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tv   PBS News Hour Weekend  PBS  May 22, 2016 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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captioning sponsored captioning sponsored by wnet >> stewart: on this edition for sunday, may 22: president obama visits vietnam, his first stop on a weeklong trip to asia. the leader of the taliban is killed by a u.s. drone strike inside pakistan. and in our signature segment, syrian refugees stuck in lebanon, hoping for a new life in italy. >> so, out of more than a million refugees here in lebanon, it's been narrowed to 101? >> only 101 we can move. so yeah, these are the luckiest, maybe. >> stewart: 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.
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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 suppo 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. president barack obama has begun a three-day visit to vietnam, starting a week-long trip in asia meant to enhance trade and security ties with allies in the region. the president arrived in
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vietnam's capital, hanoi, in his first visit to the former enemy of the united states. vietnamese leaders are looking for obama to lift the long- standing u.s. embargo on selling weapons to vietnam, as a deterrent to the growing influence of neighboring china. the president is expected to pressure vietnam to improve its record on human rights, and tout his proposed 12-nation trans- pacific partnership trade deal. vietnam now exports more manufactured goods to the u.s. than any other southeast asian nation, and trade between the two nations has reached $45 billion a year. obama is the third president in a row to visit vietnam, and he'll go to japan next. for more on president obama's asia trip, david nakumara joins me by skype. everyone wants something from the visit. what does the u.s. want from vietnam and what does vietnam want from the u.s.? >> i think you will see president obama spend his two days here in hanoi touting the
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warming of relations. this is happening on the economic side with new trade deal that in in play here between countries and also on the security side and the main driving reason is not just the warming relations between the two countries but the specter of china and its influence in the region. president obama talked about shifting u.s. policy away from the middle east and away from europe to some degree and centered on asia. there is a lot of competition with china on security in the south china sea and you will see vietnam wanting more reassurance from the united states both on potential lifting of an arms embargo in place since the end of the vietnam war and economic investment. and the president is touting the asian trade deal he will talk about the merits for u.s. companies and u.s. workers and because on the campaign trail there is a lot of talk about trade with donald trump and on the democratic side. you will see the president
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talking about these things. >> let's unpack that a little bit. you wrote about american companies who are manufacturing quite a bit in vietnam. tell us more about that? >> what is interesting the trends globally before this trade deal which has been assigned to the countries but not approved by the congress. a lot of companies are moving manufacturing from china which had been booming for a number of years to vietnam based on lower wages and more reliable labor chains. and what is interesting is the president is saying look this is a trend that is underway. a lot of u.s. manufacturing has been offshore in china and moving to vietnam. we want to be in play in vietnam and u.s. companies are responding saying yes it makes sense, the trade deal would lower tariffs on shoes and apparell and textiles. why not get in with vietnam, and vietnam's economy is poised to move on this. and this trade deal could do that and that could lower prices
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for u.s. consumers if it's easier to make the tariffs lower. the problem is that a lot of unions and labor organizations in the united states are saying we have been decimated by this offshoring in manufacturing and this will make it worse. you have people saying both sides there's benefits for the u.s. and vietnam and the u.s. is saying that is a way to draw vietnam closer and raise labor and environmental standards in vietnam and other countries as part of the deal. >> let's talk about the arms embargo. if it is lifted what guarantee does the united states have that vietnam will address human rights abuses for example? >> well, there is no great guarantees. the question is both on the arms embargo as the trade deal and the trade deal they got a separate agreement with vietnam specifying specific measures they would take to protect labor and workers. human rights it's free speech and vietnam has shown effort and freed a political prisoner on
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the eve of the president coming here but the u.s. wants to see more and there's pressure in the united states not to lift the embargo among human rights groups. you saw the aides come here last week to see whether vietnam was ready. they lifted part of the embargo two years ago based on maritime security because of some of the concerns about what is happening with the chinese navy. and now there is a question whether this is a broader embargo. you might see potential lifting something that will take time over time to sort of see how vietnam makes progress on human rights and if they don't, maybe they will not sell certain types of weapons. even if they announce a lifting of the embargo it could take several years for the defensive weapons to be actually exchanged. and that would give the u.s. not only this administration but a successor time to judge whether vietnam moved enough.
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>> david nakumara from the "washington post" thank you. >> thank you. afghanistan government officials said today an american air strike did kill the leader of the anti-government taliban, mullah akhtar mansour, yesterday. u.s. homeland security secretary jeh johnson said, "it appears likely" mansour was killed, but it could be a few days before the u.s. had the evidence confirming that. a u.s. drone struck a vehicle transporting mansour just across the afghan border in pakistan. pakistan's foreign ministry said the attack authorized by president obama violated its sovereignty. afghan chief executive abdullah abdullah said mansour's death would have a positive impact on attempts to bring peace to afghanistan. joining me now by skype to discuss the significance of the u.s. military strike on the taliban's leader is jennifer glasse, a freelance reporter now in afghanistan's capital, kabul. jennifer tell us more about who he was within the heirarchy of the taliban? >> he was a taliban leader he look over last summer.
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it was a bit of a controversy because when he took over after the announcement that omar had been dead for two years, there was a bit of a power struggle and division among the taliban under mansewer they took territory in afghanistan and they took hindus for a few days the first time they have been able to take a city that size afghanistan's fifth largest city. they control more territory and contest more territory than they have since 2001. so under the taliban really saw a resurgence and strength. but they were fractured. >> why this may sound obvious question but i will ask it anyway, why would the obama administration consider him a worthy target worth sending drones after? >> president obama made the order himself. normally the american forces
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cannot target the taliban and i asked that question and they made the decision because he and his fighters were planning attacks against afghan forces and american forces and therefore were a threat to u.s. forces. and that is the justification they used for the drone strike that killed him. >> what does this drone strike and the death mean for the peace talks and the peace process? >> that is the big question right now. what will happen with the peace process, how will things go from now on? the chief executive officer of the country said in afghanistan today he hopes that it will bring the taliban into the peace process. but it's not clear what will happen now. whether there will be a power struggle to see who replaces him and whether the taliban will continue fighting as they have with the afghan forces taking punishing casualties across the country. and what the peace process will
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revive. after a bombing here in kabul that killed six 4 peoe -- 64 people, the president hardened his stance against pakistan and the taliban saying that pakistan was a harboring the taliban and the fact that he was killed in pakistan really bears them out. and we have not seen a lot of reaction from pakistan. the last time the americans launched a big operation in pakistan was in 2011 the assaults and the killing of osama bin laden and after that happened there was a huge outrage in afghanistan that the americans had done something on sovereign territory. it is a quiet in pakistan right now. pakistan says they want the peace process to go forward but afghanistan says they want to see some progress so it's unclear right now what happens with the next step will be for the taliban and what the next step will be in trying to move the peace process forward. >> jennifer glasse thank you so much.
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>> stewart: secretary of state john kerry, who joins the president in vietnam tomorrow, was also in asia today, to offer support for the new government in myanmar, formerly known as burma. kerry met with nobel laureate aung san suu kyi, who led her party to a sweeping victory in last year's parliamentary elections. she is the nation's de facto leader and officially, its foreign minister. kerry urged the civilian-led government to stay on its course of democratic reform. kerry also met with the commander of myanmar's armed forces. under the country's constitution, the military retains a quarter of the seats in the country's parliament. kerry said that needs to change before the u.s. lifts its remaining sanctions. the obama administration last week lifted sanctions on 10 state-run companies and banks imposed during myanmar's military rule. egypt has deployed a robotic submarine to the mediterranean sea, where egyptair flight 804 disappeared on thursday. in his first remarks since the crash, egyptian president abdel- fattah el-sissi said today the sub can operate 10,000 feet below the water's surface and
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will search for the black boxes- - the cockpit voice and data recorders. french investigators said yesterday the airbus 320 sent warnings that smoke had been detected onboard just before the plane vanished from radar. but el-sissi warned against speculation, saying, "all scenarios are possible." the plane was carrying 66 passengers and crew from paris to cairo. >> stewart: the syrian civil war has displaced 11 million people and 400,000 have died during the conflict. five million syrians have become refugees, who have migrated not only to europe, but in greater numbers to neighboring turkey, jordan, and lebanon. lebanon, syria's neighbor to the south, now has the distinction of having the most refugees per capita of any country in the world. currently, one in five people
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living in lebanon is a refugee. in tonight's signature segment, special correspondent christopher livesay went to lebanon to see how the country is coping, and about one effort to help the refugees find a better life. >> reporter: in lebanon, syrian refugees are scattered around the country. the largest concentration lives just a 15-minute drive from the syrian border, in tents in camps in the bekaa valley. other refugees find shelter in dilapidated buildings like this one in the capital, beirut. still others reside in cordoned- off areas within cities that have become refugee ghettos. that's where i met the woman who asked us to call her "suha" for her protection. she left the besieged city of homs, syria, three-and-a-half years ago, fleeing a civil war she describes as a fire. >> the war began suddenly. burned everything. >> reporter: she says her family didn't take sides, but that didn't protect them from soldiers loyal to syrian president bashar al-assad. >> my brother killed, was
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killed. >> reporter: what happened? >> they shot him in the back, and he died. >> reporter: suha came to suspect her own husband was responsible for her brother's death. >> i discovered he is a double agent. >> reporter: so he was working for the regime? >> after a long time, i discovered that. >> reporter: confused and fearing for her life, suha left her husband and escaped to lebanon by paying a smuggler to drive her and her two children across the border. she lives on the fifth floor of this rundown building with her 9-year-old son, ra'ad, and daughter, raghad, who's four. electricity is on only a few hours a day. so she has no refrigerator. her biggest worry is her children's safety. >> this is miserable for the kids. they know there are guns everywhere, everywhere. everywhere. >> reporter: you want your children to grow up in peace? >> yes, that's what i want. >> reporter: suha is going to get her wish. a few months ago, an italian
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christian charity project call"" humanitarian corridor" selected her family to resettle in italy. the same people helped the vatican choose three syrian families to fly with pope francis from greece to italy in april. giancarlo penza is international relations director of the participating charity comunita' di sant'egidio. >> the pope, he called us to choose the people. twelve people. it's a gesture. in order to show what he was doing is easy, is reasonable, and he's right. >> reporter: humanitarian corridor intends to transport 600 syrian and iraqi refugees from lebanon to italy during the next two years. the charity project screens the candidates, obtains hard-to-get humanitarian visas, and arranges their flights. simone scotta is a field officer for the n.g.o. mediterranean hope. he helps run the project and
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initially interviewed suha, who is on the list for the next airlift. this is the list? >> yes, this is the list of 101 people that will leave in two days. >> reporter: 101 people? >> 101, yes. >> reporter: so, out of more than a million refugees here in lebanon, it's been narrowed to 101? >> only 101 we can move. so yeah, these are the luckiest, maybe. >> reporter: the luckiest met certain criteria. they were considered especially vulnerable but also likely to assimilate in italian society. suha was a veterinarian back in syria. >> she's always worked in her life, and we are sure that she will find her way in italy. >> some things are unknown to me-- where i'm sleeping, the house, the area, the neighbors. but i think everything will be okay. >> reporter: have you packed your bags already? >> yes, yes. (laughs) yes. >> reporter: suha is giving away the few possessions she has to
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her fellow refugees. >> one jacket for ra'ad and one jacket for raghad. >> reporter: most of what her family is taking fits in one suitcase. one change of clothes for yourself and one change of clothes for each of your kids. that's it? >> yes. >> reporter: that's three lives inside of one suitcase? >> yes. >> reporter: mixed with the excitement is sadness. suha has friends who desperately want a new start too, like ghysa, who is also from homs. ghysa lost everything she owned in syria and bares the scars of war; she was shot in the leg by a sniper. not among the chosen, she's staying behind in lebanon. >> we know many families. we just cannot help everybody, so we need to choose. >> reporter: what's that like to say no? >> most of them they understand, because we explain to them in a very clear way like we have a tiny number, and there are people that deserve more help than you. many of them understand, but other times people get pissed.
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>> reporter: tensions are high among refugees, and within lebanese society. nora jumblatt, a businesswoman and philanthropist in beirut, says lebanon has a long history of helping refugees in the region. but the welcome mat has worn thin. >> we have to remember that we have palestinian refugees. and we also have had an influx of iraqi refugees at one point. it is a very difficult situation, and it is a very precarious situation, because the strain on the astructure, on water, on electricity, on jobs, is huge. >> reporter: syrian refugees are not officially allowed to work in lebanon, but many do, mainly in construction and the service sector. this lebanese jewelry store owner complains: syrian refugees are hurting an already fragile economy. >> ( translated ): they're impacting our medical care, and taking the aid that's meant for the poor people of our country. they're taking many things, from electricity to gas expenses, and taking it for a lesser price.
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>> reporter: refugees who relied on their savings to survive have found that after five years of war, their money is running out, and syrian currency is worth much less than it used to be. >> this one, it's about $20 before the war. before the war, it's $20. now, it's $2. >> reporter: omar's money exchange store is on one of beirut's busiest shopping streets. >> if you walk here, each two meters, three meters, there's a little boy or a little girl and her mother. >> reporter: so little kids begging in the street? >> yeah, begging. >> reporter: this boy was begging for money to buy gum to resell on the street. he doesn't go to school. getting syrian refugee children into school is one goal of nora jumblatt's foundation, called kayany. it has built private schools that can accommodate 2,500 kids. but that's a fraction of the need. why aren't these syrian children going to lebanese public schools? >> because of lack of space. we have about 155,000 refugee
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children going to lebanese public schools, but there are 350,000 that are still in need. >> reporter: 350,000 syrian refugees who aren't getting education? >> yes, who are not getting. and this is, of course, a very dangerous affair, because this is the future of syria. these children should go back to build syria. >> reporter: and that's what the lebanese are hoping for: the war to end, and the syrians to return home. suha wants that too. but for now, thanks to the charity project, she's leaving with her children to start a new life in italy, today. are the kids excited, ready to go? >> more than me. (laughs) >> reporter: they take some last minute photos... ...and say their goodbyes. >> bye! >> reporter: when the family arrives at the first meeting point, they meet other refugee families on the airlift. suitcases labeled, they board the bus for beirut. out the window, the mediterranean sea.
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suha was once desperate enough to consider paying a smuggler to take them to europe by boat. but her son ra'ad, who'd seen stories on tv about children drowning, said no. and suha agreed. they arrive in beirut, where they meet still more refugees from syria-- families bound for different cities around italy. and then another bus ride to the airport to catch their 4:00 a.m. flight. >> italia! italia! hoo, hoo! >> reporter: two weeks later, i met up with suha in the riverside town of 10,000 people in northern italy where she and her children now live. grazie. >> prego! >> reporter: for now, her family is sharing a one-bedroom apartment with an elderly syrian woman who left lebanon on the same christian charity flight. >> i sleep here, and the old woman, with me, here because she couldn't go up. >> reporter: they have reliable electricity and a proper kitchen. >> refrigerator! >> reporter: you have a
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refrigerator? >> reporter: you've got a stove, you've got an oven. that's important. >> reporter: there's a big park behind their apartment where the children can play. they start school next week. >> i want to have time to learn and to work. >> reporter: under italian law, it will be a few months before suha is eligible to work. she's hoping to resume work as a veterinarian. in the meantime, the charity mediterranean hope is paying the rent and will give suha's family $780 a month for at least the next six months. she says she would like to return to syria someday. >> to find a solution in syria, i think it's far away. the most important thing is safeness. that's what i feel. everything else will come. >> reporter: from civil war in syria, to a refugee camp in lebanon, to a new beginning in italy. >> i hope good things will happen. i'm hopeful. really.
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>> this is pbs newshour weekend, sunday. >> stewart: today's presidential election runoff in austria pitted two men with diametrically opposed views. norbert hoefer of the nationalist, anti-immigration freedom party finished first in the first round last month. if hoefer should win, he'd be austria's and the e.u.'s first far-right head of state. he's opposed by former green party leader alexander van der bellen, who supports admitting refugees. hoefer has a small lead in what has been a very close race but there are absentee ballots still to be counted, with the outcome expected tomorrow. earlier, i talked about this election with reporter zeke turner of "the wall street journal," who joined me via skype from austria's capital, vienna. why is it that the centrists were knocked out so early? what is going on that you had
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candidates that are such opts opposites. >> this is a question echoing in germany because in this part of the world they make the grand coalition when two big parties from the left and right of center get together and sometimes they drag each other into political no man's land. for example, the center left chancellor, followed merkel's refugee policy and said people were welcome to come to austria and he had to change course and do an aboutface and talk about border controls and caps. and this is what i mean by no man's land. its' hard to trust politicians when they are in this context where people from the far right come from a certain standpoint and the candidate hover talk hoefer and that is something that is just a clear message for
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voters. finally the winner is... blake taking home the best picture at this year's cannes film festival. the film look at a man and woman snared in britain's welfare system. and that is all for this edition of pbs newshour this weekend. i'm allison stewart. good night. captioning sponsored by wnet captioned by media access group at wgbh >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: lewis b. and louise hirschfeld cullman. bernard and irene schwartz.
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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.
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-every dish has a story behind it. -food has mana. mana is really the essence of everything. -funding for "off the menu: asian america" has been provided by the corporation for public broadcasting. -when i was growing up in missouri in the '80s, we were one of the only korean families in town. [ camera shutter clicks ] i ate everything my friends did -- hamburgers, pizza, and way more junk food than i care to admit. back then, the only asian food you could get was in a chinese restaurant. beef with broccoli, sweet-and-sour pork, orange chicken, and my personal favorite, the pupu platter.


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