tv PBS News Hour Weekend PBS November 26, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
captioning sponsored by wnet >> thompson: on this edition for sunday, november 26: president trump promotes the senate bid of alabama republican roy moore. and, inside the new biography of the influential singer- songwriter joni mitchell next on pbs newshour weekend. >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: bernard and irene schwartz. the cheryl and philip milstein family. sue and edgar wachenheim, iii. dr. p. roy vagelos and diana t. vagelos. the j.b.p. foundation. the anderson family fund. rosalind p. walter, in memory of abby m. o'neill.
barbara hope zuckerberg. corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we're your retirement company. additional support has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. from the tisch wnet studios at lincoln center in new york, megan thompson. >> thompson: good evening and thank you for joining us. the longest-serving member of congress, 88-year-old john conyers of michigan, announced today he's giving up his post as top democrat on the house judiciary committee, but he won't resign. the move follows last week's disclosure by "buzzfeed" that conyers settled a sexual harassment claim by a former staff member in 2015 with a confidential $27,000 payment. the house ethics committee is now investigating the payment.
conyers denies the allegations. conyers said today in a statement: "i cannot in good conscience allow these charges to undermine my colleagues in the democratic caucus, and my friends on both sides of the aisle in the judiciary committee and the house of representatives." today, house democratic leader nancy pelosi defended due process in these cases and said bipartisan legislation to require anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training on capitol hill will be voted on this week. >> women have spoken out. their concerns will be addressed in a way that i think will give comfort, as well as end this behavior. >> thompson: with two weeks until the special u.s. senate election in alabama president trump is again aligning himself with embattled republican candidate roy moore. today on twitter, the president called moore's democratic opponent, former federal prosecutor doug jones, "weak on crime, weak on the border, bad for our military and our great vets, bad for our 2nd amendment, and wants to raises taxes to the
sky." the tweet echoed comments supportive of moore the president made when he left the white house to spend thanksgiving in florida. the 70-year-old moore, a former chief justice of alabama's supreme court, has denied published allegations that he pursued romantic relationships with at least seven teenage girls, when he was a district attorney in his 30's, and that he sexually assaulted two of them. jones didn't respond to the president today but did issue a statement calling moore "unfit for office." senator john thune of south dakota, the third ranking republican in the senate, said today the president should ask moore to step aside in favor of a write-in candidate. >> if roy moore wins and comes into the senate in january, there's immediately going to be an ethics investigation, which is going to be a cloud that he'll be operating in, and it's going to be a distraction for us and for our agenda. >> thompson: an investigation published today by the associated press reveals the f.b.i. did not alert hundreds of american officials that russian hackers had targeted them and
tried to break into their personal gmail accounts in 2015. the same kremlin-connected hacking operation, known as" fancy bear," stole thousands of emails from the democratic party during last year's presidential campaign. to explain more about what the ap found, i'm joined via skype by reporter raphael satter, who's in london. >> so first, rafael, can you just help us understand what is fancy bear and who were they targeting grm fancy bear is the name that was commonly assigned to a group of hackers that the u.s. military has applied to the kremlin and russian military intelligence. we got from a exeant called secure works, a list of about 19,000 malicious links that fancy bear had been using over the last kim of years. we crunched the data and were able to identify about 4700
unique people of which 500 or so are in the united states. >> so then you began contacting these people? >> yeah, it was extraordinarily laborious work, we went about contacting these people and asked them many simple questions. number 1, were you aware that fancy bear was targeting you, were you aware of the investigation by the fbi and the overwhelming answer was no. >> i understand some were government officials, some with security clearance. >> that's right. it ran the gamut. we have spoken to all kinds of people. former navy seals, people in nato who are ex-generals, former policy makers, a lot of people who retired from the military or retired from the state department. but we've also spoken the active
duty soldiers and some of the people who haven't spoken to us include people active in government work to this day. >> what did the fbi say when you asked them had they notified the people that were targeted? >> they said more or less they make every effort to contact the people that are hacked, but the overwhelming majority of the people just hadn't heard from the fbi at all. >> if you know at all what is fancy bear's goal with targeting people? >> they are targeting a lot of people in nato, people who work in the military, people who work in the state department, people who work for military contractors. this suggests they are very interested in people who work in the military and maybe military technology. they may be interested in keeping an eye what diplomats
speak about personally, what dc links and potentially classic intelligence gathering. >> rafael satter of the associated press, thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you for having me. >> thompson: christmas holiday season shopping is off to a stronger start online than in person. foot traffic in u.s. retail stores was down by 2% on thanksgiving and the day after, compared to last year. but u-s retailers reported $7.9 billion in online sales. that's up 17.9% from a year ago. 40% of friday's online purchases were made from mobile phones. in another single-day u.s. record, the f.b.i. conducted 203,000 instant background checks for gun purchases on friday, but the number of guns sold is likely higher, because one buyer may purchase multiple guns. new advertisements paid for by the nation's four largest tobacco companies start running today during prime time tv shows and in newspapers, and they discourage smoking.
>> smoking kills on average 1,200 americans every day. more people die every year from smoking than murder, aids, suicide, drugs, car crashes, and alcohol combined. >> thompson: in 2006, a federal judge found altria, r.j. reynolds, lorillard, and philip morris had long deceived the public about the effects of smoking and ordered the ads as" corrective statements." the tobacco companies appealed the ruling for 11 years. in syria's six-year civil war, government forces are pressing their offensive to retake the last rebel stronghold near the capital of damascus. government air strikes in that area killed at least 23 civilians today and 127 people in the past two weeks, according to the british-based syrian observatory for human rights. the syrian army of president bashar al-assad is still being supported by russian forces. russia's defense ministry said today that six of its long-range
bombers struck isis targets in northeast syria. this week in geneva, the united nations is convening a new round of peace talks between the syrian government and opposition leaders. pakistan's largest city, karachi, was effectively shut down today by islamist protesters blocking major intersections. the protests, which began three weeks ago in the capital of islamabad, stem from a proposed new version of the oath taken by elected lawmakers. the oath omits mention of the prophet muhammad. yesterday in islamabad, police in riot gear fired tear gas to clear access to a main highway that had been blocked by 2,000 protesters. six protesters died in the clashes, and 200 were injured. the minister who omitted the prophet's name from the oath says it was a clerical error and has since apologized, but protesters are demanding his resignation.
>> thompson: tomorrow, a jury in washington, d.c., resumes deliberations in the first trial stemming from the september 11th, 2012 terrorist attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi, libya. that attack killed four americans, including u.s. ambassador christopher stevens. for the past seven weeks, federal prosecutors have tried to prove defendant abu ahmed khattala was a ringleader of the attack. yesterday, i spoke with "new york times" reporter adam goldman who's been covering the trial. >> so chris let's just start out, who is abu ahmed katalla and? >> he is simply accused of orchestrating the attacks inon september 11th, 2012 on the u.s. diplomatic mission in which the intor was killed and in a secret cia base in which two cia
contractors were skilled. >> i understand that building the case against him was very complicated. there was even an informant who was paid $7 million. can you talk to us a little bit about that? >> sure, this was an extraordinary difficult case to build against katalla, mainly because the fbi couldn't get into benghazi, they actually had to hand it off to military commandos who snuck into libya and debriefed the informant every four months. they started working will informant the end of 2012, it took a long time for him to get what he needed from ka tfertionalla before they were satisfied they could move forward with the prosecution. >> thompson: you attended several days of the trial. could you talk about what it was like? i understand some of the witnesses had to testify in disguise. >> yes, a couple of the guys who worked for the cia, they wore
wigs and disguises, they were protected, katalla is there every day, not in shackles, he sits quietly with his lawyers. you really see the power of l the federal courts. >> thompson: why was the decision made to try him in federal court rather than military? >> he is not affiliated with al qaeda, at least people haven't presented the case that he is. but he was prosecuted he was charged about the department of justice, with 18 counts, involving the murders of these four americans, and i think it was important to the department of justice and the fbi to hold somebody responsible and to bring him impact and prosecute him in civilian court. they have been dealing with terrorists for a very long time and katalla is one of many
foreign born terrorists who face trial and are successfully prosecuted. >> thompson: if he's found guilty where will he end up? >> probably the from-max in colorado, probably spend the rest of his life, 23 hours a day in solitary confinement. >> thompson: there are any others who are accused of having a roam in the benghazi attack who will be tried? >> the phish has charged more than a dozen people, delta force apprehended one of the suspects near misrata in libya, near the coast, and brought him back and they intend to prosecute him. it was katalla himself who identified mustafa al amin.
>> thompson: thank you very much for being here. >> thompson: joni mitchell, who just turned 74, is one of the most acclaimed singer- songwriters in modern times. she won a lifetime achievement grammy award in 2002, and her albums, from the late 1960's through the early 2000's, have sold millions of copies and influenced many musical artists. the new biography "reckless daughter: a portrait of joni mitchell," has received strong reviews, and one reason is the author, david yaffe, had extraordinary access to the normally reclusive mitchell. newshour weekend's phil hirschkorn recently spoke to yaffe about his book. >> ♪ i've looked at love from both sides now, ♪ from give and take, but still somehow, it's love's ♪ illusions i recall >> reporter: growing up in rural canada, singer-songwriter joni
mitchell taught herself to play guitar and piano and became a voice of the generation that came of age in the 1960's. biographer david yaffe sees her approach to songwriting as painterly. >> in a great rembrandt painting, in a great rembrandt portrait, you are not only seeing representations of people, you're somehow looking into their souls. and i feel like joni mitchell's songs are like that. they go right to the core of who people really are, not who they want to present themselves as being, but who they really are, maybe who they're hiding. >> reporter: early songs like both sides now show a certain maturity and having lived life, at least the lyrics do. >> yes. i think part of it was that she had survived polio as a 10-year- old, and then she gave up her daughter and couldn't talk about it, which meant that she hadn't lived the typical life of a 21- year-old when she was writing these incredible songs at 21, 22, 23.
"circle game" is a great example. >> ♪ and the seasons, they go round and round, and the painted ♪ ponies go up and down >> reporter: how did giving up her baby for adoption change the arc of her career and her life? >> it was the start of her career. this songwriting began after she gave up her daughter. she's in this unhappy marriage, then she's repressed, and so all of this expression of melancholy and beauty comes out. >> reporter: joni mitchell was supposed to play at woodstock. she didn't get there. but yet she writes the anthem that becomes the song" woodstock," better known by crosby stills and nash. >> but her version is more interesting, i think. the lyrics are not really a celebration, especially when you hear the way she sings it, it's a dirge. >> ♪ we are stardust, we are
golden, and we've got to get ♪ ourselves back to the garden >> she's saying, ¡we have fallen. we have to get ourselves back to the garden. but that is not what's happening.' >> ♪ i am on a lonely road, and i am traveling, traveling, ♪ traveling, looking for something, what can it be >> reporter: this summer, when npr compiled a list of the 150 best albums by women, joni mitchell's "blue" came out on top. why is that? >> well, i'll start by saying that joni never likes being genderized, which is a word she uses. but blue, over time, has this legend about it.
and there's nothing like any of it but especially the darkest songs on there, the title track, for example. >> ♪ blue songs are like tattoos >> i just think there's such an intimacy to it that when we hear that voice, we hear that it is singing directly to us. >> reporter: you call her as a singer-songwriter martyr. how is that? >> to her, the point was not to confess, the point was to reveal. with joni, it's more like disclosure. >> ♪ help me, i think i'm falling, in love again >> after her biggest hit, "court and spark," she hired a jazz band to be her band. and joni had these musicians that she liked working with, and
she started to experiment. >> ♪ there's comfort in melancholy, when there's no ♪ need to explain >> but she started to lose her audience. and she ended up making music that doesn't really have a category; it wasn't jazz, but it was not quite pop either. it was something else-- it was joni mitchell music. and when she collaborated with charles mingus on his final project a lot of people in the jazz world attacked it, because it's not a jazz record. >> reporter: in the 1980s, mitchell turned to rock ¡n roll, but her record sales did not rebound much. or when she returned to a stripped down sound in the 1990s. what do you think happened? >> you know, the times were changing, and so joni was of her time in the '70s, and she could go through those changes and her audience would stick with her. the sales started to drop after "court and spark."
but she still had an audience. don juan's reckless daughter was still a gold record. it was the last one. >> reporter: mitchell won the best pop album grammy for her 1994 release "turbulent indigo"" but by 2000, she stopped touring and later released re-recordings of her old songs. >> ♪ don't it always seem to go that you don't know what ♪ you've got til it's gone they pave paradise and ♪ put up a parking lot >> because of her four pack a day smoking habit, her voice was changing quickly; it dropped an octave and became much more brittle. but one thing i want to say about those albums is that there are some times when you're feeling ravaged, and you want to hear a voice that's been through things, because that's how you feel. >> reporter: in the pbs "american masters" documentary she says at one point, ¡they were putting me on a pedestal, and i was wobbling.' did she have a hard time handling all the fame and
accolades that came her way? >> she did, but not for the typical reason. i think it was because when she would play folk clubs she could make eye contact with people and the audience, and she could sort of see everybody and communicate with everyone and do that thing that she does, which is being so real. and so when she's up on the larger stage, it could be a little confusing or alienating, because she was still taking in, it was too much to take in. >> reporter: so in the 1990s, joni mitchell rediscovers the daughter who she gave up for adoption as a baby, and they meet. how did that work out? >> at first it was like a love affair. and they're so giddy and happy and high. and finally the circle is closed in my life. she's got these wonderful grandchildren. and then she and the daughter are off and on after that. >> reporter: what would you say is joni mitchell's legacy?
>> as someone who started out in folk, then turned to pop, and then experimented with jazz she really elevated the pop song to an art song. it's high art even when it's fun. >> ♪ california i'm coming home i'm going to see ♪ the folks i dig, i'll even kiss a sunset pig ♪ california when i get home >> thompson: read more excerpts from our interview with joni mitchell biographer david yaffe at pbs.org/newshour. >> thompson: finally, 2,000 travelers are stranded on the indonesian island of bali due to a volcano. mount agung erupted this weekend, sending ash and steam 13,000 feet into the sky. after indonesia raised its volcano aviation warning to the highest level, airlines cancelled dozens of flights.
indonesia has told anyone within a five mile radius of mount agung to leave. the volcano had been dormant since 1963. that's all for this edition of pbs newshour weekend. i'm megan thompson. have a good night. captioning sponsored by wnet captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: bernard and irene schwartz. the cheryl and philip milstein family. dr. p. roy vagelos and diana t. vagelos. the j.p.b. foundation. sue and edgar wachenheim, iii. the anderson family fund. rosalind p. walter, in memory of abby m. o'neill. barbara hope zuckerberg. corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we're your retirement company. additional support has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs