tv PBS News Hour Weekend PBS April 16, 2016 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by wnet >> stewart: on this edition for saturday, april 16: pope francis takes twelve refugees with him back to italy following his visit to greece; how one rust belt city is trying to save itself, one house at a time. >> we don't go around here talking about utopian visions. we've just got to get neighborhoods cleaned up. >> stewart: and, jeff greenfield considers the "fairness" of our presidential election. 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.
the john and helen glessner family trust. supporting trustworthy journalism that informs and inspires. 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, alison stewart. >> stewart: good evening, and thanks for joining us. emotions ran high today on the greek island of lesbos, as pope francis visited a camp where 3,000 migrants and refugees await deportation to turkey under a deal with the european union. pope francis shook hands with hundreds of the migrants, many weeping and begging for his
help, some chanting the word freedom. the pope asked for unity in helping people fleeing conflicts in syria, afghanistan, iraq, and elsewhere. >> ( translated ): we need to eliminate the causes of this dramatic situation: it is not enough to limit ourselves to responding to emergencies as they arise. instead, we need to encourage political efforts that are broader in scope and multilateral. it is necessary, above all, to build peace where war has brought destruction and death. >> stewart: pope francis and other religious leaders tossed wreaths into the aegean sea, to commemorate the hundreds of people who have died trying to reach europe in dangerous crossings on flimsy boats. in what he called a humanitarian gesture, the pope brought twelve syrian muslims, including six children, with him when he flew back to rome. he said the vatican would take care of the refugees, whose homes were bombed in the syrian civil war. newshour special correspondent malcolm brabant is in lesbos and joins me now.
you malcolm, what was the purpose of the pope's visit? what prompted him coming right now to that island? >> this is entirely consistent with pope francis' desire to thrust himself into the front lines of situations around the world which need attention drawn to them. he's been to the central african republic. and he needed to come to lesbos to show solidarity with the greek people who have been taking on this enormous burden, but most of all, he wanted to come and look in the eyes of the refugeees and migrants who were here to show them they mustn't give up hope, that he has great affection for them, but also send the message to the rest of the world they should not be rejected. >> stewart: was it seen as a critique of european policy? >> he went to pained of pains to point out that this was not a critique of the european union's deal with turkey, who sent people back on this island after march 20.
but he couldn't have issued a stronger rebuke with the act he left the airport. he took 12 syrian refugees with him back to the vatican, three families, two from damascus, another from an area to the east of the country, which is under the control of islamic state. and basically, what he was saying by taking those people in was that europe should do the same. >> stewart: let's talk a little bit about the reality of what's happening on the ground versus what the pope saw while he was there. >> well, there was some sanitization here. it has to be said. you have seen pictures of them whitewashing the walls of this detention camp in the run-up to the pope's visit, what was happening was the refugees had their first showers in about 21 days. they were given extra food so they wouldn't be hungry, wouldn't complain. they were given fresh clothes. but, also, there wer there weres in the camp who were on hunger strikes whose tents were moved
to the back of the camp. the deportations back to turkey have been put on hold. where i'm standing on lesbos harbor is about 2100 meters away from the coast guard station where early next week there will be more deportations starting up again, perhaps more difficult than the ones that have taken place before. there will be syrians going back, possibly, family, women and children. >> stewart: finally, will the pope's visit make a difference? >> it's difficult to say. will the european leaders take any notice of them? and i have to say i don't think they will. one thing that he could do perhaps is put some influence with poland, for example, which is a big catholic country which is refusing to take any migrant at all. and poll apped is a very influential member among the former communist countries and is doing nothing to help. pope francis could use his influence there amongst his own
congregation, that would be worthwhile. >> stewart: malcolm brabant, thank you so much. >> you're >> stewart: before the pope traveled to greece, he met presidential candidate bernie sanders at the vatican. sanders went to rome yesterday for a vatican conference on his signature issue-- income inequality. sanders said he told the pope he was doing "extraordinary" work. the pope told reporters: to him, greeting sanders was a matter of good manners, not getting involved in politics. this afternoon, sanders was back campaigning in new york, three days before the state's presidential primary. with polls show hillary clinton ahead in new york, she served eight years as senator. she campaigned today in california, which holds its primary in june. republican front runner donald trump and ohio governor john kasich both made appearances today in upstate new york. texas senator ted cruz was in wyoming, where he was eyeing 14 delegates at a state convention. he previously won nine delegates in caucuses there. japan has deployed 20,000 army troops to help rescue efforts following two strong earthquakes in two days, on its southern
island of kyushu, more than 500 miles from tokyo. the more powerful, magnitude seven quake hit this morning. authorities say at least 41 people have died, and about 1,500 were injured. dozens are believed trapped in the rubble of 200 collapsed buildings, and 200,000 homes have lost power. among the badly damaged buildings is the 400-year-old kumamoto castle, one of japan's most historic landmarks. watch my interview with the c.d.c.'s dr. steven kochie about the ambitious plan to eradicate polio worldwide. visit us online, at www.pbs.org/newshour. >> stewart: many of the nation's most economically distressed populations, as mapped by zip code, are concentrated in the so-called "rust belt" across the upper midwest. a city that has come to symbolize the distress of de-industrialization is youngstown, ohio, which still suffers from high unemployment and crime rates. but after decades of decline, there is an innovation movement
underway there to rebuild homes, remove blight, and attract employers. in tonight's signature segment, newshour special correspondent karla murthy takes a look at how that plan is working. this story is part of our ongoing reporting on the issues of poverty and opportunity in america, called "chasing the dream." >> reporter: this house on the southside of youngstown has been vacant for eight years. the city condemned it after a fire inside. now, it's being torn down. robert morris lives next door. he says he's glad to see these abandoned homes in his neighborhood finally get demolished. >> this neighborhood right here, this used to be high-class over here. i mean, this whole south avenue corridor was all... it was nice. it was really nice. >> reporter: these demolitions are part of a citywide plan to eliminate blight and rebuild.
since the 1950s, youngstown's population has declined by 60%, from about 168,000 to 65,000, and is still shrinking. thousands of empty homes have been left behind, crippling the housing market and eroding the social fabric of this once mighty industrial base. when the steel mills closed in the 1970s, youngstown lost 40,000 good paying jobs. today, almost 40% of residents live below the federal poverty line, earning less than $24,300 a year for a family of four. >> what's a city to do as a city? pick itself up, dust itself off and start all over again, move forward. >> reporter: hunter morrison is an urban planner who has worked on rebuilding youngstown since 2002. he says the plan started with a simple premise: accept that the city was smaller. >> in america, the entire business of planning and development is based on the phenomena of growth. but what happens when
communities one after another see themselves shrinking? >> reporter: over the last 14 years, this new, smaller mindset has been the guiding vision for the city, which took stock of its assets-- like youngstown state university, with 14,000 students. the city and the university developed blighted land to connect the campus to downtown, which now has new housing and more places to go out. >> today, if you talk to a student, they go down to the restaurants. some of them live downtown who never would have lived there before. >> reporter: but beyond downtown, the city didn't have the resources to fix its broken neighborhoods. fewer residents means less tax revenue. so, in 2009, the city created a new nonprofit, the youngstown neighborhood development corporation, or y.n.d.c., in partnership with the raymond john wean foundation. >> you could walk to my house if you want to keep going. >> reporter: ian beniston is the executive director. he grew up in youngstown. his father worked at a steel mill until it closed in 1980. >> we don't go around here talking about utopian visions.
we're dealing with the real basics here. we've just got to get neighborhoods cleaned up. >> reporter: the y.n.d.c. has an annual budget of $3 million. the group surveyed every neighborhood in the city to figure out where it could make the biggest difference and create more stability. >> our focus, as an organization, is on those neighborhoods in the middle. neighborhoods that have many signs of distress, but they're not to a point where we have 70% or 80% vacancy. so, that even in the future, we do at least have these pockets, if nothing else, of healthy neighborhoods. ighborhoods the y.n.d.c.first targeted is called idora, where a quarter of the houses were vacant-- like this one, currently being renovated by the y.n.d.c. tiffany sokol has been overseeing this project. >> we've been able to acquire a lot of properties at zero cost, either through bank donations or private personal donations. >> reporter: many homes the y.n.d.c. acquires are foreclosed properties and are renovated with the help of americorps volunteers. >> there's an abundance of
vacant homes, but unfortunately the quality is very low. so, part of what we're doing here is trying to raise the standard and raise the quality of homes available. >> reporter: a couple blocks away is a house the y.n.d.c. just finished. >> this one was built in the '70s, so it's really out of character for the neighborhood. >> reporter: it's listed for sale for $40,000-- above youngstown's median home price of $31,000 but affordable in this market. have you had any problems getting people to buy the homes that you've renovated? >> no. most of our homes generally we end up pre-selling before we are even done with the rehabilitation. >> reporter: y.n.d.c. helps potential buyers who have low- to-moderate incomes through housing counseling and mortgage financing. in the past six years in idora, 137 abandoned homes have been demolished, 35 homes have been renovated and sold, and 88 occupied homes have been repaired. >> this was a house we fixed, too. >> reporter: today, the occupancy rate of this stripped down, rebuilt neighborhood is 93%. >> wait till you see it. it's pretty awesome.
>> reporter: beniston showed me one more feature he's using as a selling point for idora, this natural waterfall right in the middle of city. >> we had nine vacant homes right by this. yeah, but not anymore. >> reporter: brownlee woods is another neighborhood where the y.n.d.c. works. nancy martin and her husband russell have lived here since 1982 and over the years watched people leave as their neighborhood declined. >> we can do one of two things. you can either sit here on the and do something., or you get >> these are the benches we just put in. >> reporter: she's president of her neighborhood association and meets regularly with the y.n.d.c., which also helps residents develop their own neighborhood action plans. >> they bring a list of all the houses that we're working on, and we go through each one. >> reporter: one house that was falling apart was owned by an out of town businessman. ian beniston stepped in. >> and he told him, "are you going to do anything with this
property? because if you're not, we're taking it." >> reporter: the community is taking over that house, and the y.n.d.c. brought more than a dozen other houses up to code in brownlee woods. >> we are making progress. i mean, we know that in terms of owner occupancy, vacancy data. however, there are still large swaths of the city, the most distressed swaths, where people are still leaving. >> reporter: in those areas of youngstown with heavy vacancy, the focus is on simply eradicating blight with board- ups, demolitions and cutting the grass. robert morris is happy to see his neighborhood getting cleaned up, but he's skeptical things will really improve. do you think this area will ever become what it once was? >> no. no, i doubt it. no. it's over. no jobs. nobody got jobs. everybody's out there trying to hustle to make their buck. you know, that's... it is what it is. >> i'm going to give myself maybe another year or two here.
>> reporter: dawn griffin says she's had a hard time finding a job in youngstown and thinks about leaving. unemployment in youngstown is 8.5%, 3.5% above than the national average. griffin, a single mother of three, remembers a better time. >> i thought we were rich, you know? ( laughs ) and we were pretty well off, you know? but what is here? >> reporter: she also feels like the city isn't doing enough, especially in low-income neighborhoods like hers, on the east side of youngstown. >> one of my questions was, "okay, you're removing the blight, okay, but what's going to be there? and it's nothing but a slab on concrete there. no one wants to invest in that. you can't do it a little bit, you've got to go all the way." >> reporter: i asked beniston about their critique. >> boarding up homes, grass cutting, how's it really going to make a big difference? >> that will improve the quality
of life for the people that are living there now, but by no means am i trying to say that in the most distressed of places just cutting grass and boarding up the houses is sufficient. i'm saying it's the reality of a lack of resources. i think one of the things we need more of here without a doubt is just jobs. that's the reality of it, that's why people leave. so, until we can get to a point where we're attracting, developing, creating-- even here, locally-- more jobs, we're going to be struggling to get to where we need to be. >> reporter: part of youngstown's plan to create more jobs is to change its image as a city dominated by steel. >> we're still primarily manufacturing-focused, but there are other industries that are emerging. >> reporter: sharon woodberry, youngstown's director of economic development and community planning, is trying to lure technology entrepreneurs. she points to "america makes," a national institute for 3d
printing, and also the youngstown business incubator which has created almost 400 jobs at tech start-ups in youngstown since 2011. but unemployment is still high here, right? >> it is. it was a decline over decades. it's a rebuilding that's going to take some significant time. >> there are a lot of obstacles in older industrial communities. >> reporter: urban planner hunter morrison says progress may seem slow, but not when you understand what's happened across this region. >> these communities are very much like new orleans. new orleans lost half its population over a weekend. flint, cleveland, youngstown, detroit lost it over a generation. it's a major trauma to a community. it takes a long time to get over it. >> reporter: how do you stay hopeful? is it a false sense of hope? >> for me it's not a false of hope because i have a pretty good memory, and i know, for example, what this neighborhood looked like. i've also seen streets change,
where, you know, dozens of houses have been removed, others have come back to life. i feel good about the progress that we've made. am i satisfied with it? certainly not. >> stewart: in the race for the republican presidential nomination, heading into next tuesday's big new york primary, donald trump leads ted cruz by more than 200 delegates and john kasich by 600. trump is just about 500 delegates shy of the magic number of 1,237 needed to secure the nomination before the republican party's national convention in cleveland this july. the nomination could be contested at the convention, and if that happens, there's no guarantee the candidate with the most votes or delegates walking in, will walk out the nominee. newshour special correspondent jeff greenfield has some thoughts about the fairness of the process. >> reporter: donald trump will
probably come to the cleveland convention with a couple hundred more delegates than any one other candidate, and a couple million more votes. so, even if he's short of a delegate majority, it's only fair that he should become the republican nominee, right? >> in all fairness, we're way ahead in delegates. i'm not supposed to have less delegates than a guy i beat. it doesn't work that way. >> reporter: not so fast. a lot more republican voters chose someone other than trump. "anyone but trump" won a majority of votes in the first eight republican contests. if trump doesn't achieve a delegate majority on the convention's first ballot, republican party rules say most of his delegates will be unbound, free to do whatever they want. >> if trump can pick up enough unbound delegates to commit to him, then on the first vote he'd get 1,237, he'd be the nominee. if he doesn't, then he would be short, and then you go to ballot number two. under the rules, you to call the roll again, and you would keep calling the roll until somebody gets to the majority of
delegates. >> reporter: the convention could nominate someone who didn't even run this year. is that fair? the answer is: there isn't any one answer about the right way to decide who wins an election. in different places, very different rules apply. and in fact, without some distinctly unfair rules, we wouldn't have a country at all. for instance, beyond the presidential race, in almost every state, you can be elected governor or senator by getting more votes than the next candidate, even if a majority of voters were against you. in 2014, four senators and ten governors won that way with pluralities. two states, georgia and louisiana, require a "runoff" if no one wins a majority in a statewide race. so, in the 2014 race for senator in louisiana, incumbent democrat mary landrieu narrowly edged republican bill cassidy in november but didn't get a majority. in the runoff that followed, cassidy beat landrieu decisively. california now has its own kind of runoff for all statewide and congressional races.
every candidate, regardless of party, runs on the same ballot. then, the top two finishers face off in november; it doesn't matter if both are republicans or democrats or independents. proponents say this encourages candidates to appeal to the center of the political spectrum; opponents say the system deprives voters of a clear contrast in november, when it really counts. or, consider how we choose a president. as everyone learned in 2000, you can lose the white house even if you get more popular votes than your opponent because it's the electoral votes of the states that matter. every state is winner-take-all except maine and nebraska. in 2012, barack obama won florida by less than 1% of the vote, but he got all 29 electoral votes. mitt romney won north carolina by barely 2% but got all 15 electoral votes. is this fair, or should electoral votes be awarded proportionally? or winner-take-all by congressional district? should we even have an electoral college anymore?
after all, starting each state with two electoral votes based on their u.s. senate seats gives the small states more clout than their population would mandate. in fact, isn't it unfair that wyoming has the same power in the senate as california, which has 60 times the population? the answer is, credit-- or blame-- the founding fathers. when they gathered in philadelphia to write the constitution in 1787, a central issue was the fear of small states that they would be dominated by the big states. not only did they insist on equal representation in the senate, but they made it the only part of the constitution that can't be amended. it's right there in article v. without this obviously "undemocratic" rule, we wouldn't have a country. so, is there a hard and fast rule that will tell you what's fair? actually, in practice, there is. for almost every one of us, whatever process most helps the candidate we want to win is obviously, clearly, the fairest of them all.
>> this is pbs newshour weekend, saturday. >> stewart: the number of prisoners at the u.s. military prison at guantanamo bay, cuba, is down to 80, following today's release of nine men who had been held for 14 years without charges. all are from yemen, but due to unrest and al qaeda activity there, they were sent to saudi arabia, where they also have family ties. among them is tariq ba odah, who had protested his detention by staging a hunger strike. his weight dropped from 160 to 74 pounds, and the military force-fed him to keep him alive. his attorney tells the newshour the transfer ends "one of the most appalling chapters in guantánamo's sordid history." the head of britain's communications spy agency has apologized for the agency's past prejudice against gays. g.c.h.q. chief robert hannigan told a conference hosted by the human rights group "stonewall" yesterday that barring gays from working at the agency until the 1990's had been wrong, and was"
the nation's loss." hannigan paid special tribute to alan turing, who helped break the nazi "enigma" code during world war two and was the subject of the 2014 movie, "the imitation game." turing committed suicide after being outed, convicted of indecency in 1952 and losing his security clearance to do his job. hannigan said the agency's treatment of the computer genius had been "horrifying." one of africa's greatest photographers, malick sidibe, has died. the artist began his career in the late 1950s, during the final years of french colonial rule in mali. he went on to capture the youthful nightlife, fashion, and culture of an independent nation in the 1960s. sidibe would go on to display his black and white photos around the world, including at the grand palais in paris. he received the venice biennale golden lion award for lifetime achievement in 2007-- the first awarded to a photographer or african artist. sidibe died from diabetes- related complications in mali's capital bamako on thursday.
he was 80. displl finally, cuban president raul castro says the restoration of capitalism in cuba is not his foal. speaking to a meeting today, he promised reforms to improve the economy but said private enterprise would remain limited. following last month's visit from president obama, he said he is committed to improving relawgz wgz united states. castro plans to leave office in 2018. he succeeded his brother fidel in 2008. on tomorrow's program, changing the way doctors are taught to treat pain to help slow the nation's epidemic of opiod addiction. that's all for this edition of pbs newshour wild card. i'm alison stewart. good night. captioning sponsored by wnet
captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org >> 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. the john and helen glessner family trust. supporting trustworthy journalism that informs and inspires. 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.
announcer: funding for this program was provided by members of the better angels society, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating americans about their history through documentary film. members include the dalio foundation; jessica and john fullerton; and john and catherine debs. major funding was also provided by mr. jack c. taylor; by the arthur vining davis foundations, dedicated to strengthening america's future through education; by the corporation for public broadcasting; and by generous contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. announcer 2: on april 15, 1947, jack roosevelt robinson crossed the white line at ebbets field,