tv PBS News Hour Weekend PBS December 18, 2016 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
captioning sponsored by wnet >> on this edition for sunday, december 18: president-elect donald trump prepares for tomorrow's electoral college vote. jeff greenfield on the changing centers of power in washington. and in our signature segment, north korean defectors in south korea using american movies and tv shows to undermine a repressive regime. 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'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. tomorrow, an institution enshrined in the u.s. constitution-- the electoral college-- is expected to ratify donald j. trump's election as the 45th president of the united states. meeting in their separate states, 538 electors will cast their votes. only one of the 306 electors awarded to mister trump has declared publicly he won't vote for him, leaving the president-
elect well past the 270 electoral votes needed to be inaugurated january 20th. last night in alabama, trump completed his so-called "thank you" tour of some states that voted for him. but today, the 2008 republican presidential nominee-- arizona senator john mccain-- renewed his call for a single, special congressional committee to investigate russian interference in the election, specifically the hacking of democratic party and clinton campaign emails. >> the responsibilities for cyber is spread over about four different committees in the senate, and each doing their own thing, frankly, is not going to be the most efficient way of arriving at a conclusion. >> stewart: incoming white house chief of staff reince priebus said today the president-elect is waiting to see the final report from the fbi and cia about russian interference, and denied there was any contact or coordination between the trump campaign or trump associates and the russians. >> of course, we didn't interface with the russians.
i mean, this whole thing is a spin job. and i think what the democrats ought to do is look in the mirror and face the reality that they lost the election. and they lost the election because they're so and completely out of touch with the american people that they're so shell-shocked and they can't believe it. >> stewart: today, hillary clinton campaign chairman john podesta said an independent investigation is needed to find out what, if anything, the trump campaign knew. >> i think really what mr. trump knew but what a trump inc know and when did they know it, were they in touch with the russians. i think those are still open questions and the electors have a right to know what the answers are. >> stewart: security forces in jordan have stormed a popular tourist site where gunmen killed ten people today and held a number of tourists hostage. in the southern city of karak, 90 miles south of amman, gunmen attacked a medieval crusader castle, killing a canadian tourist, two other civilians, and seven police officers.
after a standoff that continued past nightfall, security forces exchanged gunfire with the attackers, and freed tourists who had been trapped. jordan's government offered no immediate information about them. isis has again fatally struck an army base in yemen. officials say at least 52 soldiers were killed and more than 60 were injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up at the base in aden, which is the capital of yemen's internationally-recognized government in exile. the soldiers had been lined up to collect their pay. isis claimed responsibility. it's the same base isis attacked last week. the yemeni government, backed by a u.s.-supported, saudi-led coalition, has been battling iran-backed shiite rebels for 20 months. twenty-three chinese cities are midway through a five-day red alert for smog pollution. a haze of smog blanketed the capital of beijing today, where hundreds of coal-fired factories have been ordered to stop or curtail production. the number of children hospitalized with breathing problems rose sharply. police checked car license
plates-- for odd or even numbers-- as the government has ordered half of all cars and trucks to stay off the road. east of beijing, the city of tianjin canceled several dozen airline flights today due to poor visibility-- of less than 500 meters. since winning the election six weeks ago, donald trump has nominated most of his cabinet and picked top white house staff, all key players in shaping u.s. policy. he'll also have republican majorities in both houses of congress on his side. joining me to analyze the balance of power in washington is "newshours weekend"'s jeff greenfield. about a month away, bun the 115th congress convenes first on january 3rd. the democrats have a new reality. what is it? >> the wreakest in house of
representatives since about 1930. they only picked up half odozen seats, it was homing to be closer, harry reid when they abolished the filibuster they don't have that power that they used to. in addition, the whole bunch of democrats are up in two years and some of the red states, in the nation. north dakota, indiana, those democrats will stay with the majority or the minority to help fight trump, they may be under a lot of pressure to not to do it. when you think that's bad, the state level, 28 in republican control, only six in democratic chrome. labor, bootion, taxes, education, the republicans basically hold sway. so if you're a democrat you're looking up for from a very deep home. >> stewart: when it comes to the republicans it is a mixed bag however when you talk about alliances with the new
president. >> this is where the new congress can get really interesting. i think 11 of them refuse to endorse trump during the campaign and there are plenty of them that have serious opposition to what some of trump's appointees apparently are planning to do in terms of russia. john mccain, lind sea graham is very hostile to that idea. so if the democrats could stay united on appointments and issues, the way the republicans did under obama, it would only take three reenls crossing the -- republicans crossing the aisle to block some of trump's initiatives. then you would have a shifting balance because there are some conservative fiscal republicans who are not going to like the idea say if trump launches a big infrastructure project. so the story may not be told of the republicans. >> stewart: you think we need
to pay special attention to the federal court. >> yes. because if you look back over the eight years of obama some of what he wanted to do was blocked by lawsuits, filed by state attorneys general or, in areas like immigration, their lawsuits against affordable care act, helped that be act restricted in form of medicaid expansion. democrats in congress or attorneys-general in california, new york, strong democrats, trying to block trump in court, when they abolished the filibuster, it put several on the appeals court, appeals court right below the supreme court and they now have a majority. so until trump can fill the vacancies that exist or until he get the nom nigh on the high court, the courts could be an obstacle to trump's latest initiatives. >> stewart: jeff greenfield,
thank you for the analysis. >> thank you. >> stewart: north korea is a closed society-- a dictatorship ruled since world war two by the kim family dynasty, which deprives its 25 million citizens of everything from information to adequate food. large numbers of north koreans, perhaps hundreds of thousands, have fled their homeland. in tonight's signature segment, "newshour weekend" special correspondent karla murthy reports how defectors now living in south korea are smuggling media to encourage other north koreans to escape. >> reporter: north korea has been ruled by the totalitarian regime of the kim family dynasty for the last seven decades. handing power down from grandfather, to father, and now son, kim jong-un. the kim regime has maintained its grip on north korea by imprisoning its enemies and by controlling and censoring the mass media-- newspapers, tv, radio, with only a privileged few getting access to the
internet. tv shows on state-run media tout the achievements of north koreans and their leader. even at the border, anthems praising the kim regime are blasted into south korea, as we saw and heard on our recent trip there. but in the last few years, north korean defectors based in south korea have been undermining the country's information blackout. just a few miles from here, nearly 25 million north koreans are living under total government censorship. activists have been smuggling in foreign tv shows, movies, e- books to give north koreans a view of the world outside their tightly controlled borders. one of those activists is kang chol-hwan, a north korean defector. in 1992, kang says he bribed a border guard and fled across the border into china-- the route most defectors use to escape. >> ( translated ): we are people who lived in absence of freedom. we know how precious it is. i want to give all these people their freedom, and the
opportunity to live as humans. these are my friends, my family, and my fellow north koreans. >> reporter: today, he's the director of a non-profit called the north korea strategy center, based in seoul, south korea's capital. formed in 2007, his group pays chinese smugglers to send usb drives filled with prohibited, outside media into north korea. he says, even though north koreans lack internet connections, they can watch smuggled movies and tv shows on their computers or on chinese video players with usb ports, like these, called "notels." >> ( translated ): we send various content from stories on human rights, general information on south korea, to images depicting the average american. >> reporter: or a fictional version of the average american: tv shows like "the mentalist" and "desperate housewives." kang says scenes like this one from "ncis" that show police officers reading suspects their rights are especially useful. >> ( translated ): it helps them
to realize that in the outside world, even the criminals have rights. >> reporter: there are a handful of groups like kang's operating under the belief that exposing north koreans to outside media weakens the regime. >> ( translated ): what north korea really fears, is their people becoming aware of their suppression. >> reporter: your strategy of sending these usb sticks over there, how do you know that strategy is working? >> ( translated ): we regularly monitor the response through those who are able to move across the china-north korea border more easily. if we find that a television drama that we sent has been banned, we know that it has been impactful. >> reporter: in fact, government interviews with defectors entering the country reveal that most were exposed to some outside media in recent years. kang chol-hwan also knows from personal experience how outside media can dramatically alter one's world view. as a young man in north korea, he got a hold of a smuggled radio that picked up "voice of america" and other broadcasts from south korea.
he says that was how he learned the truth about the korean war-- that north korea had instigated it-- a fact the regime kept from its citizens. >> ( translated ): in north korea, we're taught that it was the u.s. and south korea, who attacked the north. i never had any doubts about this information before. but after listening to the radio, i learned what the north korean government had been telling us about the war was not true. this myth allowed the north to hold the south responsible for the war. >> reporter: what would have happened if you were caught listening to foreign broadcasts? >> ( translated ): you would have been branded as an anti- revolutionary. then, you would be sent to an internment camp, but if you were repeatedly caught, you would be executed. >> reporter: kim heung-kwang knows that risk well. he's also a defector living in south korea. but in the north, he actually worked for a government task force that went door to door confiscating smuggled outside media. >> ( translated ): when we
caught these perpetrators, i felt a sense of protecting our nation's morals, and making the nation safer. >> reporter: he says many people he caught spent months or years in prison camps, which he now regrets. >> ( translated ): once, we received a call that three university-aged kids were watching a movie on a cd. when we got to the house, they didn't open door for us. so we broke down the door to get inside. these kids were not criminals; they didn't steal, or murder anyone. it was done just to prove that they were in possession a foreign movie. and it was done in such brutal fashion. when i think about it now, i am very ashamed. >> reporter: over time, kim began to take a huge risk-- keping and sharing the media he'd confiscated. he also started reading banned books-- like "all the shah's men" about the 1953 coup in iran-- that made him question the regime. then in 2003, kim was caught by the government for lending movies to a friend. he was sentenced to a year of hard labor. >> ( translated ): at first, i thought that i had made a mistake.
i thought that as a government official who was in charge of protecting north korea's laws, i had done a poor job. but, time on the farm was strenuous, and unrelenting. i began to question why i was suffering so much. >> reporter: when he was released in 2004, kim says, he decided to defect, taking another risk by bribing a north korean border guard to let him cross into china. today, kim runs "north korean intellectuals solidarity," another group that traffics outside media into north korea. kim takes a different approach by making his own videos recording of south korean homes and markets to show north koreans how well other people live. also a computer science professor, he's developed a stealth usb drive that can avoid detection by appearing empty when initially connected to a computer. >> ( translated ): but the north korean government became aware of this stealth drive and created a program that was able to detect this usb. in retaliation, i created software that would block the
program, and it eventually became game of cat and mouse. >> reporter: do you worry that you're putting north korean's lives in danger if they get caught with some of these materials? >> ( translated ): all north koreans know the risk of all their actions. despite the potential punishment they know they will receive, there are many people who actively search for these materials. >> reporter: yeonmi park grew up in north korea and says watching outside videos changed her perspective of the world. she says, as a child, all she learned from watching state-run media was love for the kim regime and north korea. >> they don't show us if our team loses. we win the olympics. we win the, you know, world cups. we win everything. >> reporter: park says north korean school children are fed a steady diet of anti-american propaganda and are taught to refer to americans as" bastards." >> in math book says, you know, there are four american bastards. you kill two of them. then how many american bastards
left to kill. and as a child i had to say, "two american bastards." and that was my education. >> reporter: but park saw a different view of the outside world through dvds her parents were able to buy on the black market. hollywood movies like "pretty woman," and "titanic." she says watching these movies were more than entertainment; they made her think differently about her life in north korea. >> i never heard my father was telling my mother that i love you. but in the movie man tells woman i love you. right? and those things were never allowed for us to express to each other than the dear leader. so of course watching this information helped me to understand the outside world a little bit, that i realized there was some humanity out there. >> reporter: that understanding gave her hope for a better life. after her father was imprisoned by the government for smuggling industrial metals, her family fell into poverty and faced starvation. in 2003, when she was 13, park's family paid a smuggler to sneak them across the border into
china. >> i think that was the most horrifying part in my journey-- the uncertainty, that you don't know when you will be safe again in your lifetime. so we were just running and hoping somehow things might work out. >> reporter: it took two years travelling through china, sometimes on foot, but eventually, they made it to south korea. today, park is studying at columbia university in new york city, with access to a world of information. >> every story was propaganda to brainwash us about the kim dictators. >> reporter: and she's become a human rights activist, speaking out against the north korean regime. she also wrote a memoir about her escape. >> now i am free. and i have to learn all about freedom. what does it mean, actually? >> reporter: park says although the hollywood movies she watched as a child didn't fully prepare her for life outside the country, they can be a spark for
her fellow north koreans. >> other lives can be possible on this earth. but they just don't have information right now. they don't know who they are. and they don't know what they are capable of. so we just have to show them what they can be. >> read more about the history of smuggling media into north korea. visit pbs.org/newshour. >> stewart: america's opioid epidemic now claims 33,000 lives a year. data from the centers for disease control and prevention released thursday shows that opioids, including heroin and prescription painkillers, cause almost two-thirds of all drug- related overdoses in the u.s. in the past year, heroin deaths went up 20%, and now exceed gun homicides. and since 2000, 300,000 americans have died from an opioid overdose. joining me now from atlanta is dr. tom frieden, the director of the centers for disease control and prevention.
>> doctor with so much attention being paid to opoid abuse in the recent years, why are we seeing such is alarming statistic? >> first, doctors are prescribing too many opoids, for too long and for too many patients. this is the first issue. also synthetic fentanyl ness competitive and wide -- inexpensive and widely available. that's why the issue continues to get worse. >> stewart: new protocol for doctors about bribing opoids, but there is another element of this the mental health component. what's being done with that? >> first, we need to care better for patients who have pain and patients who have addiction.
outside of end of life or cancer care, opiates are not to be first line treatment and in fact not only go they not perform -- do they not perform better than other drugs but they may actually increase patients' pain in the long term. for addiction, we need to recognize that addiction is a chronic illness, it is a challenge, it is must be very more readily available entry into addiction treatment services. >> amsz l amazon has there been anen being incidence of this in the past? >> we don't see causes of death skyrocket this way in the u.s. from noncommunicable diseases. it is unusual and i would say unprecedented. it is a fliks of theless -- reflection of the are prescription of opoids and that
tracks directly, i wish times that doctors who may not know that their patient has overdosed would be informed every time a prescription they wrote results in a fatal or near fatal overdose. >> 20th century cures act was signed into law this week and there is a billion dollars allocated specifically for this issue. in your mind where should that money go immediately? >> there is no easy answer here. there is no magic bullet to reverse this epidemic. we do need to reverse the epidemic that every person who gets prescribed gets the opportunity to enter treatment there and then because we know they are in major risk of another overdose. the treatment programs out there we can help them to quowlt improve their performance and increase the proportion of people who stay off drugs. >> stewart: dr. tom frieden, director of the centers for
disease control, thank you. >> thank you. it has been a big year for rock n' roll legend bruce springsteen. staging one of the highest- grossing concert tours, winning the presidential medal of freedom, and publishing his autobiography. the newshour's jeffrey brown sat down with springsteen for a two part interview that begins tomorrow on the newshour. >> are if you're a band leader, you know you need that type of discipline and dedication in the guys you're playing with. we came from where professionalism was in the a dirty word as i say, and so we worked like the old soul bands worked, very intensely and very methodically.
the band contributes enormously. i wouldn't have gotten anywhere near where i am without them. >> you are sort of a control freak? >> yes i am. less than you used to be. because you are insecure when you're young you're very controlling now i'm moderately controlling i would say. >> brown: you use that word controlling, it is sort of a mix of insecurities and sense of self. >> that's the artist's way. >> brown: that's the artist's way. explain that to me. >> most artists i know had one person in their life who told them they were the second coming of the baby jesus and another who told them they werth weren't worth anything.and they believed them both. you go through life in pursuit of both much those things, believing both of those are
true. thinking the burden of proof son you pfn. >> stewart: watch bruce sprints tomorrow and tuesday on >> watch bruce springsteen tomorrow and tuesday on the newshour. >> scott ishes voters rejected u.k.'s referendum to exit exit the eu. scotland's brexit would be a national disaster, causing 80,000 jobs in ten years. that's all of newshour weekend, 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: 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.
the cofounder of the most successful effort ever to help alcoholics stay dry died late late sunday and, as he had provided, then gave up his anonymity. he was william g. wilson, "bill" to the thousands of drunks who found help in his example. bill w.: i had an obsession of the mind that condemned me to drink against my will so that if the drinking was continued, i would be destined to go mad or to do die. kurtz: we are meant to thirst. the question is, where do we aim what we thirst for? wing: bill just didn't talk about alcoholism all the time to people. he talked about depressions. i've heard people come up to him and say, "thank you for saving my life twice." man: he converted all these disabilities into this amazing career, where he probably has single-handed helped more people than almost anyone else on earth. now, that's a major achievement. tom w.: i am eternally grateful the man lived and did what he did.