tv PBS News Hour Weekend PBS November 1, 2015 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
captioning sponsored by wnet >> sreenivasan: on this edition for sunday, november 1st: investigators search for answers on what brought down a russian passenger plane in egypt. in turkey: president erdogan's ruling party is now expected to regain control of parliament and in our signature segment, my report from greece, the main entry point for refugees arriving in europe. given this border crisis in greece, how do you reverse this? >> i don't think you can reverse this, not in the sense of stopping the flow of people. >> sreenivasan: next on pbs newshour weekend. >> pbs newshour weekend is made 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. supporting innovation and enabling urban progress. 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 and thanks for joining us. a multinational team of investigators is examining the wreckage of the russian passenger jet that crashed in the sinai peninsula of egypt yesterday, killing all 224 people on board. the bodies of the more than 160 victims have been recovered. itn reporter james blake has more. >> there is not much left of this plane that is recognizable
in this wreckage. the nose cone, a section of fuselage. investigators have started their slow and painstaking task of examining this crash site. luggage and clothing was pulled out of the wreckage and piled together. the search area itself widened at a. debris of airbus is found over eight square miles of the desert. body of one young girl found eight miles from the site. conclusion that the plane broke up in mid air. yesterday, islamic state militants claimed they brought down the plane. that was quickly dismissed by egyptian officials. the plane's two black boxes of, only the investigation would take a long time.
>>translator: it's very important that this matter be left alone and that discussions and the reasons behind it should not take place. because this takes a very long time. these are conflicted matters that require very advanced techniques and broad investigations, that could take months. >>reporter: in russia there's a parallel investigation, airbus a-321 planes are being grounded and checked. yet the airline insists proper checks were carried out. international airlines have announced they will stop flying over the sinai peninsula, russia says it will are consider all possibilities causing the crash. a shrine has been set up at st. petersburg airport where the flight was destined. images have emerged of some of the passengers of 528.
one passenger, youngest victim, 15-year-old dorina is photographed in the terminal before takeoff. in sharm el sheikh and in aspergerst.petersburg, there wes ceremonies, hundreds turned out for a vigil. without any more information on the cause of this crash, the families in russia are waiting for the bodies of their loved ones to be brought home. fp >> sreenivasan: turkey's ruling party appears to have regained control of parliament. in national elections today, the justice and development party, known as a.k.p., won slightly less than 50% of the vote, thought to be enough either to win a majority of seats or to control a governing coalition. the results are a boost for turkish president tayyip erdogan, although he was not on the ballot. his party had lost its parliamentary majority in june.
the victory could strengthen erdogan's hand in cracking down on kurdish separatists. and in cooperating with nato allies, including the united states, in fighting islamic state, or isis, militants in neighboring syria and iraq. newshour special correspondent malcolm brabant is in turkey covering the elections, and he joins me now via skype from istanbul. >> malcolm, everyone got this wrong in their predictions heading into the election. what happened? >> well, there has been sort of consistency actually in lots of elections around the world, where the polls have gotten it wrong and turkey in that respect is no different than other places where the pollsters have got it wrong. perhaps people have been telling fibs tfibs to the pollsters bece they wanted to trick them. they wanted to vote for stability and also security. what seems to have happened is mr. erdogan's gamble in holding second election in the space of 5 months has worked. and the reasons for that seem to
be as i say because the turks crave stability, there are also those terrorist bombs some time ago. and that's led people to go rushing perhaps to mr. erdogan's akp party. saying during the june elections the akp party supporters dessert -- deserted it because they were disillusioned by it, but the other thing that seems to have happened was there was disunity amongst the opposition parties and people punish them for not having the ability to come up with an alternative to mr. erdogan's party. so that appears to be the reason why he's woul won. although this was substantial and unexpected victory he appealed for the akp party to have humility in this victory and not to be arrogant about it. >> because of the security question you mentioned already,
what about the refugees that are landing on turkey's door? they have 2 million refugees, particularly entire cities of refugee camps now. >> this is really a major problem for turkey but also for europe. but what this election victory does really in a way sit strengthens mr. erdogan's hand when it comes to dealing with europe. now they know who they're dealing with. there are some people in europe for example who think mr. erdogan and his parties here have been blackmailing europe into trying to get more money out of them in order to support these refugees. but now, at least europe knows that who it's dealing with. and that there is some sort of government here. and so perhaps, some sort of arrangement can now be worked out. >> were there any sort of exit questionnaires or polls taken on what influenced people when they went into the polls today? >> that sort of evidence has not really come out on turkish
television. and there are some people here rather unhappy about the results. there are people on the left of turkish society and also people in the kurdish areas in the southeast perturbed about the level of victory mr. erdogan seems to have achieved. they are seeming to suggest that there were some kind of dirty tricks but the international observers organization, the the organization for security in europe, seem pretty happy of the way the election was carried out in complete fairness. there are things a little bit strange here for example the official state organization that counts the polls closed down, that puzzled the most experienced political analysts. don't understand why that has happened. there are others who are angry, there are disturbances in the center of the kurdish region in
the southeast, the people who support the kurdish party the htp, who did so well in the june election, are disappointed their numbers have dropped. people think the reason they didn't do so well this time is because they are forced into a position of supporting in a way the kurdish nationalists the pkk after the government started attacking them. whereas before they had a pan-turkish appeal of people disenchanted with the government and did he enare franchised -- disenfranchised, but certainly the opposition party is happy tonight. >> malcolm >> sreenivasan: newly elected speaker of the house of representatives, paul ryan, says he is re-designing the job. house republicans elected ryan on thursday to replace john boehner, who had resigned. in interviews sunday, ryan said he is looking to lay out a clear policy vision and build more consensus from the bottom up.
ryan also told nbc and cbs news he did not foresee bipartisan immigration reform passing congress, because, he said, president obama is quote: "untrustworthy on this issue." >> look, i think it would be a ridiculous notion to try and work on an issue like this with a president we simply cannot trust on this issue. he tried to go it alone, circumventing the legislative process with his executive orders, so that is not in the cards. i think if we reach consensus on how best to achieve border and interior enforcement security, i think that's fine. >> sreenivasan: the u.s. navy has located what is believed to nearly 1,000 american police officers have lost their jobs due to sexual misconduct, according to an investigation by the associated press. the a.p. report published today reveals the officers lost their license to work in law enforcement between 2009 and 2014 for offenses including extorting sex acts to avoid arrest, sexting juveniles, possessing child pornography,
and rape. the a.p. said the problem is undercounted, because victims of police misconduct are often reluctant to come forward...and the investigation's findings include only officers whose licenses have been revoked. the numbers also don't include california or new york, because they don't maintain statewide statistics on decertified officers. >> sreenivasan: the u.s. navy has located what is believed to be the florida cargo ship that disappeared last month near the bahamas during hurricane joaquin. the ship, named "el faro," sank en route from jacksonville to puerto rico with 33 crew members on board. the national transportation safety board says sonar images indicate the 790-foot ship is upright in one piece 15,000 feet -- about three miles -- below the water's surface. today, the n.t.s.b. planned to submerge video cameras to confirm the discovery. investigators hope to retrieve bodies and the ship's voyage data recorder to find out what went wrong.
>> sreenivasan: greek authorities say at least 15 people drowned today when boats from turkey smuggling refugees capsized. the deaths are a reminder that even november's chill has not slowed the steady flow to europe of migrants and war refugees -- primarily from syria, libya, iraq, and afghanistan. no country has received more of these arrival than greece. as i discovered on a recent reporting trip, there is a fear in athens that the growing resistance to migrants traveling on to central and northern europe could leave them stranded in greece. >> sreenivasan: the glorious sunset over the island of lesbos is misleading. the aegean sea is anything but tranquil these days. this night, an inflatable raft is in trouble. people on shore have shined a light on this pile of lifejackets to guide the distressed boat to land.
on this occasion, fate is kind this rescued group of migrants and refugees is taken to the harbor on the northern side of the island. these families, wrapped in thermal blankets, are lucky to have survived. >> the numbers of people coming through here are so huge, and the resources to cope with it so small that greece cannot do this alone, which we've been saying since the beginning. >> sreenivasan: ron redmond has worked with the united nations' refugee agency since the early 1990s. >> i mean, until now, since the beginning of the year, they've had over half a million people come through these islands, up through athens, they get on buses, they go up to the border, and they leave greece and go north. but the week they spend in greece, is putting a huge strain on, particularly, the eastern islands. >> sreenivasan: the authorities on lesbos are already overwhelmed as their population surges by the boat load. aid agencies cannot provide the number of shelters needed.
the refugees come here, because the island is greece's nearest point to turkey, just five miles away at its closest shore. traffickers charge these desperate travelers anywhere between $1,000-$2,500 per person for the short, dangerous trip. the week i was there, 45,000 migrants crossed into greece. in fact, 80% migrants and refugees who've arrived in europe this year have come through greece. nikos kostandaros is the managing editor of a leading greek newspaper, kathermerini. >> greece is not able to protect is borders, and that's not because it wouldn't try. it's impossible. the islands are a lacework across the sea. you cannot stop it. and how do you stop it? do you sink the boats with people on board? do you shoot at them? do you bomb turkey before they leave, which was one of the issues that was raised in libya, for example -- that they would bomb the smugglers boats before they left. these are crazy ideas. there is no stopping it. >> sreenivasan: one of the challenges from keeping migrants from entering is behind me. the country has more than 6,000
islands. that's more coastline than mexico. this ship, docked in the main town on lesbos, belongs to frontex, the european agency that's supposed to help nation protect their external land and sea borders. but in practice, frontex is acting as a rescue service for refugees in peril on the sea. in some ways, so is this greek warship anchored in a cove off lesbos. these days, it works as much in a humanitarian capacity as it does dealing with security. above the bay, every day, thousands of migrants line up for food provided by aid agencies, while waiting to catch a bus to a ferry provided by the greek government that will take them to the mainland. security experts worry that blending in among the masses of these unscreened refugees could be trained militants from groups like the islamic state, or isis. that's a concern of theodoros panas, a retired greek intelligence officer who oversaw counter-terrorism efforts during the last athens olympics, in 2004.
>> one of the easiest ways to infiltrate europe or other countries is through this problem. >> sreenivasan: while some countries in the e.u. see the weak borders in greece as part of the problem. panas says the problem begins in turkey. >> we can see, for example, in turkey, that daily they are crossing the border -- more than 10,000 people. i cannot believe that this is done without the local authorities of turkey to know it. >> sreenivasan: every day, a ferry from lesbos docks at the main port in athens, and it is filled with refugees who are anxious to embark on the next stage of their journey north. even syrian medical student mohammed ghunaim, who is recording every step of his journey, understands the resistance. >> they have the right to close their borders or open it, because it's their, their countries. >> sreenivasan: some refugees land at weigh stations like this park in victoria square in
athens, waiting for days till they can get money wired to them from their relatives in order to continue their journey onward. given this border crisis in greece, how do you reverse this? >> i don't think you can reverse this, not in the sense of stopping the flow of people. once they are on the road. all the efforts in syria are piecemeal and often at odds with each other. this is now an opportunity for everybody to press for a vital solution. pushing all of the parties involved in the syrian conflict towards a, towards a compromise somewhere that can give people the hope of returning. that will also help deal with the problem in europe. once we know that it's not permanent; once we know that uh, that we are helping people in their hour of need rather than changing our own society in a way that that no one has been prepared for. >> primarily you've got to end the conflicts, and we don't see that happening in syria. >> sreenivasan: when you have one country that wants to build a razor wire fence and another country that wants to treat migrants differently, what are you going to have in six months to a year?
6a patchwork of quasi-borders? >> i think, initially, what you are going to see and what i think people upstream fear, for example, here in greece, that they're going to be left holding the bag, that you're going to have a backup going all the way to greece and beyond even. i mean, you build a dam, you end up with a reservoir behind it, and i think somebody may get stuck with a reservoir of refugees. >> sreenivasan: greece has avoided becoming that reservoir by managing to funnel the new arrivals up to its border with macedonia. and then they march on. through the balkans, and beyond. amidst a profound economic crisis of its own, greece is struggling with the burden of being the refugees' main port of call. and if its neighbors decide shut down their frontiers and refuse to admit more asylum seekers, these refugees could be trapped in a country they do not want to be in and one that cannot afford them.
>> sreenivasan: next, a preview of a new pbs "frontline" film on the islamic state called "isis in afghanistan." it's a special report revealing, for the first time on television, how isis is gaining a foothold in afghanistan and recruiting young children to join their holy war, or jihad. "frontline"'s correspondent was granted access inside a school where isis says it is giving jihad lessons, which you will see, are complete with guns and grenades. "isis in afghanistan" premieres on pbs on november 17th. here's a first look. >> in this village in eastern afghanistan, i.s.i.s. tighters live among the locals and seem to control every aspect of life. they take local wives, collect taxes and even run the village school.
>> sreenivasan: the former communist official who let slip that berlin's cold war barrier between east and west would be loosened, has died. gunter schabowski made his mark on history 26 years ago. on november 9th, 1989, schabowski announced at a press conference that east germans were permitted to travel to west germany. but the communist party had not intended to announce the policy change until the next day and they would merely have allowed east germans to apply for border crossing visas. pressed by a reporter about the rules, schabowski fumbled and said east germans could leave across any border with the west...immediately. within hours, thousands of east germans did, rushing the berlin wall and streaming into the west. east and west germany reunited the following year. schabowski later spent one year in prison for his role enforcing
the old communist shoot-to-kill policies against east germans trying to escape over the wall, a pardon had shortened his sentence. he died in berlin today at age 86. and one of the driest places on earth is in bloom. chile's atacama desert is awash in vibrant hues, as 200 different kinds of plants have sprung up. the desert typically gets less than two-tenths of an inch of rain a year, but this spring an el nino dumped heaviest rains this region has felt in 20 years. scientists say those rains awakened seeds that had been dormant for years, bringing forth flowers, birds, and of course tourists. now online at pbs.org/newshour: learn eight things you didn't know about the new york city marathon, run today for the 45th time, and listen to our spotify playlist from bands playing along the course. visit pbs.org/newshour
♪ the actor and politician fred thompson has died. thompson served as a u.s. senator from tennessee for two terms before running for the republican presidential nomination unsuccessfully in 2008. earlier in his political career, he served as an attorney on the congressional committee that investigated the watergate scandal. thompson was also well known for his appearances on t.v. and in movies. he played the district attorney on nbc's "law and order" for five seasons and appeared in 20 films, including the hunt for red october and die hard 2. thompson's family said he died today after a recurrence of lymphoma. he was 73 years old. i'm hari sreenivasan. good night.
>> pbs newshour weekend is made 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. supporting innovation and enabling urban progress. 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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