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tv   PBS News Hour Weekend  PBS  November 19, 2016 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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captioning sponsored by wnet >> stewart: on this edition for saturday, november 19: the trump transition-- the president-elect seeks counsel from the previous republican presidential nominee, mitt romney; and in our signature segment, war in iraq-- ethnic kurds in the fight to retake mosul are also fighting for their own autonomy. 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 trust-- supportinger trustworthy journalism that informs and inspires. sue and edgar wachenheim, iii. barbara hope zuckerberg.
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corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we're 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. president-elect donald trump continues to work toward filling key positions in his incoming administration. at the trump national golf club in new jersey, one of 17 he owns, mister trump and vice president-elect mike pence, met one of trump's fiercest critics during the campaign: mitt romney, the 2012 republican presidential nominee. romney is now said to be a candidate for secretary of state.
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>> very thorough and in-depth discussion in the time we had and i appreciate the chance to speak with the president-elect and look forward to the coming administration. >> stewart: following his agreement yesterday to pay $25 million to about 7,000 former trump university students who had sued him for fraud. mr. trump went to twitter today to explain. he wrote: the settlement came ten days before a san diego court was scheduled to hear a class action lawsuit over the curriculum that promised the secrets of real estate success. also today, mr. trump called on the cast of the broadway music"" hamilton" to apologize to mike pence, who attended the tony award-winning show last night. after the curtain call, the actor who plays thomas jefferson's vice president, aaron burr, addressed mr. pence, saying the multi-racial cast is "alarmed and anxious your new administration will not protect
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us, our planet, our children, our parents or defend and uphold our inalienable rights." he then asked mr. pence to work on behalf of "all of us." pence was already exiting the theater as the remarks occurred. while the president-elect holds meetings to fill top jobs in his administration, president barack obama is winding up the last major foreign trip of his presidency. after visiting europe earlier this week, mr. obama was in the peru today for the annual asian- pacific summit. he met today with peru's president, who warned last night that mr. trump's opposition to trade deals such as the trans- pacific partnership could threaten the global economy. president obama met today with leaders of the 11 other countries that joined the u.s. in reaching the t.p.p. deal. also on mr. obama's schedule: a town hall meeting with young people at a university in lima and a meeting with china's president, xi jinping. during his campaign, candidate trump said he opposed nafta, the north american free trade agreement that went into effect in 1994. it eased trade among the u.s.,
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canada and mexico. critics, like mr. trump, blame nafta for causing u.s. companies to move jobs particularly to mexico, where labor is cheaper and regulations less stringent. but what about canada? both mexico and canada send most of their exports to the u.s. to discuss the trade issue further, i am joined now from washington by alexander panetta, the washington correspondent f"" the canadian press." alexander, both canadian and mexican leaders reached out to the incoming trump administration, signaling a willingness to talk about nafta. why do this before mr. trump even takes office? >> well, i suspect part of the-- part of the rationale was to remove some of the drama from the conversation. there have been adjustments made to nafta over the years, including when bill clinton took office, and afterward afterward, 2004. the rules of origin for a few products were changed, including for feathers, for ore, for cocoa, cranberry juice. so the question now is how much
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he wants to change it. you'll note that he wasn't exactly very explicit in the campaign about the changes he would be seeking. so does president-elect trump intend an overhaul? >> justin trudeau has been proactive about this. he spoke about it at a news conference on wednesday and some of his critics say, "wait, you just weakened our negotiating position." has he, and what does canada have to lose if nafta should can change or be eradicated? >> i think one of the best metaphors for the u.s.-canada relationship came from his father. he described the canada-u.s. relationship as basically a mouse sleeping next to an elephant, that no matter how even tempered the elephant is, every twitch is felt by the partner. and lately the elephant's been twitching a lot. 76% of our exports come to the united states. about a quarter of our jobs are dependent in some way on trade in the united states.
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it would be devastating to our economy glel. >economy. >> globalization has changed the political tenor in so many different countries. what about canada? >> i think a lot of canadians would like to pat themselves on their back, saying we ridiculous refugees and trade and foreigners and everything is going swimmingly. the truth is, there are different factors at play, one being basically that we share a border with you, with a very developed country, that the immigration hasn't changed necessarily, the tenor of our labor market, as opposed to the united states, where a lot of immigration has basically driven down some low-cost wages. that creates some social tension. that doesn't exist in canada very much. our immigration system also operates on a point system. basically, we can pick and choose engineers, doctors, basically, immigrant who come and fill certain slots in the economy. that also changes the feelings about trade and globalization. so essentially, you have the
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conditions there for a country that's very happy with the globalized world and economy. so you don't hear this kind of explaining complaing about trade in a national election. >> stewart: alexander panetta from the "the canadian press," thanks so much. >> thank you. >> stewart: funeral services were held today in washington, d.c., for our colleague and friend, newshour anchor gwen ifill, who lost her battle with cancer earlier this week. first lady michelle obama attended, and former attorney general eric holder spoke. throughout tonight's broadcast, we'll remember gwen and her remarkable career with excerpts of a few of her memorable interviews. we begin with a conversation she had with former education secretary arne duncan following the mass shooting at sandy hook elementary school in connecticut in 2012. it was part of a pbs special gwen anchored called "after newtown." >> the goal isismle, mr. secretary, but the solution is nuanced, and we don't do complicated well, generally. >> if we can't summon the courage and the ability to be nuanced, the ability to deal
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with complex stuff to, deal with it for the long haul, i actually have a lot of confidence in our country at the end of the day, and i think-- i think given this horrendous tragedy, i'm-- i'm optimistic. i can't guarantee you, but i'm optimistic that we can get our country to a much, much better place. >> you said you have two children. how old? >> my daughter is 11 and my son is eight. >> did they ask you about this? >> we've talked about it extensively, and we've talked about, you know, guns and gun violence. >> so what do you say to them? >> i say that we all have to work together to make things better for you and your friends, and you deserve better. >> stewart: the northern plains states are digging out from the season's first major snow storm. the national weather service says more than a foot of snow
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whipped by high winds fell in parts of minnesota, creating blizzard conditions. state police reported 340 accidents, one fatal, and advised motorists to stay home. blinding whiteout conditions were reported on roads in south dakota, and up to six inches of snow fell in nebraska. facebook c.e.o. mark zuckerberg is revealing his evolving plan to mitigate fake news posted on the social network. today, on his facebook page, zuckerberg wrote, "we take misinformation seriously," and again quoting, "we know people want accurate information." zuckerberg asserts the percentage of false stories on facebook is "relatively small" but says the company is working on new tools to detect misinformation and help users report it. facebook has received complaints that fake news stories may have affected the u.s. presidential election. the company has already said it won't display ads or sites running information that is" illegal, misleading or deceptive." what influence did fake news posted on facebook have on the
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presidential election? for more, visit our web site at >> ifill: you know, some people would say it's about politics, but i wonder if it's not also about your presence, your very existence on the court, and the way that you write and the way that you sometimes take on your colleagues. >> i would like to think so, but i certainly was given a tremendous boost into the public arena by the notorious r.b.g. when i was asked about it, i said, well, it's exactly right because notorious b.i.g., and i, had something in common-- we were both born and bred in brooklyn, new york. >> ifill: you ever consider being a rapper? ( laughter ) >> i don't think i have that talent. >> ifill: well, neither do i.
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>> stewart: iraqi military commanders said today they are facing stiff resistance from islamic state-- or isis-- fighters in eastern mosul. the offensive to retake the city occupied by isis for two years enters its second month. in the battle for mosul, ethnic kurds are fighting side by side with iraqi forces against a common enemy: isis. and many kurds believe this fight may bring them closer to a goal many share: independence. the kurds are an ethnic group spread across five countries-- iraq, iran, turkey, syria and armenia-- a wide area they consider to be their ancestral homeland. in tonight's signature segment, in the first of two reports from inside iraq, newshour weekend special correspondent christopher livesay has more on the aspirations of the iraqi kurds. >> reporter: this is erbil, the capital of iraqi kurdistan, an oasis of stability in the middle
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east. it's a semi-autonomous region in the northern part of iraq ruled by an ethnic group known as the kurds. even after the 2003 u.s. invasion to overthrow saddam hussein, when the rest of iraq was in turmoil for years, iraqi kurdistan remained safe and prosperous. today, life here seems peaceful. but war is less than 50 miles away on the road to mosul, iraq's second largest city, which isis took over more than two years ago. just inside mosul's city limits, in a neighborhood called gogali, iraqi forces are leading the fight to take the city back, and kurdish military units known as the peshmerga are backing them up. the iraqis acknowledge they could not attempt this fight without the help of the kurds. baraq mokdad is with iraqi special forces. his unit had set up a blockade to keep isis, known in arabic as daesh, from breaking through the front line. so, this morning, he's saying
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daesh sent a humvee packed with explosives that blew up right here on the other side of this blockade. and his soldiers with a 50- caliber machine gun, they were able to stop him. you can hear those 50-caliber machine guns right now in the background. you can actually see the remains of one isis fighter who was involved in that attempted breach of this blockade right here. he's clearly been covered up by the debris. as we explored the front line, we found more evidence of isis' battle strategy, using trucks reinforced with armor plating as battering rams. and in this abandoned warehouse, mass producing improvised explosive devices, i.e.d.s. the evidence was strewn around the floor. it's a brutal fight the kurds are especially anxious to win, fighting not only to stop isis but for greater legitimacy on
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the world stage in their struggle toward establishing greater independence from iraq. >> ( translated ): i think this is a historical moment for us as kurds. >> reporter: nilufer koc is co- chair of the kurdistan national congress, a group representing the often competing interests of kurds throughout the middle east. she says there's a good reason why iraqi kurds stood up to isis from the beginning. >> the patriotism to defend the country was the main reason, and i think that the global powers have seen the strength of kurds and the continuity of kurds defending, insisting on the defense of their country. that's why kurds became partners of the international coalition. >> reporter: the kurds have made so many gains during the last several weeks in the assault on mosul, the iraqi prime minister, haider al-abadi, has publicly asked the leader of the iraqi kurds, masoud barzani, not to take advantage of the chaotic situation in mosul to pursue kurdish territorial ambitions.
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al-abadi says the aim of the battle for mosul should only be freeing the citizens from isis. theunited states military agrees. colonel brett sylvia is commander of the second brigade of the u.s. army's 101st airborne division, from fort campbell, kentucky. he says it's a balancing act between former rivals, but it's working. >> you've got the peshmerga camp, you got the kurdish flag flying there. and when you look on the other side of that wall, you got the iraqi camp with the iraqis flying their flags. and so, really, it could kind of symbolic of what we're doing here. we're advising each one of these guys, and they are working together. we're working with them in order to bring this whole thing together. >> reporter: his troops are in northern iraq to provide advice and assistance to the kurdish peshmerga and iraqi army during the assault on mosul. they're part of the 5,000 american troops still deployed in iraq. >> the peshmerga have played a
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very helpful role in this mosul counterattack. they had formed a kurdish defensive line that they manned, that they maintained, that they defended. and in cooperation with iraqi security forces, they did push forward from that line in order to be able to support the offensive, all in agreement with the iraqi government. and it is my understanding that once the offensive is over, then those kurdish security forces will move back to that original defensive line. >> reporter: that's the deal that they made? >> yes. >> reporter: but some peshmerga on the front lines, like colonel arshad galaly, seem to think the kurds have a right to expand their territory and that kurdish independence should be their eventual goal. so, what happens next after isis is expelled from mosul? >> ( translated ): we want our independence. >> reporter: do you get that militarily, politically? >> ( translated ): we've been fighting, making great sacrifices for a century. we've already earned it. >> reporter: it's a sensitive
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question. he insists kurdistan should be independent, but he won't say how. but other kurds are more candid, like najmaldin karim, the governor of the oil-rich province of kirkuk. officially, it's outside the borders of kurdistan. but two years ago, when the iraqi army fled as isis approached, the kurds came to the city's defense, and they've been in charge ever since. >> the kurds have proven they could govern themselves. we have proven that we can defend ourselves. we have every right like any other nation to be independent. we have to work on this with the government in baghdad and talk to them openly. we want to be good neighbors. we need each other. we have to talk to the neighboring countries-- turkey, iran, even syria when there is a decent government there. i think the time is overdue. >> reporter: but the time for what? for a state?
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for a kurdish state? >> yes, for an independent kurdistan. >> reporter: if that day comes, this 12-foot-tall concrete wall in the kirkuk province could become the new border. the peshmerga built it to keep isis out. it extends 30 miles beyond the official borders of kurdistan, becoming a de facto dividing line between their growing territory and the rest of iraq. meanwhile, kurdistan is playing another important role in the ongoing conflict, hosting more than a million refugees, most of them arab iraqis, like hussein fathel and his family. >> ( translated ): my hometown could wind up in kurdistan once the borders are redrawn. but it makes no difference, so long as i can raise my family and sheep in peace. >> reporter: as the mosul offensive grinds on, kurdistan is bracing for up to one million additional refugees. that's straining resources in a region giving its all in the fight against isis. >> we have to feed them, we have to shelter them, we have to
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protect them. >> reporter: the u.s. has stepped in recently to help fund the kurdish military and other crisis measures related to the battle with isis. so, who are these other people? while she's hopeful about the future, kurdistan national congress co-chair nilufer koc is warning her fellow countrymen not to go too far when it comes to independence. iraqi kurds, she says, need to tread very carefully. >> politically, more and more people are understanding that insisting on a nation state of kurdistan would be catastrophic for the region. so, what can be done, i think it's a good time to get more rights through dialogue with baghdad. the kurdish dream of being more free is possible. >> stewart: on tomorrow's program, in our second report from iraq, we'll look at the challenges facing iraqi christians, and i'll speak with the american ambassador in iraq about the continuing u.s. role there.
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>> stewart: since the siege of aleppo began two months ago, hospitals have been frequent targets of syrian government bombs. most, if not all, of the hospitals in the anti- government, rebel-held eastern side of what was syria's most populous city are out of service this weekend due to heavy shelling in recent days. as itn's fatima manji reports, children are quite often the victims of these attacks and the focus of frantic rescue attempts. a warning: some viewers may find some of these images disturbing. >> reporter: just north of aleppo, in an opposition held area, a team from the white helmets drill into rubble. a sudden movement of a blanket and a child's face emerges. after four days of bombardment, once again this has become the norm.
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she doesn't make a sound, a little girl wrapped up in her bedding and the wreckage of war. once she's been pulled out, it's a rush to get her to hospital, except even there she might not be safe. activists say several hospitals have been hit by air strikes. the syrian government denies targeting medical facilities at at the aleppo children's hospital, another victim, three- year-old ayesha, awaits help. it's believed her mother and father have disappeared under the same rubble that stains her face, a barrel bomb destroying yet another family. her brother ali carts around their baby sister. he's struggling and appears to be crying out for some sort of help. but that's in short supply in aleppo. the u.n. planned convoys with aid for a million syrians in besieged areas and has a humanitarian plan to get the sick and wounded out of the city.
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but so far, neither russia nor the syrian government nor opposition groups have given final approval. on sunday, residents of aleppo received text messages from the syrian army telling them to leave areas held by the opposition, up to 250,000 people are still living on the eastern side. after weeks of relative calm, the last few days have seen repeated bombardment and at least 65 people have been killed. in the district of bab an narryab, this man points out a destroyed neighborhood. "who do you think is living here? there are no terrorists. it's all children." there are still smiles in the streets, even when playtime has to be combined with the task of carrying home essential supplies. but even more common in this city, the sight and sound of a child crying. the image of a mother hoping, praying, beseeching some greater power to save them from this hell.
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>> stewart: sharon jones, a powerful soul and blues singer who achieved fame in mid-life and who returned to touring this year after fighting cancer, has died. newshour weekend's christopher booker has more. ♪ >> reporter: out in front was her voice-- a master's class in soul, rhythm and blues and funk. born in georgia, raised in brooklyn and the baptist church, she was part aretha franklin, part james brown, and all sharon jones. >> i never took vocal lessons, just practicing, just building up my lungs to be a signer. ♪ >> reporter: but it was a voice, if not for her will and determination, that was nearly overlooked. jones sang in wedding bands but spent years making a living as an armored guard for wells fargo and a corrections officer at rikers island. but in 1996, at the age of 40,
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she met a bass player named gabe roth who was forming a new record label, daptone. after that meeting, sharon jones and the dap kings recorded six albums, celebrating and reinventing a sound thought lost to the digital world. she received grammy nominations and influenced singers like amy winehouse and adele. in 2013, she began her fight against pancreatic cancer, resumed performing the following year after receiving treatment. sharon jones was 60 years old. >> ifill: tell me about "a little bit of me." "a little bit of me is one of songs i played on my acoustic guitar. a lot of the new songs i play on electric guitar, but that song is kind of like an older song of mine. it's an old comfortable shoe that i play. and i have background singers for the first time. >> ifill: you have an opening for a backup singer? >> come on. >> ifill: i'm just saying i could to it.
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it would be a dream. >> now, the girls wear little short skirts. >> ifill: okay, never mind. it's not going to happen. >> stewart: finally, two nephews of venezuela's first lady face long sentences in american prison. prosecutors say the 97 use of celia flores, the wife of embattled venezuelan president, nicholas modewaro, conspired to smuggle cocaine from honduras to the united states. a jury in manhattan federal government convicted the pair yesterday and they'll be sentenced in march. that's all for this edition of "pbs newshour weekend." i'm alison stewart. good night. captioning sponsored by wnet captioned by media access group at wgbh >> pbs newshour weekend is made
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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're 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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