tv PBS News Hour PBS November 29, 2017 6:00pm-7:01pm PST
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: president trump vows new sanctions on north korea after the communist nation launches its most powerful ballistic missile yet, capable of reaching washington, d.c. then, hatred coming directly from the white house. the president himself shares inflammatory anti-muslim videos first posted by a leader of britain's far-right. and, the other side of the opioid story-- how a doctor who has seen first-hand the devastating consequences of addiction, also believes in the benefits of pain relief. >> what's happening now is, physicians are responding by saying, "i am writing for fewer opioids.
i don't write for opioids anymore." and it is having a negative effect. >> woodruff: all that and more, on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> supporting social entrepreneurs and their solutions to the world's most
pressing problems-- skollfoundation.org. >> the lemelson foundation. committed to improving lives through invention, in the u.s. and developing countries. on the web at lemelson.org. >> supported by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. more information at macfound.org >> 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: republicans in the u.s. senate are working overtime tonight to push their version of a tax reform bill toward final passage.
they won a key procedural vote this evening, and they are trying to craft compromises in their own ranks, with democrats unanimously opposed. lisa desjardins reports from the capitol. >> this is our chance. this is our chance. >> reporter: another big moment for the big g.o.p. tax bill: senate majority leader mitch mcconnell opening debate on the senate floor today. >> we will be one step closer to taking more money out of washington's pocket, and putting more money into the pockets of the hard-working men and women we were chosen to represent. >> reporter: but democratic leader chuck schumer accused republicans of rushing to pass a flawed bill. >> i'd understand the rush if the republicans were sure they had a great tax bill, but they are not sure. i know so many of my colleagues, and they expressed real misgivings. >> reporter: those misgivings do exist-- a least, among these nine senate republicans. four of them: tennessee's bob corker, arizona's jeff flake,
oklahoma's james lankford, and kansas's jerry moran, are worried the bill could raise the federal deficit. to win them over, republicans are working on a trigger. if deficits loom, it would raise taxes-- or in one version, cut spending-- to bring in more money. wisconsin's ron johnson and montana's steve daines say they've won a bigger tax cut for small businesses. for maine's susan collins, the issues are health care and the state and local tax deduction. and arizona's john mccain and alaska's lisa murkowski each has multiple concerns. the president tried to seal the deal with congress today by appealing to the public, in a speech in st. charles, missouri. >> so right now, america's tax code is a total dysfunctional mess. we want a tax code that is simple and fair, and that's for all americans. >> reporter: missouri, of course, is a state where republicans hope they, and their agenda, can pick up a senate seat in 2018. for the pbs newshour, i'm lisa
desjardins on capitol hill. >> woodruff: in the day's other news, the u.s. house of representatives has voted to require that all members and staff have annual training against sexual harassment, a measure the senate has already okayed. it was easily approved on a voice vote. this on the day that two more well-known news media figures were fired over allegations of sexual misconduct. nbc news terminated "today" host matt lauer, one of the highest- paid figures in the tv news industry. and, minnesota public radio severed ties with garrison keillor, the former host of "a prairie home companion." we will take a closer look at the allegations, later in the program. pope francis wound up his visit to myanmar today, without publicly mentioning buddhist violence against rohingya muslims. the vatican said leaders of
myanmar's small catholic minority had urged him to be cautious in what he said. francis addressed the country's religious leaders today, and urged restraint and peace. >> ( translated ): it is the particular responsibility of civil and religious leaders to ensure that every voice be heard. if we are to be united, as is our purpose, we need to surmount all forms of misunderstanding, intolerance, prejudice and hatred. >> woodruff: the pope also held an outdoor mass for at least 150,000 people. he spoke of decades of ethnic conflicts in the country formerly known as burma, and he urged forgiveness. in the netherlands, a stunning end today to the war crimes trials from the bosnian war of the 1990s. right after an international tribunal upheld a 20-year sentence for croatian defendant slobodan praljak, he shouted "i am not a war criminal" and drank a small bottle of poison.
he died later in a hospital. back in this country, police in tampa, florida have charged a man with the serial killings of four people since early october. howell emanuel donaldson was arrested last night. police say he targeted people near bus stops in one neighborhood, with "no apparent motive." a gunman in reno, nevada opened fire from the 8th floor of a condominium building overnight. the suspect also took a hostage before being killed by a police swat team. no one else was hurt in the incident. records show a unit in that same reno high-rise was once owned by stephen paddock. he killed 58 people in last month's mass shooting in las vegas. president trump's nominee for health and human services secretary vowed today he will fight to lower drug prices. alex azar spent ten years at pharmaceutical giant eli lilly at a time when the firm raised prices for insulin and other drugs.
but, at his senate confirmation hearing today, azar stressed his independence from the industry. >> this is the most important job i will ever have in my lifetime, and my commitment is to the american people. not to anywhere that i've worked in the past or any industry i've been connected to in the past. >> woodruff: if he is confirmed, azar would replace tom price, who resigned under pressure for using taxpayer dollars to charter private jets. in economic news, third quarter growth in the u.s. was the best in three years. the latest estimate from the commerce department says the economy expanded at an annual rate of 3.3%. meanwhile, outgoing federal reserve board chair janet yellen told congress that small hikes in interest rates are key to stable growth. >> we want to do this gradually because if we allow the economy to overheat, we could be faced with a situation where we might have to rapidly raise rates and
throw the economy into a recession, and we don't want to cause a boom-bust set of conditions in the economy. >> woodruff: this was likely yellen's last appearance before lawmakers, before she steps down. president trump has nominated jerome powell to replace her. and on wall street, blue chips advanced, but tech stocks sank. the dow jones industrial average gained nearly 104 points to close at 23,940. the nasdaq fell 88 points, more than 1%, and the s&p 500 slipped one point. still to come on the newshour: the threat from the latest north korean missile launch. president trump retweets anti-muslim messages. cell phone privacy before the u.s. supreme court. and, much more.
>> woodruff: now, north korea tests a new missile, rattling nerves in asia and in washington. william brangham has that. >> brangham: the north korean news anchor hailed the latest launch, delivering a statement from the nation's leader on state tv. >> ( translated ): kim jong-un declared with pride that now we have finally realized the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force, the cause of building rocket power. >> brangham: the broadcast showed an image of kim signing the order to launch. the new missile, dubbed the "hwasong 15," flew farther than any north korean rocket had before. it soared to an altitude of nearly 2,800 miles, then dove into the sea of japan, within what's known as japan's "economic exclusion zone." that means, if shot on a flatter trajectory, the missile could have flown some 8,000 miles, reaching washington, d.c. it remains unclear if the north koreans have figured out how to
either fit a nuclear warhead onto the missile, or created one that could survive re-entry into earth's atmosphere. but on the streets of the capital, pyongyang, north koreans played their dutiful part, cheering the announcement. >> ( translated ): the missile launch has brought us another victory. our success has once more cracked down on the u.s., which is unable to see its coming death. >> brangham: south korea responded with its own drill, firing off missiles into the sea. and, president moon jae-in spoke with president trump by phone. his spokesman said he'd warned the situation could get "out of control." >> ( translated ): president moon stressed that we should prevent a situation in which north korea misjudges the current situation and threatens us with nuclear weapons, or a situation in which the u.s. takes into consideration preemptive strikes. >> brangham: mr. trump also spoke by phone with chinese president xi jinping. afterward, mr. trump tweeted that new sanctions on the north would be forthcoming. the chinese foreign ministry said xi is "gravely concerned."
this afternoon, the u.n. security council held another emergency meeting on the north's continued defiance of u.n. resolutions. so what does this latest launch mean for u.s. diplomacy? for that, we turn to joel wit. he was part of the team that negotiated a nuclear agreement with north korea during the clinton administration. he's now a senior fellow at the u.s.-korea institute at johns hopkins university, and founder of 38-north, a website that focuses on korea. joel wit, how concerned should we be about this latest launch? >> well, of course, we should be concerned because north korea is obviously moving to the development of a missile that can reach the united states, but this is not new. this is the third test they've conducted, and we've known for some time that they are moving down this road. so it just reconfirms what's going on and it's, of course, very dangerous. >> brangham: the north koreans
argue they are now a fully-formed nuclear power. is that true and, if so, what does that do to our diplomacy? >> well, the reality is north korea has had nuclear weapons for some time now, and they've also been able to put them on missiles that can reach other countries in the region, like our ally south korea and japan. so now they are expanding their reach by developing missiles that can reach the united states. so they have been a nuclear weapons state for some time now, they have been a threat to other countries in the region, and now they're going to be a threat to the united states. >> brangham: does that provide an opportunity, though, to open up talks of some sort that might be productive? >> well, that's a very good question, and it sounds counterintuitive, but, in fact, north korean policy is based on creating a nuclear shield so they can develop their economy. so if the north koreans now feel that they have developed enough
of a nuclear shield, they may want to pivot to better relations with the outside world in order to somehow develop their economy, and that gives us leverage over them to try to get them to move towards stopping their programs, reducing them and, in the very long term, getting rid of their nuclear programs in return for gradually building economic and other ties with them. so it's quite possible they've reached the pivot point now, although we'll never know unless we really sit down and discuss this. >> brangham: if you were talking to the president of the united states and his national security team what would you counsel them to do today. >> what i would say is we should be imposing more sanctions on north korea because of their bad behavior, and, sure, we need to prepare for the possibility that
there will be some military confrontation, but, at the same time, we need to seriously explore the possibility of a peaceful way out of this confrontation, and that means a serious dialogue with north korea face to face. we need to sit down with them and discuss issues of mutual concern and, of course, one of those will be north korea's nuclear weapons program. >> brangham: how likely do you think those talks are? >> well, right now -- usually, when i talk to people, i lay out three scenarios. one is there will be a military conflict on the peninsula, whether because of miscalculation or deliberate. second is that the united states will back down, that president trump and the administration will have to back down from their threats and third is there will be a
diplomatic track that will be pursued. i would say the chances of diplomacy now are anywhere from 10 to 20% and the other two are much higher. >> brangham: joel wit from johns hopkins university. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> woodruff: president trump is well-known for his use of the digital social media platform, twitter, both to tout his accomplishments and to lambaste and make fun of others. but this morning, he ignited a new firestorm when he shared what are widely seen as virulent anti-muslim messages. the president said nothing about the furor, as he left the white house today. hours earlier, he had re-tweeted three videos, originally posted by a british far-right activist. one, from syria in 2013, shows a muslim man railing against
"idols" and smashing a statue of the virgin mary. in a second, also from 2013, islamist protesters in egypt attack opponents, and throw one off a roof. the third video, from earlier this year, shows what it claims is a teenage "muslim migrant" in the netherlands beating up a youth, who is on crutches. dutch news accounts say the attacker was not a migrant, and never mentioned the boys' religions. the clips were first shared by jayda fransen, a leader of britain first, a far-right fringe group that opposes what it calls the "islamization" of britain. president trump's retweets touched off a storm in the house of commons. >> somebody in his position, doing what he has done and said, not only in his own country, but now, you know, getting involved in the debate here, he's normalizing hatred. >> woodruff: and in a statement, a spokesman for british prime
minister theresa may said, "it is wrong for the president to have done this." but white house press secretary sarah sanders defended the retweets, as she acknowledged they may be misleading: >> whether it's a real video, the threat is real. and that is what the president is talking about. >> woodruff: sanders also said prime minister may and other world leaders "know that these are real threats." for more, i'm joined now by rizwan jaka. he runs interfaith and government relations for the all dulles area muslims society, or "adams" center, the second- largest mosque in the united states, located in virginia. and, jonathan greenblatt, the c.e.o. and national director of the anti-defamation league, a civil rights group. he served on the staff of the obama white house. and we welcome both of you to the program. rizwan jaka, let me start with you. i watched all threes of these videos, they're very disturbing to look at, particularly the one throwing a young man off a
rooftop, the other one beating up a young man in crutches. are these real videos? >> first and foremost, obviously there were actions in those videos. there are some reports some of them -- we're not sure the authenticity. regardless, they are horrific actions and do not represent the muslim community's and islamic principles. we condemn the actions, real or fake. obviously, we are absolutely concerned about this retweet and the anti-muslim sentiment behind it. >> woodruff: jonathan greenblatt, what was your reaction when you saw the president's retweets? >> i think all of us were fairly stunned to see the retweets. the fact of the matter is extremests already feel emboldened because the president repeatedly equivocated the unequivocal, whether charlottesville or other incidences, there are no fine people among the nazis. but the fact is when president trump retweets our
endorsements, and, so, we track it and weren't surprised to see david duke and other right-wing extremists celebrating today that the president is pushing out prejudice. >> woodruff: rizwan jaka, what does it represent to you when you see this from the president? >> you know, it represents just kind of an amplifying of anti-muslim sentiment and these -- you know, trumping up these stereotypes, and it is something that is very concerning to us because there's a rise in hate crimes and bigotry towards muslims. obviously there are continuous hate crimes towards the jewish and other communities, and we're very concerned about that, these amplification of the messages, as the anti-defamation league said, this isn't the first time. there have been retweets of anti-semitic and other propaganda, so we stand against any bigotry, and we need to come together and respond to bad with good and stand against violent extremism and terrorism. these videos play on that
narrative that muslims are inherently violent or anti-democratic and that's false. muslims condemn terrorism. we're partners in national security and want to protect our country. >> woodruff: what due tell us about print first and this woman whom the president has retweeted? >> so britain first is an extremist right-wing organization based in the u.k. that sprung out of the english defense league. they style themselves as christian warriors of sorts, but the fact of the matter is they are regarded by leaders across the political spectrum in england as being a fringe organization that no one wants to stand with. the woman who developed this first tweet, she herself has been dealt with in the courts and they have taken legal action against her for harassing a muslim woman wearing a hijab. the organization has been banned from mosques because they literally tried to burst into houses of worship to disrupt
muslim activities. these are not normal people, and the problem is that, again, when the president tweets out their messages, he validates something that clashes with american values and the values of all good people. >> woodruff: rizwan jaka, we heard the white house spokeswoman say today, well, whatever, whether these videos are fake or not, the threat is real. how did you take that? >> well, you know, again, you know, muslims are partners in national security. there is a threat from violent extremists who have foreign connections. there's a threat from domestic extremists. if you look, you know, after the horrific attack in las vegas or sutherland texas, there is a violent spectrum we need to deal with. we as muslim will stand against violent extremism in foreign and domestic. we are partners in national security and we call on the
administration to view us as partners in national security and that we condemn terrorism and that, if you look, muslims are more peaceful than they are trying to portray. >> woodruff: and jonathan greenblatt, i think both of you are getting at this, what is the danger, what is the risk when the president himself is putting out a message like this one? >> well, there's great risk to it. i mean, to build on what rizwan jaka was saying, we already have seen muslims not just feel victimized, the data bears it out the hate crimes report released from the f.b.i. a few weeks ago showed a 19% increase on hate crimes against muslims, attacks against these people because of their faith. so there is not just a perceived threat, there is a real threat to muslim-americans that all of us need to take seriously. and just imagine for a moment if the president, instead of using his bully pulpit to attack the most vulnerable, defended them.
imagine if the president used his twitter feed not to retweet racists but to call them out for their intolerance. imagine if he were uniting our country rather than dividing it. that's what we would like to see from the oval office, that's what all americans, whether muslim, jewish or any faith, deserve from our president. >> woodruff: mr. jaka, if you could speak to president trump right now, what would you want the say to him about this? >> i would say, mr. president, we are all americans. he at one time said he wanted to represent all americans and bring us together. we all bleed red, red white and blue. we are all americans and muslim, christian, jewish, he hindu, buddhists, we are all in it together. let's work to unite people and stand against bigotry and extremism and make things go forward. if he wants to retweet, retweet we're having muslim-jewish summit this weekend, working in
partnership for love, respect, harmony and have a video to tweet and american muslims who have given the ultimate sacrifice serving in the u.s. military. >> woodruff: jonathan greenblatt, what would you say to the president, especially since he says he's so concerned at the threats coming to our country? >> i would say, mr. president, please use the oval office to elevate america rather than diminishing us. use your pedestal and bully pulpit to speak to americans of all faiths, national origins and backgrounds. you have a unique opportunity as president trump, you owe it to the american people to be true to the values upon which this country is based, pluralism, equality and the dignity of all americans. >> woodruff: jonathan greenblatt of the anti-defamation league and rizwan jaka of the adams center here in virginia. thank you both. >> stu. peace be with you.
>> woodruff: stay with us. coming up on the newshour: more on nbc's matt lauer and public radio's garrison keillor firings over sexual misconduct. and, "america addicted." a doctor's personal loss to opioids. but first, the supreme court heard arguments today in a major case at the intersection of new technology, the constitution and privacy rights. for that, john yang has more. >> yang: judy, the case centers around something most of us probably have within reach right now-- a smartphone. and it has the potential to transform privacy law in the digital age. we're joined by marcia coyle, the chief washington correspondent for the "national law journal," who was at the court for today's oral arguments. thanks for coming in. >> my pleasure. >> yang: this case is
carpenter vs. united states. >> timothy carpenter was arrested back in 2011 and convicted for a string of robberies of radio shacks and some other electronic stores in the detroit area. at trial, the government, the prosecution introduced what is called cell phone site location data that it had received from the -- from carpenter's cell phone companies and that data put him within half mile to two miles of the robberies that occurred in 2011. he argued that this violated his fourth amendment rights because the government got that data from the cell phone companies without a warrant. they did have an order to get it under separate federal law known as the stored communications act, but he said and argued to the supreme court today that the fourth amendment required a warrant to get the info. >> yang: under the other law, that's a different standard than
a search warrant? >> a much lesser standard for the government to prove it needs the information. >> yang: this is all new technology. he's arguing under the fourth amendment which was drafted in the 18th century. >> that is correct. and you said there were pretty lively arguments. >> lot of questions, good hypotheticals, the justices were very engaged and even gave the lawyers an extra total 20 minutes for usually the hour-long argument. first of all, there's a question of this information. how sensitive is it really? justice kennedy, for example, said it doesn't seem as sensitive as bank records, and the court, 40 years ago, said the government could get bank records without a search warrant because -- and this is the government's whole argument here -- when you give information to a third party, you lose your expectation of privacy, and the government's arguing that's what happens here, you use your cell phone,
it pings the cell tower, the cell company makes the record, that's the third party, you have no expectation of privacy. >> yang: did you get a covens where the justices were heading. >> the privacy argument here. sotomayor said most americans want toa void big brother and that includes the government tracking your location 24-7 and other concerns. but i think the challenge for the court is where do you draw the line with this new technology? carpenter's lawyer said that, as technology evolves, the court will be able to find discrete categories to protect under the fourth amendment like smart watches which may contain body, physical information. so drawing the line. i sense that carpenter could win this case but how will the court draw the line is the real challenge here. >> yang: and this could have big impact beyond this one case.
>> absolutely, and that's uppermost on the court's mind. it doesn't just rule for the case in front of it. it's looking down the road. justice breyer spoke broadly to that when he said where are we going? this is an open box, we know not where we go. so i think the implications are great. many of the tech companies in the united states filed a friend of the court brief in this case and they basically said -- they weren't urging the court to rule for carpenter, but they said, look, your decisions in this area are 40 years old or older. we're now in a digital age. please, supreme court, bring it up to date so there's guidance in terms of how to protect the privacy of the average person who uses this technology. >> yang: one to have the decisions we'll be rooking for. marcia coyle of the "national law journal," thank you very much. >> pleasure.
>> woodruff: now, more on the allegations against two popular personalities of television and radio. nbc news today fired "today show" anchor matt lauer over what the company called "a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace." in a memo, nbc news president said that "while it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over 20 years he's been at nbc news, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident." the woman who made the complaint has not been identified. and, minnesota public radio terminated garrison keillor's contract over allegations of inappropriate behavior by the former host of "a prairie home companion" with someone who had worked on the long-running show. for the latest on this still- breaking story, we turn to david folkenflik of npr.
david, welcome back to the "newshour". so, as we heard, nbc said this is the first complaint against matt lauer in 20 years, yet a story out late today from "variety" saying that there was questionable behavior by matt lauer over a period of years and nothing done about it. how do you square that? >> nbc is saying it didn't have those episodes or anecdotes reported to them in an in any -- formally or informally, and there have been a number of leadership changes over the years there. i think some of the allegations date as far back as 2001 according to latest post-ing from the "new york times" are very serious and disturbing indeed, one basically according to the "times" he summoned a young colleague into his office, locked the office and essentially compelled her in a sense to have sex. she told her then husband and other friends in subsequent
years. this is deeply disturbing behavior. nbc says it acted precipitously as soon as it received it's first formal complaint and you wonder why the multiple complaints didn't make it to corporate nbc over the years as a much larger enterprise. >> woodruff: reading the variety story this afternoon, they described that he had a but upon his desk that allowed him to lock the door from tin side and said some of these behaviors which took place when he was overseas covering the olympics and so forth were well known inside the "today show" staff. >> i talked to a number of people inside and outside nbc, current and former lauer colleagues, people from lower levels to top executive ranks and their reactions were split. there was shock uniformly, half shocked because they were totally startled by the nature and the disturbing allegations
that have surfaced in the last 24 hours. half were shocked by the magnitude of what happened, the importance of matt lauer to nbc news, he has been until the last day or so the most important figure for the most important show that is the chief economic engine for nbc news, the "today show," and the fact he's fallen shows the climate of which allegations surfaced. some people are shocked. over years, he appeared many times in terms of politics in nbc and gossip of affairs. this is on the order of nonconsensual interactions, unwanted attention and the like. >> woodruff: the big story out today, garrison keillor, a "prairie home companion," fixture in public media. he put out a statement saying all he tid was put his hand on a woman's back and he thought it
was okay. >> he said it accidentally went up her shirt, he apologized, she said she forgave him and he didn't hear anything from it again until he heard from her lawyer and minnesota public radio. ronron public radio hasn't released a full accounting. he had given up "prairie home companion" but did the writers almanac and others. they're renaming "prairie home companion" which for them was an extremely important franchise helping build up the reputation of the parent company minnesota public radio. >> woodruff: he said if he had every dollar for a woman who requested a picture with him and let her hand drift beyond his belt, he would have a hundred dollars. >> i don't think this ista time to mention this.
>> woodruff: we keep having these conversations. >> better days. thank you. >> woodruff: thank you. >> woodruff: next, the latest in our continuing coverage of the opioid crisis, "america addicted." it's the story of a doctor who, less than a year ago, suffered a devastating personal loss to opioids, but now is doing everything he can to keep other families from suffering the same fate. miles o'brien filed this report, as part of our weekly series, "the leading edge." >> reporter: spend the day with physician jim baker, and you will understand america's opioid crisis in a uniquely professional and personal way. he lives in holden, massachusetts, a norman rockwell town just north of worcester. idyllic as it seems, there is death all around. >> in that time it took us to go
around this block, of a minute, including my house right there, four deaths and one person in recovery. and so, this is holden. >> reporter: less than a year ago, death by overdose came to his family. he lost his son max, or macky, as his family called him. he was 23. >> mackey is a sensitive, caring, warm, brilliant young man. he was so smart, it was scary. >> reporter: he always enjoyed music? >> yeah. he started playing seriously when he was about ten, and he would play every day, multiple times a day. >> reporter: and because he was the drummer, the band played here. jim baker can remember the night things changed. >> i was up in this room. they did the first half of their set, which was clear and strong music.
thenthey took a break. when they came back, the timing was off, the changes weren't right. i thought, "what happened?" i found out later that they had got a hold on pills. and within a year, he had moved on to heroin. how that happened, i still don't know. >> reporter: and so began a downward spiral. he was flunking out of school, losing friends and his music deteriorated. >> he had the deepest desire to stop. he said, "if i don't stop, it's going to kill me." but he couldn't do it on his own and i couldn't find treatment. >> reporter: he was trying to find a fellow doctor willing and able to give mackey treatment with suboxone, a combination of two drugs: one answers an addict's craving for opioids; the other blocks the high. but precious few doctors provide the treatment. >> the sad truth is, they say," i don't want those patients in
my office" or in more private conversation, "it takes too much time, i don't want to deal with it." i have heard people say, "our group talked about it, we voted against it. there is no reimbursement." >> reporter: jim baker spent many years as an emergency room doctor, and now works for hospice. he makes house calls to people who need opioids to manage their pain. >> how is your pain doing? the oxycodone? >> reporter: today, he is checking in on bob hopwood. >> do you feel like, when you use it, if you just had a little bit more would help you? >> reporter: he works hard to insure his terminally ill patients avoid unneeded suffering with pain. >> physicians are over-tuned to this. and what's happening now is, physicians are responding by saying, "i am writing for fewer opioids. i don't write for opioids anymore." and it is having a negative effect for people who have real
pain and who need relief. now they can't find it. the pendulum has definitely swung back too far, and now people who really have pain cannot find relief. >> reporter: but he understands all too well the crisis that has caused this over-reaction. as his son's journey into the darkness of addiction worsened, jim baker felt he had no choice. he told macky to leave the house, which prompted this letter: >> i said, "macky, you can call me anytime, 24 hours a day no matter where i am. i will help however i can. just stay with it. i love you so much. dad." >> reporter: he did stay with it. he finally found treatment, and he got off the heroin. >> he was able to maintain sobriety for two years or so, and he was doing great. he was in college. he had fallen in love.
>> reporter: he and emma were planning on getting married; a storybook ending. it seemed like he had beaten the odds. and then thanksgiving last year; a horrible twist of fate. >> it was late at night and coming down this road. his impact was right here, right where that car is coming. boom. we guess just didn't see him coming because of a bush or house there. he fractured and deformed his right hand, his drumming hand, his writing hand. and he was bruised up in his chest, his face. he was beat up pretty good. >> reporter: as he went into surgery, macky told the anesthesiologist not to give him opioids. >> but, i found out later, she was injecting him with fentanyl. and when he came out of the operating room, the first thing he said with glazed eyes is, "i need drugs."
>> reporter: addicted, once again. a month later, he got the call he had been dreading for years. >> this is the road i was driving to when his brother called me and said, "dad, mackie is unconscious." and i was coming up here hoping and hoping, "please, mackie, please." he couldn't get the door open and i'm asking him, "is he breathing? is he responding?" and the answers were really scary. >> reporter: he was gone. one of 33,000 americans who die each year because of an opioid overdose. >> so we're coming up upon a cemetery. the field right above that is where he learned to play tee-ball. hey, mackie, dad is here. hey, buddy. just want to tell you, i love you, pal.
we're going to keep on fighting, >> reporter: on this night, they gathered at a health club in holden. they pedaled hard to raise money for the max baker foundation, and they heard jim baker's talk, poignant and practical. >> my goal is to have everyone here know more about opioids than they did when they came through the door. >> reporter: he told a rapt audience what to look for: slurred speech, pinpoint pupils and long sleeve shirts. >> the first thing that you do when you feel that problem is there, please don't judge, recognize that that person inside of that addiction is still your son or daughter or brother. and they have behaviors they can't control. >> reporter: he told them to get narcan, an over-the-counter drug
that can instantly counteract an overdose. >> it's one of the few miracle drugs i've ever seen. a person is blue, not breathing, dusky, even cool, dying, and get narcan in and three, two, one, they sit up and go, "what? where am i?" >> reporter: and he told them to get a sledge-hammer. >> and if i hear a funny sound in the bathroom, or a thud, and knock, knock, knock, and there is no answer in there, i'm going to pick this up and i'm going to whack that door handle and then i'm going to whack that hinge. i'm going to bust down that door and get in. >> reporter: this is jim baker's mission. his way of channeling profound grief. >> i feel like, what would it mean to me, had someone who is suffering done what it took-- done what was necessary to help macky? and i would be forever-- i can't really talk about it, but the
most meaningful thing i could ever ask of someone. but it's now my turn to do it for somebody else, and i know that's what he'd want me to do. >> reporter: max baker is no longer with us, but his father is spending his days hoping to make sure his son's life has enduring purpose. for the pbs newshour, i'm miles o'brien in holden, massachusetts. >> woodruff: so tough to watch. and we'll be back shortly with a look at a program that helps young girls who are dealing with the loss of their mother. but first, take a moment to hear from your local pbs station. it's a chance to offer your
>> woodruff: now to our "newshour shares:" losing a parent at a young age can have devastating consequences for a child. one massachusetts non-profit has set out to support young women who have lost their mothers, from pbs station wgbh in boston, tina martin introduces us to the woman behind the empower-her program. >> my mom was beautiful, and smart and funny. she really lit up a room. >> reporter: cara belvin was
just nine years old when her mother died of breast cancer. >> i just felt at the time that i was the only girl in the world whose mother had died. and i didn't have opportunities to meet other girls like me, and who could relate to my loss. >> reporter: years later, a mother herself, belvin realized she could help connect girls like her with others. four years ago, belvin started the nonprofit "empower her," which hosts events like group rock climbs for girls who have lost their mothers. >> my vision for empowerher was really these events that would have low pressure, they would be relaxed, and the girls would be comfortable. and come together in these sort of easy, breezy events, like cooking classes and writing classes and beach parties and a sleepover on mothers day weekend. it's something i wish i had.
>> reporter: but soon, belvin realized the girls may need more than just events. so, two years ago, she added another important piece. >> i wanted to start a mentor program, a program that would look a lot like big brothers big sisters, where we could pair with a positive role model from the community. and in some cases, that woman who we make a match with can relate to her loss. >> reporter: andrea mancinelli and 18-year-old jess digangi were matched two years ago, a year after jess lost her mom. >> she has, like, that mother- like role. she reminds me of my mom. i do a lot of the same stuff i'd do with my mom, with andrea. >> reporter: the two like to watch "downton abbey" together, and go shopping. >> it's just really great to be able to at least try to give something back to her and to help her through some tough times, and also kind of bring that fun back. >> reporter: mancinelli sees her role as more than just fun. >> a lot of times, i'll just text and say i'm thinking of you. >> reporter: cara belvin left her full-time job as a nonprofit
consultant to run empowerher, which relies 100% on donations, and she believes her mom would approve. >> she'd be proud that i was doing anything to, i guess, speak up or speak out on something that may still even be something of a taboo topic. >> reporter: because of cara belvin's vision, these girls have a community of support and friendship. for the pbs newshour, i'm tina martin in scituate, massachusetts. >> woodruff: uplifting. and that is the newshour for tonight. 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: >> bnsf railway. >> supported by the rockefeller foundation. promoting the wellbeing of humanity around the world, by building resilience and inclusive economies. more at
www.rockefellerfoundation.org. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and friends of the newshour. >> 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
beyound a year in space was made posossible in part by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. scott kelly: you know, being in space for a year... it's a really long time. [ticking] i often would tell myself, "hey, no matter how long i think i've been up here, eventually i won't be." [laughing] but this study with my brother and i is really important right now because it will help us get to mars someday. jessica meir: nasa is very much on what we call a journey to mars. jeffrey kluger: the next generation of astronauts will be the apollo generation of the 21st century. jessica: ooh, there it goes! [splash] victor glover: if we're going to send someone on a mission that could be 500 days, then we need to know that when you get back,