Skip to main content

tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  February 22, 2011 7:00pm-8:00pm EST

7:00 pm
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> ifill: good evening. i'm gwen ifill. embattled libyan leader moammar gadhafi refused to step down today, saying in a televised address he would "die a martyr" rather than leave the country. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. on the newshour tonight, we have the latest on the bloody revolt gripping the north african country. >> ifill: then we look at the death of four americans, hijacked by somali pirates. >> brown: judy woodruff talks to marcia coyle about a supreme court case that began with a jilted wife, and now raises important tenth amendment issues, plus a ruling today that shields vaccine makers from lawsuits. >> ifill: charles sennott of "global post" examines the role of the muslim brotherhood in post-mubarak egypt. >> they call themselves the brothers, and they have decades of experience providing social services to egypt's poor.
7:01 pm
they became key to holding the revolution's infrastructure together. >> brown: and we go beyond wisconsin to explore the showdown over labor rights and tight budgets, now spreading to other states. >> ifill: that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> oil companies have changed my country. >> oil companies can make a difference. >> we have the chance to build the economy. >> create jobs, keep people healthy, and improve schools. >> and our communities. >> in angola chevron helps train engineers, teachers and farmers, launch child's programs. it's not just good business. >> i'm hopeful about my country's future. >> it's my country's future. >> you can't manufacture pride but pride builds great cars.
7:02 pm
you'll find it in the people at toyota all across america. >> pacific life. the power to help you succeed. and by bnsf railway. the william and flora hewitt foundation working to solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> brown: "everything will burn" if the rebellion continues: the words of libyan leader moammar gadhafi today, as he went on state tv and vented his fury against the uprising that's shaken his 42-year rule.
7:03 pm
he called protestors rats and mercenaries and urged his supporters to attack them. as he spoke, scores of bodies lay in the streets of tripoli, with estimates of several hundred killed so far. we begin our coverage with this report from sally biddulph of independent television news, based on information still coming out of libya. >> reporter: the location was symbolic. a palace damaged by a u.s. bombing raid in 1986. as the country drops further into anarchy libya's leader colonel gadhafi addressed his people. in a rambling, bizarre speech, defiant as ever, he said
7:04 pm
>> reporter: gun fire and explosions provide the sound track to this are up rising. we managed to reach one woman on the phone too scared to leave her home in tripoli. >> we hear helicopter in the air. we have been in our house for three or four days. we cannot get out of the house. if you go outside you'll get shot at. mercenaries they shoot to kill. whatever. anybody moving. anything moving. they will shoot you. >> reporter: as fighting continues across libya, there are reports that eastern parts of the country have fallen from gadhafi's control. and across the globe diplomats are resigning. the latest the high-profile libyan ambassador to the united states. >> the people are being killed in a brutal way, and the people are armless. they have all kinds of weapons
7:05 pm
they're using, weapons for tanks against the human beings. >> reporter: libya is living on its nerves, volatile and unpredictable. gadhafi finished his speech to congratulations from supporters. elsewhere, his stranglehold is loosening. >> ifill: later al jazeera reported gadhafi's interior minister has now also joined the opposition. elsewhere across libya, evacuations began amid new reports of killings and chaos. we get that story from independent television news. >> reporter: it's not a mass exodus yet. but the libyan-egyptian border is starting to witness the first signs. these are egyptians who were working in libya. dozens have fled the escalating violence, and they come with tales of massacres. it's a massacre in benghazi. all of the libyan officers are
7:06 pm
shooting at people. they're going to wipe out the protestors. >> reporter: today's snatched images from benghazi reportedly liberated from gadhafi's control at the weekend gave an impression of lawlessness. (gunfire) this is the city where the uprising began a week ago. from here in the following days, the protests spread first to one town and then to three other nearby towns. at least 84 protestors were killed by gadhafi's paid militia in benghazi. witnesses said there were many more. demonstrations were staged in another city in the west. on sunday most eastern towns have come under the control of the protestors.
7:07 pm
weapons were seized from the army and taken to benghazi. by evening reports suggested protestors had taken over the city, yet there's been no official word on who is controlling the eastern coast line. but libyan guards appeared to have withdrawn from some of the border crossings into egypt. some of the border crossings into egypt. the u.n. refugee agency has appealed to libya's neighbors not to turn back those fleeing the violence. but they are not the only ones trying to escape. some lucky europeans have managed to get out on flights from tripoli to malta. pilots from various european countries have also arrived in malta in preparation for the mass evacuation of the thousands still stranded in the libyan capital. >> ifill: this evening the u.n. security council condemned libya's violent assault on protestors. >> ifill: libya's assault on
7:08 pm
protesters sparked new condemnations today. the arab league suspended the gadhafi government's representative. and in washington, secretary of state clinton demanded the libyan government end the crackdown. she said, "this bloodshed is unacceptable." >> brown: and we get more on all this now from robert danin, a former state department and national security council official. he's now a senior fellow at the council on foreign relations. and mary-jane deeb, chief of the african and middle east division at the library of congress. the views she expresses here are her own. welcome to both of you. mary jane deeb, what do you make of gadhafi's speech today. it was defiant but there were all kinds of strange parts of it as well, right? >> he was defiant. that was to be expected. but also it was a very typical gadhafi speech in many ways. first of all the theatrics. the setting is the 1986 bombed- out house in which he lives. the second thing that he calls upon his supporters to attack others. again that's the way he's ruled. divide and rule has been his
7:09 pm
motto. thirdly he speaks about his own revolutionary past. he seems to forget that 40 years have passed since he had the revolution in libya and over threw the king. >> brown: divide and rule. fill us in a little bit on that. this often bizarre personality but he has held a grip there for decades. >> absolutely. he took power through revolutionary force using the military. he toppled the king and has maintained power ever since. he's ensured that the military has not been a very forceful element within libyan society. he knew how to come to power using the military. he wanted to ensure that that did not happen again. >> brown: how did he do that? >> well, he's kept the military weak. libya is largely a tribal society. and he has played the various tribes against one another, ensuring that no one tribe gets too powerful and ensuring
7:10 pm
that he remains the only institution and that there's no real civil society in libya. >> brown: is that what you meant by divide and rule? >> absolutely. >> brown: expand on that a little bit. >> that's exactly what he's done. first of all, he created his popular committees. after that he created revolutionary committees to oversee the popular committees. nurz, putting one against the other. he created a militia to undermine the army. he created security forces and different levels of security forces to spy against each other. he put urban administrators in rural and tribal areas to pitch one against the other. he broke up the tribes and tried to pitch one tribe against another. that's what we're coming back to haunt him now because i think that's exactly what you were talking about. the tribes are arising against him. >> brown: these defections we're seeing at very high levels, clearly this is important. what do you read into that?
7:11 pm
>> well, this regime is losing all its legitimacy. even its representatives who go abroad whose role is to explain the actions of this regime are saying, we can't defend it any longer. so you have high-level ambassadors to the united states, to china, to the european union, elsewhere saying we can't do it. we won't do it. >> brown: i start by saying that this speech-- and there were some bizarre moments in there. i just wrote down a few. he referred to a small group of youth having been given hall use nation pills and attacking innocent people. where does it come from? how do people hear that? >> well, i think he is trying to scare people. this is a scare tactic. his son tried to do the same thing. if you remember a few days earlier his son was using the same tactic. he said there were drug addicts, they were criminals. so he's trying to say these are not real protestors. they're not really your libyan man in the street. these are criminals, drug
7:12 pm
addicts and they're creating chaos in your country so you shouldn't follow them. >> brown: now this man, his relationship with the u.s. most often aggressive, most off confrontational. some periods of thaw, right? give us a little brief history here of our relations with him. >> well, after the explosion of the pan am 103 obviously the relationship had hit a new low. international sanctions were put on. it took a great deal of time for this regime to accept that and take responsibility. interestingly it was really 9/11 and then the fall of saddam hussein that seemed to have propelled a change in moammar gadhafi's thinking. he approached the united states and essentially agreed to relinquish his weapons of mass destruction as a deal to bring international isolation coupled with some compensation for the actions that had taken
7:13 pm
place in the explosion of pan am 103. but clearly he saw that the united states is a power on the ascendency and his way is on the... is the way of the past. >> brown: of course there is oil. right? it's an oil power. in what ways does that play out politically? >> well, the oil is actually in the eastern part of the country primarily. in fact that's one of the things that the son was pointing out. that somehow the country was going to break up along the lines of.... >> brown: you mean literally divide. >> literally divide the country. he was threatening with this, saying sort of that gadhafi could keep the country together. the oil is basically underlying the whole issue because libyans are saying we have this oil. we are rich. why are we living in such poverty? in such poor conditions?
7:14 pm
and they compare themselves to others. they say they have oil. look how they're living. look at the standard of living. why are we living in such miss re? the oil is actually playing into the hands of the protestors. >> brown: and when you think of the oil as a geopolitical factor, what role does it play in libya's relations with europe and the u.s.? >> in this sense, libya quite different than neighboring egypt and tunisia. in those cases, you know, there were popular revolutions that had largely political implications. here libya is the 12th largest oil producer. it is the major producer for italy. france, germany. and so in many ways now this is a real geo strategic interest that the europeans have and by extension the united states given our own trade in oil with the european powers. so what is happening in libya has had a dramatic affect on oil prices. they're now over $100 a
7:15 pm
barrel. there's a great deal of instability that is fueling rising oil prices. >> brown: today we heard all kinds of talk from the international community, hillary clinton here, david cameron in london. the u.s. security council has spoken. but what can the international community do? can it impose new sanctions? what's possible here? >> at this point i don't think that the international community should intervene. i mean what has happened is a condemnation. that's very important. but to get in to the country in any possible way would have negative outcome. >> brown: you mean on the population. >> on the population, yes. i think that to observe the situation closely and then to see if really gadhafi is going to keep his word about using greater violence, at that point then there should be some kind of international attempt at stopping him.
7:16 pm
>> brown: brief last word on the international community. >> i wouldn't take international intervention off the table. here is a regime that is using fighter aircraft against its own people in the capital city. we should consider a no-fly zone. we should consider having to intervene. if this turns into a true massacre, we may have no choice. >> brown: robert dineen, mary jane deeb, thank you both very much. >> thank you. >> ifill: still to come on the newshour, >> ifill: still to come on the newshour, piracy and murder on the high seas; an anti-terrorism challenge before the supreme court; the muslim brotherhood in egypt; and state budget standoffs. but first, with the other news of the day, here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: the turmoil in libya sent stocks down sharply on wall street, and pushed oil prices even higher. the dow jones industrial average lost 178 points to close above 12,212. the nasdaq fell 77 points to close at 2756. and the price of oil jumped 6% to top $95 a barrel, its highest close in two years.
7:17 pm
a host of other protests took place again today in north africa and the middle east. in yemen, hundreds of people rallied in the capital, sanaa, calling for president ali abdullah saleh to step down. the group scuffled with pro- regime members. and in bahrain, members of the military joined thousands of people marching against the monarchy. the crowd carried red-and-white flags across the capital city, manama, and the king today ordered some political prisoners set free. a powerful earthquake devastated the city of christchurch, new zealand, today. at least 75 people were killed, and that toll was expected to grow. we have a report from tom clarke of independent television news. >> reporter: in the center of christ church some buildings are snapped in two. others reduced to rubble. it doesn't matter where they stood or what they stood for. the quake struck at lunchtime, caught on camera inside this person's home.
7:18 pm
workers downtown were caught in collapsing office blocks or in rubble outside on their way back to their desks. lunch hour turned to terror in an instant. >> it's my building. it's my workplace. >> the table in the restaurant, two or three people. >> reporter: the landmark cathedral was continuing to collapse after the shaking stopped. as if nerves weren't shattered enough. >> it is huge. it's just huge. you know, the building to building, the really important thing are the people. we just don't know if there are people under this rubble. i'm sure there are. >> reporter: this large office block collapsed on itself. >> stay away. >> reporter: the stranded were rescued by fire crews or their
7:19 pm
colleagues. others were busy rescuing themselves. >> looking out the window. it was completely gone. (inaudible). >> reporter: and then there were the aftershocks bringing down more billings softened up by the initial blow. >> can he call out to us, please. >> reporter: voices can still be heard in the rubble of many buildings. working through the night, rescuers have freed more than 100. >> sreenivasan: search-and- rescue teams from the u.s. and other countries were on the way to new zealand to help. a pair of iranian naval vessels passed through the suez canal and into the mediterranean sea. it was the first time that has
7:20 pm
happened since iran's islamic revolution in 1979. the frigate and supply ship transited the waterway, reports from the canal authority said they were bound for a training mission off syria. israel criticized the move as part of an iranian bid for control of the middle east. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to gwen. >> ifill: we turn now to the killings today of the four americans who were taken hostage by somali pirates last week. according to the u.s. military, american warships were trailing the hijacked yacht in waters between yemen and somalia when they heard gunfire. u.s. forces boarded the vessel, and found the owners, scott and jean adam, and their two passengers, phyllis macay and bob riggle. they'd been shot by the pirates. it was the first time americans died in the recent wave of hijackings off somalia. in washington, secretary of state clinton condemned the killings. . >> this deplorable act by the pirates that stall being vessels in the waters off of somalia firmly underscores the need for the international community to act more
7:21 pm
decisively together. we've got to have a more effective approach to maintaining security. >> ifill: for more, we turn to martin murphy, a visiting fellow at the corbett centre for maritime policy studies at kings college in london. he's also written two books about the horn of africa. welcome. how unusual was this series of events that we saw play out off the coast of somalia? >> well it is extraordinary. the somali pirates have generally been peaceable. their business model says we do not kill our hostages. it's extraordinary to see them killing four people in this frankly awful event. >> ifill: since we were last following this very closely which is to say the hijacking of the big ship, the alabama, had this faded away, gone away or did we stop paying attention? >> i think we stopped paying attention. there are many other issues
7:22 pm
around the world, somali piracy just rumbles on pretty consistently. it's only the high peaks, the mevg alabama, the hijack of a very large crew carrier or something like this, something tragic like this that brings attention back to what is a very serious problem. >> ifill: it's been going on. quantify how serious it is. >> we've now got over 700 hostages actually held within somalia which is the highest number that's ever been held. >> ifill: all from hijackings. >> all from hijackings, yes. and the pirates are now getting multiples in terms of their ransom, multiples of what they used to get. previously when this program started, say, back in 2006, 2007, they might be getting $150,000 for a ship. there have been reports of at least one ship going for $9.5 million. the amount of money that they're making is considerable. >> ifill: big ships. we're talking here about a relatively small yacht, a
7:23 pm
private leisure vessel. is it unusual for a private leisure vessel to be taken? >> well, recently yes. but historically no. when you go back to the early '90s yachts were amongst boats that were captured most often. there were all sorts of stories about yachts being assaulted in the gulf of aden principally in gulf of aden rather than the indian ocean. yachts have been vulnerable. of course last year.... >> ifill: the british couple. >> they were captured south of here. >> ifill: and held for over 300 days or something like that. >> in very difficult circumstances. but at least they survived. >> ifill: is it more difficult or are you more vulnerable if you're in a private craft than if you are in one of these big container ships which theoretically could pay for security? >> yes. i mean, if you were in a smaller vessel, if you're in a slow vessel, if you're in a poorly maintained vessel, if you're one with what they call the low free borders and you're a limited amount of
7:24 pm
space between the sea and the top of your vessel, those are all signs of vulnerability. the large container vessels generally are unaffected. they're too fast and too big. >> ifill: since we know it's a problem and was a problem for some years and as you point out, it's continued, what have governments been doing or not doing during this period of time to try to curb it? >> well, they've been taking a number of steps. they've been addressing the core issue is the big question. they've been taking a series of steps largely at sea so we've had a fair amount of naval action but remember there's only 30. only about 30 naval ships operating in an area larger than western europe in terms of its... the geographical size over which these pirates now operate. there has been all sorts of attempts to improve the judicial process, their agreements with ken i can't, their agreements with... to take pirates on board. a number of pirates have been taken back to the united states, to holland and various other countries but the
7:25 pm
epicenter of piracy and everyone agrees about this, the epicenter of piracy is an area in the northeast of somalia. >> ifill: we're get to go the core issue of this. >> we're getting to the core issue. we need to i'm afraid it might be unpalatable to say so and clearly it's morally ambiguous but we need to engage with that area much more than we've done in the past. there are some moves in this direction. i think that the state department is recognizing that we cannot put faith in the central somali government. we have to look at regional solutions. >> ifill: are there considerations that private travelers should take? are there safeguards they can take or enthusiasm she just avoid the region entirely. >> i suspect they should just avoid the area entirely. i don't think... these people took a calculated risk. that's fair enough. unfortunately it didn't work out.
7:26 pm
the safest course for anyone is to avoid this region. as we just talked about, this region is now grown exponentially. i mean there was an incident 30 miles off the coast of india over the weekend. i mean this is the range that these pirates are achieving. they're going to the red sea. they're approaching the straits of hormus and down the mozambique channel. a number of yachtsmen are shipping, putting them off big ships and taking them off again when they get to the red sea. >> ifill: thank you for bringing us up to date on all this, martin murphy. >> brown: now, a busy day at the high court, and to judy woodruff. snide a 6-2 ruling from the u.s. supreme court today makes it tougher for parents who say their children were injured by
7:27 pm
vaccines to file lawsuits against drug makers. also at the court today justices heard arguments in a case that started with an act of revenge and could have implications for the scope of individual's rights under the 10th amendment. here is always to walk us through it marcia coyle of the national law journal. it's good to have you with us again. >> thank you, judy. good to be here. >> woodruff: let's start with this vaccine injury case. tell us what the justices ruled. >> the majority in an opinion by justice scalia said that the federal law, the national child vaccine injury act preempts or blocks state lawsuits based on a claim that a vaccine was defectively designed. the case was brought to the supreme court by the parents of hannah who as an infant received the diphtheria pertussis and tetanus vaccine combination. she suffered severe disabling seizures which she continues to suffer at age 19 today.
7:28 pm
>> woodruff: this case reminds us that there is another recourse for parents who believe their children have been injured by a vaccine. >> part of the court's rationale was looking at the fact that congress, under this act, created a no fault compensation program. parents can file claims of vaccine-related injuries. if their claim is denied or if the amount of money that they receive is inadequate, they feel, they can still go into court. but under today's ruling, they cannot bring a design defect claim because the court felt the language and structure of the federal law did not suggest that congress intended these types of claims to be brought. >> reporter: marcia, this was a case has been watched very closely by vaccine manufacturers. tell us why. >> it was, judy, because there are pending a large number of autism vaccine-related claims. and the manufacturers felt if the court had ruled the other
7:29 pm
way that they would be facing hundreds of lawsuits in state courts. >> woodruff: now let's talk about this case that was argued today before the court. this one has to do with a woman who was convicted of trying to poison a woman friend after the friend she found out though was made pregnant by her own husband. but it's really a case of the 10th amendment but it sounds like a soap opera. explain it to us. >> we call it the lifetime movie case. carol bond was the microbiologist in pennsylvania. after she discovered her friend was pregnant with carol bond... by carol bond's husband she engaged in a campaign that started with harassing and threatening letters and phone calls and escalated to 24 separate attempts to injure her by using toxic chemicals that bond either stole from her employer or got on the internet. bond was convicted under a federal law, a chemical weapons law that was enacted
7:30 pm
by congress to implement a 1993 chemical weapons treaty. she was sentenced to six years in prison. >> woodruff: what is the exact question before the court? >> well, the question for the court really isn't whether this chemical weapons law is unconstitutional. bond, in her appeal, wanted to prove that it was unconstitutional but the lower appellate court said she could not bring this claim. she did not have what we call standing. so the issue before the court is whether carol bond can make a claim that the law is unconstitutional because she argues it exceeds congress's powers by encroaching on the province of the state in violation of the 10th amendment. >> woodruff: remind for all of us who don't study the constitution every day, even though we should, the 10th amendment. >> it's a short amendment. the 10th amendment says powers not delegated to the united states by the constitution nor
7:31 pm
prohibited to the states are reserved to the states or to the people. >> woodruff: give us a flavor, marcia, of the back and forth between the counsels and the justices. >> bond is basically saying here that her crime was essentially domestic abuse. that is a crime that is best handled by local authorities. that is the province of the state which is why she brings in the 10th amendment. her lawyer said any individual who has an injury that relates, a specific concrete injury from congress exceeding its powers in this respect should be able to bring a claim like bond has brought under the 10th amendment. the government also argued-- and they now change their position and have said that bond does have standing to bring this claim but not all 10th amendment claims can be brought by individuals because, the government says, the 10th amendment also protects state sovereignty. there's a type of 10th amendment claim that only states can bring.
7:32 pm
the justices were somewhat skeptical of the government's argument. the chief justice said he thought it would be awfully hard sometimes for an individual to know where the line is under the 10th amendment between a claim they can bring and a claim that only a state can bring. >> woodruff: implications of this are big though, marcia. 10th amendment states rights but also specifically connected to president obama's health care reform law. >> there has been at least one federal court that has denied standing to an individual who wanted to challenge the health care law on 10th amendment grounds. the 10th amendment has enjoyed something of a rejuvenation by certain political groups particularly conservative groups, groups like the tea party who see it as a tool to fight what they think is unlimited government action. you can see this in some of the amicus briefs that were filed in the supreme court on behalf of bond. in fact, six states filed to support her. they were represented by the same lawyer who is
7:33 pm
representing the 26 states, attorneys general who are challenging the law in florida. >> woodruff: it will be more than soap opera fans. >> it may even be more if the court rules broadly for bond. not only the health care law. there may be new litigation by individuals challenging a host of federal laws under the 10th amendment. >> woodruff: marcia coyle, always a pleasure. >> thank you, my pleasure, judy. >> woodruff: thank you. >> ifill: next, the role of the muslim brotherhood in egypt's revolution, and the power it could wield in post-mubarak egypt. we begin with an excerpt from tonight's edition of "frontline," reported from cairo by charles sennott, editor of the international news web site, global post.
7:34 pm
>> reporter: egypt's revolution may have been ignited by young, secular activists. but there was another powerful force at work behind the scenes of the uprising. the long out lawed muslim brotherhood. day 11. they opened this prayer rally on tahrir square with a moment of silence for those who died the previous day in battles with pro mubarak vij it anti-s. many of the fallen were muslim brothers. afterwards they were all praised for their perseverance and unity.
7:35 pm
anyone who has covered egypt for years knows about the brotherhood's profound influence on egyptian society. coming back at this extraordinary time i wanted to find out what part they were playing in this revolution. nice to meet you. >> reporter: on tahrir square, i found mohammed abba, a leader of the muslim brotherhood's youth wing. for the past month he had been working alongside secular activists from the april 6 movement to help organize the revolt. he was eager to show us what he and his fellow brothers had contributed.
7:36 pm
it was not until three days into the protest that the muslim brotherhood senior leadership officially threw their weight behind the revolt. now the brothers were running the security check points. serving hot tea, distributing blankets, printing posters, and running an emergency health clinic. they call themselves the brothers. in arabic, they have decades of experience providing social services to egypt's poor. they became key to holding the revolution's infrastructure together. >> we are the best who organize. >> the organization is in the brotherhood's hands. >> reporter: this man is an expert on arab political movements. >> the garbage collection, tea
7:37 pm
cups and so on and so forth, even one microphone or the two microphones which we have to address the crowd they are owned by the muslim brotherhood which is an asset to the strong organizational skills of the movement. not only that but those who defended the demonstrators on tuesday and wednesday were members in tahrir against thugs of the egyptian regime. >> reporter: our camera caught this firsthand. as crowds of pro mubarak demonstrators arrived at the edges of tahrir square, soon fights broke out. when things turned violent, it was young muslim brothers who pushed the regime supporters back.
7:38 pm
>> brown: he joins us now from boston. to help us understand the organization a bit more, who makes up the brotherhood these days and what does that mean in terms of what kind of organization it is now. >> muslim brotherhood is 600,000 dues-paying members. they really cut a pretty wide swath across the demography of egypt. they are from largely lower and middle class neighborhoods, but there is also a professional class that controls the syndicates. they're doctors and engineers and lawyers. so this is really a very strong movement within egyptian society and one that is very layered. >> brown: it operated for decades as a kind of band organization but tolerated at times, right? they fielded some candidates in 2005. tell us... give us a little
7:39 pm
bit of background here. >> sure. i mean they were founded in 1928 so it's a very long history. they have their ups and their downs. they are largely a movement that has been banned and operated underground in recent decades but in 2005 after president bush called for more fair elections in egypt, the muslim brotherhood fielded independent candidates. they were still a banned party. they took 20% of the parliament in 2005 and then the mubarak regime worked very hard to push them back down. they disrupted a lot of their social service networks, clinics and schools. and really pushed the movement down so that it wouldn't challenge them in opposition. and in 2010 they boycotted those elections but they stand poised in the future of egypt to be quite a powerful force. >> brown: that of course is the big question, right? what role they will play in a post mubarak egypt. it sounds as though you heard different possibilities even from people within the brotherhood. >> i did.
7:40 pm
they're sending very conflicted messages right now. on the one hand they feel very confident about their role. on the other hand, they're not going to field a presidential candidate. they made that very clear in this first election in the new egypt there will not be a muslim brotherhood candidate for president. they'll focus on the parliamentary elections. they've announced they will form a political party so they'll be official but they are not trying to sort of take over this revolution, as they would put it. they're really sort of in the long game here. they are very clear about their goal which is they want to change egyptian society to be morris lambic. they'll do that both through government but also through a social movement which is also a very big part of understanding the muslim brotherhood. >> brown: clear about the goal but you're saying still some confusion or mixed messages about exactly what that means politically, right? >> that's right. i mean clear about their goal socially to change egypt, to make it... more islamic.
7:41 pm
different messages coming from the old guard in the muslim brotherhood and a division with a newer, younger part of the movement that really exerted its leadership in tahrir square. i think that division between the old guard of the muslim brotherhood and this new guard that emerged in tahrir square over the 18 days of the revolution is really something to watch. >> brown: finally, charlie, one thing that jumped out at me in watching this is the brotherhood seemed to have a real interest in how people in the u.s. and the west view them. >> that's right. i mean the muslim brotherhood is very aware that the mubarak regime for years has tried to paint them in a very negative light. mubarak often sort of raised the specter that it was either him and stability or chaos and the muslim brotherhood. you know, a lot of people in egypt are rejecting that dichotomy. i think the muslim brotherhood is aware of this need for them to redefine themselves and to say they're moderate islam. they want to be a part of the future of egypt.
7:42 pm
i think there's a sense that they want really the west as well as egypt to take another look at them. >> brown: the documentary revolution in cairo is on front line tonight. charles sennott, thanks a lot. >> thank you,. >> ifill: now we turn to the spreading labor unrest in state capitols across the nation. indiana lawmakers today followed the example set by their counterparts in wisconsin, leaving the state to avoid action on a bill that would curb the influence of labor unions. similar conflicts are brewing in florida, idaho, illinois, michigan, nebraska, tennessee, and ohio. unions say many of them are fighting for their existence. but some governors say tough changes are overdue. new jersey republican chris christie presented his annual budget today. >> today they are standing up and saying just as i did last march. the problems we have hidden for decades are evident for all to
7:43 pm
see. the day of reckoning has arrived. in california, a new democratic governor has proposed to cut the number and pay of all state employees. and in wisconsin and ohio, they have decided there can no longer be two classes of citizens, one that receives rich health and pension benefits and all the rest who are left to pay for them. >> ifill: for more, we hear from three reporters in the midst of the standoffs. michael aron, senior political correspondent for new jersey public television. eric bradner is indiana state house bureau chief for the "evansville courier and press." and karen kasler is capital bureau chief for ohio public radio and television. you in indiana because that's where the latest walkout occurred of democrats who decided they didn't want to vote on this kind of a union bill. how much of this in indiana is about fight to break the unions as the union charge it and how much of it is a fight
7:44 pm
to balance the budget tass republicans charge. >> this is not about the budget. the budget in indiana is fairly balance. this is all about conflict between unions and their democratic allies and business and their republican allies. what's unique about indian is that the governor is not involved in this situation. it's all legislative. it's strictly democratic and republican. not really fiscal. >> ifill: do we know where the democrats are tonight? >> we don't. we know some of them are in illinois. a few might be in kentucky. we are trying to get ahold of them. but they're gone. they've fled the state. and reporters are still trying to figure out exactly where they are. >> ifill: that's what happened in wisconsin as well. we'll see if that spreads as well. karen kasler there are thousands of people on the front steps of the state capital including the former governor ted strickland who was ousted by the current governor. how much of that fight, that
7:45 pm
dispute that we saw playing out there in columbus is about the budget and how much of it is about union sovereignty? >> well, once again as it is in other states, we have the republicans telling us it's about the budget. we have an $8 billion budget deficit ahead for our two-year spending plan. so republicans are saying this is the kind of thing that will help communities and the state keep tabs on their costs, help keep those costs down. but of course you've got democrats on the other side who are saying that's not what this is about. this is about busting labor unions and taking the opportunity to grab the power while we can. at least that's how they see the republican viewpoint. ohio became a very red state in november. it was a tsunami of g.o.p. voting power that came through here. so we have a strong republican governor. a strong republican legislature. and now they are doing this showing, for example, in ohio the collective bargaining bill is senate bill 5. 5 indicates the priority of this bill. that's the number 5 a single digit. this is one of the first bills
7:46 pm
that was introduced. that indicates how important this is. the governor when he came into office said that this would be a top priority for him. >> ifill: in new jersey we just saw chris christie say i started this revolution last year. now people are coming along. how much of this is being driven by strong new republican governors like chris christie? >> well, i think they're driving it. but i think chris christie can take some credit for starting it. he's been fighting with mainly the teachers union for well over a year now. what they're fighting about are the pension liability and the health benefits, the retiree health benefits and the liable that the state faces. $54 billion in the pension area in the neighborhood of $90 billion in the retiree health benefit area. those are staggering numbers. the governor doesn't seem to be wanting to take away collective bargaining rights from the unions but he does want strong concessions from
7:47 pm
them and not just from teachers but from local government employees, state workers, police, fire, you name it. >> ifill: this is interesting distinction. he is looking for concessions which assumes that both republicans and democrats are in town to talk about concessions but he's not trying to take back the collective bargaining rights entirely as is happening in wisconsin, for instance. >> no. he wants reforms. he wants the legislature to join him in reforms. and our legislators are all within the state of new jersey tonight. he wants to raise the retirement age for public employees from 62 to 66. do away with cost of living adjustments, roll back a 9% pension increase that they got in 2001 that he says was never properly funded. in the health area, right now most public employees pay 1.5% of salary for their health benefits. he wants them to pay 30% of the cost of the coverage, dan in his budget message he said
7:48 pm
that the average payment right now is 8% of the policy by public employees. >> ifill: in independent yap a what is the governor mitch daniels have to say about this little stand-off which has cropped up in the last 24 hours? >> well, it's interesting because he actually has not been on republican side. he said two months ago that he would prefer that this issue just rest for this session. he thought republicans didn't campaign on it. and needed to wait until they had before they addressed it. so today he said again that would be his preference. so there is conflict between the governor and some republicans in the indiana house who are more interested in pursuing this than he is. >> ifill: does that mean we can't expect to see governor daniels send state troopers across the lines to try find and route out those fleeing democrats? >> that's exactly what it means. he said this afternoon that he
7:49 pm
will not do that. he is not interest in diverting troopers from their day jobs he said. >> ifill: is there any room for compromise or do you see any compromise building there in ohio, karen kasler? >> governor kay sick has suggested that this whole issue of collective bargaining may be an area where there might be a little bit of room to move. he said he has his own bill, this bill that is in proposal right now is not his bill. so there's certainly, i thought that maybe that would be an area. you do have some republican legislators who are also saying that the public safety forces issue and how it would affect them, they have a problem with that. so i think there is some room to move. i'm certain we'll see some deals moving along here as this whole process goes through. the governor has got to put his budget into place on march 15. he has said if he doesn't like the bill he might include some things in his budget. we'll have to wait and see. >> ifill: i want to ask you this too, karen, and everyone else after that. we talked about what the governors might want to be doing here.
7:50 pm
to what degree are labor unions seeing this as an opportunity to make their case even if they are not necessarily labor unions that represent public employees? >> i think labor unions are using this as an opportunity definitely. governor ted strickland lost by just two percentage points. a lot of people pointed to labor unions in ohio as a reason why saying they were not as mobilized as they could have been. a lot of labor unions are getting involved today. the protests were bigger today than they have been in the last week or so. a lot of private companies, steelworkers and other companies that employ private labor unions they were there as well. i think you are seeing an opportunity by labor unions to take this as a way to kind of seize power and maybe look forward into what might be done in the next year or two. and there's the possibility too that this could also go to the ballot if it does pass in the legislature then ohio voters might actually have to look at this in the next year two. >> ifill: that raises an interesting question, eric bradner, there in indiana, how much of this is about the
7:51 pm
unions seizing an opportunity. if that's the case, how is the public responding to this? >> well, it's about the unions protecting what they have now. they feel like they're under assault from republicans. they've certainly been emboldened by what's been happening in wisconsin. but whether the public is with them remains to be seen. after all, the public did throw out a democratic majority in the indiana house and replaced it with a sizable republican majority. they've done what they said they would do during the campaign. there's no doubt unions see this as an opportunity but whether the public is with them is tough to tell right now. >> ifill: michael, is it possible to tell in new jersey where the public is on board with all of this? >> public opinion polls tend to favor the governor maybe 60 to 40 in his effort to extract concessions from public employees. but i think the public employees' unions have been
7:52 pm
reeling from the rhetoric if not in fact the actions of this goff... governor for about a year. you played a clip at the beginning of this segment in which he said there are two classes of people. he made that statement first in a speech in atlantic city to municipal officials about nine months ago. there are two kinds of people, two classes of people in new jersey, he said. public employees and everybody else who pays for them. it was a very provocative statement at the time. i had not heard him repeat at all until today. when he said it in his budget address. i guess he stands by it. i should point out however that again somebody could have said maybe em beeld ened by wisconsin. the state afl-cio has organized a rally for this rally this friday on the state house steps. one imagines it will be quite a scene. i don't know if it will rival wisconsin but it's probably going to be big. this might be an opportunity for public employees to grab the megaphone for a day at
7:53 pm
least. >> ifill: so i think you're all right that there will be a lot more megaphones on the state house steps in the next couple of days. we'll be watching all of it. thank you all very much. >> brown: again, the major developments of the day. libyan leader muammar gadhafi refused to step down. he said he would rather "die a martyr" than leave the country, and he called for new attacks on his opponents. the u.s. demanded libya end its crackdown. secretary of state clinton said the bloodshed is "unacceptable." a powerful earthquake devastated christchurch, new zealand, killing at least 65 people. and the u.s. military announced somali pirates had killed four americans from a yacht that was hijacked last week. and to hari sreenivasan, for what's on the newshour online. hari? >> sreenivasan: in this week's political checklist, political editor david chalian talks to gwen about the labor standoff in wisconsin, the spending showdown in congress and the chicago mayoral race. find that on the rundown blog. we talk to ray suarez for a preview of an upcoming series of
7:54 pm
reports on guatemala. it's health issues, violence, and poverty. plus, are the ocean's predator fish, like tuna, cod, and grouper, in a population freefall? our science unit looks at a recent study that examines predictions for sea life diversity in the year 2050. all that and more is on our web site, gwen? >> ifill: and that's the newshour for tonight. on wednesday, we'll look at the latest developments involving the cia agent jailed in pakistan. i'm gwen ifill. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. we'll see you online, and again here tomorrow evening. thanks for joining us. good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> you can't manufacture pride, but pride builds great cars. and you'll find in the people at toyota, all across america.
7:55 pm
>> okay, listen. somebody has got to get serious. >> i think... >> we need renewable energy. >> ...renewable energy is vital to our planet. >> you hear about alternatives, right? wind, solar, algae. >> i think it's going to work an a big scale. only, i think it's going to be affordable. >> so, where are they? >> it has to work in the real world. at chevron, we're investing millions in solar and biofuel technology to make it work. >> we've got to get on this now. >> right now. >> and by bnsf railway. >> pacific life-- the power to help you succeed. >> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made possible
7:56 pm
by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions captioned by media access group at wgbh vo:geico, committed to providing service to
7:57 pm
7:58 pm
its auto insurance customers for over 70 years.
7:59 pm
more information on auto insurance at or 1-800-947-auto any time of the day or night.


1 Favorite

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on