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tv   PBS News Hour Weekend  PBS  January 22, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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captioning sponsored by wnet >> stewart: on this edition for sunday, january 22: president trump reacts to yesterday's massive protests. and in our signature segment: the largest deployment of american troops in europe since the end of the cold war. >> stewart: 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
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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. this is pbs newshour weekend. >> stewart: good evening and thank you for joining us. president donald trump will not release his tax returns, as promised during his campaign. today, counselor-to-the- president kellyanne conway said mister trump would not be moved by an online petition to make his returns public. >> he's not going to release his tax returns. we litigated this all through the election. people didn't care. people voted for him. let me make this very clear-- most americans are focused on what their tax returns will look like while president trump is in office, not what his look like. >> stewart: mr. trump had previously, repeatedly asserted he would release his tax returns
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once an irs audit of them was complete. on the administration's second full day in office, today mister trump and vice president mike pence swore in senior staffers at the white house. none required senate confirmation, and his son-in- law, jared kushner, was among them. earlier, president trump took to twitter to address yesterday's massive anti-trump protests in cities large and small in all 50 states. washington, d.c. police said today-- its crowd estimate was 500,000 people. new york city's mayor said there were 400,000 protestors there. saying he watched the protests, president trump tweeted today that he was "under the impression we just had an election. why didn't these people vote?" ninety five minutes later in a more conciliatory tweet, he wrote: "peaceful protests are a hallmark of our democracy. even if i don't always agree, i recognize the rights of people to express their views." his chief of staff, reince priebus, addressed the protests in an interview on "fox news." >> president trump wants to be the president of all the people, including everyone of those
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marchers yesterday, and i think over time many of those people will be very proud of this president. >> stewart: two influential republican senators, john mccain of arizona and lindsey graham of south carolina, said today they'll vote for secretary of state nominee rex tillerson when the senate foreign relations committee votes tomorrow. republicans have only a one vote majority on the committee. all but two trump cabinet picks are still pending in the senate. today senate democratic leader chuck schumer said he's looking ahead to the vacancy on the supreme court. >> i'm hopeful that maybe president trump may nominate someone who is mainstream and could get bipartisan support. we shall see, but if they don't, yes, we will fight it tooth and nail, as long as we have to. >> stewart: president trump is considering moving the u.s. embassy in israel from tel aviv to the capital of jerusalem-- a controversial move, because the city is considered sacred by jews, muslims, and christians. and because palestinians consider jerusalem the capital of any future state. white house press secretary sean
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spicer said today:" we are at the very beginning stages of even discussing the subject." the embassy move is sought by conservative israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu, who spoke over the phone with president trump today. netanyahu also supports building more jewish homes in mostly arab east jerusalem, despite palestinian objections. today, permits were issued for 566 homes in three settlements. the permits had been on hold during the obama administration, which opposed new settlements. netanyahu said today the construction does not undermine prospects for peace with palestinians. the trump administration has apparently carried out its first drone strikes on terrorist targets overseas. officials in yemen say the unmanned, missile-carrying drone struck a vehicle with two suspected al-qaeda operatives yesterday in southern yemen. there is no official confirmation from the pentagon. the latest round of u.n. led peace talks to stop the six-year civil war in syria begin tomorrow in astana, the capital of kazakhstan. syrian rebel groups today called
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on russia to help secure a new ceasefire. russia is the main backer of syrian president bashar al- assad. the talks are sponsored by russia, iran, and turkey. the only american official expected to be there is the u.s. ambassador to kazakhstan. in india, rescue workers today searched for survivors of the country's latest railroad disaster. police say at least 36 passengers died and 50 were injured when nine coaches of a train derailed in southeast india last night. many people today were trapped in the wreckage. the cause of the accident has not been determined. just two months ago, some 150 people died in a derailment in northern india. in an interview with spanish newspaper "el pais" published today, pope francis says it's too early to judge president trump. the pope said, "i think we must wait and see....we will see how he acts, what he does, and then i will have an opinion." the pope also warned against growing xenophobia and populism in europe saying fear and alarm can create conditions for the rise of dictator and he cited nazi germany as an example.
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francis said: "hitler didn't steal the power, his people voted for him, and then he destroyed his people." following lethal overnight storms, the national weather service today issued "high ris"" severe weather warnings today in parts of georgia, florida, and alabama. at least 11 people died in southern georgia near the florida state line. seven of them when an apparent tornado ripped through a mobile home park. georgia governor nathan deal declared a state of emergency in seven affected counties. yesterday, a tornado killed four people in mississippi. native american communities have seen significant decreases in rates of kidney failure. learn why at www.pbs.org/newshour. when he meets with the leaders of canada and mexico. mexican president will be coming
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to washington on january 31st. he says he wants an open dialogue with mr. trump who's vowed to build a wall along the u.s. mexico border and make mexico pay for it for more analysis of this meeting i am joined by skype from mexico city by "washington post" reporter josh partlow. so josh, what is the biggest issue facing the mexican people as these two presidents meet? >> i think the biggest issue that will affect most mexicans is the trade issue. first president trump said he's going to scrap the north american free trade agreement and for mexicans that is a huge deal. >> in the past two decades have been pretty extreme and that's something they don't want to lose. i think the wall while it may have a more symbolic or-- symbolic impact, the trade issues are really the ones that strike fear into the heart of. >> let's talk about that mexican
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wall that mr. trump says he's going to build and claims he is going to get mexican pay for it. where has the mexican president come down on this. >> they have been clear all along they are not going to pay for the wall. that is one thing they have been consistent with. the mexican government said that over and over that mexican president neato said so including just a couple of days ago. so that is something that i don't think at least-- i don't think that is going to chng. >> pena neato's approval rating has been in a downward spiral, at least by 12% in one account. how much has that had to do with how much he has handled things at home, and how much has that been how he has handled mr. trump thus far? >> how he has handled mr. trump has given his approval ratings another kick downwards. he hasn't been popular here for a couple of years. there have been a lot of scandals here in mexico during his administration. the economy is not doing very well. and he's not very popular. he has not been popular for a
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long time. but the trump visit, particularly august, was a big deal for a lot of mexicans. president neato invited donald trump to come visit while he was still a candidate. and they stood side-by-side and it was seen by many here as something that legitimized donald trump's campaign, even after trump had said numerous insults against mexicans. so that was seen-- that was something that really was unpopular for a lot of mexicans. >> mexico's foreign minister said this about mexico's position in this negotiation about trade, that mexico will negotiate with quote great self-confidence, without fear knowing the economic, social, and political importance that mexico has for the united states. that framing is very different than what we have been hearing. is there truth in that, that we are so intertwined that mexico can come to these trade negotiations from a power, a position of power in some ways? >> i think it there is definitely truth that the two economies are extremely interconnected. there is something like $500 billion of trade each year back
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and forth between the two countries. but you know, it's also clear that mexico is the weaker partner here. and they have a lot more to lose than the united states does. i don't think they have no leverage. they can impose tariffs on american goods, coming too mexico just to see the united states mexican imports going to the united states. >> joining us from mexico city, josh partlow from the washton post. thank you. >> thank you. stewart: the american-led north atlantic treaty organization, or nato- was formed in 1949 to protect europe from potential military aggression from the russian-led soviet union. it's motto-- an attack on one nation is an attack on all. when the soviet union dissolved, and the cold war ended in the early 1990s, nato stayed in tact; then its membership expanded into eastern europe to include 28
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nations. given russia's annexation of the crimean peninsula in ukraine three years ago and the rhetoric of russian president vladimir putin, the obama administration decided to send thousands of american soldiers to eastern europe to reinforce nato. in tonight's signature segment, special correspondent christopher livesay follows the troops participating in that show of force to russia. >> reporter: in the port city of bremerhaven on germany's north sea coast, approximately 4,000 american troops and 2,500 vehicles began arriving in early january. known as the iron brigade, they're from the army's 3rd armored brigade combat team of the 4th infantry division, based in fort carson, colorado. this is the largest deployment of u.s. forces in europe since the end of the cold war 25 years ago. it's part of the european reassurance initiative and operation atlantic resolve -- a $3.5 billion dollar effort paid
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for by the united states to reinforce nato. >> i am very proud that we're a member of nato. >> reporter: at the start of the deployment, army major general tim mcguire joked by rushing to meet the deadline set by the obama administration, his units weren't able to change their vehicle camouflage. >> to get them here as scheduled in january, just do not have time to paint them green. >> reporter: but the army is anxious to deliver a serious message: to demonstrate to allies and adversaries alike the u.s. is determined to assist nato in defending eastern europe from potential aggression from russia. >> the combat power here is a tangible sign of the continued commitment of the united states of america. it is one that enables us to work with our allies and send a message that we remain committed. >> you've got tanks here. >> reporter: brigade commander colonel christopher norrie describes his unit as "lethal."
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>> so we're an armored brigade combat team. so as part of that team we have tanks, bradleys, we have indirect fire systems, paladins, we have a whole range of vehicles that make up our team here. you can see now, you've got one ship here, one ship there, both offloading all of our equipment in preparation for onward movement. >> reporter: norrie's troops spent the past year training for this mission. >> what's up iron strong! >> reporter: algenon lewis and thomas rodriguez are army mechanics. >> this is my first time in europe, pretty excited to be here. going to miss home, but it's also nice to be here helping out our nato allies. >> reporter: these soldiers concede outside of their families few folks back home may know about their assignment. >> probably not. probably not, honestly. i don't think they do. >> i don't think a lot of them know what nato actually does. >> reporter: under nato, the u.s., canada, and 26 other
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nations pledge to defend each other in case of attack. in 2014, russia annexed crimea from ukraine, which is not a nato member. but that sent jitters across europe, especially in the five nato countries bordering russian territory, poland, finland, and the former soviet republics of estonia, latvia, and lithuania. after international sanctions were imposed on russia, then- president obama pledged to beef up american military presence in europe which had shrunk from its cold war level, over 300,000 troops to 120,000 in 2000 and 65,000 in 2015. six days after arriving in germany, colonel norrie's military convoy reached the first of those nervous border states, poland, where u.s. troops will begin the first of their nine month rotations planned for the next seven years. this is the first large-scale continuous presence of u.s. troops in poland.
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this army video shows the symbolic moment a polish flag was added to the lead u.s. vehicle. colonel norrie was officially welcomed by polish major general jaroslaw mika. >> it is important for security not only for poland, for europe, and for all the world. >> reporter: why should the u.s. care about what is happening so far away here in poland? >> common cooperation, common training, and all these things provide more security for all countries. you have to be prepared for a war, yeah? >> reporter: prepared for a war? >> you would like to avoid any war, but you have to do a lot of training to be prepared. >> reporter: training is what these troops will be doing. their bradley fighting vehicles transported from bremerhaven by train were positioned in the snowy fields of poland in temperatures close to zero degrees. >> it's cold! it's beautiful, though.
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>> reporter: some american troops will remain in poland. others will be sent farther east for training and war exercises in estonia, latvia, lithuania, romania, bulgaria, and hungary. pre-positioning equipment and ammunition in eastern europe can reduce the time needed for additional troops to deploy, if ever needed. other nato members like the u.k., france, and denmark, are deploying more troops to eastern europe as well. many nato member states are boosting their military spending, but only five countries, including the u.s., the u.k., and poland, meet the target of spending two percent of their gross domestic product on defense. the rest, including france, germany, the netherlands, and italy, spend less. overall, the u.s. accounts for three-quarters of nato's military expenditures.
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in a formal ceremony in the western polish city of zagan, where some of the new american troops will be based, poland's prime minister and defense minister welcomed the military help, saying it would help ensure freedom, independence, and peace. while operation atlantic resolve might reassure leaders in eastern europe, it is angering russia, which has repeatedly denounced the buildup along its borders as a provocation that demands countermeasures. "we consider this a threat to us," a kremlin spokesman said as the troops arrived. the russian military has been conducting military exercises of its own and last october, near the borders of poland and lithuania, russia placed missiles that could be armed with nuclear warheads and reach the german capital of berlin. russia has called this build up a provocation. is this a provocation? >> we are here to deter, and a part of that deterrence is
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putting this formation together as part of a really exceptionally strong team of teams. i would view it as a deterrent, and if i was looking at it through the lens of a potential aggressor, i would say it's an exceptionally capable deterrent. >> reporter: russia has even recently aligned missiles that are capable of being mounted with nuclear warheads along the border. what are you doing to prepare for that? >> we've trained for every eventuality. i mean, the soldiers that we have in this formation, the capability by battalion here throughout the brigade, they're ready for the full range of any kind of a threat. our commitment to our allies is very, very important. right now we are continuing to build combat power here in western poland to rapidly mass our formation and then demonstrate that we are ready to fight. >> reporter: in the towns and countryside of poland, we found mixed feelings about what operation atlantic resolve would
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mean. this polish truck driver says he's already comfortable with the american presence. after all, poland is used to less friendly foreign troops dating back to the germans who invaded in world war two or the soviets who occupied and ter that. poland for decades >> deutschland, ruskies. >> reporter: "first it was the germans, then the russians, and now the americans are in poland," he says. and is that okay? is that a good thing? >> "it is good," he says. "we need protection." >> reporter: but other poles worry the deterrent force might too easily be drawn into a fight. >> the troops are for war. they didn't come here to fish, right? >> reporter: this man works for a small communications company in zagan. >> maybe it's politics? i suppose it's politics. ordinary people, we are afraid.
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we are afraid. >> reporter: another element of uncertainty in all of this: these american troops now have a new commander-in-chief, president trump, who has voiced skepticism about nato and has signaled he wants closer ties with russia. in an interview with british and german reporters a few days before his inauguration, president trump said "nato is very important to me," but again sn't taking care of terror,"t and said that "a lot of these countries aren't paying what they're supposed to be paying, which i think is very unfair." at a press conference before the trump inauguration, colonel norrie was asked whethe h expects orders to turn around and go home. >> we've been training for this operation, for this mission for a very, very long time. and our arrival here just demonstrates how fully committed our nation and our army is to providing
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that credible deterrent force here and enabling security in a vital part of the world. >> stewart: to discuss the security situation in europe, i am joined from warsaw by paul jones, the american ambassador to poland. he's a career foreign service officer appointed by president obama in 2015 and is staying on with the trump administration. ambassador, what is your reaction to the creme lynn calling operation atlantic resolve a prove kaition and, quote, a threat? >> well, alison, you know, these decisions have been taken over a course of time. and especially after russian's invasion of ukraine and its occupation of ukrainian territory. it's lead to a deterioration of the security environment here, and a lot of anxiety from some of our allies, so our military together with our allied militaries took some prudent, made some prudent recommendations to political
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leadership. and that includes this deployment of a u.s. armoured bri gaid come bat team first to polander and then to the region. >> ambassador, why commit troops specifically to poland? >> well, poland is really the hub of this deployment. so these forces, about 3,500, 4,000 soldiers with heavy armour will-- are deploying from poland because of poland's geographic location. and they will be headquartered here in poland. but they will also be in the baltic states, in hundred bar-- hungary, in romania and bull garia. all of these countries have requested this support. >> will other nato members bordering russia add deterrent forces? >> you know, this is a by lateral deployment-- bilateral deployment, this particular deployment happening right now. later in the spring we will have the nato con tinning ents come n a u.s. bat all onwill come to poland, british, german and canadian bat all ons will come to the baltic countries but this
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is really supported by all 28 allies one way or the other and even within this region, poland, for example, is contributing to the security of other countries along this side of nato because it's the largest country and the one with the most capable military itself. >> we have a new president in the united states. one who has questioned the united states role within nato. is there any concern there that the u.s. troops will be asked to come home to return home by the trump administration? >> well, i think the government and the president of poland are looking forward to having a detailed-- there has been some contact already. but they are looking forward to having a detailed conversation about the security in this region and about how the unitied states in poland, poland sees the united states as its primary strategic ally. but the whole alliance can ensure security in this region. >> one of mr. trump's criticisms of nato is that all the member nations are supposed to devote 2% to their gdp to defense. only five nations to do, the
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united states and poland being two of the five. is it-- is there anything that you and other diplomats can do to create more equity in that situation? and does it ever cause tensions between the member nations? >> you know, as you say, poland is contributing its two percent. and actually is involved in a broader military modernization program which includes very significant purchases of military equipment, and weaponry from the united states as part of that. so but i think you see over all, a growing sense within the alliance that we have to pick up the pace of every ally reaching that two percent and every ally contributing. and we see that, really, in what is happening in this part of the alliance. and as i say, poland is a big contributor to that. and frankly, you know, wants to be part of not only the contributions militarily but the policy discussion going forward in, you know, with the new administration in washington and
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also in the future meetings of the alliance. >> ambassador paul joans from warsaw, poland, thank you for being with us. >> thank you, it's been a pleasure >> stewart: finally, in a tragic coincidence, separate car accidents in the dominican republic have claimed the lives of two major league baseball players: kansas city royals pitcher yordano ventura and retired infielder andy marte. ventura, who possessed a 100 mph fastball, was only 25 and won 38 games in his short career, including game 2 of the 2014 world series. marte was 33 and spent seven seasons in the majors. both were playing in the dominican winter league. that's it for this edition of" pbs newshour weekend." i'm alison stewart. thanks for watching. good night. captioning sponsored by wnet captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
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>> 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.
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[birds chirping] [theme music playing] [bleats] narrator: over 10 weeks, 13 of britain's best amateur bakers battled it out to be crowned this year's winner. success! ha ha! some proved they had what it takes. yes! while others melted in the heat of the moment. i feel sick making this. every week, the bakers were set 3 challenges. i'm, uh, behind... yep. stressed... yep. narrator: the signature bake showcased their personality and creative flair... all in all... not a good bake. the terrifying technical, where their intuition and instinct were put under a microscope... i mean, what? there are gonna be grandmothers

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