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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  March 24, 2016 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT

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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. gwen ifill is away. on the newshour tonight, the latest from brussels, as the manhunt expands to a new suspect, and europe's emergency meeting to thwart future attacks. then, a day of reckoning for radovan karadzic, the bosnian serb leader convicted of genocide for orchestrating atrocities during the war. and, making sense of our economic anxiety. a conservative economist's take on what's fueling the anger on display this election. >> trumpism is the expression by the white working class of a lot of legitimate grievances it has with the ruling class. >> woodruff: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour.
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>> supported by the rockefeller foundation. promoting the well-being of humanity around the world by building resilience and inclusive economies. >> carnegie corporation of new york. supporting innovations in education, democratic engagement, and the advancement of international peace and security. at >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: and individuals. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: belgian officials came under mounting pressure over tuesday's terror attacks in
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brussels. islamic state bombers that killed 31 people and wounded 270 on tuesday. now, the list of suspects is growing, along with questions about how it could have happened. malcolm brabant reports on the day's developments, from brussels. >> reporter: security at brussels' maelbeek metro station eased slightly today, but police and barriers remained in place. one of the suicide bombers, khalid el bakraoui, struck there on tuesday. reports today said investigators now believe a second, unidentified person was involved in the subway attack, and may still be at large. el bakraoui's brother, ibrahim, and another man blew themselves up at the airport. a third man spotted there is also being sought. but concerns are growing about why authorities did not foil the plot. belgium's justice and interior ministers offered their resignations today, but neither was accepted.
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>> ( translated ): if you put everything in a row then you can say that you can indeed ask big questions in a number of areas, about the justice department and the developments afterwards and also about the police. >> reporter: this canal is an emblem of belgium's problems. on the left side is brussels, on the right molenbeek, a poor mostly-muslim district-- many from north africa; it's a place regarded as a no-go zone by many ethnic belgians. the army is now protecting the police station not far from the hideaway of salem abdelslam, the sole survivor of last november's paris attacks, who was captured last week. molenbeek has been the launch pad for numerous jihadis, including fighters who've joined islamic state in syria and iraq. but the district's deputy mayor ahmed el kannouss resents suggestions that it is europe's main jihadi breeding ground. >> ( translated ): molenbeek is not a bastion of terrorism, molenbeek is not a fertile ground for terrorism, there is no lawless area in molenbeek.
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that doesn't mean there are not any problems, we have big problems and this is just one of them. it's true that molenbeek has a link with certain terrorist activities because the perpetrators passed through here but the local and national authorities were not aware of it. >> reporter: it increasingly appears the same isis network was behind both the attacks in brussels and in paris last november. salah abdeslam was summoned to court in brussels today. his lawyer said he no longer opposes extradition to france. >> in the beginning he wanted that his extradition to france took some more time. yesterday he changed his mind. >> reporter: this was also the first of three days of mourning in belgium, and the prime minister spoke ahead of another moment of silence, saying his nation was "hit at its heart." >> ( translated ): at the airport, at the subway station, the liberty of daily life was
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slaughtered. that same liberty is at the foundation of our democracy, our desire to live together in harmony. that same liberty upon which the european project was built. >> reporter: nearby, the place de la bourse has become the focal point for grief, defiance and solidarity. this young syrian held up a sign today saying she may be a muslim, but she's not a terrorist. and belgian xavier hannon came here to chalk a simple message on the sidewalk. "for you who have departed," he wrote. >> ( translated ): i came to write a couple of words for my friend who died in the metro. he was just on his way to a lesson. and now he'll never come back. he had nothing to do with this, we have nothing to do with this. it's not our war. we're just young people. >> reporter: throughout brussels, was evidence that this country is involved in a war with an enemy it can't see. the army was on guard at the main eurostar train station. every suitcase, however harmless, represents a potential
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threat in this difficult climate. and the brussels airport has cancelled flights until at least monday. this afternoon, european union justice and interior ministers held an emergency meeting to discuss ways of enhancing security. with as many as 5,000 jihadis said to be roaming europe, the issue could not be more urgent. but even with that threat, belgian authorities lowered the terror threat level here one level, though they did say that antoher attack remains "likely and possible." judy? >> woodruff: the u.s. state department said today it's still trying to account for all of the americans known to have been in brussels on tuesday. on tuesday french authorities say the they've arrested a suspect in paris who was planning an attack there. in the day's other news, the united states has indicted seven computer hackers with large- scale attacks on american banks. they worked for companies tied to iran's government and its hardline revolutionary guard. between 2011 and 2013, they
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allegedly used malware to attack 46 financial institutions. in washington today, attorney general loretta lynch said the assault cost the targets tens of millions of dollars. >> the attacks were relentless, systematic, and widespread. they threatened our economic well-being and our ability to compete fairly in the global marketplace, both of which are directly linked to our national security. >> woodruff: one of the hackers also allegedly accessed the controls of a small dam outside new york city, but did no damage. all of the suspects remain at large. in iraq, government troops opened a military offensive today to retake mosul, the country's second largest city. special correspondent jane ferguson is in iraq, and reports from erbil. >> reporter: iraqi forces spent weeks chipping away at islamic state positions in the north. and then, this morning, came the announcement on state television.
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>> ( translated ): the iraqi security troops have begun the conquest operation of liberating the mosul region. our troops have been waging pitched battles and they are heading toward the drawn up and planned targets. >> reporter: officials said kurdish militia and u.s. air- strikes are supporting the assault. prime minister haider al-abadi tweeted the first stage was "swift and decisive." it began by capturing several villages near makhmur, about 40 miles south of mosul. the ultimate goal is to reclaim mosul itself. isis forces captured the city in june of 2014, routing government troops, who left behind troves of weapons and ammunition, even american-supplied vehicles and artillery pieces since then, iraq's army, supported on the ground by shiite militias and iranian advisors, has retaken tikrit, oil-rich beiji and most recently ramadi.
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but mosul, which once had a population of two million, is by far its biggest challenge. in washington today, state department spokesman mark toner said the u.s. is standing by its ally. >> we certainly support and share with the iraqi government its goal of liberating mosul as quickly as possible, but this has to be an iraqi led effort. >> reporter: already, there's been an american casualty linked to the battle for mosul. a u.s. marine was killed saturday by a rocket attack near there. his newly deployed unit is helping defend an iraqi military base. by all accounts, a decisive victory in mosul is not going to be quick. instead, iraqi military officials say the battle will be a lengthy, street-by- street, hard-fought campaign. today's offensive is the very early stage of that battle, drawing the noose a little tighter around the largest city under islamic state control. for the pbs newshour, i'm jane
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ferguson in erbil, iraq. >> woodruff: meanwhile, the syrian government announced its troops have fought their way into palmyra, with support from russian air strikes. the roman-era city is held by islamic state fighters and lies at a key crossroads in central syria. state tv today showed military units entering the outskirts of palmyra. but they're too late to save ancient temples, tombs and other artifacts already destroyed by the militants. secretary of state john kerry and russian president vladimir putin talked up prospects for peace in syria today. the two men met in moscow. kerry welcomed russia's withdrawal of most of its military forces from syria. putin said u.s./russian cooperation has helped bring progress. meanwhile, the latest round of syrian peace talks ended in geneva. they're to resume april 9. president obama spent a final
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day in argentina, paying tribute to victims of brutal, military rule. and, he acknowledged the united states was slow to condemn it. he visited a memorial to thousands killed in the so- called "dirty war," from 1976 to 1983. it began with the overthrow of argentina's government, 40 years ago today, and mr. obama discussed it later, at a briefing. >> the united states, when it reflects on what happened here, has to examine its own policies, as well and its own past. democracies have to have the courage to acknowledge when we don't live up to the ideals that we stand for. and we've been slow to speak up for human rights and that was the case here. >> woodruff: the president pledged to declassify more military and intelligence documents on the issue. there've been protests against his visit, accusing the u.s. of backing the former military dictatorship. back in this country, a spring
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blizzard that blasted denver is moving on, into the northern plains and midwest. high winds and heavy snow were reported today from wyoming to michigan. up to a foot of snow blanketed minnesota's twin cities, and parts of colorado got 30 inches. denver international airport was fully operational after canceling almost all its flights yesterday. vice president joe biden charged today that senate republicans have distorted his past remarks in order to justify blocking the president's latest supreme court nominee. in 1992, then-senator biden warned the first president bush not to name a court nominee until after that year's presidential vote. but today, the vice president said he was simply urging close consultation, to get a "moderate" nominee. wall street finished a shortened work week in quiet trading. the dow jones industrial average gained 13 points to close at 17,515.
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the nasdaq rose four points, and the s&p 500 slipped a fraction. the markets are closed tomorrow for good friday. actor and comedian garry shandling died today in los angeles, of an undisclosed cause. he's perhaps best known for his emmy-winning "larry sanders show," which debuted in 1992. shandling later won an american comedy award, in 1999. he also hosted the emmy awards show in 2004. garry shandling was 66 years old. and finally, after years of rumor, archaeologists have concluded that yes, william shakespeare's skull seems to be missing. they used ground-penetrating radar to scan the playwright's tomb at holy trinity church in stratford-upon-avon, england. until now, scholars dismissed claims that grave robbers stole the skull in the 18th century.
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still to come on the newshour: the u.n. finds a former bosnian leader guilty of genocide. how north carolina signed a bill called the most anti-lgbt law in the country. why anger over economics fuels frontrunner donald trump's campaign, and much more. >> woodruff: today was a day of reckoning for the former bosnian-serb leader radovan karadzic, who faced verdict in the hague for his actions during the war in bosnia in the 1990's. we begin with this report from james mates of independent television news. >> the tribal is now in session. >> reporter: the wheels of international justice may turn painfully slowly, but they do still turn, and at least some of
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those leaders who commit crimes against humanity one day pay a price. it's 24 years since this man, radovan karadzic, embarked on a brutal war in bosnia. he was the leader of the bosnian serbs who ordered the siege of sarajevo. [explosion] 21 years ago men under his command murdered 8,000 muslim men and boys at srebrenica. the worst genocide since world war ii. >> mr. karadzic, could you please stand. >> reporter: today he was cleared of one charge of genocide, but that did nothing to mitigate the list of crimes he was convicted of. >> count two, genocide. count three, persecution of crimes against humanity. count four, extermination, a crime against humanity. count five, murder, a crime against humanity. >> reporter: the s these andñr six more counts meas this 65-year-old should die in
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jail. >> a single sentence of 40, 4-0, years of imprisonment. >> reporter: survivor, relatives and victims of karadzic filed out of the courtroom having watched the verdict, among them a man who had been imprisoned in one of the camps first revealed to the world by itv news back in 1992. he was happy, but the acquittal on one of the two charges of genocide hurt badly. >> but the 11ñhñ one was about genocide. to not recognize the two in a time when actually the whole process of genocide started. >> reporter: karadzic's lawyer said his client continued to maintain his innocence and would appeal. >> woodruff: we take a closer look at the significance of today's conviction of the serbian leader with nicholas burns. he was the state department's spokesman during the conflict in bosnia. he went on to become under secretary of state for political affairs, and is now at harvard
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university. and david rohde covered the war in bosnia for the christian science monitor. he's the author of the book: "endgame: the betrayal and fall of srebrenica, europe's worst massacre since world war ii." he's now and editor at reuters. and we welcome both of you. first of all, nicholas burns, remind us, this was a period almost a quarter century ago. this is a small corner of europe. remind us who radovan karadzic was and what happened. >> well, judy, he was the leader of the bosnian serbs. he led that community and its parliament. this was a war by the bosnian serbs to conquer the bosnian muslims, to combat the croat community, the slovenian community. the serbs wanted to create a greater serbia. and karadzic and ratko mladic, the leading general of the bosnian serbs, led a vicious campaign. that war took 100,000 lives at least, 2.5 million refugees, anó it culminated in this great,
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great tragedy in srebrenica in july 1995 when the bosnian serbs, under karadzic's orders, murdered 8,000 muslim men and boys in two and a half days in a soccer stadium. and that was the worst massacre in europe since the nazis. it galvanized the united states and europe to act because we had not acted sufficiently between '91 and '95, and it led to the u.s. air campaigns in september and october of that year, and it led to the dayton peace talks. that's where the peace was made. so this was a significant event in the history of europe. >> woodruff: david rohde, as a reporter who covered that war, what would you add? >> i would just say, in a sense this is the largest verdict, the largest war crimes verdict in europe since the nuremberg trials. karadzic is the highest-level civilian official who will face justice, who has faced justice. slobodan milosevic, the former president of yugoslavia would have been, but he died in captivity. it's an enormous verdict.
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i was here in new york today, and by chance the hostess at a restaurant i was at was a bosnian muslim, and she burst into tears talking about, you know, the fact that this verdict had come down and he had been convicted of genocide. >> woodruff: david rohde, staying with you, again, you covered that war. what does it mean to you as somebody who saw much of this on the ground? >> well, it's accountability. there was a sense for years as the war dragged on, as nick said, 100,000 people were killed, and nato and the u.n. kept, and the international community said they were going to act, but they did not act. there was a sense that that emboldened the bosnian serbs to do this. the real tragedy of srebrenica, the town itself, it wasn't that the world didn't act, srebrenica was declared a united nations safe area. u.n. peacekeepers went in and took away the heavier weapons that bosnian muslims in the surrounding town of srebrenica had and promised that the u.n. and nato would protect them, the
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bosnian muslims with less weaponry. they weren't protected. the town was overrun and 8,000 men and boys systematically executed. >> woodruff: nicholas burn, why does it matter that 20, again, almost a quarter century later, someone like radovan karadzic is held accountable? >> well, judy, the arc ofr moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. that's what martin luther king said. he obviously was right. justice has been done here. this was genocide against an entire people, against a muslim population, and it took 21 very painful, veryçó frustrating long years for justice to work. but it has. and so this war crimes tribunal is very important, as has been the war crimes tribunal in rwanda, where there was a genocide, as well. the year before. and we in positions of power, the united states and other countries, have to see justice as a very important priority for us and have to see peace as an
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important priority. so i think it's very important that these efforts continue and that the united states continues to support them.e1rl >> woodruff: david rohde, how looking back does one explain what happened here? this was 50 years after world war ii, the holocaust in germany. how do you explain something like this, this ethnic cleansing genocide? >> well, it was disturbing. my time speaking to bosnian serb soldiers about this, they saw themselves as the victim of some sort of giant muslim conspiracy to take over europe and that they had to act this way to save europe, and they were deluded, but they were abetted by failure to act. when we see the consequences of that in syria today. it's not that the west has to necessarily, a but it can't promise to act. it can't, you know, call for president assad to step dunn in syria and then not follow up on those promises some the real lesson of all this is to not
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promise to bring justice, to not promise to remove a bruntal leader and then to not act. that's the mistake. if we're going to do nothing, say nothing.r but it's the raising the expectations and doing nothing that then emboldens the perpetrateors of these crimes. >> woodruff: nicholas burns, why did the u.s. and other nations wait so long to get involved here? >> i think on the part of the united states and the part of president george h.w. bush and bill clinton, this is a job they thought the europeans could handle. they said they would take the lead. they were uncapable of doing that. what really turned this whole war was that massacre at srebrenica. i think it shamed the united states and it shamed europe into acting. we had two things that ended this war, the decision by president clinton, and he was right to, use military force, an air campaign against the bosnian serbs in september and october of 1995.
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and then the brilliant diplomacy of the late ambassador richard c. holbrook. it was his will, his determination to see a peace made at dayton that i think was the singular factor that that war ended. we should pay tribute the ambassador holbrook to, dick holbrook and remember him today. >> woodruff: david rohde, what does this verdict mean to the people of bosnia today, if anything? >> to be frank it's not a great situation in bosnia. there's a sense the international community has shifted away from there. there's a need to reform the constitution created after the dayton accord. there's concern that if there isn't more engagement there, there could be more division. the current leader of the bosnian serbs just recently as last week dedicated a new dormitory for university students. that dormitory is named after radovan karadzic, the man convicted of genocide today. so we have to keep our eye on
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bosnia and follow through. huge step forward today, but more work to do. >> woodruff: well, we thank both of you very much for reminding us of the significance of all of. this david rohde, nicholas burns, we thank you both. >> thank you. >> woodruff: we turn now to north carolina, where a new measure restricting protections for gay, lesbian and transgender people is being called the toughest law of its kind in the nation. we begin our story with wednesday's dramatic emergency session of state lawmakers. john yang reports. >> reporter: senate democrats walked out in protest, leaving their empty chairs. >> 32 having voted in the affirmative and zero in the negative. >> reporter: that repealed a new
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ordinance in charlotte, north carolina, that expanded protections for lgbtq people including letting transgender people choose which bathroom to use. the new state law goes even further, barring any city from passing anti-discrimination laws going forward. state lawmakers heard testimony on both sides. >> half of the transgender individuals surveyed in north carolina recently reported being harassed in public accommodations. >> what about my rights to privacy and wishes not to be exposed to young males changing and showering beside me? >> reporter: late wednesday night, republican governor pat mccrory signed it into law, saying in a statement that charlotte violated "the basic expectation of privacy in the most personal of settings, a restroom or locker room." he accused the leaders of the state's largest city of "government overreach and intrusion." charlotte mayor jennifer roberts, a democrat, fired back. >> this legislation is literally the most anti-lgbt legislation in the country.
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and it does this not just in charlotte but all over the state. >> reporter: activists and legal rights groups, like the a.c.l.u., say they're already exploring a court challenge to the law. >> reporter: we explore this issue at the local and national level with: loretta boniti, senior political reporter for time warner cable news north carolina. and dominic holden, national lgbt reporter for buzzfeed news. dominic and loretta, thanks for joining us. lore rent tax let me start with you. you covered this legislative action yesterday. as i understand it, the charlotte ordinance that this is targeting hasn't even gone into effect yet. did the legislative leaders say why they felt the need for a special session here? >> well, the legislative leaders said that they could have waited until after the ordinance went into effect on april 1st, but they thought it was smart not to let it go into effect and then to go back and say, by the way, no, you can't do that once they go into their special session on
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april -- or their regular session on april 25th. so they said, we should come back beforehand and never let this go into effect. and they felt like this was necessary, even though the governor said he thought they could wait until the end of april to take care of this. >> reporter: a lot of the discussion i heard, loretta, on the floor debate, focused on the provision about allowing transgender people to choose which bathroom the use. do you think if it hadn't been for that they might not have acted so quickly? >> i think that's the issue that really prompted folks to say that they needed to come back. that's what they were getting the phone calls from from their constituents, saying this seems liking this that was a concern. they say it's a safety concern. they want the make sure someone who is biologically a male cannot legally go into a female restroom legally north carolina. they wanted to stop that happening before it became law. >> reporter: dominic, help us put this in perspective. how does both what charlotte did in their ordinance and what the north carolina state legislature
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did fit into the spectrum as it were of what's going on around thexd country in city councils d in state legislatures? >> what the city council did in charlotte was very common in the united states. there are about 200 cities with ordinances like these that ban discrimination against lgbt people. what the lawmakers did in the north carolina capital in response is increasingly common this year. there were more than 100 bills filed that target lgbt people in some way,, an unprecedented number, and this is seen as a backlash to the decision last year by the u.s. supreme court, which allowed marriage in all 50 states between same-sex couples. these bills have a number of forms. some of them are religious protection bills, such as one in missouri, and another one in georgia right now, although the one in north carolina was
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somewhat unique in that it combined two other types of bills we've seen. one is a preemption bill that overrides local jurisdiction, and the other would ban transgender students from school restrooms that correspond with their gender identity. so north carolina put thesei]yb together. and the second one about banning students from school restrooms is the first of its kind in the entire country. and there are questions then raised about what this means legally for the state. the obama administration has so"ñ that civil rights laws banned that sort of discrimination against transgender people in schools, and so this seems like it's ripe for a legal challenge. >> reporter: dominic, have communities been establishing rights for transgender people in terms of restrooms? is that something that we're seeing a lot of, or is it just because of caitlin jenner we're
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paying more attention to it? >> this is very standard some the way many of these laws are written is they ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in places of employment, in housing, and in public accommodation. and this is widely been interpreted to say that transgender people can use restrooms that correspond with their gender identity. there are 17 states with such laws, more than 200 cities, but in recent times, the last few years in particular, conservative activist have ratcheted on this to suggest there is some sort of safety threat presented. >> reporter: loretta, what's been the reaction around the business community, which is important in these states? >> the business community has come out and said they don't like the sounds of this law. they're trying to figure out exactly what it will do in north carolina. we haven't heard anybody come out and say, well, i'm leaving north carolina because of this law, but we have several big businesses like red hat,
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american airlines who are based here who have said they don't like the way this law works. obviously when you start seeing big businesses like that speak out against something, that will lead to probably a ripple effect of more and more businesses coming out against it. >> reporter: dominic, you mentioned the same-sex marriage decision by the supreme court last year. we've also seen gays in the military issue being resolved. is this now the new battleground for lgbt rights in state legislatures over issues like this? >> after marriage equality, there's no question that the primary interests of the lgbt movement is to pass non-discrimination protection federally. where they're running into problems is on the local level with this issue about bathrooms, but it's important to note that in the 200 cities and 17 states with laws like this already on the books, there are no examples documented of someone using it for nefarious purposes of a transgender person who is this sex predator in the bathroom.
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it's got no factual foothold, if anything the irony in this is that it actually would require, and north carolina now requires transgender men who have beards, who are muscular to, use the women's restroom, so it creates the very problem that it claims to solve. nonetheless, it's really put lgbt advocates in a difficult place because they haven't figured out how to respond to this. for the most part they have not taken it on directly. >> drew: >> reporter: dominic holden, loretta boniti, thanks very much. >> woodruff: stay with us, coming up on the newshour. why economists missed the anger that lead to the rise of trumpism. and with big banks in the political spotlight, we sit down with barney frank. plus, an inventor's take on death and technology.
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there's no question that one of the key issues in this election year has been the frustration of workers over wages, debt and a sense of economic stagnation in too many households. our economics correspondent, paul solman, recently sat down with robert reich to hear a more progressive/liberal take on these issues. tonight, paul gets a more conservative view on how it helps explain the trump phenomenon. it's part of his weekly reporting on financial news, "making sense," which airs every thursday. >> the poor are getting everything for free and the rich are getting all the tax breaks. >> reporter: long marginalized, economically anxious voters are now center stage in the daily drama of the presidential campaign. >> i am currently unemployed. i think the middle class they don't really care about as much as they should. >> well i lost my job, so my one full time job is now three part time jobs. >> that's what america needs. that's what the people need. they need their jobs back. >> reporter: to which donald
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trump responds loud and clear... >> i will be the greatest jobs- producing president that god ever created. >> reporter: economics is a key driver of the voter anger charles murray calls "trumpism"" conservative charles murray, who's been a lightning rod of controversy since "the bell curve," his co-authored book of the ¡90s on genetics and economic success. what is trumpism? >> trumpism is the expression by the white working class of a lot of legitimate grievances with the ruling class. everything from the cultural disdain that the ruling class holds the working class to the loss of all kinds of manufacturing jobs, the importation of low-skilled labor, all the ways in which, if you're a member of the working class, you have over the last 30 or 40 years been screwed. >> reporter: murray says he would never vote for donald trump, but he's been forced to
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acknowledge the appeal of, say, trump's diatribes against outsourcing jobs. >> the best way to stay competitive is to move production from our facility in indianapolis to monterrey, mexico. >> reporter: this cellphone video gone viral from february showed workers, at an indianapolis carrier plant, getting prospective pink slips. although it's been widely reported that donald trump's own products are made overseas, on the campaign trail, he denounced carrier, and issued a threat. >> i'm gonna call up carrier and i'm going to tell the head of carrier, "i hope you enjoy your stay in mexico, folks, but every single unit that you make and send across our border, which now will be real, you're gonna pay a 35% tax!" >> no more oreos! >> reporter: and there's the campaign chant trump initiated. >> no more oreos! >> reporter: ...initiated after oreo maker nabisco said it was moving jobs from chicago to mexico.
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>> no more oreos! it's going to be tough getting off oreos. >> reporter: another familiar yet grave grievance of trump supporters: insourcing of cheap labor via immigration. the recent furor over it has forced charles murray to change his mind. >> i've always believed in enforcing the border, and doing that before you do amnesty. i've always considered myself to be, you know, very stern on those issues, but i also have not written about saying, maybe we shouldn't have so many low- skilled people coming in anymore. and, because my libertarian principles are in favor of immigration and all that, and until the last few months, it, did not hit home to me the degree to which the immigration policy that i, as one of the elites, find good is good only because i don't pay any of the price for it. >> reporter: and that's the great revelation of trumpism. >> that the ruling class in this
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country is governing in its own self-interest, and ignoring the legitimate complaints of the working class. and for that matter, of the middle class. >> reporter: i spent a day with murray in 2012, exploring his book on inequality, "coming apart." it featured a "do you live in a bubble?" quiz. >> i got a really high score on the bubble quiz, because after all, i made the quiz. so, i'm supposedly not in the bubble at all. >> reporter: right. >> but, i have been shocked by the degree of self-recognition of the ways that i, too, am in the bubble. it's an, it's been an unpleasant shock, and it's because of the presidential campaign. >> reporter: though he lives in a small town in rural maryland, by education, income and social class, murray now realizes he is also in an elitist bubble. >> you now have the option of going to live in communities which are filled with interesting people, people who do share your tastes and
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preferences, who get your jokes, who know about the allusions, who, for that matter, share your politics, that's happening all the time. >> reporter: while so many average americans pine for the good old days... >> make america great again! $5 flag. i got one left. who wants it? >> reporter: ...but popular tv, a product of those in the upper echelons, makes fun of those below. >> the plant called and said if you don't come in tomorrow, don't bother coming in monday. >> woo-hoo! four-day weekend! >> there is one group that is more consistently portrayed as ineffectual, as unvirtuous, as incompetent, as objects of fun, and that is white working class guys. >> evil knievel gloves! i bet i could do a wheelie with these! how much for the gloves? >> peter, those are yours! >> 10 bucks! 2! 7! 4! 5.50! 10! sold! sucker, i woulda gone to 15 easy! i am so stupid. >> reporter: how much of the anxiety and resentment of the working middle class is due to,
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you think, the attitude of the elite to those working middle class people? >> a big chunk. you don't think that they don't notice when we talk about flyover country? try to think of any kind of ethnic slur that you can get away with at a dinner party you attend without getting immediate pushback. >> reporter: oh you'd get kicked out of the... >> i'll give you one. >> reporter: ...out of the room. >> i'll give you an ethnic slur where you won't. try it out at your next dinner party. refer to rednecks. talk to a friend of mine, who bought a weekend place in west virginia. and have him tell you what his georgetown neighbors said without the slightest sense of shame about their expectations of what his neighbors would be like-- that they would be dumb, illiterate, have missing teeth, and so forth. >> reporter: it's not as if trump supporters like john lehanka haven't noticed the condescension. >> we're not stupid. we're not clowns.
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we're not zombies. we know what we want. we want america to be great again. >> reporter: as any number of recent plays illustrate, many artists have deep sympathy for the economically subordinated. >> they squeeze us like a sponge, they drain out every last drop of blood and then they throw us away. >> reporter: though arguably the artists are members of the elite themselves. not to mention their audiences. >> i thought i'd be settled by my age but man, it never ends. mortgage, car payments, internet, our dishwasher just gave out. >> oh man. >> don't you think it should cost less to be alive? >> reporter: and yet, says murray, even the most aware among the socially elite have done little to cut the widening distance between them and more typical americans. >> there is a sense that the people who run the country are a separate group of people who don't like them, who don't understand them, and who have been punishing them. >> reporter: donald trump's
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sales pitch, of course, is that he does understand them, and will protect them. for the pbs newshour, this is economics correspondent paul solman >> woodruff: on our website, you can take charles murray's "bubble quiz" to see if you live in a social and cultural bubble. that's at >> woodruff: now, our conversation series on another economic issue that's been a major theme on the campaign trail this year: are some banks still too big to fail and do they pose a risk to the country? jeffrey brown has our latest interview. >> brown: in our first conversation we talked with neel
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kashkari, president of the federal reserve bank in minneapolis. as a treasury official during the financial crisis he helped oversee the bailout of the banks. he now argues that the system remains in danger and that giant financial firms should be broken up. that's a view being heard on the campaign trail from senator bernie sanders. in his interview with judy yesterday, here's how he described the problem and his plan for it. >> it is important to point out that three out of the four largest banks in this country today are bigger than they were when we bailed them out because they were too big to fail. you have the six largest banks in this country that have assets of 58% of our g.d.p. i happen the believe that when you have a few financial institutions with unbelievable economic power, with unbelievable financial power, that what we should do is reestablish a modern glass seeing the l legislation and what we should do is break them up, not only from a risk perspective of not seeing their
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greed and illegal behavior destroy our economy, as happened eight years ago, but also from creating a competitive financial system where we don't have so few financial institutions with so much power. >> brown: we get a response now from one of the leading players in the aftermath of the financial crisis. barney frank served as a democratic congressman from massachusetts from 1981 until his retirement in 2013. as chairman of the house financial services committee, he played a lead role in crafting the dodd-frank law, which enacted the most sweeping changes to u.s. financial regulation since the great depression. the starting point of the critique we've heard is that the banks are bigger than ever, the potential for another bailout remains strong. dodd-frank was a start but didn't go nearly far enough. do you see a different picture? >> oh, very much so. in the first place, both senator sanders and mr. kashkari continue to evade the biggest question. that is: how big is too big?
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the crisis which touched off when lehman brothers couldn't make its payment, lehman was about $650 billion in assets. we have banks four and five times that size, and the question is: does everybody have to be smaller than lehman brothers is today? that wouldhave consequences. getting there would be a problem. by the way, it should be very clear, glass-steigel doesn't do it. there is a disconnect between senator sanders insisting the banks be broken down to the point where they won't by their own size threaten to undermine it. glass-steigel wouldn't do anything to goldman sachs and to morgan stanley, which are almost glass-steigelized themselves. but look at city corp, bank of america, wells fargo, even if they were subject to
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glass-steigel, t etb be well beyond the size lehman brothers is. there a disconnect between saying we're going to do glass-steigel and getting the banks down to a size where you wouldn't be damaged: >> brown: when i talked to neel kashkari, he cited the example of the s and l crisis. you had 1,000 institutions go under, but the system wasn't at risk. >> excuse me. >> brown: go ahead. >> i'm saying size is a factor,w big was too big? that's a major factor. by the way, it cost us more, the s and l crisis cost the taxpayers more than the tarp in 2008. so i don't know why he would cite that. in fact, the failure of a very large number of smaller institutions turned out to be much more expensive to taxpayers. in fact, as far as the bailout of 200 was concerned, we made money on that in the money that
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was extended to financial institutions, and by the way, it wasn't just to big ones. it was small ones, as well. the only institutions that weren't able to pay us back were the autocompanies. i thought it was a good idea to pay them. as to size, the question is not just to the sides, but what would happen if they couldn't pay their debts. that's what people ignore. we did two things in the legislation to deal with that. first of all, we made it much, much lesss likely that they would get so endebted that they couldn't pay them back. it's not their overall size, it's the endebtedness that's the threat. you could not now have an a.i.g., which got itself $170 billion beyond what it could pay off in derivatives, because we do not allow institutions under the law now to get so endebted without the capital to back it up. secondly and most importantly, what we said is this: if a large institution can't pay its debts, it fails. it is not too big to fail. it is put out of business by law. no federal official can advance any money to pay its debts under the law until it is dissolved.
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what then happens is this: it may be we would have to borrow from the taxpayers to pay some of the debts, not all, as the previous law required, but if we have to pay some of the debts to prevent the failure of a large institution from having serious economic consequences, the treasury secretary is mandated by law to recover every penny from other large financial institutions. again, it's not the size of the institution, but the size of the unpaid endebtedness. we have dealt with that by reducing the endebtedness and requiring that the institution will be dissolved if it fails. >> brown: what about the argument from senator sanders, we just heard it, and you're a supporter of hillary clinton in the democratic presidential race, but what about the argument from senator sanders on the political issue, the political power of banks who have, as you said, he said six of them have assets totaling 50% of the u.s. g.d.p. is that a problem for democracy in >> no, i don't think... the
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problem for our democracy is the one that both senator sanders and hillary clinton would fix, unlike the republicans. that would be to appoint a supreme court justice who would overturn the citizens united decision which allows money to go in uninhibited. i will tell you this, in the legislation in 2008, and people who study this understand it, it was the community banks that had more power than the big banks. we did several things in that bill that favored the small banks other -- over the bigger banks. there is a threat, if they are so endebted, their debts don't get paid and they solve... they cause an economic crisis, that's the one i believe we have addressed. by the way, once again, with glass-steigel, i would ask you, did you ask either senator sanders or mr. kashkari how big was too big? how can someone claim to be responsibly advocating reducing the size of the institution without telling you what size they have to be reduced. that's a fundamental question. >> well, i can tell you that mr. kashkari said he was going the study it this year.
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so that's... >> in other words, he came out... that's irresponsible. i think frankly mr. kashkari is acting still more like the candidate for governor he was in california than a federal reserve official. and i think the answer is that it might be too small for them to want to stand behind that, but i want to get back to the political point, glass-steigel, which is senator sanders' only remedy, doesn't resolve that problem. people should understand, glass-steigel doesn't break them into three and four and five pieces. glass-steigel says to city corp and bank of america and jpmorgan chase, you cannot have a commercial bank decision and a securities division. but if you applied glass-steigel, you would not significantly diminish their size, certainly not below the level lehman brothers was in 2008. >> brown: all right. barney frank, thank you so much.
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>> woodruff: and now to another in our "brief but spectacular" series. tonight, we hear from inventor and futurist ray kurzweil about immortality and the exponential growth of technology. since 2012, kurzweil has been a director of engineering at google. >> our immediate reaction to death is that it's a tragedy and that's actually the correct reaction. we've rationalized it saying oh that tragic thing that's looming that's actually a good thing but now we can actually seriously talk about a scenario where we will be able to extend our longevity indefinitely. i decided to become an inventor when i was five. i'd bring back broken bicycles, radios, this was an era where
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you would allow a five year old to roam the neighborhood and do this and i had this idea if i could just figure out how to put all these things together i could solve any problem. i wrote a program that could recognize the patterns in melodies from famous composers and write original music, so i went on this show i've got a secret hosted by steve allen. my secret was i'd built and programmed a computer that composed music. i created a program that could recognize printed letters in anytime font and created a reading machine for the blind. probably the most important theme i've talked about is the exponential growth of information technology. the price performance capacity of information technology progresses predictably and exponentially, it doubles every period of time. so this little computer is actually billions of times more powerful per dollar than the computer i used when i was an undergraduate. we'll do that again in the next 25 years. we'll have computers the size of blood cells-- little robotic
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devices that can go through our bloodstream. it's capabilities thousands or millions fold by connecting to the cloud. that's a 2030 scenario. we've been expanding our life expectancy for thousands of years. it was 19 1,000 years ago, 37 in 1800, we're going to get to a point 10, 15 years from now where we're adding more time than is going by to our remaining life expectancy. people say oh i don't want to live past 90 but you know i talk to 90 year olds and they definitely want to live to 91 and 100. people sometimes say that death gives meaning to life because it makes time short but actually death is a great robber of meaning of relationships of knowledge. we're going to be able to overcome disease and aging. most of our thinking will be non biological that will be backed up so part of it gets wipes away you can re create it and we'll be able to extend our lives indefinitely, i'd rather use that word that forever. my name is ray kurzweil and this is my brief but spectacular take on our exponential future.
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>> woodruff: you can watch more brief but spectacular episodes on our facebook page: on the newshour online, in our weekly medicare column, a reader wants to know why she was charged an exorbitant fee for medication she received in a hospital, journalist philip moeller writes that medicare drug coverage can be very confusing, with several different parts. he explains them each week in his "ask phil" column, and you can read this week's on our home page, that's and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online, and again here tomorrow evening, with mark shields and david brooks. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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>> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh
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this is "nightly business report." with tyler mathisen and sue herera. battle in the board room. an activist investor is going to extremes moving to overthrow yahoo!'s entire board. gross domestic problems. persistent errors plague one of the most important measures of economic growth. and behind the hack. the justice department charges several iranians for a series of cyber attacks on our financial system and infrastructure. all that and more tonight on "nightly business report" for thursday, good evening and welcome. not holding back. activist investors usually don't, of course. but today we learn that the hedge fund that's been agitating for change at yahoo! wants to do something extreme.