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tv   PBS News Hour Weekend  PBS  October 4, 2015 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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captioning sponsored by wnet >> sreenivasan: on this edition for sunday, october 4th. the u.s. and afghan governments investigate what led to the bombing of a hospital in afghanistan. in our signature segment, inside a controversial voter id law in north carolina. >> what's the driving force behind this? >> partisan politics. >> these laws, it sounds like what you're saying, were passed as much for political reasons as some vague sense of justice. >> that's exactly right. >> sreenivasan: and, new limits on smog-causing emissions. next on pbs newshour weekend. >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: lewis b. and louise hirschfeld cullman. bernard and irene schwartz. the cheryl and philip milstein family. judy and josh weston.
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sue and edgar wachenheim, iii. 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 has been 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 at lincoln center in new york, hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: good evening. thanks for joining us." doctors without borders" is calling for an independent international investigation of yesterday's u.s. airstrike of a hospital it ran in the afghan city of kunduz. today, the humanitarian aid group said three more people have died from the bombing, bringing the death toll to 22. dozens more were wounded. president obama has offered his
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"deepest condolences" to what he called a "tragic incident." but the president says he's waiting for a pentagon investigation to be completed. the afghan army, backed by u.s. troops, has been fighting the taliban since it seized the city last week. u.s. military officials said yesterday's airstrike was a response to "insurgents who were directly firing upon u.s. service members." while afghan officials say taliban fighters routinely fired on security forces from the hospital grounds, "doctors without borders" told the newshour yesterday: "no insurgents were based at the hospital before the airstrike." the fighting has caused about 4,000 afghans from kunduz to flee to red crescent shelters in a nearby province, while" doctors without borders" has relocated its kunduz operation and patients. for more on the hospital bombing, i am joined by phone from kabul, by "new york times" reporter alyssa rubin. >> the last 24 hours you have been able to catch up with some of the victims. what was the scene that they described? >> it was the middle of the night, so people were completely
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confused by what was happening, they heard enormous explosions around them. then there would be pauses, then renewed explosions. they were -- some people, those who survived were helped to get into bunkers by the hospital staff and you have to realize some of these people were, for one thing, they were quite stick or they wouldn't have been in the hospital. and there were family members with them as well, and what their experience was a sense that they were imminently going to die. at least two or three people said they thought it was their last moments on earth. >> you even talked to some people who had come in from the fighting, who already had suffered losses. >> yes. i mean, several of the people there had either lost family members or had them badly wounded and had come to the hospital for refuge so they already had gone through bombings or gunshots and been in
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the wrong place at the wrong time. these were all civilians and then of course there was, i think, a terrible shock when they emerged when the bombing stopped and s saw the destructi, not just at the hospital but of patients who died during the attack. >> what is the status of the investigation? i mean, previous hamid karzai had to deal with the political blowback from these friendly fire or accidental bombings and air raids. >> well, i think it has been very interesting, i mean today there has not been substantial commentary on it. there has beensome on official media but there have been more pictures on the television of the army handing out food in areas that they control in kunduz, but not the kind of widespread criticism i would have expected, frankly, and i am not sure if people are absorbing
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what happened or if there is enormous ambivalence because on the one hand many people would like the taliban to be removed from the city and the city to go back into government hands, and then i am not sure the afghan military can do it on its own so they are hesitant to be too critical. it is a very difficult situation to figure out. and hamid karzai as you recall led a lot of the criticism of the united states in those -- when there were civilian casualties and the new president has said much less than, much less that is critical lately. >> naveen alyssa rubin joining m kabul. >> sreenivasan: for a fifth day, russia is carrying out airstrikes inside syria. russian defense officials say their jets bombed ten islamic state, or isis, targets in the past 24 hours, including a militant training camp. but the leaders of britain and turkey both said today russia is
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making a "mistake" backing president bashar-al-assad in the syrian civil war. british prime minister david cameron says few russian bombs are hitting isis. the rest, areas controlled by opponents of the assad regime supported by the u.k. and the u.s. the israeli government is barring nearly all palestinians from entering jerusalem's old city for 48 hours. the move comes a day after a palestinian fatally stabbed an israeli soldier walking with his wife and children and a rabbi who came to the soldier's aid. overnight, another palestinian stabbed and wounded an israeli teenager in the old city. israeli police responding to the attacks shot and killed both assailants. palestinians who live or work in the old city are allowed in until a jewish holiday ends tomorrow. palestinians and arab-israelis have protested the measure. israeli soldiers today used tear gas to disperse rock-throwing palestinian protesters in jerusalem. the french riviera saw two months worth of rain in two hours today, causing lethal flash floods.
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seven inches of rain fell in cannes and other cities, causing rivers and streams to overflow. people were trapped in a retirement home, in campsites, and in cars submerged in tunnels. french president francois hollande, who visited the area, says at least 16 people died and others are missing. here in the u.s., record rainfall continues to pound parts of the east coast. fourteen inches of rain has fallen this weekend in columbia and charleston, south carolina, forcing residents to evacuate their homes and it has left thousands without power. 75 miles of i-95, 200 state roads, and 40 bridges were closed today due to flooding. emergency management officials warned residents to stay indoors. coastal flood warnings have been issued as far north as new jersey. the coast guard has found debris from a missing american cargo ship. but there has been no sighting of the ship, its lifeboats, or any of the 33 member crew. the coast guard has recovered a life ring from the ship "el faro," which has not been heard
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from since sending out a distress signal three days ago. rescuers have also spotted life jackets and a cargo container thought to be from the ship. the 790-foot ship heading from jacksonville, florida, to san juan, puerto rico, got caught in atlantic waters as tropical storm joaquin was turning into a hurricane. the search has covered 850 square nautical miles. >> sreenivasan: since 2011, 15 mostly republican-controlled states have passed laws requiring voters to present a government-issued photo i.d. at the polls in order to vote. north carolina is one of them, and it went much further, passing reforms two years ago that proponents say improve election integrity and prevent voter fraud. critics say the new requirements make it harder for some people to vote, including racial minorities. both sides have aired their
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arguments in a federal trial. no matter who wins the case, in tonight's signature segment, special correspondent jeff greenfield reports: hardball politics are at play. >> it's a crime that we stand here 27 days after the 50th anniversary of the signing of the voting rights act and we have less voting rights today. >> reporter: that fiery denunciation by reverend william barber, head of north carolina's n.a.a.c.p., may seem out of a different time and place. >> glory! glory! glory! >> reporter: but barber believes new laws that alter how, where, and when citizens can vote are designed to disenfranchise as many black voters as possible. >> all of these attacks on voting rights started right after president obama won in states, and it changed the dynamic. people came together who had not been coming together in the
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south. we know that this is an attempt to roll us backwards. >> reporter: barber and the n.a.a.c.p. believe photo voter i.d. laws in north carolina and more than a dozen other states suppress minority voter turnout, because black and latino voters are the most likely to lack an acceptable photo i.d. or the documents to get one. decreases in voter turnout have been found in states that require photo i.d.'s to vote. for example, in the 2008 and 2012 elections, the nonpartisan government accountability office attributed a 2% decrease in turnout in kansas and a 2-3% decrease in tennessee to their photo i.d. laws. and many voters in north carolina are struggling with their new voter i.d. law that goes into effect in 2016. 94-year old rosanell eaton is one of them. her daughter drove her 250 miles back and forth from the department of motor vehicles and social security offices to get a photo i.d., because the name on her driver's license-her married
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name did not match her maiden name on her voter registration from over 70 years ago. so when people say, it really isn't that hard under this new law to get what you need. >> it's not easy at all. it was just unnecessary. >> reporter: the experience reminded her of the hurdle she faced the first time she tried to register to vote in segregated north carolina almost three quarters of a century ago. three white men told her... >> stand right straight and towards the wall and look repeat the preamble of the united states of america. so, i did as they commanded. >> reporter: you recited the preamble to the u.s. constitution? >> yes. >> reporter: the 1965 voting rights act changed things dramatically. by 2012, about 75% of southern blacks were registered. and for 50 years, that voting rights act empowered the justice department to review any changes in voting laws in all states or
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parts of states with a history of racial discrimination. onetime protesters, like martin luther king proteégee mickey michaux, became legislators. 15 years ago, michaux was part of efforts by a democratic legislature and governor to make voting much easier, with: if you were away from home, you could vote where you were, and pre-registration for 16 and 17- years-olds who were getting their driver's license. michaux is exceptionally candid about why this was done: >> basically a party situation. most of your african-americans voted democratic. and so in order not to lose that base vote, they saw a way where you could increase african- american voting and take credit for having passed all of these openings in your voter laws.
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>> reporter: it sounds like what you're saying, were passed as much for political reasons as some vague sense of justice. >> that's exactly right. there's no question about it. >> reporter: and it worked: in the past decade, 70% of blacks in north carolina voted early, compared with about 50% of white voters. but in 2010, the politics of north carolina were turned upside down. republicans gained control of both houses of the state legislature for the first time since reconstruction. and with that control came a concerted effort to undo the changes the democrats had put into place just a few years earlier. in 2013, the republican- dominated legislature passed a voter i.d. law, and the newly- elected republican governor signed it. backers cited voter fraud, but in the past decade, the north carolina state board of elections has referred only four cases of alleged voter impersonation to prosecutors, and none have resulted in a conviction. nationally, research by a loyola law school professor found only
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31 "credible allegations" of voter impersonation in one billion-votes between 2000 and 2014. >> even if you don't have massive fraud, it gives the electorate a better sense that this election is fair. >> reporter: francis deluca disagrees that voter i.d. is a solution in search of a problem. he heads the civitas institute, a conservative think tank in raleigh. >> could you ever prove there was a problem in a bar with underage drinking if you did not require them to show an i.d. card? voter impersonation is impossible to verify without somebody having to prove who they are. the other thing that's important, you can't do medicaid, you can't, well, can't travel, can't go to a bank and cash a check without a photo i.d. you can't even go into the county government office building without a photo i.d. >> reporter: as the voter id bill worked through the legislature, the u.s. supreme court threw out the" pre-clearance" section of the
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federal voting rights act arguing that southern states were being judged "based on 40 year-old facts having no logical relationship to the present day." within weeks, north carolina's" voter i.d." bill become a 57- page bill that: cut a week of early voting, ended same day registration during early voting, curtailed sunday voting, ended out-of- precinct voting, ended pre- registration for 16 and 17-year- olds. republican state representative david lewis chaired the elections committee when the bill passed. he says it makes the voting process fairer. >> the rules don't need to be tweaked in such a way that advantages one side or the other. we say, treat everybody the same. >> reporter: with early voting cut from 17 to 10 days, one of the two early voting sundays went away. that limited the so-called" souls to the polls" effort, when many black churches transport congregates to their polling stations. that looks like, from the superficial level, at least, that had to have been targeted
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to the african-american community. >> i certainly don't think so. many of our state agencies are not required to work on sundays. even if you want to attest or believe that we did something for partisan advantage, it certainly wasn't done with a racially discriminatory intent. >> reporter: but that's no consolation for dale hicks, a former marine who served in afghanistan. last year, hicks and his wife moved from jacksonville, north carolina, to raleigh. a few days before the 2014 election, he called his election board to learn his new polling place. >> they told me actually, "no, this means you can't vote in raleigh, because your address on your registration says jacksonville. you can't vote in jacksonville, even though your address says jacksonville, you don't live in jacksonville, so it's not valid." i basically felt like i lost the right to vote at that point. >> reporter: with no more same- day registration during early voting or out-of-precinct
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voting, hicks could only cast a provisional ballot, which went uncounted under the new voting rules. >> it just made me angry. i knew these barriers were being put up, you know. and it worked. >> reporter: if partisan politics is behind this fight, it raises an intriguing question. courts generally approve legislation that is politically motivated. they are much, much tougher on legislation that seems racially inspired. but what happens if those two seem hopelessly entangled. one response comes from carter wrenn, a long-time republican political consultant in north carolina. from your perspective, what's the driving force behind this? >> partisan politics, pure and simple. i mean, race, it gets mixed up in it, but it's republicans looking to help republicans. >> reporter: is there a moral equivalence between wanting more people to vote, and wanting fewer people to vote? >> you know, i'm not sure. nobody's motivations are pure here.
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if the people that didn't vote were more likely to vote republican, i don't think for a minute the democrats would be trying to get them to vote. >> it is race. the greater makeup of the democratic party in this state is african-american. so if the way that you-you grab power is you take back those things that have affected african-americans to go to the polls and vote. >> reporter: the same day north carolina's voting reforms were signed into law, the n.a.a.c.p, sued to stop them. so did the nonpartisan league of women voters and then, the us justice department. >> this is an intentional attempt to break a system that was working. it defies common sense. >> reporter: north carolina's own state board of elections found that 318,000 voters lacked the necessary photo id to vote one third of them were african americans, who make up only one fifth of the electorate. following a three week trial this summer, a federal judge is now deciding whether or not
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those north carolina voting reforms are constitutional. backers of the law point out that black voter turnout in 2014 actually rose 16% from the previous midterms in 2010. but activists credit this to a competitive u.s. senate race in 2014 and to their get-out-the- vote campaigns. whichever way the judge here rules and with similar lawsuits in other states, the issue seems destined again for the us supreme court, whose decision could help determine who votes next year and perhaps who wins the white house. >> sreenivasan: how do voter registration laws vary from state to state? view our interactive map online at >> sreenivasan: this past week, the environmental protection agency unveiled new rules to reduce smog, by limiting the polluting gases emitted by u.s. factories and cars. also, india, the world's third- largest air polluter after the u.s. and china, announced a $2.5 trillion plan to reduce its
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carbon emissions over the next 15 years. china has a new plan, too. joining me here in the studio to discuss these developments is naveena sadasivam from" inside climate news." >> so the new smog rules, there was tension there, the environment list wanted to decrease it much lower, industry wanted to leave it the same, what did the epa do?. they are trying to walk a fine line between doing what is mandated to do, which is protect air quality, and improve public health for memories, but also ensuring that the cost to the industry aren't onerous, so what they ended up doing is setting the standard at 70 parts per billion, whic which is the weakr side of what scientists have recommended. >> sreenivasan: okay. so parts per billion, just to try to put that in perspective, does that really matter if it goes from 75 to 70 or 70 to 65? the epa wanted to talk about how many lives it would save and all of these different costs, but wouldn't it be better if they
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moved it lower? >> it would have been in terms of saving lives, i think the difference in the asthma cases were several million between lowering it to 65 parts per billion and 70 parts per billion and in terms of saving lives as well. >> sreenivasan: and the industry says it is going to take some time to try to put these scrubbers, these felt guilters on these smokestacks. >> right we heard from some industry groups saying they are still struggling to meet 2008 standards that were set. >> sreenivasan: another piece of news starting to cross the wires is both china and independent i can't in the past couple of weeks says here are our plans for tackling climate change do, these matter? >> we do, they are quite substantial, significant emission reduction but we are to remember they are nowhere close to what we need to actually stave off the worse effects of climate change, scientists are saying we need to keep temperature rise below two degrees celsius and the data so far, over 140 countries and
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depending on the analysis you look at only 2.7 to 2.5 so we have a long way to go, but china, they give the international minute momentum going into the paris talks, you know, the signs are all there that we will have a pretty strong agreement at the end of the year. >> sreenivasan: and where does the u.s. stand in the and how does it help in these talks? >> so the u.s. itself sort of started off by tabling the lead on this issue, for a long time the western countries are saying if the u.s. is not taking the lead, and if the they are not tg the lead there is no point in us stepping up because we are not the creators of this problem. >> sreenivasan: right. >> but the u.s. has taken in the last few careers we have seen it release, aiming to cut carbon pollution from power plants so that sent a very strong signal it was serious about making commitments to attack climate change. >> sreenivasan: naveena sadasivam from inside climate, thanks so much for joining us.
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>> thanks for having me. >> >> sreenivasan: new rules for home mortgages have taken effect this weekend. the so-called "know before you owe" rules are meant to protect home buyers from surprises at their closing or committing to payments they don't understand. yesterday, i spoke with "wall street journal" reporter joe light about these new rules. >> what is the average consumer likely to see as a difference because of these rules? >> one of the forms wow get right after you make a mortgage application and a form you get right before closing is going to be simplified. the terms are supposed to be easier to understand, you are supposed to understand if you have an adjustable rate and, you know, the rate will go higher after a certain number of years. >> sreenivasan:. >> the second change is before closing you are supposed to get these documents at least three business days before closing, and that is designed so you have time to understand what you are getting into before you sign on the dotted line.
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now, it seems to make sense, but if you make any changes within that three-day window, that resets the three days, and as for people who are trying to, you know, closely time home closings, resetting that three-day window can lead to some headaches. >> sreenivasan: how are we going to know if these rules have helped consumers? >> i guess we won't really know until the next financial crisis hits, right, and then we will see whether the consumers who are able or unable to pay their loans feel like they knew what they were getting into. the thing to watch out for in the next couple of months hoe is whether the real estate industry is ready, the rae industry has gone through this large technological change over, they need to be ready on monday so what will happen over the next few months we will see whether or not home closings are happening on time or whether, you know, some of these mortgage lenders are, or real estate agents weren't ready and we see a lot of closing delays. >> sreenivasan: joe light of the "wall street journal", thanks so much for joining us.
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>> thanks. >> >> and finally utah congressman is running to be speaker of the house of representatives, he announced his bid today to compete with california, calian kevin mccarthy who is currently the house majority leader, he has been a leader of the house since 2009. >> daniel webster is also running, boehner will step down from the chair after nearly five years on the john job. this is all of the news, i am hari sreenivasan, thanks for watching. captioning sponsored by wnet captioned by media access group at wgbh >> pbs newshour weekend is made
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possible by: lewis b. and louise hirschfeld cullman. bernard and irene schwartz. judy and josh weston. the cheryl and philip milstein family. the citi foundation sue and edgar wachenheim, iii. 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 has been 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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(theme music) ♪ (suzannah lipscomb) nowadays we think of the tudor home as an icon of britishness: timber framed, maybe thatched, a cottage. sounds wonderful. ♪ but these quaint pretty relics of the past belie the revolution in technology that changed them and us. this is the great age of change. it's one of the reasons we all love the tudor period so much. because it's the age of discovery and there's a sense that anything is possible ♪ (suzannah lipscomb) one place this change was most evident was in the home: domestic life was transformed. but as with anything new there were risks. (dramatic music) ♪ from the new technology that warmed our rooms-- ♪ whoa. --to the exotic foods that filled the table.


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