tv PBS News Hour PBS July 21, 2011 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> brown: president obama and republican lawmakers struggled anew to reach a grand bargain on a budget cutting deal aimed at averting a government default. good evening. i'm jeffrey brown. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. on the "newshour" tonight, kwame holman has the latest on the claims and counter claims. and we get the perspective of two senate members of the bipartisan "gang of 6"-- democrat kent conrad and republican saxby chambliss. >> brown: then, in his final report from indonesia, ray suarez looks at efforts to combat rising food prices and malnutrition. >> a really smart pilot project
in this jakarta neighborhood is giving families a way to make sure their youngest children are getting properly nourished. >> woodruff: we examine what's behind the borders bookstore bankruptcy as the chain prepares to shutter most of its nearly 400 outlets. >> brown: we continue our collaboration with "the economist" to highlight the art of filmmaking. tonight, one family's harrowing battle to keep their land in zimbabwe, despite brutal intimidation. >> woodruff: and margaret warner talks to journalist and author robin wright about her new book chronicling the rage and rebellion of the arab spring. >> there's no question that this is the greatest wave of empowerment in the 21st century, but it also faces the same obstacles that change did elsewhere in the world. >> brown: that's all ahead on tonight's "newshour." major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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>> woodruff: congress and the president labored again today to break the debt ceiling stalemate. there were conflicting signals, but no outward signs of movement. "newshour" congressional correspondent kwame holman begins our coverage. >> reporter: the u.s. capitol swirled today with claims of progress toward agreement on cutting the deficit and raising the government's borrowing limit. one report had it that house speaker john boehner and president obama were close to a major deal, but at the white house, press secretary jay carney quickly denied it. >> there is no deal. we are not close to a deal. we are-- obviously the president is in discussions with all the leaders of congress, as well as other members, and exploring the possibility of getting the biggest deal possible. there is the potential here for a significant agreement. there are obviously differences, as there have been throughout this process. we believe there is momentum behind the idea of a balanced approach to a significant agreement. >> reporter: another report said the president and boehner were
discussing up to $3 trillion in cuts over ten years with a promise of tax reform next year. at his own briefing, boehner sought to place the onus for getting any agreement on the president. >> the ball continues to be in president's court. if we're going to avoid default, prevent a credit downgrade, jump-start the economy, he needs to step up on spending cuts and reforms people are demanding. >> reporter: the continuing stalemate-- in public, at least- - produced a fresh warning from the u.s. chamber of commerce, a longtime ally of republicans. in a post on its website, the business group's number two official wrote: "jeopardizing our country's credit rating and fiscal security by refusing to compromise isn't the answer. the result from political inaction could be devastating." and for a moment today, there appeared to be an opening from influential conservative on increasing tax revenues.
anti-tax crusader grover norquist told the "washington post's" editorial board that letting the bush-era tax cuts expire would not violate his organization's insistence on no new taxes. he said, "not continuing a tax cut is not technically a tax increase." but norquist later backed off that statement, saying he still opposes any effort to do away with the bush tax cuts. nonetheless, new york senator chuck schumer and other democrats pushed house republicans anyway to re-examine their stance against tax hikes. >> house g.o.p. is on iceberg melting into the ocean and even grover norquist is offering them a lifeboat. the question is for their own good will they take it? >> reporter: as negotiations continued behind the scenes, the u.s. senate today took up a house-passed deficit reduction bill many republicans want to see approved before they'll
accept an increase in the debt ceiling. the so-called "cut, cap and balance" plan would slash $6 trillion over ten years and require a balanced budget amendment to the u.s. constitution. the senate's democratic majority leader harry reid agreed to the vote, but said the legislation was a non-starter. >> republicans so-called "cut, cap and balance" plan doesn't have one chance in a million of passing the senate. >> reporter: reid insisted again that any deal has to be balanced with spending cuts and tax hikes. the senate's top republican mitch mcconnell was equally firm, saying spending is the main problem. >> the reason we've got a debt crisis is that government spends every cent it gets -and then some. sending washington more money will not solve that problem, it will enable it. >> reporter: other g.o.p. senators said "cut, cap and balance" was a take it or leave it proposition. >> i want to make clear, this isn't just the best plan, it's the only plan!
>> reporter: still, speaker boehner said most republicans would be willing to compromise for the right deal. >> i'm sure we've got some who believe that, but not anywhere close to majority. at the end of the day, we have a responsibility to act. >> reporter: and even with the august second deadline closing in... >> ♪ zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a- dee-day... >> reporter: the speaker appeared in an upbeat mood, despite the apparent lack of movement. >> woodruff: i spoke with two members of the bipartisan "gang of six" which has spent the better part of the past year trying to come up with a plan to tackle the debt. republican senator saxby chambliss of georgia and senate budget committee chairman kent conrad of north dakota joined me from capitol hill a short time ago. >> woodruff: senators, thank you very much for joining us. i want to ask both of you, today was filled with reports. first there was a deal, then there wasn't a deal.
it was close. it wasn't close. senator conrad, do to you first, what do you hear? >> well, we had jack lu, the head of the office management and budget at the caucus today. he said there has been no agreement struck. i don't believe there has been one at this point. clearly there are active negotiations. we know that it's not been determined what the way forward is at this point. but i think at the end of the day it's going to have to be something very close in terms of dealing with the debt, to what the group of six has come up with because it is the only bipartisan plan that has been developed that really gets the debt under control. and at the end of the day, i believe any plan that is agreed to in terms of dealing with debt will have to be pretty close to what we've done. >> woodruff: senator chambliss, what are you hearing? and are you hearing anything that leads you to believe it's close? >> first of all, i don't get that many calls from the
white house, judy. so i'm not sure what's going on down there. but we are-- i think there is an indication that because we're getting to the end of the road, i mean gosh, we're looking at tuesday week being d-day. and as always happens in this institution, the closer we get to that the more the rumors fly. but in all probability the more serious the negotiations are right now than before too. but i don't have anything to add really from a reporting standpoint to what kent had to say. >> woodruff: well, senator chambliss, we know you are close, however you may not be getting calls in the president. but you are close to the speaker of the house, john boehner. are you hearing anything from him? >> not with respect to the negotiations today. i know they were having discussions probably off and on all day. and i will be talking to john either tonight or in the morning. but i have not heard anything from him with respect to progress of the talks. >> senator conrad there were reports at one point today
that the president and the speaker were close to some sort of deal that would be $3 trillion, mostly or only cuts with revenue racers to come later. if that were the shape of the deal is that something that would sell with democrats? >> you know, it's so hard to know without seeing what the actual contours of an agreement might be. but i would say this deal, a plan like we have put together, i think, is the only one that has serious prospects for success. and i say that not just because we were involved but if you look at the history, fiscal commission, 121 members of the 18 agree-- 11 members of the 18 agreed, five democrats, five republican, one independent. we've had the group of six negotiate for six months. three democrats, three republicans. very close in terms of overall direction to what the fiscal commission concluded. so i think whatever one does to bring together a group of
people, republicans and democrats, to negotiate a plan, they're going to wind up very close to what we've concluded. and anything else doesn't have much of a chance, at least that's my experience after 14 months of negotiating. >> woodruff: i do want to ask you about your plan in just a moment. but first one other question, senator chambliss, about what we are hearing today. and that is at one point we were hearing the budget director was saying whatever the final plan is or the plan at this stage, it would have to include some form of revenue increase or, and my question to you is, is that something that would fly with your party with republicans? >> it's a pure tax increase, judy, i think the answer is clearly no. i think the house has made that very plain. my colleagues over here and i have made that very plain. but as far as increase in revenue, you bet. that's going to have to be a part of any plan to solve the long-term debt. and what kent and the four others and i have worked on
for so long as you well know has been focused on that $14.5 trillion debt. we just happened to conclude our process at the same time that the debate over the debt ceiling was being racheted up. and now as a result of that, and with no viable plan out there, i think kent is probably right. something that we have agreed on, hopefully, can be the focal point of a way forward out of this. >> woodruff: but senator chambliss, do you believe the tea party members, especially those in the house are likely to go along with that? >> well, if you couch it the way we have, if you put in real meaningful tax reform at some point. and that's a problem getting that done, obviously, in the next 11 days. but real meaningful tax reform that lowers rates and energized the economy and shows true economic growth in the long-term, i means that's what we're all for. so i can't imagine anybody being in opposition to that.
now they are there are going to be outside groups that are going to be throwing arrows at all of us, irrespective of what we wind up with. but we've got to find that common ground of finding a way to reduce spending in the right way; be responsible about it; to increase revenues in the right way; be responsible about it. and reform entitlements in the right way and that is-- that is something that i don't think anybody in congress is going to disagree with. we can disagree over the process but not those three points. >> but senator conrad speaking of outside groups, the loudest criticism we're hearing in the last couple of days since your plan has surfaced is coming from liberal groups who are saying it asks sacrifices from the middle class while giving tax breaks to the high income earners and corporations. >> well, they've got it wrong. clearly they've not read the plan or apparently don't understand it.
because that's not what the plan does. what the plan does do is face up to the reality we're borrowing 41 cents of every dollar that we spend. that revenue is the lowest it's been as a share of our national income in 60 years, that spending is the highest it's been as a share of our national income in 60 years. that means you've got to work both sides of the he case. and-- equation. and we've done that in a careful and fair way. and at the end of the day i think they'll look back once they understand the plan better, and realize this is good a deal as they're going to get. look, the harsh reality is this. a failure to right size the entitlement programs means they are going to go broke. that's not our word. that's the word of the trustees of the programs themselves. anybody that says you don't have to make any change, is not telling the american people the truth. the truth is all of us are going to have to give some ground to solve this american problem. and it's in america's
interest that we do so. >> woodruff: and meanwhile quickly senator chambliss, the criticism from some conservatives is yes, there is some criticism about any revenue in there but also they say that it doesn't cut enough, and particularly with regard to health care, that if doesn't cut. which they point out is the fastest growing driver of the federal debt. >> well, certainly if we could have found more ways to reform and modify health-care programs, i would have been in favor of that. but the weakest point of the president's debt commission report in my opinion is addressing the health-care system. but we make some real reforms in there. and we've got some provisions that the finance committee can look at and say if we have the opportunity now under the authorities that's granted in our plan to really go in to medicare, save it and protect it and as kent said, it's going broke.
and that's not us saying that. that's independent, bipartisan groups saying that. and if folks really want to get serious about saving and protecting medicare for the next generation, then this is the opportunity to do it. and we're going to give the finance community the authority to do it in the right way. we're not getting everything we want. the democrats are not getting everything they want. that's why you have to have common ground in order to find 60 votes in the senate. and a way forward to get 218 in the house. >> finally a very quick comment from both of you on the timing of this, is there a way to get some part of your plan passed in legislative form before this august 2nd debt ceiling deadline and or for the president to go along with say a short-term extension that would allow part or more of your plan to be passed. senator conrad and then senator chambliss. >> we believe there is. in fact, the group of six is
meeting with leadership in the senate in moments. we'll be outlining a proposal there. we think there is a way to address the long-term debt challenge of the cli at the same time as the debt extension is dealt with. and remember what we've worked on all this time was not a debt extension. we were focused on a plan to deal with the debt. and that's what we've done. and we're proud of the work we've produced. >> woodruff: senator chambliss. >> we certainly hope so, judy, because there is not a viable plan on the table right now that's going to garner enough votes in the senate and the house. if the leadership can take part or all of our work product and use it for the benefit of america and americans, then we're all for that. and we hope that can be done. >> gentlemen, we thank both of you. senator saxby chambliss, senator kent conrad, we appreciate it. >> thank you, judy. >> thank you, judy. >> brown: still to come on the "newshour": rising food costs in indonesia; the final chapter for
borders; a family's fight to save its farm in zimbabwe and rage and rebellion in the arab world. but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: leaders of the euro-zone nations agreed today to give greece a second bailout worth $155 billion. the international monetary fund would join in the package, as would private investors to the tune of $53 billion. >> sreenivasan: wall street surged higher on the news out of europe. the dow jones industrial average gained 152 points to close at 12,724. the nasdaq rose 20 points to close at 2834. in syria today, reports from the city of homs said security forces swept through neighborhoods firing machine guns and making arrests. activists said government forces used tank weapons and intense gunfire. video posted on youtube showed at least one home in flames sending up clouds of smoke.
at least 50 people have been killed in homs since saturday. extreme heat that's been roasting america's mid-section has now pushed eastward, to the atlantic seaboard. the air shimmered over major eastern cities today, as they braced for 100-degree temperatures. in a number of states, heat taxed utility grids, and thousands of people lost power. the national weather service has blamed at least 22 deaths on heat in recent days. the u.s. space shuttle program officially came to an end today, after 30 years and 135 flights. the last shuttle to fly-- "atlantis"-- touched down early this morning at cape canaveral, florida, winding up a 13-day mission. later, some 2000 onlookers gathered near the runway to welcome the crew of four astronauts. "atlantis" commander chris ferguson acknowledged it was a bittersweet day in the history of u.s. space exploration. >> we do really need something to look forward to. right now it's a little bit of a time of mourning, if you will. but, you know, that's to be expected. we've said we're saying goodbye
to a good friend and we'll get over that. once we get over it, we'll start looking forward and we'll make it happen again. >> sreenivasan: for now, though, thousands of nasa employees will be laid off, beginning as early as tomorrow. the u.s. government is no longer a part-owner of chrysler. the italian automaker fiat bought the government's remaining holdings today worth $560 million. that makes fiat the majority owner. all told, the new chrysler-- created during bankruptcy-- repaid more than $11 billion in federal aid. the old chrysler-- left with the automaker's bad debts-- is not expected to repay some $1.3 billion to the treasury. the federal aviation administration may be forced to shut down tomorrow night, disrupting the u.s. aviation system. congress has been unable to agree on legislation that extends the f.a.a.'s operating authority. transportation secretary ray lahood warned today the agency will have to stop collecting
ticket taxes. and billions of dollars in airport construction will be halted. >> we have now reached a breaking point. unacceptable provisions in the house version of the faa bill holding up passage of another extension. this is no way to run the best aviation system in the world. >> sreenivasan: without an agreement, some 4,000 f.a.a. workers will be furloughed. a famed figure in the art world lucian freud died overnight at his home in london. the grandson of sigmund freud was known especially for his paintings of nudes, which often highlighted the subject's flaws. some of them commanded huge prices at auction. freud also caused a stir in britain in recent years with a highly unflattering portrait of queen elizabeth the second lucian freud was 88 years old. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to jeff.
>> brown: and we turn again to indonesia, where a spike in food prices is now adding to the problems of poverty and hunger. ray suarez has the final installment of his series from the southeast asian nation. >> reporter: travel across indonesia's most populous island, java, and it's hard to imagine going hungry here. the intensely cultivated fields are bursting with green-- rice, potatoes, bananas, tea. but head to one of the many slums in jakarta, and it gets easier to understand how vulnerable poor people can be. >> ( translated ): food prices have been going up sharply. rice, eggs, oil. it's all going up. >> reporter: back in 2008 when food prices soared worldwide, people in the developing world who had been moving ahead economically were pushed back into poverty, and hunger. josette sheeran heads the united nation's world food program. >> we saw the number increase by
140 million people, virtually overnight in 2008. so we went from about 900 million, 860 million hungry people in the world to a billion in about a year's time span. the world bank says that 44 million people were added to the ranks of the extremely poor and hungry in the past year because of the rise in food prices. >> reporter: sheeran says the food price indexes in 2011 are even higher than they were in 2008. in indonesia, rising food costs means more expensive rice, a three-times-a-day staple food here. its cost has risen 25% in just the past year. when poor people have to pay more, the share that food takes from the family budget soars. muhamad chatib basri is an indonesian economist.
>> if you look at the basket of consumption for average people, the proportion of food is about 40%. but if you're talking about the basket for poor people, poor people portion is over 70%. so you can see if food prices >> reporter: poor people like sapta mega pratiwi who has brought her 15-month-old son ahmad to a regional hospital. is there enough food in your house? >> ( translated ): sometimes there's food, sometimes there's not. we don't earn enough money to always afford food. >> reporter: when doctors first saw ahmad, he was just over 15 pounds, far too little for a child that age. he has a belly, skinny legs, brittle hair, classic signs of poor nutrition. dr. saptarini nurul jamil runs the emergency nutrition center at the hospital. she sees more children like
ahmad when food prices are high. >> ( translated ): yes, the situation is parallel with the situation in the country. there are always basic problems of poverty, but it becomes a bigger problem when food prices go up and ultimately leads to more malnutrition. when the economy goes down, more people lose their jobs or their salary gets reduced and so they no longer can afford nutritious food. >> reporter: dr. saptarini said ahmad will get better. in just a few weeks of supplemental feeding he's up to just over 17 pounds. other children aren't so lucky. one out of every four indonesian children doesn't get even 70% of the daily recommended allowances for nutrients. that means suffering today, and it robs the future. >> there's scientific consensus that when a child is born about 60% of their brain is formed. and the next three years in life, if they don't have adequate nutrition their brain
will not form properly. i actually carry with me to show world leaders this chart. it shows two brains. this one of a child who was properly nourished, a three year old, this one of one that was malnourished. the actual volume of the brain is reduced about 40%. >> reporter: which leads to students who can't learn as much, and workers who can't work as hard. >> ( translated ): if a malnourished child doesn't get treatment early he can lack energy. he can have learning issues in school. and if a pregnant woman is malnourished, her baby will be born unhealthy and it will start a terrible cycle. >> reporter: even if you can afford to put some food on the table, many people, especially those with large families, face many challenges. one international aid group found that families were literally driven onto the street by tiny kitchens and even tinier food budgets. and they were giving their youngest children food that was cheap and filling, but not necessarily nutritious.
on a cluster of streets in a poor neighborhood in west jakarta, bright new colorful food carts are offering a healthier alternative. >> in our cart, we provide food: healthy, nutritious but also affordable for the family- especially low income. >> reporter: usye umayah runs a mercy corps program that sends food carts out every morning with popular foods, but with added protein and vitamins. >> we develop a menu which is affordable, but also we add more nutrition. it's really dense, nutritious for the children. and it meets 29% calories for a children under five. >> reporter: 24-year-old anisa fihria says she knows she's feeding her 18 month old son healthier foods now.
does the guy with the cart teach you about nutrition? >> ( translated ): yes, he shares information about what nutrition is in the food. like carrot contains vitamin "a" and beans are good for vitamin b12 and coconut is also good for the bones. the benefits don't end there. the carts provide steady employment and profit for the sellers, and work for kitchen staff preparing the food for sale. it's a win all around, and changes the lives, and prospects of poor kids. but it's a band aid, really, since the forces that drive rising food prices are far beyond the control of hard- working food sellers. there are so many factors that influence food prices. one is energy, which is used not only to grow and transport the food, but increasingly food is being used as energy. you can see the effect with palm oil. when crude oil got expensive,
there was a run on the indonesian palm oil supply to use as biofuel instead of food. >> i think we are entering a new era of high commodity prices and high energy prices. in the last ten years we see that higher energy prices mean higher commodity prices. because people use things not only for cooking but also for energy. >> reporter: food production is also a problem. although indonesia is the world's third largest grower of rice, it still has to rely on imports of the grain. the government is trying to implement self-sufficiency polices. but so far there's a limit to how much food can be produced. it's a problem around the world. >> for the first time in most people's memory we're in a post- surplus world. there is no surplus of food in the world and you have one bad drought or one bad flood as we're seeing in the midwest in
america, it will impact the price of food globally. >> reporter: those rising prices are going to continue to make it more difficult for babies like ahmad maulana and other chronically malnourished children around the world. >> woodruff: you can watch all of ray's stories from indonesia. plus read his blogs, view a slideshow of photos and find much more on our website. >> brown: next, the last chapter for one of the country's biggest bookstore chains. for borders it is, yes, the end of the story. in february, the book chain filed for bankruptcy, hoping to re-organize and stay in business. but today, its representatives were in court with a plan to liquidate its remaining 399 stores beginning as early as tomorrow. more than 10,000 employees will
lose their jobs as a result. >> getting the news today is upsetting. we tried. we tried, we gave it our best. >> brown: and customers will lose one more place to peruse new books. >> i mean, i used to have a sunday routine where i would go every sunday and look at all the authors and then have a coffee and maybe read some magazines. so i won't have that little routine anymore. >> brown: from humble beginnings -- the first borders, a used bookstore, opened in ann arbor, michigan in 1971. the company became a pioneer of the big-box bookseller concept. at its peak in 2003, borders had more than 1,200 stores around the country, each with thousands of new titles. the company says a host of factors led to its demise, including the turbulent economy; the move away from brick and mortar stores to online retailers and the rise of e- readers, like the kindle, ipad, and nook.
more on this story now from annie lowery, who's followed it as a business writer for the online magazine "slate." welcome to you. >> thank you. >> brown: now part of this is, of course, about larger trends of the internet's impact on the book business. but borders also made its own mistakes, i guess, along the way. >> absolutely. >> brown: what happened? >> it's not an easy climate for any retail business or for anybody selling books, obviously. but borders made some strategic mistakes. first and foremost they had a very, very tennuous relationship with the internet. they actually outsourced the sale of a lot of their books on-line from 2001 to 2008 to amazon. and on top of that they were very slow to come around to e readers, that combined with other strategic mistakes, having too many stores, having the stores be too expensive ended up hurting their business. >> brown: take that apart a little bit. first the on-line sales. that's clearly where a lot of the business has gone, right, the book business?
>> absolutely. it's increasingly migrated on to the web. so what you had was these big box stores which they always sold themselves that you could come and find any book. all of a sudden where you could go to amazon or any of a dozen sites and get a much bigger selection of books, you didn't need the big box stores as much so they came places where you could go, sit, sit and have a cup of coffee, but borders also made some strategic mistakes there. they lost the starbucks contract to barns and noble and the company just ended up being mismanaged. >> but people do go to the real stores to look at the real books but increasingly then they leave and order on-line. >> exactly. exactly. it's very, very hard to compete unless you are offering a very boutique experience. and barnes & noble has done pretty well to take advantage of e readers and ebooks and to make sure stores are places people want to go and congregate. >> brown: talk about the readers. you mentioned barnes & noble with the nook, amazon with the kindl. this was an area where borders fell way behind. >> absolutely. so the nook is not as big as
the kindle but it sells really quite well and more so, every time somebody buys a nook and barnes & noble not only benefits from selling the nook but also gets to sell ebooks with the reader so they build a relationship over time. the reader comes back to em this. it is generally a lot of repeat business for barnes & noble so that really helps them. >> brown: where are we in the e reader and physical book situation? the ereaders have grown and grown and grown. but there is any sense of reaching an equilibrium as to the number of books that will still be sold? >> well, i don't think you will ever see the physical book die out as a form. i think that 50 years from now physical books will still exist and i think people will still be buying them in book stores but you're going to see this migration towards erck readers and ebooks because there is a lot of competition in the market. prices are going to come down. for consumers will it make more and more sense. if you have a e reader and you can get any book, almost, and inn seconds, basically, you know, in your lap, that's pretty powerful.
it's a good thing for consumers. >> well, for those, except for those who want to go to their book store right. >> sure, that's true. >> and the corner book store is gone. >> they have fewer and fewer choices but it's through. >> now what about the actual book stores that are left? particularly you talked a little bit about barnes & noble still struggling but still going. >> sure. it's absolutely still going. and there are other national chains that are still doing well. books a million is doing well, for instance. and it seems like it might pick up some of borders pieces. independent book stores remains a difficult climate for them but a lot have diversified to selling thins like coffee and alcohol and have managed to stay afloat there. but it is a very competitive market and difficult market for booksellers. >> brown: and the impact of this, something we talked a lot here about, the impact on authors of having a major chain like this, impacting the whole business. >> and think if you are looking at the broadest trends. what this might do is help
hasteen the move towards ebooks and e readers. a another national chain has fallen apart here and people going to be increasingly looking to make money and selling books on the web. >> brown: and another thing, the wider economic implications here of a major chain because borders, of course, is often found in mallsing major malls, right? >> yeah. >> brown: so here is a lot of malls around the country losing a flagship store. >> absolutely. a lot of jobs have disappeared this week, more than 10,000. if you look at some of the other big layoffs there have been this week t is more jobs than we made last month, absolutely. on top of that, you are right, mall rates are very high so for big retailers the climate is not pretty regardless of what you are selling. >> brown: so there is a commercial real estate aspect about all this. >> they will be unhappy about all this. >> brown: okay, annie lowery, of "slate" magazine, thank you very much. >> thank you so much for having me.
>> woodruff: now to zimbabwe, for another of our film project collaborations with "the economist" magazine. filmmakers lucy bailey and andrew thompson spent 2008 recording the experiences of a white family who challenged the land reform policy of president robert mugabe. it was designed to reallocate white-owned land to poor black farmers, but mugabe's henchmen were often the chief beneficiaries. mike campbell claimed the policy violated human rights laws and filed suit in an international court based in south africa. here is an excerpt from the film "mugabe and the white african." much of it was shot with a hidden camera. >> their plan is to remove every white farmer off the land, and now we've gone to the international court, and i think this is the last chance we got to keep white farmers here. >> this case is a huge
responsibility and i know that it wears in mike mind constantly. this case is direct challenge to robert mugabe and his government, but its also a challenge to the rest of the world. we want the world to wake up to the injustices of what is happening inside zimbabwe. mugabe doesn't want harmony between blacks and whites. he wants the whites to hate the blacks and the blacks to hate the whites. >> since the land invasions in 2000, we've had many invasions in 2000, we've had many encounters with mugabe's zanu-pf activists. they can arrive unannounced at any time. we have to be constantly on our guard. we find ourselves listening for every vehicle that drives in. as soon as it arrives you go have a look who it is.
and usually it's the farm invaders. it's quite threatening. >> remember you must help each other! i've just been to the heard guard in the compound and apparently they were there. i'd told the guard that at the end of the month when zanu pf gets in, then i'm history, i'm gone. i'll be off the farm and it will be theirs. so we've got to fight back. i mean there's no law and order, we can't go to the police. you know you've got to do something. otherwise you just lie on your back, put your legs and arms in the air and call it a day.
>> it's not about hurting these people. we need to let them know that wt ll protect ourrduas, that we're serious about protecting this farm. you know, i think a country without a rulebook is rather like a football game or a rugby game that doesn't have rules, doesn't have a referee. it would just end up in absolute chaos with lots of people getting hurt. and that's exactly what's happening in zimbabwe at the moment. people are just playing by their own rules. there's no one blowing any whistles at the moment. there's no one keeping to any of the rules of the games. and that's why we need to bring referees in from outside who are
prepared to make sure that the rules are upheld. >> i think mike campbell is a very committed man who is angry because he has been prosecuted for the unique offense of living in his own house and farming his own farm to which he holds the title deeds, a farm which he acquired in 1980 after independence, purchased on the open market and on a certificate of no interest by the zimbabwean government. it's distinctly racially discriminatory. >> they want the farmers out of zimbabwe. they want to tell them that they're not zimbabwean and they are not african. but that's racist. you can't adopt a constitution saying, we will respect your racial orientation, your racial background, and then say, white farmers shouldn't own land in zimbabwe, come with me. it's what they did, so there is no justification to go for the
farms that these farmers now currently have. >> this case has to be the most interesting in the sense that he is, as it were, despite his age, a new generation, committed zimbabwean, employing lots of people, a model employer. and yet, because he is white, he has been scheduled as being liable without... to be moved off that land. so it's got at the core of it a vague, racist and entirely unenforceable description. >> if we win the case, the whole land reform program in zimbabwe becomes illegal. then every farmer that's been kicked off his land has got the right to come back to his farm. >> good morning. how are you, mr. chemada? >> how are you? >> what are you doing here? >> i'm here for my land. >> for your land? >> yes, that was taken. it was given to me four years
ago by the government >> no, we've been to the sadc tribunal, as you know, mr. chemada. >> who is sadc? i'm sadc. >> yes. and sadc has said-- >> i am sadc. >> sadc has given us full relief until the main case. >> i am sadc, i am sadc, all right? >> yes. >> all right? they had the same feeling as i have. >> and sadc has said, until the main case, you cannot interfere. >> is that why you're refusing to get out of this farm? tell me. >> this is my home, mr. chemada. >> it is your home. well, you're in the wrong home. who did you pay? the african... the african, or you paid another white villain? >> we paid transfer duties to the zimbabwe government. >> ( laughs ) >> we bought it on a willing seller, willing buyer basis. >> is it? >> we didn't steal it. >> is it? now anyway, that's unfortunate, because we've realized, without land, you have nothing. that's why were here. >> but you've got land, mr. chemada? >> we have... land. >> i've been to your house in arari. >> yes. have you? >> yes. >> you've been raiding my own... >> no, i-- we passed it. >> what were you coming for? >> the guard wouldn't let me through the gate. >> is it? so what were you looking for?
>> i was coming to see where you lived. >> and what-- and do what? >> well, if you want to steal my house, maybe you can give me your house. >> the land belongs to the black peasants. it is ours. the government took it from you people to redistribute it to the black poor majority. >> and ministers are the black poor majority? every time you come, you come in a brand new car. this is toyota prado. >> what is it-- what has this got to do with my land? >> with about 50,000 units... >> but what has this got to do with my land? >> last time, it was a brand new white... >> yes. >> before that, it was a jeep cherokee. >> how about you? >> if you've got all this money, why can't you buy somewhere? >> i can't buy land in u.k. >> why not? >> my father... my father-- as it is now, everything that he has in london, in america, has all been frozen. you've taken it. my father, not even allowed to go to your country. but you're still here. we are so tired of you guys. >> can a white person not be a zimbabwean anymore? >> not anymore. we don't want you anymore.
get it, right? we don't. >> but we are zimbabweans. >> we don't care whether indian, malawi, kalanga, why not? we don't just want you in particular. it will never be a colony again, this country. >> i realize that, mr. chemada. >> it will never... it will never be a colony. >> then we missed... >> i will sleep here until you are out. and i mean it. i want you out. >> woodruff: the court eventually ruled in campbell's favor, but in august 2009, mugabe's men burned his farm to the ground. he died this year at age 79. "mugabe and the white african' can be seen next tuesday on "p.o.v" on pbs. on our web site, hari sreenivasan talks with campbell's son-in-law about the family's legal challenge. and you can learn about "the economist" film project or submit your own film at film.economist.com.
>> brown: finally tonight, a new book examines some of the cultural and social forces behind the arab revolt. margaret warner has our conversation. >> woodruff: the year 2011 is only half over but it's sure to go into history as the year of the arab spring. a wave of popular revolt in the middle east that has already brought down two governments and shaken many others. reporter and author robin wright a long time student of the muslim world says these uprisings didn't come out of the blue. they reflect new social and cultural trends that are the subject of her new book "rock the cass ba, rage and rebellion in islamic world" and robin wright joins me now. welcome back. >> nice to be with you. >> warner: first of all the title, rock the casbah, where did it come from, why did you use it. >> it was a song performed by the clash in 1982 but in trying to describe this extraordinary phenomena which is political and
cultural, rock the casbah really captured this movement that challenges both authority, extremists as well as auto crats. >> warner: so in that sense it's really counter to our image of where rage an rebellion-- what rage and rebellion is about in the arab world. it's not, you're saying, just directed at the west. >> no, i think one of the extraordinary things is that it is the most proactive in terms of trying to-- to take back the idea of going to jihad that is a struggle to be a good muslim, not to kill the outside world, not to be engaged in the arab israeli conflict, it's really to craft a different future. >> warner: let's go now to some of your fabulous examples from young people in the muslim world. the first i would like to talk about is the ton esian hip-hop artist whose name is el jenaho. you say he really set the stage for the revolution that ousted the president.
>> hip-hop has become the rhythm of the resistance and he was the first. he posted a song last november at a time, hip-hop was basically banned there. on his facebook page. and it captured the first real challenge at a time that politicians didn't dare criticize the regime. >> i think we have a short clip. let's just play a little ♪ ♪ ♪. >> warner: so what kind of thing was he saying? >>. >> well, he said to the president, we're suffering like dogs. half the people living in shame. missery everywhere. people are eating from garbage cans. today i'm speaking for the people, crushed by the weight of injustice. it's that kind of challenge that just wasn't found anyplace in tunesia and other parts of the arab world. >> warner: and i think you wrote that this really
became almost an anthem to revolution, not only in tunisia but elsewhere. >> it was song by many of the protestors across tunesia as the revolution spread and was picked up in egypt and bahrain. >> warner: other hip-hop artists are wrapping not just-- rapping about not just their rulers but also about which direction islam is going, against extremist. >> in places like morocco n iran, you find the young who are challenging religious rule, challenging the extremist ideologies of all kinds of groups. and this is fascinating. it's trying to recapture what it is that ises lamb is about and the direction of their society. >> warner: another whole trend you identified is among young women. you called them the pink ejab generation. but let's talk about dalia.
>> dalia ziada was 8 years om when she became an activist after her mother told her to dress in a party costume and took her instead to be circumcised. she went through genital mutilation and became very active in her family arguing against it and then as a teenager on women's issues. and then she engaged on human rights activities. she organized the first arab human rights festival in egypt. and became very instrumental in translating a comic book about civil disobedience that came from the story of martin luther king. so this trend, the arab uprising has been coming for a long time but in the young generation which makes up the 345 jority, two-thirds of at ran world population is under 30, this is where the young came from. and they're educated for the first time, the majority of them. and they have aspirations that exceed just daily subsistence. >> warner: what did you find
about why more and more of them are wearing the head covering? >>. >> in egypt 40 years ago the majority of women didn't wear it. today over 80% of them are. and instead of wearing them in black they're wearing in bright pink colors, pastels, some have he is gwyns, feathers. they tie them in the back in a way that they call the spanish wrap because it is modelled the way flamenco bandsers-- dancers wear in buns so express their islamic identity. not an extremist one but saying we want change that is familiar to our culture and to our faith. >> warner: now there are also incredibly strong counterforces, are there not, of religious orthodoxy and of still extremistism and anti-western feeling. is this a phenomenon really just among educated young people. do you think it is an index orable trend or could still, the other force kos beat them back? >> there's no question that this is the greatest wave of empowerment in the early
21st century about it also faces the same obstacles that change did elsewhere in the world. a generation after the soviet union's demise you still have a former communist and kgb chief in power in moskow. in south africa many blacks are worse off than under appear advertise. so it's a long struggle ahead. but there's nodiol hng it back. >> warner: robin wright, congratulations on your book. thanks. >> thank you. >> woodruff: again, the major developments of the day: president obama and republican lawmakers struggled anew to reach a grand bargain on a budget cutting deal. there were conflicting signals, but no outward signs of movement. leaders of the euro-zone nations agreed to give greece a second bailout worth $155 billion. intense heat expanded from the u.s. mid-section to the eastern seaboard with 100-degree readings from washington to boston. and the space shuttle "atlantis" landed, ending the shuttle
program after 30 years. and to hari sreenivasan for a preview of some stories we've posted online, from financial reform to smartphones. hari? >> sreenivasan: on the first anniversary of the dodd-frank financial reform law, we ask five experts, including former fdic chair sheila bair, how the new regulations are taking shape. smartphone apps can screen your blood, count your calories and check for cancer, but are they safe? we have a blog post on our health page about why the trend concerns f.d.a. officials. we have a dispatch from wisconsin about this week's recall elections. that's on our patchwork nation page. and while it might not be a planet anymore, it turns out pluto has a tiny fourth moon. on our science page, you can learn more about the hubble space telescope's new discovery. all that and more is on our web site, newshour.pbs.org. jeff? >> brown: and again to our honor roll of american service
>> brown: and that's the "newshour" for tonight. i'm jeffrey brown. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. we'll see you online and again here tomorrow evening with mark shields and david brooks, among others. thank you and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: 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 by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you.