tv PBS News Hour Weekend PBS July 5, 2015 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by wnet >> sreenivasan: on this edition for sunday, july 5: greek voters turn out in droves to decide the fate of their nation's economy. greek voters reject the terms of the european bailout plan in our signature segment, unable to find work and being forced into poverty because of a criminal record. >> i did my probation. no violations. model citizen. it's like every time i apply for a job, i feel like i'm committing a crime all over again. >> sreenivasan: and, a close look at native american fashion. next on pbs newshour weekend. >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by:
corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we are your retirement company. additional support is provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. from the tisch wnet studios in lincoln center in new york, hari sreenivasan. this is pbs newshour weekend. >> sreenivasan: good evening and thanks for joining us. i'm hari sreenivasan. we start with greece, where officials are projecting that more than 60% of voters have rejected austerity measures proposed by creditors. crowds are rallying in the streets, celebrating the early returns. the "no" vote means greeks do not want to make the deep budget cuts in order to get emergency bailout money as the nation falls deeper into debt. greek prime minister alexis
tsipras said that quote the mandate asking call for a break request europe but rather gives me greater negotiating strength. joins us from athens first of all the reaction on the streets i can almost pbs newshour special correspondent malcolm brabant joins us now from athens. hear them behind you in the constitution square. >> there is euphoria often the streets of athens tonight because this result is entirety consistent with the greeks natural tendency towards resistance. this is something that appeals to their national character. at this stage people really thought they had nothing more to lose. they have endured five years of austerity, really tough times. the genuine feeling here is things can't get any worse. but what is happening tonight is really a step into the unphone. bought no one really knows what is knows the consequence of this is. >> are you clear on what a no vote meant and what a yes vote meant when they went to the
polls? >> i think most people distilled this down to a yes vote meaning there would be absolutely more austerity, years of pain. whereas some people believed a no vote would believe there would be a renegotiation perhaps the terms may have been better. there are others who think by voting no, they will basically be writing off this debt. but they seem to believe the government when they say that mr. stiches will be able -- mr. tsipras will be able to go back to brussels with a better hand. i was talking to a financial consultant tonight who said the banks are running out of paper money and there may be nationalization of the banks if the situation continues. >> because even with this vote greece still has another loan payment coming in a couple of weeks right? >> several payments coming up and without any new money coming in, there's absolutely no way that greece can make those payments so they're going to continue to be in default.
but what i think the greeks are hoping for is that something that the imf last mentioned over the past week or so that there is going to have to be some sort of debit restructuring because -- debt restructuring because all the money thrown into the troika, all the money has gone into servicing the debt and only a very very small percentage has actually done to boosting the economy. so basically what the imf is saying is that greece has to have maybe a ten or 15 or 20 year break from paying back any money so that it can basically have a breathing space and get back on its feet. and now this is something that's got to be worked identity with the europeans, they don't like that idea at all. >> when you talk to voters tonight after they went to the polls, after they cast the ballots did you see any patterns how it broik down, the -- broke down, the young versus the old one versus the other? >> you do have young people
having a very very strong voice base they have been the most disadvantaged in this area of austerity. the other, totally intolerable for them. most people under 35 are unemployed. 50% of young people are unemployed. this is a country with a highly educated yungs population and there's been -- young pofntion and this is a huge brain drain. this is a country of old people. what the young people are saying, we are negotiating for our future. if it means fighting and sufertion e-suffering a little bit -- suffering a little bit longer, we're prepared to do that. this is a step into the unknown. >> malcolm is brabant, thank you so much. >> sreenivasan: secretary of state john kerry met with diplomats for a record ninth- straight day of nuclear talks in vienna. negotiators from iran and the p-5 plus 1 countries, russia, the u.s. france, the u.k.,
china plus germany, are hoping to make a deal by july 7. the u.s. wants to keep iran from building a nuclear weapon, and give u.n. weapons inspectors access to military sites. the main sticking point is iran's demand that economic sanctions be lifted before it makes changes to its nuclear program. secretary kerry cautioned today that the talks could still go either way. >> if we don't get a deal, if we don't have a deal, if there's absolute intransigence , if there's an unwillingness to move on the things that are important, president obama has always said we'll be prepared to walk away. >> sreenivasan: in the middle east, u.s.-led coalition aircraft carried out at least 16 air strikes against isis within syria so far. some focused specifically on the city of raqqa. a pro-isis website reported 10 people were killed and dozens wounded, including two young boys. the u.s. military says the assault destroyed isis transit routes, to stop fighters from moving weapons and troops through syria and into iraq. raqqa has been the de facto capital of isis since the fighters declared an islamic caliphate a year ago. global investors are also
monitoring economic trouble in china, where a recent stock market free-fall is forcing beijing to make changes before trading opens monday. according to the "wall street journal," china has suspended initial public offerings, hoping to slow down the sell-off. china's central bank is also buying shares in chinese companies in an effort to stabilize the market. at the same time, 21 chinese brokerage firms collectively promised assistance and will invest at least $19 billion of their own money to buy stocks. china's stock market has lost almost $3 trillion in value just since last month. >> sreenivasan: the migrant crisis in europe is causing major disruptions on both ends of the tunnel that connects england and france. security officers temporarily halted eurotunnel service twice in the last two weeks, stranding train passengers and blocking vehicle traffic.
trucks that carry goods from across europe are waiting in long lines. itn's peter smith reports on how migrants are managing to cross the border. >> a british legislatory british lorry driver filmed this. having gone through three screenings, security checks and border parole parole -- prom. the next checks don't go until he gets to britain. but a line of migrants are clearly seen where they are thought meant to be. nobody sees them, delivering cargo dwrectly into the u.k. this group is walking casually unconcerned unbeing rushed and unchallenged. they each queue up in single file and have time to look around for best spot to hide. in the hours that followed, 150
migrants desperately stormed the callais term flal causing services to be delayed and cancelled. another man aiming to get into be the train is seen running and jumping onto the tracks. yards away. they appear to work out this french port but they don't step in. instead, a thumbs up and a wave. the man who recorded these incredible pictures told us why he decided to capture it on his phone. >> well it's getting out of hand. there's hundreds. i mean what i've seen there of a night sometime, the there are tim more. >> we put our footage to euro tunnel the company that runs the cross channel route. a spokesperson tells us they need british and french be authorities to provide more security. >> this is going to be solved by hard decisions taken by the eu which is the port of entry at
lampedusa and calmais and in greece. >> a shanty town for desperate channel will once again be pitted against those who are employed to stop them. >> sreenivasan: and now to our signature segment. tonight, the debate about employer background checks. how far back should they go? a growing number of states are opting to ban the box that asks about criminal records on job applications. but with evidence criminal records could be driving people into poverty, a new proposal to seal past offenses is now on the table. the newshour's stephen fee has our story from philadelphia which we originally brought you in january. >> reporter: every afternoon, at his dining room table, 36-year-
old ronald lewis does his homework. by day, he's a student, learning to fix heating and air conditioning systems, and he looks after his three kids. he also works the night shift running high pressure boilers at a chemical plant here in his hometown, philadelphia. >> i'm a father. i'm a hard worker. i'm very ambitious. >> reporter: he's also got a criminal record. a decade ago, lewis had two major run-ins with the law that he says have interfered with his job prospects ever since. in august 2004, he was picked up during a drug arrest alongside his brother. lewis was carrying a .9 millimeter handgun. days later he was nabbed for stealing a pocketbook from a department store. so what was that like, and what happened at that stage after they arrested you? >> it was life changing. but it wasn't a good feeling. it wasn't a good feeling because you felt like you disappointed your family, and you disappointed your mother, which is the most important person in my life. >> reporter: on the suggestion of his lawyer, lewis took a
deal. for both cases, he pled guilty to a total of three misdemeanors and was sentenced to five years' probation. no jail time. at that time, were you worried at all about how this might impact your future? >> no. because the lawyer had told me "it's only a misdemeanor. it's never going to hurt you. don't even worry about it." so no, i really didn't think that much into it at that point. >> reporter: a short time later lewis began looking for new work. he was overjoyed when he got a tentative job offer from a building company. >> i worked there for about a month, was honest with them. told them, you know, what was on my record. they still hired me. we're working. so i work there about a month. they called me in the office and said, "your record came back. we've got to let you go." >> reporter: and that was it? even though you had disclosed everything? you were never dishonest in the hiring process? >> never dishonest. never. they looked so scared of me, it was a shame. >> reporter: what do you mean? >> when they, we've got to get you out of here. we've got to get you off the premises. >> reporter: lewis says that scenario played out over and over again.
later on, he had two offers that were then revoked. he had promising phone calls with another company that went nowhere. he says the only explanation he received: the existence of crimes in his past. four of those companies declined to discuss lewis' case with us. there are people who are going to watch this, and they're going to say, "you know what? you weren't a kid. you were 25. you were an adult. you knew what you were doing. and that this is a consequence, this is a consequence of your actions." >> if you show me one person that hasn't made a mistake, then i won't apply nowhere else. >> reporter: nine in ten companies in the u.s. conduct background checks, and with rap sheets widely available online, advocates say people with criminal backgrounds, sometimes just an arrest record, no conviction, are being blocked from employment. they say it's driving a growing number of people into poverty. and that ronald lewis' case is hardly unique. >> it's very common. we see clients come in with variations of his story on a daily basis. >> reporter: sharon dietrich is
now ronald lewis' lawyer. she didn't represent him in the original criminal cases. she's also the litigation director at community legal services of philadelphia. >> we serve the low-income community of philadelphia, basically unemployed and low- wage workers in philadelphia. and it's the single most common reason people come to us for help is because they have a criminal record that has been keeping them from getting a job. >> reporter: last year, the "wall street journal," using data from the university of south carolina, reported that americans with a criminal conviction by age 23 have higher unemployment rates, make less money, and are twice as likely to end up in poverty as their peers. >> the reality is that with the rise of technology and really with the proliferation of background checks in this nation in really every walk of life from employment to housing, a criminal record now carries often lifelong barriers to basic building blocks of economic security. >> reporter: rebecca vallas is a lawyer and poverty expert at the left-leaning center for american
progress in washington. she and sharon dietrich, ronald lewis' lawyer, published a report last year linking poverty and criminal backgrounds, especially among black men. >> and so it's really an incredibly pervasive problem that impacts whole segments of our community. but it-- this issue also really disproportionately impacts communities of color. >> reporter: employers say they aren't just shutting out everyone with a criminal past, they're being careful and complying with guidelines from the federal equal employment opportunity commission meant to give people second chances. that's according to beth milito at the national federation of independent businesses, which represents 350000 small businesses. a cynical part of me says, "hey, if i sat down and, boy, it looks like someone's got a criminal record and then i've got another candidate who doesn't, i'm going to go with the guy who doesn't have the criminal record," right? >> maybe, maybe not. i think it depends on the nature of the job. the equal employment opportunity commission issued new guidance
in april of 2012. and it reiterates that where at all possible it's good for a business to consider three factors: the nature of the crime, the time that's elapsed since the crime and the nature of the job. and when at all possible to make an individualized assessment. and i think many employers will do that. >> reporter: 100 cities, including philadelphia, new york, detroit, charlotte and orlando, along with 18 states now prohibit employers from asking job applicants to check a box admitting if they have a criminal record. 11 state bans apply only to government agencies. seven states also prohibit private employers from asking about convictions. but vallas and dietrich's report for the center for american progress wants to go a step further, and seal low-level, nonviolent criminal offenses that took place more than ten years ago. according to rebecca vallas, the data show that after a decade, nonviolent offenders are no more likely to commit a crime than
anyone else, so their records shouldn't be part of the hiring process at all. >> we really have policies in place that treat a person as a criminal long after they really pose any significant risk of ever re-offending. and it really doesn't make much sense to be shutting someone out of opportunities to access a job for instance, because of misconceptions about who that person might be and the risk that they might pose to public safety. >> reporter: but beth milito at the national federation of independent businesses says employers face major risks, and even potential negligent hiring lawsuits, if a past offender commits a crime on the job. and for small business owners especially, their reputations could be on the line. >> hiring decisions are challenging. and they need this information. they can't turn a blind eye. too much is at risk. they can't turn a blind eye to criminal history. it'd be foolish to. you know, there's people property at stake.
>> reporter: someone might be watching this and they say, "you know what? i wouldn't trust you at my business." how do you defend yourself to that charge? >> what i say to them is it was 2004, and i'm pretty sure if you made a mistake in 2004, you don't know what your mistake was. but mine is documented. so you know what my mistake is. and look at the positive things i've done since 2004. so if you're gonna hang your hat on just 2004, then you probably aren't the person i want to work for anyway. >> reporter: do you think an employer doesn't have the right to know what happened in your past? >> employers should know-- should know who they're hiring. it's fair. you- you should know. but you should also remember that these are lives we're-- these are people's lives we're talking about. it's like if almost double jeopardy. just look at it like this. i serve my-- i did my probation. no violations. model citizen. i go to school and try to better myself, and i'm-- it's like every time i apply for a job, i
feel like i'm committing a crime all over again. >> reporter: this spring, lewis finished his training course and is now looking for work. he's submitted two pardon applications to pennsylvania to clear his record, and while both have been rejected, he plans on re-submitting them in the near future. >> sreenivasan: for a rundown of everything you should watch for in tonight's women's world cup final between the u.s. and japan, watch an interview with former u.s. goalkeeper briana scurry. visit pbs.org/newshour. >> sreenivasan: the mitchell museum of the american indian in evanston, illinois has delved deep into its archives for its latest exhibit. on display are the custom clothes and adornments of native americans from across the united states and canada. it's part of a year-long look at native american fashion worn in ceremonies, celebrations, and even on runways. this story is from our
colleagues at wttw in chicago. phil ponce reports. >> reporter: from elk teeth, and porcupine quills, to woven fabric, beads, and animal hide. for centuries, native american artisans have made exquisite designs from whatever materials were at hand. most items on view are not every day outfits and jewelry, but were made for special occasions and people of honor. >> mostly the leaders within the communities wore the elaborate garments. you might have been a very higher status member but you had a responsibility to provide for the rest of the community too. we were wanting to highlight native fashion in the sense of before contact, making european contact. >> reporter: native americans also embraced new crafts from europe, including metalwork, and beads which often replaced the quillwork in their earlier designs. the designs helped identify the wearer.
>> whether that was by a design a bead design utilized for specific tribe or technique and definitely symbols could be a spiritual connection, could also represent clans within the family unit. >> a lot of the regional differences between the designs and the types of material being used are shown in what people are choosing to put into the more elaborate outfits and regalia. those materials are important materials to express their culture locally but they also sometimes incorporate pieces that express their trade capacity, the ability to bring macaw feathers from south america all the way up to the plains to me that's a very impressive feat to do when you don't have cars or trains for transit. >> reporter: the mitchell museum also looks at more contemporary native american creations.
whether modern or traditional, native designers have kept their cultural identity alive within the world of high fashion. >> it's very interesting how so much the interplay of cultures takes place but what they're producing is very obvious to still maintaining the culture. the beadwork that comes in, the different mass-manufactured cloth material that comes in, the metalworking that comes in they really make it their own unique native american designs and styles. >> sreenivasan: on monday's newshour, jeffrey brown reports from the concert event of the summer. after 50 years, the grateful dead play their final shows at soldier field in chicago. jeff sat down with one of the band's original members, drummer bill kreutzmann. >> i want to do it for the fans again. we had such such amazing support.
>> sreenivasan: and now to viewers like you, you're chance to comment on our work. there were many comments following last week's story about toxic stress and the effect that stress can have on the developing brains of children. lee eliott spoke about her personal experience: "i was a single mother making $4.10 an hour. my mind was constantly stimulated by thinking of decent meals for my children, keeping my home and my children clean and constantly looking for ways to improve our lives. my children are now hard working college graduates. you can triumph over poverty if you set your mind on it." diana moses asked about the process of assisting those in stressful situations:" ... i wonder whether the social and emotional support from other adult human beings lightening the load by their involvement also contributed to this mother's progress. i mean, suppose the meds and camp referrals and parenting tips (and so on) had been provided with much less human- to-human contact, would the same progress have been made?"
sonia levy kungli added simply: "labeling the stress "toxic" is toxic." brandi johnson bailey said: "poverty is like living in an invisible cage. eventually it breaks their spirit and ultimately, them." some commented that the effect of stress isn't limited to the underprivileged: grace curran brock said: "this isn't just happening to poor kids. middle class and rich kids can grow up with domestic violence." betty scarpellino added: "unfortunately unearned early wealth seems to have a sad impact on many brains too. empathy destroyed!" and there was this from robert phillips: "i'd like to see more research on this subject for different age groups. i'd bet even late onset (i.e. adults who grew up well provided then lost careers later in life) have major brain adaptation over a several year period." as always we welcome your comments. visit us online at pbs.org/newshour, on our facebook page, or tweet us at @newshour.
>> finally tonight the alamo and four neighboring catholic missions in texas have been declared unesco world heritage sights. others in the area were awarded, france's champagne region. three tons of supplies to the two russian he and one american on board. i'm hari sreenivasan. thanks for watching, good night. captioning sponsored by wnet captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
>> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we are your retirement company. additional support is provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
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