tv PBS News Hour Weekend PBS October 1, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by wnet >> sreenivasan: on this edition for sunday, october 1: progress and setbacks run hand in hand as puerto rico tries to recover from hurricane maria. a new report reveals closed door hearings and little punishment for sexual assault cases in the military. and, did partisan gerrymandering in wisconsin go too far? the supreme court is set to decide. next on pbs newshour weekend. >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: bernard and irene schwartz. the cheryl and philip milstein family. sue and edgar wachenheim, iii. dr. p. roy vagelos and diana t. vagelos. the j.b.p. foundation. the anderson family fund. rosalind p. walter, in memory
of abby m. o'neill. 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, hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: good evening and thanks for joining us. as more troops and materials arrive in puerto rico, relief workers are struggling to distribute desperately needed supplies. the u.s. territory that 3.5 million american citizens call home is still trying to get back to basics 11 days after hurricane maria made landfall. telecommunications are available to a third of the island.
45% of residents now have drinkable running water. 60% of gas stations are open and providing fuel. 11 major highways are cleared of debris and open. power has been restored to 59 hospitals today, fema director brock long said signs of routine life are coming back, but there's long way to go fixing roads and restoring infrastructure. >> the bottom line is, this is the most logistically challenging event the united states has ever seen. we have been moving and pushing as fast as the situation allows. everyday we make progress, everyday we have some setbacks. >> sreenivasan: about 9,000 people remain in more than 100 shelters on the island. from his golf club in new jersey today, president trump, defended the federal response led by fema and the military. we have done a great job with the almost impossible situation in puerto rico. outside of the fake news or politically motivated ingrates,... ...people are now starting to recognize the amazing work that has been done by fema and our
great military. all buildings now inspected..... puerto rico governor ricardo rossello said today: mister trump's statement about building inspections are untrue, telling cnn: "i'm not aware of such inspections, there are areas of puerto rico where we really haven't gotten contact." rossello said it's important for the president to see the damage first hand, as he is scheduled to do on tuesday. today, the mayor of puerto rico's capital city, san juan, carmen yulin cruz, defended she reiterated: all she did was ask for more help. >> lets just talk about saving lives right now. putting back the power grid as soon as we can. because that has an immediate effect on our ability to recover financially. >> sreenivasan: u.s. army lieutenant general jeff buchanan, who arrived thursday to oversee troop efforts, tells the newshour this is the worst storm damage he's ever seen. >> the roads are now clear on the outside of the island, and we are slowly working our way in, but we obviously need to get all the roads cleared so we can get supplies into people who
need them." >> sreenivasan: for more on the situation on the island, i am joined now from cidra, puerto rico by newshour special correspondent monica villamizar. let's first talk about what has happened in the past 24 hours, the relief effort has become highly politicized. the people you met there, are they feeling the tension. >> absolutely, some people were already outraged with what they saw was a very slow federal government response in comparison to florida and texas. and then on top of it all president trump's tweets saying that puerto ricans want everything done, quote unquote, has not been well-received here and there is also a broader political debate here where there is a lot of rain so the municipalities, the mayors, so as sadly happens often, the relief effort is turning very political on the ground. >> monica, we were you were also able to spend time with the u.s. military on the ground trying to improve the situation there. we posted some of your interview
with lieutenant general buchanan, the military liaison with fema. you can give us an idea how the military ramped up operations in the past couple of days. >> general buchanan said the firs flight he took in broad daylight, for the first time he really saw from the air the scope of the devastation here and it was really as bad as he accepted and the worst he has seen after a hurricane in all of his career. so as you say, the military are definitely ramping things up here. but there definitely is a colossal path ahead of them and that includes reaching places that are still cut off and rebuilding the whole power grid, almost from scratch. >> sreenivasan: the people you have spoken to, are they thinking about moving off of puerto rico, back to the u.s. mainland and perhaps not coming back. >> some of them are definitely trying to move to the u.s. mainland. most of them seem to say that it is a temporary solution. they want to come back here eventually. but it's interesting, for our
viewers that we saw sowed today, sort of the first normal life resuming, people were jogging, sm surfing and a few restaurants are now opened and uber drivers are starting to pick up clients in san juan, at least. so there is a lot of resilience and certainly people, some of them want to stay here and rebuild. >> sreenivasan: exactly two years after the cargo >> sreenivasan: exactly two years after the cargo ship "el faro" sank en route from jacksonville, florida, to puerto rico during a hurricane, today the coast guard put most of the blame on the ship's captain. the coast guard report says the captain overestimated the strength of the ship, while underestimating the strength of hurricane joaquin, ignoring warnings the storm was intensifying, and failing to change course. when the el faro sank near the bahamas, the captain and 32 crewman drowned. there was chaos and violence today in the catalonia region of northeastern spain, which includes barcelona, as spanish police burst into polling places and used rubber bullets and batons to prevent people from voting for independence.
spain's central government had banned the referendum, though it was nonbinding. catalan health services said close to 800 would-be voters were injured as were a dozen police officers. despite police interference, people were able to cast ballots, but it's unclear how they'll be counted. polls had shown only some 40% of seven million residents of catalonia support breaking away from spain. in france, police are calling today's fatal knife attack in a train station in the southern port city of marseille "a likely terrorist act." witnesses say a man armed with a butcher knife shouted "allahu akbar," or "god is great" in arabic, before stabbing two young women to death. soldiers patrolling the station shot the attacker to death. in canada, the mayor of edmonton, alberta, says last night's attacks on a police officer and pedestrians was a lone wolf terrorist act. canadian police say they found an isis flag inside a car that rammed a barricade outside a football stadium and struck a police officer. the attacker then got out and stabbed him. later, in another part of
edmonton, the same man drove a u-haul van into four pedestrians. police arrested the 30-year old driver after his van flipped over during a high speed chase. the officer's injuries are non- life threatening. no word yet on the others. president trump today seemed at odds with his secretary of state on north korea. a day after secretary rex tillerson confirmed for the first time the u.s. and north korea are in direct contact over its nuclear and missile programs, president trump said on twitter tillerson is "wasting his time trying to negotiate with little rocket man," the term mister trump use to deride north korean leader kim jong un. continuing on twitter, president trump told his top diplomat" save your energy rex, we'll do what has to be done." funding for the children's health insurance program, known as "chip," expired today after congress failed to come up with the necessary $15 billion. created 20 years ago with bipartisan support, "chip" provides insurance for nine million kids whose families make too much to qualify for medicaid but too little to buy their own
insurance. congress is expected to reauthorize the program, but it's not clear when. puerto ricans on the mainland are dealing with their own trauma as they wait to hear from their loved ones. read more at pbs.org/newshour. >> sreenivasan: the maps that carve up our 50 states into 435 congressional districts are drawn through a process known as redistricting. redistricting at the congressional and state level has long been subject to legal checks to prevent problems such as racial discrimination. the question now is whether maps that move the lines solely for partisan reasons, to benefit one party over another, are unconstitutional. in tonight's signature segment, in the first of a two part report, special correspondent jeff greenfield tells us why a case from wisconsin headed to the supreme court on tuesday could trigger a political upheaval nationwide.
>> reporter: on a recent tuesday evening, dozens of wisconsin voters gathered in a milwaukee public library, to hear about a campaign-- aimed not at protecting the right to vote, but about where those votes are cast. the featured speakers were dale schultz and tim cullen, both former state senators, both leaders of opposing political parties in the state senate, but with a common cause: redistricting. >> he's republican and i'm a democrat. a lot of things we don't agree on. we agreed that this issue was a problem. it was just inherently wrong that you can use your raw political power to guarantee yourselves a job. and guarantee yourselves power. >> we need to put the people first. give them the opportunity to pick their representatives. that's what this boils down to. and it's the difference between being a good partisan as opposed to a good patriot. >> reporter: they're talking about "gerrymandering," when legislative maps are drawn to advantage one party over the
other during redistricting, which happens every 10 years after the census. it's a practice almost as old as our country. back in 1812, massachusetts governor elbridge gerry signed off on a highly misshapen district that a newspaper lampooned as a salamander, and labeled it a "gerrymander." in wisconsin, the power to redistrict hadn't belonged to one party for 100 years. but in 2010, republicans won control of the state assembly, the state senate, and the governor's office, and like parties have done throughout american history, they used that power to maximize their political advantage. listening at the library meeting was retired school principal helen harris. she lives on the northwest side of the city with her husband, curt. the 2011 redistricting plan placed their heavily democratic milwaukee neighborhood into a republican-leaning district that stretches far to the northwest past the suburbs into farm country. >> we live in the city.
and now we, our little neighborhood, i think it's like six or 7,000 people were taken and attached to a very strongly republican district. >> reporter: the new district line was just two blocks from her house. so when the district line was redrawn, anything this side of it was moved into the new district? >> that's correct. >> mmm-hmm. >> reporter: in the 2012 election for her district, the republican candidate ran unopposed, winning almost 99% of the vote. >> i don't feel that i have a voice in this district. if every single democrat in this district voted, it wouldn't change anything. and many of the districts have been specifically aligned and created so that that democratic voice will not be heard. >> reporter: moving the harris's from a democratic, milwaukee district into a larger republican area was part of a strategy known as "packing and cracking." heavily democratic milwaukee voters were "packed" together in
fewer districts, while other sections of milwaukee were" cracked" and added to several republican districts, diluting that democratic vote. the result? three fewer democrats in the state assembly representing the milwaukee area. in 2015, helen harris and 11 other wisconsin democrats sued in federal court, alleging the partisan gerrymandering was unconstitutional and deprived their candidates of a fair chance to win. the plaintiffs won in wisconsin and now the supreme court will decide whether the maps went too far. in 2011, republican leadership hired consultants to use mapping software to draw new district lines behind closed doors, in secrecy, and without any input from any democrats. even when republican assembly members were shown their new districts, they had to sign non- disclosure agreements. the impact was clear in 2012, when republicans won 49% of the votes for the state assembly,
had won by over 100,000 votes in wisconsin and yet in the state assembly the republicans ended up with 60 seats. it just didn't make sense to me. >> reporter: helen harris' former state representative, democrat fred kessler, was drawn out of his district. he decided to move to stay in the assembly. >> we had about a 3,500 square foot house, brand new, that we built in 2005, and then they put the whole subdivision out. and my border was four blocks away. we had to sell a house and we had to buy another house and i know it was deliberate on their part. >> reporter: helen harris' new representative was republican don pridemore, who lives near the town of hartford, 20 miles west of milwaukee county. he said he was pleased his district included sections of
the city. >> some people in the district admitted to me that they were republicans, but they were they didn't want me to let anybody know that especially their neighbors. but that's just the way it is the republicans in those wards. we're very happy now that they had somebody to represent them, even though they may have been in the minority. >> reporter: and pridemore says gerrymandering is just normal part of politics. >> i have no doubt that democrats would do the same thing, if not even a little worse than what was done, when we had the opportunity. >> reporter: across the country, state legislatures in the majority use mapping software to protect their incumbents and enable their candidates to win as many seats as possible. so, in some states where republicans dominate, like north carolina, ohio, michigan, and pennsylvania, gerrymandering has helped republicans win a greater percentage of seats than their statewide share of votes. it's happened in democratically drawn states too, like maryland and massachusetts. the supreme court has allowed
partisan gerrymandering in the past, as long there was no intent to racially discriminate, and districts had roughly the same number of people. wisconsin's republican attorney general, brad schimel, thinks the case is motivated by sour grapes. >> that's what democrats in wisconsin are doing is using this as a tool to try to convince voters, 'hey, republicans aren't really winning because of their message or because their candidates, they're winning because they cheated. >> reporter: in winning their case in wisconsin, attorneys for helen harris and her fellow plaintiffs convinced the district court of the republican majorities intent. they also introduced a new metric called the efficiency gap, which measures the number of so-called "wasted" votes in each district, in other words, the number of votes beyond the majority needed to win an election plus the votes cast for the loser. it attempts to quantify the amount of "packing and crackin"" in a legislative map. the argument was designed to appeal to supreme court justice anthony kennedy, who wrote in a 2004 redistricting case that "we
have no basis on which to define, clear, manageable, and politically neutral standards." if a state legislature chooses to draw the lines to maximize its political advantage, are there any circumstances under which that would cross a constitutional line? >> well the united states supreme court hasn't found that line. the majority of the court has concluded that political consequences are both predictable and intended in redistricting efforts. so as long as the legislative political gain built into it as well is not problematic from the court. >> reporter: as for that split between the statewide vote and the large republican majority in the assembly, schimel says that's because of "clustering"- democrats win by massive majorities in milwaukee and madison, while republican votes are spread out more evenly.
>> it is very much a factor that people choose to live in particular places that they are with people who vote like them. i live in the very republican county of waukesha. i'm glad that we aren't close in my county. >> reporter: schimel also argues if the supreme court adopts the efficiency gap as a standard for measuring partisan gerrymandering, it would create chaos for legislative maps all over the country. >> one third of the maps drawn across the last 45 years across america would fail. those consequences are enormous. the litigation will be endless and fruitless. and we'll constantly be back in the court looking at it again, and again, and again until you satisfy whatever judge or judges you're in front of. >> reporter: the supreme court will hear the case this week. and a decision could have implications not only here in wisconsin, but across the country.
>> sreenivasan: for more than a decade, the pentagon has promised to do better handling cases of sexual misconduct in the ranks of the u.s. military, but progress has been slow. while service members are more willing to come forward, the pentagon estimates that nearly 15,000 military members experienced a sexual assault last year. today's "washington post" highlights how a complaint against one senior air force officer was handled, in secret, as 90% of the cases are, and resulted in very little punishment. reporter craig whitlock wrote that article and joins me now from washington. talk about the bigger picture first before we get to this example. how prevalent are sexual assaults? are they getting better or worse? >> well, that's a good question. we don't know, last year there were over 6,000 reported, a new high. the pentagon says that is a sign
of confidence in the system that more people are willing to come forward, at the same time their survey shows that is only a fraction, maybe one-third of the number of people who actually experience sexual assault. the pentagon talks about how a zero tolerance but still several thousand people a year report sexual assault. >> sreenivasan: all right n this particular case you focus in on an air force colonel, what happened? >> so in this case it is an air force colonel named ronald jobo. colonel is a pretty senior officer in the military, one step down from a general. and he was harassing a woman under his command. and he started out harassing her with texts saying he wanted to have a relationship. and it escalated pretty quickly to the point where he was forcefully grabbing her in the office, to the point where he left bruises on her arms. she reported it to the air force. they investigated it promptly but in the end, rather than take this colonel to a court martial and charge him with a crime which is what the investigators
thought the evidence warranted, a three star general who under the military system of justice decided that it was more appropriate to give him a light punishment, discipline, which resulted in him being forced to retire from the air force. but no criminal charges, no jail time, nothing like that. and because it is a disciplinary case t was all handled behind closed doors and there was no public record of it. >> sreenivasan: when i read this story the thing that leapt out at me is sometimes i saw these parallels from the spotlight investigation and how it revealed the malpractices in the catholic church. >> the echo with the church scandal are there, the catholic church leadership repeatedly assured the public and the faithful that they were handling these cases, they were going to be strict and not sweep them under the rug. we heard the same thing from the military leadership. they are imploring sexual assault victims to report the crimes by reassuring they will be taken seriously yet as the cay we found the woman original
leigh was reluctant to report it others in the air force told her no, look, you have to report this. you have to trust the system. if you don't, we will. so she did, and in the end the colonel got off with a very light punishment. it wasn't held accountable in a court of law and she inned up having to transfer to a new job for the air force. so she feels like-- she suffered in the end by reporting it. >> sreenivasan: and besides the actual assaults that she faced and in this specific case, it almost seems to cause a rift in the trust that people have of an institution. >> this is something the military i think has struggled with. a lot of people in the military see up front that these cases once they are involved in it, or they are aware of it are not handled how they are supposed to be. of course that does undermine trust in the system and leads to people either not reporting it or leaving the military or suffering. but it certainly doesn't lead to trust. >> sreenivasan: craig whitlock of "the washington post" joining us today. thanks so much.
>> thank you so much. >> this is pbs newshour weekend, sunday. >> sreenivasan: last night, president trump said it was" very important" that pro football players stand for the national anthem, and today almost everyone did. at the new orleans saints-miami dolphins game, the saints knelt before the anthem, but stood with locked arms during the playing of it, three miami players took a knee during the anthem. so did six players on the buffalo bills and two players on the detroit lions. in cleveland, nine browns stood and raised their fists during the anthem. so did several tennessee titans before their game. there were loud boos in baltimore when the ravens and pittsburgh steelers took a knee before the anthem, the teams stood when the anthem played. some fans booed when the visiting jacksonville jaguars took a knee before the anthem in their game with the new york jets. both teams stood during the anthem, many players with locked arms. football hall-of-famer o.j.
simpson is out of prison. shortly after midnight, simpson left the nevada prison where he served almost nine years of his 33-year sentence for an armed robbery of sports football memorabilia from a las vegas hotel room. the nevada parole board decided in july the 70-year-old simpson posed a minimal safety risk to the public. he's required to stay in nevada. the parole board did not consider simpson's history of domestic violence prior to being accused of murdering his former wife, nicole brown simpson, and her friend, ron goldman. a los angeles jury acquitted simpson of murder charges in 1995, but a civil trial later found him liable for the deaths and ordered him to pay the families $34 million. in germany, same-sex couples got legally married today for the first time. dozens of gay and lesbian couples tied the knot at town halls and civil registry offices that opened on sunday just to mark the occasion. one newly-married couple cut a wedding cake decorated with the rainbow flag. under a law passed by parliament this summer, germany becomes the
23rd country to legalize same- sex marriages. >> sreenivasan: samuel "si" newhouse died today at the age of 89. he was the chairman of advance publications, a media empire that owns dozens of newspapers and conde nast, which includes magazines like "the new yorker"" vogue," and "vanity fair." and television game-show pioneer monty hall, who in 1963, hosted and co-created the still-runni"" let's make a deal" died at his home in beverly hills. he was 96. tomorrow on the newshour, more from puerto rico and on the wisconsin redistricting case, and the start of a special weeklong series on the opioid epidemic, called "america addicted." that's all for this edition of pbs newshour weekend. i'm hari sreenivasan. thanks for watching. have a good night. captioning sponsored by wnet captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org >> pbs newshour weekend is made
possible by: bernard and irene schwartz. the cheryl and philip milstein family. sue and edgar wachenheim, iii. dr. p. roy vagelos and diana t. vagelos. the j.p.b. foundation. the anderson family fund. rosalind p. walter, in memory of abby m. o'neill. 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.
what propelled you to google as the company you wanted to go to? i said, "who cares about a search engine?" i didn't think google was gonna be that successful. was it awkward to kind of come in and be the ceo when you're dealing with founders? it was an immediate click. we do have a dress code. you have a dress code? you have to wear something. okay. it seems as if the driverless car phenomenon is on its way. you've been in one of these cars? yes. and you feel safe? we're doing this to save lives. there's more than 32,000 people scheduled to die this year. the europeans seem to not like google as much as maybe americans do. have you resolve those issues with europe? woman: would you fix your tie please? well, people wouldn't recognize me if my tie was fixed, but okay. just leave it this way. all right. [♪] david: i don't consider myself a journalist.