Skip to main content

tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  October 3, 2017 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT

6:00 pm
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, las vegas mourns-- hospitals remain full with the injured, while authorities struggle to learn a motive for the deadliest mass shooting in modern american history. then, president trump arrives in storm ravaged puerto rico amid criticism of sluggish federal relief efforts tonight we look at one school's for our america addicted series, tonight we look at one school's efforts to help teens fight substance abuse >> high school is hard in general, but it's even harder general, buthen you have this et or extra pressure on your shoulders. >> woodruff: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour.
6:01 pm
>> 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. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: a pall still hangs over the glitz of las vegas tonight. dozens remain critically injured, along with 59 killed outright, in a gunman's assault on a concert, sunday night. investigators say he planned every aspect, even hiding a camera outside his room to keep watch.
6:02 pm
cat wise begins our coverage from las vegas. >> reporter: a day after the deadliest mass shooting in modern history, police and f.b.i. investigators in las vegas worked the crime scene. >> this individual was premeditated. obviously premeditated. i was hoping, i pray in these situations that a citizen-- because we can't be at all places at all times-- that a citizen sees something, says something, and we act on that. >> reporter: they're still trying to understand the gunman, -year-old stephen paddock, a retired accountant turned gambler from mesquite, nevada. for those who survived the rampage, the question of "why?" is paramount. >> i could understand if one person did something to somebody, but this person went on and killed so many people he didn't know, for no reason. >> reporter: on sunday night, paddock poured fire into the crowd of 22,000 people at a country music festival on the las vegas strip. he had stationed himself
6:03 pm
32 floors up in the mandalay bay and resort and casino, knocking out windows for sniper perches. >> you want to stay still, because he's firing at moving objects. that's what he's doing. anybody laying down, that doesn't mean anything to him. in my opinion. so every time he stops, i get up and i move. every time it starts, hunker down. you can just hear the rounds almost, like, creeping up on you, ch-ch-ch. and it feels like they're just, it's like hunting you down. >> reporter: this mobile phone video from last year shows a tour of the exact room that paddock used. police ultimately found him there, dead by his own hand. overnight, vigils for his victims were held around the country. on the university of nevada-las vegas' campus, a moment of silence. >> what happened is heartbreaking, and it's scary, because it could have been us. it could have been anybody. >> reporter: all told, more than 500 people were wounded, some hit by bullets, some by shrapnel. others were injured jumping over fences, or getting trampled. at university medical center of
6:04 pm
southern nevada, trauma surgeon dr. jay coates says they arrived in droves. >> lung contusions, liver, spleen contusions, a number of other injuries. vascular injuries. broken bones. you name it, we saw it last night. like a war zone last >> reporter: police say paddock stockpiled at least 23 firearms in his hotel room, some with scopes. he also had a pair of so-called "bump stocks," used to modify weapons and make them fully automatic. and at the gunman's home, 19 more guns, explosives and thousands of rounds of ammunition. in washington today, democrats, including congressman mike thompson of california, opened a new drive for what they call "common-sense" gun laws. >> it's also important to note that yesterday's mass murder marks the 272nd time that we've experienced a mass shooting this year.
6:05 pm
things are absolutely out of control. >> reporter: on the republican side, majority leader mitch mcconnell said discussions of gun violence should wait until the investigation in las vegas is over. house speaker paul ryan focused on mental health issues. >> so i think it's important that, as we see dust settle and we see what was behind some of these tragedies, mental health reform is a critical ingredient to making sure we can try to prevent some of these things from happening. >> reporter: president trump weighed in on the shooter, as he left the white house, on his way to puerto rico. >> he was a sick man, a demented man. lot of problems, i guess. and we are looking into him very, very seriously. but, we are dealing with a very, very sick individual. we'll be talking about gun laws as time goes by. >> reporter: the president will be in las vegas tomorrow.
6:06 pm
hospitals around the area continue to care for the wounded. earlier today i spoke with dr. john file, medical director of the u.m.c. trauma unit. i began by asking him to describe the scene late sunday night into early monday morning. >> while the shots were being fired, we were notified, and the hospital went on disaster drill. first wave came in, and they were mostly delivered by e.m.s. units. we got them all into beds. we started treating them. we started to get them into the operating rooms, the i.c.u., and so forth. and then the second wave came, and that was largely in private vehicles. >> what kind of injuries were you seeing? >> mostly gunshot wounds. we saw a number of patients who were injured fleeing the scene. so we saw some pedestrians that were hit by cars. we saw some people who had fallen. we saw people who had been trampled. >> how do you view these things and your sense of how many you were going to get? >> well, we anticipated a large number of patients. we didn't know how severely they would be injured. the science of disaster medicine
6:07 pm
tells us that the people that are going to die will largely die on the scene. many people will be walking wounded and will flee the scene, and then there will be a smaller number of critical injuries. the night of the incident, i went through the rooms. we had about 30 or 40 people on stretch ers. i went around to every one of them and talked to them and examined them and spoke to them. the ones that were awake and alert were even holding pressure on their own wounds and telling me that it's okay for me to take care of the sick ones. >> what did you make of that? >> tremendous resilience. and the people were really selfless. the community responded. >> what does the road to recovery look like for the patients here, but especially those that are the most severely injured? >> those patients will have temporary disabilities. they'll have to be attended to and system of them will have permanent disabilities. we try to channel those patients into rehabilitation programs
6:08 pm
where they can get physical therapy and occupational training and post-traumatic stress management. those patients typically do quite well. >> we're talking a matter of certainly months, perhaps even years. >> it's not uncommon that patients spend up to six months trying to recover, restore their strength and abilities to go back the work. >> how are you and your colleagues coping? >> we're all really tired. but as you walk around, you see this tremendous sense of pride that everybody has. what we've done, we're just glad that we could be there. and people never want to go to a trauma center until they have to go to one, and we're just glad we could be here. >> woodruff: that was kat wise reporting from las vgas. in the day's other news, president trump got a first-hand look at hurricane damage on puerto rico. he spent much of the day on the u.s. territory, after rejecting criticism of his administration's response.
6:09 pm
he also said that puerto ricans we'll have a full report, later in the program. the trump administration today ordered 15 cuban diplomats to leave the united states within one week. it's meant to match the withdrawal of 60% of u.s. diplomats from havana. the state department defended the moves today, citing unexplained attacks on americans in cuba, that damage hearing and vision. >> we have certainly been harmed in our ability to do our jobs down there, okay? and now cuba we have this-- not reciprocity-- but something of similar sorts where they don't have the ability to conduct their operations just like we can't-- >> so this is a punishment? >> no this is not a punishment. this is not a punishment. >> woodruff: cuba called the u.s. move "unjustified." the pentagon is backing diplomatic efforts with north korea, after president trump disparaged the idea.
6:10 pm
over the weekend, he tweeted that secretary of state rex tillerson was "wasting his time trying to negotiate" with kim jong-un. today, defense secretary jim mattis weighed in on the issue, at a senate hearing. >> the defense dept supports fully secretary tillerson's efforts to find a diplomatic solution. i believe that secretary tillerson is accurately stating that we are probing for opportunities to talk with the north. all that we are doing is probing. we're not talking with them, consistent with the president's dismay about not talking with them before the time is right. >> woodruff: separately, mattis said he believes iran is "fundamentally" in compliance with the terms of its nuclear deal. president trump has accused iran of violating the spirit of the deal. this year's nobel prize in physics goes to three scientists who were the first to detect gravitational waves in space. the announcement in stockholm
6:11 pm
today named americans barry barish and kip thorne of the california institute of technology, and german-born rainer weiss of the massachusetts institute of technology. >> i would love to be able to talk to albert einstein right now if i could and tell him about, that we've seen gravitation waves because he was skeptical about that and i would be even more pleased to tell him about black holes, which he was very skeptical about. >> woodruff: einstein predicted gravitational waves, or faint ripples in space and time, a century ago, but doubted they could ever be confirmed. today's nobel winners detected waves caused by the collision of two black holes more than a billion light-years away. the former c.e.o. of equifax publicly apologized today for the credit bureau's massive data breach. the theft potentially affects
6:12 pm
more than 145 million americans. richard smith told a house hearing that equifax is working to restore consumer trust. lawmakers from both parties charged the company's response has been "confusing" and "inadequate". yahoo now says its data breach in 2013 affected all three billion of its accounts at the time. that's three times larger than initially reported. the company says it's notifying the additional account holders via email. and on wall street, the dow jones industrial average gained 84 points to close at 22,641. the nasdaq rose nearly 15, and the s&p 500 added five. still to come on the newshour: the guns the las vegas shooter used in sunday's deadly attack. president trump's trip to storm- ravaged puerto rico. a supreme court case that could change the makeup of congress, and much more.
6:13 pm
>> woodruff: we remember now some of the victims of the tragedy in las vegas. they were mothers and fathers, siblings and teachers, veterans and colleagues. here are 12 of the 59 people who died in sunday's shooting, and what loved ones have said about them. 59-year-old john phippen owned a home remodeling company. "he had a heart that was larger than life and a personality to match," a neighbor said. angie gomez graduated high school two years ago. she was a "fun-loving young lady," her school district commented. she "always challenged herself academically." 34-year-old charleston hartfield was a las vegas police officer. "this man was not just a good man, he was a great man," one of his friends said. "as kind as they come and cared
6:14 pm
about everyone." >> 53-year-old susan smith was an office manager at a california elementary school. from its parent-teacher association: "she was a wonderful woman, an advocate for our children, and a friend." 28-year-old christopher roybal served in afghanistan. a colleague noted, "if your car broke down in the middle of the night, you could call him and he would come help you." 29-year-old sonny melton was a nurse. the white house said he shielded his wife from the bullets, saving her life. jennifer irvine was a lawyer in san diego. a friend and business partner said she was a "kind, generous and beautiful lady." 50-year-old stacee etcheber was a hair-dresser in novata, california. she was a "loving wife" and a "great mother," her brother-in- law commented. "tough as nails and just the salt of the earth." bill wolfe, jr. was a wrestling
6:15 pm
coach in pennsylvania. "every child mattered to him," said the aunt of one wrestler. canadian mechanic's apprentice jordan mcildoon was just shy of his 24th birthday. his family said he was a "compassionate young man who lived a life full of adventures." 34-year-old carrie barnette worked at disneyland. disney c.e.o. robert iger said she was beloved by her friends and colleagues, and a "wonderful member of the disney family." neysa tonks worked at a technology firm. the company noted she was a "great mother, colleague and friend" who "brought so much joy, fun and laughter." and we will remember other victims in the days to come. while the killer's motives remain unclear, we are learning more about the veritable arsenal this man brought into his hotel room. william brangham explains how some of those weapons were
6:16 pm
likely modified to increase the horrendous death toll of the concertgoers below. >> brangham: you can hear it in those horrible cell phone videos from sunday night. ( gunfire ) that rapid fire is virtually impossible for one person to do, unless you're using a fully- automatic weapon. fully-automatic means one pull of the trigger fires a continuous stream of bullets. it continues firing until you release the trigger, or run out of ammunition. that's certainly what the video from las vegas sounded like, but it's been illegal to sell automatic weapons since 1986, when ronald reagan signed a law that banned them. they were considered too deadly for civilians to own. existing owners in most states were grandfathered in, and those can be sold, but no new sales to civilians have been allowed since. so how was the killer able to shoot so many rounds, so quickly? one clue is right here. this is one of his guns from that hotel room. see this part of the gun?
6:17 pm
that's an added modification known as a "bump-stock," and it's likely one of the ways he was able to kill so many people, so quickly. a bump stock is one of several ways that people now modify a legal, semi-automatic weapon into acting like a fully- automatic machine gun. youtube is full of videos of manufacturers and their customers showing how these easy, inexpensive bump-stocks perform. ( gunfire ) attach a high-capacity magazine, like this one that holds maybe 100 rounds, and these weapons become virtually indistinguishable from automatic weapons. another common modification is the so-called "gat crank," where this small silver crank is inserted into the trigger mechanism of a semi-automatic
6:18 pm
weapon, making it act like a fully-automatic one. these current modifications are not technically illegal, because, remember, a gun is only considered "fully automatic" if one pull of the trigger unleashes that continuous volley. these devices don't do that. they just dramatically speed up the actual firing mechanism of the gun, so they can still be legally sold to anyone under federal law. right now, you can find them at sporting goods stores, at walmart, and all over the internet. for the pbs newshour, i'm william brangham. >> woodruff: the attack has opened up once again many questions over guns. it's a debate that comes up repeatedly after mass shootings. but little has changed in many years. we're going to begin our own series of conversations on the subject tonight. and for that, we are joined by democratic senator richard blumenthal of connecticut, and senator, thank you for joining us. i want to ask you about this new information that the shooter was apparently able to modify some of these weapons in order to
6:19 pm
make them even more lethal. what does that say to you? >> if evidence of the use of a bump stock as well as semi-automatic weapon, a weapon of war, along with a high-capacity magazine shows the need to ban those devices, which are designed simply to kill and maim other human beings. they have no legitimate wreck relational or -- recreational or hunting purpose. what it shows me very dramatically is nothing has changed since the tragedy of newtown, connecticut, when the same kinds of weapons, semi-automatic, were used to kill 20 beautiful children and six great educators. >> woodruff: what could be done about these so-called bump stocks, this relatively inexpensive device? >> very simply they should be banned. we have a bill to do so which we'll introduce, as well as banning the semi-automatic, which were designed as weapons
6:20 pm
of war along with the high capacity magazines. all of these devices very simply enable the kind of mass shooting that unfortunately occurs all too often and obviously in las vegas caused heartbreaking, gut-wrenching kind of tragedy we saw. >> woodruff: senator, we see after almost every one of these mass shootings an examination of what kind of gun the perpetrator used and then an movement to do something about that weapon or that device, but nothing much if anything has come of it. what makes you think that now the time is right to try again? >> this nation often reaches a tipple point, as it did after the near assassination of ronald reagan, but it took ten years. so it's a marathon, not a sprint, and what we need to recognize is that the tipping
6:21 pm
point comes through awareness and education and continued persistent advocacy, which is to mobilize people in the same way the nra has done. the major obstacle to common sense measures like background checks and the ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and bump stocks and closing a number of the loopholes that enable domestic violence, which is a major cause of death, is very simply to break the grip of the nra. we must break the grip of the nra which will be done through mobilizing the american people. >> woodruff: if something had been done before this about the semi-automatic weapon, about the so-called bump stock device, could that have prevented this incident? >> there is no guarantee ever, judy, that a single law will prevent this kind of mass tragedy, but 59 deaths occurred
6:22 pm
in las vegas, 92 deaths every day occur in america across the country as a result of gun violence. and we can at least save lives. would it have prevented the las vegas atrocity, that unspeakable tragedy? we will never know, but it might have, and we can definitely prevent such mass shootings by adopting these kinds of common sense measures. >> woodruff: i want to ask you again, though, senator, about the climate, because as you know, this has been tried, gun control advocates have tried in recent years again and again. this country is so divideed. the polls show most republicans oppose most kinds of gun control, most democrats favor it. there's another poll i saw today showing most trump voters oppose gun control, those who voted against donald trump feel the other way. how do you get a concensus? how do you reach a majority under these circumstances?
6:23 pm
>> the polls also show that more than 90% of americans favor background checks. if you ask an ordinary american, are you in favor of criminals or people with records of dangerous ness, with severe mental issues having easy access to these weapons of war, they will say no. and the congress has to reflect the american people. if we can provide the kind of groundswell and grassroots advocacy that is building in this country and will reach a tipping point, i think we can win in congress, but it will take persistent advocacy and prayers and condolences are appropriate, they're necessary, they're not enough. and that's what we need more of. >> woodruff: but background checks, tougher background checks wouldn't have prevented this shooter from getting these weapons, would they have? >> not this shooter, but the
6:24 pm
trap that is laid by the opponents here is to point to one or another instance of gun violence and say, one or another specific reform would not have prevented it. maybe that one wouldn't have, but others would, and the combination, the strategy of combining hese measures is absolutely necessary. an we can save lives. to say you can't prevent all tragedies, there are going to be some, but that's a false analogy. >> woodruff: just finally, senator, what about the white house comment yesterday, again today, that it's just too early to be talking about laws. the investigation is not nearly over here. >> the investigation will continue, and we'll learn more about this horrible human tragedy, but we should honor the victims through action. we can say enough is enough, and
6:25 pm
take advantage of the moment, seize this moment, and make sure that we honor the victims through action. >> woodruff: connecticut senator richard blumenthal. senator, thank you. >> woodruff: now, to puerto rico, and president trump's visit today, two weeks after hurricane "maria". it was a chance to view the devastation and meet the victims, and politics was never far away. special correspondent monica villamizar reports from san juan. >> reporter: the president and first lady touched down at the air national guard base outside san juan, to be greeted by governor ricardo rosello. >> right from the beginning, this governor did not play politics. he didn't play it at all. he was saying it like it was,
6:26 pm
and he was giving us the highest grades. >> reporter: he also pointed to the island's relatively low official death count of 16, as of several days ago. >> if you look at a real catastrophe, like katrina, and you look at the tremendous, hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people that died, and you look at what happened here with really a storm that was just totally overpowering, >> reporter: the president's chief critic on the island, san juan mayor carmen yulin cruz, also greeted him today. she had accused the administration of "killing us with inefficiency." he fired back over the weekend, branding the mayor a "poor leader" and a "politically motivated ingrate." and, he said people on the ravaged island "want everything done for them." >> thank you very much. >> before departing the white
6:27 pm
house, the president again said puerto ricans need to do more. and once there he turned to the issue of the cost of recovery. >> now, i hate to tell you, puerto rico, >> i hate to tell you, puerto rico, you've thrown our budget a little out of whack. we've spent a lot of money on puerto rico. >> reporter: opinions over the presidential visit were divided in places like the low-income san juan neighborhood called playita. we met two cousins, jeremy agosto and juan gauche. >> i like him. i mean, if he helps us, i like him. >> we need some benefits! >> of course! we have to help puerto rico. i mean, we're screwed. >> reporter: down the road, a young fisherman, edgar santiago. he lives with his grandmother in a house right next to the airport, where the president landed. the storm killed half his chickens and flooded his home, but he said he's willing to give president trump a chance. >> ( translated ): we have to wait. but if he doesn't help, he's going to have a really hard time with the people here. >> reporter: mr. trump met some of the locals today, as he
6:28 pm
toured a town near san juan. >> we're gonna help you out. >> reporter: inside a church, the president threw paper towels and other supplies into a crowd. he did not experience the long lines of people in need, waiting, and then waiting some more, for virtually everything. >> everybody wants to take out money from the bank because the machines are not working, so that's why. because of maria, we don't have service, internet service, almost everything, no electricity. >> reporter: just 45% of puerto ricans have access to clean water. in manati, on the island's northern coast, people drink-- and bathe-- from a precious stream. >> ( translated ): from all towns of puerto rico, people come here. they nourish themselves from this blessing because right now this is most valued, i think even more than gasoline. >> reporter: aid is now pouring in, but little has reached some of the most damaged areas. but after his tour, the president praised the work he saw.
6:29 pm
>> i think the job of the first responders has been something that we have never seen before. >> reporter: he also met today with governor kenneth mapp of the u.s. virgin islands, also devastated by hurricane maria. this evening, the presidential and returned to washington. but for the 3.5 million puerto rican, recovery is just getting started. judy? >> woodruff: monica, you mentioned in your report a place, this neighborhood near where the president's plane landed and what it's like for the people who live there. tell us a little bit more about the difference between their circumstances and some of the places where the president visited today. >> absolutely. these are neighborhoods that are in the capital, san juan, which has received most of the aid, first responders, et cetera, and yet, judy, up until yesterday they haven't received a single drop of aid. they had s.o.s. signs on the highways. we saw them here when they landed, and this is 13 days
6:30 pm
after the storm. we understand they got some food pthings are very desperate ther, the sewage system flooded. people are sick. it is quite a dire situation, and people are saying they really want hope to materialize on the ground in the form of more supplies and basic needs coming to them. >> woodruff: monocash -- monica, the president had some comments for the people of puerto rico while he was, there including what he said, comparing this hurricane maria and its effect on puerto rico to katrina. how are people reacting to that? >> well, that's a very good question. people are not happy at all. i mean, to give our viewers some context, people here were already upset. trump's image here wasn't great already because of the slow response obviously, but also because of his tweets where he kept saying that puerto ricans were not doing enough to help themselves when really on the ground the community effort was huge. now, when he said the katrina comment, people here were telling us, that's not fair. of course there hasn't been as
6:31 pm
much loss of life as katrina saw, but for us we lost everything. we lost our livelihoods. this is a tragedy, and it is devastating. they didn't really appreciate that, nor the fact that trump said that the budget was already being stretched out because of aid the puerto rico. everybody is really paying close attention to the funding, how much money would be allocated, because it will have an impact here on the streets. >> woodruff: finally, quickly, how are people reacting to this sort of back-and-forth between president trump and the mayor of san juan? they've had a back and forth going. he saw her briefly today. >> he did and everybody was anticipating, you know, if beth of them were to meet, what the reaction was going to be like. she's been quite vocal against him and his officials, saying they are out of touch with people on the island, and it's important to say she's serving her political platform that wants more sovereignty for puerto rico and is voicing a
6:32 pm
generalized feeling that puerto rico is a commonwealth and has been treated as a coolny, not really a lot of people paying a lot of attention to the needs here, a huge disconnect between the mainland and what goes goes on on the island. but people were hoping she also tries to work with the administration and works to get as much aid as possible because they need it desperately on the ground. >> woodruff: monica villamizar doing some great reporting for us on the ground in puerto rico. thank you, monica. >> thank you, judy. >> woodruff: stay with us, coming up on the newshour: we visit a school for students recovering from opioids addiction. and remembering american rocker tom petty. but first, the u.s. supreme court began its new term this week with a full bench of nine justices and a jam-packed docket.
6:33 pm
today's case, on partisan gerrymandering, has the potential to reshape american politics as we know it. our regular court watcher, marcia coyle will join lisa desjardins to breakdown the arguments. the case centers on a redistricting map in wisconsin, and that's where special correspondent jeff greenfield begins. >> reporter: the 2012 elections brought good news to wisconsin democrats. president obama carried the state for a second time, and the party won 174,000 more votes for the state assembly than republicans. but that did not mean democrats would control the state assembly. in fact, republicans wound up with 60 of the 99 seats. 61% of the seats after winning only 49% of the votes. was that because so many democrats were clustered in urban districts in madison and milwaukee? bill whitford didn't think so. the retired law professor and lifelong democrat believed the
6:34 pm
way the district lines were drawn had effectively rigged the election. >> the value that's clearly at stake is that majorities should rule. democrats got a majority in the statewide assembly vote and they got less than 40% of the seats in the assembly. i mean that made it very clear that we had no chance. >> reporter: whitford is the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit asking a federal court to strike down a legislative map because of a partisan gerrymander, and last year a district court agreed. while both parties have gerrymandered, since the 2010 census, it's mostly helped republicans, because they've controlled the legislature and governor's office in many more states. the brennan center for justice in new york has found what it calls "extreme maps"-- where partisan bias largely from gerrymandering, currently gives the republican party a net benefit of 16 or 17 seats in the house of representatives, where republicans have a 23 seat majority.
6:35 pm
>> we're talking about where you grab and lock in a large share of seats and make it impossible for the party to-- the other party to win seats. >> reporter: the center's michael li co-authored extreme maps and a legal brief that supports the wisconsin challenge. if the court goes your way, it's fair to say this is a big deal? >> this would be a very big deal. the court has never put partisan gerrymandering out of bounds in the same way that it's put racial gerrymandering out of bounds or other things out of bounds. >> reporter: li notes that prominent republicans, including two presidential nominees and a 2016 presidential candidate, back the effort to limit partisan gerrymandering. but rick esenberg, president of the wisconsin institute for law and liberty, a conservative group, says such limits would be a judicial nightmare. >> the problem that the courts have had, and this problem goes back 30, 40, 50 years, is judges have been unable to identify such a judicially manageable standard. >> reporter: esenberg filed a
6:36 pm
supreme court brief supporting the existing maps and arguing that wisconsin's assembly districts follow all of the existing redistricting rules: they're compact, contiguous, and encompass communities of interest. a court-imposed change, he says, is itself political. >> you're essentially imposing a constitutional obligation to gerrymander for competitiveness, that is, a constitutional requirement to compensate for the natural disadvantage that democratic voters might have. that, it seems to me, is every bit as partisan as what the republicans been accused of doing. >> reporter: last year, i spoke with north carolina republican state representative david lewis, who co-chaired the redistricting committee, who freely says partisanship is perfectly legitimate. >> i think it's more honest and upfront to say that as a republican, i'm going to follow the law, i'm going to follow the rules of the law, and if there is a discretionary decision to
6:37 pm
be made, i will make it from my partisan point of view. >> reporter: like lewis, wisconsin's republican attorney general, brad schimel, adds: nonpartisanship is just an illusion. >> we could all dream of finding the unicorn that takes all the politics out of these things. but there's a reality that the supreme court has recognized that you can't take the politics out of this. >> reporter: in some states, there is no partisan fighting about legislative lines, because the politicians don't draw those lines. in those states, the power to draw lines has been taken away from the legislature and placed in other hands. the biggest is california, where former republican governor arnold schwarzenegger backed referenda that created an independent commission to handle redistricting. three other states now take a similar approach. >> arnold, arnold, arnold! >> reporter: schwarzenegger says when he became governor in 2003, members of congress were entrenched and protected.
6:38 pm
>> we had 265 congressional elections in a 10 year period, and only one changed party hands. i always made a joke that there's more changeover in a former soviet politburo than we have here in california. >> reporter: schwarzenegger says since the independent commission took over the process, the state legislature has become less polarized. he believes that's the key to creating less partisan districts and relieving gridlock in washington. >> for decades now, been talking about immigration reform. it can't get done. you have for decades people talking about in washington how important it is to rebuild our infrastructure. it can't get done. it is a dysfunctional system. and it's dysfunctional because of our gerrymandering. >> reporter: if the supreme court upholds the lower court's findings, it could mean legislative maps across the country will be challenged-and a radically different terrain for the battle for control of the congress. for the pbs newshour, i'm jeff greenfield.
6:39 pm
>> desjardins: and here now to discuss today's arguments, is marcia coyle, chief washington correspondent for the national law journal. she was in the courtroom. >> this is an issue almost as hold as our country itself but something that has not been definitively resolved by the supreme court. can you remind us of the last time the court talked about this? and its significance? >> absolutely. the court took up a case out of pennsylvania in 2003 and decided it in 2004 and basically said, we can't decide this. there is no way to measure when a partisan redistricting has gone so far that it violates the constitution. one of the justices... one of the five who said that was justice kennedy, but he wrote separately to say, you know, years to come, there may be some way to measure this, science, social science will evolve to the point where there will be a standard, and today in the supreme court, the challengers to the wisconsin plan offered
6:40 pm
them several standards. >> and justice kennedy was quoted in many of the very long briefs here. so what did justice kennedy say today, and what did other justices, especially the chief justice roberts say in. >> justice kennedy did not give the challengers a hard time at all. in fact, he asked questions of them. but he did give the state of wisconsin a rather difficult time, and we took away from that that he may think that perhaps it is time for the court to accept one of the standards that's being offered, especially in a district where it appeared that most of the justices seemed to feel this one may have gone a bit too far. >> and chief justice roberts talked about the institution of the court itself. can you talk about the stakes he sees on the table here? >> this is really a fascinating argument, lee system. you saw the policy considerations playing out in different ways. the chief justice said, look, you know, if we strike down a redistricting map like wisconsin
6:41 pm
and the decision favors the republicans or it favors the democrats and we say the reason we did it is because of a mathematical formula, the average person on the street is going to say, and these are his words, "what a bunch of baloney," that we really voted because you had maybe five democratic or republican-appointed justices. what is that going to do to the integrity of the institution of the supreme court? it's going to throw us into the thick of politics. on the other hand, you had justice ginsburg offering different policy concerns. she said, what about the precious right to vote? what incentive is there going to be for people to vote if the deck is always stacked in favor of one political party? >> i'm wondering about this. is this one of those cases where whatever the justices decide could have a very quick impact on how our politicians act, whether they uphold this map or reject it? can you talk about what crowd
6:42 pm
happen? >> absolutely. as the lawyer for the wisconsin challengers pointed out, the court is the only institution right now that can deal with what he said is the cusp of a very serious problem. if the court doesn't come up with some kind of test in 2020, after the census, he said there will be a festival of copycat partisan gerrymanders the like of which we've never seen, and that, he said, presents a serious problem for democracy, as justice ginsburg pointed out, the right to vote is our most fundamental right. >> woodruff:>> marcia coyle, i o see what happens to this case. we'll be here to talk to you about it. >> lisa, our viewers can listen to the audio on friday on the supreme court web site. >> perfect. thank you, marcia coyle. >> my pleasure. >> woodruff: and now to our series "america addicted."
6:43 pm
drug use has been down among teenagers but mortality is rising and that is leading many to seek out new options for their children. the newshour's pamela kirkland went to look at how one so- called recovery school in indianapolis is giving new hope to students battling addiction. it's part of our weekly "making the grade" look at education. >> i went from using downers, mixing alcohol and xanax, which then i'd use uppers like cocaine. and then i'd go through phases where i'd just use anything i could possibly use. >> i've messed around with heroin, oxys, perc, any and everything pretty much. life just went on that downhill spiral and i let it take me there. >> reporter: francie wilcox and nick shirkey are two of about 30 students who attend hope academy in indianapolis. all of them have struggled with substance abuse. >> thank you for taking part in the circle and your willingness to support the community. >> reporter: twice a week, their day starts here, in a circle modeled after the teachings of alcoholics anonymous.
6:44 pm
students lay out their goals... >> what will life be like when i'm clean? >> reporter: their regrets... >> reporter: ...and their sobriety dates. >> my clean date is july 17th. >> reporter: hope academy is one of nearly 40 recovery schools in the u.s. when it comes to kicking a drug habit, experts say simply being young is a major hurdle. only half of treatment centers across the country accept teenagers. that's why recovery schools like these are becoming increasingly popular. >> i get a call probably once a week from somebody saying, "hey, i saw your school, we really want to start a school, how did you start that, can you help us?" >> reporter: in 2006, rachelle gardner started hope academy to help students who have fallen behind because of addiction. >> they're pretty normal kids. they got the same issues, they just so happen to have this disease along with it. and we look at it as a disease instead of just a behavioral problem. >> reporter: hope is a public charter school, meaning it's tuition free, and must take any
6:45 pm
student who qualifies. the school is attached to an inpatient treatment facility, and traditional subjects like math, english, and history are offered in small classroom settings. alongside a constant emphasis on recovery. students are randomly drug tested, and attend 12-step meetings, they also meet one a week with brad trolson. >> it's an easy thing to forget that we have control. >> reporter: he's the school's recovery coach and also in recovery himself. we first met trolson in june while he was meeting with 17 year-old francie, who had just relapsed days before at a weekend party. >> this was like you just start to get into recovery and you literally just sit there and think, "who am i? what do i even like if i am not getting high or hanging out with ally-- it teaches our kidsisto
6:46 pm
that drug use and alcohol use is really a deeply ingrained part of being a kid, and a lot of our students have fallen prey to that idea, and to such an extent that they really don't know who they are as a teenager without it. >> reporter: francie says she's struggled with self-harm and an eating disorder for years. she began drinking in sixth grade because she wanted to feel grown-up. >> it didn't progress super fast, i would drink on the weekend, but eventually it did start to go into smoking, and pills, and other kinds of things. >> reporter: before coming to hope, francie entered three separate residential treatment programs. >> addiction, literally, starts to control your entire life. >> it was at the point where we would say, "i think we're going to have to get used to the idea that we might be burying our daughter. >> reporter: francie's mom, mary ann wilcox, says she and her
6:47 pm
husband felt scared and helpless. so from their home in savannah, georgia, they made a difficult decision. >> my husband suggested maybe we look into this school in indianapolis and we could live here for a couple of years 'till she gets through high school. and then go back to georgia. because there was nothing anywhere in the southeastern corner really for us to get her services. >> reporter: that's all too common, says andy finch of vanderbilt university, he's one of the nation's leading experts on recovery schools. >> many places just don't have many adolescent options available, and a lot of times, the options that exist might be too costly for a family to afford. >> reporter: finch recently authored a report on the effectiveness of recovery schools versus traditional high schools for teenagers who have struggled with drug addiction. he found that nearly 60% of students in recovery high schools reported not having relapsed in the sixth months
6:48 pm
that followed treatment. that compares to just 30% of students in regular high schools. >> teenagers who are struggling with addiction are having to face a lot of peer pressure, and they struggle sometimes if they're trying to stop using, to find friends who aren't using, to find adults that know how to handle that and what to do with it. and often the place where they're either finding drugs or finding friends who are using drugs is in their school. >> reporter: finch also says that many adults in treatment admit to first using drugs while in high-school, meaning this age is crucial to combating lifelong addiction. >> high school is hard in general, but it's even harder when you have this extra weight or extra pressure on your shoulders. >> reporter: nick shirkey spent much of his early childhood in the foster care system, where he says he was abused and neglected. he started using drugs at age 12. >> at birth, i weighed one pound six ounces. i was born addicted to methamphetamines.
6:49 pm
my parents were real bad addicts. they didn't care. they just wanted their next high. >> reporter: nick tried a treatment facility, but relapsed earlier this year. this is his second attempt at hope academy. >> most of our students, they're not just substance users. they come with a lot of trauma. they come with a lot of mental and emotional issues that, once they get clean and sober, now those things really start to surface. >> reporter: in many ways, 18- year-old ian lewis represents hope academy at its best. he started using drugs in middle school, moving from marijuana and alcohol to prescription opiates and cocaine. after two years ian graduated in june as co-valedictorian. he is now a freshman studying biology at indiana-purdue university in indianapolis. >> if you would've asked me two years ago, i probably would've told you i didn't think i was going to college because my grades weren't there, but i turned it around after i got
6:50 pm
into this recovery process. >> reporter: but ian says hope academy can only do so much for recovery, but it's not going to save you if you don't want to be saved. some of these kids out here, they don't want to stop using, and that's when hope isn't really effective because they aren't using it. >> sometimes you just forget. you think, "well, maybe i can drink or maybe i can smoke or maybe if i go to this party, i can use a little bit of coke if it's recreationally." >> reporter: when we visited francie again in august, she had relapsed for the second time in three months. >> just reminds you that, "i don't drink and use like other people do. i have no limits. i have no boundaries. i just whatever i can do, i do," and that's not a right way of thinking. >> reporter: but a relapse doesn't mean the end at hope. >> so we can't be a no tolerance school. we have to be accepting because relapse is part of the disease regardless of how old you are. >> reporter: francie has been assigned more focused recovery classes, where students complete their coursework one-on-one with their teachers.
6:51 pm
her mom, mary ann wilcox, says she remains hopeful, but she admits, these last few months haven't been easy. >> it feels devastating. you know, you want so much for the whole thing to be over. it reminds you that it's not, it's forever. it's something she will have forever, that we will be dealing with forever, and she will be dealing with forever. >> reporter: as for francie, she says despite her setbacks, she can't imagine life without this school. do you worry what might happen if hope doesn't work for you? >> yeah. i worry a lot. in a regular high school, i don't think i'd even be alive. >> reporter: there's been little research into the long-term outcomes for those who attend recovery schools, but for the students here, they still have hope. from indianapolis, i'm pamela kirkland for the pbs newshour.
6:52 pm
>> tune in tomorrow night. can pain be treated without addictive drugs? we have the latest on scientific discoveries on pain and how best to treat it. and online, our and online, our newest pbs newshour/marist new poll finds a majority of americans feel the president has not done enough to combat the opioid crisis. you can find our analysis and the full results at >> woodruff: and before we go tonight, we want to mark the passing of a legend of rock and roll. tom petty died last night at the age of 66. he is one of the best selling music artists of all time. our hari sreenivasan has more now on tom petty's life and legacy with ann powers of npr. he began by asking her about petty's significance in the history of rock and roll music. >> tom petty was a bridge figure in the world of rock and romp he
6:53 pm
emerged in the late '70s as parted of a power pop wave but connecting classic rock and even early rock 'n' roll to what came later, to the new sounds of the '80s. petty was as much a beetles me natic and an heir to the beetles as he was to southern rock. he really connected so many different elements, and he was man of the people. his music touch the people and spoke of regular folk. >> he just finished a 40th anniversary tour. this is a band that lasted a long time, which is pretty rare to do in the music industry. >> absolutely. i think so many people loved tom petty because his music resonated in so many corners. you know, it was melodic. it is a joy and a pleasure to listen to. >> sreenivasan:it also has a gr. it has heartland feel. the stories he told were often of heartland feel, american girls and boys.
6:54 pm
he had that fan base that never faded and was intergenerational. >> sreenivasan: and he was well respected. with george harrison, roy orbison, bob harrison. >> petty connected those figures. he connected orbison and dylan and harrison to each other. he is that glue. and i think we'll remember him that way. he was a great pop craftsman. he wrote some of the most memorable songs of my lifetime, you know, a song like "american girl," a song like "free fallin" you don't make better singles than that. he was a great rocker with his band. >> sreenivasan: all right. ann powers of npr, thank you so much. >> thank you so much. ♪ hey hey baby, there ain't ♪ no easy way out i won't back ♪ hey i will stand my ground and i won't back down ♪
6:55 pm
>> woodruff: he's brilliant and he touched our heart. and that's the newshour for tonight. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you and see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> the ford foundation. working with visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide. >> carnegie corporation of new york. supporting innovations in education, democratic engagement, and the advancement of international peace and security. at >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions
6:56 pm
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. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh
6:57 pm
6:58 pm
6:59 pm
7:00 pm
♪ - okay, if i asked you to make a list of the great american culinary hits, you might include regional barbecue, or maybe layer cakes, apple pie à la mode, southern cornbread. but in terms of ingredients, american ingredients, you'd have to say peanut butter. well, in the middle east, of course, they use tahini, which is made from sesame seeds, not peanuts. but the thing about tahini is, it has a slight bitterness and savoriness to it. so we'd like to use it as an ingredient. and we're going to make some turkish meatballs


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on