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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  August 9, 2010 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> ifill: good evening. i'm gwen ifill. a christian charity says it has no plans to leave afghanistan after ten members of its medical team were killed in a taliban ambush. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. on the newshour tonight, we get the latest on the killings and the dangerous work of aid groups in afghanistan from "new york times" reporter rod nordland, and international development expert barmak pazhwak. >> ifill: then dan balz of the "washington post" takes us to colorado, where tomorrow's primary voting could prove to be a test of the nation's political mood. o have an insurgency going on. just a lot of voters that are unhappy with the status quo, with washington. >> brown: special correspondent
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kira kay reports on a very different campaign, this one in rwanda, where hutus and tutsis turned out in large numbers >> we want peace, but we need peace in our hearts. there is still a lot of suspicion. there is still a lot of fear. there is still a lot of frustration. >> ifill: and energy and environmental writers eric pooley and darren samuelson explain the rise and fall of this year's climate and energy legislation. that's all ahead on tonight's newshour.
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>> ifill: six americans were killed in the medical team ambush in afghanistan, along with two afghans. the remaining two-- one british, one germany-- were identified today, and the taliban has claimed responsibility for the murders. the ten international aide workers lost their lives thursday in the remote and rugged northeast corner of the country. they were lined up and gunned down on their way home from taking medical supplies to remote villages. the international assistance mission, a christian charity, said the group specifically picked the route home through a neighboring province because they thought it would be the safest. today in kabul, the director of the charity said his group remains committed to its medical mission and has no plans to leave the country. >> as things stand right now, i am not thinking of withdrawing from afghanistan. our agency has worked here for well over four decades.
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we remember that there were times when security was much worse than it is right now. >> ifill: the taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack and insisted the team members were actually trying to convert muslims to christianity. that's a charge the aide group and the u.s. government denies. >> these were selfless volunteers who devoted themselves to providing free and much-needed health care to afghans in the most remote and difficult parts of your country. >> ifill: secretary of state hillary clinton spoke in washington today. >> the murdered medical volunteers as well as the volunteers from many nations and the international coalition working to establish stability in afghanistan represent exactly what the taliban stands against. a future of peace, freedom, opportunity, and open ness in which all afghans can live and work together in safety, free
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from terror. >> ifill: the bodies of the ten arrived in kabul on sunday. five of the families have elected to have funerals and burials in afghanistan. including the family of tom little, the team leader. he was an optometrist who had worked in afghanistan since the late 1970s. >> he gave his life , the best years of his life, you know, to bring medical care to afghan people. and he'll be buried in the christiane cemetery right there in kabul. >> ifill: the other americans included cameraman brian, dentist tom graham and glen, a nurse. the six american was dan ferry another long-time afghan worker. >> brown: here in our studio, barmak pars wack. he manages granted for aide organizations in afghanistan
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and pakistan. he formally worked on development issues in afghanistan for the u.n.. rod nordland starting with you. what's known at this point about who might have carried out these killings? >> well, we just know that the taliban and also another insurgent group have both claimed that they carried it out. it sounds plausible that it was done for political reasons, but the police haven't ruled out the possibility that it was just a robbery or just a gang of fanatics with no motive that is clear at all. >> brown: the one survivor and afghan driver is being held, i gather. there is there a question about whether he was involved or is that just for questioning at this point? >> i think it's just for questioning. they are holding him. they held him earlier in the area of the local police. now they're holding him here in kabul. i think it's just a precaution. he's the only survivor. there were two other afghans. they were killed. i think they want to be sure they're satisfied just what happened. the group that he worked for, the international assistance
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mission, feels confident that he wasn't involved in any way. he's worked for them for four years. they know him well and trust him. >> brown: rod, you were there today to talk to the people in the group and including the leader of the group. what did you learn from them today, anymore about some of the people involved and what they were doing? >> i think first of all, i don't think there's any doubt at all that they were not proselytizing. they weren't christian missionaries trying to convert muslims which is a crime here and which is the reason that the taliban cited for justifying their murders. but at the same time i think there's a little bit of soul searching going on, wondering if they did the right thing and they did discuss before they went whether it was safe or not, whether it was wise to have so many foreigners in an area where one hardly ever sees foreigners. so there was obviously some discussion about that. finally, they seemed determined to stay here. they've been here since 1966,
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and they seem determined to stay on in some form. >> brown: mr. pazhwak, you worked with a number of groups over there. give us some context. how typical was the work of this group in what they were doing and the specific mission that they were involved with. >> as we heard the international assistance mission, they have been in afghanistan since 1966. they're a bit different from traditional aide groups in the sense that they not only worked in afghanistan but they also practically lived in afghanistan. they had their families there. they had their kids who were trained and schooled in afghanistan. the most important thing about this group is that before doing any kind of project work, they learned the culture and the language and then start working. they work very closely with afghan nationals, and they pride themselves for closely working with the local communities. in many senses they were received very well by local
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communities all over afghanistan. they didn't only work in kabul or they didn't have an office only in kabul. but they had offices all over afghanistan in most major cities. >> brown: presumably before they would go on a mission, they would work with the locals in the area to try to ensure safe passage? how would that work? >> most often they used to rely on local contacts. they used to rely on local partners for passage through difficult areas in the country. throughout the course of civil war in afghanistan, most notably they stayed in afghanistan during the taliban era. their offices were open. they were able to work and deliver services . >> brown: we heard rod talk about the question of the prossal sizing which they were accused of by the taliban. as he said this is against the rules there. what are the ground rules under which a group like this, a christian charity, would operate? >> as an ngo.
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for an ngo to be registered they should not non-political, non-governmental, of course and not for profit. they should not discriminate on any basis against any group in after... afghanistan and they should abide by the afghan constitution. those are the basic elements to be able to register as an ngo. >> brown: for context, are there still a lot of aide groups operating in after afghanistan and what kind of work are they doing at this point? >> quite a large group of ngos operating in afghanistan. they are afghan and international ngos. they're working from issues that center on rights like human rights, women rights to finance, provision of health, agriculture , education, everything. >> brown: rod nordland, given that this took place in what had been considered, i gather, a relatively safe area, what kind of concerns are you hearing there now about the
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taliban, whether this is a signal of reaching out to other parts of the country or other kinds of operations? >> well, i mean, yes and no it was a safe area. it was an area that had been in before safely. they went with local guides, local people they knew. when they were with those people they were indeed safe. it was when those people let them go and they went out through the province, an area that they had not traversed before, that they were set upon. this particular province, on the other hand, is considered a relatively safe part of afghanistan. i think it just shows that really increasingly no place in afghanistan is safe in the rural areas outside of kabul and the immediateen environments. >> brown: you said that the leaders today said they will stay there. presumably they and other groups are getting more warnings about the potential risks and dangers of leaving the capital?
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>> no, i think those... they'll stay here. but they won't do things quite as cutting edge as running an i-cam over a 16,000 foot pass into kush. they don't have the resources or somebody like tom little who spoke the language, who had local contacts, had been there 30 years and had medical skills. they can't easily replace that. they do quite a variety of things. 1500 ngos are working here. astonishing number. but a great deal of their work is done in the capital and a few other places that are safe. increasingly they're not getting out into these kinds of areas. >> brown: is that what you see, mr. pazhwak, in terms of the ability of groups to operate especially outside the capital? >> exactly. unfortunately due to security, the situation has been curtailed. they're not able to perform as they used to do, and they're not able to go to the places that people most need their
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help. >> brown: do they... are they... were they able to work with the afghan government at this point to try to do what they can? how does that work? >> in some certain areas like the provision of basic health or the national solidarity program which is a rural development program, they are working in partnership with the afghan government. >> brown: do we know if any of them are talking directly to the taliban or insurgents in some areas to be provided safe passage? >> i'm not sure if there are any of them talking directly to the taliban. there might be some local understanding on certain issues. >> brown: do you know about that, rod nordland, if there's that kind of communication or even talk about that kind of direct communication? >> i.c.r.c., the international committee of the red cross, goes throughout taliban areas. they do talk to the taliban. they treat taliban fighters like, you know, as part of their policy of neutrality and impartiality. they've been able to do that
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for the most without incident. but that's strained now. first of all it's not clear necessarily who you're dealing with when you say taliban. it's a more complicated organization that has some divisions, younger commanders who are coming up who maybe don't follow the guidance that they're getting from the government to leave groups alone. >> brown: one last brief question, rod. i gather some of these families of the americans have asked that the bodies eventually be buried in afghanistan. but they may be flown to the u.s. for autopsies. what do you know about that? >> that was what we heard earlier today. the american embassy put a statement out later on saying that the f.b.i. is looking into whether or not they would bring the bodies back for autopsy. so i think some of families or some of their loved ones feel very strongly that their roots were in afghanistan. some of these people raised entire families here, spent their whole lives here pretty much their whole adult lives
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and want to be buried here. i think some discussion is going on about that. >> brown: thank you both very much. >> thank you. >> ifill: still to come on the newshour, anti-incumbency in colorado; rwanda's presidential election; and the collapse of climate legislation. but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan in our newsroom. >> sreenivasan: in russia today, heavy smog from wildfires enveloped moscow again, as it has for six days in a row. in all, firefighters continued battling more than 550 blazes across the country. most were in the west, but there were 40 near moscow. the resulting smog held dangerous levels of carbon monoxide and other poisons. and officials said the city's average death toll had doubled to 700 a day. many in moscow said simply breathing is now a challenge. >> to be honest it is is hard. we are using old-time methods like putting gauze or linen on windows. the best way is to leave moscow.
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the farther the better. >> sreenivasan: the russian weather service said the triple- digit heat that's fueling the fires may be the worst in 1,000 years. the problem can be seen in this map by nasa. it compares readings from late july of this year to temperatures during the same time between 2000 and 2008. areas with above-average temperatures appear in shades of red. below-average temperatures are in blue. the u.n. estimated today the catastrophic flooding in pakistan has affected more than 13 million people. as the flood tide moved south, some people were rescued, but many more waited for help. we have a report from juliet bremner of independent television news. >> reporter: a final step to safety. after three days marooned on their farm. flood water doesn't discriminate between the old and the young. the children of this family are safe. they have fevers, diarrhea and chest infections. they've left behind 65 more people, all now desperate to be rescued.
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>> our animals are gone. our crops are gone. nothing is left. we haven't eaten for three days. we're really hungry this old lady tells me. >> reporter: with time running out, the pakistani army and navy want everyone living in villages to go. but some farmers are still reluctant. gesturing and begging, this woman urged the men to change their minds. for god's sake, save the lives of your children, she pleads. finally, they relent and the women and children are helped aboard. they can't force them to leave. at first many families chose to stay, believing that the waters would drop. instead they're still rising relentlessly. they haven't eaten or drunk anything for days. now they're fearing for their lives. a mass exodus is underway along the banks of the river indus. roads are filled with refugees as the panic sets in.
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in this town, hundreds haven't made it to the road. instead they've crowded on to a small strip of land, the only place they could reach. >> we are in big trouble. help us. we are requesting your president to kindly help us. otherwise if you are not going to help us, we all will die. >> reporter: but no one is here. aide agencies haven't arrived yet. the rescue boats don't come this far down river. helicopters are busy in other parts of pakistan. here in the south, the growing tide of refugees can only say that their need is recognized too. >> sreenivasan: heavy rain also triggered flash floods and mudslides in northwestern china over the weekend. at least 337 people were killed. the landslides hit late saturday and early sunday, after a river burst its banks. entire mountain villages were engulfed in mud and rocks. today, rescue crews searched for more than 1,100 people still missing.
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b.p. has resumed drilling a relief well in the gulf of mexico. it could be used to finish a permanent plug in the company's blown oil well. cement poured into the cap on the damaged well has already hardened. b.p. also reported today its overall costs in the spill have topped $6 billion. the u.s. military may shut down a major command and cut the budget for outside contractors by 10%. defense secretary robert gates proposed those steps and others today. he wants to save $100 billion over five years. gates targeted the joint forces command in norfolk, virginia, with nearly 5,000 workers. its mission is to improve cooperation among the services. a dispute over so-called "blood diamonds" dominated the war crimes trial of charles taylor again today. the former ruler of liberia is accused of using diamonds to finance rebels in sierra leone. actress mia farrow testified today at the trial in the netherlands. she recalled talking to british model naomi campbell in 1997 after a charity dinner that taylor also attended.
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>> as i recall, she was quite excited and said in effect, oh, my god, in the middle of the night last night or last night i was awakened by knocking at the door. it was men sent by charles taylor, and he sent me, as i recall, a huge diamond. >> sreenivasan: in her own testimony last week, campbell said she received several "dirty-looking stones." she denied knowing who sent them. prosecutors are hoping to link taylor directly to at least one blood diamond. honda recalled more than 380,000 vehicles today for a chronic ignition problem. the key can sometimes be removed while the transmission is still in drive, and the car can roll away. the affected vehicles are accords, civics, and elements from the 2003 and 2004 model years. it is the third time honda has issued a recall for this same problem since 2003. stocks closed moderately higher on wall street. the dow jones industrial average gained 45 points to close at
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10,698. the nasdaq rose 17 points to close at 2305. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to gwen. >> ifill: voters in connecticut, georgia, minnesota, and colorado go to the polls tomorrow. the midsummer primary voting is being closely watched, especially in colorado, where almost nothing is unfolding as expected. >> ifill: deep into the summer it's primary season in colorado. but the politics is anything but local. >> ken buck. >> ifill: a pair of statewide races for governor and united states senate are testing the politics of incumbency and insurgency. for democrat michael bennett who was appointed to the senate only two years ago, the challenge has come from the left. >> how are you doing there? >> ifill: for jay norton, the former lieutenant governor who was long considered the favorite to win the republican senate nomination, the challenge has come from the right.
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but it turns out this is not the year where it helps to be considered part of anybody's political establishment. independent pollster :. >> the election is mostly being framed by this national theme of the anti-establishment, anti-washington , new faces insurgencies in the republican party it's mostly being fueled by the tea party movement. >> ifill: attorney ken buck is challenging norton. >> if we continue to pile debt on to our children and grandchildren, we are also morally bankrupt. >> ifill: in an aggressive ad campaign, norton has responded by attacking buck for language he used about her at a campaign stop. >> here is ken buck caught on tape. >> why should you vote for me? because i do not wear high heels. >> now ken buck wants to go to washington? he'd fit right in. >> ifill: most polls show this primary race too close to call.
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colorado democrats are also deeply split. although bennett has the backing of president obama, he's fighting off a spirited challenge from andrew roam november, the former speaker of the colorado house. >> this campaign is not about my job. i don't think about my job as my job. this campaign is about the jobs of people all across our state. >> ifill: r romanov who has been endorsed by former president clinton has launched an aggressive grass roots campaign. >> in the end i believe we are going to win this race not just because of who i am but because of who you are and what you've done. >> ifill: polls show romanov and bennett in a dead heat. former congressman scott macinnis is facing off against political newcomer dan mays, a colorado businessman. a tea party favorite, mays is tapping into voter anger. to use macinnis's washington experience against him.
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macinnis also hurt himself when allegations surfaced that he had plagiarized a $300,000 piece of research for a foundation . his handling of the incident caused his fund raising and poll numbers to plummet. >> i never would think in a million years or never thought i would be standing here announcing my candidacy for governor of the state of colorado. >> ifill: and the political complications don't end there. after macinnis stumbled, former republican congressman and presidential candidate tom tancredo announced he too is running for governor but as an independent. the g.o.p. turmoil has been good news for the democratic candidate for governor. popular denver mayor. he managed to escape a primary challenge. but no one is breathing easy. >> the democrats cannot open the champagne yet. and the reason is the polls show that the denver mayor is not above 50% in these polls. that is to say this is still a pretty good republican year.
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>> thank you for voting. >> ifill: all primary voting, which began two weeks ago, is by mail in colorado. some counties are already reporting higher participation than normal. here to tell us what he'll be watching for when those ballots come in tomorrow here to tell us what he'll be watching for when those ballots come in tomorrow night is dan balz, national political reporter for the "washington post." dan, we hear this insider- outsider theme built up around this and other races. how much of it is the case in colorado. >> gwen, there is a lot of that in these races but it's somewhat more complicated than that. i mean, let's step back for just a second. colorado is a state that over the last three elections has moved dramatically toward the democrats. 2004, 2006 and 2008 when barack obama was very popular there in and the democrats scored very well. the pendulum is moving back in colorado. this is a year in which republicans believe that they were going to be able to capture the senate seat now held by michael bennett and the governor's office. but along the way they've all gotten tangled up in these internal party fights.
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as you suggest a lot of it is is who is outsider, who is the insider, who is more conservative in the republican party, who is more liberal in the democratic party? what's the power of the party bases? we've now got these three primary races that are all too close to call. >> ifill: let's try to go through them one by one. how did michael bennett get to be so vulnerable? the incumbent senator. >> a couple of reasons. one is appointed senators or people who get appointed often have trouble because they have no roots. michael bennett has never been in politics. he had come out of the school system. he was superintendent of schools in denver. he had no political network, no political fund raising network or political base. he was plucked from relative obscurity into this seat. he has had to spend the last 18 months becoming well known to people who had no idea who he was. that made him vulnerable in the fall in part because of the political winds but also because he isn't well known.
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when andrew romanov stepped in he was very much on the attack against michael bennett who was somebody who had become a creature of special interests in washington. >> ifill: do the presidential endorsements make any difference at all? >> they don't seem to have made a lot of difference. michael bennett obviously has the support of the president and the national democratic establishment. they have been hard at work for him. the president made a call last week out to colorado, a conference call, to supporters urging them to get out and vote. former president clinton endorsed andrew romanov. he did nothing else until today. he's now done a little recording for him . but it doesn't look as though either of those has been decisive. this is a battle that is very personal and in many ways very, very negative . >> ifill: jane north and buck. what's his first name? >> ken buck. >> ifill: is that as hostile as it looks the whole high heels versus the boots.
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>> it is hostile. in some ways i don't think it's as hostile as the now race between bennett and romanov is. it's hostile because jane norton was the establishment favorite. she was recruited among other people by john cornyn who is the head of the republican senate campaign committee. she said john mccain helped encourage her. she looked like she would be the overwhelming favorite to win. in the early stages of the race she was. ken buck was able to tap into that anger, small government fervor we've seen in other places and tea party act i.v.f.s in colorado. as a result of that because she was not a particularly good candidate in the early stages of the race he was able to get an advantage over her. in the early part of the summer it was clear he had more momentum. she started to go after him in a negative way. they have been firing back ever since. again, that race is too close to call. i think a few weeks ago you would have said ken buck was
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the likely winner just because it seemed to be moving in his direction. i think at this point it's not clear that that's going to be the case. >> ifill: kind of froze. scott macinnis and dan mays. dan mays is the tea party candidate. i don't think what that means in colorado. maybe you can tell me. does this mean because of scott macinnis's plagiarism stumble that dan mays will be the likely nominee? >> i don't think it makes him the likely nominee. he is a flawed candidate in his own way. he was paid recently one of the largest if not the largest fines in the history of the state for campaign finance violations. he's a political newcomer. he has some tea party support. no question about that. i think if it were not for the plagiarism issue, macinnis would win this primary. at this point it's too close to call. depending on who wins it, we haven't heard the last of who is going to be the republican nominee for governor in that state. if macinnis is the candidate, if he wins tomorrow we could
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see some things playing out afterwards in which party leaders try to convince him to step down. >> ifill: it's possible to overdetermine the meaning of a single state in the national climate. what are we watching for national interpretation for tomorrow night. >> a couple of things. we are watching to see how much kind of anti-establishment energy there is out there. that's one thing. i think the second thing we're watching for is a sign of whether there is any sort of movement away from republicans in a year in which they are counting on the wins being at their... the winds being at their back. >> ifill: does anything happen between now and voting at this point? it's a mail-in vote. it's not like people can go to the ballot box really. >> i think there are a few places that will have regular voting tomorrow. most of the voting will have taken place by now. most of the ballots would have been mailed in by now. we're hopeful we can get a fast count so we can know the results. >> ifill: thank you, dan balz.
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>> thank you, gwen. >> brown: in >> brown: next tonight, in the african nation of rwanda, a heavy turnout was reported today in presidential elections that take place in the lingering aftermath of genocide. we have a report from special correspondent kira kay of the bureau for international reporting. >> reporter: in the rural hills of rwanda, thousands of people have come to pledge allegiance to their president who is running for a second seven-year term. he is the only one, they chant. in many ways that is true. he is the man who led this country from the depths of genocidal violence to become the developing state it is today. and although there are other candidates on the ballot, he is the overwhelming favorite.
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>> democracy , good governance, and development-- our country's path is clear. >> reporter: in 1994, a minority ethnic tutsi was a rebel leader in exile. in april of that year , hutu extremists began the organized massacre of 800,000 tutsi and moderate hutus. the world didn't intervene to stop rwanda's genocide so this man and his troops did. today memorials to the genocide dot the country. >> some people got killed during the genocide, we ask that they judge the criminals who took part in the genocide . >> reporter: this pastor says the first step to putting his fractured nation back together in the years of the genocide was to find some justice for the victims. a daunting process when neighbors and sometimes even relatives were the perpetrators.
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>> the justice system had the pressure of 150,000 people in jail at the same time. finally we are able to go back to our traditional system where the community will do the investigations. >> reporter: this experiment in community justice led to over 400,000 prosecutions over the past eight years. most of those convicted have been released back into society. today people of both ethnicities live side by side. perhaps more as a matter of necessity than in real forgiveness but violence has not returned. and other efforts to further heal wounds are still ongoing. this radio soap opera running for seven years now is hugely popular. the old-fashioned drama comes with a message. >> do you think there should be no justice? how can people ever reconcile. >> can they reconcile with the
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people who hurt them. >> reporter: but the government's big bet is that by improving the quality of life of its 11 million citizens as quickly as possible, a return to violence can be averted. and they need it to start from scratch. >> you had huge groups of displaced people, homeless people, survivors living in the ruins, wrecked buildings, wrecked infrastructure and no real clear way to envision how all that was going to come together. >> reporter: philip is a journalist who first came to the country one year after the genocide trying to make sense of how neighbor could turn against neighbor. >> the order from above was to kill. now the order from above is to live together and to build and to be proud and make purpose and to construct a nation. to look at the country now it's really not something one would have imagined. >> reporter: because rwanda has made such strides, the president has become a favorite of world luminaries and attracts large commitments of aid.
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a key priority is building up the country's infrastructure and encouraging international investment. global studies rank rwanda as one of the least corrupt nations in africa. there is free education up through the ninth grade. now taught in english instead of french, a sign of where this former belgian colony sees its future. there is also national health care, even the poorest in the country have access to a plan priced at $2 a year. at this clinic, this woman waits to get her three month old daughter vaccinated for a 50 cent co-pay. she tells me she is grateful to her government. donald is overseeing a project that is bringing electricity to an entire village. each family pays an $80 fee to wire their house up to the main line. it's another step towards development.
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now the kids won't have to do their homework by candle light. >> they know to get economic benefits like here you have to join with your neighbor. you have to contribute together. then i think there is more stability and social cohesion among people. >> reporter: but recently especially in the months leading up to this presidential election there have been charges that this carefully managed development has come at a price to human rights and freedom. >> the government, despite the real progress that it has made on the economic front, despite the fact that at least superficially things look secure and stable , has become increasingly for profit. >> reporter: the director of human rights watch has been ringing alarm bells over rwanda's increasing political clampdown. >> basically there are three parties that most rwandan consider genuine opposition. two of them were never allowed to register. a couple of their leaders, their presidential candidates
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are facing criminal charges. the vice president of one of the parties was murdered. if you look at the written press, there were two very prominent papers that are seen as opposition. both have been suspended during the entire pre-election period. their editors have fled the country. a major jurnists for one of them was murdered. >> people are not free to do what they want. people are not free to say what they want to say. >> reporter: this woman is one of those opposition candidates who is not being allowed to run in this presidential election. >> we are excluded in this process. this is why we say rwandan people today don't have no choice. >> reporter: the government insists that her party and another one failed to comply with filing requirements. leader of a third party is in jail for illegal protest and other charges. foreign minister says they didn't play by the rules. >> we wanted to make sure that we create systems, we create institutions.
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yet when it comes to ... the outside world wants us to skip the rules and ignore the laws and allow people to do things. >> reporter: the minister denies the government is guilty of political violence or repression. says the country's progress is more important than its image. >> do we forego some of the important things we have to do as a nation so that we please the outside world? or are we accountable to the people of this country and we should do what we have agreed to do for the people of this country? >> reporter: this person is a controversial figure. a hutu, she is reintroducing ethnic language to the political arena and was recently charged under the country's genocide ideology laws for accusing the president's troops of war crimes during 1994. >> people worry that this country, that the people here aren't ready , that such
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discussions of ethnicity will lead to violence. >> i don't agree with that. the government uses the genocide for political reasons. if they don't agree, they use the genocide as a reason why they refuse the proposal. >> we look and we say there's no freedom. there's not real freedom of political contest. there's not real freedom of speech. there's not freedom of expression. you can't just say anything you want. why not let people make the most extreme statements and take them on. in europe after world war ii not just in nazi germany with holocaust denial but with many places parties get banned. even we have speech laws. in a country that's been this polarized that's the debate. >> reporter: but human rights watch's kenneth roth worries. >> you don't achieve genuine reconciliation by suppressing discussion of the problems. that's a way that you build fear and you build divisiveness which may look
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fine at the moment. things may look temporarily stable. but there is a brewing discontent which one can feel when you talk to rwandans. there's a real fear i have that at some point that will explode. >> reporter: despite criticism from at home as well as abroad, few international observers are monitoring these elections. the president is expected to win re-election in a landslide. those opposition candidates authorized to run against him supported him during his first election campaign. at a recent election rally, he showed his confidence by saying, "whoever does not like the rwanda way of democracy should go and hang." even during a busy campaign season, the final saturday of every month is reserved for an exercise in nation building. when rwandans come out for a few hours of mandatory community service, cleaning schools, bringing water
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sources to remote communities. >> we live to give back the peace but in order to do that, we have to have peace in our hearts. there is still a lot of suspicion. there is still a lot of fear. there is still a lot of frustration. it's quite understandable. the genocide happened just 16 years ago. i don't heal that in one generation. that's important. >> reporter: rwandans are waiting to see if this election will bring more healing or further division. >> ifill: the senate has gone home for the summer with several new laws on the books-- on economic stimulus, health reform, and financial regulation-- that are sure to draw praise and condemnation. but one major democratic priority-- energy and climate change legislation-- was left by the wayside. margaret warner looks at why that happened and what comes next.
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>> warner: a month into his term, president obama urged the country to embrace a comprehensive clean energy policy, a major theme of his campaign. >> we need to ultimately make clean, renewable energy the profitable kind of energy, so i ask this congress to send me legislation that places a market-based cap on carbon pollution and drives the production of more renewable energy in america. >> warner: the first attempt was based on setting up a system called cap-and-trade, imposing limits on greenhouse gas emissions but letting companies buy and sell pollution credits on a market. >> the bill is passed. >> warner: in june, 2009, the house narrowly passed a broad energy bill with a cap-and-trade provision. it was a tough vote for many democrats. in the midst of a recession and republican charges that the bill amounted to an energy tax. >> i would say to my colleagues, let's not go down
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this path. of increasing taxes on every single american. let's not go down the path of moving millions of jobs to china, india and other countries around the world . >> warner: soon after a group of democratic senators produced the outline of their own bill with changes to attract republican support like scaling back with the cap-and-trade provisions to apply only to utilities and power plants. but the effort stalled amid competing priorities like health reform and financial regulation. late last month majority leader harry reid announced he didn't have the votes to pass it. instead he offered a narrower bill to respond to the gulf oil spill. it would raise liability limits on oil companies and offer modest incentives to boost natural gas production and household energy efficiency. >> many of us want to do a thorough, comprehensive bill that creates jobs, breaks our
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addiction to foreign oil, and curbs pollution. unfortunately this time we don't have a single republican to work with in achieving this goal. >> warner: but last week reed did postpone that vote too. now the administration's push to regulate emissions falls to the environmental protection agency. in 2007 the supreme court ruled the epa had the authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions like other pollutants under the clean air act. white house energy and climate czar carol browner made clear last week the administration will use that authority. >> i'm quite confident that epa will be working in partnership with all of the affected parties to figure out the most common sense cost effective ways to achieve very important reductions of the dangerous pollutants that contribute to climate change. >> reporter: but some companies and lawmakers have vowed to stop the epa through congress and the courts. for more on what brought an energy bill down and what
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might lie ahead >> warner: for more on what brought an energy bill down, and what might lie ahead, we turn to two writers who have followed the story closely. darren samuelsohn reports on energy and climate issues for politico. and eric pooley is a deputy editor at "bloomberg businessweek" magazine. he's the author of a new book about the fight over legislation called "the climate war." welcome to you both. eric pooley, how big a setback is this for the forces that have been pushing for more than a decade to get some kind of national system that would curb these emissions? >> it's a big setback, margaret. you can't deny that. i mean three years ago when i started work on the climate war, i thought that there was a good chance that it would have a happy ending. i knew it would be a political thriller, but what i didn't expect was that it would turn into a "who done it". it's a lot like murder mystery like agatha christie's murder on the orient express where there are a lot of people in on the killing.
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it's a big setback because we have a mid-term election coming. we're probably going to lose climate votes. it may be a couple of years before the senate gets back to a police where it can vote on another serious climate bill. this is causing the entire environmental community to do a really think on strategy . >> warner: let's do the who done it? i mean the forces , democrats in control of the house, senate and white house, the hottest summer in years at least in major parts of the country, even the b.p. oil spill. what happened? >> all the stars would seem like they were aligned for this bill. but ultimately the politics in this just took over. you need 60 votes in the senate. that was the key. it was always going to be a tough climb to get to 60 votes. when health care and when the wall street bill and the economic stimulus took over, it kept pushing us back further and further along in the agenda. ultimately here we are and we're very close to the election. there's very little time. politically, you know, harry reid needed to pick up a good number of republicans, about four, five or six republicans. they didn't want to play ball
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especially when they knew there were 10 or 12 democrats who were nervous about this, democrats from the midwest, democrats from industrial states. >> warner: what is your theory about who done it? >> well, when they finally went to a compromise just recently it was too late to get this done. i think if you want to look for the culprit, you have to go back to last summer after the waxman-marky bill passed the house of representatives. the environmental community thought it was a big win. it was. but it was really just the beginning. and the reaction against that bill's passage was virulent and intense. it included a lot of money spent on advertising, on television attacking people who had voted for the bill. frankly, it scared the pants off the senate . i believe it also took the president and the white house political strategists aback. everybody decided that maybe this was just a little bit too hard to do. i think if they had compromised then and scaled back the bill to just the utility sector as they ended
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up doing eventually, they might have gotten it done. but they tried to get the whole enchilada and they ended up with nothing. >> warner: how, darren, did the white house approach this, the obama white house? after all this was one of his page... major campaign promises. >> he talked about at the inaugural address two years ago almost. he took a back-seat approach and let congress write this bill. that was something we saw very early on when he came into office. he left this to the house democrats to write the bill. in the senate he left it to john kerry and harry reid to try to find the votes. no one knew who was trying to get the votes or who was in charge of that bill or the creation of that bill and getting the 06 votes on that bill. there was a lot of finger pointing saying you're responsible, no, you're responsible. it was quite clear everyone was shrugging their shoulders and saying i don't know who is responsible. president obama invited senators into the white house and tried to figure out what they wanted and where the middle ground was. but he never really, you know,
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shrugged shoulders or twisted arms and really tried to get the 60 votes that were needed to pass this bill. >> warner: eric, you spent a lot of time reporting this. how did you see the way the white house handled this? >> well, people in the white house told me early in the obama administration that they were proceeding with what they called a stealth strategy where they would work mostly behind the scenes. the president would talk about it, say, maybe on a tuesday afternoon when he was visiting a solar plant. but he did not do it in a really sustained way on three levels. one is the level of deep communication to the american people. even in his prime time address after the b.p. oil spill, he did not come out specifically for a cap on carbon. that was a signal that he wasn't going to fight for it. in the end, he didn't fight for it. the other two areas, of course, deep engagement with policy. he never came out for a specific bill. and lastly as darren mentioned, politics and arm twisting, he didn't try to get the votes in the senate. he didn't use his political
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capital. he decided it was not the right time. i hope we get another chance. >> warner: why do you think the obama white house and the president didn't do more with this? particularly, let's say, after health care passed. which of course wasn't too early this year. >> there was a talk that success begets success. that was rahm emanuel was trying to do here. there was a major environmental crisis with the gulf coast oil spill. you would think that the connection would be made in that oval office speech that everyone was waiting for and watching. he talked about the spill. he talked about the need for an energy policy but he never quite made it clear. >> warner: why? >> the politics of it are difficult. it's hard to sell this on ... to the american public. the idea of a cap-and-trade which is what is at the center of this is very complicated and difficult to explain to americans. the republicans have a pretty good talking point with it's a national energy tax that they swing back with. for the response from the obama administration's side and from the democrat's side it's a little longer and it goes on into national security
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issues and economic recovery but it's not a bumper-sticker slogan. >> warner: we could continue this game of clue about who done it, but i want to get to where it's going now. eric, back to you. everyone says now it goes to the epa. the epa can use its regulatory authority. what exactly is going to happen? >> well, the next front in the climate war, margaret, is the attempt to strip the epa of its power to regulate co-2. that will be happening in the next senate no matter what happens in the midterms. they want to take that away and .... >> warner: what is it that the epa wants to do first before.... >> well, the epa to regulate stationary sources, that means power plants and large manufacturing facilities, and it's in this september time frame that it will be putting out exactly what it means by that. we're all sort of wait to go
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see exactly what mechanism the the epa intends to use. there are a lot of people who don't want any kind of regulation from the epa. this is unleashing what john dingell memorably called the glorious mess of litigation and regulation. we're coming out of a period of attempted compromise in the legislature into a period of battle in the courts between corporate america and the environmental community and the epa. this is exactly what cap-and-trade was designed as a compromise to avoid. so it's a tragedy that we're getting here but that's where we are. >> warner: and the epa, it's believed, is going to go what? just case by case, right? you're just going to have hundreds of these cases. >> you'll have power plant by power plant decisions that epa will be making starting in january. there's the preliminary regulations that they have the right to explain who is going to be regulated. they're going to go power plant by power plant talking about what technologies will need to be put on these power plants to try to make them more carbon friendly or energy efficient.
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those will be tied up in courts primarily around here in the d.c. area in terms of the underlying science of climate change will be debated. individually we're going to have a very big regulatory legal mess here ahead of us. >> warner: eric, this will also be controversial. is the white house fully behind this approach? >> the white house says it's behind it. in fact, barack obama has already engaged deeply in previous attempts to turn back epa's authority. he is fighting for it. although the environmental community is disappointed with the president's engagement on the cap, they're happy with his work on epa and his work in the department of energy. he's been fighting for this when there's no reason to think that he won't continue. >> warner: battles to come. eric pooley and darren samuelson, thank you so much. >> thanks. >> brown: again, the major developments of the day. a christian charity group insisted it would continue working in afghanistan after the taliban murdered ten of its members. toxic smog from those russian
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forest fires blanketed moscow again. and u.n. officials said the flood disaster in pakistan now affects more than 13 million people. the newshour is always online. hari sreenivasan, in our newsroom, previews what's there. hari? >> sreenivasan: we talked to kira kay last week about her reporting in rwanda and the country's struggle to emerge from its genocidal history. watch that conversation on the rundown. and google and verizon released a joint proposal today on the regulation of internet access, also known as net neutrality. what do the experts say about it? we have a round-up of reactions. plus a reminder, every monday on "art beat," find a weekly poem. tonight, hear from ben lerner, a national book award finalist whose new book is called "mean free path." all that and more is on our web site, gwen? >> ifill: and that's the newshour for tonight. on tuesday, we'll look at cyber security and the vulnerability of the nation's wired infrastructure. i'm gwen ifill. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. we'll see you online, and again here tomorrow evening. thank you, and good night.
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