Skip to main content

tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  April 30, 2015 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT

6:00 pm
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: a tale of two baltimores. race, class and zip codes alter perceptions of police in the charm city. >> the police dehumanize the people in the street and the people in the street dehumanize the people in the car. >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. also ahead this thursday: broken justice. a bipartisan push to shift who is put in prison and how long they stay behind bars. >> woodruff: plus, capturing the fall of saigon. veteran journalists return to a different vietnam than the one they covered during the war. >> we're there to remember what we did in the war.
6:01 pm
the brave americans and south vietnamese we covered who fought and died for an ideas they believed in. >> ifill: plus... >> you can tear down any wall and build anything you want in these spaces, which is pretty extraordinary. >> ifill: art attempting to reflect america, and artists unafraid to push boundaries. new york's whitney museum takes on a new space, and new risks. >> art has always been about an experience. i mean people stand in front of art to have a connection to something. >> woodruff: those are some of the stories we're covering on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> supported by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. more information at macfound.org
6:02 pm
>> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and... >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> ifill: baltimore police today finished their investigation into the death of freddie gray, the case that has roiled the city for days. officers arrested the 25-year- old gray on april 12 and hauled him into a police van. he died a week later after suffering severe spinal injuries. police commissioner anthony batts would not discuss the
6:03 pm
findings today. he said they've been turned over to prosecutors, and that the inquiry is not over. >> if new evidence is found, we will follow it. if new direction is given by the state's attorney we will obey it and we will follow through with the investigation. know that getting to the right answer is more important than speed, making sure we look and overturn every rock is more important than just coming forth and giving a document. >> ifill: police did reveal that the van made four stops en route to a police station. that's one more stop than was previously known. they had no comment on a "washington post" report. it said a prisoner in a separate part of the van heard gray banging around, and thought he was "trying to injure himself." meanwhile, more than half of the 200 people arrested during monday's riots have been released without being charged. >> woodruff: demonstrations over freddie gray's death have also spread to other cities. hundreds of people turned out in new york wednesday evening. police said they arrested at
6:04 pm
least 60, mostly for disorderly conduct. ferguson, missouri, where michael brown died last summer, also saw a second night of protests and some looting. and in milwaukee, relatives of dontre hamilton marched in his memory this afternoon. he was killed one year ago, by a police officer who shot him 14 times. the officer was fired over the incident. >> ifill: in nepal, fleeting glimmers of good news emerged today from the earthquake devastation. in kathmandu, a 23-year-old woman was pulled from the rubble where she'd been trapped five days. hours earlier, a teen-age boy was rescued. jonathan rugman of independent television news has that story. >> reporter: filmed from the air, these are the ruins of a seven-story hotel. nepalese police, backed up by american experts, have been digging for five hours after a voice was heard crying out from below. >> he's trapped by a piece of
6:05 pm
corrugated roofing material that's on him. he's in a void. he's got space. he's free enough. he doesn't have any weight on him. >> reporter: eventually a 15-year-old boy emerges conscious but frightened of so much noise and sudden daylight. his name is pemba tamang and he's been tranned beneath the rubble for five days. and suddenly a country mourning thousands of dead has a story to celebrate and a new hero in the policeman who crawled into a gap to reach the boy who was hiding behind a motorbike in a precious pocket of air. in an israeli army field hospital, the boy is eating food from a tin ca but physically unscathed. >> ( translated ): i just slept and i found some butter and that is what i ate. and there was some wet paper that i squeezed to get water.
6:06 pm
>> reporter: and this is the calamity he survived, though almost 6,000 did not. a tourist filmed hindu temples mere the capital on saturday. at the moment they collapsed. far from these once-revered ruins in nepal's remotest corners, aid is beginning to arrive. this is the gorka district, only reachable by helicopter when the weather allows and when there are enough helicopters to go around. the u.n. delivered rice oil and sugar today, but the u.n. reckons around 600,000 homes have been damaged and destroyed across this country. and the remarkable tale of one survivor is one moment of joy when joy like so much else here, is in short supply. >> ifill: in spite of the occasional stories of survival the number of reported casualties continued to climb. officials said the overall death
6:07 pm
toll has now passed 5,900, with no end in sight. and, at least 2.8 million people have been driven from their homes. >> woodruff: in pakistan ten men were jailed today for 25 years each, in the 2012 attack on malala yousafzai. the teenage activist was shot in the head by taliban members after she campaigned in favor of girls' education. she survived, moved to england and won the nobel peace prize. the actual gunmen were never caught. those sentenced today were found guilty of involvement in the plot. >> ifill: police in pakistan have withdrawn a criminal complaint against a former c.i.a. station chief over a u.s. drone strike. the 2009 attack killed two people in a tribal region. police originally filed the case in islamabad, but they now say they don't have jurisdiction. >> woodruff: back in this country, vermont senator bernie sanders is now officially in the race for the democratic presidential nomination, in 2016.
6:08 pm
the 73-year-old sanders pledged today to fight for campaign finance reform, income equality and tax code overhauls. he spoke outside the u.s. capitol. >> if you raise the issues that are on the hearts and minds of the american people, if you try to put together a movement which says we have got to stand together as a people and say that this capitol, this beautiful capitol, our country belongs to all of us and not the billionaire class, that's not raising an issue, that is winning elections. that's where the american people are. >> woodruff: sanders is the first major challenger to hillary clinton, who is heavily favored in the democratic contest. >> ifill: the pentagon put out word today that u.s. navy ships will start shadowing american-flagged commercial vessels in and out of the persian gulf. that's after iranian forces detained a cargo ship from the marshall islands this week. the iranians say they'll release the ship once its danish owner pays a long-standing debt. >> woodruff: low-income american children will soon have access to millions of free e-books.
6:09 pm
president obama launched the initiative today with the help of major publishers. he made the announcement at a public library in washington. >> we're going to provide millions of e-books online so that they're available for young people who maybe don't have as many books at home, don't always have access to a full stock of reading materials. they're going to be able to get about $250 million worth of books. >> woodruff: the e-book initiative is part of a broader program to provide internet access to 99% of u.s. students by 2018. >> ifill: a selling binge hit wall street today, after disappointing earnings reports. the dow jones industrial average lost 195 points to close back near 17,800. the nasdaq fell 80, and the s&p 500 slipped 20. >> woodruff: and, the only
6:10 pm
manmade object ever to orbit mercury ended its mission today. nasa's "messenger" spacecraft slammed into the surface, as planned after running out of fuel. "messenger" spent four years circling the innermost planet of the solar system, more than 4,000 times. in the process, it sent back more than 270,000 images. still to come on the newshour: a tale of two baltimores. the bipartisan push to fix a broken justice system. we return to vietnam 40 years after the fall of saigon. the economics of growing almonds amidst a historic drought. and, a new space to showcase american art. >> ifill: as we've been reporting, wednesday night in baltimore was calm, in part because of the continuing presence of beefed-up law enforcement, and in part because
6:11 pm
most residents are complying with the curfew. newshour senior correspondent hari sreenivasan spent time in baltimore, reporting on how two vastly different neighborhoods coexist. >> sreenivasan: in the sandtown neighborhood of baltimore, a woman named marilyn on appleton street takes pride in the garden she's tending on her front porch. pride in the tiny corner of the city she's been able to clean up in the house that has been in her husband's family since 1959. but she is also scared. scared to give us her last name because of the troublemakers in sandtown, an element she suspects is behind the recent riots and looting. she fears retaliation from them for speaking her mind. >> we have drug dealers trying to come on our block down the corner, or whatever, we call the police, they do come, sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. they should have buried that man peacefully, like his family asked, what they did, i think
6:12 pm
they did because i think they just wanted to steal, they wanted to take. >> sreenivasan: the past two days have been stressful for marilyn, and her blood pressure has gone up, looters destroyed the cvs where she filled her prescriptions. >> i don't have my blood pressure medicine, i don't have my medicine, period. now i gotta find another cvs that didn't get broken in or burnt down. >> sreenivasan: for her cousin, gregg lee, a block captain in sandtown, the recent violence and distrust are symptoms of a larger change in policing. >> you don't see an officer walking around, only time you see an officer is, they in the car, they on the way they... woosh flying. when i was coming up as a kid you had foot patrol. >> sreenivasan: so you knew the officer. >> yeah you knew him. he knew your family, you knew the children. >> sreenivasan: just down the block, beneath the incessant sound of helicopters, john willard, a priest from nearby memorial episcopal church walks a different sort of beat handing out sandwiches, a kind
6:13 pm
word and earning trust where he can. >> i don't enter into this community fully trusted, i had to earn my trust, people trust me now and that just started one person to one person. people defend me now and say he's ok, don't mess with him. >> sreenivasan: willard has been working in sandtown for the past eight years. helping people out of homelessness and drug addiction and coming to understand the depths of their anger. >> the people in this community feel hunted, they're afraid the make eye contact with people, they're afraid to hand a friend a cigarette because they're afraid they're going to get arrested because they're selling cigarettes. >> sreenivasan: so both communities seem to be acting out of fear. >> yes. >> sreenivasan: the police are gonna say, look i'm putting my life on the line. >> absolutely. >> sreenivasan: i open up that squad car, i'm knocking on that door, i don't know what to think. at the same time the people here say, when the police officer knocks on that door, i don't know what to think.
6:14 pm
>> because that's really what happens is the police dehumanize the people in the street and the people in the street dehumanize the people in the car. >> sreenivasan: a dehumanizing rage that boiled over this week in many places, including this liquor store just off eutaw place. when the looting began, terence roundtree and friends could bear it no more, and they stood between the looters and the store. >> sreenivasan: so you stood here and kept the looters from going in? >> yeah. >> sreenivasan: why? >> because its the right thing to do. like i said, although this is not where i live, this is still my home. somewhere along the line you have to say enough is enough. >> sreenivasan: the marlboro apartments where the liquor store was looted sits right on the dividing line of zipcode 21217, separating sandtown from the much nicer corner called bolton hill. the historic bolton hill neighborhood has tree lined streets, beautifully maintained homes, a members-only swim and tennis club.
6:15 pm
"the king and i" opens at john willard's memorial church tomorrow night. troublemakers hit bolton hill too, looting all the stores in this shopping center. at twilight we caught up with some bolton hillers at b bistro, the kind of restaurant that serves good wine and truffled french fries. it's less than a mile away from the porch we sat on in sandtown, but has a very different relationship with the police. andrew parlock, and his wife kendra were just finishing dinner. >> i'm gonna call the cops the first chance i have if something goes down, compared to less than a mile my same zipcode 21217. same zipcode but they're not gonna call at all, and that's something we need to deal with and if we didn't know it on saturday, we know it today. and i think thats the good news silver lining to this cloud. >> yeah, there's a real opportunity here to understand what's going on and make a difference, make a change. >> sreenivasan: these neighbors
6:16 pm
understand why the police respond differently here. >> there's both a white privilege and a class privilege and we in bolton hill get treated very nicely by the police, and the question is why is everyone not treated the same way that we're treated. >> sreenivasan: as darkness fell, we headed back to sandtown to see people running back home before the 10:00 pm curfew. we heard the police choppers announce warnings as they circled overhead. marilyn says she hasn't had a curfew since she was nine and she is tiring of the police, and increasingly, news helicopters. >> they're loud, they're intrusive, because you know you can't sleep or whatever, but by them choppers being up there, i do feel safe. >> sreenivasan: just after the curfew began, news broke from police sources that freddie gray, whose death sparked the protests, may have been banging his head against the back of the police wagon, self-inflicted injuries that may have
6:17 pm
contributed to his death. >> i think he antagonized the police, he probably was banging his head, but from what i've hear about how he died, i don't' think that was self-inflicted. i really don't. >> sreenivasan: the answer to that crucial question may define baltimore's new beginning. for the pbs newshour, i'm hari sreenivasan in baltimore. >> ifill: one of the more remarkable scenes in baltimore in the past two days was a first. the orioles hosted a baseball game. they won 8-2 in front of an empty stadium without any fans. that has never happened before in major league baseball. the orioles will not be back at camden yards for a while. this weekend they'll play scheduled home games at an away park in florida. john angelos the team's executive vice president has weighed in on the unrest on his business and on his hometown. he joins me now from outside
6:18 pm
baltimore's city hall. mr. angelos, there were front-page pictures coast to coast today of an empty park yesterday in baltimore. was it a good idea? >> gwen, thanks. it's great to be here under these difficult circumstances. it was an idea that was the best in a difficult situation. the authorities the give's office, the state of maryland the city of baltimore in protecting public safety felt that in order to deploy their resources throughout the city and protect everyone in the city, it made the most sense to not have the game open to the public. >> ifill: what kind of business hit did you take, and more importantly, did all the other businesses around the park take in. >> well, there is no question that all the businesses in baltimore are positively impacted when there are major events like an orioles' game or a ravens' game and other such entertainment events. when those things don't happen people plan on them and they lose income. that's an unfortunate repercussion of a much larger
6:19 pm
problem, and it's a problem for the community at large that's more significant than any losses we'll have. >> ifill: i want to talk to you about the contention actual problem and you said you named the blame on the needless suffering government is inflicting upon ordinary americans. it sealed like you were making a very specific point about who was to blame. >> well, i think by that what i meant in my personal opinion that it is absolutely incumbent upon government and public-private partnerships to create equal opportunities for all communities and subcommunities throughout the cities of this country and throughout the country. in order for the united states to continue to hold itself out as the greatest country in the world, in order for it to hold itself out as a country that stands for democracy and equal opportunity and civil and human rights, it needs to provide equal economic opportunity for all people. and if the system is failing
6:20 pm
some of us then it's failing all of us. >> ifill: what was it about this instance this uprising, this conflagration which is connected to the point you're making about jobs being shipped out of the u.s. and other points you made in your commentary? >> well, having grown up here and lived here my entire life, i have not grown up or spent time in the neighborhoods where most of the unrest has occurred, i certainly... they are my neighbors. they are part of this city fabric, and there's no question that the diminution of manufacturing jobs and good, high-paying quality jobs in cities like baltimore and regions throughout the country including the hudson river valley, the pittsburgh river valley and throughout the entire country, that the massive loss, the exportation of good high-paying jobs for working-class people has been a tremendous source, in fact, the most significant source of civil unare rest civil misery and
6:21 pm
occasionally you see people expressing their frustration hopefully lawfully. and you have to say in baltimore, several hundred arrests, yes, a population of 2.25 million people in the metropolitan area and 700,000 in the city itself, that is really not evidence of a violent society or society that are lawbreakers but more of one that is abiding the law, and the same is true of the police. you have police that, you know, will break the law or may, if that's proven to be the case, but the majority of police officers like the residents who they police are well meaning law-abiding people. so i think... >> go ahead. >> ifill: sorry. do you worry that your comments are politicizing a tragedy at all? >> i don't think so. i don't think this is about politics. i don't think it's about democrats and republicans or about anything. i've been very careful to not talk about politics, and this really isn't anything that i'm saying on behalf of baseball or the orioles. i'm just going grown up here as a native and seeing the
6:22 pm
difficulties of factories moving from baltimore, the shipyard areas the manufacturing areas rehe kateing to foreign parts of the globe, it is difficult to ask people to work hard and pull themselves up when the jobs that used to be here for the prior generations no longer exist. >> ifill: that said, when will the orioles be back at camden yards? >> we'll be back in may after the road trip and we hope that we'll be able to put on high-quality games and entertainment and that will... that's what we're charged to do. >> ifill: john angelos the executive vice president of the baltimore orioles. thank you. >> thanks gwen. >> woodruff: now, a different piece of the criminal justice story. tonight we are launching an occasional series called "broken justice," that looks at what might be a breakthrough moment in attitudes toward imprisonment in america.
6:23 pm
the figures are staggering: since 1980 the number of those incarcerated has increased from half a million behind bars, then, to more than 2.2 million people in prisons and jails in 2013. and the numbers stand out globally. while the u.s. accounts for five percent of the world's population, it houses more than 20% of its prisoners. in a significant shift, groups on opposite sides of the political spectrum, that often find themselves at odds, like koch industries from the right and the center for american progress from the left, are coming together with a common goal: to overhaul the country's criminal justice system. they've launched "the coalition for public safety." to learn more, we are joined by neera tanden, president of the center for american progress, and mark holden, senior vice president and general counsel of koch industries. we welcome you both to the news hour. >> thank you.
6:24 pm
>> woodruff: mark holden, why is this important to you and the leadership of koch industries? >> it's a very important issue to our leaders, charles and david koch, charles in particular. we're interested in helping people improve their lives and removing obstacles to opportunity, particularly for the disadvantaged and those who have the odds stacked against them. charles in particular is what they call a classical liberalism, believes in, that and we believe in a limited government and strong individual rights and individual liberties. we believe strongly in the bill of rights some if you bereave in individual liberty and the bill of rights and you're worried about infringement on that, there is no bigger place to be than in the criminal justice system is because that's where the greatest infringement on personal liberty starts in the criminal justice system, particularly for the poor. personally i'm interested in it. i grew up in worcester, massachusetts. i worked in a jail after my senior year of high school and freshman year of college. what i saw there was a lot of kids i went to school with who were from poor families who weren't good students who got into drug problems and then
6:25 pm
ultimately made a mistake and by the time they were 20, 21 years old, they were down a path of poverty and despair and trying to fix that is why we're involved. >> woodruff: so neera tanden what about you and the center for american progress. what draws you to these issues? >> in a similar vein we're concerned with the challenges of rising unequality and how the criminal justice system is actually increasing poverty and to build off what mark said when you have a young person who goes into the prison system that affects... in today's america, that affects their ability to get a good-paying job the rest of their lives. so you're not just burdening that person you're burdening their families. you're burdening the communities. so we have to have a system in which we focus on violent offenders. we move non-violent offenders out of the reach of the criminal justice system. people are able to get back on their feet and they don't have the stigma the rest of their lives. that's a big challenge, as well. >> mark holden, there are so many layers to this problem,
6:26 pm
this set of problems. how do you decide what are your priorities? what to go after first? >> well, there's a lot to go after, and there's really three guide posts that we have to look at all the different areas. one is everything we do, everything that's done in our criminal justice system should be done to enhance public safety, make it safer so to neera's point violent criminals in prison, people with drugs problems, people who are mentally ill, get them out of prison and get them help. maybe they won't become violent criminals. second step, honor the bill of rights fourth, fifth sixth and eighth amendments are focused on criminal justice issues which tells you how important the founding fathers thought that was. next, treat everyone with respect. from the victims to the accused to lawmaker and their families. the accused, a lot of things you can work on. we've criminalized way too much conduct that shouldn't be criminal all the way to the sentencing issues to re-entry. i think for us, we have a lot of different priorities potentially, but we need to focus on where we think we can get something done.
6:27 pm
it seems at the federal level there's a lot of consensus coming together to giving some relief from long prison sentences for people who are not violent offenders and help, them reenter society the way they can have a productive life. and at koch we took a step toward that. we got rid of the becomes on our application about felony conviction, the whole idea being we'll this a background check at the end of the process if we're interested in the person but helping a person after they make a mistake, don't brand them a criminal for life. help them get back on their feet lead a from ducktive life and have a good family life. >> >> woodruff: there are critics out there, i want to quote senator chuck grassley of iowa, he holds a very important position on the hill, just this week he said, "with a heroin epidemic strangling some of our communities and white-collar criminals getting paltry sentence, the last thing we need to do is take a tool away that law enforcement and prosecutors use to get the bad guys." >> i think that's why this
6:28 pm
coalition is so important, right. it's important that we have the left and the right making these arguments, and i have been really pleased by how much the conservative groups in our coalition are trying to have conversations with senator grassley and say, you know, you can care about law and order in our country and also make our system be more effective and actually not ruin so many lives. >> woodruff: are you making progress? >> well, i don't know that senator grassley is misaligned on these issues because i've heard him say a lot of things with what we've been talking about. he's a good man. i think on the republican side i think there's a desire to come together and get this done in the house and the senate. and i think that to the extent what senator grassley said was yeah, violent criminals and people who commit massive fraud they will be subject to long sentences. what we're talking about are more non-violent offenders first-time offenders, low-level offenders not getting really long sentences. so i think there will be consensus around these issues, and i think if you look at the
6:29 pm
experience that's gone on in the states and several so-called red states from texas, mississippi georgia, south dakota, even ohio, which is more a purple state, a lot of progress in these same areas. that should give us all comfort that republicans can get those things done in the states. we can do it in the senate and the house, as well. >> it is harder to work together because you're typically not aligned on many issues? >> well, we have disagreed before. it's likely we'll disagree again. but i think that really speaks to the importance of this issue. we are willing and our friends on the right are willing to come together and work on it. i think that that really speaks to how many lives have been ruined by the criminal justice system and how we all have a responsibility to address it. >> woodruff: the developments in baltimore coupled with everything else that's been happening in some inner city communities around the country between the police and young blackmen, does that make it a moment when it's easier to get this kind of work done? >> i should hope so. i've been heartened by not only our discussions but you see
6:30 pm
more and more people across the political system recognizing that these are not just particular instances of what i consider police brutality, but also broader issues are at play. and the fact that so many people are kind of captured in a criminal justice system that then tends to really put their ability to have opportunity is a big challenge, and i'm glad that folks on the left and the right can see that. >> here's my point of view: i think that what we're doing in our criminal justice system is putting our behave lawmaker officers at risk. we're asking them to do all the things we as a society weren't willing to do and aren't willing to do. we have them in the schools now. we have them dealing with homeless people. we have them dealing with mentally ill people and drug addicts. we should make our police help them do their jobs. they signed up to help protect and defend the communities. they're very brave. they end up because of all these laws created they end up in constant conflict enforcing other things like dealing with
6:31 pm
mentally ill people, low-level drug crimes and it creates tension. i think if we fix our criminal justice system, let our law enforcement officers do what they wanted to do it would improve the relationship with the communities and they'd be defending them and go after violent criminals and that would improve everything quite frankly. so fixing that will help address that, as well. >> this is the first in a series of conversations as we said. mark holden with koch industries, neera tanden for the center with american progress, we thank you both. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> ifill: in vietnam, today was a day of remembrance, marking the 40th anniversary of the end of one of america's longest wars. in ho chi minh city, formerly known as saigon, here were celebrations, including a massive parade, marking liberation day. the mood was more somber at the american embassy, where a plaque was unveiled to commemorate marines killed at the site 40 years earlier. newshour special correspondent
6:32 pm
mike cerre, a former marine who served in vietnam, brings us tonight's story about a small group of journalists and marines who returned to the country on this anniversary, remembering one of the most significant chapters of their lives. >> reporter: some of the most indelible images of the vietnam war came during its final hours of april 30,1975. after more than 13 years of military involvement, 58,220 americans killed. along with millions of vietnamese. it came down to this desperate evacuation of nearly 2,000 americans and south vietnamese dependents from the american embassy compound in saigon. the former american embassy here in what is now called ho chi minh city as torn down years ago. it wasn't until 1995 after diplomatic relations were finally restored that a new
6:33 pm
consulate was opened here on the same grounds as the u.s' dramatic exit from what the vietnamese call "the american war". >> the reason i stayed behind was that i was there in the beginning-- 1962 and covered it through the intervening years. so i felt i had to stay behind to see what would happen to saigon when the communists arrived. >> reporter: peter arnett, earned a pulitzer prize for his vietnam reporting for the associated press. >> the caravelle hotel is where all the news networks had their offices and we used to come up here. >> reporter: he and other western journalists have come back to a much different ho chi minh city for the 40th anniversary of the fall of what they knew as saigon in 1975. many of these veteran journalists thought the eventual takeover of vietnam was inevitable. after the north vietnamese's tet
6:34 pm
offensive of 1968 in several key cities closely followed by peace negotiations and the gradual drawdown of american forces starting in 1969. the north vietnamese took over as much as a third of south vietnam during the easter offensive of 1972. >> i see people dying every day before my eyes. >> reporter: nick ut's iconic photograph of a young vietnamese girl accidentally hit with napalm during the north vietnamese invasion of the south marked the beginning of the end of the diminishing public support for the war by many americans. >> right at the beginning, they say that picture went anti-war everywhere. that means the war will be over. >> reporter: only a teenager at the time, nick ut was a self- taught photographer who had replaced his photographer- brother killed earlier in the war. he covered the collapse of the south vietnamese army and the mass exodus of retreating military and civilians.
6:35 pm
all seeking a last sanctuary in the saigon area in april, 1975 >> even me i didn't think saigon fall right away maybe next two months, maybe two or three years. >> reporter: photojournalist nick wheeler on assignment for newsweek and u.p.i covered the fall of bien hoa. the last major military base just outside of saigon. and the initial shelling of the city. on the morning of april 29th, the advancing north vietnamese artillery had shutdown the airlift out of tan son nhut airport forcing the americans to implement their backup evacuation plan. >> the signal was to be through armed forces radio which was going to be playing "i'm dreaming of a white christmas". when we heard that on the radio we were to grab our bag and head to the evacuation point.
6:36 pm
>> reporter: wheeler's bus ended-up at the american embassy which was besieged by thousands of south vietnamese, many of them connected with the american war effort, who believed they would be evacuated along with the americans. >> once we couldn't get in through the embassy gates was to start climbing over the wall and get helped into the compound and once we got inside the compound it was a completely different scene. >> reporter: makeshift helipads were created in the compound's courtyard. and atop the embassy itself for shuttling the last of the americans and vietnamese who were able to get into the embassy compound so they could be flown to american naval ships standing by off the coast. >> when we were given the order to fallback into the embassy while falling back and looking at the people's eyes you could see real fear. >> reporter: former marine security guards john ghilian and
6:37 pm
bill newell were part of the last american military unit sent to vietnam for the evacuation. after the last of the civilians had been evacuated the last of the marines waited anxiously for one last helicopter to take them out. >> initially, i didn't think it was the alamo until we sat on the roof for this final two and a half hours the morning of the 30th. we didn't know what was going on. all we thought was that this could be our last hurrah. >> vietnam has experienced enormous gross since the war and it switched to a socialist-based market economy in 1996. its growth rate has been averaging 6% a year the past decade, elevating it from one of the world's poorest countries during the war to one of the fastest-growing economies in asia.
6:38 pm
april 30th in vietnam is now called liberation day or reunification day and is a national holiday. only recently has it also become a show of vietnam's military power in the region. >> april 30 day is very sad day. most of the old people remember. young people don't know anything. my children don't know anything about vietnam. just a sad day. black friday. sad day. >> reporter: for many of the estimated three million vietnamese who fled the country often at great physical risks and personal hardships, april 30th is called "the day of shame" or "black april". given the amount of american blood and treasure lost here over more than a decade of fighting to save south vietnam from a communist takeover. it's also a day of very mixed emotions for those americans who served here during the war. some of them have also come back. >> i was with 5th special forces airborne. it wasn't the outcome we were
6:39 pm
looking for when we were here. it's not the one we fought for but they won and we lost and now we're partners and there shouldn't be any animosity or living in the past for christ sake. >> the last americans out that day were the marine security guards. some of them have come back for the anniversary and to honor to of their fallen comrades who were the last american servicemen killed in vietnam. >> i think we need to close the book. i don't think another chapter needs to be written. i think it's time to close the book. >> we're not there to congratulate the communists on their victory. me and a lot of other journalists are there to remember what we did in the war. over 60 journalists were killed remembering them and remembering the brave americans and south vietnamese we covered who fought
6:40 pm
and died for an idea they believed in. >> reporter: after the anniversary reunion, nick ut will head north to visit the family of the severely burned girl in his photograph that earned him a pulitzer prize. she now lives in toronto and they speak and get together regularly. >> it's quite moving to be back here on the same grounds after 40 years. now the consulate is dwarfed by what has taken place here in saigon the last 40 years. >> reporter: the most iconic images of the american evacuation during the fall of saigon were not taken at the embassy. they were taken at a nearby apartment and office complex formerly used by the c.i.a and u.s. aid. it's now surrounded by the new image of vietnam today, 40 years later. for the newshour, this is mike cerre reporting from ho chi
6:41 pm
minh, vietnam. >> woodruff: in california, governor jerry brown called this week for ramping up fines for residents and businesses who waste water. but in this fourth year of the drought, many are asking about the role of some agriculture and farming. one of the chief targets is one of the state's most popular exports. our economics correspondent, paul solman, went to see for himself, part of our ongoing reporting: "making sense," which airs every thursday on the newshour. >> reporter: the almond. revered in some cultures, reviled recently in ours. >> because of almonds, there's no water. >> the almond farmers are using more water than all the people in l.a. and san francisco combined. >> reporter: the john and ken show, in southern california, claims to be the country's most listened to local talk radio program.
6:42 pm
>> half the almonds they're shipping to china! and this is why we're getting water meters and we're getting lectured and scolded and we gotta take shorter showers and we can't water our lawns. this is b.s.! >> reporter: it was mother jones magazine which first reported the stunning statistic: it takes over a gallon of water to grow just one almond. the press has piled on since, portraying almonds as water wasters in the midst of near- epic drought. and it's not just the almond but every nut in the orchard. are you aware that pistachios take almost one gallon of water per pistachio to grow? >> i had no idea. >> reporter: does it disturb you to hear that that's the case? >> it does. i don't know that it disturbs me enough not to buy them. >> reporter: customers like nick wiebe are one reason california's tree nuts are on a roll: they taste good; they do good. >> they are rich in saturated fatty acids, fiber, minerals vitamins, antioxidants and
6:43 pm
phytosterols. >> reporter: the august new england journal of medicine produced "nuts and death" to accompany a landmark study showing that eating nuts every day could reduce the risk of death by 20%. small wonder that almonds have passed peanuts as america's favorite nut. and nearly every almond eaten in the u.s. is grown in california- - a million tons in 2014, twice the amount a decade before. but while supply has doubled, global demand has run amok, especially in asia, so that the price has doubled too. thus almonds have become the golden state's most lucrative agricultural export, and 80% of the world's supply. and that means the state is, in effect, shipping its precious water overseas. but that's not why noted environmental lawyer antonio
6:44 pm
rossmann knocks them. >> the problem is not that we're selling them to china and japan. >> reporter: the problem, says rossmann, is that farmers and investors are planting so many more almond trees. >> it's almost an act of suicide when you see these new plantings now because the water demand actually increases at about five years into the orchard. it's kind of like a time bomb that's going to really get worse before it gets better. >> reporter: but, says almond farmer brad gleason, so what? >> i'll show you why we're using so much water. there is a lot of water that's going into forming that nut. >> reporter: but a lot less water per ounce of protein, says gleason, than the competition. >> if you look at the amount of water that's used in the amount of protein that we generate, we're by far more efficient than pork, chicken, beef. >> reporter: especially beef. one ounce of beef, the protein equivalent of about a dozen almonds, requires 106 gallons of water to produce, even more, if
6:45 pm
it's raised on irrigated pasture like this one. and who eats just one ounce of beef? >> we've got 320 million people trying to eat three times a day. that's a billion meals a day and it's going to have to come from water somehow. >> reporter: and if you include the rest of the world, even the arid southern central valley with its unique soils, may be a life saver. unfortunately, these days getting water here means drilling ever deeper into the aquifer, a practice that threatens the state's groundwater. this well in coalinga is going 1,750 feet down, to feed a new pistachio ranch. there is surface water flowing through here from the north, over massive government-built aqueducts. but because of the drought, allocations have been slashed, in gleason's water district, to zero: no surface water from the north at all, for the second
6:46 pm
year in a row. but those are the rules, says antonio rossmann, upon which california's water system was built. >> in time of shortage, agriculture would take up to 100% hit for one year to maintain reliability to urban consumers. in time of plenty, the farmers could buy cheap water and plant as many acres as they could. in time of drought, they would fallow. >> reporter: in other words, leave their fields unplanted, like this one cheek by jowl to the aqueduct. >> this water is headed for los angeles. >> reporter: but you can't fallow an almond orchard, if you don't water trees, you kill them, and the investment they represent. so, with little or no piped-in water, and hundreds of thousands of acres of thirsty nut trees in the central valley, there's a whole lot of drilling going on. but with prices at record highs because of global demand, wouldn't almost anyone keep harvesting? >> i think this is a very
6:47 pm
rational thing to do. >> reporter: agricultural economist richard howitt. >> and if the product is a healthy product and a good product, what's not to like? >> reporter: so when i read that it takes a gallon of water to produce one almond and i'm shocked by it, you think i'm using the wrong metric? >> absolutely. because i see the value of the water reflected in the value of the almond. and the value of the almond is based on how much people want it. >> reporter: in fact, consumers want it so much, dave phippen's farm in the northern central valley suffered an almond heist- - -a "nut job", you might say-- just a few years back. >> they called it the nut nappers and they actually got ours over the fourth of july weekend. >> reporter: a third generation farmer, phippen has so-called "senior water rights," granted to his land in the early 20th century in exchange for loss of water when rivers were dammed.
6:48 pm
but he too is blamed for using one gallon per almond. >> we're used to having a halo, and now all of a sudden we've become the demon. >> reporter: we set up this shot, but i think people looking at it are gonna see the water puddling here, in drought- stricken california, and think "this can't be the most efficient use to which you can put water at this point." >> it won't be lost. we don't put any more water on that'll go beyond the root zone of the trees. this orchard won't receive water again for about 14 days. >> reporter: but it's a gallon of water or more for every almond you grow. >> the gallon is so precious. we only have so many gallons. we want to use it for the highest economic benefit. >> reporter: and that, farmer phippen insists, is growing nuts like almonds, at least up north: an economic benefit their rising price reveals. as for brad gleason's almonds in the water-starved south... >> when those trees finish out their useful life and they come out, i'm not planting almonds again. >> reporter: this is economics correspondent paul solman,
6:49 pm
reporting for the pbs newshour amidst the nuts of california. >> ifill: finally tonight: an unusual place, a grand space and a showcase for contemporary art. jeffrey brown visits the new whitney museum in new york. >> brown: like all buildings, it begins as a construction site. >> everything needs to be ready, so there will be a moment when... >> brown: and when we visited the new whitney museum recently, work was still going on all around. architect elisabetta trezzani managed the project with world- renowned museum builder renzo piano. on a large outdoor terrace, she showed us how she and her colleagues thought of their mission here. >> to create places that are connected with the neighborhood and all the city.
6:50 pm
>> brown: so the city is the canvas in a way. >> yes exactly. >> brown: and what a neighborhood this is, or was. trezzani told me of her first time here. >> when we came there was only meat packing on this street, there was working 24 hours. and there was blood on the street. >> brown: there was blood on the streets? >> yes. >> brown: this is new york's meatpacking district, long a busy and messy and once- dangerous area where few residents or tourists ventured. now, it's a bustling neighborhood in a new way-- of restaurants and high-end shops. the museum is adjacent to new york's high-line, the hugely successful above-street level park that attracts thousands of visitors every day for an almost whimsical walk through the city. the whitney, which certainly has a ship-like look, with the hudson river on its other side, becomes a kind of anchor of this new area. it lived in its old area, manhattan's upper east side, for 48 years, and made its name as a
6:51 pm
showcase for american art and contemporary artists eager to push boundaries. but times changed and a move to a larger, new building in a new area was necessary. >> it was a little bit like getting a suit when you're a young person and you loved that suit and its a great suit but you bit by bit outgrew that suit. we outgrew the building. >> brown: adam weinberg has been director of the whitney for 12 years. now he and his team of curators have a $422 million building, with eight stories, 200,000 square feet, beautiful and large new galleries to play with. all of the walls in the galleries are not fixed. >> you can tear down any wall and build anything you want in these spaces which is pretty extraordinary. >> brown: weinberg also knows that something else has changed in american culture: the competition for our time and attention. these days, museums, like ballparks, video games, and so
6:52 pm
much more, promote themselves as experiences. >> you know, art has always been about an experience. i mean people stand in front of art to have a connection to something. there's the experience where you do it with thousands of people and there's something great about that collective energy and there are times when you are in a museum, there are lots of people around you. but there's also that wonderful feeling when you happen to be in a gallery and there are not so many people around. and you actually to get spend time with a work of art. >> brown: fred wilson is an artist who's spent a lot of time with museums. he's made them his subject-- long ago, he worked as a museum guard and that led to this sculpture, now in the whitney. >> i always felt like we were on display. just like everything. >> brown: like you were on display? >> the guards were on display like the work. but ironically, also i felt invisible. >> brown: many years later, wilson is not only shown in the
6:53 pm
whitney, he's on its board of trustees, its one artist representative. and in a city crowded with great museums, he's a true believer in the whitney's particular mission. >> what the whitney gives to artists and has is a partnership in risk-taking. you get the sense that the curators are really in your corner. not that other curators aren't, but they really get that. that you have to do what you do, take a risk. it's not the common situation for a major institution. >> brown: in its inaugural exhibition, called "america is hard to see", many of those former risks are now on display, including works that were long consigned to storage for lack of space. donna de salvo is the museum's chief curator. is it true that some of these you just sort of found in the basement? >> well, we had them carefully in our storage area. but this work is pretty
6:54 pm
extraordinary. and using the tv as this creative medium in this way is one we really have not shown in many, many years. so it's a great revelation for us, the idea of the television in that '60s moment, you know it's such a rich idea. >> brown: in addition to being able to show a lot of things you couldn't, was there a theme? >> our title "america is hard to see" is because it's impossible to sum up what american art is. it's not a greatest hits show. it's not a highlight show. it's really a thematic interpretation of different pre- occupations across 115 years that come up over and over for artists. >> brown: a quiet moment in the new galleries, but not for architect trezzani. do you like this moment when everything is sort of raw and the workers are all around us? >> i'm just waiting for them to arrive. tomorrow! >> brown: you just want it to open? >> yes, yes. >> brown: enough of this! >> i just want to see people inside and want to look at their faces. >> brown: she'll get her chance tomorrow when the museum opens its doors to the public. from the new whitney museum in
6:55 pm
lower manhattan, i'm jeffrey brown for the pbs newshour. >> woodruff: and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. for all of us here at the pbs newshour, thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> lincoln financial-- committed to helping you take charge of your life and become
6:56 pm
you're own chief life officer. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
6:57 pm
6:58 pm
6:59 pm
7:00 pm
this is "nightly report" with tyler m sue herera. april showers. stocks close out the month with a sharp selloff and some market watchers are not expecting any may flowers. refined earnings. oil's slide hurts exxon's profit but the company results beat the forecast thanks to a five fold profit rise in refining. and pag your nest egg with stocks still at lofty levels, is now the right time to take your retirement out of stocks? all that and more tonight on "nightly business re for thursday april 30th. good evening, everyone and welcome. glad you could join us. well sell in may and go away. that is the old market cliche and today it was as if may started a day early. stocks began the session

139 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on