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tv   KQED Newsroom  PBS  September 20, 2015 5:00pm-5:31pm PDT

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♪ good evening and welcome to kqed "newsroom." i'm trivoo. fire crews are battling a wildfire that has destroyed more than 600 homes in lake county. they're worried that warm weather could add fuel to the blaze. three people have died in the fire and at least one person remains missing. four firefighters have suffered burns. the blaze known as the valley fire ignited last saturday and is burning in parts of lake, sonoma and napa counties. it's one of more than 5,000 wildfires scorching the state this year according to cal fire. marco loducci of the governor's office of emergency services says this year's fires have been especially difficult to fight.
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>> i would say that the valley fire in lake county will be one of the top 20 most devastating fires we've seen in california and the fire season itself has probably been the most extreme that i've seen in my 30 years with regards to the number of fires that we've seen statewide, the way these fires are starting and spreading in -- and ending up in basically a migration is a rapid and very erratic spread of fire and it's making it very, very difficult to fight and to get on and it's putting people and property in harm's way. >> and my colleague, scott schaefer spends part of the week in lake county as kqedsuki lewis. welcome to you both. suki, let me start with you. you were among the first allowed back into the fire zone. what did you see? >> it was as the sun was setting and we went through the blockade and there were still spot fires
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everywhere, and there was smoke rising from the bound and the big tree stumps from where the fire had burned to the ground and we were driving further down the road to a more populated area and began to see burned-out cars, houses, completely levelled to the ground, just white ash left behind and then there would be a house amazingly and still standing and really speaks to the erratic nature of the fire. >> you were born and raised there. what was it like to go back because you weren't another reporter covering it. this was your home. >> and i was going back in with family friends who were going in to check on their house to make sure if it was still there and not there, and it was -- it was really emotional to see the places that i have loved, the place where i got married and the place i took my son swimming in the summer, and it's -- >> was it all just gone? >> yeah. all burnt and very, very dear friends of mine whose houses are gone and i've spent a lot of my time in, and it's a really beautiful and unique place, and
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it's very changed. >> um, scott, you spent a lot of time with the evacuees and they were understandably worried about all that they left behind and how were they able to cope with all of that. a lot of them left behind pets and livestock. >> they did. i went to one of the evacuation centers at kelseyville high school. they have nothing to do in particular, they're just waiting and there's no information and there are no cal fire officials there and there are a lot of rumors and hearsay and people comforting each other and meeting each other. you can sense it's a tight-knit community because people were taking care of each other, whether or not they knew each other and there was a huge amount of anxiety and just worry especially as you said those who left their animals behind whether they were pets and livestock. it is a rural county by and large and so there were people that left goats and cows and horses as well as dogs and cats and pigeons and all kinds of things. >> suki, you touched on this.
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you say it's a very beautiful county.of us haven't been to la county and tell us about the community and the environment and what are people like and how do people come together during this fire? >> it's a very unusual place. to me it's heartland california, it's the part of california that is so classically california to me. those kind of beautiful brown hills and the manzanita trees, the pines and the dirt, and the people who live there are, like, hippies and potheads and you know, hicks and they live together in this unique ecosystem and help each other out. >> and because of the tourism. some people go up to the hot springs which was destroyed in the fire. >> yeah. >> a lot of memories growing up there. >> and there's all of the vineyard, too. there is a whole kind of wine culture and a pair -- and
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kelseyville is a pear town and a lot offing a culture and all these different aspects to the place. >> a lot of natural beauty and very much a low-income community and are they going to be able to recover after all of this? >> i don't know. i think it really remains to be seen. in some areas, i just wonder if -- i mean, in some areas that i saw it's like an entire hillside of houses is gone, and you just think of all of the families that are there that are not going to be sending their kids to school that are not going to be patronizing the local grocery store. how will it impact the broader economics of an area like cobb mountain. >> a lot of people are living paycheck to paycheck if they have jobs and it is the low-income place which i think makes people grittier, you know? and maybe tougher and in that sense i met a lot of people willing to say this we'll stick around and see this through. it is also a place as suki said it's not a wealthy county and
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they have the lowest longevity of any county and smoking obesity, diabetes, heart disease, drugs so it doesn't have a lot going for it in the way that, say, napa or mend sin on and sonoma might because they're wealthier and people with bigger voices to help get government aid. >> so how many will stick around and rebuild, do you think? or do you run into a fair number of people who say we're done and we're done with the fires and packing up and leaving. >> from the people that i spoke to, it's too soon to tell. people are telling scott, people need to get back in to make that decision. people don't know. people are in this limbo of, like, is there something to rebuild or is it completely gone or is it time to move somewhere else and the sooner they can get in the sooner they make those decisions. >> a few people who had second homes and they live in the bay area and they went there to get away from the rat race in the city and they had a home like on cobb mountain and for those folks it might be a tougher
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decision because they see now the danger and of course, with climate change it's likely to get worse as time goes by and not better. it will be interesting to see what happens to those folks and certainly the longtime residents i would think will stick around. it was so destructive and it moved so fast in the early days and certainly we're thinking of all of the people out there and were wishing them the best as they try to recover from all of this. thank you both for coming in and sharing your personal perspective. scott schaefer and suki lewis. >> thank you. next week, chinese president xi jinping will visit the united states to meet with president barack obama. his trip comes amid rising tensions between the two countries over the chinese government's role in cyber attacks. while in the u.s. president xi will attend a tech summit in seattle that will reportedly include executives from apple's facebook and google. joining us now to discuss xi jinping's upcoming visit are mary kay magstat, former chinaes
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correspondent for the world and mpr and santa clara university law professor ana hahn who is also the professor for global law and fpolicy welcome to you both. the u.s. is prepared to take actions against china in retaliation for some recent high-profile cyber attacks including one that compromised data on millions of federal employees. how optimistic are you that china will indeed address this problem? >> i think both countries have to address this problem because this is not a concern just on the u.s. part. it's also a concern on the chinese part. they are concerned with cybersecurity as we are. i liken this very much to the cold war era where both party his nuclear weapons and it's kind of an assured destruction situation. so hopefully both sides will come to an agreement and i'm optimistic and not necessarily that that will happen, but they'll discuss the possibility
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of each side not continuing the cyber attacks because china is concerned with the u.s. also doing the same. >> mary kay, are you as optimistic? you lived in china for 15 years and you go back regularly now. you're writing a book on china. >> yeah, well, so this is part of the fabric of how the chinese government deals with its relationship with the united states and how the u.s. deals with china. i mean, on one level great powers and even lesser powers know that governments spy on each other. what the u.s. takes exception to is that the chinese government and the chinese military are exceptionally organized. it's a very large scale and that they go after not just the kind of data that normally is acquired in spying government to government, but also proprietary information from u.s. companies that allows the chinese companies to compete against them. the u.s. government says unfairly. there have been conversations. there have been discussions and
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negotiations over years about this and the chinese government says we're a victim, too, but it doesn't really change. >> what are some of the other points of contention between the two countries in addition to cybersecurity? >> i think the biggest one is how each power sees itself in the world and sees the other in the world. the chinese government has for a long time thought if the 20th century was america's this would be china's and when the 2008 economic crisis hit, was there really a strong feeling in china of, okay, this is our time. they've shown that they can't do it. we can do it. they've had to recalibrate because it hasn't quite gone the way it was going and the u.s. has recovered and has proven resilient, but the chinese government still talks about how there has to be a new kind of great power of relationship where the rising power is able to acquire new authority in the world without having to fight for it and the u.s. is not necessarily going along with that. we have an important
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interdependent relationship, but we're allowing to stay. >> and what do you think of that? i think one of the fundamental purposes of the visit for the chinese and not necessarily for the united states and it is to set himself up as equal. china wants to be equal through the united states and hence the title of the visit and it's a state visit that will allow him to talk to president obama as president obama and his last visit he was vice president here and they had a conversation and he had a meeting and it is important for china to be received as an, call power to the united states and in china right now domestically, the reporting of this and the emphasis is on this, not on the issues they will discuss, but how xi will be received here in the united states. >> and so many times in these diplomatic conversations a lot has to do with tone, the way things are said and another point of contention has been the
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spratly islands in the south china sea. a major area of freight cargo and $5 trillion a year and ship borne trade goes through the south china sea and china is building artificial islands on the coral reefs in that area and it's alarming the philippines which is a u.s. ally. it's alarming vietnam and malaysia and two other countries that feel like it's part of their territory, too. the u.s. is coming in and saying you need to stop doing that. does it matter to china what the u.s. wants? they remain very defiant, mary kay. >> when it comes to the south china sea there are six nations and entities that claim sovereignty over at least part, and when you look at where china is claiming sovereignty, part of it goes right up almost to the philippine territory, so, yeah, the philippines and vietnam have been quite upset about this. does china care about what the u.s. wants? it cares if it will lead to a
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military confrontation and they've been playing chicken. and you don't want a war with us, right? >> i want to go back to the question of equality because while the chinese would like to be seen and the chinese president would like to be seen as equal. we'll look at the chinese economy and stock market that have been significant problems of late and it's slowing down quite a bit, they've been dealt with in a very opaque manner by the chinese government. there have been a lot of concerns from china's neighbors in the region and they're not sure they can trust china as a neighbor. they're not comfortable with the level of muscularity that china has exercised over the year or so as the powers have risen. she might want to be dealt with as an equal and i'm not sure that the perception in the world is that china is an equal, as important to other powers and other countries as the united states continues to be. >> let's talk about the local
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community here, ana. are chinese americans in the bay area paying close attention to this visit, and if so, what matters most to them? >> i think it depends on the community that you're referring to, as you know the chinese american community is broad, so you have people from china, recently. you have people from taiwan and longtime immigrants who came during the railroad days and they're all going to have different views and i think they do watch it fairly closely, as an example, one of the topics that might come up is an election in taiwan so that taiwan, the americans who are here will be watching that to see if anything comes of that. >> to go back to the south sea -- south china sea discussion, i actually think there are things that can be done and this is again, optimistic and even idealistic. there are six countries claiming sovereignty and the u.s. is not one of them. however, the u.s. is the deterrent factor and there is concern if china moves too much, military aircrafts on the
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artificial islands that the u.s. will move against it, and china should be concerned that we may react that triggers the regional conflict. so to me, claiming sovereignty is fine and people will do this and it will take years and years of unraveling who actually owns those islands, but it doesn't mean that claiming sovereignty equals action. you don't necessarily have to take action ere, and if we can get the chinese to stop building and stop placing more troops, airplanes on those islands that will go a long way toward peace in the region. >> also talk about tech because tech is of such great interest in the area and it is coming up in seattle. don't you think mr. xi is trying to accomplish with leaders, mary kay? >> u.s. tech companies that have increasingly been asked to hand over their code and to hand over
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their proprietary information and they collect on chinese useres on their products in ways that make them ethically and comfortable and in some ways violate laws and understandings in the united states about how they should operate here. so xi knows that when xi jinping knows when he goes to d.c., this is going to be an item that he and president obama will discuss. >> it's considered sort of a shrewd move that china is co-sponsoring and co-hosting this tech event in seattle, drawing major u.s. tech companies saying, you see? we're important to u.s. tech companies. >> it matters. you should pay attention to what we want is the message that we're trying to send. >> right. but the u.s. tech companies also care about not handing over their proprietary information. >> absolutely. how is president xi different from his two predecessors, would you say? >> ana. >> well, he's a descendant from old guard, old revolutionary
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guard and his family is prominent in china and he rose to power in a surprising way in some ways, but he has -- what strikes me as very different is that he has really, really consolidated power very quickly in china in a way that actually, he went after his -- his anti-corruption campaign went ahead chinese officials and he's gotten away with that and that's a very unusual move on the chinese leader's part and he's been successful at it. >> mary kay, you have strong feelings about what he's done in china that is different from his predecessors. >> on many levels he's different from his predecessors and he has a much stronger personality which interestingly, he kept under wraps when he was a pro n provincial official. he took down opponents and also as a populist play and it is very popular in china because
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people are sick of corruption and he's clafrmed down very hard on free speech o free use of the internet and on lawyers who had been practicing law in china and under the auspices of the chinese constitution and he has said that search concepts of freedom of speech and democracy, rule of law and actually having the government have to follow its own constitution and the dangerous western ideas and not appropriate for china. >> very interesting. we will see what results next week and with what sanctions may come and what relations will improve following this visit. thank you both for coming in and thank you mare kay and anna haun. >> later this month, india's prime minister is scheduled to visit silicon valley and we'll discuss that next week on kqed newsroom. it is home to the largest indian-american communities in the country and one of the largest theater companies,
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naatak. it is celebrating its 20th anniversary and putting on an original musical production vrindavan. kqed sat in on its final dress rehearsal. ♪ ♪ >> everyone! okay! everyone, we are starting! ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> it was founded by a good friend of mine at berkeley and stanford. now with the years passing, we've spent almost half our lives in the united states and so we have two lives and our lives before we came to this country and our lives after.
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the company began as an attempt to perhaps live again the lives we left behind. >> almost everybody in naatak is at least three out of four is not nine out of ten and our engineers are the usual tech companies. >> i have a ph.d in electrical engineering in ucsd. >> i'm a research scientist at the nasa center. >> i work in software engineering. >> goft my masters in electrical engineering and i work at apple. >> i work as director of s.a.p. >> i study computer science and mathematics. i am now a senior manager at oracle. >> the left brain, right brain division is a mix, that deeply analytical people can bring to bear a kind of precision that will elevate the art. ♪ ♪ i have composed all of the songs and the lyrics, and i started formally learning and i was 8
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years old. at the age of 12 i came under who was one of the greatest performers of classical music. ♪ ♪ >> this is performing in the play. grueling in some aspects because there have been long hours of rehearsal and rightly so. ♪ ♪ >> there is a city in india named vrindavan which happens to be the place where har i krishna spent his childhood. they banished to spend the rest of their lives loving krishna. ♪ ♪
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last year india saw a watershed election where a bollywood actress became a member of congress. he made an innocent comment that she's widows should not come to overcrowded vrindavan, but would stay in their home state. she walked right into a left wing-right wing quarrel. i imagine a beautiful play where a woman launches a plan to deport the widows back to where they came from. my widows are feisty women who fight back. they do not sit down and bemoan their terrible, terrible lives. ♪ ♪ >> i was reading up about some of these women and it made me realize that there are tons of women who are helpless and that part in itself makes you want to get up and do something for someone who doesn't have a voice. >> when they're faced with such bleakness in their lives, they
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sort of rely on each other for comfort and then there's also this looking inward for joy and exploring this imaginative world. and the dancers are an extension of their imagination and so their imagination is free and i think every individual has that and that no one can take away. >> naatak is a labor of love for the precise reason that it's a labor of love, naatak is very exacting and it's not a job. you aren't getting paid and if you are not doing it well, there's no reason to do it. >> actually i was in high school when i started out and now i'm in my late 50s, and i'm still doing this, you know? so it keeps my mind agile, you know? >> it's wonderful, this is my passion. >> a lot of people that are
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involved, they have this intense passion, their art, and it's removing yourself from the mundane and that's when the soul comes in. [ speaking foreign language ] >> my name is aruna. i am from india. i am 78 years old. [ speaking foreign language ] >> when i act i put my entire heart into it and i become the role that i'm playing and i feel my soul grow. this is my destressing place and sometimes i will put in ten, 11 hours at work and it's amazing how energized i feel. so in that sense it's like going home at the end of a really long day and eating mom's comfort food. ♪ ♪ i am rasha and i am in tenth
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grade, and when i grow up i want to be a doctor, but on the side i also want to pursue, like, dance as a side career. so, like, i have the best of both worlds. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> and each of us get in the car and you drive in to work and you go to the gym and you cook and eat and the whole thing repeats and i think the ultimate place where we all want to be is the ability to free ourselves from the shackles of mundane life. when you sing, when you dance, you really do give yourself, you give yourself freely and you would think, what do you get back in return and it's universal love? >> and in hinduism, we believe that the noblest way to god is through music. i feel like nothing else in the world matters. >> i have the culture of
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california and americans, but when i do indian dance i get involved with other indian people i feel more connected to where my parents came from. so whatever my parents passed on to me i want to pass down the same, exact to my children. >> the most heartening thing is being able to see the kids. yes, they're american kids by day, but come saturday, sunday, they're immersed in indian culture ral activities and their level of passion and their focus and dedication, i have not seen that in kids in india. >> i often like to say that we are doing more for indian culture here in american than the indians are doing in india. i am very surprised and gratified that natacatak has lad 20 years and the way it looks now it looks like it will last forever. >> naatak will be performing vrindavan through september 27th. you can check out all of kqed's coverage of the arts at
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kqed.fall arts. thanks so much for watching. i'm trivoo. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ funding for kqed arts is provided by the william and hewitt foundation, diane b. wilson, helen sarah steyer. the w
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captioning sponsored by wnet >> sreenivasan: on this edition for sunday, september 20: the united states announces it will increase the number of refugees it takes in. and, how syrian refugee families are starting over, in germany. >> it's not easy to leave everything back there. but when you settle down in another country, you find a job, you learn a language, you establish a family, and it becomes your home. >> sreenivasan: also, time for school, in brazil. living in poverty and fighting for an education. >> ( translated ): my future is not guaranteed. but the only way to guarantee my future is by going to school. >> sreenivasan: next on pbs newshour weekend. >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by:

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