tv PBS News Hour PBS July 12, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
for nine billion" series, fred de sam lazaro reports on some promising efforts to address a looming crisis in the west african nation of niger. >> famine is frequent in this region, but that very routineness is helping relief workers anticipate and contain the damage this year far better than the last crisis in 2010. >> woodruff: on the "daily download" tonight, ray suarez looks at facebook as it boosts its profile ahead of the november election. >> brown: and from our partners at "global post," we have the story of young chinese migrants coming to the big city in search of a new life. >> china's generation y face a group dilemma. they no longer belong in their rural hometowns, yet they don't quite fit in urban life, either. >> woodruff: that's all ahead on tonight's "newshour." major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪
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>> brown: penn state got the full story today on a football coach's sexual abuse of boys and the subsequent actions by officials and it was a damning one. the review ran 267 pages and followed an eight-month investigation. ray suarez begins our coverage. >> our most saddening and sobering finding is the total disregard for the safety and welfare of sandusky's child victims by the most senior leaders at penn state. >> suarez: former f.b.i. director louis freeh minced no words today. he charged there was a conspiracy of silence among top leaders at penn state about claims that jerry sandusky preyed on young boys. last month, the former assistant football coach was convicted of sexually abusing ten youths over 15 years. freeh said sandusky's long-time boss-- legendary coach joe paterno-- was complicit in a cover-up going back to 1998.
>> there's a whole bunch of evidence here and we're saying the reasonable conclusion from that evidence is he was an integral part of this active decision to conceal. >> suarez: the freeh report also named three other penn state officials: former athletic director tim curley, former senior vice president gary schultz, and former university president graham spanier. >> misters spanier, schultz, paterno and curley repeatedly concealed facts relating to sandusky's child abuse from the authorities, the board of trustees, the penn state community, and the public at large. none of them even spoke to sandusky about his conduct. in short, nothing was done and sandusky was allowed to continue with impunity. >> suarez: the allegations against sandusky finally exploded into public view last year and both paterno and spanier were fired. paterno died in january, before investigators could speak with him.
and in a statement today, his family challenged freeh's findings. they said, in part: but freeh said in fact, that is exactly what motivated the hall of fame coach and he said no one would challenge paterno, including janitors who witnessed the rape of one boy. >> they were afraid to take on the football program. they said the university would circle around it. it was like going against the president of the united states. if that's the culture on the bottom, god help the culture at the top. >> suarez: freeh also laid blame on penn state's board of trustees-- the group that brought him in to do the report.
>> they did not create an atmosphere where the president and senior officers felt they were accountable to the board. >> suarez: board members responded this afternoon, promising changes to a number of university policies. >> the board in cooperation with the administration will take every action to ensure that an event like this never happens again in our university community. >> suarez: but attorney jeffrey fritz, who represents one of sandusky's victims, said it's too little, too late. >> judge freeh and his group in a relatively short time period discovered what the penn state administrators knew over a very long time period. and that is the systemic failures which led to this abuse happening and continuing to happen which victimized children and put them to risk. >> suarez: for his part, freeh said the university has to make sure it creates a culture that, in his words, "protects children and not adults who abuse them." >> woodruff: we look more closely now at the report and the reaction to these findings. cate barron is the editor of the "patriot-news" in harrisburg, pennsylvania.
her paper was the first to report on the sandusky crimes and won the pulitzer for its coverage. and mark dent of the "pittsburgh post gazette" is covering the fallout in state college. he joins us from the penn state campus. and we thank you both for being with us. mark dent, to you first. how verne the authors of this report that the leaders of the university knew what sandusky was up to as long ago as 1998? >> well, that was the first thing that they really discussed in the report was that these four men, paterno, curley, schultz and spanier had knowledge of it as far back as '98, they have e-mails showing knowledge of it. there's an e-mail reference where curley mentions that he wants joe paterno... joe paterno is anxious to hear about more news regarding this incident. so there's basically no doubt. there's documentation these four men had knowledge of that event
even though three of them... paterno, curley, and schultz-- denied knowing about the 1998 incident when they talked to the grand jury last year. >> woodruff: that was going to be my question because that would mean they did not tell the truth to the grand jury. >> absolutely. and obviously curley and schultz are facing charges of perjury already and a failure to report. joe paterno was not charged and last november the attorney general actually said that paterno had done everything that they'd expected of him, he was not facing any charges, they were not looking after him or anything like that. clearly these new findings-- which were not available or at least not found by the attorney general last november and during its entire investigation-- might cause them to think differently if paterno were still alive. >> pelley:. >> woodruff: mark dent, staying with you. the report goes to great lengths to detail the efforts that the leaders of the school went to to cover up or to not disclose or pursue what happened. give us an idea of some of that.
>> well, for instance, they did not go to the authorities, we all know that. they didn't do that in 1998 or in 2001. it should be their policy to disdisclose this first of all to the authorities and then they should also make mention of it to the board of trustees whereas none of this was mentioned outside the group of four except the 2001 incident was discussed with wendall courtney, the penn state university counsel at the time. so you had a major incident that was known only by five people in 2001 and they went so far afterwards as to, of course, give sandusky... once he retired in 1999, they knew about in the '98, when theyetired in '99 they gave him access to these facilities. they even signed an agreement saying that for five years penn state would help out and coordinate stuff with the second mile and allow its use of stuff and they would talk about continuing that relationship as they did. and curley and paterno both wrote recommendation letters for
jerry sandusky after all this. in 1999, joe paterno wrote a letter recommending jerry sandusky to get into a local pennsylvania hall of fame and as recently as 2010 curley wrote a wrepl decontamination letter describing the good acts of sandusky. so these guys covered it up and went on to still gloat about sandusky's achievement. >> woodruff: cate barron, can you flush out a little bit more the role that joe paterno played? his role has been so much the focus of this, but this report, when you read it, you see time and again he specifically took action to see that this did not go further. that it was not made public. >> yes, judy. it seems like there was a point where schultz and curley were going to proceed with blowing the whistle on sandusky and it was after a talk with joe-- there were no notes directly from joe-- but the e-mails said this was changed to go back into the culture of silence up at penn state. >> woodruff: and there wasn't just uninstance of paterno
interfering or not moving, there were several, weren't there? >> there were several. besides that, though, there's a wheel culture of secrecy and silence around pen state athletics. for many, many years during the paterno regime and it was very hard to break in. our sports reporters had trouble let alone our news reporters. it got the point where we had to sue the university to getting access to paterno's salary even though part of that salary was involved in tax money. >> woodruff: so as you look at this report, cate barron, how does it square with efforts that you know, that your paper was making once you did get an inkling of what was going on with "on the road" the grand jury how does it square with what you saw from the outside? >> we felt as if this was truly a vindication of what we had been reporting. althoughly say our big surprise today was just how involved paterno was in 1998. we did not know that. we also did not know how involved president spanier was. in fact, president spanier again
kept begging he didn't know anything about it. we asked him directly and we had a reporter talk to him before the indictment came down, he denied everything. and he was doing this with the board as well, not filling the board in on how serious the situation was all the way penn state officials were making a 90-mile drive to harrisburg to testify before the grand jury. >> woodruff: mark dent, again, you are in state college, the city where the university is located. what's the reaction on campus today? >> well, you know, it's interesting. throughout the entire sumpter campus is pretty deserted because it's summer session, but the arts fest is going on today, which is the biggest festival of the entire summer so the town is actually full of alumni, full of students so there's been quite a reaction. early on i was in the... i was around old main and then the student union. the old main is an old building on campus and then the student union and some of the reactions you could see were of clear sadness and disappointment mainly regarding joe paterno.
a lot of people held out hope-- even though there had been the leaks of this report showing that paterno was significantly more involved in 2001-- i think they were still kind of holding out hope his legacy might not be changed. but once we learned about 1998 and a lot of the other findings in this it had changed and there was a report of a woman who was crying in the student union. i think that was a bit extreme but you could see a lot of disappointment. i went over to the joe paterno statue outside of the football stadium this afternoon and i saw a woman who was in town visiting she said she hardly ever visited the statue before but she came around today because she felt like she needed to. i talked to her and she said she wanted to look at that statue in the eye and ask "how could you do that to these kids and us" referring to the penn state community. >> woodruff: cate barron, just quickly, what about the reaction to the state? >> i would like to add that i think all penn state nighty-- that's mighty and through pennsylvania and a huge alumni base-- was hoping this would provide closure and it's far
from it now. not to mention the fact that we still have a number of investigations pending. people are holding their breath as to what the n.c.a.a. may do and on top of that the civil suits are starting to show up and that could be a very long time before we hear the end of this. >> woodruff: we thank you both, cate barron with the harrisburg "patriot news" and mark dent, the "pittsburgh post gazette." >> thanks, judy. >> woodruff: we have the full 267-page report posted on our website. >> brown: coming up, we look at the lessons learned in the penn state scandal. also ahead, the looming famine in niger; translating facebook "likes" into votes and struggling to find a new life in china's big cities. but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: wells fargo will pay at least $175 million to settle allegations of racially biased mortgage lending. the justice department announcement today involves claims from 2004 to 2009. during that time, wells fargo allegedly charged higher loan
rates for minority borrowers than for whites with similar credit histories. deputy attorney general james cole said 34,000 people overpaid for their loans. >> with today's settlement the federal government will ensure that african american and hispanic borrowers who were discriminated against will be entitled to compensation and borrowers and communities hit hard by the housing crisis will have the opportunity to access home ownership. >> sreenivasan: wells fargo is now the nation's largest originator of home mortgages. under the settlement, it denied any wrongdoing, but said it wanted to avoid drawn-out litigation. the settlement is the second largest of its kind ever. wall street struggled again today, amid fears that global economic weakness will hurt u.s. corporate earnings. the dow jones industrial average lost 31 points to close at 12,573. the nasdaq fell 21 points to close at 2,866. also today, mortgage giant freddie mac report mortgage interest rates hit another record low-- averaging a little
over 3.5% for a 30 year fixed- rate loan. in syria, army units shelled opposition reports said tanks they said helicopters and tanks attacked first and militias killed the survivors. elsewhere, amateur video showed a new round of heavy shelling in homs. the city has repeatedly been attacked in recent months. and army tanks and mortars shelled part of damascus for the first time since the uprising began 16 months ago. thousands of protestants marched across northern ireland today, triggering street battles in belfast. the day-long marches commemorate a 17th century military victory over catholic forces. and, for the fourth straight year, catholic militants fought with riot police after the protestant parade had passed. the street battles lasted for three hours. the british government confirmed today that it is mobilizing up to 3,500 additional troops for security at the summer olympics in london. a private firm, g.4.s., had been
paid $438 million to recruit guards for 100 olympic venues. but the firm now admits it may fall well short. we have a report from keir simmons of "independent television news." >> reporter: if the aim was to avoid the games looking like a military operation, there's not much hope of that now. in place on the olympic park today, soldiers were as much in evidence as g.4.s staff. and on the company's facebook page, continuing complaints from g.4.s recruits. one former employee sacked for speaking out said the system has been chaos. >> i know it was going to happen. when i was there, they were struggling, didn't have enough staff, weren't vetting the staff properly. it was a total rush job from the beginning. no shock. >> reporter: it was when olympic venues went into lockdown during last week that it emerged g.4.s staff was not turning up as planned. a computer failure is said to have caused the problem. but i.t.v. news has seen an
email from the home office to g.4.s writing months ago raising concern that 49% of recruits were not completing security training. and an internal document from april that says overall attendance this week appears to be 60% of planned capacity and even that it's not clear that g.4.s is not targeting the right people to be x-ray operators beyond basic competency tests. it warns we will very soon start to see big shortfalls against planned numbers. and it reveals that even in april officials were viewing with trepidation the inevitable last minute nature of the mass throughput that will be the consequence. i understand that g.4.s. was reassuring the home office that it would deliver right up until yesterday. finally, officials concluded that they simply couldn't rely on that. g.4.s. says their training regime was out under close scrutiny by the home office and officials clearly were asking some searching questions. all told, 17,000 british troops will help with olympic security, when the games begin july 27.
that's nearly twice the number of troops that britain has deployed in afghanistan. one of rock 'n roll's most celebrated bands, the rolling stones, marked 50 years in the business today. mick jagger, keith richards and several others first performed as the stones, in london, on this day in 1962. the band took its name from a song by bluesman muddy waters. the lineup has changed over the years, and most are now in their '60s and '70s. but richards says they're rehearsing for new shows. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to jeff. >> brown: and we return to the penn state story with a wider perspective on what's happened and what should be taken from it. for that we're joined by teresa huizar, executive director of the national children's alliance, which works with groups around the country to provide services for victims of child abuse. elizabeth letourneau, a researcher and professor at the johns hopkins bloomberg school of public health. and scott berkowitz, founder and president of the rape, abuse and incest national network or rainn, the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization.
theresa huizar, let's start with you. when you think about lessons learned here, part of this is clearly an institutional failing. you look at penn state, what do you see that jibes with what you know of other cases? >> i think one of the lessons learned here is that for any child-serving organization or any organization that has children on campus at all it's entirely possible for a perpetrator, an offender, to really use that organization as a way to identify potential victims and to groom those victims over time and i think the absence of appropriate child protection policies and procedures that's more likely to happen than not. so i hope one of the lessons learned is the implementation of common sense child protection policies and procedures. >> brown: elizabeth letourneau, i want to ask you, what keeps people from reporting cases? what do we know? we just heard in our report about the janitors in that case and their fear and we heard about the officials.
what do we know what keeps people from reporting in some instances. >> i think what this case really shows is that it still is very difficult for people to respond appropriately to child sexual abuse when the offender is someone they know well. maybe a position of power but also people in our social circle our families, people who we know like, maybe love. we have done a lot in this country over the last 20 years to really target stranger danger but the reality is that a few sex offenders are strangers to their victims. most offenders are well known to their victims and well known to their victims' parents and other people around them. so i think what we really need to take from this is to start looking towards primary prevention of sexual abuse. to look at how we can take a public health approach to child sexual abuse and really emphasize primary prevention and
recognize that offenders are very different from one another. they're not all the same. and they don't all fit the monster profile that i think many people have of sex offenders. >> brown: scott berkowitz, what would you add to that? >> well, you know, i think that president report today outlined failings that went way beyond the individual that we knew about about. i think this is going to put fear into a lot of university presidents and those running schools across the country, put them on notice that they need to take a really close look at the way they do things and change things up or they risk devastation. >> brown: what about my question about reporting? the rules of reporting. who is supposed to report and in what cases? i mean, there's a... many things can happen short of seeing something... as in this case seeing terrible abuses in a locker room. but many things can happen short of that. >> that's right. the laws are different in every
state. they fall under a couple of categories. in some states anyone who has a reasonable suspicion of abuse is supposed to report to the authorities. but in many other states it's only required to federal court they're a professional, a caregiver, doctor, teacher, in a profession like that. but regardless of your state law you don't need to know what your state's law is because common sense should rule here. if you have a real suspicion of abuse or in a case like this where this went way beyond suspicion, this is people that actually witnessed criminal acts, that should be enough to get you moving. >> brown: theresa huizar, common sense you might think but it doesn't hold. >> well, i think two things. all adults should have a sense of moral responsibility to report abuse and suspected abuse and that's something that i think the outrage around this case i think it has been at watershed moment for this country in terms of recognizing that all adults have this moral responsibility to do that
irrespective of the law. i think the other piece of this, though, is that universities and other organizations really do have to have appropriate policies and procedures limiting or eliminating one adult/one child contact because that's the context in which most child sexual abuse is occurring and so... and any of those contacts have to be observable and interruptable and in this case the testimony we heard in the trial itself and what came out of this report today, there were just many instances where adult... one adult and one child were alone together in absolutely inappropriate situations, all of those were preventable. >> pelley: this is what you were talking about earlier about what institutions could do. >> absolutely, absolutely. >> brown: elizabeth letourneau, what would you add to that? you were talking about the need to... for prevention. what do you want to see institutions do in particular? >> well, what i want to see a nation do is really put
resources into testing interventions so we have a lot of interventions that sound on the face of them very defensible very common sense but we have done nothing to test interventions to prevent sexual abuse. we've got to start putting more money into that. right now we focus all of our energy and resources on known offenders and if we had done things right back in 1998 if penn state had done the right thing they would have prevented 13 years of sex offending but they would not have prevented that first offense. so we have got to put science, resources, money into the effort of identifying best practices for institutions, for youth-serving institutions, schools, youth hosting institutions and for parents to keep their children as safe as possible. >> brown: scott berkowitz, while we focus on these high-profile cases, some studies suggest the number of cases in the u.s. has been declining.
i guantanamoer there's some debate about how you count these things but it struck me as interesting. is that true? does it tell us anything about where we're at? >> it is true. all the data suggests that child sexual abuse... sexual assault of adults has dropped significantly over the last 15 years or so. but there's still a sexual assault in this country every two minutes so we have a long way to go before we fix it. >> brown: does that suggest this awareness is getting out thereto? what accounts for the drop, do you know? >> i think that the... i think people are far more aware of it. one of the best things that came out of this case was seeing the almost universal revulsion. the way the media handled it, they handled it very responsibly overall and the way the public reacted almost universally. so i think that there's a much better understanding now than there was a year ago of how serious a crime this is.
>> brown: you're agreeing with that? >> absolutely. in the past 30 years there have been many interventions and i think it's something that we should understand that those had had some effect which means that more resources should go to interventions that are demonstrated effective and the other thing is that this community awareness and this lack of tolerance in the public for child sexual abuse is all a positive thing. it's a shame it has to come on the heels of these tragic cases, of course. as you pointed out there's much work yet to be done. >> brown: elizabeth letourneau, just briefly with you at the end here, you've mentioned laws. it sounds to me like all three of you are suggesting it's not so much about laws at this point even though the laws are there. >> yeah, i thin we've done everything we can with laws that really target stranger danger. we've done that effectively. we've had a reduction for 20 years in child sexual assault rapes but that reduction has plateaued and i think it's because we've gone as far as we can with the criminal justice system. we've got to start putting other resources into a broader public health approach and, again, like
i said really focusing on primary prevention if we want to keep those rates going down. >> brown: elizabeth letourneau, scott berkowitz, theresa huizar, thank you all very much. >> you're welcome. >> woodruff: next: a looming famine in west africa and one country's move to address chronic food shortages. our story is part of the "food for nine billion" series, a multimedia project that explores the challenges of feeding a growing world in a time of social and environmental change. it's a "newshour" partnership with the center for investigative reporting, homelands productions and american public media's "marketplace." special correspondent fred de sam lazaro reports from niger, one of eight drought-stricken countries where relief officials say millions of people are at risk of starvation. >> reporter: at 8:00 a.m. each day, the weigh in begins at the health center near madarounfa, a
town near niger's remote southern border with nigeria. babies are weighed and the girth of their arms also measured; a color-coded proxy for malnutrition and famine. there was still an occasional green, or normal, on this day. children in the yellow zone were more common but in a few weeks many more will fall, like amina, into the red tests followed to assess her condition before amina was transferred to the emergency feeding center a few miles away. it is near capacity and the medical supervisor expects they'll begin pitching expansion tents much earlier this year. >> ( translated ): in may, our admissions were up more than 10% from 2011 and that usually means our june and july will be really bad. >> reporter: hunger is widespread in this region and famine frequent. but that very routine-ness is
helping relief workers anticipate and contain the damage this year far better than the last crisis, in 2010, says the u.s. ambassador to niger bisa williams. >> this is not like the situation in 2010. i think we're better prepared and i think it is because the government of president issoufou really did alert the community very early, they sounded the alarm as far back as october, september of last year. >> reporter: williams says unlike earlier governments, which denied or downplayed famines, president mahamadou issoufou-- elected early in 2011-- has declared food security a top priority. >> ( translated ): i remember the first big drought in 1973- 74; then again in 1984, we had another one. since then the time between droughts has been getting shorter and i believe this is attributable to climate change. >> reporter: niger is a land locked, former french colony. the sahara desert lies in the north and has steadily crept
into the semi arid south where most food is grown. adding to this desertification, farmers for decades cleared fields of trees and sapling. they saw no benefit to them and, in any event, under colonial law trees were state property, seen as a timber resource. drought and rapid population growth added to the cutting. by 1975, images from u.s. geological survey satellites showed a virtual desert. president issoufou said niger must address desertification if it is to get beyond the chronic food emergencies. >> ( translated ): that's why we have created the 3-n initiative- - nigeriens helping nigeriens. it's a structural response to the food crises that are consistently linked with our recurrent droughts. we are convinced that drought does not need to mean famine. >> reporter: a key part of the 3-n program is to expand a greening initiative that was
actually begun more than two decades ago. this year, across niger people have been given temporary jobs to tide them through the so called hunger season, the lean period until the harvest arrives-- in normal years in september. a major goal of such public works projects is to reverse desertification. >> they give us food to dig these holes. we get four kilos of maize and six kilos of beans. this land is very dry and they told us it will have trees and we can have better crops and fodder for our animals. >> reporter: the shallow, half- moon shaped depressions they're digging trap rain water and tree seeds blown across the land or dropped by animals. it's hard to imagine anything sprouting from such barren conditions. but that's exactly what's happened in a wide swath of southern niger-naturally, says chris reij, a dutch scientist who has worked in this region since the 1970s. >> if you look around you, not a
single tree that you see here has been planted. all of it coming from seed stock in the soil, or it's coming from trees in the past and the root system is still alive and given chance to emerge it will grow, or it comes from seeds from the manure that the livestock is depositing here. >> reporter: he says the trees have kept desert sand storms at bay and restored land to productivity, even though its not that visible early in the rainy season. so this is a crop, it doesn't look like much, because it looks like it's coming out of a desert. >> this is millet, which is one of main crops here. it has just been sewn probably two weeks ago. but in three months, it will be this high, about one and a half to two meters high and this whole field will be lush green. >> the leaves on the soil will protect the crop from drought, hold moisture in the soil. >> reporter: chris reij and a colleague tony rinaudo began championing so-called agroforestry in the '80s, specifically, a model for
protecting trees on farmland they first observed on a farm in burkina faso, niger's neighbor to the west. their work was picked up among others by the aid group world vision, which produced this video. farmers like sakina mati were employed to spread the word on the benefits and the new law, which gives farmers ownership of trees. >> ( translated ): we began using this technique in 2006 and it has worked well for us. >> reporter: one of the key goals was to dispel a commonly held notion that the payback is years away says chris reij. >> even in the first year they need to start pruning. the tree develops a trunk and starts developing a canopy, so even in the first year you already have some benefits by leaves and some twigs that women can use as firewood in the kitchen. and by year two or three certain trees will be taller than you and me. >> reporter: trees that are
pruned grow sturdier trunks, yielding abundant firewood, the main cooking fuel. the leaves form livestock fodder and trap moisture in the soil. improved soil fertility can mean better harvests and already a few villages have surpluses. the surpluses have been gathered into a grain bank in dansaga and many other villages in this region. in dansaga, drought took a severe toll on the harvest last year. but people here said that hasn't translated to famine. >> ( translated ): the grain bank is helping us a lot, it is keeping our children fed until the harvest comes in. >> ( translated ): if we didn't have the grain bank, most of the men would not be farming; they'd have to leave to find work to buy food. >> ( translated ): another benefit of the cereal bank is that it helps keep the price of grain down. >> in a sea of difficulty, we find here examples where a surplus, a grain surplus has
been produced in the drought year 2011. >> reporter: throughout southern niger, reij says re-greening has increased food production by about 500,000 tons per year, enough to feed two and a half million people. the challenge is to scale it up for a population of 16 million and that sea of difficulty. it will require education, everything from farming know-how to account keeping at the grain bank and access to family planning. literacy is just 30% and the average woman bears seven children-- a rate that will triple the number of mouths to feed by 2050. and the gains have yet to reach vast numbers of people, especially children like amina with immediate, pressing needs. u.s. ambassador williams is optimistic niger can make progress over the long term; also that a catastrophe can be avoided from this year's famine.
but she says it won't be easy. >> there are at least 15% of children under two that are really, really hungry. so you are right, there is no magic bullet. it's not-- this is not something that has a quick fix to it. development by its nature is a long-term process. everyone knows that this can't be resolved by the internationals. they are going to have to be embraced and be local and i think that is what we are seeing in niger. >> reporter: for his part, president issoufou says he's acutely aware of niger's chronic neediness and of so-called donor fatigue. >> ( translated ): i understand why donors would be tired of supporting our population. we ourselves are tired of needing the help, of not being able to feed our own people. for us in niger, it's a matter of shame not to be able to feed our children. that's why we say, "please, don't give us fish to eat.
teach us to fish for ourselves. that's why we need to escape from emergency aid. we need to help our population produce and provide for itself." >> reporter: niger does have a reason for hope. remember this 1975 satellite picture? this is a more recent one from 2005. chris reij says niger has grown 200 million trees over the past two decades, the only country in africa to have actually added forest cover to its land in this period. >> woodruff: a version of fred's story aired on the pbs program "religion and ethics newsweekly." his reporting is a partnership with the undertold stories project at st. mary's university in minnesota. online, fred filed a blog about his reporting trip to niger. in it, he examines what makes this famine different from previous hunger crises. that's on the rundown page on our website.
>> brown: now back to this country and to presidential politics. ray suarez returns with that. >> suarez: and we continue our regular look at the campaign as it plays out in social media and on the web. for that we're joined again by two journalists from the new website "daily download." lauren ashburn is the site's editor in chief. howard kurtz is newsweek's washington bureau chief and host of cnn's "reliable sources." this week both mitt romney and vice president biden spoke to the n.a.a.c.p. did it garner much traffic there the online world? >> absolutely. our twitter and facebook feeds were lighting up. >> particularly, ray, after mitt romney was booed yesterday at the n.a.a.c.p. convention. the initial wave was sort of one of mockery. one msnbc host said he was deliberately booed because he wanted to appeal to white racist
but then there was a counterwave of conservatives defending romney taking issue with the discourts you behavior of some of the n.a.a.c.p. members who after all had invited the presidential candidate. >> suarez: this was all civilians trafficking this image on their own or were the campaigns also interested in getting this out there? >> the majority was civilians very upset with what happened. >> and some journalists and activists tend to join these online conversations. >> suarez: this week also facebook very handy for finding out how your high school girl friend has aged. (laughter) snarky aforisms and vacation pictures teaming up with conventions. why would political conventions want to partner up with facebook and vice versa? >> i think television networks and other organizations are interested in partnering with facebook to cover conventions because it brings a younger demographic, number one, and number two that it lends some...
>> the hipness factor is what you're looking for. >> yes, that's it, to organizations that may be seen by the younger demographic as not with it. >> that's why we have news that facebook is partnering with cnn for this political campaign which obviously cnn hopes it will augment its social media presentation. >> i have a graphic right here showing the campaign partnership and there's several different components to the partnership. the first is what's called an "i'm voting app" for your phone and also for your laptop where you can put the information in specifically of who you are voting for on your facebook page. >> you're essentially announcing to your friends that you're with so and so and maybe spreading the word on behalf of that candidate because facebook is a social place. as well there is a survey state by state also demographics around key events on the social calendars, conventions, elections, debates and facebook
is measuring what it calls buzz which is another way to saying a a gaiting the amount of discussion around mitt romney, barack obama, joe biden and whoever romney picks as his running mate. >> suarez: a lot of old media, legacy immediate what, is partnering with online and social networks. what do they get out of it? a lot of these places have their own web presence. aren't they picking their own pockets by trying to also be present and get their content distributed on facebook? >> i think that the internet, the more you share on the internet the more robust your site becomes so i think by partnering with these organizations, for the internet it's a common practice. maybe for the older organizations not so much. >> we see that with the newshour having its own partnership with mtv in an attempt to reach younger people who spend a lot of time hanging out online. >> suarez: have there been any measurable effects?
everybody's doing all this stuff. have the presidential campaigns noticed that they're getting noticed because of this new way of announcing it? >> i spoke to the c.e.o. of voter tide, an organization that tracks social media and they have seen a huge facebook surge over health care. if you looked here at the graphic that i'm putting up here from them, on june 28... >> which is the day of the supreme court ruling on the president's health care plan, upholding its constitutionality. >> we had a facebook surge in likes for mitt romney, almost up to 40,000. but so you had a significant "like" factor, likability factor because he tweeted out information about health care and other people facebook posted it. >> obviously conservatives, republicans, romney fans energized by the supreme court upholding a law they frankly despised. if you go to the next graphic that we have, president obama the next day after the high court ruling got a surge in not facebook likes but facebook shares because his speech to the
country claiming victory over the supreme court ruling included... they put music to it and nice graphics and that was shared 40,000 times. >> more than 40,000 times and that's just one video and if you look at this chart, all of these other points here are the release of different videos. so this one particular issue was able to garner that many shares. >> suarez: if you go on facebook and have any number of friends you're constantly being urged to "like" things and it's done with the stroke of a key. it doesn't ask for much from you as far as commitment. can it translate into something real? like campaign contributions or votes? >> i think facebook has become a galvanizing force certainly in the media world and it wants to become a galvanizing force in the political campaigns. facebook has had other partnerships with abc, with politico. with so with so many people trusting their friends and liking things online and making
statements and living their lives online i think facebook is becoming a real force in part because it has such great reach, so many people. hundreds of millions. >> and facebook is really now the grass-roots campaign of this election. people now are going to facebook to see what their friends are doing and how they can join in. at the end of the videos, for example, that barack obama posted is always a if you click here you can donate to the campaign. >> so it can be a fund-raising tool as well. >> suarez: but liking something is done so easily that i'm not sure it really ends up mattering that mitch. there you are looking down your column of little misses and things that have been dropped in your lap by your list of friends. >> remember, ray, that you are broadcasting not only the fact that you like something but it could be a video that could be shared, an argument that we've made online.
you're narrow casting this to your friends and though we in the media prefer people get their information from us, people like getting it from people they trust. >> suarez: maybe that's it. we want them to get it from us. lauren ashe burn, howard kurtz, thank you for joining us. >> woodruff: finally tonight, making a move from the country to the big city. it's a cultural shift well known in many western societies and now it's becoming common for young chinese men and women, too. our story comes from reporter sharron lovell of our partner "global post." >> ( translated ): even if i like a girl, she might not feel the same, i'm young and a migrant. >> reporter: this 21-year-old man moved from beijing to a rural farm in central china. in just two years he's worked his way up from assistant to stylist in a trendy hair salon.
60% of the country's 150 million rural migrants were born after 1980 many have never farmed and don't want to go back to their village. china's generation y is faced with a dilemma. they no longer belong in their rural hometowns and yet they don't belong here, either. >> whenever i go home and talk to girls all they talk about is marriage and kids. we're not on the same wavelength anymore. i'm not interested in their conversation and they don't understand mine. >> this new generation of migrants is not content to make the same sacrifices as their parents, living on the fringes of urban life 90% wanto stay and make their life in the city. but china's registration system makes it hard for them to assimilate.
legaledly vast majority remains estranged from the villages but denied the rights of city dwellers and struggle to access social services and benefits like health care, education and credit research also highlights social marchnalization. >> ( translated ): people marry young in my hometown. me, i'm still single. sometimes i wonder how many years do i have to struggle in beijing to progress? in beijing everything is expensive. i don't want to live in this tiny place which makes me depressed. >> reporter: a report by the china youth research center states that loneliness is a major complaint of this new generation of migrants. another survey found that half of young male migrants polled said that low wages made them reluck tonight approach potential romantic partners. long working hours makes finding and maintaining a relationship
difficult. a fellow migrant worker said (inaudible) and she left him for another guy. >> ( translated ): you need to think about your life partner but i'm scared of dating now. it's a waste of emotions, money, time, and nothing ever comes of it any way. >> reporter: waves of strikes and suicides by recent factory workers creates a problem, frustration caused by the gap between expectation and reality and inability to assimilate in cities are widespread. after riots in guangdong last year, the state council development research center published a report stating that less young migrants are absorbed into urban society with full rights conflicts would accumulate. it further warned it could create a major destabilizing threat.
the desire for real urban status is about identity as well as rights. but china's registration system has been on the agenda for many years and little has changed. >> first we need to break the limitations of the system so everyone starts from an equal footing second the city government should treat the migrants equally when providing social security and services. this will help urban citizens to establish the concept that migrant workers are equal to them. >> reporter: he now dreams of opening his own salon and owning a car and an apartment. >> ( translated ): i want to make something of myself but we earn so little and with this kind of work we can't really become beijingers or buy a home.
you want to make something of yourself but living like this is hopeless. >> >> woodruff: you can learn more about the chinese household registration system, which limits the rights of migrant workers and prevents them from assimilating once they get to the cities. you'll see a link on our website. >> brown: again, the major developments of the day: former f.b.i. director louie freeh found joe paterno and other leaders at penn state failed to stop an assistant football coach from sexually abusing children. opposition sources reported a new massacre in syria with 100 to 200 people killed by army troops and militias. and wells fargo agreed to pay at least $175 million to settle allegations of racially-biased mortgage lending. on our website, it's science thursday. you can watch a slideshow of images from a new exhibit at the national museum of african art. about artists looking to the sun, the moon and the stars for inspiration.
on our world page, special correspondent kira kay follows up on her story about religious tensions in northern ireland. she reports on the riots that flared during today's parade in belfast. plus, we have a new project online focusing on campaign battleground states. hari sreenivasan and political editor christina bellantoni have a preview. is >> so we've not go experiment looking at battleground states in political advertising. how are we doing is this this? >> we want to give a sense of what it's like to be a battleground state voter because if you live in a big city that won't be one of the tossups in the presidential election you may never know how much advertising is being spent to affect voters. so we took an average day in virginia, richmond suburbs, watched one network and saw how many ads were played in one half hour of network television. so you had 30 minutes, you had nearly eight minutes of ads from the presidential campaigns paid for by super pacs looking at the
senate race, very, very negative messages. you can go to our web site and watch the video we have put together to give a sense of being inundated. you're also seeing this in iowa, new hampshire, ohio, very much getting a sense of how much money is being spent in this race to influence voters. >> sreenivasan: so that's this early the summer. it will only get more intense closer to the election. will we see more experiments on the virtual couch sitting so to speak? >> you can find the tossup states in our web site the 2012 matchup september sore we're collecting battleground diaries from across the country trying to get a sense if you're watching a half hour of television what ads are you seeing? what's the content of those ads, send us an iphone picture of the ads to give us a sense we can share that with the general country about what's happening out there. >> sreenivasan: okay. you can see this and more on our web site, newshour.pbs.org.
>> woodruff: and that's the "newshour" for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. we'll see you online and again here tomorrow evening with mark shields and michael gerson among others. thank you and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: and the william and flora hewlett foundation, working to solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world. and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations.
>> this is n.b.r. >> susie: good evening. i'm susie gharib. tom is off tonight. a big pickup in the number of homes entering foreclosure, setting off fresh worries about the housing recovery. yahoo gets tough questions from shareholders at the company's annual meeting. we look at what's next for the web giant with scott kessler of s&p. and the big cost of outfitting your little slugger. we look at the rising costs of playing team sports. that and more tonight on "n.b.r.!" >> susie: new worries about the u.s. economy today: news of a big surge in foreclosures. 311,000 homes started the foreclosure process in the second quarter, that's a 9%
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