January 2014

PBS Newshour: House GOP recasts agenda as White House alternative, not opposition

While President Obama pushed his economic agenda on the road, House Republicans met to discuss their way forward on major issues, including immigration. Gwen Ifill gets views on the year’s political outlook from Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson, Neera Tanden of the Center for American Progress and Andrew Rudalevige from Bowdoin College.

PBS Newshour: Researchers make stem cell discovery by studying tissue stress and repair

For many years scientists have been investigating how to make adult stem cells act more like embryonic stem cells. A new simple treatment from mice has led to the creation of heart cells and others from adult cells. Gwen Ifill talks to one of the study's lead researchers, Dr. Charles Vacanti of Brigham and Women's Hospital.

PBS Newshour: As U.S.-Afghan relations hit new barrier, what options exist for security deal?

Amid efforts to strike a U.S.-Afghanistan security deal that would outline American presence in the nation after 2014, the Afghan government released 37 prisoners the U.S. claims are a security threat. Gwen Ifill talks to former Defense Department official David Sedney and Zalmay Khalilzad, former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan.

PBS Newshour: Commission finds voting process needs to catch up with how Americans live today

Operating on the principle that Americans should not find it difficult to vote, a bipartisan committee came to a unanimous conclusion about how to improve the election process. Robert Bauer and Benjamin Ginsberg, co-chairs of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration, join Gwen Ifill to discuss their suggestions.

PBS Newshour: Will talks yield any progress for ending the Syrian war?

Chief foreign correspondent Margaret Warner joins Gwen Ifill from Switzerland to further discuss the positions held by the opposing sides. Then Gwen Ifill gets reaction from Joshua Landis of the University of Oklahoma and Andrew Tabler of the Washington Institute about whether anything positive can come of the talks.

PBS Newshour: Documents reveal Chicago archdiocese protected priests accused of sex abuse

The revelation that the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago hid decades of child sex abuse was revealed through documents as part of a settlement with victims. The papers describe how church leadership reassigned priests accused of abuse to different parishes. Gwen Ifill talks to Jeff Anderson, attorney for the plaintiffs.

PBS Newshour: Supreme Court considers cases on 'Raging Bull' authorship, labor union limits

Gwen Ifill talks to Marcia Coyle of the National Law Journal about two cases heard at the Supreme Court. In one, non-unionized health care workers argue they shouldn't have to pay for contract negotiations. Then, can an author's heir claim copyright infringement against the 1980 movie "Raging Bull" decades later?

PBS Newshour: Can the tech industry help strike the balance between privacy, safety?

Even before President Obama outlined his proposed changes in how the NSA should collect data for surveillance, many tech giants were vocal in their criticism. Gwen Ifill discusses what's at stake with Christian Dawson of the Internet Infrastructure Coalition and Nuala O'Connor of the Center for Democracy and Technology.

PBS Newshour: How does political uncertainty affect Afghanistan's security?

An American soldier died in a Taliban attack at a military base, which came on the heels of a suicide bombing at a Kabul restaurant that killed 21 civilians. Gwen Ifill talks to Pamela Constable of The Washington Post and Omar Samad, a former Afghan Foreign Ministry spokesman, about instability in Afghanistan.

PBS Newshour: World powers dispute whether Iran should attend Syrian peace talks

Ahead of a gathering of world powers in Geneva to negotiate an end to Syria's civil war, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon extended an offer for Iran to attend the talks. But when that country rejected a condition of attendance, the invitation was rescinded. Gwen Ifill reports on the diplomatic disarray that ensued.