tv [untitled] March 13, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm EDT
s&p was up 24. the unemployment rate fell in 45 states in january. the department said only new york state reported a higher unemployment rate in january than the previous month. unemployment rates were unchanged in four states. it's better than december when rates fell in 37 states, unchanged in ten and rose in three. nationwide, the unemployment rate fell to 8.3% in january from 8.5%, employers adding 284,000 jobs, the second highest total in about six years. energy secretary stephen chu disavowing his comments in 2008 about decreasing gas prices to earlier levels. he said he no longer shares the vuchlt he says he wants lower gas prices. he said right now there is real hardship that americans are suffering at the gasoline pump. we have gone through a terrible recession and worldwide recovery. but the recovery is fragile.
as i said, another spike in gas prices could put the recovery in jeopardy. a former executive admitting his role in a government contracting fraud scheme, $28 million worth of fraud. 60-year-old harold babb pleaded guilty to charges of bribery and unlawful kickbacks. prosecutors say he's cooperating with the investigation. he and three other men were arrested this past fall to submit fraudulent and inflated invoices for government contracting work. two men were from the army corps of engineers. prosecutors say the proceeds of the fraud, $28 million, were spent on ernl luxuries including cars, homes and high-end watches. back in one minute with more on "washington today." >> on march 26, 27, 28, the u.s. supreme court hears challenges to the health care law.
you'll hear an argument cited in some of those cases saturday on c-span radio's historic supreme court oral argument. from 1992 the consolidated case, the state of new york and others petitioners, verses the united states and others, respondents. >> we recognize that congress certainly has the power under the commerce clause to deal with the subject of the disposal of low-level radioactive waste. but it is our position that the means it has chosen here is constitutionally defective. >> there's much that is speculative in our view premature about the complaint concerning the take title provision that new york is asking this court to use as a vehicle for undoing this entire statutory scream. >> the state of new york and others verses the united states and others. saturday at 6:00 p.m. eastern on c-span radio. welcome back to "washington today."
it's 5:32 at our nation's capitol. the polls in some parts of alabama and mississippi closing at 7:00 eastern. polls across much of the state at 8:00 eastern. we'll have the results tonight beginning at 7:00 here on c-span radio, a simulcast of politico's coverage and a chance for you to hear from newt gingrich and rick santorum. mitt romney campaigning in missouri. he does not at the moment have plans for public appearances, but polls in alabama showing the race is close. we'll have more later in the program. secretary of state hillary clinton vowing to push ahead with democracy groups saying they play a critical role, the secretary of state addressing u.s. ambassadors around the world back in washington for a conference saying civil society groups are vital to encouraging u.s. goals such as advancing democracy and women's participation. >> finally, i couldn't speak to
this group without stressing the global focus we have on advancing the status of women and girls. you know the arguments. i've set them forth in a series of speeches, particularly the apec speech in san francisco last fall, making the case that the full participation of women in every economy including our own, namely knocking down the barriers to participation, whether they with education or access to credit tore the right to inherit would raise the gdp of every country in the world. some would only go up a little bit like finland, but some could go up as a very long way. and it would be a tremendous step forward fon prosperity. we also are stressing women's unique contributions to making and keeping peace. we worked hard with the defense department and the white house and the first ever national action plan as to how we could
involve women more effectively because most peace treaties fail. they don't have buy-in. they don't have support from the populous. and where it's just coincidental perhaps, but there is a correlation, where women have been involved likely beer yeah, the chances of it lasting are at least greater than not. so this week, i'm issuing the first ever secretarial directive on promoting gender equality. it contains specific steps to ensure we integrate women and promote gender equality in every aspect of our work, in our policy development, our strategic planning, budgeting and programming, our monitoring and evaluation, our management and training practices. women are often the canary in the coal mine. when it comes to transitions to democracy or sustaining democracy, we need to pay attention to whether they're thriving or not because that's one of the earliest indicators
as to whether any society is going to sustain its democratic progress. and i'm counting on your leadership as chief submission to implement this guidance around the world. now, i should also note that there will be changes in our ambassadorial corps both this summer and following the november elections as is customary at the end of a presidential term. the foreign policy of united states, however, does not stop for elections. it requires consistent direction and management. so it is important that our ambassadors work to remain at their posts until either the senate has confirmed a replacement or specific departure instructions are given. as i've traveled in so many countries over the last five, six months, a number of you have told me that your time will be up in the spring or in the summer.
but we don't know if we'll get people confirmed in the current political climate. we don't know who will or won't be confirmed in some last-minute deal that might be worked out before the congress basically goes out for elections. so we very much encourage you insofar as possible to stay. we need you. we look to you. and there is no country in the world that can do without you. obviously there are many other important issues that i haven't touched on. we can i'm sure look forward to hearing about those from the speakers today, but also at the town hall later this afternoon. the simple truth is, we have a lot to do. but we have a great team, a great team out in the field, and a great team here in washington. i look forward to seeing you at lunch and then later this afternoon along with my colleagues to take your
questions. now i have the great privilege to introduce deputy secretary bill burns. i kind of think of bill as a one-person brain trust when it comes to policy and diplomacy. he was here as undersecretary, the pe man. it didn't take me longer than a nanosecond to know i wanted him by my side as we continued to move forward in this uncertain but exciting time. please join me in welcoming bill burns. [ applause ] this secretary of state meeting with ambassadors from around the world here in washington, d.c., the second such conference in our nation's capitol, and the secretary of state facing the political reality that in this election year a number of ambassador positions by the u.s. may remain untilled because of delays in the u.s. senate. from andrews air force base
earlier today, british prime minister david cameron arriving in the u.s. for a three-day visit with temperature. the uk leader and his wife samantha landing after 2:00 eastern time. tonight, the first foreign leaders to visit a basketball game in dayton, ohio, part of the nca pafrnlths march madness. the two leaders returning to washington. tomorrow will be the pomp and ceremony on the south lawn of the white house. also dealing with the situation in after gn stan, iran's nuclear ambitions and the situation in syria, all topics that the two leaders will be discussing and what is being build by the white house as an official vis wit a state dinner t 19-gun salute for the british prime minister and full pageantry of the white house and we'll have highlights tomorrow evening on the c-span network. the "new york post" indicating there's some confusion on the other side of the atlantic today with some uk, including the bbc
mixing up sports reporting that the president and prime minister david cameron were watching a baseball game. earlier today, cbs's bill plante with questions on this visit to press secretary jay carney. >> the president seems to be going out of his way to pay more attention to prime minister cameron than to most foreign leaders. is this because he's reported to sort of shrugged off the so-called special relationship? >> no. i think the fact that we are hosting the prime minister in the manner that we are demonstrates the nature of the relationship between our two countries. the fact it is a special relationship. i think that was evident by the manner in which president obama was hosted in london last year.
and this is a great opportunity as the presidencies it to reciprocate for that remarkable hospitality. he looks forward to this visit very much. and setting aside those formalities and the social nature of it, the dinners and things, this is an extraordinarily important relationship. i think, we were speaking about china, our relationship with china and our trade relationship with china is extremely important. let's not forget that united kingdom invests 140 times the amount of china in the united states. i don't think most people know that. and the u.k. is a key ally across the globe in afghanistan, in our efforts in libya and syria, around the global, in the middle east. so i think the nature and the trappings of the visit are
appropriate given dined of relationship we have with great bit tan. >> not everybody gets to watch basketball with the president. >> i think it's reflective of the kind of relationship we've had with the united kingdom and previous presidents have had with previous prime ministers. it's the nature of the relationship that i think is reflected by the itinerary that's been developed for this trip. i don't think it's a surprise to anyone that this administration wants to continue to build on that very longstanding, very special relationship. >> do you forgive him for -- >> bill plante, cbs news senior white house correspondent. by the way, there is a mark as you went to the north portico of the white house that remains unpainted to indicate when the british burned the white house during the war of 1812. a much warmer welcome tomorrow
for the british prime minister. the south lawn ceremony at 9:00 eastern, a joint news conference tomorrow afternoon and a state dinner tomorrow night in the white house. we'll have highlights on the c-span networks. you can check it out all day or any time at c-spanorg. it's 42 minutes past the hour. you're listening to "washington today" heard coast to coast on xm channel 119. iran today rejecting allegations that it attempted to clean up radioactive traces possibly left by a secret nuclear operative at a key military site in iran before granting u.n. inspectors permission to visit the facility. saying the allegations were misleading and false and said such traces could not be cleaned up. satellite images of a military facility in iran indicating that trucks and earth moving vehicles were at that location setting off assertions by diplomats as well as nuclear experts accredited by the u.n. nuclear agency in vienna about the
cleanup operation. the diplomats saying the crews may be trying to erase evidence of the testing of a small nuclear weapon trigger. iran's activities elsewhere in the world are the topic of a conversation today, a hearing with questions from senator joe lieberman, an independent from connecticut as he questioned general douglas frazier, the commandr in of southern command, and commander charles jacoby. here is more from earlier today. >> i was reeflly struck in your posture statement about what you had to say about iranian activity in the area of responsibility of the southern command. we're all aware of this really remarkable story just within the last year of the reigning connection to the mexican transnational criminal groups aimed at sending somebody into the u.s. to kill the saudi ambassador here in washington. it wand to invite you and, if you want, general jacoby to talk
more broadly about -- there's unfortunately a natural coming together, it seems almost inevitable that if someone wants to do us damage. that they'll find their way to these trance national criminal groups that have become quite adept to the u.s. in getting stuff into the u.s., people into the u.s. i wanted to invite you both to talk more broadly about that problem. general, if you could, describe a little bit for the record here some of what you say in your posture statement about the quite methodical movement of iranian activities, personnel, particularly this man rabani into latin america which is obviously not good for us. senator, iran is very engaged in the region. they have doubled their number of embassies in the last seven years. they have 11 embassies, 40
cultural centers in 17 different countries throughout the region. we see their activity very much as trying to build cultural awareness and awareness for iran, trying to circumvent international sanctions that are on their employee and they're seeing an opportunity with some of the u.s.-focused countries within the region as a method on being able to do that. our concern remains their traditional connections with hezbollah and hamas who have organizations in lat tichb america. those organizations are primarily focused on financial support to organizations back in the middle east. but they are involved in elicit activity. and so that is the connection we continue to look for as we watch in the future, that connection between the elicit activity and the potential pathway into the united states. >> general jacoby, did you want
to add anything to that? >> senator, there's an extraordinary amount of vigilance across the interagency looking for the counterterrorism nexus with the transnational criminal organizations. wee got our eye on that closely. it's matter of the great import to the homeland. it also reflects what i believe today is an i understand d mat relationship between the home game and the away game. so what general mattis is doing in the gulf is very important to us. so making that intelligence connective tishl you with the other xhanlts is critical to us and we've worked hard to do that. there's an extraordinary amount of money in the transnational criminal organization coffers. there are netted works for hire. we'll be watching that carefully and working with very good mexican partners to that end. >> thank you very much. senator joe lieberman questioning generals in charge of northern and southern command with focus of iranian activity in the western hemisphere.
that is available on our website any time, part of the video library at c-span.org. the u.s., the european union and japan filing a challenge to the world trade organization against china's export restrictions on minerals, minerals crucial to the production of a lot of high-tech devices used and built in the u.s. in a statement the president saying that the case seeks to force china to lift export limits on certain minerals known as rare el earths. china does produce 97% of all rare earth material. coming up in a couple minutes, we'll have perspective from washington's trade correspondent for reuters, doug palmer who is following this story. at the white house today, a question about the timing of today's announcement, the political timing of it. >> the announcement comes on the day of the republican primaries. it comes when the critics are saying that the president hasn't
stood up to trade enough. one of tanl lifts has been covering the issues as i think it's transparent he's doing this now for electoral purposes. can you respond to that? >> i'll just respond in a way i've responded already which is ridiculous unless you think the president and all the actions he took were taken for those reasons, even in the first few months of his administration which is patently absurd. the president's commitment on this has been evident in the very beginning, and this is simply part of that effort. the fact that it takes place on a day when the republican primaries, competitive republican primaries, throw some spaghetti at a calendar and find a day when there isn't a competitive republican primary and it's possible that could be the case for many weeks going forward. i don't know. we're folk kulgsed on -- the president's schedule is a complex organism and this was the appropriate day to do it.
he has an important ally coming into town, the prime he has a s visit, an official visit and a state dinner tomorrow night and certainly many other matters to attend to, but the timing of this had everything to do with his schedule and the fact of the case and not politics. >> the rare thing that it has been around for at least two years, three years. does it take that long sf. >> because there's an issue, there are various steps in how these things are developed. a decision is made -- a pretty consequence shl decision. you don't do that on first day that you discover you have a problem. the specifics -- i would refer you to the agencies involved, but, of course, this she a very thought-out process, by which
you would make the decision to take a case up and then you make that case in the presentation. i think i have answered this, again, chinese tires, to start. >> white house press secretary jay carney made his comments today. joining us on the phone is doug palmer. >> you're welcome, glad to be here. >> in looking at this wto dispute, it's not only the u.s. but japan and the european union so is there significance that we're not alone in making this claim against the chinese government? >> well, yeah, i think so. i mean, i think it gives force to the argument when you have three major economies like the european union, japan and the united states all saying that china is not abiding by its commitments and they have shared interest in a successful outcome
of this case since their industries are dependent on access to these rare earth and currently the biggest source of supply is in china. >> so what the core issue, where is the dispute? >> the dispute is over export restrictions that china has impose on these rare earth minerals that are used in variety of products. clean-energy products. advanced technology products. like iphones and solar panels and electric cars. advanced batteries for electric cars. so, you know, those are kind of seen as the jobs as the future and everybody's keen to make sure that they're in a position to be able to produce those goods and have those jobs and if china doesn't allow its rare earths to be exported then it's
create an incentive to base their companies in china. >> if you're a u.s. or an european company buying these product in china, how much more would it be as opposed to chine chinese-based companies? >> if you're in the domestic market then you would pay the domestic price for the product. so, where people are acted if they're outside of china and they don't have access to -- they don't have access to the supply. so, you know, by restricting exports, they hold down the price in china for rare earth minerals and they push up the price up outside china. >> the president coming to the rose garden today make this announcement, why now? >> well, you know, i mean this case has actually been, you know, developing for a long time, you know, even back in
2010, china cut off shipments to japan and in the midst of a diplomatic dispute and that sort of caught everybody's attention to how vulnerable they were to china basically controlling the world's supply. that said, you know there's sort of been an expectation that, you know, going into the election that china -- that obama would want to look tougher on trade. bring more cases to the wto to increases in his visibility on the topic. but, to be fair, the u.s., u.n. and mexico have brought a similar case against china on export restrictions on a different set of raw materials about two years ago and there was just a final ruling in that case in january. and, that case sort of made crystal clear -- well, you know,
at least to the u.s. and the eu, that china's rare earth export restrictions also violated wto rules. so, after getting that ruling in january, you know, there was no uncertainty, i think n the u.s., that they pursued this rare earth case at the wto that they would also win. >> we're talking with doug palmer. why does china continue this policy that leads to these disputes between some of its leading partners including the u.s.? whether it's minerals or other products sf. >> japan has a huge employment problem itself. it has to produce, i don't know, millions of jobs every year. to keep its -- to keep growing and to, you know, accommodate people who are moving from rural areas to urban areas. so, you know, they have faced
pretty significant social unrest, if those people aren't immroid and happy. so, i'm sure from their point of view that they're, you know, they think they're pursuing a perfectly sensible idea to keep their people employed. they think that those policies are unnecessarily discriminatory and hurt, you know, foreign firms much more than are allowed under china's commitments to the wto. so, you know, it's only natural that there's going to be some pushback on that. >> the u.s. trade representative ron kirk wanting to make sure that china obliges by these global trading rules, who enforces those rules? >> we're talking about the world trade organization. china joined the world trade
organization in 2001, and you know, some people expect them to honor the commitments that they made and there's a general feeling that they did well for the first five or so years in implementing the commitments, but since maybe 2006, there's been some backslide and the market hasn't opened up since china joined. that's led to a lot of frustration in congress, the u.s. trade deficit with china was just short of $300 billion last year. lawmakers looked to that and see it as evidence that china is an unfair trader, that's probably not the only explanation for the deficit. you know, but -- but, you know, generally there's just a lot of frustration in the u.s./china relationship right now particularly at a time when u.s. unemployment remains high and policymakers are looking for
ways to stimulate employment. >> some background on today's developments, the trade dispute with the european union, u.s. and japan. filing complaints against china. thanks very much for being with us. >> you're welcome. david gregory. >> gst gst. >> chris wallace. sunday tv networks talk show. starting at noon eastern, nbc's "meet the press." abc's "this week." fox news sunday. cbs' face the nation. top issues, key political figures and the journalists roundtable. replays of the sunday tv network talk shows. sundays starting at noon eastern on c-span radio. >> c-span radio, around on the
country on xm channel radio 119. "washington today" continues in a minute. get regular updates about what's on c-span radio with twitter. quick information about hearings, speeches and debates from capitol hill. the administration and the campaign trail. including which events are live. and links to help you listen. go to twitter.com/cspanradio and click follow. also twitter feeds for c-span television, american history tv, road to the white house and washington journal. ♪ i hope that once we pass this, the house will take this up and not listen to this voice that makes up so much of the republican caucus in the house. and get this passed. the highway bill expires at the end of this month. so we have to get this done. >> senator harry reid