tv PBS News Hour PBS November 27, 2018 6:00pm-7:01pm PST
captioning sponsory newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening,f.'m judy woodr on the newshour tonight, the spial counsel in the russi investigation charges that president trump's former campaign chairman repeatedly lied even after a plea deal. then, we're on the ground in northern california as crews continue to comb through the ashes of the deadlst fire in state history. and, school's out-- for good. we visit some of the mansmall towns where shrinking populations have led to school closures. >> it's a numbers game. and it's a numbers game because student headcount dictates how we're financed. >> woodruff: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour.
>> woodruff: president trump's former campaign chairman is in legal hot water, again. in a court filing late monday, prosecutors for special counsel robert mueller accused paul manafort of lying, to them and to the f.b.i., "on a variety of subject matters." manafort sd in that same filing that "he has provided truthful information." he was previously convted on a number of criminal charges brought by mueller. and in september, he pleaded guilty to other crimes. in doing so, manafort alsore to cooperate with the special counsel's team. here now to help us digest this newest accusation is renato mariotti. he worked previously as a federal prosecutor focusing on white-collar crimes, and is now rney in private practice. renato mariotti, welcome back to the newshour. so, tell us how unusual is this for a special counsel in an situatke this to have worked out a plea deal, but then to turn around and say he defendant, the person we're working with, has lied, and we
ink the plea deal is worthless now? >> it is extremely uual, judy. er my almost-decade as a form federal prosecutor, when i was in that job, i had never gone to the step of having a cooperation deal fall apart and having to go to the judge and make a statement like this. and i will tell you, i worked in chicagolarge office i with well over 100 other prosecutors. and i don't recall that everpp ing during the almost-decade that i was doing it. so it's very, very unusual situation because, typically, coordinators want to on the government's team. that's why they sign the deal. there ene huge intives for them to be truthful, to tell the government everything that they know. that is what they are instructed by the prosecutors and by the f.b.i. agents. and on the other side, the prosecutors are trying to work with the cooperator. they want their tesmo, they want their information. so typically, there is not this
sort of falling apart to this level. llys something that is rea hard to get your head around. >> woodruff: so as we said, paul manafort is saying what hea has said truthful. we've got two completely opposite versions of whatpp ed here. but in doing so, if what r bert muel saying is correct what, paul manafort has done isu open himse to a longer prison sentence. >> that's exactly right jud and the judge will ultimately make that decision.rt so paul manaan have whatever position he wants. ultimately, bob mueller's going to prsent evidence and reasons s tod an explanation to the judge. and it will be up he judge to decide, not beyond a reasonable doubt, but by essentially a51% stdard, as to whether or not paul manafort did these things. and if she belies that he did, in fact, lie to the f.b.i., she must, under law, consider all of his behavior, including that, when she fashions his sentence. and you better believe that if
the judge decides that he did lie to the f.b.i. and he lieto mr. mueller and his team, she is going to give him a much gher sentence. it is not going to go very well for him. >> woodruff: sot appears whatever the change exngs were that the special counsees beliis not truthful, not factual, that's going to come out later in thetatement they issued last night. they said that they were going to put forward the details of the defendant's crimes. so does that tell us ything, that robert mueller is prepared to lay out exactly what manafort it >> well, it certainly means, judy, first of all, he is e king dge to consider this at sentencing. this means that he wants tto judgtake this into account, as i metioned a moment ago, that's the judge's duty to do. and what it also tells us is at least some portions of this, there's enough there, that he feels it's not too sensitive to diclose. in other words, if paul manafort was lying about very ssitive
classified matters you can imagine that all being done under seal. but here at least we can expect some portions of this willma ully play themselves out in the sentencing process, and we'll hear at least about soma e orood portion of what mr. mueller's is alleged mr. manafort did. >> woodruff: of course, there's so much we don't know. we know robert mueller is looking atpo anyible connection between the trump iansidential campaign, russ officials. we do know that this-- this filing by the special counsel comes out three days-- just a matter of a few days-- after present trump answered questions that robert mueller's office had put to him. and we have a statement today from the president's lawyer, rudy giuliani, telling reporters that maybe the prosecutor in hit zeget the president may have gone too fa. >> i see no evidence to indicate that that is the case. e and what wve seen, frankly, in the process ofe th interview process that you refer, to judy,
is extraordinary deference being shown to the president. i will tell you, when i represent clients, the government doesn't l me clients represent-- you know, make their answers in writing. 'tthe process usually doetake a year long. so i think they've been deferential. as to mr. manafort, the facts are going to play out through the process we just dcussed moment ago. if mr. mueller is able to prove that mr. manafort lied to the f.b.i., that is going to be very bad news for mr. manafort, and n don't think acould say that he was treated unfairly in that circumstance. >> woodruff: just quickly, i want to also say there was a report in thritish newspaper thhe guardian" today that paul manafort met witfounder of wikileaks, julian assange, on three different occasions, including in the spring of 2016, just exactly around the time he nt to work for the trump campaign. now, manafort is denyi this, but if it were true, it seems to me that could have a lot of significance here.er >> s no question. e mean, wikileaks was th
operation that distributed the hacked emails from democrats in the united states. hacking a server in the united states is a federal crime. anyone who participat in that would-- a conspiracy to do that or aidwoed thatd be guilty of a crime. obviously, knowing about that or having discussions about that does not necessarily constitute a crime, but it would certainly lead-- potentially could lead muelledown that direction. >> woodruff: all right, renato mariotti, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> woodruff: in the day's other news, president trump warned at he is considering eliminating all federal subsidies for general motors. the threat, twitter, followed g.m.'s plans to close plants in three states, and stop building its hybrid-electric "vol model. at the white house, economic adviser larry kudlowaid the president feels betrayed. >> there's dispointment that it seems like g.m. would rather build its electric cars in china rather than in the unite states.
we are going to be looking at certain subsidies regarding electric cars and othersnd whether they should apply or not. i can't say anything final about that, but we're looking into it. >> woodruff: g.m. defended initself in a statement, sit acted to ensure long-term success. the company also said it will give affected workers a chance to move to jobs at other plants. there are new questions tonight about a federal detention center for migrant teenagerest texas. it was established in june and quickly expanded to more than 2,300 children. the associated press reports that, in a bid to keep up, officials waived strict f.b.i. background checks for reenings, including for child abuse. the non-profit group managing the shelter says it is exceptionally well-run.am threican soldiers were killed today in afghanistan, the deadliest such attack in 17
months. officials said a roadside bomb went off near the eastern city of ghazni, as the trngps were carrut raids with afghan soldiers. the taliban claimed responsibility. tensions stayed high today ovtween russia and ukraine a naval confrontation on sunday. moscowssued new warnings to kiev, and it refused to return three ukrainn naval vessels and two dozen crewmen. foreign affairs correspondent nick schifrin reports. >> schifrin: in russian annexe crimea, masked soldiers paraded ukranian sailors in, and then quickly out, of a russian controlled court. and those same ukrainian sailors were paraded on russian tv, seemingly confessing to entering russian territorial waters illegally, a "crim they'll be detained for two months. it's only been two days since their boats were fired on by russian ships as they sailed through the crimean peninsula's kerch strait, which bothar
countrielegally allowed to use under a 2003 agreement. iar four and a half years, ukraine and russave been fighting. a moscow-backed insurgency in eastern ukraine has killed at least 10,000 and kept ukraine's government off balance. epw ukraine's firing back with intercd russian communications it says prove the crisis was manufactured bys. russian lead airussian captain says to another russian ca "we should assault them. we have to destroy them. medvedev is inanic. it seems that the president is controlling all that." medvedev likely refedv to gennady ev, head of the the f.b.s.'s border service office in crimea. but today, moscow stood firm in blaming ukraine. it warned kiev's decision yesterday to impose martial law in parts of ukraine would lead to a surge in fighng in the pro-russian rebel-held areas of
eastern ukraine. and russia accused ukranian president petro petroshenko of playing politics ahead of a march 2019 election. russian prime minsiter dmitry medvedev: >> ( translated ): this the result is the declaration of this martial law allows for the authorities to flex their ooscles a little bit and bst their support amongst the population. >> schifrin: but mh of the world today supported ukraine. poland's president called for retalitory sanctions against moscow. >> ( translated ): there is no doubt that russia is an aggressor and it is not the first time there is a violation of the agreements betweeinrussia and ukregarding navigation, and this can not be >> schifrin: european leaders have left the door open for new sanctions against moscow, to be decided next month. >> president trump threatened to cancel his m putin, saying, "i don't like that aggression at all."
for the pbs newshour, i'm nick schifrin. >> woodruff: in northeastern auralia, firefighters toda fought a major wildfire, fueled by record november heat, in the triple digs. crews in queensland state have battled 40-milan hour winds that fanned flames across nearly 50,000 acres since saturday. tomorrow could be worse still, with temperatures of 104 degrees. >> the end of the week is looking pretty horrendous from our point of view. it is a heatwave across most of the state particularly from the central to the northern part of the state, unprecedented temperatures, unprecedented weather. we talked earlier about really this is uncharted waters. we don't expect this at this time of the year. >> woodruff: the fire has destroyed four homes, and hundreds of people have been forced to flee its advance. trial opened in chicago today for the current and former policemen accused of a cover-up after a white officer killed a black teenager.
laquan mcdonald was shot 16 times in october of 2014. last month, another former officer, jason van dyke, was convicted of second-degree murder in the killing. nasa has gotten more good news from its "insight" probe on the surface of mars. overnight, the spacecraft opened its solar wings and began char step in starting its mission. "i photograph, showing part of the probe and the landscape around it it will spend the next two years digging into the martian surface to study the planet's interior. on wall street tod, stocks made up a bit more ground. the dow jones indurial average gained 108 points to close at 24,748. the nasdaq rose a fracti of a point, and the s&p 500 added eight. and, the man who created the wildly popular "spongebob squarepants" cartoon series, has died.
stephen hillenburguffered from the muscle-wasting disease, a.l.s. "spongebob" debuted in 1999 with a wide cast of oceanic friends. it has run for nearly 250 episodes, plus two movies and a broadway musical. stephen hillenburg was 57 years old. still to come on the newshour: california begins to grapple with the aftermath of the deadliest fire in state history. congress' to-do list before mocrats take control of the house in january. inside iran's jewish population and why they often side with their government against theta uniteds, plus, much more. >> woodruff: now, let's get an utupdate from california ahe deadly wildfires and their aftermath.
the camp fire in northern california is fully conttwned more thaweeks after it first broke out. it is the deadliest fire in the state's history and the toll continues tolimb. at least 88 people were killed. more tha50 of those people have now been identified. but more than 200 people are stl missing and unaccounte for. amna nawaz has more. >> nawaz: there are other big problems in butte county too. some 50,000 people have been displaced by the fires in a region that has a housing crunch as it is. our william brangham is at a red cross shelter in gridley, california. we spoke earlier and i asked him to give us a sense of how people are coping with this disaster. >> brangham: now that the fires are out, everyone is relieved by that. don't get me wrong. that's a great thing, obviously. but everyone iso coming this daunting realization now that there is a very long-term hoblem here, and that is fact that there are thousands and thousands and thousands of people who are now homeless. fotheir community is, many intents and purposes, gone. it has burned to the ground.
and those people e now living in shelters. i'm light now if a very busy re cross shelter. we can't show the faces of the people who are staying here, but is is a bustling, busy place, only going to get busier later today. peope nowhere to live. they have chdren that have to go to school. they suddenly are to gure out what to do with their lives. yesterday, we went to a fema emergey center, and there, you got a sense of how many needs people have to address. it's like a one-stop shop inside this place. you could get red cross aid. you could get aid from fema. you could register your kids for school. you could talk to the i.r.s. about your tax retu rn. you can go to t hedmv. you can submit d.n.a. so they can try to identify a missing family member. so people here are dealing with the emional loss on top of all of the logistical challenges of suddenly becoming homeless and having their homes destroyed. >> nawaz: william, on a disaster of this scale, it is so easy to lose sight of the ple's lives.eo so you're there talking to
people. what kind of stories are they telling you about at they lost and how they're coping? >> brangham: i met a woman who had lo her home n paradise. it was a double-wide trailer. she loved the place. she had sunk her retirement sa intotion this home. i"it was going to be my future," is what she said, and now that future is toally gone and she could barely conattendant tears and we hear that all the time fr people. i almost met a first-grade teacher yesterday in chico caadfornia, who is getting for school to start on monday but she has now got to take a much bigger set of g firders -- these are children who lived in paradise. almost all othe schools in paradise were destroyed or badly damaged. they will filter into local public schools and she was explaining the difficulty of ale of a sshe has her normal class, and now that class is going to get a lo bigger with children who are themselves homeless, who have lost their homes, are dealing with trauma. again, anotherring about challenge. >> nawaz: there is, of course,h
the search formissing ongoing, families looking for their loved ones. w williahave heard a lot about the list authorities are working off of. what can you tell us about this list. >> brangham: that's right, the list is a mystery. the sheisriff's office painstakingly going through the list, calling the people who first m de the call saying,'m looking for this person." trying to scour social media profiles, trying to unererstand whehe people on the list are in fact missing or whether they're in a shelter or moved away and are safe and sound. there is a table here to my right that is coved with papers-- we can't show you the close-up of it-- but it is full personal notes people have written saying, "i'm looking for my mlother. i'ing for my aunt. please call this number." there is just an ongoing sense of where are these people? we just don't know wyre are. simultaneously to that search is the search that's going on inside the burned buildings all wnover paradise and the around it. and you can imagine, when a building burns to the ground and all that is left is ash, it's full of debris, sharp metals,
housechemicals-r and search-acue teams and forensic anthropologists are combing through that ash, ghterally sifting throuhat ash trying to find what may be an inch, inch-and-a-half-size piece of bone or tooth that nuld help idefy whether or not one of these missing people has, in fact, perished, and help some family try to get some sense of closure. m>> nawaz: that's willia brangham in northern california for us. thank you, william. >> woodruff: for the first time this month, white house press secretary sarah sanders stepped up to the podium to answer questions from reporters. our white house correspondent yamiche alcindor was in the room and joins me now. hi, yamiche. so the president has made it very clear, he is not happy with general motors for announcing that it is going to close some
plants, it is going o layff thousands of employees. the president just today, we're learning, given an interview where he's commented on that to the "washington post." rell us what you know. >> well, the pesident is make it abundantly clear that he is not appywith general motors. on twitter, he railed against the company, and he said he was considering cutting all r,bsidies to the auto make including subsidies that allow them to be able to make electric cars. he accused g.m. of wanting to make cars in mexo and chna instead of in the united states, and that white house top adviser, lar kudlow, came to the podium, and said that he had a lengthy conversation with theo c.e.g.m., and he personally expressed how disappointed he was, how the prident gave a wide-ranging interview to the "washington post," and in it he blames federal reserve chairman jay powell as part of the reason why g.m. is closing those plah s. sanders, of course, put it most bluntly-- she is, of course, the white house press secretgy. she said. is simply making cars people don't want to buy. so she is critizi g.m.'s
business model. >> woodruff: different t bject, yamiche. there has been a speculation about whether the president would pardon his former campaign manager, paul manafort, who is veh in the news today. what is the white house saying about that? >> the white house isin say that president trump has not spoken to anyone at the white house about pardoning his formir campaign chairman, paul manafort. but the president has been going after bob mueller d the russia investigation pretty tough. he tweeted today that robert mueller was "a rogue prosecutor," and that he as doing tremendous damage to the criminal justice system. but sarah sanders said because president trump has no fired robert mueller yet, and because he has not stopped the russiaio investig that we should all look at that, reporters and the public included, and as evidence that president trump is going to continue to let robert mueller do his job. >> woodruff: just last thing, quickly, yamiche, the pre at the white house, there's been a really contentious relationship there for af weeks. how did today's session go? >> well, despite the tension, it was really business as usual at the white house.er
sarah sa who, of course, held her first briefing this month, which, of course, we are 27 days into the month, and this is the first one, which is pret rare. but she took questions from reporters. she even called on jim acosta, who is, of course, the cnn correspondent whose hard pass was revoked and then he got it back after the court said he had to be give 0 back. but she was allowing reporters to ask qushestions. had a new set of rules for reporters to answer questions and ask questions, but, really, everyone was allowed to do what they do, so everything went very smoothly. >> woodruff: they could do follow-ups, apparently, at least today. >> yup.f: >> woodre shall see, yamiche alcindor, thank you.f: >> woodrn the other end of pennsylvania avenue, congress returned from recess with a long to-do list before the end of the year and the democrats takingof controhe house. our capitol hill correspondent lisa desjardins has been reporting on what congress is likely to accomplish.he o, lisa. >> hello. >> woodruff: so let's start with the two things that congress is looking at as a deadline, and that is the nation's flood insurance program, and ten funding the
government. could we be looking a t somekind of government shutdown soon? >> the truth is yet again, we don't know. e deadline, of course, say week from friday. but let's go over where thingsri stant now. the biggest hitch is over immigration and the president's demand for more funding foa border wall. the presidenrsonally-- we can look at the noobz has quested $5 billion in funding right now for the wall. democrats have offered $1.6 billion, not for a wall, but they say for border security in general. there's a difference there, but talking to sources,udy, today on the hill, on both sides, there is a real belief that ama deal can be here. perhaps democrats get something. they would love something on eamer population, those children brought here illegally as children, or perhaps some swap for the next congress' committee position. those nds of things. ere is a lot of optimism a deal can be made. it's up to the president, moree. than anyone e >> woodruff: we know, and you were telling us, that they're running out of time. but the republicans have the wish list, and this is as they
are facing the point in january when democrats te over the use. >> i'm going to try to tick ththugh some very big itemat they have a little bit of time to get through, judy, and the ree are givinpeople a road map here-- saudi arabia. there is a lot of concern from both parties. there is also anheissue, criminal justice reform. and final leash the mueller investigation. a little more on each now, judy. on saudi arabia, we could see a vote as soon as tomorrow on a resolution from bernie sanders from vermt, the independent, who would like the u.s. to stop its support of saudi arabia yemen. unlikely to pass, but even if it gets a vote, that's a sign that things are changing. and there could be another vote later on about arms sales to saudi. then youove to criminal justice reform. a bill that could change sentencing laws and the power that judges is are is moving through the senate ask is getting more and more support. republicans think this might be its last chance. they think a house run byex democrats year would not like this bill. they would at the present time to go farther. so we'll watching the next twoif
weeks sose criminal justice reform makes it lou. >> woodruff: the president is very much behind that. >> thiewrt. and that's anoth want to do it right now. finally, on the mueller investigation, news today from mitch ma coverage the senate majority leader, hes open to allowing a vote on a bill that would muotect roberler's investigation and limit who could fire mr. muelleo this has do with senator jeff flake, who has withheld his vote on other things to try to get hhis. it's unclear ift would pass. but, again, we're seeing a lot of these big issues coming up very fast. >> brangham: lot of big issues. and finally, something we've been reporting on just a few weeks ago, lisa, and that is the california rildfires. >>t, as part of the farm bill air, massive, sweeping bill, the verlast hitch in that negotiation has to do with forestry requirements. fconservatives are askin new rules that would allow more clearing of land. democrats say that's just a boon to logging companies and would
allow overlogging.ti consers say, no, it would help prevent wildfires. as we speak. that is a to work out to see if an entire farm bill would be passed or not. >> woodruff: that's a big issue. now, when does congress go home? what's the expectation >> supposed three weeks is when they would like to leave. it's a lot to do in that time. it's possible. they really only work on deadlines after all, right? so... >> woodruff: you atuld say thabout a lot of us. >> us, too, that's true. >> woodruff: lisa dethjardins, k you. >> you're welcome. >> woodrf: stay with us, coming up on the newshour: inside the small towns whose shrinking populations have forced school closures. and the man behind "giving tuesday" on how connected citizens can lead to real change. now, the major faiths of the middle east predate the borders
and conflicts of today. perhaps nowhere does the resonance of antiquity and the mandates of faith collide with politics than in iran. that is particularly true within its jewish community, which has existed there for nearly three millennia.e for many of ws of iran, well, life is... complicated. special correspondent reza sayah reports. >> repter: at abrishami synagogue, worshippers recite early morning ovayers. they rthe torah from its ark to read passages from judaism's most sacred book. jews practice this ritual the world over, every day. but this ceremony is taking place in the islic republic of iran, a untry that's a sworn enemy of the state of israel. but home to what some estimates say is the secd largest jewish population in the middle east,
outside of israel. so life for you as a jew is good in iran? >> yes. >> reporter: you're happy here? >> if i was not hay i can immigrate. >> reporter: siamak morsadegh is a jewish rident of the capital tehran. inside his office, moses is on one wall, iran's supreme leader on the other. you don't want to leave? >> everyone who wants to leave can leave. >> reporter: you don't want to leave? i don't want. i am living here. >> reporter: 20 years ago, morsadegh's wifeanted the couple to move to america. she left. he stayed, choosing iran's more conservative culture. ave up your wife to stay in iran? >> yes, it's very important for me. i think i cannot live without iranian culture.ca t tolerate my wife to dress in bikini in seaside urcause i grew up in iranian cu iranian culture, iranian living. >> reporter: today, morsadegh im an electedr of iran's
parliament, proof he says that jews here are a respected minority with religious rights. s u say everything for the jewish communityne. >> no, no one can say everything is fine. y >> reporte say most things are improving. >> yes, most things are improving. >> reporter: many people oside iran are going to remark that you're not being completely truthful and open. how can you convince people? >> i cannot convince a man who cannot understand our condition. >> reporter: conditions for jews in iran have seen many ups and downs. jews began settling in iran in the 6th century b.c., when iran was the persian pire and its king, cyrus, freed jews from babylonian captivity. >> ( translated ): we've been in iran for 2,700 years. >> reporter: homayoon sameyeh is the president of the tehran jewish committee, a 700 year-old
organization that works on behalf of iran's jews. his office walls are lined with past generations of iran's jewish leaders. >> ( veanslated ): iranians given us a lot of good. we are iranians ourselves. sure, there are times wh things happen. but our community always stands strong and demands our rights. i >> reporteran's jews facedug perhaps their hest challenge soon after the 1979 islamic revolution. islamist revolutionaries linked many jews to the regime of the ousted shah of iran. they declared israel an enemy of islam. severajews were arrested. habib elghanian, a well-known jewish businsman, was executed. >> ( translated ): they said mr. elghanian was a zionist, but i still don't believe that was the case. he had a big factory. 99% of his employees were muslims. he invested 100% of his money back into iran, but he was still executed.
>> reporter: fearing for their safety, many jews left the cotry. someyeh insists, today, iran's jews are safe and respected again. >> ( translated ): in the beginning of the revol there was a lot of pressure on minorities especially for jews. there was immigration because people felt insecure. with time, things have improved. fortunately, right now in iran, we have complete freedom to carry out our religious duties. >> reporter: today, an estimated 15,000 jews still live here. most are in the capital tehran, h private five jew schools. r several koshtaurants. and tehran's oldest charity hospital was founded and isil run by jews. tehran is a city with 13 synagogues.er someconfiscated by the government after the revolution. jewish leaders say when they sued to get them bacn's revolutionary court ruled in their favor. thtoday, all 13 are open, little or no security measures
in pla. here's one of the most remarkable things about this synagogu in a region where almost all synagogues arerotected with tight security, metal detectors, even armed guards th synagogue's doors are always wide open. worshippers, or anyone elsfor that matter, can walk right in. manouchehr behravan used to live in new york city. one thing he values in iran he says is the absence of anti semitism. have you ever experienced any o violent acanti-semitism here in iran? >> no, i feel safe. i feel safer here probably more than united states because in united states a lot of people have access to guns. >> reporter: three years ago, the government of iranian president hassan rouhani recognized saturday as the jewish sabbath and a religious holiday.
parents have permission to stay home from work and children have permission to stay home from hool. for yafa mahgerefteh, it was a sign. >> ( translated ): it showed that they acknowledge us and our faith, because this is part of our religion. thank god they accepted it. re reporter: iran's jews say they're alsoto travel to israel, a trip the govt bans for all other citizens. not everything is perfect for iran's jews. they're still kept away from senior government and military positions, some are believed to be closely watched by iran's intelligence ancies, and many still question if they're freely expresng their true feelings. they also find themselves in a seemingly difficult position. they live a country whose leaders are sworn enemies of isrel, the homeland of thei faith. iran doesn't recognized israel as a legitimate state. hardliners still scream death to israel at every friday prayers.
and in international sporting events, iran bans its athletesom fr competing with israelis who often end up winning by forfeit. but jews here say iranian policy is strictly against the israeli government and its leader benjamin netanyahu, not jews or israeli people.it a policy many jews here publicly support. >> my decision about israel is based on iranian national wrest. everyo is enemy of my e country my of me, and >> reporter: and you suggest israel is an enemy of iran?av >> if israel b in such a way that its' doing, israel is enemy of peace in our part of the world. >> reporter: jewish committee leader homayoun sameyeh denounces israeli policies too. >> ( translated ): unfortunately, mr. netanyahu doesn't have the desire to
wimprove relations with tld or iran. >> reporter: but he also rejects fellow iranians who chant death to israel. >> ( translated ): it's better to talk about life and peace in the world instead of wishing someone's death. thi hope god guides us in e right path. >> reporter: many jews here hope tehran and tel aviv will one day resolve their differences. but even if they do, home, they say, will always be iran. for thpbs newshour, i'm reza sayah in tehran. >> woodruff: we've tried to show lately a number of efforts aimed reviving small towns and rural areas around the country. tonight, we focus on a problem that's tied to towns and small cities losing too many sidents. some rural schools are being rced to shut down or consolidate as people move away.
jeffrey brown raports from cewisconsin for our weekly education segment, "making the inade." >> brown: every mosix-year old brady schlamp boards the bus vein arena, wisconsin to t the ten miles to his new school in the neighboring town of spring green. just a few blocks away: arenary elemena now-abandoned building where he attended kindergarten last year. his mom, deborah, says the transition has been tough. >> he's adjustg. slowly starting to make some new friends, which he's about. but i think he's sad some days, especially when we go by the school and it's sitting empty. >> brown: empty schools, closed to consolidate and save money: it's happening in rural areas all over the country, including here in the river valley school district in central wisconsin, which shuttered elementary schools in two towns in the last two years.
some here commute to work in madison less than an hour away, and the area boasts attractions like frank lloyd wright's home and studio, taliesin. but the rural economy and demographics are changing, and that, says superintendent tom wermuth, iacts schools. although our area is growing,we e growing primarily over the age of 60 and becoming more of t retireestination. we're not attracting thet families thaaditionally were of child bearing age. >> brown: so it's a numbers game in part? >> it's a numbers game. and it's a numbers game because student headcount dictates how we're financed.ro >>: but for everyone here, of course, it's abou more than just numbers. the school closures have split communities and pitted towns against one another. >> it was hard. it was emotionally hard. still hard. >> brown: i see. because? >> because it was such a part of
our lives. >> brown: karen wilkinson was a teacher at arena elementary for years,ntil she retired two years ago. >> neighbors stopped speaking to neighbors. friendships were divided. >> brown: really? it got to that point? >> it did get to that point. >> brown: she and others say when the arena school was closed, the heart of the town was lost, leaving just one cafe and a cheese shop as the main social and economic engines. and deborah schlamp says without cyschool to attract younger people, a vicioue is perpetuated. >> i don't think families are going to want to come here anymore. they're going to start looking at the other towns and nothing's going to happen with arena. it's just going to eventually kind of dry up. >> brown: residents of nearby lone rock have similar concerns. kathy rossing taught at its asementary school until it closed. she, like many students, made the move to spring green and now teaches at the consolidated. scho >> it was very, very hard. both having taught my entire
teaching career therhis nice small family atmosphere and cken also being from lone that was a whole different concern with being aanroperty owneworrying about what the value of our house is and we are losing that. >> brown: superintendent wermuth says the decision to clo schools wasn't easy, but the vote forof residents t a tax increase two years ago, coupled with what he calls " antiquated" state funding formula, meant he had no choice. >> i think we made the difficult decision we had to make in order to continue to provide the students that we're serving the best possible academic and co- curricular experiences that we could. >> brown: that is: consolidation does bring benefits, as wermuth was eager to show on a tour of the newly configured schools. >> there are more children in the building than there has been in years. >> brown: which means? >> which is a good thing.
it allows us to do things ke balance classrooms by gender and behavior and ability. >> brown: and he said students have made the adjustment more t easin many of the adults. >> i'm making a lot of new seiends and all that stuff. >> brown: n point: ten- year-olds lydia johnson andy, kaylie kilho now go to the consolidated middle school as fifthagraders. >> w lockers and we have omre responsibilities. we have to travel ne class to another. >> i like having the lockers too. and having an actual study halln >> brown: you have that before? >> no. hi brown: as elsewhere, consolidation is n new here: in the 1960s, in another period of change, the district went from four high nehools down to then as now, superintendent wermuth says the goal is t offer students access to classes and programs unavailable at
smaller schools. >> we've got phenomenal career and technology education programs. we have a welding program, we have an automotive program, we have an electronics program, we have a business program, we have an agriculture program. >> lots of times when a school closes in a small community, it closes a community. >> brown: education expert julie underwood says although closures can be devastating to small towns, consolidation is often the only choice to keep school districts viable. >> you want to stay vibrant as much as possible. and once you start losing that-- by losing students or cutting programs-- you're going to lose more students and cut more. progra it's a bad cycle. >> brown: she says rural school districts like river valley are victims of a double economic thammy. >> if you look a demographic maps of wisconsin, not only has the popul shifted out of rural areas, but the rural areas have becom
poorer in tes of income, so they have less resources to deal with greater pblems. >> brown: and now, despite the consolidation, the distrt finds it's still short of operational funds. it put another tax increase before the voters earlier this month, which failed to ps. when we spoke before the election, tom wermuth told me a no vote could lead to programs being cut. >> we have phenomenal co- curricular experiences for our students from arts and music to our equestrian team. >> brown: you're saying all these things could be at risk? >> they could be at risk, without question. >> brown: as for the town of arena, there is hope for building a new future,f the old. >> brown: 50 years ago, as an ngghth grader, jay jones was giours of this arena school building, then a k to 8 school.
>> brown: today, he's part of a citizen's group aiming toos reputhe abandoned building into a community center, policea station, d and even a commercial kitchen for start-up chefs. >> i was part of the fight toop keep the schoo. on lost. we were handed lems, so now you try to make wmonade and thhat we're doing here. >> brown: it will take commitment and funding, says jones, but he thin will to keep the town alive is there. for the pbs newshour, i'm jeffrey brn in arena, wisconsin. >> woodruff: and we'll be back shortly with the man behind "giving tuesday" on how to harness the power of the digital age.t rst, take a moment to hear from your local pbs station. it's a c
>> woodruff: finally tonight, this week's "that moment when," newshour's series on facebook watch, features henry timms, the creator of "giving tuesday" which is today. timms is the co-author of the bestseller "new power" that explains how interconnected groups, often organized through social media, are changing the world. henry, c you tell me the ment you decided to apply new lewer tactics to an old che, fund-raising. >> we had this idea, you know about black frid, and cyber monday. and so we were thinking, okay, what about adding giving tuesday? could you add a day at reversed the trend. after all ths consumerism that pele would give back, they would engage with the world. the idea began at the 92nd st. y, and it was a really simple idea.
we designed that from the start in a way we hoped other people would grab this idea and take it somewhere new. what was so interesting about giving tuesday, as wwatched it grow, was from the very first days, it was a story of other people steing up and saying, "i'd like to make this idea better." r-charged giving tuesday was small communitieses, families, people all around the country who just said, "you know what? i'm going to start making this part of my annual tradition." so giving tuesday in the first year we were lucky, because people like bill gates were t eeting about it. derneetion that was what was really changing is people were sitting around with their kids saying what are the charities we care about? why is philtaanthropy imp for us? and that's been a joy to watch. >> what are the dangers andng chal of the people who treat the internet like it's a cash register? >> the danger h the internet, of course, is we have this scale of engagement now. people who are entering that space just trying to get people's money and do nothin
elth them aren't getting as far as they should because the big shift in fund-raising, in particular, is we need to sp seeing people as donors and start seeing them as owners. what i mean by that ne we ed to stop seeing people in this very old-power way, that teir job is simply to give us money so we can solve problems. and we need to sayoourselves how do we mobilize these people who want to help to do m simply give their money, but to give their time, to give their voice, to give their ideas. and i think that's the big shift we're seeiy with giving tues and across the sector. en woodruff: "that moment debuts on facebook watch every tuesday at 3:00 p.m. and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm ju woodruff. join us online and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you and see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: he
>>ord foundation. working with visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide. >> carnegie corporation of new york. supporting innovations in education, democratic engagement, anthe advancement international peace and security. at carnegie.org. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and individuals. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributionsioo your pbs stfrom viewers like you. thank you.
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