PBS NewsHour for January 8, 2016 - Part 1

NEWSHOUR-00

00

David Corn, Judy Woodruff, Miles O`Brien, Gwen Ifill>

jobs in December, despite global turmoil. The secretary of labor, Thomas

Perez, speaks out. Nearly six months after escaping a high-security

prison, the Mexican drug lord known as El Chapo is arrested. Miles O`Brien

unwraps the latest health-related technology from the Consumer Electronics

Show. David Brooks and David Corn analyze the week`s news. Outrage grows

over mass sexual assaults in Germany.>

Crime; Science; Entertainment; Politics; Thomas Perez; Donald Trump;

Hillary Clinton; Elections>

JUDY WOODRUFF: Good evening. I`m Judy Woodruff.

On the "NewsHour" tonight: The U.S. economy shows signs of sustained strength, adding 292,000 jobs in December, despite global turmoil.

Then, almost six months after escaping a high-security prison, the Mexican drug lord known as El Chapo is arrested.

Plus, Miles O`Brien unwraps the latest health-related technology from the Consumer Electronics Show.

PETER NEILSON, CEO, femtoScale: Can we use all this data we can get from all sorts of different things, not only to keep people healthy once they`re in the hospital, but prevent them from getting sick in the first place?

JUDY WOODRUFF: And it`s Friday. David Brooks and David Corn are here, to analyze the week`s news.

All that and more on tonight`s "PBS NewsHour."

(BREAK)

JUDY WOODRUFF: The December jobs numbers are in, and they show employers were in a hiring mood. According to the Department of Labor, monthly surveys found that U.S. businesses added a net of more than 290,000 positions.

The unemployment rate was unchanged, at 5 percent, as more people went looking for work and found it. We will hear from the secretary of labor, Thomas Perez, after the news summary.

President Obama has vetoed a Republican bill that would have repealed the Affordable Care Act. He said today it would reverse significant progress in improving health care. This was the first such repeal measure to reach the Oval Office.

But, in a video statement, House Speaker Paul Ryan said it may not be the last.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), Speaker of the House: We have shown now that there is a clear path to repealing Obamacare without 60 votes in the Senate. So, next year, if we`re sending this bill to a Republican president, it will get signed into law.

JUDY WOODRUFF: The bill had enough votes in the House to override a presidential veto, but not in the Senate.

The president also made moves today on fighting violent extremism. They include a task force to counter the use of social media to radicalize and recruit. Senior administration officials traveled to Silicon Valley today to get the tech industry`s help.

An Islamic State affiliate in Libya has claimed responsibility for a deadly truck bombing. The explosion rocked a police base outside Tripoli on Thursday, as hundreds of recruits were training. At least 47 people were killed and scores more were wounded.

Meanwhile, investigators in Belgium say they have discovered an apartment where Islamic State militants made bombs for the Paris attacks last November. A raid in Brussels turned up suicide belts and bomb-making gear. The attacks killed 130 people.

In Syria, relief agencies waited today for the green light to enter a town that is literally starving to death. The Syrian government has now agreed to let relief into Madaya, in the northwest, near the border with Lebanon.

Geraint Vincent of Independent Television News filed this report.

And be advised: Some of the images may be disturbing.

GERAINT VINCENT: In the desperate neighborhoods of Madaya, the people are to be found huddled around their stoves. The old man here takes delivery of a small bag of olive leaves.

"Can you not bring us some rice?," he asks.

But the leaves are the nearest thing to food he will see today. There is at least some water to boil them in.

We can`t independently verify these pictures, but at the hospital, the doctors say the emergency they are trying to cope with is getting worse and worse. This man hasn`t eaten for 25 days, we`re told, and he`s one of hundreds being kept alive with medication and spoonfuls of food.

Laying siege to towns full of civilians is a tactic employed on both sides of Syria`s war. It is forces loyal to President Assad which have cut off Madaya. His government says it will allow humanitarian access. Aid agencies hope to get food in there by Sunday.

ABEER ETEFA, United Nations World Food Program: We know that when people are besieged and are cut off from supplies, that the situation will be bad. We know that there will be high rates of malnutrition, severe malnutrition, stunting among children, health issues, diseases. We know that usually the children, the women, the elderly will pay a heavy price.

GERAINT VINCENT: Aid might get through soon, but the uncertainties of war mean it might not. The time is running out for the people of Madaya, and so is what passes for food here.

JUDY WOODRUFF: The Syrian government wants to wrest back control of Madaya to secure supply lines to its Hezbollah militia allies in Lebanon.

South Korea fired up its loudspeakers today near the demilitarized zone, and blasted propaganda into North Korea. The high-decibel criticism attacked the North Korean regime and its leader, Kim Jong-un. One message claimed that Kim and his wife wear clothing that costs thousands of dollars. Seoul resumed the broadcasts after the North carried out a nuclear test.

And South Koreans near the DMZ seemed supportive.

MAN (through translator): No wonder the South Korean government has started the loudspeaker broadcasts. We cannot tolerate those who conduct a nuclear test, which was a violation, don`t you think? We should counteract it.

JUDY WOODRUFF: In the past, North Korea has branded the broadcasts an act of war. It responded late today with propaganda broadcasts of its own.

Adolf Hitler`s political manifesto, "Mein Kampf," went on sale in Germany today for the first time since World War II, and demand quickly outstripped supply. The initial print run was for 4,000 copies, but 15,000 orders flooded the publisher. The two-volume work includes critical annotations that debunk the Nazi leader`s claims.

ANDREAS WIRSCHING, Director, Institute for Contemporary History (through translator): This edition exposes the false information spread by Hitler, his downright lies and his many half-truths, which aimed at a pure propaganda effect.

JUDY WOODRUFF: For decades, the German state of Bavaria used its copyright on "Mein Kampf" to block any new editions, but the copyright expired at the end of 2015.

Back in this country, police in Philadelphia say a man who ambushed and wounded an officer last night pledged loyalty to the Islamic State group. The suspect, Edward Archer, is in custody. His mother says he`d been hearing voices recently, and that his family had urged him to get help. Surveillance video shows the gunman firing more than a dozen shots at officer Jesse Hartnett, who was sitting in his cruiser. Hartnett shot back and wounded the attacker.

Reports of sexual assaults have spiked at U.S. military academies. The Associated Press reports they rose more than 50 percent during just the past school year. It`s not clear whether that`s mostly because assaults are actually on the rise or whether victims are more willing to come forward.

Wall Street continues its slump again today, amid ongoing worries about China`s economy and falling oil prices. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 167 points to close below 16350. The Nasdaq fell nearly 46, and the S&P 500 slipped 21. For the week, the Dow and the S&P lost 6 percent, the worst since 2011. The Nasdaq fell 7 percent.

And, finally, a new world record for mass tooth brushing. More than 17,500 children gathered in Bangalore, India, yesterday to highlight good oral hygiene. That should easily surpass the old mark for most people brushing their teeth in one place.

It makes you feel clean just looking at them.

Still to come on the "NewsHour": the U.S. labor secretary on a solid year in job growth; Mexico`s infamous drug lord captured again; outrage over mass sexual assaults in Germany; and much more.

The final jobs U.S. report for 2015 helped finish the year off with solid growth. Overall, the economy added 2.6 million jobs last year. Combined with 2014, that led to a two-year gain in jobs that was the best since the late `90s.

And, yet, wage growth remained slow or modest at best for the year, around 2.5 percent.

Tom Perez is the secretary of labor, and he joins me now.

And welcome back to the program.

THOMAS PEREZ, U.S. Secretary of Labor: Pleasure to be with you and all your viewers.

JUDY WOODRUFF: So, this is a strong year of growth. I saw one report that said it`s -- called it a red-hot hiring spree.

What`s behind this? What was driving this?

THOMAS PEREZ: Well, your introduction is really spot on.

When you look at the last two years, not simply the last month -- and, by the way, the best month of -- the best quarter of 2015 was the last quarter of 2015 -- when you look at the last two years, this is the best two-year stretch we have had since the late `90s.

You look at auto sales. Last year was the hottest year for auto sales in history. You look at the -- you look at the fact that this six-year stretch of auto sales is the best stretch we have had since the end of World War II. And you look at not only the quantity of jobs, Judy, but the quality of jobs, because what we`re seeing over the last two years is not only good numbers, but very good quality.

And you look at, for instance, professional and business services. That`s been the biggest growth area over the last two years. These are good jobs. Construction had a good year last year. And with the infrastructure bill that passed at the end of last year, I expect construction will continue to do well.

Health care, notwithstanding the truth deniers who say the ACA is a job killer, the health care has been a recession...

JUDY WOODRUFF: The health care law.

THOMAS PEREZ: That`s been a recession-proof industry.

So, quantity and quality has been moving forward, and that`s a good thing.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, much of the underlying data is strong, Mr. Secretary, but there still are some signs of concern.

THOMAS PEREZ: Sure.

JUDY WOODRUFF: And I want to ask you if it`s concern. It looks as if jobs that pay at the higher end, people earning more, are doing better than those in the middle- and lower-income levels. Wage -- as we just mentioned, wage growth is stagnant.

How do you explain that persistent stubbornness in terms of getting wages higher?

THOMAS PEREZ: Well, what invariably happens in a recovery is the jobs that come back first are the lower-paying jobs, and that`s what happened in this recovery.

Now what you`re seeing in recent years, which is a good thing, is that more jobs that pay better are coming back. And that`s what I was mentioning about the last two years. The challenge of wage stagnation is an undeniable challenge and it predates the great recession.

Last year`s real wage growth of 2.1 percent was the best we have had since the recovery began. And so that`s solid, but that`s not enough. And, again, this issue dates back to really the late `70s. And for decades after World War II, productivity and real wage growth went hand in hand. Americans helped bake the pie of prosperity and they shared in those benefits.

And then it became delinked starting in the late `70s, with the exception of the end of the Clinton administration. And so we still have real work to do on real wage growth. That`s the unfinished business.

JUDY WOODRUFF: But it sounds like something, though, that you expect to continue, the slow wage...

THOMAS PEREZ: Well, last year, again, was the best year we have seen in the recovery.

And in the end of the Clinton administration, the unemployment rate was 4 percent. And so one of the things we can do to put upward pressure on wages is to continue to have tight labor markets. Another thing we can do is to raise the minimum wage. Another thing we can do is the regulations the president has directed us to do to make sure that people who work overtime get paid overtime.

And then investing in skills is a tried-and-true method of helping people get access to those middle-class jobs that are out there in I.T. and other sectors.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Broaden this out for us. We know that, globally, China is slowing down. We have done a lot of reporting on that, what`s happening to China`s market. That`s having global repercussions.

THOMAS PEREZ: Sure.

JUDY WOODRUFF: And then you have oil, the price of oil, at record lows.

How much do you worry about the effect of things like that on the U.S. economy and U.S. jobs?

THOMAS PEREZ: Well, the price of oil as it is now for consumers is an unmitigated boon.

You go to a gas pump, and you`re paying less than $2 a gallon. The average family last year had about $500 to $800 of additional money in their pockets. That`s good for consumers. And what do they do with that money? They spend it. And so you see very good numbers on consumer spending in the United States.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Unless you`re working in the oil industry.

THOMAS PEREZ: And, of course, the challenge for those working in the sector -- and we have seen that impact in the mining sector, which is where the oil jobs are found.

And, certainly, the headwinds from China, and others in the strong dollar, it`s more difficult to manufacture, and so the manufacturing numbers in 2015 weren`t as good.

But, again, we had these headwinds in 2015 as well. I did a lot of numbers days interviews when people said the market was volatile over the last two weeks. Isn`t -- isn`t -- the job numbers, aren`t they going to go down?

And you look, and you see we have had two years in a row of north of 200,000 jobs a month on average. That`s solid.

JUDY WOODRUFF: One other thing I want to ask you about, Mr. Secretary, is the labor force participation rate. It continues at what I understand to be a four-decade low. What is it, 62 percent of Americans who want to be or would like to be in the labor force actually have a job.

So how do you -- what`s the prospect for the future for people who want to work, either don`t have the job they want or don`t have any job?

THOMAS PEREZ: Well, the labor force participation rate over the last year has been basically the same. It`s about 62.6 percent.

And it`s been a very narrow band. And the reason it has gone down from, say, 10 years ago, 15 years ago, even five years ago, the primary reason it`s gone down is because of the aging of the population. Economists say that roughly 50 percent of the reduction in labor force participation is attributable to demographics.

The main thing that we could do to increase labor force participation at a policy level is to enact federal paid leave. The countries that have enacted paid leave laws -- and Canada is a great example. In 2000, the female labor force participation in the U.S. and Canada was identical.

Because of their investment in paid leave, they are now 8 percent ahead of the United States. If we had kept pace, we would have 5.5 million more women in the workplace, making the Silicon Valley and Wall Street look more like America, making our Medicare trust fund and Social Security trust fund more secure.

JUDY WOODRUFF: And a big debate about that right now out on the campaign trail.

THOMAS PEREZ: Amen.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Labor Secretary Tom Perez, thank you very much.

THOMAS PEREZ: Always a pleasure.

JUDY WOODRUFF: The words from Mexico`s president, Enrique Pena Nieto, this afternoon said it all: "Mission accomplished. We have him."

The him is perhaps the world`s most-notorious drug lord, Joaquin Guzman, known as El Chapo, the ringleader of the Sinaloa cartel. He was arrested after a fierce gun battle today, nearly six months after his elaborate escape from a high-security prison.

We go to Hari Sreenivasan for more.

HARI SREENIVASAN: I`m joined now by Alfredo Corchado, director of the Borderlands program at the Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. He has also reported for many years from Mexico for The Dallas Morning News, and is author of "Midnight in Mexico," a book about his experience covering the brutal drug war.

So, let`s start with the basics. What happened? Where was he? How did he get captured?

ALFREDO CORCHADO, Arizona State University: Well, he was captured this morning right before dawn, intense firefight between the marines and drug traffickers, people close to or guarding Chapo Guzman.

What we know is that, since last July, the marines, with the help of U.S. intelligence, had been tracking him in several Mexican states, including Sinaloa, where he was captured this morning, the state of Durango, and even Tabasco.

This -- there were two confrontations, from what we know, the first one at a private home and then he was later captured at a motel. Five of his trusted bodyguards were killed, and at least one marine was wounded.

HARI SREENIVASAN: This is the second time the president of Mexico has gone on national television and said they have got this guy. I mean, this is an important win.

ALFREDO CORCHADO: This is the second time for President Pena Nieto, and the third time that a Mexican president has said that.

He said, you know, "Mission accomplished," but I think a lot of people will feel that the mission has not been accomplished until Chapo actually faces justice. And the best chance of doing that will be on the U.S. side.

So, there`s a lot of tangling already going on, a lot of debate as to whether he will be extradited this time.

HARI SREENIVASAN: And let`s talk a little bit about that. The United States has asked for extradition. Do you think that that is a greater possibility now?

ALFREDO CORCHADO: I think the timing is -- it`s much better than last time.

I think, the first time he was captured, there was a lot of angst, a lot of reticence within the Mexican government. There was the suspicion that you don`t want to let the Americans get too close, come in too close.

But after this huge embarrassment that went worldwide, I think there is a sense that this may be good for Mexican government. This obviously will be good for the U.S. government.

But keep in mind that Chapo Guzman has a vast army of lawyers. And I`m sure that the -- even before he`s captured, there was already a fight to -- for temporary injunctions that prohibit or that would stop an extradition. It may happen, but I think it`s a long, long ways before this happens.

HARI SREENIVASAN: What involvement was there, if any, by the U.S. in assisting with the capture?

ALFREDO CORCHADO: Well, my sources tell me that the U.S. has been helping the Mexican marines since the capture with intelligence, but, unlike the first time, there were no U.S. agents on the ground assisting the Mexican marines and the federal police.

So, this is a -- was primarily a Mexican operation.

HARI SREENIVASAN: You know, Chapo Guzman already had almost folklore status, but that prison break and how elaborate it was just six months ago really sealed it.

ALFREDO CORCHADO: Right.

And, today, the premiere of the movie "Chapo" is in Mexico City. They`re expecting at least four other movies this year. There`s talk about a series, or there have been books. It will be interesting to see how people in regions in Mexico, especially Sinaloa, how they will react.

Will they come out and protest again because of this arrest? Will they let it go? I`m sure there will be -- I`m sure there are already songs being written at this moment, as we speak, about Chapo`s latest capture.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Is there some sense that this will be a more significant blow to the drug cartels? In some ways, his capture or his escape seems to be almost representative of the Mexican government`s ability to tackle the drug war.

ALFREDO CORCHADO: And the ability to try to create a country with rule of law.

I think what is interesting about today`s capture is that Chapo`s main lieutenant known as El Cholo Ivan was also captured. So, that`s a huge blow to the Sinaloa cartel.

But, as we have seen, the Sinaloa cartel, for a long time, has been really under the control of Zambada, Mayo Zambada. So, that -- there might be some territorial fights in places like Ciudad Juarez, and Chihuahua, other places, but it`s business as usual, as long as you have U.S. demand, I think the drugs will continue to come up north.

HARI SREENIVASAN: All right, Alfredo Corchado, director of the Borderlands program at the Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State, thanks so much for joining us.

ALFREDO CORCHADO: Thank you.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Stay with us.

Coming up on the "NewsHour": the newest gadgets to boost your health; and David Brooks and David Corn on this week`s news.

But, first, in the German city of Cologne, more than 100 women have filed complaints about being sexually molested by men described as being of -- quote -- "North African or Arab origin."

The attacks have polarized public opinion in Germany over its open door policy, which has seen it take in more than a million asylum seekers amid the refugee crisis.

From Cologne, special correspondent Malcolm Brabant reports.

MALCOLM BRABANT: Dominated by its magnificent cathedral, Cologne has a reputation for great tolerance. But the city`s open-mindedness has been stretched to the limit by what happened beneath the spires and near the railway station as the new year fireworks were let off in an aggressive manner by some of those in the crowd.

It took several days for the full extent of the criminal activity to be revealed. This young woman, who asked to remain anonymous, was one of more than 100 who were assaulted.

WOMAN (through translator): All of a sudden, these men around us began groping us. They touched our behinds and grabbed between our legs. They touched us everywhere. So, my girlfriend wanted to get out of the crowd. When I turned around, one guy grabbed my bag and ripped it off my body. I thought to myself that, if we stay here in this crowd, they could kill us, they could rape us, and nobody would notice.

I thought we simply had to accept it. There was no one around us who helped or was in a position to help. All I wanted was to get out. I was scared that I wouldn`t leave this crowd alive. I was scared that if someone showed up with a knife, I could be raped in the middle of the street.

I have nightmares at night and I can`t sleep anymore. I am too scared to go outside on my own. And, of course, I`m now scared to go to big cities.

MALCOLM BRABANT: Writer Alice Schwarzer is regarded as one of Germany`s leading women`s rights activists. She believes what happened in Cologne marks a line in the sand in the debate over immigration.

ALICE SCHWARZER, Women`s Rights Activist (through translator): In the last 40 years, we have very successfully fought for our rights as women, for our freedom, for our access to the world, and that we are free to move around in it. And it`s going to stay that way, of course.

If someone has to change, then it`s the men who come from cultures where women are traditionally robbed of their rights, where they are repressed and the victims of violence. These men have been brutalized by the violence and trauma of war. They have problems, and I don`t want us to have problems because of that. They have to change and recognize the values and laws of our states unconditionally.

MALCOLM BRABANT: Parts of this city have been described as being as no-go zones for women, but some have been out on the streets demanding that they should be free to move where they wish without fear of being attacked. They demanded action from Chancellor Angela Merkel, who gave her first reaction to the events in Cologne and elsewhere.

ANGELA MERKEL, German Chancellor (through translator): What happened at New Year is completely unacceptable. Those are despicable criminal acts which a state will not accept, including Germany. That`s why an intensive investigation by the relevant institutions is under way. This investigation must be supported.

The feeling women had in this case of being completely defenseless and at mercy is, for me, personally intolerable, and so it is important that everything that happened must come out into the open. It`s right and it`s good that there are a lot of police reports being filed.

MALCOLM BRABANT: These two young Germans, both with immigrant backgrounds, are deeply troubled by what happened. The man with the glasses, Mimoun Berrissoun, whose parents are from Morocco, heads a group dedicated to deradicalizing young Muslims and promoting integration.

MIMOUN BERRISSOUN, Turn 180 Degrees (through translator): When groups of people from other countries come here, the first thing they have to do is learn the rules. They have to develop a sense of what they can and can`t do.

It`s possible they had the idea in their heads that it would be easier to get with European women than it actually is, and that they had brought this idea with them from home, and tried to make it reality here. But I also believe this is a very small group of people who behaved this way in that moment.

MALCOLM BRABANT: Talha Evran, who is of Turkish ancestry, is worried about the impact these attacks will have on immigrants who abide by German laws.

TALHA EVRAN, Germany: The right wing is going to use that as a big argument. They have been waiting for that. And that is so sad, because there is big issue, this conversation, this discussion.

And we Germans are trying to talk good about them. Like, we`re trying to welcome refugees. And if there are people harassing people on New Year`s Eve being asylum seekers or refugees, you know, that`s just endangering all of that welcoming, welcome culture. That`s what we call it.

MALCOLM BRABANT: Tonight, outside the scene of the New Year`s Eve assaults, the right-wing group known as Alternative for Germany was out canvassing for support. Their polling numbers are on the rise.

Supporter Helmut Vanichek:

HELMUT VANICHEK, Germany (through translator): Those guilty of crimes, but also those whose asylum applications are rejected, must leave the country, in accordance with German law.

MALCOLM BRABANT: When the scale of the attacks first emerged, senior government officials were at pains to separate the issue of the refugee crisis from the criminal activity. But now the German authorities say they are 18 asylum seekers among the 31 people suspected of involvement in the troubles on New Year`s Eve. Some of those people could be deported if convicted.

Meanwhile, the perceived lack of control has led to Cologne`s police chief being relieved of his duties. The officers union believes that he`s been made a scapegoat, claiming that government policies have undermined their ability to police properly.

For the "PBS NewsHour," I`m Malcolm Brabant in Cologne.

JUDY WOODRUFF: More than 100,000 people turned out for the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, the annual showcase for the latest in technology, devices and high-end toys.

More in Home