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tv   PBS News Hour Weekend  PBS  July 11, 2020 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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captioning sponsored by wnet >> sreenivasan: on this edition for saturday, july 11: the president commutes roger stone's sentence. covid-19 cases continue to surge across the country. rethinking to kill a mockingbird 60 years later. and, with a rise in racial crimes, a look at what isne deas terrorism in the u.s. and abroad. next on pbs newshour weekend >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: sue and edgar wachenheim iii. the anderson family fund. bernard and denise schwartz. the cheryl and philip milsteini . barbara hope zuckerberg. charles rosenblum.
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we try to live in the moment, to not miss what's right in front of us. at mutual of america, we believe taking care of tomorrow can help you make the most of today. mutual of america financial group, retirement services and investments. and by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, a private corporatnded by the american people. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> sreenivasan: good evening and thank you for joining us. president trump commuted thece0- month sentf longtime friend and former campaign adviser roger stone last night-- just days before stone was to report to prison. stone was found guilty of seven ctlonies last november, including obstrun of justice, lying to congressional investigators and witness tampering in special counsel robert mueller's probe of russian interferce ithe 2016 presidential election. prosecutors originally
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recommended a seven to nine year seeence for stone before th president criticized the recommendation as a "horrible and very unfair situation" and leaderip at the justice department reduced it. four career prosecutors resignev from the cas the move. attorney general william barr recently defended the reducedll sentence, g the original sentencing guidelines" excessive". stone said he is confident he will win on an appeal. >> just a few minutes ago, i had a very gracious call from the president of the united states h who told me thhad decided to use his extraordinary powers e clemency to commute my sentence at whatlled a full commutati of my sentence.en >> sasan: representative ad schiff, chair of the house intelligence committee, called the commutation a quote "attack on the rule of law." >> what we're seeing tay ian appalling overture to people essentiallfrom the president saying "if you lie for me, you cover up for me, i will reward you."
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>> sreenivasan: in a statement, speaker of the house nancy pelosi said congress will tak" up legislationto ensure that no president can pardon or commute the sentence of an individual who is engaged in a cover-up campaign to shield that president from criminal prosecion." confirmed coronavirus infections continue to rise in most states and deaths from the virus are now also rising. there were more than 68,000 new confirmed infections yesterday - a single day record. that brings the total in t u.s. to nearly 3.2 million cases according to researchers at johns hopkins. after months of declining, coronavirus-related deaths are up about 15%, from two weeks ago, using seven-day rolling averag. there were 802 deaths reported yesterday. in georgia, where there was ar record num confirmed infections yesterday, officials in atlanta announced the city was going back to phase 1,si meaning nts are mostly encouraged to stay at home. in texas, which had a record high number of deaths earlier this week, republican governor
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gregg abbott pdicted things would get worse and did not rule out reinstating a lockdown. and in florida, despite spiking cases of coronavirus, the "most magical place on earth" is welcoming visitors today for the first time in nearly four months. walt disney world is re-opening using a phased approach that onmits daily attendance and requires reserva strict safety protocols for staff and guests include temperature checks andandatory masks. the reopening comes as florida announced more than 11,400 confirmed coviinfections yesterday. using a seven day average, that's an increase of nearly 18% fromust a week ago. another state grappling with an sharp increasefections is south carolina. yesterday, state healthci ofannounced more than 1,700 new cases in the last 24 hours, which is more tha the number of daily cases a month ago. as cases around the state increase, mobile testing sites organized and run by local community groups have sprung up to get as many people tested as possible.
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>> sreenivasan: before the covid testing had een set up, the cars were lined up outside good hope a.m.e. church in cope, south carolina. once the tents were fiy up and testing supplies oanized, the first person in the hot seat was the church's pastor, reverend georgeann pringle. itingle says she had been trying to get a testinglike this to come for months, to test the members of her mostly older, african-american congregation, but also the general public, in this rural area about 40 milesh sout the state's capital, columbia. >> oftentimes the people in e rural areas don't have access to healthcare like people in the city in larger areas. and so, this is a great event for us. >> sreenivasan: this pop-up covid-19 testing site was open for three hours on thursday evening and tested 137 people for free. it's part of a surge of eight testing events this week e.ganized by the statewide district of a.m. churches in south carolina. bishop samuel green leads the district. >> the african-american population is very much affected
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because of the health disparities. and even with the numbers of relationship to the population of african-americans, it's disproportionate. so we wanted to, as a urch, to take part in trying to help getting our people tested and hopefully to slow down the spread. >> sreenivasan: south carolina of covid-19, with more thanter 50,000 confirmed cases. while the number of tests hashe increased overast month, thanks in part to mobile testing and pop-up sites across the state, the percentage of positive tests has also been rising, an indication of growing spread. in cope, most of the people who testing site were ope a.m.e. symptomatic, but wanted to know if they were carrying the virus or not. michelle young waited a little over two hours to get tested. >> well, it was not comfortable at all, but i'm glad i did it s i can find ositive, negative. >> sreenasan: cora calloway
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was just glad to get a test, since she's heard the kits can be in short supply. >> all the other places that's doing it, you have to get there veet, very early in order to tested because they run out. t> we keep hearing t everybody can be tested, but everybody can't be tested if they do not have adequate supplies. >> sreenivasan: green says after another church testing site he organizeran out of supies earlier in the day, he arranged to have 2,000 more test ts sent from neighboring georgia to have enough for this weekend. even if small testing sitelike this one are just a fraction of what the state requires, green sees the church's efforts as a crucial part of its mission. >> we in the a.m.e. urch believe in holistic ministry and just the worship service on sunday morning, and our people are dying monday, tuesday, wednesday, thursday, friday, and saturday, would be rea tragedy and also an indictment d upon our ministry if we t reach out beyond the walls and minister to all people. >> sreenivasan: in serbia, protests against the government and its announcement of newru
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coronarestrictions turned violent last night. policen belgrade say more than 70 people were arrested. after protesters threw bottles, e rocks and flares at polio were guarding the parliament ilding. the police responded with tear gas and said 14 officers were injured. this was the fourth night of protests that began earlier thi week wrbia's president tried to impose a weekend curfew-- a plan he cancelled as protests grew. authorities then banned gatherings omore than 10 people in belgrade and shortened the working hours of indoor busiowsses in an attempt to sl the spread of the virus prompting more demonstrations. there are now more than 18,000 confmed covid-19 infections in serbia and health authorities are warning that hospitals are almost full. the coronavirus pandemic limited mourners marking the 25th anniversary of the srebrenica massacre in bosnia today. after temperature checks and usual group came to the memorial cemetery to honor those killed and to bury the recently identified remains of nine
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victims. serbian troops executed more than 8,000 muslim men and boys beginning on july 11, 1995 after rounding them up and separatingf thm women and girls over several days. internatiol courts and the united nations have defined the srebrenica massacre as an act of genocide. the massacre came near the end of a war that lasted from 1992 to 1995 when bosnians, croats and serbs fought each other following the break-up of the foer yugoslavia. more than 100,000 people were killed in the conflict. and international news, visit www.pbs.org/newshour. >> sreenivan: in the wake of george floyd's killing and mass protests across the country, president trump tweeted that he wants to designate the ai- fascist movement, or aifa, as a terrorist organization. a designation he has not called for with right-wing extremist grps. but according to new figures from the university of maryland's start centete supremacist violence in the u.s.
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is on the rise, with a sharp increase in deadly incidents over the last five years. it's part of a global trend that has led to increased scrutiny of as terrorism.ed states defines newshour weekend special correspondent simon ostrovsky has our report. which is part of our recurringri series, "explong hate." >> reporter: these men are fighters in the russian imperial movement, armed volunteers sent ukraine to further their goal of creating a russian-ethnostate within russia's historical borders. you may have never heard of the group, but it made h earlier this year by becoming the first white supremacist movement to be declared by the united states as a terrorist organization. a surge in white supremacist terrorism. today, the state department isin designthe russian imperial movement. with white supremacist violence surging around the glo, washington's stance on who is and isn't a terrorist has
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acquired renewed urgency. >> the criticism of the foreign terrorist organizatit was that it was predominantly muslim groups. so it seems very symbolic and and i welcome that they are. acknowledging that white supremacist violence is anat intenal concern. >> reporter: mike german is a otired fbi special agent worked undercover to disrupt violent white-supremacistsn california in the 1990s. desiation of a whitekend the supremacist group set an important precedent but worried it was being overshadowed by louder messaging from the us president more recenout the protests and riots that have swept parts of the country.th >> i wanorganizers of this terror to be on notice that you will face severe criminal penalties and lengthy sentences in jail. this includes antifa and others who are leading stigators of this violence.
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>>eeporter: this is one of many protests that have rocked america since the killing of geor floyd and while this protest is peaceful, some haven't been. donaldrump has tried to focus his anger at leftist organizations like antifa, whi he describes as terrorists. but his law enforcement agencies saamerica's resources shou th pointed in another direction. >> we elevated ttop level priority racially motivated violent extremism so it's on the same footing in terms of our national threat banding as isis and homegrown violent extremism. director of the fbking in february, telling congress that his agency now considers racially motivated terrosm as big a threat as islamist terror. law enforcement officials are concerd by the rising number of far-right attacks that have resulted in homicides over the last several years, figures
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consortium for the study ofal terrorism and responses to terrorism at the university ofry nd. we historically most violent, far-right attack not mass casualty. unfortunately, that story is changing.d recent years, we've seen the adoption of mass casualty attacks among the violent far- right. >> reporter: in fact the university found that in t years since 9/11 the far-right has killed 201 people compared to just 140 killed by islamists. and at the same time... >> there are no u.s. deaths associated with any action that could be accurately described as antifascist.hi >> reporter: tdichotomy has contributed to the perception that the government isn't taking the that of whe supremacist violence seriously. this is the fbi's baltimore field office and i've sent themk a queson ag about the resources they allocate to mestic terrorism versus international and i'm really curious to hear toat they have ay. shawn devroud is the assistant
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special agent in charge of the field office and its counterterrorism branch. >> we don't treat international terrorism any more important or any more of a threat than domestic. but there has been infrastructure in place, international terrorism for, you know, obviously a couple of decades now. and there's just more trip wires. the other part of that on thesm domestic terroide. that's usually an american citizen who's exercising, at least in the beginning first amendment rights. again, you have the right to hate. because now we have to wait until we see that there is some propensity to commit an act of violence to do with that ideology. >> reporter: in international cases, you don't have wait. and it's all because of a statute known as "material support" which mostly can't be used for domestic teorism. under this broadly defined charge, anyone declaring support for an organization named in tho ign terrorists organizations list can be prosecuted, even before attempting to perpetrate violence, which means they can
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be taken in long before a violent plan is hatched. this same sort of declaration is protected the firstment when dealing with domestic suspects. >> reporter: case in point, the story of christoer hasson, an officer in the u.s. coast guard arsenal to perpetrate a mass casualty attack in furtherance of his goal of creating a white n the unitedit states. >> mr. hasson was a former mari. he was a current officer in the u.s. coast guard. he was an individual that had tactical training, proficient in the use of firearms, proficient in the use of deadly force. >> reporter: hasson had amassed a stockpile of registered weapons and carefully studied the manifesto of norwegian mass murderer anders breivik. he'd even written down a detailed plan for his own attack. that on itown wasn't enough for authorities to bring him in. >> so there's indication thato he's going tbilize. we have to have him in our sights because at the time, the
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only criminal, federal violation that we have seen fromhat we could possibly take him off the battlefield is tramadol purchases. right. that's certainly, it's a schedule four narcotic. it's a federal felony. but it's a drug offense, right? it's not an attempted act of violence. reporter: fearful he was about to go on a killing spree the f..i. went ahead with the arrest on the drug charge and then subsequently found plenty of evidence to convince a courth hasson was indeed planning a terror attack. the coast guard officer was seenced to 13 years in prison. but the case dsn't just illustrate why it's harder to stop domestic terrorists than so-called international ones. burning the hills,cause just there's a lot of trees and a lot >> reporter: take the case of amer sinan alhaggagi, a california-born 23-yr-old of yemeni descent who the f.b.i. arrested in 2016.
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>> it was discovered that he had opeven facebook and twitter accounts for people he believed to be members of isis. >> reporter: dariaaisman teaches statistics at the john jay college of criminal justice .d collects sentencing da so for opening the facebook and twitter accounts, he was charged with material support. and then he was alsoed with identity fraud. and he received a 16-year sentence. so when you compare thke to someone asson, it's really glaring. >> reporter: his declarations of support for isis, a group named on the foreign terrorist organizations list, made it possible to categorize this "merican citizen as an international terrorist" and to charge him under the statute. no such list exists for domestic terrorism prompting some to call for the creation of a domestic terrorism law to even the odds of arrest by banning groups like the k.k.k. or neo-nazis. but according to vaisman thathe would open door to banning movements like black lives matter or antifa, which the
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president has said he would like to do. >> it's already a really bad idea, like if you create a law that's as broad as in domest situations as material support, then it's going to be back into like the way that ey prosecuted communists for, you know, guilt by assiation. it's gonna be like a legally sanctioned police ste. >> reporter: so how does the government strike a balance where it can avoid looking soft on white supremacists while still protecting us from both jihadists and right-wing extremists? according to mike german, theen former f.b.i. law enforcement should make its focus violent intent for both kis of terror, rather than association with banned groups. >> that's why it's very important that the enforcementom is done in aetely transparent way so it can reassure society that a rule of law does exist that applies to everyone. >> reporter: that means less
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reliance on lists like the one that the russian imperl movement was added to and morepo traditionalice work, no matter wt a violent perpetrators' ideology may be. >> sreenivasan: today marks the 60th anniversary of th" publication ofto kill a mockingbird." it's required reading in many schools.e' author harper book about racial injustice set in alabama focuses on atticus finch, a white lawyer in the jim crow falsely accused ofblack man it was turned into a popular film and mcently - before the covid-19 shutdown - a sold- out broadway play. but while it's earned praise ast a it of moral courage, it has more recently come under scrutiny for how it frames racism and its black characters. i recently spoke witlisa lucas, executive director of the national book foundation, about of black lives matook in the age
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i think "to kill a mockingbird" is one book, right? but i think that what ends up happening is it's the most read book, right, bmiddle schoolers d high schoolers. it's something that we look at as, like, a cultural touchstone when we think about how parse what's happening in the american south or the american north and race relations in general. held atticus finch up to be this moral guide. this is how you ara moral white person in america. this ihow you stand up, sometimes alone, against injustice and make a difference. but where it stops short for me is looking really at systemic injustice, right? like, one person can't change the judicial system. one person can't change the hearts and minds of every singln pen the nation, right? and so, when we look at this one really narrow framework how to explore one man's desire to o do goo child's, you know, sort of moral education, and then we try to apply it writ large to an entire society, i
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mean, i think that we find in this extremely critical moment of reckoning that or falls a bit >> sreenivasan: there's alsoth white savior complex that i think more people are open to ssibly seeing now where, you know, we have an educationsy em where the bulk ofublic school students in the country are students of color and the lk of teachers are white and, like, who's assigning this story? what are the identities of the children that are in the classroom and how they're absorbing it? do they see themselves in these characters? i mean, it a lot of complicated estions for how to as you said, the most read thing in middle school. >> yeah, i mean, i think that it's important what the canon looks like and who the canon builde areright? you haveublishers, authors, you know, award makers,pa teachersnts that all collaborate to kd of say this is something that we want all of our children to collectively read but i wonder, if you were to ask african-american people in america if theook that they want all of their children to
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read is "to kill a mockingbird." and so, it's not so much tt i take total issue with the book. it's a fun book to read. it's smart.ha and it doe a very strong moral core in many ways, but it doesn't tell the whole story. i think what i have always wantedn literature is more stories that show black people in full relief. you know, i don't want to look at oneimensional black characters in a book exploring race relions and then see every thought and feeling that the white characters have. and so, where's the balance? i think that we have to revisith f the things that we've loved and not necessarily throw them out, but to actually lookf at allem and say, what do they mean together? what do they mean now? what do they mean tos in 2010 or 2001 and what do they mean in 2020? >> sreenivasan: if you're talking to middle scol teache today, what would you say-- pair that book, along with x, y or z to try to challenge eyur students? >> i mean, jasonlds, for instance. he wrote of a middle grade book
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called the "track" series. it's a series of four books about young people on a team. i'd love to see that kind of loving representation of black life in america with all of itsl attendant nges to showcase that you're dealing with people. we can't keep looking atod everas tropes. and so, i think that anything that actually shows us as we are in all the different ways thatth we exist iunited states is something like "toament to mockingbird."iv >> srean: and i wonder who is writing the next "to kill a mockingbird" in the context of today? >> i think there's so much haening. i mean, it's like, publishing is really exciting right now. i mean, i think that you see you know, a real critical lens being turned to the publishing apparatus in this moment, you know, fast, because we're creating the culture, you know? it's like, we always talk, you know, "people don't buy books, peopleon't read," except that books inform our television, our film, you know, our journalists, you know?
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everybody is-- the thought that books drive into the world are powered forward by so manyther media makers and cultural thinkers. and so, i just think it's really exciting that people are actually going to foundation and saying we have to change not only who is telling stories, but wos is editing stories. how are we publishing those stories? who are those stories for? and i think that you will see finally to scale, you know, some incredible balance in letters so that we can actually see, you know, the re world we live in and not just a parcel of it. >> sreenivasan: lisa lucas, executive director of the antional book foundation, so much for joining us. >> thank you. take care. >> sreenivasan: that for this edition of "pbs newshour weekend." for the latest news updates visit www.pbs.org/newshour. i'm hari sreenivasan. thanks for watching. stay healthy and have a good night.
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captioning sponsored by wnet captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: sue and edgar wachenheim iii. the anderson family fund. bernard and denise schwartz. the cheryl and philip milstein family. barbara hope zuckerberg.ro charlenblum. we try to live in the moment, to not miss what's right in ont of us. at mutual of america, we
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