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tv   PBS News Hour Weekend  PBS  September 15, 2013 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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on this edition for sunday, september 15th, john kerry travels to israel to offer reassure perhaps about the syrian chemical weapons deal. in our signature segment, does this tiny coastal town in maine hold the key to america's renewable energy future? >> we have known for centuries, when the tides were coming and going. so we can tell you on, you know, this day 20 years from now, at this moment, how much electricity will be generated. and five years later, are systems in place to prevent another financial melt down? next on pbs news hour weekend.
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good evening, thanks for joining us. fresh off his announcement yesterday about an agreement requiring syria to destroy its entire stockpile of chemical weapons by the middle of next year, secretary of state john kerry was in jerusalem today, offering israeli prime minister benjamin netanyau assurances that the united states will insist on full compliance by
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bashar al assad's regime. >> the threat of force is real and the assad regime and all those taking part need to understand that president obama and the united states are committed to achieve this goal. >> netanyahu said israel also would insist on actions and results, not words. >> the syrian regime must be stripped of all its chemical weapons and that would make our entire region a lot safer. >> in an interview broadcast on abc today, president obama said he had pressed russian president vladimir putin to end his support for assad. >> what i've also said to him directly is that we both have an interest in preventing chaos. with he both have an interest in preventing terrorism. the situation in syria right now is untenable. as long as mr. assad is in power, there's going to be some sort of conflict there. >> for all the talk today about syria, israeli officials believe the bigger threat to their
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country comes from iran's growing nuclear program. that's been very much on the minds of israelis this week as the crisis over syria unfolded. "newshour" special correspondent martin fletcher reports from israel. >> reporter: for israel, syria is really a four-letter word, iran. that was prime minister netanyahu's message to new navy officers last week and to president obama. speaking of syria's chemical weapons, he said, "the world must make sure that whoever uses weapons of mass destruction pays a price for it. the message that is received in syria," he said you" will be received loudly in iran." here, every move that president obama makes on syria is seen through the prism can israel trust obama to stop iran's nuclear weapons program? it's especially relevant this weekend, the 40th an verse of the 1973 yom kippur war when
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syria and egypt launched a surprise attack against israel. the american president back then ordered weapon airlift that helped save the jewish state. based on president obama's handling of the syrian crisis, how confident are israeli officials now that he will stop iran from making nuclear weapon? shimon she haver is an israeli political reporter. >> they are not going to attack president obama. >> what do they say in private? >> in private, they are saying the lesson from the way that he dealt with syrian issue, it is very difficult for israel. a lot of policymakers, ministers, they will tell you in private that after all, israel will have to deal unilaterally to stop the nuclear effort of iran to become a country with a
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nuclear power. >> reporter: in recent weeks, israeli citizens prepare for a possible american attack on syria that they feared would provoke a syrian attack on their country. home front stations gave out thousands of gassing masks across the country and his real rushed its iron dome anti-rocket defense systems into place. there is jerusalem in the distance, it was protected by israel's iron dome factory right here but the same day president obama went on national tv and accepted the russians' initiative for a diplomatic solution to syria, the israelis removed the iron dome prom this position. nothing says more clearly the drop in tension. this tel aviv store house, gas mask handout has slowed to a trickle. diplomacy flows from the crisis and there is a new initiative under way from iran to resolve nuclear issue piecefully. iran announced it cut its stockpile of 20% enriched uranium by half.
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>> there has to be a negotiation. >> reporter: the former israeli ambassador to the u.n. -- >> there has to be allowing iran to climb off the tree. it could work and there could be a diplomatic solution but without the credible threat of military action, the iranians will not collaborate in a diplomatic solution. >> reporter: netanyahu stresseder why they are week, israel must know how to defend itself. >> in a way, exacting pressure on obama, indicating that if the united states doesn't do what the united states undertook to do israel might have to do itself. this that pressure needs to be there has to be an american pressure on iran and there has to be an israeli pressure on america. back in the u.s., rescue efforts continue in colorado after days of rain caused massive flooding. at least six people are presumed dead and more than 700 are unaccounted for. another 2,000 have been evacuated from their homes.
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more rain today crowneded rescue helicopters. possible showers are in the forecast for tomorrow. in birmingham, alabama, services to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 church bombing that killed four teenaged girls. hundreds of people, both black and white, gather ted 16th street baptist church to mark the convenient. there was also a wreath-laying service. among those in attendance were eric holder, the nation's first african-american attorney general, and condoleezza rice. at the time of the bombing, she was 8 years old and a playmate of one of the victims. revulsion over the bombing is widely believed to have led to passable of the 1964 civil rights act that outlawed discrimination on the basis of race you ethnicity or gender. from washington, word that former treasury secretary lawrence summers has withdrawn from consideration to succeed ben bernanke, as chairman of the fed reserve. "the wall street journal," which broke the story, said summer made his wishes known to president obama in a telephone call and then a long-term he said he had decided his
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confirmation hearings would be too acrimonious. back overseas today, philippine army troops and police special forces launched an offensive against muslim rebels still holding does of hostages in the southern part of that country. at least 50 rebels and six policemen and soldiers have been killed. the confrontation began monday when the rebels took more than 100 people hostage and used them as human shields. several of the hostages have since escaped. it is part of a long-term conflict between rebels seeking autonomy for the largely muslim region in the south and the government of the predominantly catholic nation. there has been still more violence in iraq. authorities say at least 58 people were killed today in a wave of bombings in mostly shiite muslim cities south of baghdad n one incident, a parked carryinged with explosives went off, killing four people and wounding another 25. at least nine people were kill and another 15 wounded in a separate incident when a car bomb exploded in an outdoor market. also, according to the united
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nations, 800 iraqis died in sectarian violence last month, the worst surge of violence in five years. sunny muslims are angered by what they consider their mistreatment at the hands of the shiite-led government. officials are hours away from trying to raise the crippled 115,000-ton "costa concordia" cruise liner. as you recall, the vessel capsized in january of 2012 after striking a reef off the west coast of italy. 32 passengers and crew members died. divers were never able to recover two bodies possibly lying under the wreckage. engineers will try to get the partially submerged ship upright using crank-like pullies and tanks filled with water f it all works, the ship will be towed away, broken up and sold as scrap. environmentalists warn that if the plan goes awry, toxic substances could lead into the sea. an important clarification you last sunday, we reported that columbia, south carolina, was moving ahead on plan to arrest the homeless unless they
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left the downtown shopping area. in fact, the city reversed course and abandoned the idea before our report aired. we regret the error. now on to our signature segment, our in-depth reports about important but underreported stories here at home and overseas. when you consider this country's energy future, you might think of fracing or renewable sources like wind or solar but the potential power from water is enormous you can not only from dams but new technologies that harness the power of waves and tides. right now the federal government is supporting the first commercial project to exploit tidal energy. the effort is under way in an area noun as down east you, maine, at the mouth of the bay of fundy it has some of the world's highest tides. "newshour" correspondent travel there had recently and ex-bloors
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maybe the start of a small energy revolution. >> reporter: the sunriseser any east port, maine, the most eastern city in the united states. while the streets are quiet, fishing boats set out for the day and reliably, these massive tides are flowing in and out, just as they have twice a day you every day, for thousands of years. it is that fact, predictability, that the people of maine believes to change. >> the tides are totally predictable, known for centuries when the tides are coming and going. >> reporter: the executive of the ocean renewable power company after five years of planning installed an underwater turbine 2200 feet from the shore. it turns the tides into clean, renewable energy. >> we can tell you on this day 20 years from now at this moment
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how much electricity will be generating. >> reporter: it is a $21 million project funded almost equally between private and public sources. and it's the first commercial tidal energy project delivering power to the grid anywhere in the u.s. >> unlike wind or solar where you know, you may get a cloud that comes over and you have these huge swings or you have a big gust of wind, we don't have that under the ocean. >> reporter: the unit is nearly 100 feet long and 60 feet below the water's surface. the turbines are shaped like stretched out and twisted water wheels and they work on the same principle. as the tide comes and goes, the turbine spins, generating electricity, which is then transmitted through a buried power cable to a small onshore station 400 feet inland. and from there, it's fed to the public electrical grid. so, when you're looking out on the bay, what do you see? >> you see absolutely nothing. the view after is exactly the same as the view before.
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everything is below water, the equipment is below water, there are marker buoys for the project area, but other than that you don't see anything. >> what do you think the potential of this is, realistically? >> we know this works. as we improve the technology, we are talking 10, 15, 20 years down the road, there will be applications for this technology virtually in every state in the country. because the technology doesn't just apply to tidal, it applies rivers and offshore ocean current such as the gulf streams. >> today, power from water comes almost entirely from dams, providing nearly 7% of the country's electricity needs. the u.s. department of energy estimates that number will more than double by the year 2030, rising to 15%. and the potential is even greater than that. >> a third of our nation's electricity could potentially come from ocean energy. >> so a third, i mean, that's big deal, right? >> it is.
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it is a big deal. >> reporter: the director of the wind and water power technology's office at the department of energy. how realistic is it that these new technologies, like tidal power, can become a sizable part of our energy production? >> we think about the country as a whole, 50% of our people live near water. a significant amount of people. we think about the largest cities around the country, there also tend to be close to the water, okay? if we continue down a trajectory where we reduced the cost of these technologies, you can have a significant impact on the local energy demands of that particular region or state. >> the federal government has invested nearly $116 million in dozens of what are called hydro kinetic water power projects in the past six years. they include a pirate project to connect with the water in new york, a buoy system to turn energy into electricity this oregon and ocean power company's tidal turbine in maine, wit
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energy department invested $10 million in. right now you it only produce its enough electricity for 25 homes. why is this a good use of taxpayer money? >> recognize that the first pioneering kinds of projects are complicated. you're really breaking new ground and i think that orpc has paved the beginnings of the road for this industry. >> the one turbine you have right now is powering 25 homes? >> it generates enough power in the year to power 25 homes. that's correct. >> which is very small? >> that's small. that's right. you need to start small. there will be breakthroughs that come through, we already have bigger units planned and the secret here is in replication. so the drill we are going through is how do we make it more efficient and how do we make it significantly cheaper? how do we make it competitive? >> it's not competitive now. the electricity generated by the tidal turbine costs about three
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times as much as east port's other energy sources and cost suspect the only obstacle. there are also concerns about the impact on fish, sea mammals, even migratory birds. you're talking about placing a 90,000-pound, 100-foot-long turbine into the ocean. you tell me there is no impact on the environment? >> we -- we do extensive monitoring and the bottom line is that there is no known impacts to the marine environment. >> reporter: convincing local residents of that was vital because the region's economy depends on the water. dave mar rang is a local cook. >> over the site, 15 ages, around 30,000 fish in each one of those cablesges. they've good life. >> reporter: salmon farming, commercial fishing, shipping and
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tourism is the biggest employers in the area n a county with the state's highest unemployment rate of 9.3%, many were deeply concerned about anything that could harm business. >> well, it was kind of -- it was kind of funny. a friend of mine, he come and seen me and told me what they wanted to do and i -- you know, my first reaction, want to do what? >> reporter: but in the six years since the tidal project began, mar rang says it hasn't been disruptive. in says, it has been a boone to the local economy. >> they have come in and they have hired people. like, you gonna take five jobs in east port equal to 50 jobs in a city like bangor, maine. you know, every job counts around here. >> reporter: the company has invested $5 million in the area, opening a local office and hiring dozens of local contractors, for everything from harbor pilots to construction divers. and the hope is that the project will generate more jobs during the next five years. the company is planning on installing 18 additional
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turbines, eventually powering up to 2,000 homes. to that effort, the u.s. department of energy announced $5 billion in additional grants. >> doing stuff never done before, like to kid our people, we don't have any operation man use. i wish could i say that the journey is nearing an end, but it is actually just beginning. learn about the huge public works project that fdr tried to create in east port, maine, almost 80 years ago. visit "newshour." this is the fifth anniversary of the collapse of layman brothers, the biggest bankruptcy in american history that convenient helped trigger the greatest economic crisis in the united states since the great depression. have we taken adequate steps to prevent a recurrence? more about that we are joined in our studio by heidi moore, a finance and economics editor for
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the guardian newspaper based in new york. what have we done so far to prevent another banking collapse like we saw? >> we flailed a bit. we have done things supposed to prevent another banking collapse like passion the dodd frank act, an omnibus regulation bill supposed to prevent wall street from becoming too big to fail. and that really has been kind of the major effort that has happened there, were of course, the bailouts at the time, tarp bailout and there was the quantitative easing stimulus by the fed which is also a result of the crisis at that time. >> things we said he would do to prevent this we haven't done yet. >> yes, a lot. you can look at today frank very specifically, hundreds of rules one dodd frank left undone, passed in a hurry in 2009 in a very emotional time and it was essentially a very long to do, list, 900 page to-do list, almost all left undone, good things we have done, create the consumer financial protection bureau and also create the
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council of 14 regulators that meet about once a month. only supposed to meet once a quarter and talk about what's going on in regulation and issues you are facing. there are two things that came out of it. it is called the vol he canner rule, supposed to be one of the lynch pips of how we were going to change the financial system. that is nowhere. it is mired in bureaucracy. >> because -- why are the regulations not effective? >> they are not effective largely because there is no one pushing them forward. wall street has gotten its claws into it. we know wall street as a money making enterprise but also a lobbying enterprise and those lobbyists are the ones who know the financial sector best and they advise congress on how to write rules. one rule concerning derivatives, 85 lines in it 75 written by citigroup lobbyists, part of the
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issue is that wall street has a lot of influence over the rule writing process and they are invested and making it weaker, the other side of it is that we have too little enforcement. the securities and exchange commission and other regulators are perpetually underfunded and also facing pressure from wall street to weaken their efforts and their prosecutions are very rarely successful. >> is it accurate for some of these critics to say perhaps we need to do a better job of enforcing the laws on the books as opposed to writing entirely new someone in. >> we do need better laws and new laws only because the financial system is becoming more and more complex. and writing laws allows us to explore how they've become complex and to rein in that complexity or at least regulate it, but it's true that we also don't enforce very well what we already have. a lot of regulators just aren't incentivized to find wrongdoing. we have a wristle brother rule that's part of dodd frank that still hasn't been finalized. you have the structural issue that a lot of regulators are paid $50,000, $80,000, maybe
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$100,000 a year but the bankers that they are regulating are being paid millions of dollars year. so there is a class system, quite literally a class hierarchy in wall street regulation >> how big a threat to do we face? >> a pretty big threat. as with last time, we don't know what it s last time, we were blind sided by the mortgage crisis you even though there were a few oracles who said they predicted it, no one could have predicted that the economy could be so bad that income inequality would bed a bad as it is economic recovery stumbled along, almost the stagnation no one predicted that, we won't see that coming next time either but it's worth it for regulators to take a look at assets that are priced way too high, relative to what they are a worth. >> died this moore. thanks so much. >> thank you. the conversation about the 2008 financial crisis continues tomorrow on the "newshour," interview with the man who head up the treasury department back then, henry paulson.
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finally, the connection, tonight, a few lives remember from the civil rights era. they would have been in their early 60s now, grandmothers perhaps, maybe nearing the end of their careers or enjoying retirement. instead, denise mcnair, carol robertson, addie mae collins and sip thee ya wesley were killed 50 years ago today in one of the worst acts of violence during the civil rights movement. they died on a sunday morning, the church they attended, the 16th street baptist church in birmingham, alabama, was bombed. this recollection is from a new documentary called preserving justice. >> my teacher, ms. wesley, her daughter was one of the ones killed in that church bombings, cynthia wesley, and i could remember seeing her standing on the stoop outside the emergency room crying. >> this man survived those very dangerous times, even though he was a civil rights attorney who
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worked with rosa parks and dr. martin luther king jr. his name was demetrius newton and he was interviewed for the same documentary. >> i saw two white police officers manhandle a young blind girl that i knew and i think it was the catalyst that perhaps led me to choose a career. >> later, newton became the first african-american to serve as president pro tem of the alabama house. he died age of 85 earlier this week. 50 years after that church bombing, he was fondly remembered by both black and white alabamans. and those four girls who lived such terribly short lives were remembered throughout birmingham. this morning, bells tolled at 10:22, the time the bomb exploded. and the sun day school lesson that was interrupted that day was read from start to finish.
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on the "newshour" tomorrow, on air and online, we kick off a three-part series on how climate change is altering life in the arctic. and five years after the fall of lehman brothers, we sit down with former treasury secretary, henry paulson. recap our lead story, john kerry travels to israel to offer reassurances about the syrian chemical weapons deal that's it for this edition of pbs "newshour" weekend. thanks for watching.
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