great sense of urgency to move quickly on this. rouhani is under big pressure. i mean, he got elected with the promise of pursuing a more moderate course, not out of, you know, a big change of heart on iran's part, but to get these crippling sanctions eased and the supreme leader sports them. there is a belief here in the thaus he doesn't have long to deliver before hard-liners pounce and for the united states and israel the window also closing because iran has been, as we know enhancing its capabilitys so tremendously. they've now got 18,000 centrifuges to enrich
uranium that they are not far from the ability to break out and create a nuclear weapon right under the nose of the international community in such a short time that military action doesn't become feasible. so the president wants to avoid a kind of rope-a-dope strategy in which the u.s. gets sucked back into endless negotiations while iran continues to beef up its capabilities and bumping this up to where kerry meets on thursday in one of these group meetings is a real indication of that. >> ifill: margaret, as you know as well as anybody speeches are one thing, even choreographed hand shakes are another, but reality. did reality shift today? >> well, if perception is reality, yes i mean, you had an entire audience of world leaders and the entire world focused on the speeches of these two men. president obama made clear he wants to pursue a diplomatic
track or it's worth testing the diplomatic track. at the same time, he didn't give up the prospect of military force and rouhani was certainly not as bellicose and saber rattling as his predecessor, ahmadinejad, used to be at these gatherings, as we all remember, talking about the holocaust not being real and just a lot of inflammatory language. but that said, talking to senior u.s. officials just now they didn't see in rouhani's speech necessarily a great -- you know, there was not much leg or ankles shown in this speech and there certainly was no specifics about what iran might be willing to give. they didn't expect that in the speech. i mean, who would negotiate in a speech? but the attitude of the administration here is reality may have changed but that really remains to be demonstrated and the meeting friday, while not a true negotiating meeting, will
be the first tuntd for these two foreign ministers to test each other's mettle on that. >> ifill: and there's no sense among the u.s. officials you talked to that refusal to meet even on the sidelines from iran was a snub of any kind? >> well, you know, i don't -- they don't call it a snub. the way it happened was staffers at the lower level-- directly, not through intermediaries-- talked about the possibility of the two men having some kind of informalal encounter. it was at the instigation of the u.s. the u.s. has made it very clear that it was at the instigation of the u.s. and one senior u.s. official just said to a group of us just now "you know, that was a little bit of a test, we want to make sure that the world knows that we're the ones always ready to talk. but the clear indication they got was, as i said? my peace, that it was just too dicey for rouhani back at home and this official said, you know it's one thing to meet with the french president, but it's
another thing in iran, the relationship with the u.s. remains just as-- he didn't say neuroal jim, he said controversial-- but as the u.s. iranian conflict remains here. and rue rouhani has to tread delicately and a photo-op was not in the cards for them. >> ifill: the president had tough words about the u.n. and its refusal to act in his view on syria. was there anything in remarks addressed before the general assembly which moved the ball on that? >> you know, i wouldn't say it moved the ball. i think what he wanted to indicate is, look, the threat of military action and u.s. military force is still out there. we're willing to give the u.n. another shot at this to put its imprimatur with a strong resolution behind the deal that lavrov and i negotiated. but there is -- and he didn't
say it as a threat but there's the implicit threat. he did not back down from his earler proposal to use military force. so the ball is back in russia's court to some degree. right now i don't know if they've just finished but foreign minister lavrov and secretary kerry are having a meeting and as we reported in the setup piece, they remain at loggerheads over whether the resolution should have embedded in it some sense that there will be consequences to be paid by syria if it really doesn't comply. nil fill all really fascinating margaret, thank you so much. we'll see you again from new york again. >> ifill: online, we've captured speeches from various heads of state today, including president obama's and iran's president rouhani. find those on our home page. >> woodruff: we turn now to domestic politics and the battle over the budget as congressional leaders face a monday deadline. kwame holman begins our coverage.
hole thol with the senate government shutdown a week away, republicans started like they were starting an old-fashioned filibuster. >> i intend to speak in opposition to obamacare. i intend to speak in support of defunding obamacare until i am no longer able to stand. the. >> holman: but democratic majority leader harry reid insisted no one can block tomorrow's vote to take up a house bill that funds the government past october 1. >> there's no filibuster going on now. people can come and talk but they can't do anything to change when we vote. is hole thol house bill pays for government operations into mid-december. but also defunds the president's health care law. senate democrats mean to take up that bill, remove language on obamacare, and fund the government through mid-november. rather than let that happen,
cruz and other conservatives are pushing fellow republicans to block all action, otherwise, he says, it's just business as usual. >> you know, it's a little bit like the world wrestling federation. it's wrestling matchs where it's all rigged, the outcome is pre-determined, they know in advance who's going to win and lose and it's all for show! >> holman: but cruz's plan has splintered conservative ranks. the senate's top republican, mitch mcconnell, says he'll vote to take up the house bill because it includes many provisions he supports. >> we'd all be hard pressed to explain why we were opposed to a bill we were in favor of. and invoking cloture on a bill that defunds obamacare, doesn't raise taxes and respects the budget control act strikes me as a no-brainer. >> holman: the "wall street journal" editorialized against the cruz strategy today writing:
meanwhile, senator reid asserted that any delay could up the chances of a shutdown. >> if we finish this on sunday, send it back to the house, the house is talking about changing it again! and that is a sure-fire way to shut down the government. >> holman: so far, house republican leaders have >> woodruff: to help us understand the forces at play in this fiscal fight, we turn to journalist robert draper. he has covered republican politics and is the author of "when the tea party came to town." and meredith shiner. she covers the u.s. senate for the newspaper roll call. so meredith shiner, before we get to the senate, refresh our memories on what happened in the house. why did they pass a budget that evidently doesn't have a chance of passing the senate? >> so they passed a three-month short term appropriations bill to try to avert a government shutdown, but one of the ways they were able to get their conservative members to do that was to include a pro strigs
defund the president's health care law. this is the 41st time they voted to do that. if you're keeping score at home, we still haven't defunded the law yet because the senate is still controlled by democrats and the president-- whose landmark achievement this law is-- is not going to actually support that. so they sent this because they needed to actually just start the process. without them showing what they could actually pass, the senate couldn't then act. the biggest problem now is just time, because as senate majority leader harry reid said, if they eat the entire clock procedurally, they won't pass anything until sunday and they'll have one day to avert a shutdown and the house will most certainly try to change what what they said them. >> woodruff: robert draper, enough spectacle now where you have three freshmen -- two or three freshmen republican senators-- ted cruz of texas being the most prominent outspoken-- standing against the leadership of their own party. how unusual is that? >> well, very unusual in light of the fact that in 2010, 87
republicans ushered john bane interthe speakership. so you could say that he was beholden to the tea party movement. you can't they right now. after all, the republicans lost the twelve election and they're at pains to figure out how they climb out of the wilderness. that's their quandary, judy, because on the one hand they feel like they have to reach out beyond the base. on the other hand, to the extent that there is any an mission within the republican party it's provided by ted cruz, mike lee and rand paul. so to the extent there's excitement generated at all within the republican party, it's those guys. >> woodruff: meredith shiner, somehow the republican leadership? the senate? we just heard from senator mcconnell. how do they look on this? i mean they -- do they have a plan for what they're going do? >> i think they're extraordinarily frustrated. every tuesday senate republicans have lunch and today they tried to convince ted cruz that they wanted to move forward procedurally, that they should give consent to democrats to move forward so they could avert a shutdown and ted cruz said no,
if you try to do that, i will object. so, again, this is probably going to go until sunday and senate republican leaders know that ultimately you aren't going to be able to defund this law with this effort so they're wondering what the ends are, because they're not talking about the things that republicans are usually comfortable talking about. we're not talking about spending levels. we're not talking about sequestration. we're not talking about the things spending bills are supposed to be about. we're talking about somethat that is right now not an achievable political reality. >> woodruff: so clearly, robert draper, cruz and the other senators-- mike lee of utah, i guess marco rubio of florida is still backing this effort-- >> to some degree, yes. with it's a double-edged sword because on the one hand their belief is clearly that obamacare is so unpopular with the public but ultimately it's president obama not the republicans who will have to fold on this standoff. on the other hand, in fact, there's a pew research center that did this poll recently that indicates --. >> woodruff: we got some poll
results we can show. >> right, that only 42% of americans support obamacare. but only 38% support the efforts to defund it. and that number goes way down, in fact, it's cut in half, essentially, when the public is asked if it would lead to a government shutdown would you continue to support it, the defunding measure. and further more, the people who really are against defunding are those kinds of groups, latinos and women, that the republicans have been at pain to persuade to join the party. >> woodruff: meredith shiner, what's the thinking on the part of the tea party members. what are they hearing from their constituencies that lead them on this crusade? >> i think it's a feedback cycle. you heard someone like ted cruz or mike lee going on the radio, going on conservative television saying this is a reality that you could vote to defund this bill, to cut this bill out from underneath what the democrats are trying to do. more implementation takes effect next week. if you wanted to actually defund or reverse this law, you have to get a republican president into
office and so i think that when you continue to say that message that this is something that we can do, that's why you have 41 votes in the house of representatives to try to achieve this, because you have these constituents who are hearing that message who then pressure these conservative members to push forward. and so it really binds leadership. >> woodruff: help us understand this divide that we're watch, robert draper, among conservatives and among republicans. how is it breaking down out there in the country and here in washington. >> it's become even more confused than it was in 2010/2011 whe where we saw this schism between the tea party movement and establishment republicans. ted cruz is not strictly speaking a libertarian. he and rand paul don't agree on every single thing, nor does he agree on everything sin thing with marco rubio who came in with the tea party movement. what's frustrating to the "wall street journal" editorial board, to karl rove and to other so-called establishment republicans or establishment conservatives who have come out against ted cruz is that cruz's
gambit lacks a strategy. it seems to me just sort of throwing a bomb at the thing without any particular end game. and their concern is that this is going to blow back historically it has against republicans and government shutdowns but this will there particular because there's no end in sight. even senator cruz has not suggested precisely how all of this is going to play out. >> woodruff: speaking of how it all plays out, meredith, what happens? assuming the senate changes this bill, takes out the part that defunds obamacare, sends it back to the house, what are the prospects of that for funding the government? >> that's the $98 million question, billion dollar question at this point. thank you for correcting my math. i don't know. i think that they don't really know exactly what they're going to do yet. i think they're looking to senate republican votes because if there's an overwhelming percentage of the senate republican conference that votes in favor for this bill it will be easier for house republican leaders to sell whatever package or changes that they have to make. the problem right now is that
you have multiple divisions within republicans on the senate side. you have conservatives like tom coburn who think the spending levels are too high. then you have to ted cruz "we need to defund the health care law." >> woodruff: my question is: are they prepared to shut down the government? >> i think they have to be particularly given what the timeline is. even if it's a temporary shutdown. if you remember back in the spring of 2011 there were a few hours in which the government was shut down. you could see somethat that would be in the days length. but it doesn't seem that they have any end game strategy. but i don't know, they tend to pull things out at the end so we'll see. right now it seems like they're pretty much caught. >> woodruff: well, watch this space closely between now and monday. meredith shiner, robert draper, thank you both. >> ifill: and speaking of that battle over obamacare, it was the subject of a rare public conversation between president obama and former president clinton. they sat down together today at the clinton global initiative.
>> part of what i think the resistance that we've seen ramp up, particularly over the last couple of months is all about is the opponents of health care reform know they're going to sign up. in fact, one of the major opponents, when asked "well why is it that you'd potentially shut down the government at this point just to block obamacare?" he basically 'fessed up. he said "well, once consumers get hooked on having health insurance and subsidies then they won't want to give it up." (laughter) i mean, that's -- you can look at the transcript this is one of the major opponents of health care reform. it is an odd logic. essentially they're saying "people will like this thing too much and then it will be really hard to roll back." >> ifill: beyond the politics, both presidents spoke at length today about one key aspect of the law-- what it will mean for
young adults whose enrollment is critical to its potential success. that's our focus tonight as part of our ongoing series in which we try to answer viewer questions about the law. mary agnes carey of kaiser health news joins us. kaiser health news is an independent organization focusing on health policy. welcome. >> thank you for having me. >> ifill: we're going to get right to the questions. the first is a video question we get from a student. let's look. >> hi, i'm from willard, missouri. i was wondering how it would affect me. i'm going into college in the next year and after college. >> ifill: that's a good question. what happens to college students who see their future maybe shrinking. >> it's a great question. in college she could certainly stay on her parents' health insurance plan until age 26. the affordable care act allows that to happen. i would check out her student health plan. what does that offer? is that of interest to her? and also after college she can certainly stay on her parents' health insurance plan if that
were a better deal for her. her new employer might actually offer her coverage. there will be a catastrophic option for people up to age 30. pretty high deductible, $6,400 minimal coverage, then she could look at the subsidies in the online exchanges that are part of the health care law. >> ifill: a lot of discussion about what happens to people who stay on their parents' health care plan until they're 26. let's take a question from someone -- vicki in concord, north carolina, who wants to know what happens. she's actually an adult over 26 who has no income and has not filed an income tax return is year and is not a dependent of anyone else. are they eligible, she wants to know, for subsidy and the like through the federal exchange? >> my first thought when i heard about this situation is what about the medicaid expansion if her state is expanding medicaid. the federal health law allows individuals up to about $16,000 of income. she says she doesn't have any income and hasn't filed a tax return in years. would that will be a better option than looking at the exchange? >> ifill: would it? >> well, chances are medicaid
would offer more affordable coverage for her. she could certainly, depending on her income level, she says she has no income, exchanges are open to people over 100% of income but it could be a better deal for her, medicaid, cover more than -- and at a -- more affordable to her than exchanges. >> ifill: it sounds like people don't recognize medicaid will be there. >> well, it's difficult because some states are participating and some are not. >> ifill: let's go on now to another young person who is 26 years old who says that she's single, a freelance photographer makes about $6,000 a year. she says i still live with my parents, i'm from deep south texas where income levels are very low. i currently don't have any form of health insurance and don't understand how it works. what options will i have to access affordable health care? >> this is a complicated question because her state is not expanding medicaid. >> ifill: just what we were talking about. >> her income is around $6,000. the exchanges are open to people above 100% of the poverty line.
that's about $11,500. in this case i would recommend she look at community health centers. they're all over the country, they've received additional money in the affordable care act to do a variety of things, including providing more health care to individuals and your pay is based on a sliding scale based on her income. >> ifill: i have one more question, e-mail question from a viewer for you and this is an interesting one, from from a woman in arizona who writes: i have a $25-year-old daughter with cerebral palsy who's presently covered by arizona's version of medicaid. will obamacare change her medical coverage? i also have a 27-year-old daughter who presently has no health insurance coverage. she is underemployed and makes just about poverty level income. any advice forer? >> for the younger child on medicaid, you could not qualify her for a subsidy and go into the exchange so she will stay in medicaid. for older child, it sounds like she could qualify for a possible subsidy on the exchange to help with her premium and also to get some help with co-pays and deductibles because, as we
remember, when you look at your health care expenditures, it's not just your premium, it's your co-pays and deductibles. sounds like that older child could get help on the exchange. >> ifill: why is it supreme these basic questions at this point? is it because it's just that complicated or is it that there haven't been enough explanations? >> it is just that complicated. but also i think people are very busy with their lives. they're working, maybe taking care of their parents or their children and now that the exchanges are going to open up on october 1, that really focuses people's attention. will this be a good deal for he? do i qualify? can i get a subsidy? can i get assistance? i think it's the natural course of things for people not to pay attention until they have to. >> woodruff: is it possible that the political debate judy was just talking about has made people think this is not the law? >> i certainly think that could be part of the issue. they hear the house of representatives has voted over 40 times to defund all or part of the law you might not remember that it is, in fact, still the law of the land and is being implemented.
so this is where the obama administration administration has to step up and explain the exchanges, the medicaid expansion. they will be posting rates soon on the federally run exchanges. many states have made their rates there known and so people need to look at it and figure out what's the best deal for them. >> ifill: let's talk about what's actually law and what's real right now. just for people who get to stay on their parents' insurance until the age of 26, how many people has that affected since this action became law? >> as of december-- according to the department of health and human services-- about 3.1 million young adults up to the age of 26 have stayed on their health insurance plan. it's one of the more popular provisions of the law. it's been a god send for college graduates that maybe haven't found a job or haven't found a job that offers health care insurance. >> ifill: we know three million have stayed on but how many more are eligible to stay on? do we know? >> well, the one thought of this is that the exchanges roll out, the government is trying to aim enrollment at over three million young adults who are healthy.
they tend to be healthier to try to get them to get enrolled in health insurance, whether it's on their parents' plan or the exchanges because as we know when you're younger and healthier you balance out the risk of the older sicker people. >> ifill: so everyone's just waiting to see whether this really stays real. >> right. and they have to simply look at it to see what's the best thing for them. if. >> ifill: mary agnes carey of kaiser health news, thanks for helping us. >> sure, my pleasure. >> woodruff: next, the end of an era for an embattled smartphone company. last week, blackberry announced that it was facing a huge loss due to unsold devices, and would lay off about 40% of its already reduced workforce. and yesterday it said it had signed a tentative agreement to be purchased and taken private. the deal, with a group led by blackberry's largest shareholder, amounts to $4.7 billion. jeffrey brown has our story. >> brown: huge problems today,
but it's not that long ago that the term "crackberry" was coined because so many people were not only using but were seen as hopelessly addicted to the company's mobile devices. so what happened? we asked farhad manjoo, technology columnist in for the "wall street journal." farhad, why did people stop buying blackberrys? >> well, the short answer is the iphone. apple created this device that proved to be really popular and immediately changed the entire smart phone industry. before the iphone came along, devices that had hardware keyboards like the blackberry were the most popular smart phones and they were mostly sold to big companies and used in businesses. the iphones changed that marketplace because it was sold to consumers and it became this really fun attractive device that lots of other companies tried to mimic and blackberry lost out in that new market.
>> brown: just to give us some perspective, where was blackberry, say, five years ago in that market? >> blackberry was the most popular smart phoning maker. across the world its market share was in double digits and it was really profitable and doing well in the stock market. it was the equivalent of -- as success afl tech company as is possible to be that was blackberry. so at the top of its game around the time the iphone came along. >> brown: when people look and talk about what happens to a technology company that goes from the leader and drops, in this case what was it? was it just a bad bet on who it would be popular with? or what happened? >> i think what happened is complacency. blackberry had become addicted to a single way to sell its
devices. the way it sold its devices was that it had relationships with it managers at big companies and those i.t. managers issued blackberry's phones to their employees. and that was an easy way to sell phones because i.t. managers have a sort of limited set of needs. they need secure phones but they didn't really need flashy phones. they didn't need phones that ran a lot of apps. in fact, they wanted phones that didn't run a lot of apps and that made them secure. the market changed and blackberry didn't recognize it when the iphone came along and apple and later devices running google android operating systems began to sell directly to consumers and those consumers have jobs and they didn't want to use the phones that their companies were providing for them so their i.t. managers began to let them use the devices they bought for home use and that's sort of how the iphone and android phones crept
into blackberry's market. blackberry suddenly realized that its customers, the i.t. managers, weren't the ones making decisions anymore. >> brown: these troubles, of course, have been going on for several years and i know the company's tried several things in the last couple years to try to maintain or even turn it around. but turning it around for any tech company is pretty hard. there aren't too many examples of that. >> yeah, i mean, there's certainly one example you can think of of a tech company that kind of hits bottom and turns around and that's a until during the '90s when steve jobs return and it became the juggernaut it is today. but the way it did that is by -- you know, essentially abandoning its current market, its market at the time, which was p.c.s. apple still makes p.c.s, but what it did was leapfrog that and come up with a range of devices, first iphones and tap lets that beat that market, it did somethat that new.
blackberry didn't really try to do that. its whole problem is that it couldn't and had sort of showed no expertise in innovating beyond the smart phone that it had before. often over the last few years it's released several different devices that have promised to be the next big thing and they turned out to be either middle or not so great and not innovative. just copying what other people were doing. >> brown: we're talking about blackberry, we're talking about apple. just in our last minute, another company that people always look at in this regard as being a huge leader and then what happens, that's microsoft, another big player still but still trying to find its way and its position. >> yeah, i mean, and the story for microsoft is similar. it had this huge market, the p.c., and then pretty much without its noticing, the p.c. market began to go away. and now kind of the center of
energy in the technology business has to do with mobile devices like phones and tablet which is microsoft is really trying to catch up there, they just bought nokia but it's -- they face the same kind of problem that blackberry has which is kind of trying to get ahead in the new market that's dominated by other players. >> brown: a had manjoo at the "wall street journal," thanks so much. >> ifill: finally tonight, separating the historical jesus from the theological one. ray suarez has our book conversation. >> thanks. >> suarez: was he a prophet, the son of god or a revolutionary intent on overthrowing israel's roman rulers? these are the questions at the hard of the new book "zealot. the life and times of jesus of nazareth" by religion scholar and writer reza aslan. reza, i'm glad the whole kerr
can you feel over whether a muslim could or should write this book is over because the more interesting question is why you would write it, what attracted you to the subject in the first place. >> i have been interested in jesus for a very long time, both as a worshiper-- when i was 15 years old i converted to evangelical christianity-- and as a scholar. in undergrad i was first introduced to the historical jesus and i think having that perspective of coming at him from both of those view points, one that was as a worshiper and one unburdened by dogma and doctrine provided me with both a deep sense of respect and christianity in a way that billions of people around the world understand jesus. but at the same time gave me the impetus to try to dig through as much as possible all that layer of interpretation to get to who
the man himself was if for no other reason to just know him better. >> suarez: well, you came as boy from revolutionary iran and you write "jesus, on the other hand, was america. he was the central figure america's national drama, accepting him into my heart was as close as i could get to feeling truly american." now, if you grow up in this culture, if you're born into this culture, it may be like trying to describe water to a fish. but the idea that jesus is so sufficient fused into the culture may not even be that apparent to a lot of people. >> i think you're right. i think for a lot of people, frankly, the cross and the flag blend into a single icon. but as an iranian coming into the united states in the early 1980s when anti-iranian and anti-muslim sentiment were at very high levels it was important for me to distance myself from my culture and my religion as much as possible. and i do not want to give the impression that this was some conversion of convenience. i burned with the fire of god.
i went to school to study the new testment from a position of belief. and although that position eventually disintegrated, i have made the study of jesus and, frankly, have molded myself by the example that he provided 2000 years ago, i've made that the purpose of my career. >> suarez: the book has grow you drawing conclusions from a lot of the scholarship work on the historical jesus. is this really a come pend sglupl a kind of guided tour? a map to what the best thinkers have been saying about the central figure in christianity? >> i think that's an excellent way of describing it. to be perfectly honest, after 200 years of the quest for the historical jesus there isn't all that much new to say any longer. and while there are some arguments in the book that are somewhat innovative, somewhat fresh, the fact of the matter is
that the book is really a dysnation of a century if not more of academic work on the historical jesus but it's put into an appealing accessible form that would invite the lay audience, the general reader, to take part in a debate that's been going nonacademia for a very long time. >> suarez: "the life and times of jesus of nazareth." i think we put so much emphasis on the life that we forget about the times and one of the best things the book does is take us to first century palestine, take us to the eastern mediterranean of the roman empire and it's important to understand the soil that this new religion grows out of >> this period we're talk about was probably the most tumultuous era of the holy land, which is obviously saying a lot. you're talking about a bloody, brutal roman occupation that controlled every aspect of the life of the jews. you're talking about a continuous succession of
insurrections and rebellions by the jews against the romans, many of which were brutally crushed by the empire and a sense of apocalyptic expectation that animated the jews, it was like a virus going through the land. everyone expected something dramatic to happen and there were a series of messianic aspire rants, one after another claiming to be the messiah, claiming to come to release the jews from the bondage of the reman occupation and jesus fits very much in the center of that movement. there's no more important factor in understanding who jesus was than this. he was a jew. now, obviously, everyone knows that jesus was a jew and no one denies that he was a jew, but few people actually stop and think about the consequences of that fact. the consequences are that everything that jesus said or
did he said or did as a jew. it means his audience were all jews. it means the only god he knew was the god of the hebrew bible, the old testament. the only scriptures he knew were the hebrew scripture. the only religion he had any real experience of was second temple jew dayism. so what that means is that we have to understand and place jesus's words and actions firmly and inextricably i would say within the jewish context of the time. if he said "i am the messiah" he meant what every jew meant. if he talked about the kingdom of god he meant what every jew meant when they heard the kingdom of god. and. >> suarez: and the tumult of those times is really the milieu, the atmosphere that are a new religion grows out of. it can't be pulled out of its context, can it? >> whether you believe that jesus is god or not, the son of
god or not, the messiah or not, that you believe he was still a human being and if he was a human being regardless of whatever else he was he was a product of his time and when you want to know who he was as a worshiper or as simply a person of interest you must know the world in which he lived. >> suarez: the book is "zealot, the life and times of jesus of as in wrath." we have to continue this conversation. >> thank you. >> woodruff: again, the major developments of the day. the president of kenya proclaimed victory in a bloody, four-day siege at a nairobi shopping mall. the islamist attackers disputed his claims. and the u.n. general assembly opened, with president obama urging diplomatic action on syria's chemical weapons and iran's nuclear program. >> ifill: online, landing the perfect job means being a smart job candidate. on "ask the headhunter" today, three ways you can be a shrewd applicant. read what they are on our making sense page.
all that and more is on our web site, newshour.pbs.org. >> woodruff: and that's the newshour for tonight. >> woodruff: and that's the newshour for tonight. later this evening on most pbs stations charlie rose talks about climate change with former president clinton and former vice president gore. and the newshour on wednesday, the price of premiums on the new health insurance exchanges plus an interview with the c.e.o. of comcast, the plus, an interview with the c.e.o. of comcast on the future of tv. i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. we'll see you online and again here tomorrow evening. on behalf of all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> bnsf railway. >> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation.
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this is nightly business report. >> sailing through the heart of historic cities and landscapes on a river you get close to iconic landmarks, to local life, to cultural treasures. viking river cruises, exploring the world in comfort. sharon never said that we were going to reduce the rate of asset purchases in september. she said later this year. i think that framework he laid out is still very much intact. >> an influential fed member says status quo when it comes to the taper. so why is the market not flying