tv The News Hour With Jim Lehrer PBS October 1, 2009 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> lehrer: good evening, i'm jim lehrer. on the newshour this thursday: the lead story, the aftermath of the south pacific earthquakes leaving more than 500 dead in indonesia. then come the other news of the day, including china's elaborate celebration of 60 years of communist rule. margaret warner takes up new allegations of fraud in the afghan elections. jeffrey brown looks at the high level talks with iran about its nuclear program. and ray suarez tells a story of some 4 million year old bones. major funding for the newshour with jim lehrer is provided by: >> what the world needs now is energy. the energy to get the economy humming again. the energy to tackle challenges
like climate change. what is that energy came from an energy company? everyday, chevron invests $62 million in people, in ideas-- seeking, teaching, building. fueling growth around the world to move us all ahead. this is the power of human energy. chevron. >> this is the engine that connects abundant grain from the american heartland to haran's best selling wheat, while keeping 60 billion pounds of carbon out of the atmosphere every year. bnsf, the engine that connects us. intel. supporting math and science education for tomorrow's innovators. >> and by wells fargo advisors. together, we'll go far. 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. >> lehrer: the death toll soared today in the twin disasters in indonesia and the samoan islands. officials in indonesia reported at least 777 dead after wednesday's powerful earthquake there. rescuers on sumatra hunted for the missing and injured. and the u.n. humanitarian chief said the count could reach 1,100 dead. we begin our lead story coverage with a report from james mates of independent television news. >> reporter: where 24 hours earlier there were high rise apartments and offices, today there are mountains of rubble.
somewhere buries beneath this devastation there still people who survived, trapped and running out of time. it is a desperate fight to reach them while they can still be helped.o for many there could be no help. indonesian authorities are warning the number of dead could run into thousands. what we're seeing here is typical. the hotels, hospitals, schools, the big public buildings, they're the ones that collapsed and they tier reason the death toll is so high. as we trove through the city earlier this afternoon, most houses are unaffected. this, of course, is a heavy earthquake zone and houses are built for it. but it seem it is big public buildings were not. local television broadcast these pictures of the panic and confusion in the center of the port city of padang immediately after yesterdays earthquake, the air is full of dust, people appear to be trying to get away
from the worst affected areas where buildings have collapsed. since then padang has experienced a night where fires started by the earthquake burned as ordinary people led the operation to recover those lost underneath the many collapsed buildings. here is a young man, he is conscious. but he must wait for lifting equipment to remove the masonry that is trapping him. many of the injured are being treated in makeshift centers as padang's main hospital have been severely damaged by the earthquake. there have been moments to encourage the rescue teams, here a woman covered in dust is pulled alive from the rubble where she has been entombed since the earthquake struck. standing in the remains of what was padang's best known hotel, indonesia's president yudhoyono promised more life saving
equipment and medical teams wd arrive soon. but for many it is already too late, with aftershocks and a second lesser earthquake to contend with this operation is being carried out in the most desperate circumstances. survivors are finding it hard to understand what has befallen their city and their families. >> lehrer: more bodies were also found today on american samoa and its neighboring islands. a tsunami struck there on monday, after an offshore earthquake. at least 150 people in the islands were confirmed dead today as the search for survivors and victims went on. we get that part of the story from john ray of independent television news, in samoa. >> reporter: the giant waves swam samoa are tpw +*eufing up their tpwa +*sly secrets.
>> my dad was found yesterday. just my mom today. >> body after body recoverd from the sea were found amid mile after mile of tangled debris along the ruined shore. helen wright and becky tpwhraou survived where others perished. to you count yourself lucky to be alive? >> oh, my god, yeah. >> so lucky. >> oh... it was seconds between life and death. absolutely. >> there were people who were in the same place and they didn't make it. >> they were staying here until two days ago, a popular beach resort. the same terrifying waves that destroyed it also claim it had two-year-old son of a british couple, pulld from his father's arms by the churning water. >> the noise you could hear the wave coming and the noise was just absolutely deafenning and you could hear the buildings crashing. stpwhr-f i remember hearing it
behind me. i remember feeling so scared and just running and running and climbing and climbing and climbs and there was all these palm trees under me that just kept slipping and then i got up kind of as high as i could and the water was by my ankles. and then somebody star screaming "there's another wave coming" and so i climbed up higher. and, again, thank god i did because when the second wave came it swept away where i'd be standing. >> there are piles of passports so far unclimbed by tourists and a temporary morgue to store the dead. as night fell, samoans kept a watch over their property, but in truth, there was little left to guard. tonight across these shatterred islands, shock at the sheer power of the waves and the scale of the destruction is gaving we to grief. much here can be rebuilt, but lost lives will never be
replaced. and the mourning is still only beginning. >> lehrer: in other news today there were troubling new reports on the u.s. economy. claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week. factory activity dropped in september. and most auto makers reported sales fell last month as well. it was all too much for wall street. the dow jones industrial average lost 203 points or 2% to close at 9509. the nasdaq fell nearly 65 points to close at 2057, a loss of 3%. a key senate committee neared the end of its work on health care reform today after a battle over taxes. republicans tried to kill a mandate that most americans buy health insurance. they said it amounts to taxing the middle class. democrats answered the real goal was to gut the bill, and the debate went back and forth. >> all i've done is provide that
if that bill results in an increase in taxes on those making less than $250,000 a year then the taxes will not have to be paid by them. that is the promise and the pledge that the president has made to the american people about the tax impact of the legislation that he has said should come before him. >> we have to have shared responsibility and that shared response is that all americans are in this we all have to participate. whish means there has to be a shared responsibility for individuals to buy health insurance. essentially, what you're saying is you want to take away the personal responsibility. that's basically what you're saying. >> lehrer: democrats also claimed the bill amounts to a $40 billion tax cut over the next decade. a final committee vote could come next week. the u.s. house is now on record against releasing new photos of u.s personnel abusing detainees
in iraq and elsewhere. the vote today backed a decision by president obama not to release the photos. as part of the same vote, the house opposed transferring any detainees from the guantanamo bay prison to the u.s. it now appears some shipments of the seasonal flu vaccine will be delayed. the largest suppliers to the us said today they have delayed or cut the number of doses being shipped. they said it's partly because of the rush to make millions of doses of the swine flu vaccine. china celebrated its 60th anniversary of communist rule today. the regime marked the occasion in beijing with a massive show of patriotic fervor and military might. we have a report from nick payton walsh of independent television news. >> reporter: it was a party for the party. an unprecedented display of military might, paralyzing
beijing. meant to show the world, and moreover the chinese people, that 60 years of communism has built a new superpower. and to show the upheaval, sacrifice, and change has been worth it. president hu jintao dressed to echo the past. in 1949 mao tsedung stood here and declared china a people's republic. today's show a backdrop for hu to declare china "towers majestically in the east". the people who have their destiny in their own hands and are united, will overcome al difficulties and obstacles and will continuously make great historic achievements. intercontinental nuclear missiles, and ranks of armed female militia, all clearly pleasing the party secretary.
this was authoritarianism saying it works. a day to ignore that china's economic miracle has both poor and rich. police and their civilian helpers swamping a city where everything from pigeons to kites were banned. pictures of the parade are being beamed live to people across beijing and the country, but the capital is in lockdown, intense security. a display heavily choreographed down to the last detail and obsessed with proving whatever pain china's people have seen in the last 60 years and continue to entour, the result has been worth it. >> lehrer: the anniversary also
brought small demonstrations, in hong kong. 200 people marched there, condemning china's record on human rights. a federal judge has ordered the fbi to release notes from an interview with vice president cheney in 2004. the interview focused on who leaked the name of an operative at the cia. both the bush and obama administrations argued against releasing the notes. instead, the judge ruled today the investigation is over, so most of the material must be made public. there was no word on a possible appeal. the toll of civilians killed in iraq was the lowest last month since the u.s. invasion six years ago. the iraqi health ministry reported today 125 iraqis were killed in september. that was down by two-thirds from august when nearly 400 people were killed. roadside bombings and shootings still occur in iraq, but the u.s. military said attacks have fallen by 85% in the last two years.
>> lehrer: and still to come on the newshour tonight: the iran talks; and a new discovery of old bones. that follows the latest on the challenged afghan elections. margaret warner has the story. >> warner: exactly six weeks have passed since afghanistan's presidential election and the outcome is still unresolved. last month, afghanistan's independent election commission reported preliminary results showing incumbent president hamid karzai had won 54.6% of the vote, but amid allegations of ballot box stuffing and fraud, a higher body, the united nations-backed electoral complaints commission, ordered a partial recount. now, the un's lead entity in kabul, the un assistance mission in afghanistan, has also become embroiled in the election dispute.
yesterday, the u.n. dismissed the top u.s. official at the mission, former ambassador peter galbraith, after a falling out with his boss. u.n. special representative kai eide, over how to deal with the widespread charges. in a letter to u.n. secretary general ban ki moon monday, galbraith charged that eide had shown partiality to the karzai government, refusing to take steps to prevent the fraud, and trying to conceal it afterwards. he said eide: but ban fired galbaith from the kabul post, and issued a statement reaffiriming his "full support" for eide. he said he "made this decision in the best interest of the mission." last night, eide defended his handling of the election controversy.
>> warner: and peter galbraith joins us now. he's served in a number of diplomatic posts, including as u.s. ambassador to croatia in the clinton administration. from the united nations, we have edwin moulet, and welcome to you both, thank you both for being with us. mr. galbraith, beginning with you, these are very serious charges, let's start with the runup to the elections. you say that the u.n. special representative failed and blocked you from taking steps that could have prevented or limited the fraud. what could the u.n. have done? >> in july is before the
elections i came to the key problem was going to come from best to polling stations. that is to say polling stations which were located on maps that were in areas that were either too insecure to open or even controlled by the taliban and so these, of course, would be places that no observers could two, no candidate agents could go and, in fact, no voters would go. but the materials would two out, they wouldn't, of course, two to these locations, they would be an opportunity to rig them and they would come back. i pushed the afghan ministers of defense and interior and the independent election commission to eliminate these from the roster they complained to the chief of the mission and he ordered me not to do anything further on this matter. now it wasn't a matter of the u.n. making the the sigs it was
simply advice and urging of the election commission of the afghans to make the decision. >> warner: what's your response to that, mr. moulet? >> i think it's the role of the united nations mission in afghanistan right now to support and provide all the technical assistance to the electoral bodies and institutions in afghanistan the electoral independent commission and the electoral complaints commission. independent bodies and that is our role. this is... these elections belong to the after fwan people and then we cannot meddle and we cannot judge the way these institutions are working. there is now ongoing an audit that mr. galbraith has been supportive of that will determine the fraud allegations. and this audit will be completed some time in the next days and low pressure determine if there's a need for a second round of runoff elections or not.
indeed, there was a fraud, it was determined that way but less claims of fraud this time conducted by the afghans themselves, this election, than in previous elections so we have to give time to these ins us to do their job and deliver the outcome. we cannot be judged and middle into the internal affairs. >> warner: ambassador the ball brait, what about that point that it would have been meddling to try to at least preemptively prevent polling stations from opening on the part of the u.n. at least=.. >> first, margaret, while these are after fwan-run elections they are paid for by the international community top the tune of $300 million mostly from u.s. taxpayers and the united nations has a mandate to support free, fair, and transparent elections now 40 these ghost
polling station prose deuced hundreds of thousands of votes that were never actually cost by voters. and of course the people who objected to a u.n. interference were ministered whose continued tenure in office was in fact to turn out to be benefited by the fraud that took place so i think it was correct for the united nations to engage in us role as supporting these elections with the after fwan institutions to push them to deal with the problem. ins tently, there was no question of closing any polling stations. these were places that had never been visited by the after fwan army, the afghan police or the afghan election officials.
>> are. >> warner: are you suggested that members of the highest level of the karzai government were deliberately engaged in aiding abetting the fraud or did not want interference. >> well, they did not want interference that would have prevented the it shall or reduced the risk of fraud and then later in the process when the independent election commission-- which really isn't independented, it's appointed by karzai, it's been backing him up they made a decision on september 6 of this year to abandon previously published safe forwards which would have excluded fraudulent ballots from the count. they made the decision to abandon it because they discovered that if they had excluded those ballots, then karzai would be below 50%. so in fact on one day the sixth of september they affirmed their previous guidelines, they disdiscovered by doing so would put karzai under 50% and the next day they miraculously
discovered on the after fwan electoral law they had no legal authority to exclude fraudulent ballots and they left that then to the election complaints commission. >> so what about what is your view about whether karzai government officials were doing everything they could to ensure a free and fair election or were in fact participating in some sort of putting their thumb on the scale here. >> well, we do believe that fraud was committed. i don't know exactly at what level but this is clearly the case and the secretary general has presented to the security council in his latest report that indication. it was also mentioned this issue which is of great concern for the secretary general. but fraud was detected and the after fwan institutionsre dealing with that. they were it shall they're
tealing with it and this is why this audit is being conducted right now under international standards and supervision. i must mention also that the electoral complaints commission is integrated by five respected... >> warner: that's a separate body, yes. >> that's a separate independent body and three of the five are international cannot be really accused of not doing their job and what we are only asking is for these institutions, these afghan led institutions to do their job and we will see in the next days if the recount and this audit will determine the amount of fraud, if f this was enough to force a second election, a runoff election, or not. but we are trusting that the afghan institutions, independent institutions are ting their job. >> couric: now mr. galbraith you had another whole set of charges which had to do with after the
election and you say the u.n. special representative, mr. i tashgs actively blocked efforts to expose the fraud and, in fact your letter suggests he tried to help conceal it. what's the basis of that? >> the utama set up an election center that ran for a day before the election through the voting and through the initial tabulation period. >> couric: that's the u.n. mission you're talking about? >> the u.n. mission. and we collected hundreds of cases of fraud. we also collected extensive information on turnout because this was key to detected fraud. we knew thaw in key southern province it is turnout was minuscule. in less than 10% in some cases, and yet large numbers of votes were reported from those provinces. now we wanted to make use of this information by turning it
over both to the independent election commission, this afghan body, and to the election complaints commission, an investigative body which is both afghan and international set up under afghan law. these are investigative bodies. we had evidence that could have helped them in their investigations. but the head of the mission ordered us not to do anything with this material. he has subsequently said that, of course, this wasn't proven. but we are not investigators. we're not a court of law in afghanistan, we had collected evidence that could have helped the investigators. >> warner: let me go to mr. mulet? this was data collected by your own staff? >> well, the... i don't want to dwell into this personality dispute between mr. ida and mr. galbraith galbraith. >> it's a policy dispute. policy dispute. >> and the difference here is do
we support the electoral institutions and allow the process to follow its due course or not? and the electoral complaints commission is... has been very happy, i must insist that, with the cooperation they have been receiving from unama. we've been working extremely well and we have been working with them and supporting them as much as we can within our mandate. >> warner: are you saying you think that your office in kabul was in retrospect as aggressive as it should have been to make sure that if there was widespread fraud that the evidence come out and come out publicly and get to the right authorities? >> absolutely. and this was done repeatedly all the time. all our colleagues in unama were doing that all the time, and assisting the complaints commission to do their job. so we were very much in touch with them all the time, but also
supporting them and doing their job. >> warner: all right, we have to leave it there. peter galbraith and edmund mulet thank you very much. >> thank you. >> lehrer: we have more about afghanistan on our website newshour.pbs.org. you can preview "obama's war" on frontline. it includes footage of battles with the taliban and an interview with the commander of coalition forces, general mcchrystal. >> lehrer: next tonight, iran at the negotiating table with the u.s. and other major world powers. that happened today in geneva, where iran's nuclear program was the main issue. president obama talked about the talks this afternoon at the white house. >> today in geneva, the united states along with our fellow permanent members of the united nations security council namely
russia, china, france, and the united kingdom as well as germany held talks with the islamic republic of iran. these meetings came after several months of intense diplomatic effort. the p 5 a plus 1 is united and we have an international community that has reaffirmed its commitment to non-proliferation and disarmament. that's why the iranian government heard a clear and unified message from the international community in geneva iran must demonstrate its commitment to transparency. earlier this month we presented clear evidence that iran has been building a covert nuclear facility in qum. since iran has now agreed to cooperate fully and immediately the international atomic energy agency, it must grant unfettered access to i.a.e.a. inspectors within two weeks. we support iran's right to peaceful nuclear power taking
the step of transferring its low enriched uranium to a third country would be a step towards building confidence that iran's program is, in fact, peaceful. going forward we expect to see swift action. we're committed to serious and meaningful engagement but we're not interested in talking for sake of talking. if iran does not take steps in the near future to live up to its obligations, then the united states will not continue to negotiate indefinitely and we are prepared to move towards increased pressure. if iran takes concrete steps and lives up to its obligations, there is a path towards a better relationship with the united states, increased integration for iran within the international community, and a better future for all iranians. let me reiterate, that is constructive beginning but hard work lies ahead. we've entered a phase of intensive international negotiations and talk is no substitute for action.
pledges of cooperation must be fulfilled. we have made it clear that we will do our part to engage the iranian government on the basis of mutual interest and mutual respect, but our patience is not unlimited. this is not about singling out iran, tht not about creating double standards, this is about the global non-proliferation regime and iran's right to peaceful nuclear energy just as all nations have it, but with that right comes responsibilities. the burden of meeting these responsibilities lies with the iranian government and they are now the ones that need to make that choice. >> lehrer: jeffrey brown takes the story from there. and to talk about the negotiations and state of relations, we turn to: suzanne maloney, a senior fellow at the saban center for middle east policy at the brookings institution. she served on the policy planning staff at the state department from 2005 to 2007; and james dobbins, director of
the 'international security and defense policy center' at the rand corporation. he's held top state department and white house posts under four presidents. a constructive beginning, but hard work lies ahead. does this sound like a successful start out of negotiations? >> i think it's both a successful start and it is exactly the right tone for the obama administration to be adopting at this point in what is going to be very early and long process and one that is likely to be quite difficult. but really going into these talks today i think expectations were very low as a result of the tensions that had been raised over the past week or so after the revelation of this facility in qum and the iranian response which involves some sabre rattling. so as far as i know, no one at the state department went into talks with high expectation of getting specific responses from the iranians so that was the
goal and the idea that these talks would continue and involve some real concessions, some real steps by the iranians to meet international concerns about their nuclear program is a very positive start. >> brown: mr. dobbins, we heard the president, the emphasis on unfettered access by the i.a.e.a., the internation watchdog group, within two weeks. that part of it sounds like an ultimatum. >> i don't know that it's an ultimatum. i mean, the iranians have said they're prepared to give the i.a.e.a. access to this new facility that they're building so i don't think that was a great surprise. i think as susan said, expectations were low. there was a serious danger that the iranians would simply refuse to talk about their nuclear program, which they don't seem to have done. they seem to have reaffirmed in a positive sense things they've said in the last few days. and the tenor of the discussions seem to indicate that there was some give and take and so i mean my minimal expectation was they might agree to meet again. they seem to have done a little
more than that. they seem to have had a serious discussion on what we think is our principal issue. iranians don't seem to have said no, we want to talk a about a lot of other things and we won't talk about that and as susan said, the president in his remarks, which were firm but also addressed the iranian concern which is that they not be singled out, they not be differently from every other country in the world and that they're right to a peaceful nuclear program be acknowledged. he did that all those things. >> brown: he did that several times, refer to their right to a peaceful nuclear program. to my ear there was this sort of balancing of the got to get in there within a couple weeks but we're talking about things like that, the peaceful right. >> well, i think, again, the obama administration has been working hard to set out this idea they're willing to engage. they set aside the pre-condition for u.s. participation in the talks. they come without the baggage of the bush administration which actually had made this reversal and changed u.s. policy to embrace the idea of an iranian
civil nuclear capability. so the obama administration came in with a certain leaning forward mentality and posture given that the president had already sent several communications to the government of the islamic republic. but the mood over the past few weeks has been a very negative one. there's been pressure building, a lot of talk of sanctions and it wasn't clear, as ambassador dobbins suggested, whether the iranians would come in and simply be rekals trant, simply as they have in the past used this meeting as an opportunity for diatribe. so i think the obama administration obviously has gotten something right about this balance between pressure and opportunity offering to the iranians. >> well, you actually... you have, as i said, negotiated with iranians before but not this government, it should be said, right? what insight would you bring to the right approach to them? >> well, i negotiated with the iranians after 9/11. we had a common interest in defeating the taliban and installing a new government in
pacifying afghanistan and we worked quite closely and quite effectively together. i found them very professional, candid, and forthcoming. now, it was a reformist government rather than the current more conservative government. we had a clear coincidence of interest. but, you know, we've not negotiated with the iranians for so long that there's a feeling that they're so exotic and they're so different and this is so unique. it isn't. it's just like negotiating with any other country with whom you have some serious differences and some potential coincidents of interest. we did this with the russians for the soviet union for 50 years. and we've done it with a lot of regimes that are even more irrational, unstable, and threatening than iran. so i think we ought to stop looking that the as something exotic and different and just recognize this is a serious negotiation with a country we have differences with, but if it's conducted in a professional and consistent fashion there's some reasonable prospect that we'll make progress.
the. >> brown: what about the iranian position now? you mentioned the recent acknowledgment of the new nuclear plant, of course the elections and the opposition that continues to broil along there. what are they coming to the table with is this are they in a weakened positioning? a better position? how do you see it? >> well, i think they are in a weakened positioning in a sense that there is a greater degree of global consensus about the threat that the iranian nuclear program poses. there is a greater, i think, cooperation between the members of the p 5 plus 1, particular n particular the russians and the americans and with that presumably some additional cooperation from the chinese. it's not clear, though, whether the iranians always understand that their position may be weaker and often when we perceive them to be weak, that's exactly when they strive to be as aggressive and assertive as possible. and so i think that is why many of those of us who've been watching these talks were not particularly hopeful about today. we also have a fairly hard line leadership that is in the midst of an enormous amount of
political turmoil. both the aftermath of the streets of the june election which was quite dramatic and violent but this continuing division and rifts among the elite, among the clergy, among all the political actors who've formed the sort of basis of the islamic republic. i think that the iranians chose to cooperate today, it's not clear whether that will necessarily mean that they'll continue to cooperate in a really robust fashion, but they obviously recognize that there were some pressures on the horizon, particularly economic ones, that they needed to pay attention to. >> i think what's interesting is that, you know, there was some concern that given their domestic turmoil they would be too distracted to put together a serious position and engage in a dialogue. it seems that on the contrary, the fact that their position domestically is weakened, their legitimacy is in question and they do face a certain degree of domestic turmoil, has made them more serious about negotiations. >> brown: of course, there's also some concern, there's some who say that we are question... are we legitimizing them by sitting down with them at a time like this when they are under
such strain at home?. >> if there was a reasonable prospect that in a few weeks before they could complete their replaced, i think we would have a case. if you assume, however, that however weakened they are, they're not about to be overthrown in the next few weeks or even months and that this is the government that is conducting the nuclear program about which we are concerned, i don't think we have much choice but to engage them. and it's interesting that even the opposition in iran is not urging us to not talk to them. and is certainly urging us not to engage in large scale sanctions that will affect the iranian population. so i don't think we're acting in a way that's inconsistent with the interests of the democratic opposition. >> brown: briefly, the president emphasized our patience is not unlimited. so what is the next step here? >> i think the time frame of the president as articulated in the past is one that probably runs through the end of this year. that's not to say we have to have a final solution to the iranian nuclear threat by that
time but we have to see that they're continuing to cooperate, that they're actually following through on whatever commitments they may have made today. and let me just add to jim's point, as i understand, the issue of human rights was raised in these discussions today and i think this was an important and appropriate step for the administration to take. >> couric: susan maloney and james dobbins, thank you both very much. >> thank you. >> lehrer: now, new findings about the origin of man. ray suarez has our story >> suarez: science has long taught that humans evolved from a species similar to chimps and gorillas. but researchers announced new findings today that calls that belief into question, suggesting the line of evolution may have been more complex. the research was published in the journal "science," and chronicled in a new documentary produced by the discovery channel.
scientists say the species lived more than 4 million years ago and could be a common ancestor for humans and chimps. it was nicknamed ardi, short for ardipithecus ramidus. the finding was of a female fossil, thought to be four feet tall and weighing about 120 pounds. the story of the discovery began in 1992 at a site in ethiopia's afar rift, about 140 miles northeast of addis ababa. at the time, teeth and other small fragments of a skeleton were discovered. it would take more than 15 years of work, digging, reconstruction, and computer simulation to confirm that an earlier ancestor had been discovered. >> it took years to figure it all out because we have not seen anything like this before. >> suarez: until today, anthropologists had thought that lucy, a skeleton dating back
more than three million years -- was the oldest ancestor known to humans. she, too, was discovered in ethiopia. but at a press conference today, scientists said ardi came first. c. owen lovejoy was part of the team. >> if you were to ask someone on the street today, what did an early ancestor of humans look like, they would probably say well, it would look like lucy and before that, it would look like a chimpanzee. but the fossils that are being described in science today, will tell you is that both of those conclusions are very incorrect. >> suarez: as shown in this animation done for the discovery channel, ardi was an agile tree climber, like chimps and apes, but she was more inclined to walk upright on two legs. >> what ardi does tell us is that in the hominid line, our
first phases of evolution were a mixture of upright walking on the ground and what we call "pomigating" or upright climbing in the trees. that's very different than gorillas and chimpanzees. gorillas and chimpanzees are also terrestrial, but they modified their hands and feet so much that they utilized a totally different sort of locomotion called knuckle walking, and artilopithicus tells us that that sort of locomotion never occurred in the human line. >> suarez: the skeleton is being unveiled in ethiopia today. here to tell us more about ardi, is tim white, a paleo- anthropologist from university of california, berkeley, and a leader of the research team. professor white, what does this discovery do to shake up the timeline and what we thought we knew about the origins of early
hopl nidz. >> actually, the discovery is more than a skeleton. hominid. it's a very act intel on the. it has hands, feet, head, many parts of the body that are very important in understanding our evolution and it's one of 36 individuals all found in one geological horizon, 4.4 million years ago. it's just one species of many pee seize found in this horizon, giraffe, rhino, slews, bats, birds, seeds, pollen. it takes us almost like a time cap sol well beyond the lieu zi species where we had no information at all. so it's really illuminate add formerly completely dark era of human pre-history. >> well, you mentioned you had a pretty intact is skeleton. how do you extrapolate from that skeleton the things that we saw in that report? a being walking through a forest instead of walking on all fours.
standing upright and then climbing into the trees. how do you know that stuff from the bones? >> well, the first thing you do when you find a time capsule like this with that kind of evidence is assemble a team, a team of experts. and this particular team, the announcement we're making tomorrow in science, is 47 total people, specialists in everything from the soil isotopes to the plants to the this rues to the bats to the hominidss. and then we piece it together slowly and carefully because this is world heritage. shrew. we may never find a skeleton as intact as this one. so every piece was extracted i mirror imaged, computer high resolution c.t. tomography was used to look inside the teeth of this creature. we've examined its biology in detail and by doing that it provides a kind of a foundation or a substrait. we brought in jay matternis, the
world's leading natural history artist, to create these restorations and turn them from his charcoal drawingings that are accurate in detail to the millimeter based on the bones, digitally render them and put them into this world that all of these experts have been able to reconstruct from their work on similar fossils of the plants and the animals that lived at the same time. >> the tremendous advances that you describe help us see ardipithecus, but it sounds like there's also been a lot of advances in the science of paleoanthropology, so there's just a lot more that you can know from a molar, let's say. >> we have the kind of technology today that we did not have 20 years ago. so now when one finds a broken and fragmented skull like the one that we found, this is not the original, the original is national heritage in ethiopia. it was announce there had earlier today in addis ababa. that was lithograph. this was a series of pieces that were imaged in tokyo and then
put together three dimensionly to create this replica of what the skull... the original one looked like when restored. we couldn't have done that 20 years ago. on the original teeth, the samples of the enamel, when that enamel was developing, aen an ice topic signature based on the plant community was preserved in that enamel. we can extract that signal that's 4.4 million years old. so we understand the biology in a detail we've never been able to do before. >> suarez: whenever i've interviewed people in your line of work, there's never an end, really, when you find something that opens up all this new information, there's still things that you need to know and still things you're looking for. what would help you out? that's lurking in the soil of ethiopia still somewhere. >> well, if you'd have asked that question back at the time that lucy was found-- and lucy opened up a wonderful world of 3 tnt 2 million years ago-- i would have said if we just have
some success in the rocks older than four million years we can maybe find a skeleton. maybe we can find an animal community. make reck recover a lot of data. so we went out there because we were curious to explore that unknown part of the past. just as we send planetary missions do deep space, this was a mission into the deep past, into planet earth's past and into our past. so by recovering these data, all of this evidence, we've opened up a new window, a new chapter in human evolution. what chapter lies beyond? it's out in the desert in ethiopia. >> suarez: but are there limits? this is a 4.4 million year estimate. beyond that are the things that you find likely to be just too degraded, to too fragmentary, too hard to find? >> no, we just need the right conditions of preservation. we got fortunate this time. an ancient river flood plain embedded this community, including all of its inhappen
habitants. we're looking for older and older rocks in similar circumstances where the remains of the plants and animals can become fossilized. we hold out hope. as a paleontologist, that's all you can do. hope and take the best possible team of experts into the field. the other great news for african scholarship is that it is african scholars who are now leading this research and this gives me a great deal of hope because they're table to go out into sites and expand the number of people in the field, expand the science being done and we'll get more and more data from the deep past. that's what it's all about: getting the evidence. the evidence that darwin didn't have. >> suarez: professor white, thanks a lot. >> you're welcome. he's the only polt to twin national book critics circle award twice. last year he received the mark
twain prize for humor for the poe tray trifoundation. goldbarth has publiced more than 25 books of poetry, his latest was published this past summer. we visited him as his home in wichita, kansas. >> we're here in albert goldbarth's space collection room and i love this stuff, sure i spend most of my time writing poems, it's my chief most passion, but as you can tell by looking around the room, this stuff has also taken up a good deal of time and energy, a little bit of money, too, and it really ininvigorate misinsides all the the time. most of what you're looking at here is authentic vintage 1950s space toy stuff, a little bit of it even goes back to the '40s or '30s. so you know sometimes late at night-- and i stay up until about 3:00 in the morning most days, the house is quiet, i'm by myself, i do my writing and thinking then, i'll walk into this room and just kind of pivot around 36 degrees and think, yes
yes, the newspaper tells me the world is a pretty crappy place, but in here i'm also told that there's a rightness to the universe. i teach at wichita state university in wichita, kansas, i'm the adel. have davis distinguished professor of humanities there. the english department has a well intentioned sleepy little m.f.a. program and i teach poetry workshops and literature courses in it. it feels to me as if i were born to right. that that's why i was put on earth. i've been trying to be the best poet i know how to be. i try to leave as much time and energy available for writing as i can and i don't own a computer not aet home, not at my office at school, my fingertips are computer virginal, they've never touched a computer keyboard and all of the writing i do is long hand, just regular everyday 59 cent ballpoint pen and a regular 99 cent spiral bound notebook
and finally when the poem is right i type up a final version. the poem is called shall. i confess i like it. it seems to me to bespeak a little of who i am and what i'm about. the few times my wife has been in the audience when i've done this at a poetry reading i've reminded her that this, in fact, is what i would like on my gravestone one day and she always has this little look in her eye that says to me "oh, that's so sweet, honey, but it's 14 lines." in any case, i now take you to a greyhound bus going cross country. "shawl." "eight hours by bus and night was on them. he could see himself now in the window, see his head there with the country running through it like a long thought made of steel and wheat.
darkness outside, darkness in the bus as if the sea were dark tend the belly of the whale were dark to match it. he was 20, of course, his eyes returned repeatedly to the knee of the woman two rows up, positioned so occasional headlights struck it into life. but more reliable was the book. he was discovering himself to be among the tribe that reads. now his, the only overhead turned on, now nothing else
existed, only him and the book and the light thrown over his shoulders as luxuriously as a cashmere shawl." >> lehrer: again, the other major developments of the day. the death toll soared to at least 777 in the indonesian earthquake. and, a top u.n. official said there could be 1,100 dead, at least 150 people were confirmed dead in the tsunami that hit american samoa and its neighboring islands. wall street took a hit after reports that unemployment benefits rose last week, and factory output fell last month. the dow jones industrial average lost 200 points. and the u.s. and five other nations opened nuclear talks with iran.
diplomats said iran agreed to open a newly disclosed plant to u.n. inspectors. on newshour.pbs.org, three online-only features tonight. you can watch our interview with homeland security secretary napolitano about the arrest of a terror suspect in new york and more. listen to judy woodruff's reporter's notebook on the climate change panel she moderated this week in california. and read a story about the economic pluses and minuses for cities chosen to host the olympic games. we'll see you on-line, and again here tomorrow evening with mark shields and david brooks, among others. i'm jim lehrer. thank you and good night. major funding for the newshour with jim lehrer is provided by: chevron.
intel. supporting math and science education for tomorrow's innovators. >> and by bnsf railway. >> and by wells fargo advisors. together, we'll go far.em 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