tv PBS News Hour Weekend PBS November 22, 2014 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
captioning sponsored by wnet >> sreenivasan: on this edition for saturday, november 22: the president clears the way for american troops to fight in afghanistan beyond the end of 2014. a republican-led congressional committee says the obama administration was not guilty of wrongdoing in benghazi. and in our signature segment, tribal justice: searching for ways to punish non-native americans who commit domestic violence on reservations. next on pbs newshour weekend. >> the confusion creates this place where you have a category of people who are essentially above the law. >> sreenivasan: next on pbs newshour weekend. >> pbs newshour weekend is made
possible by: corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we are your retirement company. additional support is provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. from the tisch wnet studios in lincoln center in new york, hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: good evening. thanks for joining us. in a major unannounced policy shift, american troops serving in afghanistan beyond the end of this year will be allowed to engage in combat against the taliban. this from the "new york times," which says the new policy also authorizes the use of american jets, bombers and drones to support afghan troops on their combat missions. last may, the president had said
the remaining 10,000 american troops in afghanistan would be limited to training afghan forces and hunting the remnants of al qaeda. the president's change of heart came at a time when the administration was being criticized for its decision not to leave troops behind in iraq. the united states is pressing its campaign against isis extremists in iraq. according to the u.s. central command, 23 airstrikes have been launched against isis since wednesday. another seven isis positions were targeted in syria. this as the iraqi army has launched a counteroffensive against the militants in anbar province, west of baghdad. during their advance, iraqi troops discovered the bodies of dozens of tribesmen apparently killed for resisting the militants. extremists in east africa are said to be behind a mass killing there today. authorities say al shabab militants hijacked a bus, then murdered all the non-muslims on board. at least 28 people were killed. the deadline for a nuclear deal between iran and the western powers, including the united states, is monday, and talks between the two sides continued
today in vienna. this is how secretary of state john kerry assessed the state of the negotiations. >> we've been obviously having difficult talks here on a complicated topic. we are working hard. we hope we are making careful progress, but we have big gaps. we still have some serious gaps which we are working to close. >> sreenivasan: the iranian foreign minister, mohammad javid zarif, told reporters he believes there will be a deal. in europe today, dutch authorities killed several thousand ducks in an effort to contain an outbreak of the bird flu. more than 200,000 birds have been killed in the past week. but today, german authorities confirmed a second case of bird flu there. the world organization for animal health said today the latest bird virus in europe is similar to one that devastated poultry flocks in south korea earlier this year. the obama administration is apparently stepping up its efforts to shut down the prison at guantanamo bay in cuba.
authorities say seven detainees have been set free this month. the latest: a saudi man suspected of fighting for al qaeda in afghanistan. he had been held for 12 years but has now been returned to saudi arabia. there are now about 140 prisoners at guantanamo. at one time, following 9/11, the prison held more than 750 suspected terrorists. more than half of those who remain are from yemen. the university of virginia today suspended all fraternity activities until january following allegations that a female student was gang raped in one of the fraternity houses in 2012. the incident came to light in an article published earlier this week. u.v.a. president teresa sullivan said the time between now and january will be used to assemble groups of students and others to discuss how to prevent sexual violence on campus. and nasa has released an enhanced image of europa, one of jupiter's 67 moons. the white and faintly blue areas of the image are thought to contain ice, which could make it
conducive to life. in case you are wondering, europa is only 390 million miles from earth. >> sreenivasan: late yesterday, there were new findings about the attack in benghazi libya in 2012 that led to the deaths of ambassador christopher stevens and three other americans. ken dilanian of the associated press wrote about it and joins us now from washington. so, ken, what were the findings? >> would, hari, this report essentially debunked almost every criticism nahad been leveled at the obama administration over this incident. it basically said that there was no intent to mislead the american public about it, that the c.i.a. and the military acted appropriately, and than many of the conspiracy theories that have been out there about cover-ups and dark forces at work, were not accurate. and principally, the most interesting finding for me is that after the-- the weekend
after the attack, the then-ambassador to the united nations, susan rice, went on the sunday shows, many viewers may remember, and said that the attack had evolved from a peaceful protest. that turned out to be wrong, and she and the administration took a lot of flak as a result of that error. this report by the house intelligence committee, which say republican-controlled committee, essentially said saiz that rice was relying on intelligence that was provided to her from the c.i.a. and other intelligence agencies, and in fact, points out that there were 21 intelligence reports that said that there had been a protest at this diplomatic facility. those turned out to be wrong, but the intelligence picture was incredibly confused. and so the report found there was no intent to mislead by anybody in the government about what happened here. >> sreenivasan: so what makes this particular committee or this particular finding different? there have been previous investigations, right? >> yeah, this is the seventh congressional investigation, i believe, and the eighth overall.
and this, essentially, mirrored some of the findings of the other investigations, particularly on the role of the military. but this one-- the house intelligence commit has access to classified intelligence and c.i.a. personnel that other committees don't have, so this report got the deepest into what the intelligence said, you know, who carried out the attack, what their motivations were. and in fact, it pointed out that's to this day that's not completely clear. what was also significant about this is that it's a republican-controlled committee. the chairman is mike rogers, outgoing retiring member from michigan a very partisan republican, but he concluded and his colleagues concluded many of the charges against the obama administration, which have been leveled by republicans-- this has been a big political issue-- many of those charges just simply don't hold up. >> sreenivasan: what are the repercussions now. i think there's one more committee that could have findings? >> well, there is a select
committee that is supposed to continue an investigation into this issue. and they have said they will take this latest finding into account, but some of the key republicans on that committee have come out and said look, this house intelligence commit report debunks a lot of questions you guys have been raising so let's focus on what we all agree was a shortcome in this incident is whichis that facility was not well protected, the state department part of the facility, in particular, was not well protected. the people guarding that knew that had and they had asked for better security from washington, and that was not granted. everyone agrees that that was a shortcoming and the hope is that this-- at least among democrats -- that this committee can focus on that shortcoming and rectifying it and better protecting diplomatic facilities around the world. >> sreenivasan: any idea how many dollars all these investigations cost? >> upon you know, i don't know, but it's got to be tens of millions. there's document gathering that takes place-- this probe alone,
there were 20 hearings or events by the house intelligence committee and they talked to dozens of people and reviewed thousands of documents. it has been an enormous undertaking. and we'll never know how much time executive branch personnel have spent responding to these inquiries. >> sreenivasan: all right ken dilanian from the associated press, thanks so much for joining us. >> thanks for having me hari. >> sreenivasan: and now to our signature segment, our original in-depth reports from around the nation and around the world. tonight, we focus on the very high levels of domestic violence against native american women living on reservations throughout the united states. two things to keep in mind: the overwhelming percentage of assailants are actually not american indians, but others living on or near reservations; and until recently, the tribal courts that preside over these reservations had no jurisdiction over non-native perpetrators. now, congress has changed the law through the violence against women act, but some victims of
sexual crimes say the changes don't go nearly far enough, and other critics say the new law is unconstitutional and unenforceable anyway. the newshour's stephen fee reports. >> reporter: american indian lisa brunner spent her childhood on and around the white earth indian reservation, a huge tract of land in northern minnesota that's home to around 4,000 american indians. lisa grew up surrounded by domestic violence and since has become a leading advocate for native victims of abuse. >> it's happening every day. >> reporter: native women in the u.s. face some of the highest levels of violence of any group. according to the justice department, one in three native women has been raped, and three out of five will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes. lisa says she too is a victim of both rape and sexual assault. she had enough, she says, when a boyfriend slapped her across the face while she cradled her nine month old child.
>> and i packed up and left the next day, and i never went back. and i vowed thereafter that no man will ever touch me again. i will not... my babies will not know the life that i had to survive. >> reporter: lisa says that as an adult she seldom went to the police and that much of that has to do with the fact that some of the men who attacked her were non-native, not american indians. so why does that matter? up until recently, non-native people were immune from prosecution in tribal courts. that's crucial for two reasons: one, the justice department says non-native men commit the vast majority of assaults and rapes against native women; and two, federal attorneys who are often the only lawyers who can try non-native people who commit crimes on reservations often don't prosecute them. >> i knew when i had been raped and been victimized and whatnot, i never tried to report it
because nothing... i knew nothing would ever happen. i knew nothing would be done. >> when you have the combination of the silence that comes from victims who live in fear and a lack of accountability by outside jurisdictions to prosecute that crime, you've created, if you will, the perfect storm for domestic violence and sexual assault, which is exactly what all the statistics would sort of bear out. >> reporter: in a 1978 decision, the u.s. supreme court said indian tribes with their own tribal justice systems and courts were not allowed to charge non-indians unless congress passed a law, but congress didn't act for 35 years. then, just last year, when lawmakers were reauthorizing the violence against women act, sometimes called vawa, they included a new provision granting tribal courts jurisdiction over a limited number of domestic and dating violence crimes committed by non-indians on reservations, perhaps allowing people like
lisa brunner to see justice. while the tribal domestic violence provision doesn't kick in until march of next year, three indian reservations have taken part in a pilot program where they can begin some of those prosecutions now: one reservation in arizona; one in oregon; and this indian reservation, the tulalip reservation, a little more than an hour's drive north of seattle, washington. theresa pouley has served as chief judge on the tulalip tribal court since 2009. she says the responsibility to prosecute offenders on indian reservations belongs to tribal courts. >> the confused jurisdiction in indian country which leaves those responsibilities oftentimes to the state and federal government, who don't effectively prosecute those crimes, creates this place where you have a category of people on indian reservations who are essentially above the law. >> reporter: what does this tribal provision in vawa do to help close that gap?
>> it allows me to treat all domestic violence perpetrators exactly the same, indian or non- indian. so i have authority over indians who commit that crime. this just gives me authority over non-indians who commit the exact same crime. >> reporter: since march of this year, the tulalip tribal prosecutor has brought charges against five alleged non-indian domestic violence defendants. as of this airing, two have plead guilty, two are awaiting trial and one case has been dismissed. but will this new authority actually help stop the crisis of violence against indian women? one concern: the new law only covers domestic and dating violence; it does not include crimes like assault by a stranger or even rape. michelle demmert is the tulalip tribes' lead attorney. >> unfortunately it's not quite gone far enough. in just three recent cases, we had children involved, and we're not able to charge on the crimes
that were committed against those children, including endangerment, criminal endangerment, possibly assault, other attendant or collateral crimes. >> reporter: you're able to prosecute one crime but not the other. >> that's right. that's right. authority for tribal courts to try u.s. citizens in their courts for very good reason. oklahoma senator tom coburn was one of the original cosponsors of the 1994 violence >> reporter: oklahoma senator tom coburn was one of the original co-sponsors of the 1994 violence against women act, but from a legal perspective he says tribes cannot extend their authority to non-indians. >> you cannot cast tribal sovereignty on me. i'm not a member of the tribe. >> reporter: hailing from a state with one of the highest indian populations in the country, coburn says congress should have forced u.s. attorneys, federal lawyers, to prosecute domestic violence crimes on reservations more
vigorously rather than granting authority to tribal courts. and he feels the new law falls short and may even be overturned in court because some tribal systems may not have the resources to ensure due process. >> there's no way you can assure and guarantee constitutional provisions under what passed. so it... this provision will eventually be thrown out, be challenged and on appeal they'll lose because you cannot guarantee american citizens their constitutional rights if they're non-tribal members in a tribal court. >> reporter: but the justice department's sam hirsch says any tribe that proceeds with prosecutions must adhere to a list of constitutional guarantees laid out in the new law. >> here's the evidence that it's working: under the pilot project, more than two dozen non-indians have been charged with domestic violence and dating violence crimes. they all have the right to go straight to federal court and
ask to be released if their rights are being violated. and how many have done so? zero. >> reporter: so far? >> so far. >> reporter: hirsch concedes the law is limited, especially because it only covers domestic violence and not more serious crimes. but he says the justice department is stepping up its prosecution rate against non- natives. >> at the same time, we have to recognize that when federal prosecutors and f.b.i. agents are often located hundreds of miles away, many hours' drive away, it's very hard for them to play the role of local law enforcement, especially on misdemeanor level crimes and lower-level felonies. >> reporter: in the years leading up to the tulalip reservation's ability to prosecute non-indians, chief judge theresa pouley says she's already seen one mark of success. >> the reporting of domestic violence and sexual assault cases have gone up at tulalip for the last three years steadily as victims know that perpetrators will be held accountable.
and as they know they're going to be listened or heard, they actually report it more often. so if you just look at the numbers, you sort of see that it changes the level of reporting, and that's really the first step towards stopping it. >> reporter: back on the white earth reservation, lisa brunner is still concerned about the limitations of the new law, that it doesn't cover crimes like rape. it's especially personal because she says one of her daughters was raped a few years ago by non-native men who came on to the reservation. >> of course they threatened her, and she didn't tell me until after the fact, but we did report it to law enforcement and that was it. >> reporter: nothing happened after that? >> no. nothing. >> reporter: once the new law goes into full effect next year, it's expected that only a few dozen tribes are prepared to initially take on the task of prosecuting non-indian defendants.
>> sreenivasan: in the past few years, black friday shopping sales have crept right into thanksgiving day as stores try to gain an advantage over their competitors at the start of the holiday shopping season. but now, there is backlash against that practice within the business community. stephen greenhouse of the "new york times" wrote about this recently. i spoke with him earlier. so has it finally gotten too far, that people are essentially bringing their staffs in just to cry to keep the doors open on thanksgiving day? >> you upon, last year, more and more stores were opening on thanksgiving, in theory to please consumers, and then there's such a crush on black friday's they were competing to move things up to thursday. now there's a backlash, as you say, hari, where a lot of retailers see that a lot of consumers don't like the idea of shopping on thanksgiving, and they think that workers should have the day off, so some prominent retailers -- costco, marshall, game stop-- have all
kind of not just announced but they're boasting,"we're going to remain closed on thanksgiving. it shows thatee care about our workers. it shows we care about the holiday. it shows we care about their families." there's an interesting tug-of-war about whether to stay open to please consumers or stay closed kind of to please workers and it's, i think, very good public relation to remain closed. >> sreenivasan:y know that walmart kind of pushed back and said, "look, we're almost like airports and gas station, and we've been open on thanksgiving for 20 years." >> on one hand, walmart can say we're a supermarket, and a lot of supermarkets are open thanksgiving morning because in case you the need the cranberries or cranberry sauce, or god forbid you forgot a surky. the other part of the walmart is the very competitive retailer that moved black friday's into thursday the way many other retailers have, and that meant it needed a lot more workers. that meant kind of pressured--
invite a lot of consumers to get up from their thanksgiving table at 4:00 p.m. and rush over to walmart and wait in line for two hours to shop. walmart hasn't seens that that as a problem. it will remain open on thanksgiving. but so many consumers are so unhappy about waiting an hour, two hours, three hours in line for black friday's sales, that black friday's is going to magically become a five-day affair, where the black friday's sales will be spread. and that might mean fewer people needed to work on thanksgiving day. >> sreenivasan: this is also a big, big moment that starts the season. and for retailers this last stretch of the year is incredibly important to their bottom line, right? >> absolutely. it's called black friday's because in theory they've been running in the red all year long and on black friday's they're making money. i had an interesting interview with the head p.r. guy for nordstrom pehe said we used to be closed on july 4 and new
year's day but our consumers pushed us to be open. but he said so far, our consumers and shoppers aren't pushing us to open on thanksgiving, and if they do, then even we great, prestigious nordstrom might do that as well. so there are a lot of conflicting pressures. a the loof workers really don't want to work that day. and a lot of consumers, if they could get a good bargain that day, they're happy to go. but, you know, there was this poll done last year by the university of connecticut where, you know-- more than 90% of shoppers say they really don't love to go out running for black friday's sales on thanksgiving day. and just 7% said they're theep. but maybe a lot of retailers are eager not to miss that 7%. >> sreenivasan: steven greenhouse of the "new york times" joining us from chicago, thank you. >> sreenivasan: should retail stores remain open on thanksgiving? take our poll and share your opinion at newshour.pbs.org.
>> this is pbs newshour weekend, saturday. >> sreenivasan: we're familiar with solar power, wind power, even tidal power as sources of alternative energy to decrease our dependence on fossil fuels. what we are about to show is a new plan to use another alternative and utterly reliable source of energy-- in this case, to power buses in england. rupert evelyn of itn reports. >> reporter: we call it waste. but just because it's been flushed down the drain does not mean it's unwanted. in fact, it's a fuel, and in this case, where there's muck, there's mileage. for the first time, a bus is being powered by the gas-generated from treatment of human and food waste. its fuel source is a source of fun for many. the company running it see it as
a viable business asset. >>, of course, we're going to get the headlines, but it doesn't really run on waste. obviously, it runs on the by-product of waste. and it's not a fossil fuel. it's infinitely renewable. all the time there are people on the planet producing waste, the biome thing will be reproduced. so it's carbon-fruit newteral. >> reporter: turning our decomposing rush rubbish into fuel fair bus involves cleaning it up, removing various impurities before adding an odor and ensuring it reaches the exacting standards required for the fuel tank. >> the emission levels are 92% less than what you would typically expect being emitted from a diesel bus and carbon emissions are 20%, 30% less than again what you would tip keel see. >> it creates a virtual circle allowing passengers to be transported home using energy from the waste they created at home.
>> sreenivasan: a missouri grand jury has apparently not reached a decision about whether to charge police officer darren wilson for the fatal shooting of michael brown on august nine. this according to cnn, nbc, and local television stations. the grand jury will reportedly resume its dlibzs monday. security has been stepped up in anticipation of decision. i'm hari sreenivasan, stee you back here tomorrow night. captioning sponsored by wnet captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
>> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we are your retirement company. additional support is provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
narrator: coming up on "quest" -- a nasa rover looks for signs of ancient life on mars. [ all cheering ] mckay: we know it had water. it had rivers, lakes, maybe even an ocean. narrator: a search for clues about a mysterious disease killing millions of starfish. the surprising health benefits from eating dark chocolate. and a mission to uncover the amazing secrets of the spider web. next on "quest." announcer: support for "quest" is provided by...