tv PBS News Hour PBS May 4, 2017 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> sreenivasan: good evening, i'm hari sreenivasan. judy woodruff is away. on the newshour tonight... >> this is a repeal and replace of obamacare make no mistake about it. >> sreenivasan: a new prescription for american health care, house republicans narrowly pass a bill to overhaul the affordable care act. also ahead, when the economy leaves town, we visit janesville, wisconsin to hear what happens after the biggest employer shuts its doors. >> this is a story of what choices people made when there were no good choices left. because it was impossible to keep your income and stay working here. >> sreenivasan: plus, refugees fleeing south sudan's civil war pour into uganda, but tensions break out as the fight for scarce resources plague overcrowded villages.
>> the south sudan border is just about a mile down this road here. some 500 people walk in each day into uganda. the first evidence they'll have a safe night to sleep are these white tents here put up by the united nations. >> sreenivasan: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. >> carnegie corporation of new york. supporting innovations in education, democratic engagement, and the advancement of international peace and security. at carnegie.org.
>> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: and individuals. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> sreenivasan: the white house, and house republicans, are celebrating tonight. today, they pushed through a bill to remake the health care system, something they failed to do back in march. the vote was 217 to 213. lisa desjardins begins our coverage. >> make no mistake, this is a repeal and replace of obamacare. make no mistake about it. make no mistake. >> desjardins: a dramatic day ended at the white house as
president trump and house republicans celebrated wrestling out a hard-fought first win in the fight over the affordable care act. >> we're going to get this passed through the senate. i feel so confident. as much as we've come up with a really incredible health care plan, this has brought republican party together. >> desjardins: just an hour earlier, the "american health care act" squeaked through with a single vote to spare, and, as the vote count was read, supporters erupted in cheers. 20 republicans and every democrat voted "no." democrats, who've said support of the bill would cost republicans their seats, responded with taunts of "hey, hey goodbye." >> hey hey goodbye. >> desjardins: it was the culmination of days of tension and hours of heated debate. house speaker paul ryan, who just six weeks ago was forced to pull an earlier version of the bill, made an emotional plea.
>> a lot of us have been waiting seven years to cast this vote. are we going to meet this test. are we going to be men and women of are word. are we going to keep the promises that we made. or are we going to falter. no. >> desjardins: democrats summoned emotion too, meanwhile, insisting the vote was rushed, short-sighted and will hurt millions of americans. >> does trumpcare protect seniors and families. no. does trumpcare protect seniors and families. no. is there any caring in trumpcare at all? no. >> desjardins: just 24 hours earlier, passage was not even a certainty. in the end enough conservatives and a few moderates got on board to put this bill over the top. how did republicans get those votes? two changes. first, a rescue amendment from new jersey republican tom macarthur. it allows states to waive out of essential benefits like hospital care, spending caps and requirements surrounding pre-
existing conditions. states can only drop those things if they show it would improve the market. that brought some conservative votes, but raised other concerns about people with pre-existing conditions. the answer? another amendment, from michigan's fred upton, to add $8 billion to a $115 billion pot of money states can use to help the highest-risk patients. democrats today called that amount a pittance and said >> it is a lie. it is a lie. and let's be honest about it this does not cover people with pre-existing conditions and to come on a floor and say it does to fool people well you may get away with it in the short term you may get a headline but i'll tell you people will find out soon enough. >> desjardins: republicans supporters countered, charging their opponents were ill- informed. >> i believe probably the reason they won't vote for it is they don't understand it because pre- existing conditions are covered. if you have coverage now nothing in our bill no matter what would come from the state or anyone else will lose the pre-existing conditions. but i guess it's easier to talk your talking points.
>> desjardins: the bill would have sweeping other effects. repealing obamacare taxes and adding tax credits of a few thousand dollars, based on age and income. but the most dramatic changes may be to medicaid. the bill would cap benefits and phase out the expansion, for estimated cuts of $880 billion over a decade. that is one reason the congressional budget office concluded it would mean 24 million more uninsured americans. as house members debated the measure inside the capitol, protesters against the bill gathered outside. the bill now goes to the senate where it faces an extensive makeover and concerns from members of both parties. n as for house republicans they left the capitol en masse, with smiles, headed to a one-week recess. >> sreenivasan: lisa will be back, as we explore the politics and particulars of the republican bill, after the news summary. in the day's other news, the senate approved a $1.1 trillion
spending bill, to keep the government running through september. it had already passed the house. the senate vote sends the bill to president trump. there's more defense spending, as he wanted, but no funding for the promised border wall. there's word the trump administration is talking with iraq about having u.s. troops stay longer. some 7,000 are deployed there now. reports today say prime minister haider al-abadi wants some or all of them to remain, even after islamic state forces are defeated. russia, turkey and iran agreed today to establish four "non- conflict" zones in syria. representatives of the three nations signed an agreement at peace talks in kazakhstan. some syrian opposition delegates protested and walked out. russia, turkey and iran worked out a syrian cease-fire deal in december, but it collapsed after a few weeks. president trump signed an executive order today to let churches be more politically active. it eases enforcement of a ban on tax-exempt religious groups participating in politics. and, it mandates unspecified "regulatory relief" for groups
with religious objections against covering contraception for employees. in a white house rose garden ceremony, the president said he's re-affirming a commitment to freedom of religion. >> for too long, the federal government has used the power of the state as a weapon against people of faith. bullying and even punishing americans for following their religious beliefs. it's been happening. that is why i am signing today an executive order to defend the freedom of religion and speech in america. >> sreenivasan: immediately after the signing, the american civil liberties union announced it will challenge the executive order in court. the president is back in new york this evening, for the first time since his inauguration. hundreds of protesters turned out as hemet with the prime minister of australia, before speaking at the u.s.s. "intrepid," a decommissioned aircraft carrier.
the white house also announced he'll travel to saudi arabia, israel and the vatican this month. his first overseas trip as president concludes at a nato summit in belgium. former president obama has weighed in on the french presidential election. he endorsed centrist emmanuel macron, over far-right candidate marine le pen, in a video message posted today on macron's twitter account. >> i've admired the campaign that emmanuel macron has run. he has stood up for liberal values, he put forward a vision for the important role that france plays in europe and around the world, and he is committed to a better future for the french people. he appeals to people's hopes and not their fears. >> sreenivasan: polls suggest macron is well ahead in sunday's run-off vote. the governor of puerto rico is vowing no new taxes, and no new austerity measures, as the territory seeks debt relief. puerto rico filed wednesday to restructure part of the $73 billion it owes. today, governor ricardo rossello said he'll negotiate with creditors. but he insisted:
"i am not going down a road that would force the people of puerto rico to make more sacrifices." and, on wall street, energy stocks sank, and canceled out gains elsewhere. the dow jones industrial average lost six points to close at 20,951. the nasdaq rose two points, and the s&p 500 added just one point. still to come on the newshour: how the health care bill is likely to fare in the senate. the top democrat on the house intelligence committee about the latest in the russia investigation. making sense of janesville, wisconsin's complicated economic recovery, and much more. >> sreenivasan: let's dive a little deeper into the bill passed by the house, what it would change when it comes to coverage and cost, and the politics moving forward. our own lisa desjardins joins us for that, just back from capitol hill. and julie rovner is with "kaiser health news." lisa, let's start with pre-existing conditions. that became the phrase that pays
all week long and even today. who is going to get left out of this? >> it is a very serious concern, according to ciezy family foundation, some 52 million americans have pre-existing conditions, adults, could have their insurance affected. the way this works, hari each state would decide if the they t a waiver so the states could opt out. now, republicans say this should not affect those with pre-existing conditions because if their premiums get too high, they've created what's called high-risk pools. they say that will help them, but i spent a lot of time talking to republicans about this today. they do not guarantee that your premium won't go up if you have pre-existing conditions. insurers can raise those premiums. the question is will states opt in to do this and also important, hari, it's easy to get these waivers under this particular version because if the state applies for it, if the government does nothing, it happens. the government has to actually block the waiver. >> sreenivasan: so a lot of
this seems to depend on a state-by-state base who decides to continue. >> this is one of the things republicans said. they don't like that health care is being basically governed from the federal government. they want to turn it back to the states. we should say states already have a lot of power in the insurance market. they do-- they still regulate individual insurance. they still regulate insurance for small businesses, businesses that operate in multiple states are regulated by the federal government. but that wasn't the affordable care act. that's been the case. >> sreenivasan: one of the things that the republicans have said is, one of our methods to deal with this is creating these high-risk pools." let's talk about that. how would they work? >> 35 states used to have these high-risk pools, and these are people who have very expensive conditions, ongoing-- normally, an ongoing problem. they basically get put in a different pool, that's why they're called high-risk pools. the reason is the healthier
people in the regular pool would have lower premiums because they're not paying for those expensive people. >> sreenivasan: does that mean the sicker people have higher remiums. >> that's correct. the sicker people could get insurance but they had higher premiums. sometimes they had pre-existing condition exclusions so you wouldn't get coverage for the very thing that got you into the high-risk pool, for sometimes up to a year. and some were underfunded. there was a pool in florida that was closed for decades. >> and that's where this money comes in that republicans added at the last minute, another $8 billion that could go to the high-risk pools to help stabilize those premiums, but we have no idea if that's enough money. there is not a c.b.o. score on this bill. there is not a c.b.o. score on how much is needed in that kind of national, potential high-risk pool. it's a huge question mark. there are many who said $8 billion will not cut. >> sreenivasan: we have tried to supplement these high-risk pools and it has come up short. >> there was a federal pool and
it closed a yearearly because it ran out of money. >> sreenivasan: let's talk about the essential health benefits. that's something that has been discussed, on something that could really strain the average household or the average family. to accept the the table, what are some of the essentials. >> it seems the unseen skeleton of american health care. we're talking about hospital care, being able to do to go to the hospital. the e.r., maternity care, preventive care, that could be anything from cancer screening to, right now, contraception, depending on how the health agency goes forward. also, prescription drugs. 10 basics that the congress under obamacare said must number every plan. now the way republicans in the house want it, they want states to be able to waive out of those essential benefits. >> sreenivasan: now year creating a market on a state-by-state basis saying i will have an essential health package different from my neighboring state. this is one of the things donald trump said today, we're going to drive down premiums. we're going to drive down these
costs. is it likely that states will start to offer up these different packages for employers from other places? >> well, actually, already, states get to pick which-- you know, which kind-- they're called a benchmark plan. it does have to have those benefits, but states can decide on a state-by-state basis what the plan should be modeled as. what this would say is it would give insurers the ability to jettison those benefits. they could say we're not going to cover maternity care. we're not going to cover mental health care. we're only going to cover generic prescription drugs and not brand name prescription drugs. probably, premiums would go down, but people who needed that coverage wouldn't have it anymore. >> people would be making that choice, republicans argue. they say you could choose to have a bare-bones plan. >> sreenivasan: instead of a cadillac plan. >> yes. >> sreenivasan: $880 billion in cuts to medicaid. how does this go forward? >> this really has been hidden in want debate. this is a tremendous change to medicaid. for the first time since
medicaid was created, there would no longer be federal funding. we're not just talking about the medication expansion in the affordable care act. that would be phased out. we're talking about the basic medicaid program that pays for maternity care, child birth for almost half the children borne in the united states. and the majority of nursing home care. so that's where the congressional budget office suggested that much of the declining coverage would come from states losing money for medicaid. >> sreenivasan: when you look at the politics of, this there are senators and governors not in favor of this. >> that's right. and i think we're going to pay a lot more attention to the senate now. they have a real problem in the senate. in fact, you talk too some smatters who have been around for a long time, including the chairman of the health committee, the help committee, alexander. his office sent me an email tonight. he said the senate is going to write its own bill. they're going to start and go in their own direction. medicaid is a big problem. and states with some of the highest medicaid raits raets are also states with republican senators. they are taking that very seriously. also, hari, today, nine of those republicans who voted no on this bill had-- so there are real
issues for 2018 here. >> sreenivasan: one of the things we're hearing is 4 could affect people who are not in need of the affordable care act or a government plan, people who have private insurance through their employers, which is the bulk of the population. >> that's right. this is a very good example of how complicated this all is. these things are tied to each other. and when you pull one piece of it out, you could inadvertently touch another piece. the "wall street journal" this morning reported that people who have-- employers are required not to offer coverage that have lifetime limits that says sai once you have $1 million in claims you can't do it anymore, you can't cover it anymore. it's tied to those essential health benefits. if the essential health benefit goes away, once again, employer coverage could have lifetime limits. >> sreenivasan: all right, julie rovner, lisa desjardins, thank you both. to help you keep track of the many details we have a guide to the g.o.p. health care bill on our website. pbs.org/newshour.
>> sreenivasan: there are at least three major investigations underway into what role russia played in the presidential election, and whether the trump campaign colluded in that process. today, two of the nations top national security officials held a closed-hearing with congressional investigators. william brangham has more. >> brangham: the house intelligence committee is one of those investigative bodies looking into russia's role in the election, and today, the head of the f.b.i., james comey, and the head of the n.s.a., mike rogers, briefed that committee on capitol hill. joining me now is the top democrat on that committee, representative adam schiff from california. congressman, i can hear in the background, there are some protesters there, i take it protesting the g.o.p.'s passage of their health law. we'll talk about that in a minute. but before we get to that, i'd like to talk a little bit this
hearing today. you heard from the head of the nsay, the headline of the f.b.i. i know this was a confidential, closed door hearing. you can share a little bit with us about what you heard today? >> certainly. well, i can't go into the contents, i can tell you the three areas of focus for us, and that is who we have this very public assessment by the intelligence committee-- community, rather, that the russians intervened. they did so to heartsecretary clinton, to help donald trump. and we are investigating to make sure that the conclusion reached in that report are an accurate reflection of the raw intelligence. we also want to look at the u.s. government response. did the f.b.i., for example, bring the necessary urgency to the task when it discovered the russians were into computers at the democratic national committee and elsewhere? and then finally, and probably most public interest, we continued to investigate the issue of whether there were u.s. persons, particularly those involved in the trump campaign, that were somehow colluding or coordinating with this russian
hacking into our democracy. >> brangham: yesterday, f.b.i. director comey testified before the senate, and he gave a very impassioned testimony, arguing that his investigation both of hillary clinton's email server and of the russia investigation was absolutely fair. and he argues he would do it exactly the same way again. are you confident, from what you heard yesterday and. what you heard today, that director comey is the right man for this investigation? >> well, i have serious questions about the director's testimony yesterday. i disagree strongly with the conclusions and the argument that he was making. i don't think it was at all a choice between speaking or concealing, and in fact of the fact that the director used such a loaded term like "conceal," thing demonstrate the weakness, frankly, of that argument. the real choims was whether he would abide by the justice department policy of not
discussing pending matters right before an election. he violatedly that policy, and he treated the clinton investigation and the trump investigation in very different ways. and i don't think his argument one investigation was in the early stage, that he disclosedly the clinton investigation only three months after it had begun, and it was somehow different for the trump investigation holds up after all. in october, the trump investigation, by his own accounting, had gone going on for three month. i don't agree with what he said yesterday. at the same time, in terms of going forward, i have to hope he will do a thorough investigation of these allegations concerning the trump campaign. we, for our part, are determined to follow the fact wrfers they lead, and we're going to have to expect him to do the same. >> brangham: congressman, a few months ago you said there was more than-- there was a good bit of evidence that there had been collusion by the trump campaign. later you seem to indicate that perhaps that wasn't as clear. is there anything more you can tell us today about the evidence that does or doesn't exist about
collusion between the trump campaign and the russians? >> well, what i have said is that i think the evidence of coordination or collusion is not purely circumstantial. unfortunately, i'm notably to go into the particulars of the evidence. but i that you want it fair to characterize, at least initially, of where we're starting out in the investigation. i do think that the f.b.i. was justified in opening an investigation last year. i think that's not something, when it involves a major presidential campaign, that they do willy-nilly. and i think they're justified in continuing that investigation. but, unfortunately, i can't go into the particulars. >> brangham: let's turn about that big ruckus we hear behind you. a huge piece of news today, that the g.o.p. was successful in passing their piece of health care legislation. i know you voted against it. what was your reaction to what happened today? >> well, my predominant reaction is it's a sad day, i think, for this institution when we would vote and effectively cut off millions of people from access
to health care. and when you have the kind of massive cuts to medicaid that are in this bill, when you're essentially telling states they can do away with protections for people who have pre-existing health concerns you're voting for legislation that you know or should know will mean that millions of lose their access to health care. we ought to be sad about it. i don't think the republicans should be celebrating at the white house about it. and i will say this, too, it's not that this is some abstract desire to cut people off from health care. the real motivating force behind my g.o.p. colleagues and the vote today is they want to take the money out of health care system and they want to give it out in the form of a tax cut that will benefit predominantly wealthy people. that's the tragedy of what we did today. and i don't think it's going to pass must nert senate. i think that celebration will be short lived and for good reason. >> brangham: lastly, congressman, the president seemed to indicate today at the white house that obamacare was
dead. double that's true? >> no, i don't believe that at all. what we have seen throughout the country is states that have wanted to make it successful, lie my own home state of california, have, and millions of more people now are covered by insurance. the marketplaces work reasonably well, not perfect, and we can still improve it. but in other states where they wanted it to faicialg willed it to fail, tried to deter people from enrolling, they have largely succeeded in doing that. the president, for his part, is also determined to try to bring downtown affordable care act. that's why they have cut off outreach to young people. they want only older, sicker people to enroll and to raise costs so they can make the case for a repeal. it's a cynical strategy. i think at the end of the day, the republicans won't be able to do this on their own, and shouldn't. and i hope it will get us to a place where we can work together on a bipartisan basis to improve want existing system and not do away with in favor of cutting millions of people off from
health care. >> brangham: all right, representative adam schiff, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> sreenivasan: stay with us, coming up on the newshour. refugees fleeing the world's youngest country now ravaged by civil war. the summer movies you won't want to miss. and a brief but spectacular take from television writer and producer norman lear. but first the story of what happened to janesville, wisconsin, the hometown of house speaker paul ryan, after its biggest employer shut down. economics correspondent paul solman reports. it's part of his series "making sense" which airs thursdays on the newshour. >> reporter: at janesville, wisconsin's parker high school there's a room that's unmarked, and usually closed. >> the parker closet is a resource area for students that are struggling financially. we offer food, toiletries,
clothing, school supplies. >> reporter: all free. all donated. a larder for the hungry, begun surreptitiously by teacher deri eastman in 2008, when this proud industrial town of 63,000 was knocked for a loop. general motors idled the janesville assembly plant, for nearly a century the area's largest employer. >> this was the oldest operating plant in the united states when it shut down. >> reporter: journalist amy goldstein. >> it started making tractors and in 1923, it began turning out chevrolet trucks. >> on wisconsin! on wisconsin! >> reporter: for decades thereafter, a job at the plant was a ticket to the middle class. dave vaughn went to the plant straight from high school, retired after 35 years. >> when i hired in in 1967, there were approximately 7,200 people that worked there. it was like a small city. it was security.
it was good benefits. i had a vested pension. >> reporter: even by the time the last chevy tahoe rolled off the assembly line, there were still 1,200 workers making $28 an hour. all laid off. along with thousands of others at local g.m. suppliers. >> i knew a lot of the people down there. families, friends, neighbors. that's a lot of people. in one little city of janesville. >> reporter: vaughn's son and daughter-in-law both lost their jobs at lear, which made seats for g.m. vehicles. >> i was shocked. then i guess i was scared. what's next? all of a sudden, we're both unemployed. financially what are we going to do? >> reporter: mike vaughn's wife barb felt the same, even though the job had taken quite a toll on her. >> i was working with bolts about that big around and that long, torquing them into the seat. i had surgery on my shoulder. and then i ended up with a
surgery on my wrist. >> reporter: so, some relief for barb; none at all for mike. >> at the time i was the labor leader for almost 900 people, and ultimately i had to be a part of giving the news that the plant was closing. >> reporter: what was that process like? >> they were angry, they were upset, they were hurt, and they were scared. >> reporter: it was shortly after this that deri eastman started slipping day-to-day essentials to formerly middle- class students, now struggling, stressed and often embarrassed. >> some of the kids were "wow, i can't believe this all is in here" and some of them would be very open to taking things, others would be like "nope, we're okay." >> reporter: about 250 kids made use of the closet, including two brothers who asked for soap and shampoo after their mother's daycare business went bust. >> when the plant closed the parents were home.
they didn't need a daycare anymore and so carrie's day care center kind of washed up. and i remember realizing this was going to be a huge ripple effect for janesville. >> reporter: in all, the region lost some 9,000 jobs. amy goldstein's book, "janesville, an american story," is about what came next. >> this is a story of what choices people made when there were no good choices left. because it was impossible to keep your income and stay working here. some people chose to stay here and make less money, and some of the g.m.'ers chose to work farther away and keep up their standard of living. >> reporter: thus the term "g.m. gypsies": workers who accepted a transfer to other gm plants hundreds of miles away. >> good morning transferees! >> how many of you all this is the first move you've ever made? there will be difficulties. i'm living experience of it. i've got one failed marriage behind me.
>> indiana was the closest place you could work, and lordstown, ohio. these families were very split up and to this day some of the families are still split up with workers coming home, depending on how far away they are, once a week, once a month. >> reporter: but other workers took the path so often pushed in de-industrializing america these last few decades: stay in town and go back to school for retraining-- in janesville, at highly-respected blackhawk technical college, tuition paid by the federal government. it was here that the vaughns strained to reinvent themselves. >> it was obviously it was scary. it was something that was uncharted and unknown. >> reporter: mike stuck it out and finished an associate's degree in human resource management. >> because i'd been unemployed, i took the first job that was offered to me. which was a second shift human resources position at seneca foods corporation. >> reporter: and what was the difference in pay? >> it was a lot less pay. a lot less pay.
>> reporter: barb, long ashamed that she'd dropped out of high school, quickly got her diploma and then a criminal justice associate's degree and after that, her bachelor's. >> i can't even describe how focused she was. >> i couldn't have anything less than a 4.0. >> she couldn't. she was a perfectionist. she had to have straight "a"s. >> i received an "a minus" and it just threw me for a loop. >> she was angry. i thought something really bad might've happened, and she got an "a minus", and i was thinking, "that's not bad. that's pretty good, you know?" >> reporter: the vaughns are success stories. mike has worked his way back up to the salary he earned at lear. both have found new work they like locally. but they turn out to be stunning exceptions. fully two-thirds of those who went to blackhawk technical college never finished. >> this was a heartbreaking thing that i heard over and over from some of the people who work
at the college, that people started a course, but they needed to grab any job they could because they just didn't have the money. >> reporter: but even more heartbreaking: the minority who did get a degree fared worse than those who did not. >> the people who retrained ended up less likely to have steady work. they had bigger drops in their wages than the people who hadn't gone back to school. so the question is why? you know it's possible that those few jobs that were around in the community were absorbed by the people who didn't retrain. >> reporter: so that if you were retraining, you were stepping out of line. >> exactly. another possibility is that if you were successful at retraining and you managed to shift into a new line of work, it's very likely that you were starting at the bottom of the ladder. >> reporter: but whatever the reasons, job retraining, one of the precious few economic policies pretty much everyone lauds, simply fizzled. >> i've seen a lot of people
that are potentially still struggling or not where they may have wanted to have been as a result of the re-schooling, the training, if there's no jobs available after retraining, now what do you do? >> reporter: in the years since the plant left, there's been a big push to attract new businesses to janesville. even janesville native paul ryan has courted potential employers to the area. >> reporter: so will the town come back? >> there are some jobs that have come back. they aren't the kind of jobs that used to be here. i mean the unemployment rate here in early 2009 rocketed up to more than 13%. it's now down to just under 5%. so if you look just at that number, you can say this community has really come back. >> reporter: rebounded just as america has. >> just as america has. but if you look at other things, it's a more complicated picture. manufacturing jobs have not come back and in terms of real wages, factoring inflation into account, this area is running
behind where it was in 2008. people are working again, but they're not working making the kind of money they were before. >> reporter: which may explain why deri eastman still has almost 200 students using the parker closet. for the pbs newshour, this is economics correspondent paul solman reporting from janesville, wisconsin. >> sreenivasan: on our making sense page there's an excerpt from "janesville: an american story" about a struggling teenager who discovered the parker closet after her father lost his job at general motors. that's at pbs.org/makingsense. >> sreenivasan: this week we've brought you three reports from inside south sudan, a nation ravaged by war, famine, and a place where rape is used as a weapon. tonight, we turn our focus to neighboring uganda where they offer an open door to refugees. but with hundreds, sometimes
thousands each day pouring across the border, uganda's openess is being put to a test. special correspondent fred de sam lazaro reports. >> reporter: on a recent afternoon, refugees from south sudan sang songs of praise and thanks. ♪ ♪ they are the newest arrivals from the brutal civil war in their young country. the south sudan border is just about a mile down this road here. some 500 people walk in each day into uganda. there's no sign indicating they've arrived. the first evidence they'll have a safe night to sleep are these white tents here put up by the united nations. water is provided but no food. that will have to wait for at least another day when they reach settlement centers to be registered. some people told us they hadn't eaten for days. these women arrived after a five day walk through the bush, found an open spot on the floor and quickly collapsed in complete
exhaustion. some tell harrowing stories about the violence they've seen, much of it ethnically based. >> ( translated ): the dinkas are killing us. they are killing the civilians. >> reporter: they are killing you just because you are not a dinka? >> ( translated ): yes. >> reporter: nearly 600,000 refugees have entered uganda since july when new fighting from the civil war erupted, and the flow continues unabated. bidi bidi, the world's largest refugee settlement with 300,000 residents, about the size of pittsburgh, was closed to new arrivals in december to prevent overcrowding. invepi, about 30 miles from the border, was opened two months ago. already 62,000 people have moved in, a number expected to reach the 110,000 capacity by late may or june. the overwhelming numbers are straining relief efforts. people wait in line for hours,
occasionally days on end just to get registered. and tensions are rising between the newcomers and ugandans from nearby communities. we arrived at invepi shortly after a skirmish broke out between refugees and locals. this young refugee was bloodied and eventually taken away by ambulance. >> we'll take good care of him. >> reporter: u aye maung is field director the u.n. high commission for refugees at invepi. is that a concern for you, the tensions between the local communities and the refugees? >> we have seen some tensions arise between people. the concerns are valid. there are protection issues. we have a large number of children, women and single boys, young girls. they need protection. they need space, safe space so they can be able to go to school, they can able to do their basic rights in the settlement area. >> reporter: such hostility is relatively new in a country
whose official policy has been to integrate refugees it looks like any other african village and that's the point. uganda has an open door policy toward refugees, and they're placed in settlements, not camps. an acknowledgement that they'll stay for quite awhile. each refugee family is given a small plot of land that they can start to cultivate, build a small dwelling on it. and they're free to seek opportunities anywhere else in the country. >> as a people who have suffered before, we do not think that we should shut out anybody who is running away for security. >> reporter: shaban bantariza is a spokesman for the ugandan government. he says his country was itself once an exporter of refugees when it was wracked for years by war. uganda will continue to provide what it can, he says, but the anger expressed by some of ugandans is understandable. >> they feel disadvantaged and they have expressed that. they feel that their inability
to get sufficient drugs, their inability to have enough food is because of the influx of refugees. so naturally they feel agitated. but we are trying to work on that. >> reporter: at the settlements, food is still available to the newest arrivals. but rations have been cut in half for people who have been here for several weeks. water must be trucked in at huge expense. the onslaught has been so abrupt, there hasn't been time to survey land and drill wells for clean water. the rationing of food was apparent when we talked with james ken. he and his family of seven walked for three weeks to reach the safety of uganda. they now live in this tent constructed of tarps. he's grateful for the welcome he's received but says there isn't enough food to go around. you run out sometimes? >> ( translated ): completely. right now there's nothing on the fire. >> reporter: there's nothing cooking? >> ( translated ): yes. >> reporter: so what will the
kids eat? >> ( translated ): hopefully the neighbors will help. >> reporter: apparently the neighbors did help, with this maize flour for the next family meal. the u.n. estimates it will cost $840 million to deal with the refugee crisis in uganda this year. but el khidir daloum of the u.n.'s world food program agencies like his are facing a severe shortfall. >> we are only 40% of what we need. we appreciate all the support we have received from or donors so far. but we appeal to all the donors that they need to increase their pledges to us and to other actors so we address especially the life-saving needs for the refugees in the settlements. >> reporter: the government and u.n. officials say things are
approaching a breaking point. >> the strain is definite, no doubt about that. and that's why we try to engage everybody, in and out of uganda, the international community. refugees cannot be the responsibility for uganda alone. >> reporter: it's a global responsibility? >> it's a global responsibility. >> reporter: ultimately, of course, the ugandan government and the refugees say the solution is for conditions to stabilize in south sudan so the refugees can return. that's certainly the hope of james ken. so you could live here a long time? >> ( translated ): forever. unless we go back to south sudan, if peace comes back. >> reporter: do you think peace will come back to south sudan? >> ( translated ): we don't know. >> reporter: what he does know is a strong sense of deju vu. 32-year old ken actually came to uganda as a child, fleeing earlier strife. he returned to south sudan 12 years ago when peace arrived, only to flee again just weeks ago. now he fears it could take a generation in his family and thousands of others to make the trek back. for the pbs newshour, i'm fred
de sam lazaro at the invepi refugee settlement in northern uganda. >> sreenivasan: fred's reporting is a partnerhsip with the undertold stories project at the university of st. thomas in minnesota. and you can watch all of jane freguson's stories from inside south sudan on our website at pbs.org/newshour. >> sreenivasan: it's only the beginning of may. but believe it or not, the summer movie season is about to kick into high gear tomorrow with the release of a big sequel. jeffrey brown takes a look at the business model that's driving hollywood. >> brown: it's a tried-and-true formula the hollywood studios bet on each summer: bring on a heavy dose of aliens-- they can be scary, friendly, even funny. add a group of charged-up superheroes, throw in a few raunchy comedies, plus some kids
flicks, and make sure there are plenty of explosions. what's changing is how the summer season begins ever earlier. this weekend features the release of one of the bigger sequels of the year: "guardians of the galaxy, volume 2." the first movie was something of a surprise hit, grossing nearly $800 million worldwide. a mix of special effects, action and comedy and based on a comic book, producers say they are looking to tap into mass appeal again. >> i think audiences are going to love, first off, many of the things they loved in the first movie, the humor, the action, the scope, the characters. i think the key to keeping these movies fresh is being able to give the audience a new story that nobody expects but that still feels totally organic. a movie that's totally
>> brown: the new "guardians" is expected to make a whole lot of money, far more than the $200 million spent on it. but not all of the blockbusters will. many compete within days of each other, sometimes even on the same opening weekend. yet the studios are dependent on the summer season. it accounts for more than $4.5 billion in box-office sales. this year will bring at least 15 sequels, reboots or spinoffs between may and august, including the much-anticipated "wonder woman." many of the films come from older franchises, including "spiderman," "planet of the apes," and yet another sequel to "the pirates of the caribbean" series, which began 13 years ago. >> this is wheat. what are the odds of finding human vegetation this there's even one more follow-up to "alien," which first came out
in 1979. >> an early start to summer, the film industry's blockbuster strategy, and a few of the movies themselves. we talk about it now with two film critics, ann hornaday of the "washington post," and alonso duralde of the rap.com. alongso, "guardians of the galaxy, volume 2" . i didn't realize it was summer yet, but apparently it is for want studios. >> well, you know, i think the studios are all make summer movies all year round now. it's kind of like being hallmark channel-- they make 27 new christmas movies a year so they have to start showing them the weekend before halloween. if all they make are giant, explosion-filled movies for mass audiences, all year has to become summer. >> brown: so, anne, summer all year round. how much is this blockbuster model running hollywood? >> well, the blockbuster model is definitely the dominant business model. although, you know, other alternative business models have
emerged as sort of a counter-weight like the oscar arb ward season business model, but definitely the blockbuster tent model is huge. it certainly started out as a strategy to attract teenagers, especially teenaged boys to the theaters. now it's a way to get foreign audiences -- i mean the foreign revenues and emerging markets are hugely important. these sorts of movies travel very well because they're not as necessarily as dependent on subtitling and cultural understandings and sort of cultural translation. and in terms of just the expansion of the year, since everybody was so desperately focused on the summer to kind of capitalize on vacation and people being out of school and repeat business, they've discovered that they can go where the other ones aren't and maybe make a buck. and i think disney has really proven this out with their strategy of bringing out their live-action adaptations of
animated classics like "cinderella" and just this year "beauty and the beast." they've kind of taken over that march slot and really done quite well with it. >> brown: so, alonzo, what do you make of this blockbuster model? you look at $100 million films, $200 million films. they, clearly, can't and don't make it. there's always flops. how does it work? >> well, you know, the idea is that audiences want to see something they're familiar with. they want intellectual properties they've seen before, whether it's a sequel or remake or adaptation of a saturday morning cartoon. and a lot of those movies do make money. it doesn't always work. we had big flop sequels last summer. "the independence day" sequel was a big redinge spiritual. they would much rather spend a lot of money on something they think is familiar than to gamble on something completely unknown. >> brown: let me ask both of you. anne, you can start, which movies are you looking forward to, either because you hope they
will be good or it tells you something about the movie business itself that you're watching so carefully? >> i'm very curious about "wonder woman." i mean, i was one of those many critics last year that were very disappointedisappointed with "bs superman" and "suicide squad." i haven't been over the moon about the way warner brothers has handled the d.c. franchise and especially the "superman" franchise so i'm really looking forward to "wonder woman." i'm very curious about "dunkirk." he has done a huge spectacle of the evacuation of dunkirk. i think putting him together with history and spect chem kellyanne should yield some interesting results. >> brown: alonso, start with big movies, first, the blockbuster types. what are you looking forward to? >> in the same way anne and i are both looking forward to "wonder woman," having a new director in the chair, 58y
jenkins. "sierd man: home coming" sees that property going back into the disney marvel family. hopefully they'll do a better job with it than last few versions of that hero we got. i'm looking forward to a couple of films that bremered at south by southwest. "atomic blond" coming off of "of "mad max fury road." and "baby driver" which god amazing reviews, and people are really talking a lot about that one. so i'm hoping that will be something that will add a little pep to the summer. >> brown: for those of us who want something less-- what can i say, loud-- or something a little smaller, perhaps? >> realistic? >> brown: what should we look forward to? >> you know, there are some wonderful smaller movies and that's another kind of counter to the blockbuster strategy is that summer is a great time for counter-programming. and last year we saw wonderful small movies like "love and
friendship" and "captain fantastic" and "hell or high water." and i feel another hit from sun dance called "the big sick," a charming, fact-based romantic comedy baseold the true love life of the pakistani-american comic. it's just a really affecting, funny, sweet, very sincere, very affecting little movie that i think has potential to really become a sleeper hit this summer. >> brown: alonso, you want to give us one, a smaller pick? >> i have high hopes for. "the beguiled." it's based on a novel previously turned into a clint eastwood movie in the 70s. i suspect under coppola's guise it's going to become more of a film about women in containment, which has been a favorite theme of hers, and it stars if nicole kid man and kirsten dunst." >> brown: alonso duralde, and
hork thank you both very much. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> sreenivasan: now to another in our brief but spectacular series where we ask people about their passions. tonight, we hear from legendary television producer norman lear, who's responsible for some of america's most popular and groundbreaking sitcoms. at 94, lear shows no sign of slowing down. this week, he began hosting a new podcast, "all of the above." >> mr. lear, how do people treat you as you get older? >> yes, as i get older people who consider me wiser and that too is bull ( bleep ). i was a kid of the depression. my dad, his brothers, everyone,
they all went belly up and were broke. the great aunts and grandparents, always had an expression that when somebody was making a buck he was a good provider." a good provider." that was a sound i heard a lot and all i ever wanted to be was a good provider. i'd seen carroll o'connor in a blake edwards comedy called what did you do in the war daddy? and i never forgot his face. he walked in and read and he didn't finish the page before i knew that was archie bunker. i wrote those lines, he gave it his soul. the thing i love about archie and edith is they were they both talked a lot of bull ( bleep ), they didn't really know what they are talking about, but they had strong points of view, and
that's what most of america is about. and i love doing plays because they are plays in front of a live audience. it develops chemistry between the individual players and the audience. >> how does she communicate with people? >> you see, robin thinks words are a waste of time, so she speaks with her eyes. >> oooh! well, open up wide and let's hear the gettysburg address. ( laughter ) >> on the air at one time there was "all in the family" and "maude," "the jeffersons," "good times," "one day at a time," "the facts of life," "mary hartman mary hartman," "fernwood tonight," and shows that weren't on very long. people used to ask wow you're under a lot of stress. and the stress i was under was altogether joyful. it ended with you know 240 live people sitting in an audience
laughing. endeavor ended in laughter. go beat that. it all added time to my life. hi, i'm norman lear, and this is my brief but spectacular take on all the things that made me wind up with the life i've led. >> sreenivasan: you can watch more brief but spectacular videos online at pbs.org/newshour/brief. on the newshour online, the sound of the health care bill passing the house of representatives tells a fascinating story. you can listen to both parties' reactions in that moment on our web site, pbs.org/newshour. and again, to our honor roll of american service personnel killed in iraq and the afghanistan conflict. we add them as their deaths are made official and photographs become available. here, in silence, are three more.
>> sreenivasan: and that's the newshour for tonight. on friday we report from paris on the eve of france's presidential election. i'm hari sreenivasan. join us online, and again here tomorrow evening with mark shields and michael gerson. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting.
boom! hello, i'm julia child. welcome to my house. what fun we're going to have baking all kinds of incredible cakes, pies and breads right here in my own kitchen. toronto bakers naomi duguid and jeffrey alford have traveled the world learning to bake flatbreads some long, some chewy and some crisp. today they'll share some of their favorites. join us on...