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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  December 13, 2018 6:00pm-7:01pm PST

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capt sponsored by newshour productions, llc druff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, a starting point-- how a partial cease-fire in yemen could help end a brutal war, as the u.s. senate takes a symbolic vote condemning saudi arabia. then, outgoing democratic senators claire mccaskill and heidi heitmp reflect on their elections, their time in congress and what their pay needs to do next. s plus, the lastp in the mediterranean helping migrants bases operations due to political pressueuropean governments, leaving many stranded. >> the aquarius has saved abouth 30,000 lives olast three years. people that without that dedicated search and rescue capability on the mediterranean iesea would otherwise haveas
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they undertook that perilous journey. >> woodruff: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> and by the alfred p. sloa foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. >> carnegie corporation of new york. supporting innovations in education, democratic engagement, anthe advancement international peace and security. at
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>> and with the ongoing support of these institutions:in anviduals. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. urand by contributions to bs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: the united states senate is challenging esident trump's approach to saudi arabia, on two fronts. senators voted today to recommend ending support for the saudi coalition fighting in yemen. that came amid news of a partial cease-fire agreement. separately, the senate directly blamed saudi crown prince hammed bin salman for the murder of journalist jamal
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khashoggi. we'll have the news inhe day's other news, the president denied he ever told his former personal lawyer to violate campaign finance law. michael cohen is going to prison for arranging payments, in 2016, to conceal mr. trump's alleged sexual affairs. but in fox news interview today, the president insisted cohen acted on his own. >> a lawyer who represents a client is supposed to do theth righg. that's why you pay them a lot of money. he is a lawyer. he represents a clie i never directed him to do anything incorrect or wrong, and he understands that. >> woodruff: meanwhile, it's reported that candidump attended a 2015 meeting on how the "national enquirert bury negative stories about his relationships with women. "the wall street journal" and nbc news sayr. trump joined michael cohen and the enquirer's publisher in that meeting.
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a woman accuseof acting as a covert agent for russia pleaded guilty to conspiracy today, in a plea bargain. maria butina appeared in federal court in washingto she admitted trying to infiltrate the natiofle association, and set up back channels with american consvatives. butina's case is separate from the special counsel's russia investigation. police in france have found and killed the accused gunman in the strasbourg shootings. officials say cherif chekatt died in a shootout there tonight. security forces had been hunting him since tuesday's rampage that killed three people at a christmas market. britain's prime minister theresa may waback at it today, asking the european union for changes in a brexit deal. this comes aer she survived a no-confidence vote in her own party. james mates of independentte vision news has our report. >> reporter: the warm glow of victory last night over the
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plotters at home may not have lasted long, as theresa mayht moved stra to the next battle in brussels.k, she had come t perhaps even to plea, for the legal guarantees she neewi to get the drawal bill through parliament. france's president macron, just the first to say that legally binding commitments won't be forthcing. i think it's important to avoid ambiguity,e said. we have to have a political discussion but we can't reopen a legally binding agreement. mrs. may has been making the case explaining what she needs and why. they'll discuss a response among themselves at dinner this evening without her. they'll also talk about how to step up their preparations for a no deal brexit that looks ever more possible. one of the reasons theresa may may not get what she's asking for here is a feeling among other leaders that whatever they offered her, it wouldn't be enough to get the withdrawalug agreement thparliament. they have watched the debate in
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london in the last few weeks and optimism that this will be wrapped up in the new year is pretty thin on the gro >> woodruff: that report from james mates, of independent television news. there's new violence in the middle east. a palestinn shot and killed two israeli soldiers in the west bank today. two other people were wounded, and the israelis launched ali manhunt, s off roads into ramallah. later, the army said soldiersan killed aho tried to ram them with his car. on sunday, a premature israeli baby died after another attack, and troops killed the suspected gunman. china has confirmed it now has two canadians in custody, for allegedly endangering its national security. michael kovrig is a former diplomat who lives in hong kong. michael spavor runs tours of rth korea. their detention follows canada's arrest of meng wanzhou, a chinese tech executive.
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she faces possible extradition to the united states on charges of violating sanctions on iran. back in this country, the u.s. congress gave final approval to overhauling its handling of sexual harassment claims. the new rules hold lawmakers personally liable for settlements, and eliminate a "cooling off" period before victis can file suit. california democratic coidresswoman jackie speier it's high time for a change. >> time is finally up fo members of congress who think they can harass and get away with it. longer be able to slink away with no one knowing they harassed.e thll be transparency and members will be held accountable. >> woodruff: the measure goes now to president trump, who is expected to sign it. a federal appeals court panel has upheld an injunction against changes in federal birth control rules. the trump administration wanted to let more employers opt out of
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providing women with free today'ng came from the 9th circuit court of appeals in san francisco. and, on wall street, the dow jones instrial average gained 70 points to close at 24,597. the nasdaq fell nearly 28 points, and the s&p on0 slipped a still to come on the newshour: a paial cease fire could be starting point to end the brutal war in yemen. two outgoing senators discuss their time in office and the gridlock among lawmakers. the last migrant rescue ship in the mediterranean ceases operations following pressure from european governments, and much more. >> woodruff: we return to the war in yemen, and efforts to stop it. in sweden today, the first, fragile steps towards a possible
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resoluon, as united nations- brokered talks resulted in an agreement on a cease fire. and in the senate, as nicksc frin reports, the saudi role in yemen, and america's support for its top arab ally, was bject to tough judgment. and a warning: some images in this story may be disturbing to some viewers. >> schifrin: 3,000 mrom the front lines, u.n. secretary general antonio guterres called today a breakthrough. >> this a critical element for the future political settlent to end the conflict. >> schifrin: it's been more than four years since the two sides started fighting: shia houthi rebels, backed by iran, who seized the capital. and the internationally recognized sunni goverent backed by a saudi-led coalition and the u.s. after one week of talks, the two sides agreed to reduce the fighting in taiz. armed houthis will withdraw from the ports of salif, and the ras
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isa oil terminal. and most importantly, a fire in hodiedah, the epicenter of the most intense fighting, so the port that accepts the vast majority of goods and humanitarian aid. hammed abdul-salam led the houthi delegation. >> ( translated ): we have made very large concessions and these concessions we made are for our yemeni people. because hodeida is the only remaining corridor to rescue yemen from starvation, famine and the catastrophic events in the event of continued military actions. >> schifrin: buthose military actions continue, and yemen is already starving. the united nations says over half of yemenis face "re acute food insecurity." for years special correspondent jane ferguson has covered the yemen, and this summer smuggled herself into houthi-controlled areas. today she said the humanitariann crisis is ore dire. >> 20 million people here are in need of food aid. that's up for eight million from when i was last here in these
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rebel-held areas in june of this year. and that's an indicator of how fast the situation here has been deteriorating. >> schifrin: every 10 minutes, a yemeni child dies. since the start of the war, save the children estimated 85,000 childrenave died. and that makes many in yemen skeptical peace talks caend the violence or allow yemenis to resume normal lives. >> many people have given up hope of any possibility that they would work because there have been so many faed attempts to get both sides of this war to sit down together in the past. >> schifrin: 7,000 miles away, for the first time today, a bipartisan group of senators voted to end u.s. assistance to the saudi-led coalition. the u.s. sells saudi its weapons, and provides targeting assistance and intelligence. it also used to provide mid-air refueling. that assistance has been questioned in the past, but senators' criticism accelerated rdafter a saudi-hit squad ed
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naand dismembered saudi jost jamal khashoggi, who'd been critical of saudi leadership. new jersey democrat robert menendez >> saudi arabia has joined a sinister clique along with north korea, russia, and iran in its assassination on jamal khashoggi. a few more weapons purchases cannot buy our silence the c.i.a. assessed sau crowe mohammad bin salman likely ordered khashoggi's murder. the senate went futher in a resolution led by its sponsor, bobr. cor >> this is now unalynimo unanimously the united states senate has said that crown prince mohammad bin salman is responsible for the murder of jamal khashoggi. that is a strong statement. i think iteaks to the values that we hold dear. $3 billion. >> reporter: but president trump has defended mohammad bin salman and made saudi arabia the center of his middle east policy
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fromfighting radicalism to middle east peace today, away from cameras, secretaries of state and defense mike pompeo and jim mattiie d the house on the administration policy. and republican senator marco rubio warned today's vote would help iranian-backed houthi rebels. >> they're not just agents of auba have launched rockets, c sss ar iabia ailfter cesivilian poputions, including efforts to kill members of the saudi royal family and government leadership. >> schifrin:ltimately, the senate's resolution is symbolic. the house won't debate the yemen bill, and the white house wouldn't sign it into law. >> senator murphy. >> but connecticut democrats ch but connecticut democrat chris murphy said pressure from the senate echoed in saudi arabia, and led to today's cease fire announcement. >> the progress on the peacego ations is not coincidental to this vote. the concessions that were made by the saudi side in the negotiations this morning would not have happened if it wasn't for the pressure that the united states senate put on those
6:14 pm to help us navwhere things go from here, i'm joined by gregory johnsen. he has lived in yemen, and visited many times over the past 15 years. he is author of "the last refuge: yemen, al-qaeda, and america's war in arabi" he was also a member of u.n. security council's panel of experts on yemen. gregory jo much for being here. >> absolutely. >> schifrin: let's just start with senator chris murphy there at then. did the pressure lead to tod agreement? >> i think they certainly had an impact. the unfortunate trseth of who happening in yemen right now is war and fighting is much easier than peace, and the u.s. selte-- we should be cear. saudi arabia was not in the room. these were on negotiations 20 yemeni government and the houthi rebels. but that pressure i think by the senate is to change that. >> schifrin: i talked toome people who agree with you, and say, yes, the government that was in the roem today dm some
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concessions, in part because of the external pressure. but other people say, wait a minute, theyere actually interested or willing to agree to this, and it was the houthi rebels, the iran-backed houthi rebels, who made new concessions in the last few days. >>k ight. i that we see right now is that for both sides, for the houthi rebels, foe internationally recognized government yemen, the saudi-led coalition, there's very little domestic pressure on any of these actors. the houthi leadership is by and large insulated from the shortages of this war, whether it be medicine or food. they're not being targeted and killed. so what needs to chnge is there needs to be concentrated and sustained in to change the behavior of the party glifs and the administration is not doing that, so the senate really is some of the source of that pressure. >> right. the senate is the only one that. can do i as we said, this is symbolic so we'll see ifo the newngress in the new year takes this up again. >> schifrin: let's talk about some of the specifics.
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e dada, the epicenter of a lot of fighting, how signature is the agreement there? and can it hold, both the military aspects of it, but also the evenue distribution th come from the port? >> yeah, that's-- that's a great question. first, we should be clear-- this is just a first step. and it's incredibly, incredibly kiagile. so what we're ta about is we have a-- the text that they've agreed to is basally a page and a half, and there's a lot of ambiguity written into this text on basically what o berity forces are going left in the port of houda, ida. the houthis are right now in the ty. the agreement calls for a cease-fire and the houthis to recall. are these people aligned wit the houthis? are these people aligned with the government? it's not at all clear. and my concern is that perhaps d th sides that sig to this read the same sentence but came away thinking twoifferent things. >> schifrin: and that
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ambiguity extends to revenue distribution from the port. >> absolutely. thright now agreement called caulz for all revenue from the port-- and right now the houth make about a third of their income coming in through the port. thement says all revenue will go to the central bank in yemen. there are two banks, one under the control of the houthis, and one under controlf the government. and it's not clear, at least from the text, who will receive the mney and how it will be distributed. >distributed. >> schifrin: the agreement today could open a humanitarian corridor that's important. >> yeah, so the taizz agreement has less details than the houdida agreement. there are so many different actors. er qaeda is there, isis is is there. are a number of different militia groups. there are so many different parties and different groups wi guns, today's aeement was only between two of those, and it's not at all clear if there are on two people or two sides sign on to this agreement if it's an agreement that can
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actually hold on the ground. a schifrin: so questions about whether threement can hold, questions about the ambiguity of the language. but zooming out, you now, how significant is this day? it's been more than two years since thetwo sides sat down, let alone made these kinds of agreements. t right. so ie short term, it's a good first step. so this special enoy, the u.n. special enjoy, had trouble getting these two sides in thoue samery just a few months ago. but really, traditionally in yemen, and even in this war over past four years, the ficulty has not been getting the sides to agree to different things. it's been getting them to implement the agreements and actually having a lastingce e-fire that leads to a negotiated peace. and i think, unfortunately, in yemen, we're still a longay off from that. >> schifrin: gregory johnsen, thank you very much. >> thanks. >> woodruff: the 2018 m election results lead to an
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influx of new femile lawmakers to washington, most of them democrats. but in "the year of the woman," two prominent female senators, democrats heidi heitkamp of north dakota and clair mccaskill of missouri, are packing up their washington offices this week and heading back to the midwest after bruising re-election losses last month. in a wide-ranging and revealing coeyersation earlier today, shared their thoughts on washington's dysfunction, working with the president and the future of the democratic party, but i started by asking them if the sting has lessened any, how they'retbandling the k. >> listen, i'm a cmpetitive person and, obviously, it stinks to lose.f and,ourse, i didn't want to lose. but i feegreat about what's around the corner, and i feel t good about time i've spent in the public eye. and iam definitely ready to move on. >> woodruff: what about you
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senator height camp? >> oh,h ik i'm sadder than claire. out she had six more years to d amazing things on behalf of the people of missouri and thisan countrd it would have been nice to get six more years. but with that said, both of us have lost before, so we know what that feels like. >> woodruf well, while it's still fresh in your mind, senator mccaskill, what lessons learned from this i mean, i know you can't condense a whole campaign into a few sentences, but-- >> well, this ismpdonald tru republican party. d donald trump camped out in my state. and he had some manufactured optics, but a real television drama around the caravan. the spearctacleund the kavanaugh nomination, regardless of whether you felt he should have oe should not hen confirmed, it was a spectacle. and that rea allymped the enthusiasm in my state. >> woodruff: what about in north dakota? >> one thing that we dis
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in north dakota, where we used to have swing voters, people would vote, eve republican, would consider voting fair democrat who was successful and actually achieving results for the state, that dissipated. and, you know, early on in the campaign, my opponent said, "she never win because she's a democrat." and i think that the election proved that. i >> woodruff: bant to ask you both about some of the arguments you were making during the campaign. senator mccaskill, you were spending a lot of time talking about health care, among otr things, pre-existing conditions. why didn't that work or resonate enough with voters? >> i think it did with many voters. i think that's t y we sea record for the number of votes that a democrat's ever received in a midterm election in missouri. but what resonated more with most people in rural areas was that they believe in donald trump. cause iy thought that be was a democrat-- and, frankly, judy, one thing that we've got to be realistic about now
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that long service and experience in elective office is not a positive anymore. it's a negative. and my opponent used that vey effectively against me. >> woodruff: senator heitkamp, you were talking about the tariffs. you have farmers in the state of north dakota. soybean is affected by the tariffs. yo.made that argume it wasn't enough. >> well, i think in part because of the wayy sobeans are marketed, about half of them were already sold, so it wasn't going toffect th year's crop, and we knew that. but i think more importantly wthe trade aid package, people felt like he had their back. the preside was going to mak it right. and, you know, people trust this president in rural america, even against what is obvious to me their political interests oron their ic interests. >> woodruff: you said, voters in your state voted again their n economic interests? >> that always happens.> >oodruff: but that says the voters don't understand what's
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going on? >> they have different priority >> and,lso, i think it's very rnfair to ever look down you nose at these voters. they are frustrated. they have worked hard. they've played by the rules, and they're not doing as well as their parents. they don't feel like the dig tee of their work is being respected or reczed. they think my party, our party, has been too fixated identity politics and cultural politics and not enough on who they are and their frustrations and angst. and give the marketer in chief credit. he m have a tortured relationship with the truth, but he tapped into that vein of anger and frustration of a lot of working class voters,n particularlyural area s. >> woodruff: and what does this say about the democratic party? you two wrked at times with him. there was no payoff there then for that,o put it very crudely. >> i would say it this way: there was nofo payofr results.
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i could go through north dakota's economy and show the single most important things that happened in almost every sector. i provided leadership on and was able to deliver. what it tells you is that we have become incredibly tribal. you know, in rural america, people feel like they've beenot fon. but their concern, as reflected in this election, is a milegh than that. it's about the cultural changes in the united states america and how that basically reflects their position. >> woodrf: let's talk just for a moment about the institution that you're leaving, the congress, the senate. states how well is it working? are the american people getting what t gey should beetting from this institution? >> you never want to kick something that you love in the teeth as you walk out. so i want to be measured in what i say. but the year i came to these te in 2007, we voted on 306 amendments. this year, we voted on 36.
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the poweras been ctralized in leadership. bills are being written behind closed doors istead of in ombuses are being plopped on our desks and the lotsbby on "k" street know more about what's in them than we do. and there has really been a disintegration of this notion that this is a deliberative body. we've got to gt back to th notion that if you're strong enough to be a united states y senato gotta stand up and take some tough votes because we aren't gointo solve tough problems unless we take tough votes. >> i ink that from the time that i got here, what i really felt is that we're in a culture of failure. and to add to what claire just said, we're afraid to do really big things. because we're afraid of failure. and part of that is an bility of people to see a goal or a result as the purpose as opposed to winning for your party or i sticking someo the eye on
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any particular issue. u> woodruff: so how do y change that? or can you change that? >> well, i don't think it's going to change much as long as mitch mcconnell is the leader. you know, and i'm not saying our side's been perfect. we contributed to this kind of degradation of the notthioat we could debate things in the senate and vote on a var oie issues. but he really sees everything through the lens of how do i protect republican members of the senate? and how do i get more republican members of the senate? he is a very political leader. he is not a policy ler. he's very animated on how you win elections so that he can be majority floor leader and stay majority floor leader. well, you do that by controlling everything and by only allowing votes that are going to hurt democrats and not hurt republicans. so it is-- it's kind of this, you kno tail wagging the dog that we got into in the reidit
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years and nos been taken to a new art form-- witness merrick garland-- in the mcconnell years. >> woodruff: like a zero-sum game. >> you only have pow a group. that is what the united states senate is, and until you learn and figure out hw to make things work as a group, you will continue to fail, and you will continue to reap the rewards e n blic eye for that failure. >> woodruff: how do democrats come back terms of the presidency, and in terms of the >> donald trump is going to help. i do believe that. i do note think that is a leader that has the confidence of the majority of americans. i do think we're going to have nominate out a way to a candidate for president who is inspiring and who is capable of convincing people that he or she is capable of getting things to change. and we've got to do the math because we can't win the presidency just by very blue states. we have to win states lke florida and ohio and wisconsin
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and michigan. and,ou know, compete in states like missouri. so we've got to get back to having our elections be more about inspiring people that we can change things and less abo identity politics. inated shouldts nom have three characteristics. they should havecter. they should have charisma. and they should have competence. and there will be a big comp toigz discover who rises to the top. but if you think that you can win without a charismatic leader, that's n true. it's got to be somebody who inspires people. but it's also, i think, the juxtaposition of what we have right now, it has to be someo of very high character. >> woodruff: well, i'm talking to two wonmen seators. there are a number of women looking at running. is it harder for a woman toet elected president? >> it is, because we've never seen a woman in that role before, and i think there are-- there are some barriers there.
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but on the other hand, i think women have sme advantages that men don't have. and so i th one of the mistakes that we make as a party is spending too much time talking about a gender thing. you know, we e a party of all kinds of people, and, you know, white men-- white working class men have traditionally been a huge part of our party. we have lost a lot of them. and onef those reasons is we've had a tendency to talk maybe too mu about gender. i want someone-- like she said-- i want inspirational, carsizmatic.wh i want somebodis competent and strong and authentic, and i don't care if they're a woman or a man. >> woodrf: senator heidi heitkamp, senator claire mccaskill, we wish you both welwl in your future ventures. thank you so much. >> thanks, judy. >> thanks, judy. wi
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>> woodruff: stay th us, coming up on the newshour: a new report details how u.s.a. gymnastics leadership ignored allegations against convicted child abuser larry nassar. we travel to one of the country's fastest growing cities to meet the woman who went from high school dropout to thera fereserve bank. doctors without borders is calling for the urgent establishment of what it calls "safe pathways" to enable refugees and economiants to reach the european union. the humanitarian organization e ars thousands will conti drown in the mediterranean now that doctors without borders is decomissioning the last rescue ship, the aquarius, because of what the groups says is untenable political pressure. special correspondent malcolm brabant spent time on board in 2016; now he looks at the legacy of a ship with a unique spirit.
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>> the aquarius has saved about ives over the last three years. people that without that dedicated search and rescue capability on the mediterranean sea would otherwishave died as they undertook that perilous journey. >> reporter: the head of doctors without borders in the u.k., vicky hawkins, is angry at those who've engineered the end of the ship's humanitarian mission. >> our decision comes on the back of a year and half of an essentially concerted campaign to force us to stop.en we've bebstructed, we've been criminalized, the vessel has been stripped of its flag twice. we've been shot at and harassed by the libyan coastguard. so today there is no dedicated search and rescue capability in the mediterranean.te >> repor which will delight the ultra right wing generation identity.
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>> every week, every day, every hour, ships packed full of immigrants are flooding the european bor an invasion is taking place. this massive immigration is changing the face of our continent. we are losing our safety, our way of life and we will become a minority in our own country. our future is under attack.nd >> reporter: ahis is perhaps the greatest architec of the aquarius' demise, italy's right wing deputy prime minister matteo salvini. >> ( translated ): italy has welcomed over 700,000 immigrants who have disembarked in the last few years, but that's enough now. our ports are closed. italy cannot continue to be the refugee camp of europe. >> there's a reason why allut througicily, there are cities that have greek names. people have been making this passage for thousands of years. >> reporr: new york doctor craig spencer spent several months on board the aqrius in 2017. >> the idea that migrant hordes,
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deat waves of refugees are coming to europe troy our countries is just really, i think, a diversion from concentrated on what's really needed and that is durable, sustainable long term solutions. >> reporter: the polar opposite of what you're saying is thatyo and your colleagues are contributing to the ultimate demise of europe because thehi demogr are such that within decades europe is going to be overtaken by people coming from north africa and elsewhere. >> a that's interesting because that's a complaint we often hear. we want to allow unfettered migration, we want to l of africa into europe.ot that'she case. and we came together as a global community and said there are things we think are important as human rights and human values. and just because these people are coming from a different place, may speak a different language or have a different tskin color, doesn't meant there situation can be any different. >> rorter: in the summer of 2016, i spent three weeks aboard the aquarius for the newshour as
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it cruised the mediterranean coast off libya. it was the height of the migrant and refugee crisis in the middle east and north afra and the numbers of people desperately trying to reach europe was skyrocketing. international relief agencies say they're extremely concerned about the major upswing in the number of children who're making this most perilous our journeys. the voyage between turkey and greece is bad enough, but this one is many, many, many times worse. >> 15 dead bodies. >> reporter: they may have frequently encountered death, but they also welcomed new life as well. who is this? >> it's newman. my new baby.hy >>id you call him newman? >> i call him newman because he's a new man to me, a new mans to god, and very lucky boy. >> reporter: the baby was delired by midwife jonquil nicholl. >> many, many women were travelling pregnant.
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and it's inconceivable to think what that journey was like for theswomen. but they have no option. once they're on this journey from theiromes where ever they are, whether it's sub saharan africa, west africa or east africa. they have to go. th don't have the choice. >> reporter: nman is now with his parents in southern italy, but to their distress, he doesn't yet have a national identity. without exception, aquarius crew members like nicholl reject suggestionthat the ship provided a taxi service for migrants between africa and italy. >> there's a reason that they left. and i think we can't belittle thateason. that reason is often fundamental. it's either because they're in danger of eir lives. or they have no prospects. or no ospects for their children. we had many women who were leaving because they knew if they stayed they would undergoma fe genital mutilation or their daughters would. they needed to leave their countries and to put up walls
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and to force them back to the countries they came from is outrageous and its not humanitarian at all. we're all humans and we shouldg be treather people as humans.ha >> wt we need are safe and lel pathways that enable people to move, whether they are fleeing violence and conflict, or whether they are looking to nogally migrate. this is a global pnon that is going to be with us forde deto come. and the only way through is to w look hcan have humane global migtion policies that hilow people to move in a managed and safe f. >> i'm going to throw this flower in the water out of respect for the people who died in the boat. >> reporter: dutchman ferry schippers ran the humanitarian operatn on board. >> aquarius has become a symbol of humanitarian aid.
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the aquarius gave back those people the dnity they deserve. >> the journey was very hard for us. but thank god we have reached italy. thank all of you people. because you are the people who saved our lives. >> the aquarius is special. and i sincerely hope that other ships will start and go there and just be there for these people. >> reporter: doctors without borders says it may charter other rescue ships in the future. but not this one. the age of aquarius is over. for the pbs newshour, i'm malcolm brabant. >> woodruff: now, tiw reves this week about a failure leadership at the
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very top of u.s.a. olympics. ore trial of larry nassar and the women who camerd to publicly accuse him of sexual abuse remains one of the morets powerful momf this year. as amna nawaz explains, we'reno getting a fuller picture of how top officials knew about allegations and kept the i gymnastics worthe dark for a full year before the scandalop brok in a newspaper >> i remthat exact moment that i was being molested by somebody i trusted. that ias one of the gymnasts that he had abused, that my life was never going to be the same. >> nawaz: more than 150 victims shared wrenching court testimony earlr this year, of how spor doctor larry nassar sexually abused them for years, under the guise of medical treatment. >> and this is what it looks like when people in authority refuse to listen, put friendships in front of the truth, fail to create or enforce proper policy and fail to hold enablers accountable.
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>> nawaz: nassar worked for u.s.a. gymnastics for 29 years, including as team doctor for four olympic games. he also worked for years atmi chigan state university. more than 300 athletes say he abused them dung that time. least seven are gold olympic gymnasts, including aly raisman. >> if, over these many years, l just one adutened and hadch the courage anacter to act, this tragedy could have been avoided. >> nawaz: nassar was convicted and is now in prisonin this week, apendent investigation revealed that senior officials at u.s.a. gymnastics and the body that t oversees i u.s. olympic committee, not only knew of his actions, but also, "enabled nassar and his system of abuse." the report named former u.s.a. gymnastics c.e.o. steve penny, form u.s.o.c. c.e.o. scott blackmun, and u.s. olympic committee sports perfoance chief alan ashley. it said they "allowed nassar to
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continue to have access to young athletes and girls for another 14 months" wle he was already under investigation. e report concluded that "the inaction and concealment hadue conses: dozens of girls and young women were abused during the year-long period." both u.s.a. gymnastics and the u.s. olympic committee say they've acknowledged their failures, and have vowed reforms. some perspective now on all of is from sportswriter and columnist, christine brennan of "usa today." she has long covered the as written about the culture that led to this abuse. thanks for being here. >> amna, thank you. >> nawaz: let's back up what we know about the report. at did officials kn back in july 2015 when they first found out, and what did thedo about it? >> yeah, the officials kne u.s.a. gymnastics, got in touch with the u.s. olympic committee officials and told them there were alle ations of sexuuse by the team doctor and another month later told them the name
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of theeam doctor, larry nassar. so this was in july of 2015. and it wasn't until september of 2016, 13 and a half months later, that the news finally wac made puand that was in the "indianapolis star" naming larry nassar, the allegations there. so you havte wo-- the top two u.s. committee officials, scott blackmun, c.e.o., resign inua fe, and alan ashley, who was fired when the report came out. you have those two men knowing all these details, doing absoluly nothing, sitting on the information, and basically more worried about their reputationthan the bra than worried about the young women who were being assaulted. >> naz: so do we know, was this just an issue of inaction or did it go beyond that?co was there ver-up of some kind? >> it's both pmen. the cover-up is clear. there was an email that both of th received, and it disappeared from both of their accounts. so that, of course, is terrible, because if they were deleting emails. and then, of course, you've got the fact that they didn't tellei
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staff. they didn't do anything. all of the things that could pened, the things th could have done that they didn't do, and to think of how e different things might hen if they had called the f.b.i., if they had sent out an alert to every gymnasticent in the country, things that would have been so easy for them to do and, of coue, would have been the right thing to do. it is unconscionable eye know both men-- in fact i know all three men. i've covered the olympics for years, and it's absolutely unconscionable to me and uncocionable what they di that they decided it was okay just to defer to lawrc enent. >> nawaz: so you mentioned scott blackmun resigning. the other tw w men named in the report they're also out ofth r positions. i guess the question sis that it? is the reckoning over? is the house clean? >> that's a good questern. is a new leader of the u.s. olympic committee, the first fl-time woman c.e.o. of the u.s. olympic committee, and she has been on the josince august and has done some major things, including wanting to decertify u.s.a. gymnastics, which is the nuclear option
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under the amateur sports actt , at's something that the u.s. olympic committee can do. and of course she is also the one who fired alan ashley when she was made aware of his inaction for those 13 and a half ionths. i think that we probably see congress getmoting even e involved -- there have already been five congressional hearings this year, in the caendar year. i think they probably will do more. one of the things i think that ould be done, the center for safe sport. a lot of people have heard about, that right. and tuu kind of pic this big thing and it's working fine and it's been around forever. a year and a halaf, they'ved 16-- over 1600 cases, people coming to them with compltnts. and up u the end of october, they had four employees, fo please. a .4 million budget. congress needs to fund that immediately. and i think you also need to have a databas right now there's no cohesive database, believe it or not. so if ou're a parent an you say you want your child to start getting involved in gymnastics
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or volleyball-- whatever it is-- a database so you can see who has been banned. some of the coaches mov from one sport to the other. there's no cohe was database. you and i can get a plane by having our eyes scanned and walk into buildings with our ngerprints, and yet our olympic movement in the united states can't somehow get on the same page so that parents and young athletes can know who is a sexual predator y and i thin know, that's something that needs to be dealt with immediately. >> nawaz: you know, it's worth shouting out some of your ."lleagues at "usa tod you published a new report today, focusing basically on half a dozen coches who had been banned because of sexual misconduct, and are still coaching and have acss to kids in some way, in different sports. obviously, we're having this conversation now because of gymnastics, but i think a lot of parent out there, as you just t ntioned, are wondering how can they trust thathese institutions are doing all they can to protect kids? >> and the national governings bodies, hey're known are, far flung. some have staffs of two or threp -- which is no excuse--
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some are bigger like swimng and gymnastics. in gymnastics over5 30 women sexually abused by larry nassar. that's the issue. yes, "usa today," we found-- my colleagues found-- there were a half dozen coaches who were banned and now are back. and, again, i think these are-- if there are any positives he, the warning signals are out. the having there. we're to. i'm going to stay on thi.s sto it is so important. the darkest days in the history of the u.s. olympic movement, this is something th we, obviously have to stay on top of. i think the good news is, clearly, this report shows that action needs to be taken.ol >> nawaz: aely. christine brennan, thank you for being here. >> thank you. >> woodruff: now, the story of a top economist and how her journey from high school dropout to key policymaker informs her decisions today. economiccorrespondent paul
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solman has our profile of a leading figure within the federal reserve. one thing we must note: fed officials do not make publicbe comments jusre a meeting of the federal reserve open market committee. m thting is next week, but paul did this interview well in advance for our weekly segment "making sense." >> i'll run in place because >>'s chilly. eporter: in boise, idaho last month, a small nonprofit with an unassumito but lofty vi >> oh this is cool. may i introduce myself?y. >> absolut eile, mary. >> nice to meet you. >> reporter: mary daly is the new president of the san francisco federal reserve bank, responsible for, among oer duties, monitoring the economies of the nine western states and pacific territories. >> if you don't visit the areas you don't really get all the information you needthe different ways that firms and businesses and individuals and households might interact, so you need people on the gund ke regional fed presidents to
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go out there and learn. >> everyone in a black smock is actually aemployee. >> reporter: that's why c.e.o. tracy hitchcock was teaching her about "create common good," which teaches professional kitchen skills to refugees, and others facing hardships and looking for work. >> we are a step along the way for someone working to achieve their biggest dreams, and for every adult head of household that graduates our program their kids have tremendously better outcomes around health and education and future employment and that benits everybody in boise. >> well as an economist, i always tell people it's a virtuous cycle. if we invest in each other then other people lift up and they invest in others and you create thisirtuous cycle. >> reporter: mary daly knowsou hardship, first-hand. >> i grew up in missouri. my father was a postal worker. and when i was 15 he lost his job. my mom, she got some part timeot work butnough. then both of them fell on ill health. my siblings moved in with my
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grandparents and i moved in with a friend. >> reporter: and dropped out of high school? >> dropped out of high school because my family's imploded essentially and scattered and so i needed to think about how do i just make a living? so i just cobbled together different part time jobs-- working in a donut shop, working at a deli, working at a target, hed living with this family who let me stay with only charged me five dollars a month. it was a way to let me keep mydi ity even though they were completely helping me. >> reporter: also helping: a mentor who gently nudged. u>> she didn't say, mary should just go to college. be president the federal reserve bank of san francisco. she says, maybe you can get a g.e.d. >> reporter: she got the g.e.d. her mentor then suggested a semester of college. >> i actually never heard of college which is-- hi reporter: never heard that there was such a as college? >> didn't know anything past high school. everybody in my experience had gone to high school and then went and got a job.yo might be a postal worker like my father was. you might get a union job as a bus driver, or go work on the sembly line for mcdonnell douglas when it was still in missouri.
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>> reporter: so when she nudgese you to take a er of college you say-- >> why? and then she says, well, you know you're go in school, it's od, you'll have a lot of other opportunities. i had to tell her i couldn'trd aft. and she takes her checkbook out and she just writes me a $216i check anve it to the bursar and i start my adventure. >> reporter: longer story short, she graduated from university of missouri, earned a phd in economics at syracuse university. and then the rest is history. >> the rest is sort of history. ironically i trained in labor economics and public policy and i take a job in macro economics d monetary policy. >> reporter: but for daly, monetary policy is a means to more personal endsprosperity for as many of us as possible. >> how many here think you'll be ?tter off than your paren >> reporter: measured by population and job growth, in percentage terms. boise is the star community in
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ly's district, the fastest growing city in america; idaho, the fastest growing state. but, as daly learned in a series of interviews she taped for a podcast she's starting, zip code economies, there's still plenty of anxiety. >> we're the people making policy right now for your future. i'd like to know what you want from us. >> reporter: economics and finance students at boise state university. >> boise's a very competitive job maet right now. so as like college graduates we're competing with some of that california influx. and what i want when i graduate this field is to get a decent job here in boise. t what makes you worry ab your future? or me it would be econom uncertainty as it relatesul partly to the debt that the federal government carries s and also fdent loans and yow these raises in the interest rate will affectknow, the burden of student debt that we inevitably will carry. >> not that i know anything
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about interest rate pobecy. i want tlear! >> reporter: of course, daly knows quite a bit about interest rate policy. as president of the san francisco fed, she's a voting member of the fed's open market committee, charged with setting short term interest rates. >> monetary policy is the tool kit we have for a strong, healthy and sustainable economy. >> reporter: that means you're, in one metaphor, you're steering a course between too hot an economy, too cold an economy. >> exactly, yeah, hot and cold. so congress has given us two goals, two mandates and we call it the dual mandate and one is low and steady inflation and the other is full employment. you want to have everybody whoag can work e and wants to work, and jobs are there and you want to make sure inflation ay so that the value of the dollar doesn't erode for people. >> reporter: in trying to avoi"" too hot", the fed has raised rates six times since president that's drawn the ire of a
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president dedicated to thepr osition of a hot economy. >> my biggest threat is the fe because the fed is raising rates too fast. >> reporter: in late november, he attacked fed chair jay powell." so far i'm not even a little bit happy with my selection of jay," he told the "washington post." what did you make of the aipresident's critique of an powell, whom he after all appoted to the job. >> my view on this is i have responsibility for the federal reserve bank of san francisco, for voting on monery policy, for working with my fed colleagues to make the best monetary policy. >> reporter: and you don't wante to answer thation. >> i just don't think of it. the great thing about the fed is that we have been given inpendence. there are no politics in the fed. who do you want to be fives yeom now? >> reporter: well, there are certainly no politics at the work refuge "create common good," where daly also recorded conversations for her podcast. >> i'm shawn.i'
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m actually originally from missouri and we moved out here. >> me too! >> awesome. >> reporter: shawn mckelley explained that he s autistic... >> and it's really hard to have anbutistic person to get a where people treat you with the same, the same as other people. and not treat you like this delicateittle flower. >> reporter: alexia petronis has wrestled with drug add. >> may i ask you something and i hope it's not too personal. do you find that the skills and the connection to the workforce help you maintain your sobriety? >> yes. d s a lot. because it gives me something to look forward to. >> do you feel better ab?t yourse >> yes i do, a lot better. >> that's a great thight? >> yes, i love it. >> i know. it's a sense of relief. >> yes. >> you're not carrying a weight. >> yes. >> i don't know if that's how you feel but i have felt that way myself. >> reporter: does your nontditional background, and mean dramatically non- traditional, give you a different point of view than other fed presidents?
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>> i don't think my experience is something that i've overcome and now i can get a place at the table. i think of it fferently. i think of my experience as e mething that influences my thinking and helps good at the place at the table. es reporter: at the table setting interest ror at places like create common good and boise stece, seeing how omic policy affects everyday americans. from boise, idaho, this is economics correspondent paul t solman for pbs newshour. >> i'll be on your side. >> thank you so much. >> yes! >> woodruff: on the newshour online right now, the tax overhaul passed in 2017 could have consequences for end-of- the-year charitae giving. we look at the changes and their impact on our web site, and that's the newshour for tnight. i'm judy woodruff.s joinline and again here
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brmorrow evening with mark shields and daviks on what the latest in the russia investigation means for the heump presidency. for all of us atbs newshour, thank you and see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> kevin. >> kevin! >> kevin. >> advice for life well-d. learn more at >> and with the oning support of these institutions >> this prograwas made ssible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you.
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thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh
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