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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  October 31, 2017 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT

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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: a chaotic scene on the streets of new york city. a motorist drives into pedestrians and cyclists in lower manhattan, leaving a trail of death and injury. then, tech giants testify before a senate committee on how russians used social media to influence the 2016 presidential election. and, home alone. how millions of chinese children are forced to raise themselves and their siblings, while their parents move to the city to work. also ahead, fighting childhood obestiy with farm-fresh food. as a neighborhood's access to healthy food dwindles,
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preschoolers learn to grow their own produce. >> the bus system ends at about 5:00 p.m. every day, so-- it doesn't run on the weekends either. it kind of creates this little island after 5:00, and there's nowhere to go for fresh food. >> woodruff: all that and more, on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪
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>> collette. celebrating 100 years of travel, together. >> babbel. a language app that teaches real-life conversations in a new language, like spanish, french, german, italian, and more. babbel's 10-15 minute lessons are available as an app, or online. more information on >> bnsf railway. >> 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: at least eight people are dead and 11 or more injured in lower manhattan today, after a rented pickup truck plowed into a busy bicycle path. the incident happened a few blocks away from the world trade
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center memorial site. the new york city police department reported that a 29-year-old male suspect was taken into custody. mayor bill de blasio said they were increasing security in the area, and he urged people to be vigilant. >> based on the information we have at this moment, this was an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror, aimed at innocent civilians, aimed at people going about their lives, who had no idea what was about to hit them. >> woodruff: for the latest, we turn to special correspondent marcia biggs in manhattan. marcia, what do we know about what happened? >> judy, this is still a developing investigation. it's only a couple hours old. what we know is that at 3:05 p.m., a 9-year-old male entered the west side esplanade, which is a bike path here on the west side of manhattan along the river, he entered in a home
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depot rented pickup truck at high speeds at houston street mowing down pedestrians and driving 15 blocks before colliding with a school bus. then he exited the vehicle brandishing what appeared to be two weapon, a pellet gun and a paint ball gun before nypd officers shot him in the abdomen. he was then taken to the hospital. there are eight confirmed dead and over a dozen injured and they expect more injuries to come. >> woodruff: mar shark we heard mayor de blasio say it is an act of terror. do we know what they're basing that on? >> judy, we don't know much. we... it was confirmed that it was an act of terror, as you said, as we heard, but it was also stressed that this is a lone wolf, that there is no wider plot understood, that also it was reported that there were witnesses saying that he had shouted out "god is great" in arabic, but the n.y.p.d. would not confirm that.
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>> woodruff: and marcia, we know this is a very busy area. we assume there is some security there when this happened. >> well, the officers reacted very, very quickly. commissioner ray kelly stressed today in an interview that i saw that the suspect did not use those weapons, that those weapons may have been inoperable if they were real at all. the n.y.p.d. was the only one firing shots, and they shot him very, very quickly, and arrested him. we don't have any other information about him other than his age. but the area around this neighborhood where i'm standing, which is just a few blocks from where it happened, was immediately put into lockdown mode. the high school nearby was put into lockdown mode. this was 3:00 p.m., so school was about to be let out. this is a very busy neighborhood. we're just in the middle of the financial district. it's also a very family friendly neighborhood, a lot of residents in this area, schools, so it was
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a very quick lockdown, judy. >> woodruff: and i was just being reminded, the police chief is named o'neill. marcia, finally, we know this is halloween. a lot of people, children, are going to be out on the streets tonight. what are they saying to people about whether they can go out or not? >> well, the mayor and the governor stressed new yorkers need to be new yorkers, new york is strong, we will not let this affect us. the halloween parade, which is a very, very famous and raucous, fun time in the west village is still apparently going ahead as planned, although it is not quite in this area. it's a little bit northeast of here, about a 15-minute walk i would say some it's not right in this area, but it was stressed in this press conference, new yorkers mead to be new yorkers. judy? >> woodruff: marcia biggs reporting from lower manhattan. a reminder that things can change in an instant. thank you, marcia. and we're going to be updating all of you with this latest on
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the new york city attack and hear more about how law enforcement evaluates acts of terror at the end of the program. on capitol hill, the first of two days of hearings exploring the role of social media in the 2016 election. representatives from facebook, twitter and google faced tough questions from a senate judiciary subcommitee. nick schifrin reports. >> reporter: for the first time, social media giants came to congress to admit publicly their platforms have a political dark side. facebook general counsel colin stretch: >> the foreign interference we saw is reprehensible. >> reporter: acting twitter general counsel sean edgett: >> the abuse of our platform by sophisticated foreign actors to attempt state-sponsored manipulation of elections is a new challenge for us, and one that we are determined to meet. >> reporter: that foreign actor is russia, and facebook, twitter and google today admitted russia used the american technology giants to try to manipulate how americans voted. >> that foreign actors, hiding behind fake accounts, abused our platform and other internet services to try to sow division
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and discord, and to try to undermine the election, is directly contrary to our values, and goes against everything facebook stands for. >> reporter: on facebook, from june 2015 to august 2017, 120 fake accounts posted 80,000 times and reached as many as 126 million americans with content designed to be divisive, like the group secured borders, falsely accusing liberals of banning the word christmas, and a president trump wearing a santa claus outfit; falsely claiming president barack obama wanted to pardon 750,000 undocumented immigrants; or the group defend the second, saying gun rights are important because it's easier to get out of jail, than out of a cemetery. "note the missing a," a sure giveaway for a russian speaker. >> many of these ads and posts are inflammatory. some are downright offensive. and much of it will be >> reporter: facebook says the ads were purchased and spread by russian trolls believed to work in this st. petersburg building.
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earlier this year i met marat mindiyarov, who used to be one of those trolls. >> suddenly, you see a lot of comments at night, and they're all the same, yeah? and it's exactly the people doing their job. they have their topic, they have a time to do it, they write it, and you see it. >> reporter: he posted under the headline "can the u.s. take russia out?" on 50 websites in 23 cities, and fellow trolls "kiril ivashkin," "gennady orlov," and "mike brandon" expressed the exact same thought. 600 posts from 70 fake accounts in 12 hours. just one battalion in a sock ppet army manufactured by a handful of trolls. back in the hearing: >> reporter: as for twitter, it said from last september through november 15, fake russian accounts posted 1.4 million election-related tweets, nearly half of them automated, like blacktivist, who depicted african americans as divided and destroyed by white society. >> if there is inflammatory content that some even would find to be upsetting, that's not the type of ad we want running on twitter. >> reporter: and google admitted that fake russian accounts opened 18 fake channels on its
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youtube service. >> we understand that any misuse of our platforms for this purpose can be very serious. >> reporter: congress is debating a law that would require regulation of political ads on social media, similar to tv and radio regulation. the social media companies are promising to disclose who's buying the ads and who they're targeting. but some senators weren't convinced the companies could to avoid a repeat of 2016. >> you can't put together points and say, "those two data points spell something bad." >> senator, it's a signal we should have been alert to, and in hiebtd sight it's one we missed. >> republican john kennedy. >> i'm trying to get us down from la-la land here. the truth of the matter is you have five million advertisers that change every month, every minute, probably every second. you don't have the ability to
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know who every one of those advertisers is, do you? >> seeing essentially behind the platform to understand if there are shell corporations, of course the answer is no. >> the problem is enormous, but put into perspective, on facebook and twitter russian trolls produce about one-third of 1% of all content. for the pbs news hour, i'm nick schifrin. >> woodruff: and to look deeper into how social media companies are dealing with foreign propaganda by russian-linked political accounts, i'm joined by thomas rid, a professor or strategic studies at johns hopkins university; and, timothy wu, he's a professor at columbia law school in new york city. he served as an adviser on the white house national economic council, in 2016. gentlemen, thank you both for being with us. thomas wu, to you first. do we understand why it was so easy for the russians and others to infect the social media
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platforms with what they wanted to say in. >> you mean me, thomas rid first? >> woodruff: i'm sorry, i misspoke, timothy wu, yeah. >> i think we do. i think what we learned from today's hearings is that the companies themselves are acknowledging they do have a problem. they're open. they're big, automated machines. so as i think senator kennedy put it, you know, they have five million advertisers. anyone can advertise very precisely to what they want, and that can also create fake accounts to spread whatever news they want. these are extremely vulnerable systems for foreign propaganda. >> woodruff: and thomas rid, these companies are now august acknowledging that their guard was down, that they did not do enough to screen what was coming in? >> they do, but it's really important to distinguish between these companies, because they're different, and the way they deal with this problem is also different. facebook, the market drives facebook to fix the problem and to be more transparent, and they have been more transparent, and
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they have tried to fix the problem. the opposite is true for twitter. twitter, the market drives twitter to hide the problem, and indeed to enable the removal of evidence. why? because basically twitter has a different naming policy. you can have anonymous accounts on twitter. you can have multiple accounts on twitter. no real name required. so the more accounts there are on twitter, the better twitter looks on the market, so they're hiding a lot of automated activity on their site. >> woodruff: so timothy wu, in other words, it's easier on some of these platt fort pierces than on others, namely on twitter than on facebook, to get propaganda apps? >> i'm not sure i entirely agree with that. i think they both have similar incentives in the sense that they are both based on advertising models. in fact, facebook is more of an advertising market share, so they both have driven by the demand to have news, to have
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things shared, you know to, increase their share of attention. and they're both extremely automated. so i think there are a lot of similarity, some differences, but a lot of similarities. they both structurally are vulnerable to foreign propaganda in a way that broadcasting or newspapers are not. i think that's the maybe -- main issue here. >> drew: so thomas rid, after today's testimony and based on what these companies are now saying, should we this confident they are putting in screens, filters now that weren't there before? >> i think again i would be slightly more confident that facebook is making the right moves. they have hired a large, excellent team. let's be a little more concrete on the side of twitter. the amount of automation, so-called bot accounts on twitter is an open question. how many bots are there on twit center the academic estimates range from 15% based on studies to 23%. that could be as much as one-fifth of twitter's user base
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being automated, being fake ultimately. so far twitter has not been as forthcoming as they should be to remove bots from their platform. >> woodruff: timothy wu, how would you assess how many steps, how much these sites, all three of them, youtube, and twitter and facebook, have done to improve security? >> well, listen, i give them some credit for taking this problem seriously. a year ago they were in denial. so they've chained that attitude, and i read through all the proposals, but, you know, they are to some level proposing bandaid solutions to what are structural problems. you know, the more structural solutions start to threaten their revenue streams. they have highly automated systems for advertising and for user identification, and they can hire... i think facebook said it's hiring 4,000 people, that's a start. but the challenge fundamentally is it's hard when you have a determined entity like a foreign state to figure out who is a
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fake person, who is a shell corporation, you know, who is... when you want to have an automated advertising system, these are extremely vulnerable to attac. so i think that structural change is different and it's very difficult to do what they want to have millions and millions of advertisers and billions of users. >> woodruff: so thomas rid, given that, what more do they need to do right now, facebook and twitter and youtube? >> social media embodies a fundamental contradiction at the heart of open, liberal democracy. we all want privacy protections. but we also want to understand how our democracy comes to decisions. so if you look at social media, what we find is that the bots, the disinformation operated, foreign spy agencies of the haven't the same level of privacy protections as a 15-year-old tweeting from her
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sofa at home under their real name. >> woodruff: you're saying nothing much can be done about that? >> i say we have to start distinguishing between bots and between real people, and we have to do this in a more thorough way. and we shouldn't allow a foreign intelligence agency to edit the news, and really edit history in the united states. >> woodruff: and timothy wu, is that realist nick is that something that could be done before next year's election? [laughing] i join him on saying there should be a war on bots. that's something that didn't get addressed in today's hearing. i feel very strongly we need something called a blade runner law which forces entities to try the identify bots instead of the bots having to identify themselves as not human. we don't know... as you said, we don't know how many tens of millions of these entities are not human, and they absolutely aid these foreign propaganda its. i think it's a priority. i give them credit for starting.
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by the next election i think they're going to have to do a lot more, and i think congress has to keep watching everybody, because the incentives are not that deep. the revenue model is helped by foreign propaganda. >> woodruff: gentlemen, wile keep it there and we'll continue to watch it. timothy wu, thomas rid. gentlemen, thank you. >> thank you. >> woodruff: and in other news, president trump took to twitter today to downplay the role of a former campaign aide who plead guilty in the russian probe. george papadopoulos admitted to lying to the f.b.i. about his contacts with russia. today, mr. trump tweeted, "few people knew the young, low level volunteer named george, who has already proven to be a liar." we will take a closer look at robert mueller's investigation into russian meddling in the 2016 election, after the news summary. mr. trump also met with business leaders at the white house to push his plans for tax reform.
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pushing speed, the president said he is "hopefully not" looking to phase in a corporate tax rate cut. he revealed his economic advisors will stay in washington during his upcoming asia trip to help fine-tune the tax overhaul. >> i want the house to pass a bill by thanksgiving. i want all of the people standing by my side when we get ready to sign by christmas. hopefully before christmas, you'll all be in the room standing front row center. i think we'll be able to find a place where you can all stand front row center. it will be a big event. it will be the biggest tax event in the history of our country. >> woodruff: house republicans will unveil details of the tax reform legislation tomorrow. congressman jeb hensarling of texas announced today he will not seek re-election in 2018. hensarling, whose term as chairman of the house financial services committee is coming to an end next year, said he wants to spend more time with his
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family. at least a dozen g.o.p. congress members have announced they are stepping down this year. the federal emergency management agency says it's spending more than $200 million a day on disaster relief, after the recent torrent of hurricanes and wildfires. its administrator, brock long, told a senate panel that the $52 billion approved by congress for emergency relief isn't enough. long also had few answers about a canceled contract between puerto rico's power authority and whitefish, the small montana company it chose to rebuild its ruined grid. >> there's no lawyer inside fema who would have ever agreed to the language that was in that contract to begin with, so let me be clear about that. and we raised the red flag. there were many things wrong. there was also language in there that would suggest the federal government would never audit whitefish. there's not a lawyer inside fema that would ever agree to that type of language. >> woodruff: 67% of puerto
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ricans are still without power more than a month after hurricane maria struck. 800,000 customers across new england also woke up without electricity today. crews worked through the night to restore downed power lines and to clear debris left behind from a powerful storm the night before. with the work just beginning, halloween festivities were postponed in communities from maine to connecticut. >> it's hard to take a shower when it's all cold water, and it's hard to eat every cold meal without being cooked, because we don't have gas, we only have an electric stove. it's getting frustrating, and every time i call the power company there's no response about when it's going to be over. if we had an end in sight, it would be a little easier. >> woodruff: dozens of school districts across the ortheastern u.s. were also forced to cancel classes for a
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second straight day. catalonia's ousted leader has agreed to a snap election in december, called by spain's central government. it follows madrid's move to strip the region of its autonomy for declaring independence last week. speaking in brussels, the deposed catalan leader insisted that he wasn't seeking political asylum in belgium, after spain's state prosecutor filed rebellion charges against him, and he vowed to keep up the fight for catalonia's independence. >> ( translated ): we continue with our work despite the limits imposed on us by this strategy of non-confrontation, and we will defend the idea that the demand of the state is a political demand, so we will oppose it from a political standpoint, not a legal one. that means that we will not evade the actions of justice. we do not want to remove ourselves from our responsibilities in the face of justice we will fight this serious injustice that the spanish government is imposing, politically. >> woodruff: spain's high court also summoned the ousted catalan leader and 13 members of his
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cabinet to testify in madrid thursday on the rebellion charges filed against them. president trump's chief of staff is drawing criticism for his defense of confederate heritage and its military leader during the civil war. in an interview monday night with fox news, retired marine corps general john kelly made the case for keeping confederate monuments as part of the nation's history. kelly spoke about the roots of the civil war, without mentioning its main cause: slavery. >> robert e. lee was an honorable man. he was a man that gave up his country to fight for his state, which in 150 years ago was more important than country. it was always loyalty to state first, back in those days. now, it's different today. but the lack of an ability to compromise led to the civil war. >> woodruff: today, the head of the congressional black caucus, congressman cedric richmond of
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louisiana, issued a statement saying that kelly "needs a history lesson" for minimizing slavery's role in the run up to the civil war. and, stocks closed higher on wall street today. the dow jones industrial average gained 28 points to close at 23,377. the nasdaq rose more than 28 points, and the s&p 500 added tw. still to come on the newshour: fallout from the newest revelations in the russia investigation. home alone-- chinese children, forced to raise themselves. and, from farm to school. preschool students learn to grow their own food. and much more. >> woodruff: we return to yesterday's legal developments. with the unsealing of criminal charges and pleas, robert mueller's russia investigation may have entered a new phase. in public, the white house has
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distanced itself from paul manafort, rick gates and george papadopoulos, but how are the president and white house officials reacting behind the scenes? ashley parker, of the "washington post," has some reporting on this. and she joins me now. so ashley, i think you and your leagues said in your story that you talked to 20 some white house aides. what is the sense you're getting from them of their handling, how they're handling this, how they react to this? >> one thing that was striking was the west wing aides and the president himself were finding out the way we were and the rest of america, which is basically from news reports. so we got to see the president processing that as it happened. so, for instance, after first pair of indictments came down for manafort and gates, there were two feelings. one was the president felt vindicated. he felt, look, these guys are being looked into for alleged behavior that largely predates
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my campaign. the indictment didn't mention his name. it didn't mention any possible collusion between his campaign and russia. so he sort of tweets out a kind of frustrated but, this isn't my issue, there's no collusion tweet, and then that next indictment comes down for george papadopoulos, which is potentially more problematic. and again, he is someone who is an unpaid volunteer. he wasn't super senior, but he definitely touches russia in a way that those people in the first indictment did not. >> woodruff: i noticed that the story quoted some in the white house, i think it went well, the president's attorney, ty cobb, saying that the president is just continuing his business as usual. he's not getting distracted by this, but then the white house chief of staff, john kelly, said in an interview last night on fox news that the president is distracted. so which is it do you think? >> i think you can argue it's business as usual only in the
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sense that russia has dogged this president and this white house since almost the very first day. but look, i think he was frustrated. we were told that he is frustrated not because he thinks he did anything wrong but for precisely the opposite reason. he feels like he did absolutely nothing wrong and he doesn't understand why this just won't go away and he keeps on getting dragged down. we reported that this is a gay who lives above the shop, so to speak. he stayed up in his residence longer than usual watching tv, talking to his lawyers, growing frustrated but also sort of thinking in terms of a crisis communications manager, a legal analyst, before coming down to work in the oval office. but then by all accounts while he was there during the day, i heard from people there were a number of meetings and this didn't come up at all in the pre or post-meeting chatter. so i think the answer is the truth lies in the middle somewhere. >> woodruff: very quickly, ashley, what are you hearing about any potential presidential pardon? >> the way the president's
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lawyers have said recently that this is something that is not at all on his mind. it's not something he's planning to do, but our reporting from several weeks ago showed that the president had asked about precisely this. so we know the president is sort of interested in understanding the full range of his pardon powers. that doesn't mean that as of today he's prepared to use them, but we know with president trump that could change in a second. >> woodruff: ashley parker, reporting to on the white houser the "washington post," thank you. >> thank you. >> woodruff: when chinese president xi jinping marked the beginning of a new, five-year term last week, he spoke of a china focused on "common prosperity," a nation where "no one must be left behind." but while reaching that ambitious goal, there are millions of children in china who must often fend for themselves, as their parents
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move to china's cities to find work. in partnership with the pulitzer center on crisis reporting, special correspondent max duncan reports from liangshin, china. >> reporter: deep in the mountains of southwest china, three children are used to being by themselves. their parents are nowhere in sight, but the siblings are not orphans. they're among an estimated nine million minors left behind in the chinese countryside, by parents who work far away in wealthier cities. they see their parents a couple of times a year. 12-year-old wang bing is the most outgoing and loves to read. >> ( translated ): i think my sister is very brave. my brother is quite naughty. we know how to take care of ourselves here. >> reporter: the children stay in their school dormitory during the week.
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on weekends and holidays, they often cook and wash for themselves. >> ( translated ): my parents are working in guangdong province. i don't know what they do. they don't tell me. it's boring here, just us three children. i miss them. >> reporter: most so-called" left-behind children" rely on grandparents, but not all can provide the care needed. these children's maternal grandmother lives a 40-minute walk away along a mountain path. sometimes she comes to help with farm work and keep an eye on he but she has other fields to tend, and younger grandchildren to look after. in such cases, older girls often take on the role of mother. 14-year-old wang ying resents the burden placed on her, and refuses to speak to her parents on the phone because she finds it too upsetting. >> ( translated ): i'm the only one who's grown up. i have to do the farm work, and i have to study too.
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when my brother and sister don't do what i tell them, i miss my mom and dad. and when the farm work is too hard for me, i miss my mom and dad. and sometimes the teacher tells me off when i don't know the answer. then, i really miss my mom and dad. >> reporter: the walk to school takes an hour. the family are from the yi, one of china's largest ethnic minority groups. under china's complex one-child policy, which ended in 2015, rural residents and ethnic minorities were allowed to have more than one child. liangshan, where they live, is one of china's poorest areas. there's little meaningful work their parents could have done here. surveys show that growing up without parents can lead to a raft of developmental problems. ron pouwels is unicef china's head of child protection. >> it can lead to psychological problems, it can lead to behavioral problems.
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we know that they tend to do less well in school, and all these things of course have an impact on the later adult life of children. >> reporter: over 1,000 miles southeast of liangshan lies huizhou, a city of almost five million people in china's manufacturing belt, and it's where the children's parents work. they make headphones and cables in a factory with hundreds of other workers from rural areas. for an 11-hour day, they earn around $15 u.s. each. the couple are illiterate and speak little mandarin, china's official language, so they are determined that their children will have a better chance than they did. >> ( translated ): the two of us understand too well the curse of illiteracy. so long as the children don't give up, we must support their study. >> reporter: china's economic explosion has drawn an estimated 200 million laborers like them from the countryside.
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but with wages rising, factories like theirs are turning to workers from poorer areas who will still accept low wages. the children's mother, jiajia, constantly questions whether leaving was the right decision. >> ( translated ): i worry the kids will get cold in the wind and rain, or that a stranger will come to the house. i heard rumors of people stealing children's organs. i was so worried i couldn't sleep. >> reporter: the plight of "left-behind children" has come to the forefront of public debate in china after several unsupervised children died in another poor region in 2015. some blame china's household registration system, which controls population movement by allowing people free public services like education and healthcare in the place they were born, but not in the cities they move to. authorities are reforming the system, but change has been slower in some big cities, where bringing up children is also most expensive. concerned about neglected children, the government is
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introducing more social workers to rural areas. and they are also considering tougher measures. a new way that authorities hope to tackle the problem is by punishing absent parents for neglecting those children. but many people are asking, "before those parents are either allowed to bring their children with them, or can find meaningful work close to home, what choice do they really have?" wang zhenyao, a former official with china's ministry of civil affairs, supports a proposed law which would criminally charge parents who leave children without proper supervision for more than six months. >> ( translated ): we need to put some pressure on young parents, make them legally and socially responsible. that way, we can first set rules for the care of left-behind children starting at the most basic family level. >> reporter: back in southwest china, it's summer holidays, and the children visit their paternal grandparents, who live
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in an even more remote area five hours' travel away. it's also the torch festival, the most important celebration in the yi minority's calendar. at night, when children light torches, traditionally to scare away pests that damage crops. their parents absence is conspicuous, but wang bing is happy to be with the wider family. >> ( translated ): mom and dad aren't here, but grandma and grandpa are here, so i really enjoy it. because grandma and grandpa are just like a mom and dad to me. they're really great. >> reporter: meanwhile, their mother, worried about the children, has decided to come back to take care of them, and leave her husband to earn money. to get back, she takes a 36-hour bus with other yi workers. it's then a two-hour walk from the road to the grandparents house. she finds the children up a hill where they've been farming.
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the sweets go down well with the younger children and their cousins. elder sister wang ying is reticent, and initially speaks little to her mother. >> ( translated ): i haven't seen the children in months, and they're very naughty. they're all bigger, but they're wilder. children without parents are different to those with parents at home. they haven't been keeping clean, they're very messy. >> reporter: her mothe's return means some of the weight is lifted from wang ying's shoulders, and she's happy to slack off. >> ( translated ): now that mum has come back, i don't have to look after my brother and sister any more, and i don't have to do as much farm work as i used to. >> reporter: but the future is far from clear-- the family will struggle to subsist on one income alone. >> ( translated ): i don't want to leave the children again to live like orphans. but if we can't afford to live,
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i'd have no choice but to go back out to work. >> reporter: at least for the time being, wang ying is a little freer to be what she ultimately still is-- a child. for the pbs newshour, i'm max duncan in liangshan, china. >> woodruff: stay with us. coming up on the newshour: "america addicted." looking for best practices to combat the opioid epidemic. but first, a look at an effort to prevent childhood obesity by adding food gardening to the curriculum in colorado preschools. special correspondent cat wise has our report, for our weekly series on education and schools, "making the grade." ♪ old macdonald had a farm e-i-e-i-o ♪
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>> reporter: it's an old classroom sing-along with a new twist-- macdonald's animals replaced by vegetables. ♪ with squash vines here and squash vines there ♪ >> reporter: children in this pueblo, colorado preschool are learning the a.b.c.s of locally grown produce. >> jalapenos! >> jalapenos. >> reporter: everything from the vocabulary they learn, to the art they create and the plays they perform, vegetables take center stage. >> one day, the farmer went out and he pulled and pulled, and out popped the great big zucchini. >> we're really bringing farm to preschool in colorado. >> reporter: brittany martens is the nutrition educator for a new preschool program funded by the u.s. department of agriculture called chop, an acronym for "cooking healthy options with plants." it's an effort by the colorado
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health department to combat childhood obesity with hands on farming. and, it's part of a growing farm to preschool movement in federally-funded early education centers. >> children in colorado are not eating the recommended amount of fresh fruits and vegetables. >> i see something yellow right here. >> reporter: the centerpiece of chop's curriculum is a garden grown by preschoolers. >> we want to take these things from the garden and make it the norm on their plate, so it's not like an alien. it's no longer the hated squash, it's now something they've grown, they've harvested, and they're going to be more willing to try it. >> reporter: one in five colorado children ages two to four are obese. the problem is particularly pronounced in low-income and heavily hispanic communities, like the neighborhood that surrounds pueblo's east side child care center. maria subia is the center's director: >> over 80% of the children who come here are from low income families between 70% and 80% with hispanic heritage.
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>> let's pull out this kale! >> reporter: health officials hope early exposure to vegetables will lead children away from high calorie processed food linked to obesity. >> children of this age are so naturally curious, they're so inquisitive. they love dirt, and worms, and mud puddles. these children have a connection with the earth. they put a seed in the dirt and watch it sprout, and watch it turn into a plant, and grow bigger, and blossom, and then that blossom turns into a vegetable. >> so what do we use to cut up our squash? >> reporter: according to the centers for disease control, 40% of obese children remain obese into adolescence, and 75% of adolescents go on to become obese adults, facing increased risk for heart disease and diabetes. >> for our luncheon tomorrow. >> yummy! >> reporter: nicole cawrse manages the women, infants, and children program in pueblo. known as wic. >> the chance of becoming an obese adult substantially increases once you hit the age
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of eight. >> reporter: but for families that live near pueblo's east side child care center, buying fresh and nutritious food isn't always easy, especially if you don't own a car. >> this is the dollar general. this has kind of become the food source for this area. >> reporter: david hovar, from the nonprofit neighborworks southern colorado, is working to connect pueblo's east side residents with fresh produce, after their only grocery store was shuttered more than a year ago. >> this is the dollar general. this has kind of become the food source for this area. you go in, it's typical packages, refrigerated drinks, there aren't any fruits and vegetables. the bus system ends at about 5:00 p.m. every day, so-- it doesn't run on the weekends either. so if you're working and you don't have a way to get around, it kind of creates this little island after 5:00, and there's nowhere to go for fresh food. >> you got to pull it down, then you got to turn it.
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good job. >> reporter: many of the children at east side child care center receive the majority of their daily food here. >> look, there's a lady bug. >> reporter: but for parents and educators, the new gardens are also an opportunity for learning that goes beyond nutrition. fawn montoya says planting has taught her daughter cecilia new concepts at an early age. >> you can talk about math: how far apart the seeds are from each other, how many seeds do you actually put in the ground, how far in the ground, so is it a half an inch, is it a quarter of an inch? and then they're also having conversations about the science behind it: the concept that the sun is needed to actually grow the plants, and the water is needed to grow the plants. >> tell your mom and dad, or your grandma and grandpa, that you used a metate. >> reporter: on this day, montoya taught children how to grind corn with a stone metate, a process she hopes will connect children to history as well as their own mexican heritage. >> i'm hoping that when they go home, they talk about it, that their parents might have seen it
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before, so it might start a conversation as far as what their family members ate, and what they grew, kind of make those connections. that cultural history around food. >> reporter: in the coming years, health department officials hope to expand chop's preschool project statewide. for the pbs newshour, i'm cat wise in pueblo, colorado. >> woodruff: next, our ongoing series on the opioid crisis, "america addicted." drug overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental death in this country. up 11% last year to more than 50,000, they kill more americans than either car crashes or guns. late last week, president trump declared the epidemic a public health emergency. william brangham has our look at how people on the frontlines of that battle are responding.
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>> brangham: in his declaration of a public health emergency over the opioid crisis, president trump said the country needs to do a lot of things, from ratcheting up treatments to racking down on illegal drugs. he also said we have to do more on prevention. he called for the creation of national advertising campaign to help young people make better decisions. >> this was an idea that i had where if we can teach young people not to take drugs, just not to take them, when i see friends of mine that are having difficulty with not having that drink at dinner, where it's literally almost impossible for them to stop, i say the myself, pwhy would that be difficult? but we understand why it is difficult. the fact is if we can teach young people and people generally not to start, it's really, really easy not to take them. and i think that's going to end up being our most important thing. >> brangham: joining me now are two men who have thought a
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great deal about helping others avoid addiction. gary mendell is the c.e.o. of shatterproof, a non-profit group he founded to help families cope with the addiction of a loved one. he lost his own son brian in 2011. an jonathan goyer is a recovering addict himself. he works for anchor recovery in rhode island, a group that tries to help those struggling with addiction. many of you will recognize jonathan from our story about his group's work several weeks ago. gentlemen, welcome both to the newshour. gary mendell, let's start with you. what do you make of the president's call for this national campaign on prevention? >> to be honest, i really didn't understand it. his remarks were all based on the opioid epidemic, and the opioid epidemic is not about children trying drugs. there's clear consensus in this country that what caused this epidemic is a vast over-prescribing of prescription painkillers. in the last 15 years, the amount of pills being prescribed on an annual basis have gone up four
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times. and the amount of people dying of an overdose of opioids has gone up six times. it's really not related to teaching children not to use drugs. >> brangham: jonathan, what do you make of this? do you think there is some benefit of the president saying, we need the get this word out. he didn't offer specifics, but what's your take on that? >> he did not, and i think there are points we can come together on. if he wants to allocate dollars toward a large-scale media campaign, i think that's a good thing. we need to help steer that into a healthier direction. >> woodruff: what are the kinds of things we ought to be saying publicly over and over again? >> well, that's part of the problem. we don't have a universal, global health messageing campaign going right now. that is what we need. we need to formulate effective global health messaging toward this issue. en the other issue with his
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media campaign is it's only targeted toward youth, which is a great audience to start with, but we have to remember there are millions and millions of people already actively addicted to drugs and alcohol, and we need to make sure we're targeting a media campaign toward those individual, as well. >> brangham: gary, your argument that the crisis has been driven by the overprescription of prescription painkillers, do you think you've gotten the message out to doctors that these are addictive drugs and we have to be careful in how we dole them out to our patients? >> the facts are that we haven't gotten that message out yet. up until a year and a half ago, there was absolutely no way we could have blamed doctors. they were being taught the prescribe these pills that were not dangerous. that changed a year and a half ago. on march 15, 2016, the c.d.c. issued a set of 12 recommendations called the c.d.c. guideline for prescribing
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opioids for chronic pain. 12 recommendations. and now it's on our healthcare system and our providers, our doctors to, go to the c.d.c. web site, use the training me tylers that -- materials that are there, and adopt safer prescribing guidelines, which as of yet as an industry has not been done. jonathan, i wonder what you make of the idea of prevention. you started using at a fairly young age is. there anything you could imagine in you own life that you would suggest that we do as policy-makers, as teachers, as parents, as people in society that could help kids choose a different path? >> well, i think it's important first to back up and identify that. we are not in an opioid overdose crisis. what we are experiencing is an an addiction epidemic of colossal proportion in this country. until we put it in that framework, we're really putting out small fires here. it's really important we give people the tools and utilize the
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media campaign to steer people into the direction of treatment and recovery. >> brangham: gary, what about you take? >> i would agree with what was just said, and'd like the add to that. in addition to a public education campaign, there was one years ago and it didn't work... >> woodruff: >> brangham: you're talking about the reagan just say no to drugs. >> and the hundreds of millions of dollars spent per year subscweptd to that or just after this time period were proven not to work. that doesn't mean they couldn't work in the future. our natural institutes of health have given out grants to researchers all across the country, and those research verse developed programs that have proven to reduce the number of our teens who use drugs and ultimately become addicted. for example, there is a program called life skills that's in about three or four percent of our middle schools. it has great research behind it that shows that it works.
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alternatively, there's research that shows that dare, which is in about 75% of our middle schools, does not work. so if we can move our middle schools from using life skills instead of dare, the opportunity to reduce the number of our teens who ever use drugs is substantially higher. >> brangham: jonathan, i wonder what you make of the issue of stigma, people wanting to think that's not happening to my family, that's not in my school, that's not in my neighborhood, how much that gets in the way of us doing good prevention work. >> i think it's true. i think a lot of people feel stigma and experience stigma and perpetuate stigma around addiction. we have to remember that for every addicted individual, there comes an entire family, an entire household, an entire community that's impacted by that, as well. so my take on it is rather than continuing to highlight the problem, which we have done, we need to begin focusing and
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highlighting the solution. a great way to do that is to take stories of hope, stories of recovery, success stories, and highlight those stories, highlight the families getting reconnected, highlight individuals getting become on their feet and going to work and becoming productive, responsible members of society. that's what we do. and as we all know, there are 24 million people in the country who have overcome addiction and gone on to live long, successful lives. so i'd personally be interested in hearing those stories and highlighting those stories. >> brangham: jonathan goyer, dpair gary, thank you both very much. >> you're welcome. >> thank you. >> woodruff: kodiak, alaska is >> woodruff: and now, following up on this afternoon's truck attack in lower manhattan. john yang joins us for an update. >> yang: thanks, judy. at least eight people are dead
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and 11 more injured after the truck plowed through a busy bicycle path on the west side highway. multiple news networks have identified the attacker as 29-year old sayfullo saipov, of tampa, florida. witnesses and law enforcement officials say he shouted "allahu akbar" after exiting the vehicle. joining us now is lorenzo vidino, the director of the program on extremism at george washington university. lorenzo, thank you for joining us. a single actor, a vehiclear attack using a rented truck. police say no evidence of a wider plot. what does that tell you about who or what is behind this? >> we obviously don't know details about this individual. i would say prima facie it's very similar to the dynamics we've seen in many european countries over the last couple years, the barcelona attack, stockholm, the berlin christmas market attack, a couple events in london where individuals rented trucks, stole trucks, used them in pedestrian areas, tried to kill as many people as possible, and then in this case,
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as in london or barcelona, getting out of the truck and then trying to attack in some cases with shooting, in some cases stabbing other pedestrians. in many cases this individuals who carried out the attacks were not linked operationally to isis. these were people who had received inspiration from the group. they might have been in contact with people within the organization online, but it was acts carried out without any kind of structural support. it remains to be seen obviously that was the case in new york. obviously i think that's the initial assessment of something relatively unsophisticated, but i think that's clearly what investigators are looking into now, whether this individual received support, which means somebody rented the truck for him or guided him throughout this process. >> yang: he was shot in the abdomen. he's in surgery. if he were to survive, would this be a valuable thing to be able to question him? >> yes, absolutely. and i think kudos to the policemen who shot him in the
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leg. i think particularly if this individual was connected to other individuals, there is an intelligence value, particularly in the next few hours in trying to get information out of him, trying to see if he has a network, if he has connections, and trying to arrive to those individuals some absolutely, the ability to question him, particularly in the first 24 hours, is immensely valuable. >> yang: a little bit ago the president tweeted, "we must not allow isis" -- he's already determined it's isis -- "to return or defeat our country. enough." is there a connection between the middle east efforts against isis and what's happening now, what happened today, do you think? >> to some degree, it's very difficult to say with the little information we have at this point. what is clear is we have seen many attacks. i would say around 60 attacks over the last three years since isis declared a caliphate in june 2014, in europe and in new york america, inspired by isis
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for the most part. we've seen only a couple of them carried out by individuals who are trained and dispatched by isis. the standard attack that we see is carried out by individuals with no operational connections. clearly over the last few weeks we've seen people trying to say, the caliphate is still here, we're still around. >> yang: lorenzo vidino, thank you very much. >> my pleasure. >> woodruff: thank you john. and you can follow this story online, where we'll be providing the latest updates. that's on our website, and that is the newshour for tonight. on wednesday, five years after hurricane sandy, an update. i'm judy woodruff. join us online, and again right here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you, and we'll see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> babbel. a language app that teaches real-life conversations in a new language. >> bnsf railway. >> collette.
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>> 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 and individuals. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh >> you're watching pbs.
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♪ - you know, there're certain moments in my culinary life when everything changed, like the first time i cooked with julia child, and at the last minute she gave me 24 oysters to open. that didn't work out too well for me. or more recently, i cooked with josé andrés, the famous spanish chef, and he showed me how to take very ordinary ingredients and turn them into something extraordinary. so today on milk street, we're talking about culinary magic. we're going to make josé's garlic bread soup. we're going to take a pork tenderloin


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