tv PBS News Hour Weekend PBS August 7, 2016 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
captioning sponsored by captioning sponsored by wnet on this edition for sunday, august 7: going inside yemen after a year and a half of civil war. the obama administration declassifies its "drone strike playbook." and, an effort to bridge a cultural gap in south africa through ballet. next, on pbs newshour weekend. >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: bernard and irene schwartz. judy and josh weston. the cheryl and philip milstein family. the john and helen glessner family trust. supporting trustworthy journalism that informs and inspires. sue and edgar wachenheim, iii. barbara hope zuckerberg. corporate funding is provided
by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we are your retirement company. 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. this is pbs newshour weekend. >> sreenivasan: good evening and thanks for joining us. claims and counterclaims in syria today in the battle for aleppo, where 300,000 residents are trapped but there's little doubt that fighting for full control of the divided city is ferocious, and that rebel forces have made gains. various reports say rebels have at least partially broken a month-long government siege and seized a key military complex. hezbollah fighters, allied with syrian forces, conceded the rebels and have made advances. government officials had no comment on any rebel advance, but said syrian warplanes attacked rebel targets in aleppo. >> sreenivasan: tonight, we have a rare report from yemen, where another civil war has been
raging for 16 months. united nations-sponsored peace talks aimed at resolving the war were suspended yesterday for a month. the u.n. envoy to the talks called on the two sides to unify their efforts to ease the increasing burden of suffering on the yemeni people. more than 8,000 people have been killed in the conflict and 370 thousand children are suffering from malnutrition. we turn now to this exclusive glimpse inside yemen from britain's "unreported world". there are images in this story that some viewers may find upsetting. krishnan guru murthy reports. >> the casualties of yemens war go way beyond the bombs and bullets. the disaster hidden from the world's eyes is malnutrition. one and a half million children are suffering and the pediatric emergency units are under terrible pressure. is the main reason the child looks like this is malnutrition?
>> malnutrition complicated -- >> malnutrition have week immunities so they have many other diseases. they are getting sick easily. >> do you have enough good at home for yourselves? >> every day that's it just flour. no fruits, vegetables or meats? >> here is why there is nothing. all of these are here? to the south is the port. 90% of yemen's food supply is imported. the vast majority comes through here. it's been crippled by air strikes. there is an astoninshing degree of targeting. they took out the driver's cab making these completely useless.
the only ships that can dock here now are those with their own onboard. it makes the process slow. food warehouses are targeted at the port too. one of the biggest companies here has had the dairy and cooking facilities taken out. it's these deep targets that lead to saudi arabia for breaking international humanitarian law. >> you see for yourself. no sign -- >> so while food prices rise, incomes plummet. there is little work and the un country. they're totally reliant on
meager aid supply. this family gets one zach of flour every -- sack of flower every couple of months and occasional lentils. we go for a walk, he wants to show me something. it's the graveyard. he says many children are buried here, who have died of ma malnutrition. >> sreenivasan: the obama administration has declassified a previously secret document - often referred to as the drone strike "playbook" that outlines how drone targets are chosen and approved. the release of the redacted
presidential policy guidance-- or ppg-- follows a series of court rulings stemming from a lawsuit filed by the aclu. the ppg states in part, that lethal action against terrorist targets in its words, "shall be discriminating and precise as reasonably possible" and "will be taken only when there is near certainty that the individual being targeted is, in fact, the lawful target and located at the place where the action will occur." for more on what is contained in the 18 page document, and what it reveals about united states' drone strike program, i am joined from washington, d.c. by charlie savage a washington correspondent for the new york times and author of the "power wars: inside obama's post-9/11 presidency." >> first the big impact. this is something we knew existed from 2013. what's the difference now that it's public? >> well it confirms and provides new details about the process by which the obama ad my station has developed for the government to make these contested
decisions to kill people outside of war zones with a drone or a missile from a piloted aircraft as well. it shows the administration which came in, a loosey goosy process of deciding when to carry out counter terrorism strikes. the strikes swelled under obama's first term. in his second term he thought to regularize the process to bring more order to it. in the process of bureaucracy in it to normalize it and how the united states government does business. now we can see the document ourselves, we see for ourselves how true that is. how regularized this process is. how many different layers of bureaucracy there are and participants in both legal and policy deliberations about the fraught decisions to kill someone in a place such as
ungoverned badlands where the united states are in a ordinary war but no real government for arresting people posing a terrorist threat. >> as the document points out there are different levels of committee meetings to determine who the person is. the bigger question is what about collateral damage and casualty he's and innocent civilians nearby. what does this policy document lay out in that regard? >> this lays down a near standard of certainty of no civilian bystander deaths. since then there have been strikes. fewer strikes since may of 2013, when this came out. they have continued and reports of civilian casualty deaths has continued. it's one thing to say it on paper and another thing to achieve it part of the revelation of this, it's true it was kicked out through the pressure of freedom of information act lawsuit brought
by the american civil liberties union. it has to be understood in this late twilight e.r.a. of the obama administration effort to be more transparent about the operations. last month, the beginning of july they put out the official understanding of their statistics, how many strikes like this there had been. how many combatants, terrorists they thought they had killed, and civilians killed as a result. those numbers are controversial low. now obama says going forward his successor should put out numbers like that every year. >> considering these are policy guidelines what happens a few months from now with a new president in office? >> well, because this is not a statute, any future president can resend, revoke, modify or ignore any executive order,
executive director, policy guidance. in fact the guidance itself contemplates the rules when they're not will rules. the president can wave the process and standards if he or she wants to in a extraordinary circumstance. it list lists examples. if there is a move without time to go through the meetings and deliberations and a reason to do it the president says do it but come to me for permission to wave the standards. >> okay. charlie savage joining us from washington and the new york times. author of "power wars" thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having me. >> sreenivasan: the green party
wrapped up its national convention in houston last night, confirming that jill stein will be their presidential nominee this november. in her speech, stein thanked those bernie sanders who had come over to her campaign, while challenging those who had not. >> while the parties that be want to reassure us that resistance is futile and that we should just go home and lie down on the railroad tracks in front of climate change, in front of expanding wars, in front of the industrial prison state and mass incarceration, in front of nuclear weapons, where we're now engaged in a whole new arms nuclear race. they're telling us to forget about it, trust the powers that be that got us into this mess, we say no thank you, we are standing up, this is our moment. >> sreenivasan: the real clear politics national average of polls for the general election has stein in fourth place with just four percent support. but that hasn't prevented her
party from trying to have an impact. joining us now from washington, d.c. is n.p.r.'s jessica taylor who has been covering the green party convention. >> how much of the green party convention was about green party. how much was about luring bernie sander supporters? >> for the first few days i heard bernie sanders mentioned more than joe stein. they made pleas for bernie supporters to join them. what bernie supports we have been for all along. not taking corporate money, free college, the foreign policy approaches. this was really sort of definitely reaching out to them. they saw a lot of increased numbers at this particular convention. organizers told me they accepted initially 250 people. over the past month it doubled to almost 500 people. they attribute that to sanders dropping out, and then the
hubbub at the ndc with backers walking out and protesting in the streets. i saw many sanders supporters there. they say we believe in bernie and the revolution he wants lives on. they felt they could find a home in the green party. >> what's the strategy going forward? knowing she's about four percent and going to maybe five or seven, ten percent by election day. are they going out and downing ballot races ? >> this was a heavy emphasis on down ballot races. they had senate and local races. that's where the party has had some success. like mayoral and local county board races. they haven't had major successes federally or state wide. i think they hope if they get the sander supporters to mobilize maybe not nationally but locally that it could have a
impact. there was a poll having her at . she's still trailing libertarian, gary johnson. he registers up to 10 percent in some polls. i asked her yesterday when we talked. she said we haven't gotten the exposure of the other candidates even to a extent of gary johnson. she said if people learn more about our message they will come to us. that's their hope. >> what are the core platform issues they agree on. >> all manners of progressivism. a lot is anti-interventionist foreign policy, environmentalist platform, social, economic and equality. you heard all of this, think there was a discord there and over the future of the party. largely you have some diversity they're bringing in somewhere that was conflict too.
one candidate opposing dr. stein for the nomination. she rose up and said she believes the party needs to be more diverse and not represented by a white woman. that she was a black muslim woman that would represent better. >> thank you, jessica tailor. >> sreenivasan: the results from south africa yesterday confirmed that the powerful african national congress, the party of nelson mandela, suffered its worst showing in an election since 1994. the a.n.c. lost ground to the democratic alliance, a party long associated with the white middle class that itself has a black leader now. millions of black south african voters seem less concerned about race and more concerned about issues like unemployment and corruption. the continuing change in south africa is also showing up in smaller ways too.
ballet, an artform previously reserved for the white minority, is coming to soweto. newshour special correspondent martin seemungal reports. >> reporter: soweto-- the sprawling black township in south africa's biggest city, johannesburg-- is synonymous with the struggle against apartheid. two decades after the regime of racial separation ended, many cultural divides remain. traditionally, ballet here was for the white and wealthy. black south africans were excluded, leaving a legacy of disinterest. ballet teacher muli mokgele is among those trying to change that. >> growing up, we knew ballet as being a white sport, so it's very much new to us. but i know that in time it will get better. >> reporter: dirk badenhorst judges ballet internationally and organizes ballet
competitions in south africa. he's pushing to bring more ballet teachers to soweto. >> are the conditions ideal to do what we are doing? no. is it the perfect way of doing it? no. but if we don't start somewhere, we're never going to have it. >> reporter: one of his recruits is maria de los angelas quintanilla-- known affectionately as miss maria-- an experienced ballet instructor from cuba. she arrived in south africa a few months ago and has already developed a strong bond with her students. i have always loved children, she says, but god didn't give me the chance to have my own. the talent is one thing. the physical ability is something else, she says. we need to give the children time to develop the skills as well as to demonstrate they have real talent. >> reporter: the truth is ballet has never been big in the black townships. there is zero history here-there
were never any qualified teachers for one thing, but now there are. these are the first. the classes cost $10 a month, but if a family can't afford it, the program doesn't charge. thoba karl halla is learning to become one of the instructors. >> it is an opportunity that has been available for the minority and the few that can actually afford that, but through these classes and this program we would be able to be disciples and spread it and make it much wider. >> reporter: gustin makgeledisa is a professional dancer and choreographer. >> we need to break away from this thing of saying, ¡oh this is a white form of dance,' or¡ this is a black form of dance.' people need to start getting engaged in other things, so we need to train the kids at a very young age, and that's how we spot the talent. >> reporter: born during the last years of apartheid, john
tsunke didn't have the opportunity to take ballet lessons until he was 19, but he is one of the rare black south africans who went on to perform with the johannesburg ballet. now 28, he's excited to be teaching. >> to give them what i didn't have and opportunities to choose to train them. something that i never had chances to do and be able to do that and have the most basic thing, a foundation. >> reporter: connie september is a former cabinet minister and member of parliament with the governing african national congress. she has pushed the anc to embrace ballet and recognize its potential. >> where the kids are being trained by those that are very familiar to them, that can speak the language and understand them and so on it is quite important.
if we get this thing right, it will be an absolute explosion in many of our townships. >> reporter: the classes are attracting children like 8 year old pheletso komane. this is the house in soweto where she lives with her parents and two brothers. her father is unemployed, and her mother works at a supermarket earning $260 a month. >> no, i don't have the money to pay more money. i think it's expensive at the real school. >> reporter: ballet is well established in the former" whites only" areas of johannesburg-- still predominantly white-- but attitudes toward black participation in ballet have changed. natasha ireland is former ballerina who teaches ballet. >> you know they have a very difficult and very hard life which we unfortunately don't
understand or realize because we haven't lived through it. >> reporter: ireland's studios are state of the art, and lessons here cost ten times higher than in soweto, but she believes bringing ballet to the townships is long overdue. >> there are a lot of kids with a lot of ability and with the correct training and the correct exposure and the correct nurturing in a loving environment, i think we could produce excellent dancers of color. i think it's a fantastic opportunity. >> reporter: most of her students have trained since they were five years old. some already perform at the highest levels, like 16 year old veronica louw. >> the art is one way to like bring everyone together, especially for what this country has been through and now that we are finally on an equal par why
not share it with everything. >> reporter: dirk badenhorst says the children of soweto are learning an art form and building confidence. >> it's so incredible to see these young kids coming from a shack, wanting to be a ballerina. >> reporter: atta is one of those little girls. the daughter of phumla makapalea. >> my mom said i can dance ballet. >> because ballet...it's beautiful, and i like it. >> they have dreams in their eyes, because they put on a costume and they become a prince or a princess or a fairy, and it's that skill that transfers into their daily life. that ability to transcend their physical location into becoming anything they want. >> read about the dead poet society. new magazine by writers with disabilities releasing their first issue this week at
pbs.org/newshour. >> this is pbs news hour weekend sunday. >> sreenivasan: the international paralympic committee today banned the entire russian team from participating in next month's paralympic games in rio. the i.p.c. said russian para- athletes were also implicated in a pervasive state-sponsored doping and cover-up scandal. the russian paralympic committee is expected to appeal the decision to the court of arbitration for sport. an iranian official confirmed today that the country has executed a nuclear scientist who was convicted of spying and providing what was called "vital information" on iran's nuclear program to the united states. shahram amiri, who worked for iran's atomic energy organization, disappeared in 2009. he surfaced a year later in the u.s., claiming that he had been kidnapped and tortured by the c.i.a. and offered bribes. the u.s. said amiri had
voluntarily defected and provided what a u.s. official called "useful information." amiri received a hero's welcome when he returned to iran in 2010 but was soon arrested and sentenced to prison. in thailand today, more than 60% of voters overwhelmingly approved a controversial new constitution that is expected to guarantee a prominent political role by the military. the new constitution was drafted by a commission hand-picked by the thai military, which seized power in a coup back in 2014. opponents claim the document will allow the military to control public life under the façade of democracy. the philippines' new president rodrigo duterte has vowed to continue his crackdown on the drug trade. in a televised address today, duterte named more than 150 government officials, including judges, members of congress and military officers and accused them of having drug links. more than 4,000 people have been arrested and 400 hundred have been killed by the police and vigilantes since duterte took
office in june. >> finally one of the most >> finally one of the most productive but controversial careers in baseball is winding down. alex rodriguez will play his final game on friday, almost certainly ending a career that began 22 years ago. he was suspended for the entire 2014 season for using performance enhancing drugs. raoez fourth all time for home runs. tackling the psychological needs for those coming from syria. that's it for this edition of news hour sunday. i'm hari sreenivasan. have a good night. captioning sponsored by wnet captioned by media access group at wgbh
access.wgbh.org >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: bernard and irene schwartz. judy and josh weston. the cheryl and philip milstein family. the citi foundation. the john and helen glessner family trust. supporting trustworthy journalism that informs and inspires. sue and edgar wachenheim, iii. barbara hope zuckerberg. corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we are your retirement company. and by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
we know we have to remember. it's very important to not forget the history. (man) we have to constantly remind ourselves that these things happened and that they could happen again. i remember as it were yesterday. i remember in the morning pulling the curtains back and seeing someone standing there with a gun. i heard the shots. my father was killed. my brother died. (man) we saw the tanks in the village, we saw the helicopters overhead, and we knew this was a major act of terrorism and we were in the middle of it. this was the first time terrorism was seen on the worldwide stage.