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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  January 28, 2013 7:00pm-8:00pm EST

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captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions eight senators unveiled an immigration reform plan that will offer a pass to citizenship for 11 million people living in the u.s. illegally. good evening. i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy wood rough. on the newshour tonight, we explore the details and the politics with two senators who helped craft the proposal. illinois democrat dick durbin and arizona republican jeff flake. >> ifill: then we turn to conflicts in three places around the world beginning with a renewed wave of unrest in egypt that's left more than 50 people
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dead. >> woodruff: from israel margaret warner reports on fears of islamic militants and chemical weapons just overr thee border. >> warner: with conflict raging inside syria, israel's taking no chances. it's now fortifying the security barrier behind me to guard against any dangers that may arise. >> ifill: and from mali, lindsay hilsum has a story of celebration as french and local forces push north to capture two key towns. >> reporter: look at these people. just thrilled because they can dance. they can sing. the women can ride motor bikes. they can do all the things they haven't been able to do for the last nine months while the jihadis have been in power. >> woodruff: we close with a new edition of the daily download. tonight, c cefa facebook postings get you fired? >> ifill: that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by 0r6
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>> ifill: for the first time in years, there was serious talk today of getting congress to act on immigration. senators from both sides of the aisle joined to offer propose manies and said they'll work to get them passed by summer. >> we are dealing with 11 million human beings who are here undocumented, the vast and enormous majority of whom have come here in pursuit of what all of us would recognize as the american dream. that's what we endeavor to move forward here on. >> ifill: that announcement today moved immigration reform to the front burner in congress. eight senators, four democrats and four republicans, launched a renewed effort to tackle the issue after years of inaction. >> i am the most optimistic i have been in quite some time. and i'm not pollyannaish about that at all. i recognize there are difficult challenges ahead but i just get the sense of a spirit and a
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commitment that is far beyond wheat'ven i se in some time. >> ifill: the group of eight have agreed to four underlying principles. key among to create a path to citizenship for thele 11 million undocumented people now estimated to be living in the united states. but first a border security would be beefed up and the government would improve its tracking of current visa holders. the senators also want to grant more green cards to highly educated immigrants and would allow more lower-skilled workers into the country especially for agricultural purposes. finally, the agreement calls for an effective verification system to crack down on employers who hire workers in the country illegally. in 2006 and 2007, similar efforts to fix the nation's patchwork of immigration laws failed under both republican and democratically controlled congresses but democratic senator chuck sheumer of new york said this time will be
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different. >> the politics on this issue have been turn upsidedown. for the first time ever there's more political risk in opposing immigration reform than in supporting it. >> ifill: indeed this new effort comes on the heels of last year's election in which president obama won seven of every ten hispanic votes in his victory over republican mitt romney. senator john mccain of arizona said that's the key reason his party must now get on board. >> elections. elections. the republican party is losing the support of our hispanic citizens. and we realize that there are many issues in which we think we are in agreement with our hispanic citizens, but this is a preeminent issue with those citizens. >> ifill: mccain also said the country cannot continue to deny citizenship to children brought to the u.s. illegally. president obama has said immigration reform is at the top
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of his second term agenda. today his spokesman jay carney welcomed the senate agreement. >> this is a big deal. this is an important development. this is in keeping with the principles the president has been espousing for a long time, in keeping with bipartisan efforts in the past, and with the effort this president believes has to end in a law that he can sign. >> ifill: mr. obama is scheduled to unveil his own ideas on immigration reform tomorrow in las vegas. >> woodruff: so how will the politics of this new effort shake out on capitol hill? we asked two senators from the gang of eight. first my conversation with democratic senator dick durbin of illinois. i talked to the majority whip just a short time ago. senator durbin, thank you very much for joining us. i think one of the main questions i'm hearing is, what does this proposal mean for people living in this country illegally right now? what would happen to them? >> basically it would give them
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a chance to go through a criminal background check to make certain that there are no problems in terms of their background, to pay a fine, to pay their taxes, and then they would be here in a probationary status where they could not be deported. they could work. and we watched them as a number of other things evolve and progress under the bill. border security leading to green cards, leading to citizenship. >> woodruff: we hear some advocacy organizations saying, wait a minute. even that level of requirement is going to be a disincentive. they're not going to want to sign up if they have to pay a fine and so forth. >> well, i'll tell you. that's going to be part of it. we believe that these people who have lived here for so many years in fear and have tried to make a best of their lives and the lives of their families are prepared to earn their way into legal status and to citizenship. and the argument that they would not pay a fine and such, i really think that will not be a
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major obstacle. we went through this with the deferred deportation under the dream act. almost 400,000 people came forward. they paid the amount that was necessary. >> woodruff: we also are hearing, senator, from labor leaders who are saying this... requiring that they provide... folks who are here illegally provide proof of employment is going to be very difficult for many of them because they've been working off the clock. they've been complying with rules that allow hem to... allow them to work but don't give them actual proof. >> we've run into this before. when you've been living in the shadows for years, maybe even decades and we say to come forward, register with the government. some are afraid to do it. those who do it say we don't leave a paper trail on our lives. they have to construct something. it's hard. it's difficult. but they're doing it. the young people are doing it. i'm convinced that many of them will be able to satisfy the requirements in the final bill. >> woodruff: senator, another comment is, are these individuals who could be taking
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jobs away from americans, people living in this country legally now? >> this legislation will state expressly that the first priority for jobs is to make sure americans have a chance to fill them. but where americans are unavailable or uninterested in a job, then they would be available to the folks who are here undocumented at this moment. put it in this perspective. many of these people who are undocumented and working are being paid below minimum wage under conditions that no american worker would ever legally be required to work under. when we start elevating the standard of employment to make sure that everyone is treat equally, there will be more opportunities for jobs across the board. >> woodruff: as you said today, senator, there have been so many efforts to do this before. they've all failed. what makes you think this time is different? >> well, i don't want to say it expressly. let me say it through my friend john mccain who has stated publicly yesterday and today it's about the last election. many republicans who have
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opposed immigration reform, those who have been luke warm toward it looked at&t the results. the results are overwhelming. in the state of texas, in the grade schools in texas, more than half the students are nonwhite students. you take a look at colorado in the presidential race. president obama carried that battle ground state of colorado. he had 85% of hispanic vote. that isn't being lost on our republican friends. senator mccain has been very forthright in saying that's one of the reasons they want to get this done. >> woodruff: you're confident this will pass? >> i don't want to say confident because i'm a senator. you know, i spend my whole life disappointed. i've been 12 years on the dream act but i've never felt better about it and more positive. i look at the republican senators who are there -- mccain, graham, rubio -- and i say to myself we have senators that can really move some boots on their side of the aisle. >> woodruff: senator dick durbin, the majority whip in the senate. thank you. >> good to be with you, judy. ifill: we turn to another
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republican senator who was there jeff flake who was just elected in arizona. welcome, senator flake. the democrats are perfectly happy to quote john mccain as saying this is about the results of the election. this is about politics. is it about politics or policy? >> both frankly. i think it's the best policy. some of us have been at this a while. we felt we have to deal with this issue but also the election are had a way of focusing our attention on this issue. whatever moves, politics or policy, i'm grateful for it and i think a lot of people will be. >> ifill: what do you say to members of your party who have already started to say this is not the right approach. this will only increase or atrablght more illegal immigrants. >> i don't think that's the case. if we put the measures in place called for by this legislation, the border security measures and also the verification for employment, then we can deal with that issue. for the first time here we're going to have triggers that will only grant citizenship once certain border measures are
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taken. so for the first time we've got measures like that. i think that will help. that's something we haven't had in the past. >> ifill: let's talk about something short of citizenship which is employment. was there any concern in your negotiations that what you come up with here might result in taking jobs away from americans especially these agricultural ones? >> we will deal with that as we draft the legislation but there are requirements that senator durbin said that we make sure that americans who want to fill these jobs have the opportunity to do so. only when they don't or can't will we turn to those who want to participate in this program. so there are provisions for that. >> ifill: senator, tell me whether i'm hearing a difference in tone now. i heard senator youtube yoa say at the beginning of our piece he describes that people were talking about as 11 million human beings who are here undocumented. that's different from calling them illegal aliens. is that a conscious decision to refer to these people differently? >> well, i think you'll see a different tone all the way around.
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i mean i'm from ground zero in this issue. arizona. you've seen a different tone in the last year or so. i think you'll continue to see a different tone moving ahead. across the entire country. like i said i've worked on this issue for a while. i've never felt better about the prospects than i do today. >> ifill: you know as well as anyone that people have gotten unused to seeing congress across the aisle cooperate on anything. can you give us a peek into what brought this about. what kinds of meetings were held, how you guys came to this accommodation? >> well, some of these individuals have been working on this for quite a while. myself in the house. and then senator rubio has come just in the senate in the last two years andñi certainly adds a perspective and a voice that we needed on the republican side. it was just thought that we've got to do it on an equal basis, equal number of republicans and democrats. people who are interested and who have experience on the topic and then who bring a particular
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unique voice to it. i think we have a great group to start with. i think you'll see it expand pretty rapidly. >> ifill: this hinges in part on getting border security ramped up. is that something that is is doable? >> it is. in arizona we have an example of where it works. the so-called yuma sector which is about 88 miles of border in arizona. we have operational control there, have had for the last couple of years. so we know what can work. now, the tucson sector, which makes up most of the rest of the border, is more difficult terrain. however, it can be done if we have the will to do it. >> ifill: finally, senator, you are recently a member of the house. what do you think is the prospect for this legislation and anything you come up with in the house? >> obviously it's a more difficult lift in the house. for those who aren't particularly as excited as i am and others are about the prospect of immigration reform, i think a lot of those same people want to get this issue in the rear-view mirror. so there's motivation to get it
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behind us for those who don't want to deal with it as well. i think that we have the planets aligned here now to move ahead. >> ifill: senator jeff flake, new republican from arizona congratulationses on that by the way. >> thank you. >> woodruff: still to come on the newshour, police and demonstrators clash in egypt; israelis worry about the civil war next door in syria; french and malian forces close in on timbuktu; and laws protect what workers say on the web. but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: president obama kept the focus on gun violence today, meeting with police chiefs from aurora, colorado; oak creek, wisconsin; and newtown, connecticut. they were the sites of the worst mass shootings of 2012. the white house meeting also included vice president biden and cabinet officials, along with the heads of the major cities chiefs association and the major county sheriffs association. we recognize that this is an
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issue that elicits a lot of passion all across the country. hopefully if law enforcement officials who are dealing with this stuff every single day can come to some basic consensus in terms of steps that we need to take, congress is going to be paying attention to them and we'll be able to make progress. >> sreenivasan: president obama renewed his push for a ban on assault-style weapons. but he also said washington has to "get serious" about universal background checks and mental health issues. the boy scouts confirmed today they're reconsidering a longstanding ban on gay scouts and leaders. a spokesman said the policy may be changed to let sponsors of individual units decide for themselves. sponsoring groups are generally churches and civic organizations. protests over the gay ban have prompted some corporations to stop donating money to the scouts. a $50 billion disaster aid measure for victims of hurricane sandy moved toward final approval this evening in the u.s. senate. the house passed the bill two weeks ago over the opposition of some conservatives. they wanted offsetting spending
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cuts to avoid adding to the nation's debt. democrat tom harkin of iowa is the latest member of the u.s. senate to say he's retiring. harkin announced saturday that he won't seek reelection in 2014. he cited his age: he's 73, and would be 81 at the end of another term. harkin was first elected in 1984. his signature legislative work is the 1990 americans with disabilities act. the city of santa maria in southern brazil was in mourning today for 231 people killed in a weekend nightclub fire. police said they'd detained three people in connection with the blaze and were on the hunt for a fourth. we have a report narrated by neil connery of independent television news. >> reporter: the most painful journey has begun. family after family carefully carry those they lost to the funerals of the nightclub fire victims begin. this gymnasium, now a makeshift morgue. the scale of loss and the tide of grief fill the hole.
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many of those killed were university students. "i feel a lot of sadness because i lost my son," this man says. "he was full of life and health." "the names of the 231 victims are read out as family and friends wait for news. rescuers battled against the flames and thick smoke as the fire took hold on saturday night. investigators are looking at reports that only one emergency exit was open and that some of the victims were even stopped by security as they tried to escape. this is the club filmed on the previous occasion. the fire began when a band member on stage lit a flare which set the ceiling alight. many of those killed died from smoke inhalation and the stampede. as brazil declares three days of
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mourning, the country's president has been comforting families and survivors. as the questions and anger over what has happened continue, the first burials of those killed in the fire have taken place. santa maria's suffering and loss are being felt across brazil. >> sreenivasan: in addition to the dead, more than 100 people remained hospitalized for smoke inhalation. some were sent to neighboring cities for treatment of burns. iran announced a new step today in its drive to put a man in space. state tv reported the islamic republic launched a monkey into space and safely returned it to earth. still images showed the monkey being prepared for the flight, and images of the "pioneer" rocket used for the mission. a similar flight two years ago carried a mouse, a turtle, and worms. the u.s. and others have said iran's real goal is to build long-range missiles armed with nuclear warheads. the u.s. treasury department is now under fire for approving excessive pay at bailed-out companies. an internal report today found
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the bailout program, known as tarp, okayed all 18 requests for raises that it received last year. most topped $100,000, and the largest was $1 million. the raises went to executives at insurance giant a.i.g. as well as general motors and ally financial. on wall street, stocks cooled off a bit after a rally that's lasted most of the month. the dow jones industrial average lost 14 points to close just under 13,882. the nasdaq rose more than four points to close at 3,154. stanley karnow, the award- winning author and journalist who wrote about the vietnam war, died sunday. he had congestive heart failure. karnow first went to vietnam early in the conflict, 1958, for "time" magazine. he covered the war on and off heer text two his reporting culminated in" tot arong with cupbdos nt y e war. he also won a pulitzer prize in 1990 for a book on the philippines. stanley karnow was 87 years old. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to judy. >> woodruff: and we turn to the
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upheaval in egypt, coming two years after the revolt that lead to the toppling of president hosni mubarak. jeffrey brown has our story. >> brown: political violence ravaged egypt for a fifth day after a weekend that saw more than 50 people killed. in cairo, protestors threw rocks and gasoline bombs at riot police. police in turn fired tear gas into the crowds who oppose president mohammed morsi and his islamist dominated government. >> what's happening here in the country is really shameful. destroying the city is not fair. but at the same time the way the police treat people makes tensions heavier because all decisions by morsi's government have been taken out of the public interest. >> brown: security officials said a man described as a by-stander was killed by a gunshot. it was unclear who fired it. and government tanks were on the streets in the cities of suez and port said.
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they enforced a curfew that an angry president morsi announced last night. >> to end the bloodshed, to maintain security against vandals and law breakers and for the protection of citizens, i have decided after referring to the constitution to announce the imposing of the state of emergency in port said, suez, and islamiya for 30 days. >> brown: the trouble began last week as the country marked the two-year anniversary of the uprising that ousted president hosni mubarak. protests on friday turned violent, and 11 people died nationwide. over the weekend, 44 more were killed in forth said alone. the violence there was sparked when a court sentenced 21 people to death for their roles in a soccer riot a year ago. for president morsi, the violence is the latest in a series of crises since his election last summer. and sunday he warned he will use force to stop the trouble if need be. but he also called for talks.
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>> there is no alternative to dialogue. as i have done before, dialogue is the only way forward. thus, i call on political figures for dialogue monday concerning the dire situation we are in and to set the framework and measures of dialogue. >> brown: the opposition coalition, the national salvation front, rejected the appeal through one of its leaders, mohammed al baradei. >> the dialogue which the president called for last night is cosmetic not substantive. we're all for any serious dialogue that has a set agenda which can move the country forward. >> brown: he claims morsi and his islamists have hijacked the revolution. it wants to amend the new constitution that voters ratified last month. from afar, the u.s. state department today urged morsi's government to proceed carefully. >> we are watching how the emergency law put in place will be applied given the very sensitive history of this in
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egypt. what's most important is that the egyptian government respect the rights of all egyptians to due process going forward. >> brown: meanwhile as thousands of egyptians attended funerals, the morsi government waited to see whether emergency rule will quell the trouble. a short time ago i spoke about the situation to a reporter of the financial times from cairo. welcome. so where do things stand now? is the violence, the worse of it over? or is it expected to continue? >> it's really not clear at all. i think that's one of the hopes of the government of president mohammed morsi, that the violence will burn itself out, but what we're seeing now is that the violence is spreading to cities where we hadn't seen it in recent days. the protests, especially against this new marshal law, this emergency law, are increasing to other cities and towns. in addition, we're seeing new
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forms of violence, new types of organized violence with new types of protestors taking to the streets and sort of doing things that they haven't done before. >> brown: tell us a little bit about the opposition. the national salvation front is the coalition that sort of organized coalition opposition. how much are they leading this? how organized is it? and you're saying there's other kinds of opposition at this point. >> i think that's a really good in terms of what connection the violence on the streets has to the rhetoric and back room machinations of the so-called national opposition salvation front. you do have the leaders, al baradei and musa who make up this liberal leftist coalition that is opposing the muslim brotherhood. they are issuing statements. they're making demands but if you get on the streets and talk
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to the protestors, the people who are leading some of the violence, they feel totally diskeked from this group. as a matter of fact, they have contempt for them, and they feel and they say that the national salvation front has betrayed them. and betrayed the revolution. just as much as the muslim brotherhood has. so i think there's multiple forces at work here. and they're not... it's not at all clear whether anyone has any sway over the violence that's unfolding on the streets. >> brown: all right. some of these opposition groups are what? anarchist type groups? ill formed and not connected at all to any organizedded opposition? >> you know, it's kind of sad. you know, a revolution that was based on peaceful opposition is producing a movement now called a black block that is essentially dedicated to bringing organized violence to these protests. they are adopting the tactics of
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western european anarchist groups like the black block and germany's group. they're coming to protest ready to do battle with the police. i spoke with some of them today. they said that, you know, the time of peaceful protest is over. now it's the time to organize ourselves into cells so that we can fight the police fair and square and fight violence with violence. it just shows how far from the original conception of the revolution some of these revolutionaries have strayed. >> brown: we focus a lot obviously on cairo but port said was the city where there was intense violence over the weekend and many many deaths. tell us a little bit... and some of that tied to this trial from the soccer riot last year. remind us. that riot. is all of this tied to the kind of public unrest with the government or is this to be seen as somehow a separate event? >> it's somewhat separate. but the root causes are the
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same. yes, you have people who are very angry over judicial verdict that does seem kind of harsh. 22 young people sentenced to death for their alleged role in this soccer riot last year. the trial was closed to the public. there's a gag order for bidding any reporter from reporting on what was happening in the trial, what kind of evidence was disclosed. rather baffling. all of a sudden you had these death penalties. i think what it underscores is the failure of the political elite to come up with a sort of broad consensus to address egypt's critical needs. that includes those critical needs includes judiciary reform, major need to increase public trust in the judiciary which has just been collapsing over the last few decades. it is seen by many people as a bastion of patronage and
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corruption rather than a system for meting out justice. so when these verdicts came out, people just assumed that this was a sort of political verdict meant to placate some people at the cost of the sons of the city of port said. >> brown: now what about the government? i don't know if you've been able to talk to people in the government or around president morsi. what is the thinking on what led him to these... this very strong step of declaring a state of emergency and obviously drawing a comparison to president mubarak? >> in the absence of... you know, as you point out, you know, drawing comparisons to president mubarak, this is something that he had promised earlier that he would never do: declare a state of emergency, bring the army back on to the streets. yet he has done it. in the absence of reform, in the absence of bolstering trust in the various egyptian institutions he's left with no other recourse than the arab
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dictator's path which is resorting to the tank. it's sort of a sad commentary on the rather tortured course of this post revolutionary transition that, you know, this is what egypt has come to. it gives people, people who supported the revolution, a sense that it's been betrayed and hijacked by the current political elite. >> brown: you mentionedded the army. what do we know about the role of the army, of course? because that was a key two years ago to how they responded to the initial opposition to mubarak. where are they now? >> i think there's a lot of debate as to what the army is up to, what it's thinking is. they're not very talkative. so to speak. but what it does seem like is that the army is very content to take a back seat role. its various privileges, its businesses it's kind of untransparent budget are protected in the new
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constitution. it seems to me and many other analysts, they have no interest in taking a front line political position once again as they did during a large part of the transition. so they're content to sit back and let the political game play itself out. if things should worsen here, then you might see the army intervene but at this point it doesn't seem they have the political will at all. >> brown: our reporter in cairo with the financial times, thanks so much for talking to us. >> ifill: next, to israel. president obama called prime minister benjamin netanyahu today to congratulate him on his victory in last week's parliamentary elections. the two leaders spoke about ensuring security in the region at a time of growing tensions. with their elections behind them, both men plan to address the civil war in syria, the threat posed by iran's nuclear program, and the stalemate
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between israelis and palestinians. and those are the subjects of three stories this week from margaret warner who is on a reporting trip to israel, the west bank and gaza. she begs t toghrtniporeg onpo israeli concerns about the conflict in nearby syria. >> warner: the sweeping vistas of the golan heights plateau and the bucolic life of the israelis who live here bear quiet witness to the strategic importance of this area which israel captured from syria during the 1967 arab-israeli war. but after four decades of quiet along this border, israel, just like syria's arab neighbors, is increasingly worried about the unpredictable spillover from the civil war there. this cease-fire line between israel and syria has been maintained for nearly 40 years by their armies and u.n. troops as well. but with conflict raging inside syria, israel is taking no chances. it's now fortifying the security
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barrier behind me to guard against any dangers that may arise. here are the fence adjoining a united nations' observer force outpost. u.n. officials voiced concern this month that the syrian conflict could threaten the longstanding separation line between the two countries. is. >> what we can see here is the military has strengthened the barrier. they have strengthened the gate that we see here. and the military is als introducing new technology devices to protect the border. >> warner: a reserve colonel in the israel defense forces who lives near says israel is trying to ensure that the conflict in syria doesn't threaten israel's hold on the goal and. nor the way of life of the 20,000 israelis who moved here after israel took control. many live in housing settlemen settlements. others live, as he does, on agricultural kibbutzes growing fruit and wine-producing grapes.
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yet the fighting has already spilled over. wind farmer and settlement leader took us to see one of his hill top wind turbines and point out his settlement across the way. >> to the east we can see the community. this is a typical community. a religious one. something like 100 families. >> warner: that very settlement was hit last december when a syrian army mortar shell fired at rebel fighters went astray. after several more shells crossed the israeli army fired back, destroying a syrian mobile artillery battery and wounding several syrian soldiers. just one of many measures israel has gone to, to protect their unrecognized hold on this strategic land. >> we are located on a military outpost that will be manned in case of war. so this yowft post is secured by mine fields.
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i'm speaking as an expert. i am an engineering officer. so i was laying this mine field and clearing them so when... take my advice don't cross them. >> warner: you know wrf you speak. he took us to a second ridge top overlooking a syrian town the rebels now control as they do many areas abutting the golan. this is israel's second major worry, the danger of infiltration by the growing number of islamic jihaddists among the fighters opposing syrian president bashar al assad. also concerned on that score, prime minister benjamin netanyahu, who flew here recently to tour golan fortifications. he had just announced israel would construct an unbroken security wall along the golan cease-fire line. as he did so, he spoke publicly about israel's deepest worry involving syria. >> of course we are monitoring
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what happens on the other side of this buffer inside syria. regarding the rebels taking over and any movements vis-a-vis the chemical weapons. this is not only an israeli matter. we are in close contact with the u.s. on this issue. this is a strategic interest for both countries. >> warner: yesterday on netanyahu's order at least one iron dome antimissile battery was moved north to the golan. the system was used most recently to protect israel from rocket attacks during the gaza conflict. the vice premiere was explicit about the dangers. >> it means that chemical weapons, if it will move toward the terrorists, it would change dramatically the balance of power in the middle east. that's something that i believe most of the world cannot tolerate. >> warner: the assad regime is believed to have the largest chemical weapons arsenal in the middle east say western intelligence sources, but it's fate is uncertain as assad loses his grip on parts of the country. just yesterday israeli tv
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reported islamist rebel forces near one chemical weapons site and clashing with syrian troops near another. >> it's an open story with no end yet. we don't interfere in that. we can't interfere in that but it's of real concern. there is the chemical war heads and our very at good evidence on the bad guys so to speak trying to take over. the iranians trying to get in. hezbollah wonts to have their share. >> warner: intelligence minister says that israel and its allies are most concerned that if assad goes down, he may transfer some of syria's chemical arsenal to his ally hezbollah in lebanon. >> i don't want to go into them. one is that they move it to lebanon and to hezbollah and syria and then to lebanon. >> warner: the militant group hezbollah syria's proxy in neighboring lebanon fought israel to a surprising draw in 2006. it is now believed to have
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missiles including some supplied by syria that could strike tel aviv. that city has come under such fire before. and israelis are prepared. every apartment and every house in this middle class neighborhood contains a safe room where the family can take refuge in the case of attack. that's been required of every dwelling built here in the last 20 years, ever since saddam hussein aimed missiles at israel during the first gulf war. this man owns a company called i am protected. he installs, upgrades and retrofits residential safe rooms that serve as shelters in the case of attack. so what makes this a safe room? >> first of all, the walls are thicken and they're made of concrete. you have a special door for the blast. and when it's locked like this,
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it's also being sealed. >> warner: what do your customers tell you? i mean, do they think they'll really ever have to use this room? >> first of all, they've already used >> first of all, they use it. they already used it, we know, just a few months ago. the whole country was in their safe rooms. >> warner: so they know how it works, and they've used it? >> hopefully not to use it again. >> warner: avram was referring to the conflict last november, when radical palestinian groups in hamas-controlled gaza fired rockets into tel aviv, sending residents scrambling to their shelters. avram was repairing this safe room after it failed inspection because it wasn't airtight. >> but we can fix it. they will survive the next war. >> warner: if you've got enough lead time. >> that's true.
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>> warner: ensuring enough lead time is the job of israel's intelligence community. >> it would be hard to describe the extent of sources, manpower, money that was poured into israeli attempts to understand what is happening in syria. >> warner: ronen bergman is military and intelligence correspondent for israel's largest daily newspaper, "yedioth ahronoth." he says israel has been spying intently on the syrian regime of bashar al-assad-- and his father hafez before him-- for decades. >> in fact, it led to the belief, president assad's belief, that there is no communication in syria-- you name it, s.m.s., telex, g.s.m., e-mail, regular phone, cellular phone-- that is not bugged by israel signal intelligence unit. every time mustafa called muhammad, moshe was listening. >> warner: now, he says, that surveillance effort has intensified further still, as israel works to head off any transfer.
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what do israeli's fear the most about >> if israel is convinced that syria is supplying hezbollah with chemical weaponry of any sort, it would be deemed as crossing a red line, and israel would conduct a preemptive strike. period. >> warner: do you think the u.s. and israel are on the same page with how to deal with syria? chemical weapons threat or anything else? >> yes. yeah, i think that on this it's a unique topic where president obama and prime minister netanyahu do not differ. >> warner: yet despite the potential threats of the unknown that lie ahead in syria, bergman believes the collapse of the assad regime would be good for israel's security. >> they always say that israelis are very israeli-centric, and everything happening in the world is judged only by the question, "is it good for the jews or bad for the jews?" i think that the fall of every
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tyrant in the middle east is a good development. >> warner: up on the golan, avi zeira isn't so sure. >> with all the problems we had with the assad regime, he kept this border quiet. who will be the followers? who is going to replace him? >> warner: unanswerable questions at this point, which keep israel on the golan and elsewhere, watching with human eyes. >> ifill: margaret's next story looks at the debate in israel over how to deal with the threat of a nuclear-armed iran. our reporting team also visited an israeli winery near the syrian border. workers there were eager to portray the golan heights as a bucolic destination, not a spot close to a war zone. you can read about that online.
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>> woodruff: now, to mali, where government troops claimed major gains against islamist rebels linked to al-qaeda. th army entered the ancientth city of timbukto, a day after taking the town of gao. both had been held by the militants for months. in support, french forces were air-dropped north of timbukto overnight. along with french helicopters, they helped drive the rebels north. >> there is a general movement of retreat so we can't exactly know what their plan is. i'm not sure they have a plan. it looks like they are heading north and trying to be where operations are taking place. >> woodruff: the militants had systematically destroyed ancient cultural sites in tick buck due. timbuktu. and before they retreated, they burned a library that held scrolls dating to the middle ages. it was unclear how many were destroyed. meanwhile, the people of gao celebrated after the rebels were routed there on sunday.
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lindsey hilsum of independent television news filed this report from gao. a warning: it contains some graphic images. >> reporter: malian intelligen officers investigating. the barrels in the urtyard they say were intended to flow up the bridge over the river niger leading into gao. asth wyais a jihady bomb factor. interrupted by french air strikes they left traces of their trade. potassium nitrate to mix with charcoal for explosives. bullets but also empty stashes. the neighbors were never quite sure what was going on in here. >> i think they were arabs. we couldn't identify them. because they wore turbans and scarves. they didn't speak to anyone and we were afraid so we didn't ask them anything. >> reporter: these are like payments which they're giving to
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people working for them? >> yeah. reporter: the malian officers found records of payments, possibly to jihady fighters. and a money transfer from someone in saudi arabia. >> you can see it. we hear about it. but this is the proof. they're talking about qatar and saudi arabia and everything. this is the proof. yeah. now we keep that evidence for my people. >> reporter: we approached gao at dusk on saturday. villages on the outskirts showed their delight as a column of malian military vehicles drove through. oesterday morning on wasteland a few miles south of town, we saw four dead tenagereer. jihady recruits hit by a french missile fired from a helicopter as they fled gao.
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in the early afternoon we crossed the bridge the jea hadees had failed to blow up. a body lay twisted on the railing. a random, nameless victim. and suddenly riding on the back of a malian military pick-up, we were amongst the people of gao. euphorically praising france and freedom. >> vive lafrance! reporter: they are part of their country mali again, no longer forced to live in a separate islamist pseudo state. what an extraordinary moment in gao. look at these people just thrilled because they can dance, they can sing, the women can ride motor bikes, smek smoke. they can do all the things they
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haven't been able to do for the last nine months while the had ees have been in power. the mayor of gao who returned yesterday from exile in the capital addressed the crowd. no one could hear a word he said. but it didn't matter. he was back, a symbol of the malian state. people are looking forward to the first consignment of beer, hopefully soon. today the streets were calm. time to learn from some of the women we met what really happened in gao. they took me into their home. the jihaddists refused to let this half blind woman wear glasses because, the women said, they didn't want us to see the world. they showed me how they were forced to wear these outfits.
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>> reporter: and how they fought it off. >> woodruff: see a slide show of images from the offensive >> woodruff: see a slideshow of images from the offensive by the french and malian troops on our web site. and you can learn more about the ancient manuscripts housed imt u.kt find a link to a storyu. correspondent fred de samazaroo filed in 2003 for the pbs program "religion and ethics newsweekly." >> ifill: finally tonight, we begin a series of conversations on how the digital world affects, and infects, the culture we live in. back with us is our daily download team, who spent last year examining how the political campaign played out online. newshour political editor christina bellantoni takes it from there.
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for that we are joined by two journalists from the website daily download. howard kurtz is "newsweek"'s washington bureau chief and host of cnn's reliable sources. lauren, howy, welcome back this year. as technology has evolved employers are being forced to rewrite their social media rules. what is it that we're seeing? >> we're seeing a series of rulings from the national labor relations board. what we're finding is that workers are allowed to complain online, on facebook, if they want to improve wages and working conditions. otherwise, for get about it. >> you might think you'd get in trouble for dissing the boss in some of these cases. i guess there was one case where several case workers in buffalo got fired for complaining they were working too hard in their jobs. that was overturned by the labor board because it was considered protected speech. >> that's fascinating. does it matter if you're posting things saying you're bored at work or that you don't necessarily feel like you're getting all that much done in your work that day?
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>> well i think there are two things that you have to look at. if you are, when you are talking about work, doing something in a way that could get you more wages or in a way that could get a better working environment, then it's okay. if you're not, saying your bored is going to cause some problems. >> especially if you're bored being on twitter and facebook. it depends on the category. the board upheld the filing of a reporter for the arizona daily star who was bored and posted online saying what? no overnight homicide? you're slacking, tucson. well, that was considered not acceptable for his employer at the newspaper. >> bad taste might be a problem. but what about how are companies handling this? are they being forced to expand their policies? i mean how broad does it need to be? >> the n.l.r.b. is actually urging or pushing companies to
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rewrite their policies so that they're in line with their new series of recommendations. so they're trying to get the cost-cos of the world and other large companies... >> target and general motors among those. >> ... to do it. wal-mart gets an a-plus because wal-mart already rewrote its policies to be more in line with what the n.l.r.b. is say joog what the chairman of the n.l.r.b. is saying is that many people these days use social media as the new water cooler. if you couldn't get fired with standing around with fellow workers complaining about the boss, you can't get fired complaining on twitter. even though a lot more people will see it. very different if you were in politics for example as a virginia sheriff's deputy who was fired for going on facebook and liking the opponent of his boss who was going to run against the sheriff. that is still being fought out in the courts. >> oftentimes there is an officer who friended an old chum of his from high school and the chum had a criminal record.
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which the police officer didn't know about. and he was disciplined for that. so especially if you're in law enforcement, you're not allowed to show guns and you're not allowed to show up in uniform unless you get prerequisite approval. >> here's one that's a bad idea. congressman rick larsen of washington state fired three staffers on the brilliant notion of putting on twitter shots of themselves with jack daniels at their desk. anybody could see that that is not a wise idea. >> it's a whole new world really. and when you see companies, you know, taking poles like this, are they trying to get specific on certain types of things? you know, social media, sharing apps like insta gram, for example? are they having to govern that as technology evolves pretty rapidly? it's more than just facebook and twitter, right? >> it is. i think that the corporations that are writing these laws now have to be nimble enough to change the laws as new, more popular sites like engram or
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pin-terest come along not just facebook and twitter. >> this is where we all live now. the law is murky and evolving. if you're going to complain online, i would advise being a little bit careful because you might have to hire a lawyer even if you ultimately win. >> what you're saying is this is where we all live online. that's not true. there is a large percentage of the older population that refuses to do facebook and most... many are retired so this discussion wouldn't apply to them. >> every year that changes as the younger people who grew up with this technology move up in the corporate world. >> sure. help people understand this a little bit as well. if you have 100 facebook friends and your boss isn't one of them how could you even get some trouble from your employer? >> because somebody could tell somebody could tell somebody who tells your boss. nothing is private on the internet even if your facebook page is marked as private. if your friend can see the posts, then they can tell someone about the posts. >> it's like a game of telephone. you never know when it will go
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viral. it may reach people far beyond. >> i interviewed someone whose picture was supposedly manti te'o's girlfriend. she had a private facebook page. someone took her picture and pretended she was somebody else. >> fascinating. lauren, howy, thank you very much. interesting discussion. we'd like to hear from you. what kind of social media policies govern your workplace? how should they evolve? you can weigh in with the open thread we posted our home page and don't forget to like the newshour on facebook. >> again, the major >> woodruff: again, the major developments of the day. a bipartisan group of eight senators unveiled an immigration reform plan that offers a path to citizenship for 11 million people living in the u.s. illegally. thousands of egyptian protesters defied new curfews and rallied against the islamist-dominated government.
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late today the senate passed a $50 billion relief bill for victims of hurricane sandy. online, we have a science lesson inspired by an announcement from nasa. hari sreenivasan has the details. >> sreenivasan: just what is dark matter? find a short video with a simple answer on today's science roundup. nasa and the european space agency are partnering to send a telescope into space to investigate dark matter and dark energy. read more about these mysterious forces and what scientists hope to find on our science page. and think you've received bad advice about social security? our benefits guru gets to the bottom of that issue in today's "ask larry" column on our business page. all that and more is on our web site, gwen? >> ifill: and that's the newshour for tonight. on tuesday, we'll return to the immigration debate with a look at the president's plans for reform. i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. we'll see you online, and again here tomorrow evening. thank you, and good night.
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