tv Eyewitness News at 6 CBS January 17, 2013 6:00pm-7:00pm EST
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> brown: the algerian government launched an assault on a gas plant to free hostages including some americans, taken by islamic militants. good evening, i'm jeffrey brown. >> suarez: and i'm ray suarez. on the "newshour" tonight, we get the latest on the conflicting reports about how many died or escaped in the raid and on the escalating tensions in nearby mali. >> brown: then, we turn again to the debate over gun laws and examine proposals to identify and treat those with mental illnesses. >> suarez: we update the case against army private bradley manning, accused of leaking thousands of classified military documents online. >> that has are messages that came out from bin laden asking for specific documents that were released. specifically documents regarding it will war logs of iraq and
afghanistan. >> brown: from india, fred de sam lazaro has the story of an unlikely solution to massive black-outs and power-grid problems, using the by-product of a staple. >> the newly electrified homes stand out in the dark-with children clustered around the single light bulb doing home work. just one, low power turbine is enough to make the enterprise viable. >> suarez: and we remember pauline phillips whose "dear abby" column offered straight- talking but sympathetic advice about love and life to readers around the globe. >> brown: that's all ahead on tonight's "newshour." >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160
years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> 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. thank you. >> brown: algeria's state news agency now says special forces have completed a mission to rescue dozens of foreign hostages, including some americans. they'd been held by militants tied to al-qaeda. but there are wildly varying accounts of how many got out alive, and how many were killed.
>> because of the fluidity and the fact that there is a lot of planning going on, i cannot give you any further details at this time about the current situation on the ground. >> brown: even this afternoon, as secretary of state hillary clinton suggested, the situation in algeria remained confused. the focus was this natural gas compound in the sahara desert seen here in footage from last month. the vast, natural gas facility at in amenas is owned in part by b.p. and located just 60 miles from algeria's border with libya. islamists apparently led by this man-- mokhtar belmoktar-- attacked the plant yesterday, claiming they took 41 foreign hostages, including seven americans. early today, the algerian military stormed the sprawling site, as the militants were attempting to leave with the hostages. hours later, the country's communications minister told algerian radio, "an important
number of hostages were freed and an important number of terrorists were neutralized and we regret the few dead and wounded, but we don't have numbers." u.s. officials said an american drone watched the operation from overhead, but the algerians refused u.s. military assistance. confusion reigned, the militants claimed 35 hostages died, while algerian state t.v. said four were killed. and, hundreds of local workers apparently escaped. there was relief for at least one family in ireland. they got word their son was now free. in his video message, the militant leader belmoktar had said the attack on the gas complex was retaliation for french intervention in neighboring mali against another al-qaeda-linked group. in washington today, after meeting with the president of somalia, secretary clinton said the u.s. is ready to help the french.
>> we are supporting the french operation in mali with intelligence and airlift. we're working with a half a dozen african countries as we did with respect to somalia over so many years to help them be prepared to send in african troops. >> brown: clinton said u.s. trainers will arrive in the region by this weekend to work with those troops. in addition, the european union approved sending a military training mission to mali during an emergency meeting in brussels. in mali today, french forces encountered stiff resistance from islamic extremists controlling the northern part of the country. the town of banama, just 90 miles from mali's capital, was put on alert and a contingent of roughly one hundred malian soldiers sped there after reported sightings of jihadists in the area. meanwhile the first detachment of troops from a west african regional force arrived to reinforce french and malian troops. a short while ago i spoke with lindsey hilsum of "independent television news." she's at a military base in markala.
lindsey hilsum, thanks for joining us. i want to ask you first about the reaction in mali to what's now happening in neighboring algeria. is the connection obvious? >> the connection is very obvious. the french know that they have kicked the hornet's nest. but at the same time what they believe is that the situation would have been worse if they had not moved. what they say is that these jihadists were preparing to move south down the road to the maliian capital. if they had taken the capital than they would have controlled all of the country so it would have been like afghanistan was under the taliban: a whole country controlled by jihadists who would use it as a base for terrorism across the world. so although there is a lot of concern, anxiety and upset obviously about what has happened in algeria from the french point of view they're preventing a worse outcome.
>> brown: give us a sense of the fighting now, particularly in and around the town of diable. what kind of resistance are the french meeting? >> well, the jihadi fighters are very mobile, they have armored vehicles. they're not heavily armed. an officer i spoke today today said they didn't are have sfarz s surface-to-air missile, for example but they have a.k.-47s and rockett propelled grenades. there are air raids going on in diable about 100 miles up the road where from i am. i understand those jihadists are still in the town controlling the town and others have melted out into the bush. and i think that the great concern is while the french can stop the advance of the jihadis with air strikes and they can then do more with a ground assault alongside mallian forces what will then happen is that these jihadis they'll melt away
they'll go underground and then they'll come back. we've seen in the afghanistan we've seen it in iraq. improvised explosive device gorilla style attacks. >> brown: we heard reports of the arrival of the first african forces in mali. what's their mission and what's the expectation of the extent of the french military mission in the coming days? >> well, the french say that there will be 2500 french forces here. we're talking about marines foreign legion, air force many of them trained in desert warfare in chad. others who've been in the ivory coast, so neighboring african countries. their job will be to spearhead this and to have these first assaults that we've seen over the last few days. the african troops will probably be in more of a peacekeeping mission if there is a peace to keep. the problem that the african troops have-- including the mali
is that they have no logistics. it's extremely difficult for them to keep their troops fed and waters and sheltered provide ammunition and so on. so they will not be affected unless french other european and american forces help with logistics. >> brown: lindsey hilsum in mali thanks for talking to us. >> you're welcome. >> suarez: for more on the situation in mali and the wider region in north africa we get two views. j. peter pham is the director of the africa center at the atlantic council in washington, d.c. and retired colonel cedric leighton had a 26 year career in the air force where he focused on intelligence and did a number of stints in the middle east. he now has his own risk management consulting firm. peter pham you've heard lynn lindsey hilsum talk about france kicking the hornet's nest. do you agree that the action in algeria signals a regionalization of this conflict? that it's a very different thing now? >> very much so.
although it's been a regional challenge for some time-- except our attention wasn't focused upon it. but to remind us al qaeda in the islamic maghreb certainly staged this. i think they had several goals in mind. servely if they had been successful, grab a few more hostages they're already holding half a dozen french hostages to add to the number they could use and leverage. but what's interesting is what they didn't do. they didn't blow up that gas installation. that was reminder to the algerian government that we can strike, we didn't choose to do so but next time we could hit the vital oil and natural gas facilities which supply by the way one-fifth of europe's energy needs. so there are serious implications that could come out of this. >> suarez: you've got a nato partner in france fighting against a guerrilla army in mali. it's not an easy task is it? >> not at all. from a logistical standpoint i thought the itn reporter was spot on when she talked about
the logistical issues that are inherent in any kind of war but they are particularly in hernt in one where the climate is difficult, where the terrain is almost impossible and where you're really not used to configureing your forces in a way that allows you to move rapidly in this kind of terrain. it's very much adown the american southwest and it is a very, very difficult area not only from the standpoint of things like temperature and mountains and things of that nature, it's the nature of the terrain that makes it very difficult to move from one point to another. >> suarez: we've been covering the fight in mali over the last several days but algeria hasn't been in the news for a long time. what's the state of play there? who's running the place? >> there's a government in algeria it's one that probably we would describe as formerly a republic but an authoritarian state. certainly not a democracy. it's the one north african country that hasn't seen the arab spring. the extremists in northern mali
many of the leaders come from algeria. they're veterans of that war. mokhtar belmokhtar the one responsible for this attack an algerian, gone to afghanistan came back, fought in algeria for a while then moved south as pressure was put on him and now he's obviously making a play back in algeria yah again. >> suarez: so are a lot of the countries across the sahara vulnerable to this activity? >> every single country across the sahara is vulnerable. you talk about algeria peter mentioned that this is in essence an authoritarian government. authoritarian governments by their very nature are brittle governments. they're authoritarian far reason because they don't allow their population to do things because they don't dare allow the population to do things like democratic movements peaceable assembly, things we take for granted in the united states. but every single country if you take mali look at mauritania to the west of mali look to the
east of mali you have niger huge uranium deposits in niger fourth largest producer in the world. these are the kinds of things that could happen to each of these areas and they could then spread south into other parts of africa. the french difference the ivory coast is another big factor in all of this and it allows them a logistical jumping off point for the conflict in mali. but it's also a vulnerable area which has had its own difficulties of late. >> suarez: you mentioned the arab spring. was the fall of qaddafi and libya something that lit the fuse across these other countries? >> i wouldn't say it lit the fuse. i call it -- to follow on that metaphor perhaps it would be accelerant. there was always a spark. northern mali had been marginalized politically and economically for some time. the tuaregs were seeking some legitimate grievances to be redressed but then suddenly you had fighters who would experienced freed up former mercenaries of qaddafi. you had enormous stockpiles of
weapons unleash and you had al qaeda in the islamic maghreb has been for ten years a pretty good criminal organization making money off kidnapping for ransom protecting narco trafficers other contraband. then with this war chest they took it to market when the weapons became available and the fighters and now they're in business. >> suarez: so you mention it had natural endowments of these lands. they're very sparsely populated practically empty you might say. >> right. >> suarez: does the united states have a real interest in what goes on here and how does it express that interest without getting involved? >> it becomes very difficult. the real problem we have is to make sure that this does not become another jumping-off point for an al qaeda-like organization to attack the rest of the world. and that's the big danger. that's why the french acted. they believe that this is their version of afghanistan, in essence. in other words, the base for
militant groups to use to attack the homeland. in this case metropolitan france, the french part of europe. and for the united states, of course it's extremely important that the european integrity be kept hole. then when you look at other things that could possibly happen you look at the possible cutting off of uranium supplies and other energy supplies from this part of the world natural gas in the case of algeria oil in other parts of the middle east and north africa uranium and niger all of these things become exceptionally important and if for example, in nigeria which is further south, if the oil supply from there is disrupt that could have a significant effect on the oil markets and on all of our strategic interests in and around the world. >> suarez: in recent years the united states opened an africa command. what does it do and would it be naturally involved in either watching or actively participating in suppressing this mallian revolt?
>> certainly the africa command will have responsibility when our civilian leaders decide what it is that america is going to do here. as cedric just said we clearly have interest in the region but we need to define our objectives and the french to be quite frank need to define their objectives. so far we've gotten a grab bag of list of ziterata but we need objectives to find and then we need to match resources and means and approaches to achieving those objectives and i think that's the key to managing the challenge we have there. otherwise we're going to find ourselves quickly sucked into a veritable quagmire. >> suarez: but it's a big challenge? >> a huge challenge. and to playoff of peter's point it's essential in the essence of what we're talking about is developing a strategy and the strategy is the ends that you're seeking, the means that you use to get to those ends and the way in which you do that. so it's an ends ways and means type equation that you have to go through from a military
perspective. and if the ends ways and means aren't clear then we get into a position where you can actually get into a quagmire, it would be very very difficult to extricate ourselves from and that's the big danger with mali. you don't want that to happen. you want to continue what's going on there and you want to make it a very clear delineation between the areas that are held by the tuaregs and ansar al dine as well as the government in mali and that structure is subject to change. >> suarez: cedric leighton peter pham, thank you both. >> my pleasure. >> brown: still to come on the "newshour": increasing treatment for the mentally ill; limiting evidence in the wikileaks trial; turning on the lights in rural india and "ask amy" remembers "dear abby." but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: the al-shabab militant group in somalia announced today it executed a french hostage. he was identified as intelligence agent denis allex, who'd been held since mid 2009. the militants, who are linked to
al-qaida, said they killed him last night. french officials say they believe allex was killed last weekend when french commandos tried and failed to rescue him. in iraq, another round of bomb attacks killed at least 26 people. most of the victims were shi-ite pilgrims. the worst of the attacks killed 11 people and wounded more than 60 near dujail, north of baghdad. two car bombs exploded near pilgrims who were headed to a shrine. the bombings extended a wave of violence that's killed nearly 60 iraqis since yesterday. a u.s. military judge has ordered a sanity review for a soldier accused of murdering 16 afghan civilians last march. the ruling came after staff sergeant robert bales declined to enter a plea. he was arraigned today at joint base lewis-mcchord, near seattle. outside court, defense lawyers said bales has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. questions swirled today around notre dame football star manti te'o. it came out wednesday that the story of his on-line girlfriend, who supposedly died of leukemia, was all a hoax, and that she never existed. the website deadspin.com broke
the story, and said te'o may have been complicit in the ruse. the university said its investigation showed the middle linebacker was duped. athletic director jack swarbrick spoke last night. >> i want to stress as someone who has probably been engaged in this as anyone, in the past couple of weeks, that nothing about what i have learned has shaken my faith in manti te'o. one iota. >> sreenivasan: in his own statement, te'o said he was the victim of a sick joke. notre dame officials said the motive for the scam remains unclear. the international olympic committee stripped lance armstrong today of the bronze cycling medal he won in the 2000 summer games. the announcement came amid reports that armstrong confessed to doping, in an interview with oprah winfrey. the interview airs in two parts, starting tonight, on her t.v. channel. the i.o.c. said the timing of its decision was unrelated to the interview. nearly all the new boeing 787 dreamliners in service have now
been grounded worldwide. the jets sat idle on tarmacs today as europe india and others grounded the 787's in their jurisdictions. two major japanese airlines and the u.s. federal aviation authority did so yesterday. boeing has delivered 50 of the cutting-edge planes so far. but at least two battery leaks, just ten days apart, have triggered safety reviews. wall street rode some upbeat economic reports to higher ground today. first-time claims for jobless benefits hit a five-year low last week, and housing starts in december were the best since the summer of 2008. in response, the dow jones industrial average gained more than 84 points to close at 13596. the nasdaq rose 18 points to close at 3,136. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to ray. >> suarez: and we turn to the reaction to the president's proposals on guns, mental health and school safety. >> the fact that's it's not easy doesn't mean we shouldn't try. >> suarez: a day after president
obama announced his plan to attack gun violence, his spokesman acknowledged how hard it will be to get congress to go along. >> if having an assault weapons ban become law again were easy it would never have expired. if the variety of other actions that the president proposes we take as a nation were without conflict, we wouldn't be having this discussion. >> suarez: that call for a new, stricter prohibition against military assault-style weapons is already being rejected by house republicans. it's also gotten a mixed response even among senate democrats, not to mention the gun lobby. >> most of the proposals that have to do with firearms are simply feel good proposals that have been tried in the past and won't work or won't have any real impact. >> suarez: on "cbs this morning," the national rifle association president david keene did say the group might support universal background checks, if they could be made to
work. >> the difficulty comes in when you're talking about you and me as next door neighbors and you buy a new shotgun and want to sell one to me. how do you enforce a background check on that? we want to see the proposal but as a general proposition, the n.r.a. has been very supportive of doing background checks. >> suarez: meanwhile, the head of the u.s. conference of mayors meeting in washington said the president had answered the group's written appeal for action. philadelphia mayor michael nutter: >> the plan president obama unveiled yesterday includes much of what we asked for in that letter. we will work with the president and the congress to get critically needed legislation reforms enacted now. >> suarez: and vice president joe biden told the mayors not to believe the voices of doubt. >> there are some who say the most powerful voice in this debate belongs to the gun lobby and those that demand a stop to these common sense approaches to save lives.
i think they're wrong. this time, this time will not be like times that have come before. >> suarez: and away from washington in aurora, colorado-- the movie theater where 12 people were killed last july, reopened this evening, with a ceremony for the victims. >> brown: we look at the realities of these proposals now from two experts. adding new psychologists to schools, asking teachers to help identify which students may need mental health treatment and making it easier for states to make information about individuals with mental illnesses available to the background check system. dr. paramjit joshi is director of psychiatry at the children's national medical center in washington, d.c. and the president-elect of the american academy of child and adolescent psychiatry. she has taught and published and barry rosenfeld is professor of psychology and director of clinical training at fordham university. he is a clinical forensic psychologist, whose recent work has focused on assessing the
risk of violence in patients. i barry rosenfeld, i'd like to start right there. what's the problem that we need to understand in trying to determine in advance who might be capable of violence as we saw in new toub? >> well, the essence of the problem is that it's a needle in a stay stack. so we've got almost an infinite number of people-- i shouldn't say infinite-- a very large number of people who will fit any profile we might generate and we want to find the one person who's potentially going to be homicidal. there just isn't really a way statistically to identify or clinically to identify that person with any real accuracy. >> brown: dr. joshi does that mean such limits we can't know what can be done? >> the issue however is that young children and adolescents who sometimes will have aggressive behaviors early on and i think whole issue of trying to access care early on
would go a long way in trying to prevent some of the more aggressive and violent behaviors as these youngsters get older. so i applaud president obama's recommendations and proposals he's put forth about early intervention, early identification and increasing the number of resources both in schools and also generally in the mental health system. >> brown: well just to put a little bit more detail on there in schools for example what in -- in what he said would most help, do you think? would be most important? >> i think the most important thing is to provide the services in the school systems by having counselors by having psychologists, mental health workers in the cool setting because that's where children spend most of their day. it's easily accessible and, in fact there was a mental health and school act that was proposed
in the 112th congress that put forth funding for the this particular intervention and i'm hoping that the sad horrific event will make us rethink supporting this particular bill. >> brown: what about that barry rosenfeld? what are the possibilities there? what are the limitation there is? >> well, i certainly would agree. i applaud the president for the idea of expanding mental health services. it's an indirect solution to a much more present problem. i think the more we can improve general mental health functioning among kids and young people and adults and our returning war veterans the better we are at the macro level but we still have that same problem of individuals who most need these services being very
hard to identify and once the differences have started to stanley mcchrystalize i don't know we'll have much success having an extra counsel knorr the school. i think we have to put more resources into understanding violence to begin with. i'm always shocked of how little of our national institutes of health money goes towards understanding violence and the causes and the treatments for it. we've just not prioritized the understanding side of things and the prevention side of things. so i certainly applaud the mental health services. >> brown: go ahead dr. joshi. >> but at the same time it's a well-known fact 50% of those who have eventually a mental illness start before the age of 14 and about three quarters have mental illnesses by the time they reach 24. so in my mind and from my perspective mental health is really a children's issue so if we can catch them young and intervene early on i think we'll go a long way in not seeing
adults becoming aggressive violent, because we'll'd be able to treat some of it early on. the. >> brown: all these things we're talking about identifying people with problems then there's the question of reporting. and if you get the right people and cast to too wide a net. tell us what you see what the president talked about what they're looking at in your state, in new york. what is possible and what are the concerns there? >> i think there's a lot of concerns and i think a few possibilities. of course we all want to identify potentially violent people. the idea that we're going to cast this very wide net of anyone that raises any concern and have limited resources as to what to do with that i worry quite a bit that we're going to be increasingly infringing on people's rights out of this fear that with what if this is the one person? what if this is the needle in
the haystack? i think there's a lot of potential ramifications. i think there's a lot of concerns it will inhibit people from getting mental health treatment if they feel like going and talking to their doctor about, for example thoughts to hurt themselves. we we know there's a link between the desire to hurt one's self and the actions against other people. so are we going to deter people from seeking treatment for their depression because they don't want to be hospitalized as potentially homicidal? i certainly don't -- i think it's a well-intentioned approach but i don't know that it's going to solve problems in terms of capturing the one person, that needle in haystack, as it is that we're really interested in. >> brown: paramjit joshi, what do you think about the concerns about reporting? >> i would agree that the net is being cast very wide and it very well may deter people. it's walking a really fine line
about keeping the public safe and at the same time protecting their privacy. and with children and adolescents we get the sense from the parents to treat young patients so in some sense it's a little less of an issue with our children and teenagers as it is with grown-ups but i do agree that it might really deter people from speaking very openly to their psychiatrist and other mental health providers about what's going on in their mind. >> if i could add something -- >> sure, please. >> if i could add something i think that we have a real risk with children and adolescents. as someone identified in the school are they going to be sent out of the school so now they're not able to return to the school because psychologists express concern? that could impact an incredibly large number of children i think. many of whom the vast vast majority of whom aren't a risk. >> brown: just briefly
dr. joshi, there's this need to find people and let authorities know. >> again as i said earlier it's walking a fine line balancing the individuality and the privacy of the patient and at the same time keeping folks safe. i think we have to be deliberate. we have to be thoughtful about how we proceed and we will have to see how best to really identify at the same time be able to provide services. my sense is before we even get to the point of severe aggression in some of these youngsters hopefully we can catch it early so it doesn't get to that point. and that's where early identification and prevention comes in. >> brown: we'll leave it there. josh josh josh barry rosenfeld thank you both very much. >> my pleasure, thank you. >> suarez: in the wake of the newtown massacre, the "newshour" asked students from the 45 schools participating in our student reporting labs project about ways to prevent the next
school shooting. here is sampling of what they said. >> all of these kids and all of these adults, a lot of adults that are hurting people it's because they have access to the guns so i feel like they just need to tighten up the system and change the rules about gun regulations. >> in west virginia we're all hunters here so everybody's concerned about, you know they're going to take our guns away and honestly that's not the solution. you know when you couldn't make alcohol before they still did it people will still have guns no matter what you do so you can just raise awareness and to hope that this doesn't happen again. >> i would hate to say it but just gun control period. yes i understand that in our constitution it says we have the right to bear arms but who are we giving the arms out to? so when it comes to schools i
would say institute metal detectors but that will cost a lot of money but at least check the people coming in. >> probably the most common conversation a lot of people are having and one that i've been having with my friends and family that's a little friendly debate going on about gun laws should they be stricter should they not be stricter? go do guns kill people or do people kill people or do people with guns kill people? i think that's the conversation i've had with a lot of my friends. it's brought up a lot of interesting view points. they realize it's not just a black-and-white situation. >> to prevent this fromn i guess schools could enforce more security and stricter gun laws. i think more importantly that the united states needs to get a handle on mental illness better because it's not like your average people just doing this. it's people in have something wrong with them. >> with over 30 school shootings it's vital that we come up with
a non-lethal way so have a defense system for our teachers and students. we could come -- we could have a box that is similar to a fire extinguisher box that when you open it an alarm will sound and it will go to both the -- throughout the school and the police stations. in it could be a defense system like bear spray or something as strong. with something like this the shooting in connecticut could have been stopped a lot sooner. i don't know how to prevent it. there's really no right way to do it. there's no wrong way to do it. because really anyone -- you never know you never know who somebody is or what somebody is capable of and no matter what safety precautions things in the world still happen i would
love to say there's an easy answer so no other kids would ever die in their school but that's not possible. it's not going to happen. >> suarez: >> suarez: those were the voices of young people from our student reporting labs project. you can learn how they first found out about the tragedy and their initial reactions. watch that on our website. >> brown: now, wikileaks, secret cables and the case against the soldier who allegedly took them. hari sreenivasan is back with our update. >> sreenivasan: bradley manning, the army private at the center of the largest leak of state secrets in america's history, is to begin court martial in june. he was arrested in may 2010 while serving in iraq and charged with stealing and sharing hundreds of thousands of classified government cables, many of which were published by the whistleblowing website, wikileaks. manning, who is 25 years old, faces 22 charges including "aiding the enemy" which carries a life sentence.
a pre-trail hearing concluded yesterday and joining me now to talk about it is arun rath of pbs' "frontline" and pri's "the world." he has been covering the manning case from the beginning. so arun, this is sort of what sets the ground rules for what will happen in the trial right? >> yeah basically in these hearings these pre-trial hearings they're basically arguing about the kind of arguments they can make in court, the parameters of the arguments that bradley manning and his defense can make in a terms of defending himself against these charges. what's a little unusual about the hearings that we've been seeing so far is that they've turned into more of a -- a bit of a dress rehearse avl for the trial itself and for what might be a sentencing actually because his attorneys have essentially admitted in their court pleadings so far that bradley manning is responsible for the leaks. so it's changed from a situation of the trial being -- did he really do it to yes he did but here are the reasons why it
doesn't rise to the level of being a crime. >> both sides the prosecution and the defense, have had a few victorys or setbacks whichever way you want to look at. so whaet what's been working in the prosecution's favor? >> well, what's worked in their favor is just last night the judge ruled that motive cannot be considered here. the fact that bradley manning may have leaked these documents in order to do the right thing. that doesn't matter. what matters is was he guilty of the crime on the merits? so that was a significant victory for the prosecution. that can't be entered into evidence. >> reporter: what about the defense. anything that worked in their favor over the past few weeks. >> not an awful lot there have been a couple places where they have been given ground which i think they can take heart in. one is that they will be able to introduce evidence that bradley manning was selected by the information that he leaked, that he specifically tried not to leak information that would damage national security the other is the prosecution has to prove that that bradley manning not only was providing
information he knew would get to the enemy-- meaning al qaeda-- just leaking to wikileaks wasn't enough. that he knew the information would get into al qaeda's hands. >> brown: i've been seeing reports that the prosecution will try to prevent is that some of this information was on osama bin laden's computer or at least a request for it was. why is that important? >> well that's crucial to the biggest charge against manning which is aiding the enemy. and if they're trying to show the evidence that these leaked documents got through al qaeda they're introducing this evidence gathered apparently from the about compound where bin laden was killed. these are apparently messages that came out asking for specific documents that were leaked in the wikileaks trove specifically documents the war logs of iraq and afghanistan. so they have these apparently from -- in bin laden's own voice asking for these specific documents. the. >> sreenivasan: okay. and there were also lots of different intelligence agencies who had done assessments on how damaging this could have been to the united states and we're
hearing that that's not going to be admissible. >> and it's actually a peculiar thing because earlier the judge had ruled that the defense-- bradley manning's defense-- could have access to these documents. these are reports from intelligence agencies where they assess how much damage was done by the release of these documents. they're classified and they're letting the defense look at them but then they ruled last night they cannot use these documents during the trial. they need to feature them during the sentencing hearing but during the trial they can't -- they're allowed to look at them but can't bring them into evidence. >> sreenivasan: you've been in court and had the chance to see bradley manning. what does he look like? what impressed you about him? >> of all the people called to the stand bradley manning came across as the most appealing witness. he was -- i wouldn't say charming not traditional charisma but something about the fact that he's a young kind of geeky kid a little awkward
he's a sympathetic character. he's talking about the ways he was held in quantico in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day. he talked about a classic catch-22 situation where he would do these things during the day to keep himself scene like talking to himself in a mirror or dancing in his cell and at the same time these were used as evidence against him as evidence that he was mentally unstable. >> sreenivasan: he was arrested in 2010. this hasn't been a speedy trial. does this start? june? is there a possible plea agreement? >> it's been delayed multiple times june is looking more realistic because there's a lot that has happened. it's possible there might be a plea agreement before then this is the issue in a trial that bradley manning has been denied his right to a speedy trial. traditionally under military law you're supposed to have a trial within 120 days and bradley manning has been incarcerated -- we're in the third year now.
over a thousand days. the prosecution says the reason for that is this is an extraordinary case. we have 250,000 diplomatic cables to go through and assess the damage, that we need this time to go through it. but the defense says that this is a miscarriage of justice. >> sreenivasan: arun rath of pbs's "frontline" and the world thanks for joining us. >> thanks, hari. >> suarez: our next story comes from india, where entrepreneurs are turning crippling power grid problems into opportunity. special correspondent fred de sam lazaro filed this report for our "agents for change" series. >> reporter: last year, when india suffered a massive power blackout-- the worst in its history-- television anchorman rajdeep sardesai happened to be lunching with the top government official in charge of power, as the news came in.
>> for the next hour, we didn't stop the lunch. we went ahead with the lunch. the power minister was lunching with a journalist rather than being there in his office directing operations. that in itself epitomized for me that it wasn't being treated as a national emergency but another day in the office. >> reporter: despite billions of dollars in new infrastructure, power interruptions are chronic in india. consumers large and small rely on back up generators, at huge cost to both the environment and economy says energy expert kirit parikh. he traces the problem to policies that never really took into account the cost of power and gave it away to some consumers >> we started out with saying farmers should get cheap and free electricity. this was 30 years ago when we wanted farmers to really adopt more modern technologies, it was considered a good way to promote green revolution. >> reporter: power was distributed cheaply or free to farmers and other groups who's votes politicians courted. little effort was made to meter it.
that prompted many people to hook themselves up, illegally. parikh says a third of all power is stolen off the grid. >> of the generated electricity is not charged to anyone. >> reporter: with little new money coming in, public utilities haven't been able to expand capacity or to buy enough fuel like coal or natural gas-- both in short supply anyway. power must be rationed but some regions overdraw their allotment. that can cause the system to shut down, or as it did last year collapse. but power failures are just the tip of the iceberg-- the urban half of a much larger power problem. the grid failure may have knocked out power out to a vast area; 600 million people live in it. but to anywhere from a third to a half of them, it really didn't matter because they've never been hooked up to the electric grid. vast swaths of rural india remain off the grid or get
minimal, unpredictable service from it. >> in the evening, nothing is visible. it's all dark. life ceases to exist after sunset. >> reporter: ratinesh yadav has tried to tackle at least this part of the problem. he and a partner founded a company called husk power. their idea: village-based micro grids at this one in the village of patelli, tractors arrive with rice husks-- the by product of milling this regions staple crop. it is poured into a hopper-about 100 pounds per hour and gassified to run a simple turbine. early each evening 700 customers have access to power for five hours. ram singh is one. he runs a tiny snack shop that can now stays open three hours later.
>> ( translated ): it's not so dark here so people are more comfortable coming in later. business is much better. >> reporter: the newly electrified homes stand out in the dark with children clustered around the single light bulb doing home work. just one, low power turbine is enough to make the enterprise viable, yadav. >> 32 kilowatt is a small amount of energy but for places like these it is huge. it can power, on an average it powers 450 households. because their primary needs right now is light and cell phone recharging. >> reporter: in five years, husk power has installed 75 of these simple plants. their networks cover an area no bigger than a couple of square miles, with wires strung on poles made from bamboo-- a renewable resource like the rice husk fuel. >> the good thing about this rice husk is it has no alternative uses. it doesn't burn easily so you can't cook with it, you can't
feed it to cattle because it has high silica in it so it is a waste; it has no value for anybody else. and it is in plenty. >> reporter: yadav was speaking on this day to a group of foreign, so-called impact investors, who put their dollars into socially conscious enterprises. "the business model," he said, "relies on simple, cheap and green technology-and local control." each plant is franchised to local entrepreneurs. in this village, it's shambhu singh. >> ownership and operation is his responsibility. we take care of maintenance and after sales service. >> reporter: and how is electricity generated? >> we use double jacketed wires and lay down our own distribution network and connect customers houses from that. >> reporter: jacketed or insulated wires prevent both accidental electrocution-and power theft. local franchisee singh, whose family was in the textile
business, said he's had no problem signing people up. >> in the first month, i got 25... >> reporter: in just five months, singh told the group that number has grown to 700. he collects payment in advance each month. "not hard," he says because service is reliable and costs the equivalent of just 50 cents, less than the far dimmer and dirtier, kerosene lanterns or candles. how long does it take to recover the investment that you did in this plant? >> ( translated ): two, two and a half years. >> everybody is making profit. everybody's benefiting. it's not a charity. >> reporter: the visitors seemed to agree and want in. eric berkowitz, who is with a singapore based fund has invested $2.5 million and likes husk powers growth prospects. >> as people increase in income which hopefully they will that'll create new livelihood opportunities. they'll have opportunities to incrementally increase electricity that they'll take from these solutions and maybe add maybe two lights, three
lights, a radio, a tv, a refrigerator. it's not the only solution, there are other solutions involving solar technologies and husk power is looking at those solutions as well. >> reporter: renewable fuel plants also qualify for subsidies from india's government and possibly credits in a global carbon trade. power expert parikh appreciates what micro plants can provide but he doesn't see them as a long term solution. >> most people aspire to have electricity when they flip the system button and get power as and when they want it, so this is the kind of enterprise that do work on a small scale. when you really add up, how many megawatts can you really provide this way? i'm sure it's a wonderful idea they're getting electricity till the time the grid comes and reaches them. >> reporter: he acknowledges that time may be a ways off- before 24-7 grid power reaches all of india, or even the urban
areas that suffered most from the massive blackout. as the debate rages on in delhi over the right mix of coal, nuclear and green energy, husk powers goal is to install almost 2,000 new micro grids in the rural areas by 2015. >> brown: fred's reporting is a partnership with the under-told stories project at saint mary's university in minnesota. >> suarez: finally tonight, remembering the original dear abby. that's the name tens of millions of newspaper readers around the globe recognized for more than four decades. the woman behind the pen name abigail van buren was pauline phillips, born 94 years ago in sioux city, iowa. she provided snappy, frank advice in a column that eventually appeared in more than one thousand papers in its heyday before the age of the web.
amy dickinson, who writes the advice column "ask amy", is one of many columnists who have followed in the years since. and she joins us now. welcome to the program. what was it about abigail van buren. was it her tone? her life experience? her sympathy? what made her so credible to so many readers? >> well, you know i think it's amazing when i think about it because she started something over 60 years ago that's really basically still going very strong. what it is was you know she wasn't a doctor, she was not a psychologist she wasn't really trained, so to speak. but what she was was very practical, midwesterns common sense and people trusted her and you could tell from reading her column that she was very genuine she was very wise she was super
snappy, which i love, of course. and you know she had just created a tremendous legacy. >> suarez: she occasionally doled out tough love occasionally contacted people who wrote her she that she thought might be in real trouble you mentioned she wasn't a doctor but she must have had some kind of authority after all that time? >> part of it is in the writing. it's the authority that your auntie has or that are that smart mom next door has. the idea that she would respect you while she was listening to you and sometimes respect you to dole out a little smack and i wasn't aware of her passing yesterday and i wrote the line "that's the tough part of tough love." and in a a way that line is -- it started with dear abbey.
>> well, you could see the country and its mores changing over time through her column with the kind of things, the kinds of problems that readers brought to her. does that continue to this day? does that see this changing in the kind of problems mesh have? >> absolutely. when you go back as i have done and read her columns from the '40s '50s '60s they're very much a capsule of their time the advice remains constant in that it's smart. letters i get -- i mean i probably get 50 querys a day about facebook about social media and its impact on relationships. but the advice i give it's grounded in the source of things that dear abbey was talking about in the '50s and '60s. >> you know amy when you replaced ann landers in the chicago tribute in fact dear
abbey's sister her twin sister yet, there was no question that the paper was going to find another advice columnist in and deep franchise going the only question was who was going to do it and you were chosen. why is in the this day in age, in 2013, when there's so many sources and so many kinds of information that that's an essential component of a newspaper? >> i think this is the genre that's really tried and true and ray, where would we be if you opened your newspaper to the back and the jumble and the comic strips and the crossword puzzle and where would you be if you didn't see an advice column there. it's very much a part of what we've come to expect in newspapers and frankly it's about the only place in a newspaper where readers really communicate directly with the writer. >> suarez: you mentioned you sort of went to school on
abigail van buren's columns. are her ways that stick with you or you modeled yourself after? >> well, mainly it's the -- it's sort of this genuine honesty this is also a lot of compassion and i think it's very easy to stand up there and tell people what to do but to do it with warmth and kindness and compassion while still occasionally serving up a nice helping of tough love that's tricky and she was a master. >> suarez: amy dickinson writes the "ask amy" column for the "chicago tribune" and syndicated papers all around the country. thanks for joining us. thank you. >> brown: again, the other major developments of the day: algerian special forces completed a day-long operation to free hostages, including some americans, held by islamist militants.
there were widely varied accounts of how many hostages survived. a second straight day of bombings in iraq brought the number killed to nearly 60. and vice president biden told u.s. mayors that the stage is set for action to curb gun violence, despite those who say congress won't go along. online, we poll expatriates and globetrotters the on cost and quality of life abroad. hari sreenivasan tells us more. >> sreenivasan: economics correspondent paul solman wants to know where you live and where, if anywhere, is the standard of living higher than right here in the united states? you can respond on our making sense page. that and more is on our website newshour.pbs.org. ray? >> suarez: and that's the "newshour" for tonight. i'm ray suarez. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. 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 the william and flora hewlett 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. captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org