tv PBS News Hour Weekend PBS December 3, 2016 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
captioning sponsored by wnet >> stewart: on this edition for saturday, december 3: a deadly fire engulfs a warehouse party in oakland, california, in what officials are calling a "mass casualty event"; president-elect trump reaches out to world leaders and disrupts diplomatic protocol with china and other nations; and in our signature segment, how restored diplomatic relations have boosted trade between the united states and cuba, slowly. next on pbs newshour weekend. >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: bernard and irene schwartz. judy and josh weston. the cheryl and philip milstein family. the john and helen glessner family trust-- supporting trustworthy journalism that informs and inspires.
sue and edgar wachenheim, iii. barbara hope zuckerberg. corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we're your retirement company. additional support has been 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 at lincoln center in new york, alison stewart. >> stewart: good evening, and thanks for joining us. emergency responders in oakland, california, spent the day searching the site of a massive fatal fire that broke out just before midnight and burned down a two-story warehouse where some people lived and others gathered for parties and performances. oakland's mayor calls the fire an immense tragedy. he also says the building was permitted only as a warehouse, not as a residence or a
performance space. fire officials say they can confirm nine deaths, but as many as 25 people are unaccounted for. sergeant ray kelly said: the warehouse had been converted into artist studios and residences, and an event space known locally as the ghost ship. an electronic music party was under way when the fire started. an estimated 50 to 100 people were in the building at the time. oakland's fire chief says the building had no sprinklers and its roof collapsed. >> there was just the one way up and down from the second floor. and it's my understanding that that stairwell was kind of like a makeshift that they put it together with pallets. >> stewart: the cause of the fire is under investigation. president-elect donald trump has ignited a diplomatic controversy with china because of one phone call with taiwan.
breaking from long-standing u.s. policy, mr. trump spoke with taiwanese president tsai ing-wen yesterday for ten minutes. this was the first publicly reported phone call between a taiwanese leader and an american president or president-elect in 37 years. that's because the u.s. officially broke off diplomatic relations with taiwan in 1979 after formally recognizing china. china considers the island 115 miles off the mainland to be chinese territory, and today china lodged a formal diplomatic protest. china's foreign minister blamed taiwan for what he called a "petty action." >> ( translated ): i believe that it won't change the longstanding "one china" policy of the united states government. >> stewart: mr. trump said on twitter that president tsai had called him to congratulate him on his election victory. a spokesman for the taiwanese president confirmed tsai initiated the call following a prearranged procedure. mr. trump defended the call, tweeting:
>> stewart: the president-elect also spoke with the controversial president of the philippines, rodrigo duterte. duterte says trump wished him well with his extra-judicial crackdown on drug traffickers, which has claimed some 5,000 lives this year. president obama, the united nations and human rights groups have raised concerns about the crackdown. facing a deadline to leave, protesters of an oil pipeline under construction in north dakota are getting support this weekend from u.s. military veterans. organizers from veterans stand for standing rock say 2,000 vets were headed to the sioux standing rock reservation. their leaders expected to meet today with tribal elders. for months, protesters have said the $4 billion pipeline, which will carry 500,000 barrels of oil a day near the reservation, could pollute its water supply and threaten native american sacred sites. the u.s. army corps of engineers and north dakota's governor have ordered the protesters to vacate their encampments on the federal land they're occupying by
monday. citing millions of deaths a year from air pollution worldwide, four major cities have pledged to ban diesel vehicles by 2025. read more at www.pbs.org/newshour. italians vote tomorrow in a referendum to change their post- world war ii constitution in the hopes of alleviating the gridlock that plagues the country's central government. italy's prime minister for most of the past three years, matteo renzi, says he'll resign if the referendum fails. newshour weekend special correspondent christopher livesay joins me from rome to discuss the referendum and its potential impact on the european union. christopher, what are the driving forces behind "yes" on the referendum, let's change the way the government works? and what's the driving forces behind "no," let's not do that? >> the idea behind voting yes is quite simple. it's to change the constitution, to ultimately streamline the political system here. italy is notoriously difficult
to govern. it's had 63 governments in the last 70 years. one of the main reasons for that is, if you want to pass a law, it tends to get stuck between both a senate and a house. and the idea would be to shrink the senate so you make the house a little more powerful, and you can get a law through that way and generate more stability in the italian government, and with more governmental stability, the idea is you would have more economic stability as well. the people voting no on this are upset with the powers this would give to the prime minister. the constitution in italy, as you mentioned, came after world war ii. you have to think about who was in charge in italy during world war ii and before world war ii. that was none other than the dictator benito mussolini. so the constitution was written in a way to keep the prime minister from becoming too powerful, but in the process, it's generated a lot of gridlock. there's still a large portion of the italian electorate that's still undecided. it's about 30% of italians still
don't know two which way they're going to vote on this thing. >> stewart: one of the things that's interesting about this election is the domino effect it could have, if remzi does, indeed, resign, and then it opens it up for others to take his place. obviously, five-star movement is the one we're hearing a lot about. tell us a little bit about the five-star movement, who supports it's a catch-all party.s. they tend to oppose anything that the government proposes, but one thing that we can say about them is that they're populist, they're anti-establishment, and they're anti-euro. the leader of this party is beppe grillo, a charismatic stand-up comic. he is sort of gleefully vulgar and has a way of just connecting with people, unlike any other politician on the scene right now. that might ring a bell with viewers in the united states. beppe grillo has proposed giving italians a referendum on their
membership to the euro zone, and that could send some serious economic shockwaves all across the common currency area. >> stewart: chris livesay from italy. thank you so much. >> thanks for having me. >> stewart: in december 2014, after a five-decade freeze, president obama announced the united states would begin reestablishing diplomatic relations with cuba. one expected result: expanded trade that would be an economic payoff for both countries. but the long-standing u.s. embargo remains in effect for most economic sectors, and cuba's government has been slow to approve new deals. in tonight's signature segment, special correspondent amy guttman reports that two years on, u.s./cuba trade has a long way to go. >> reporter: visitors to cuba may find the lack of modernization part of the country's charm, but, if cuban
farmers and american investors get their way, oxen that still till these fields may finally be replaced. cuban-american entrepreneur saul berenthal owns cleber, an alabama-based tractor manufacturing business. he's among the first to obtain a u.s. license to export agricultural machines, like the ones seen here, to cuba. >> this is an opportunity for us to go back and see, in my mind, how we can help the two communities together? because i believe, through commerce, through business, and not politics, is the best way of bringing the peoples together. >> reporter: berenthal also believes better machines will help cubans decrease their dependence on imports, which account for 80% of the island's food supply. >> what we chose was a tractor that was designed in the late 1940s for the u.s. family farm, very much like what you see here
and very much like what you see throughout the whole country. >> reporter: cuba has yet to approve the sale of berenthal's tractors. when it does, he plans to ship them assembled. but one day, he hopes to set up a factory here so cubans can build them. berenthal was born and raised in havana, the son of european immigrants who fled the holocaust. his parents were successful merchants who imported american products until the cuban revolution in 1959, when they left havana for miami. >> the socialist economic model is to keep the land in the hands of the people who work the land, and therefore every cuban that is willing to is given x amount of land for them to cultivate, and they get the government to buy their crop. and what we're doing is trying to bring some technology that will allow them to be more productive with what they do. >> reporter: the cuban government buys a portion of what farmers produce to stock bodegas where cubans use ration cards to buy food. farmers can sell the rest at
produce stands for cash. agriculture is one of the biggest sectors targeted for stronger trade with the u.s. since a sanctions reform act in 2000, 13 states led by virginia, alabama and louisiana have exported to cuba limited amounts of products like soybeans, apples and poultry. those shipments topped $150 million in the first nine months of this year. at the same time, the u.s. allowed cuban imports of coffee for the first time and a greater range of textiles. but cuba's largest exports to other countries-- like rum, tobacco, exotic fruit and honey-- have yet to make it to the u.s. market due to the continuing embargo. isis salcines runs a 125-acre, or 300-hectare, organic cooperative farm called vivero alamar. 140 people work here. >> reporter: is the trade embargo the obstacle here to
developing that land? >> reporter: american trade delegations regularly visit the farm, which raises cows and grows lettuce, sugarcane and moringa trees, whose leaves are packed with protein, calcium and other nutrients. >> reporter: without modern tools, the farm uses arduous techniques. for example, it doesn't have ph meters to test whether the soil is too acidic or alkaline, so workers count out 100 worms before placing them in the ground for a few days. if the majority survive, the ph levels are good. so, what are some of the things that you would buy from the american market if you were able to import them?
>> reporter: how much could you increase your production here at this farm if you had a few of the things on your wish list? ph meters, as an example. >> reporter: since raul castro succeeded his brother, fidel, as president in 2008, the cuban government has taken small steps away from the communist dogma that defined its revolution, softening the state monopoly on distributing agricultural goods, allowing cubans to own their homes and permitting them to run their own shops and restaurants. despite an increase in small businesses, greater access to the internet and other changes here, cubans i've spoken to fear the path toward trade with the united states isn't developing fast enough. >> as an american businessman, i'd like to see, and as a consultant for some american companies, i would like to see more progress. >> reporter: hugo cancio fled cuba for miami with his mother
and sister in 1982, when he was just 16. in the 1990s, when the u.s. and cuba let cuban-americans visit relatives on the island, cancio set up a travel agency in miami. today, he also publishes the english-language bimonthly magazine "on cuba," with offices in havana. >> i have been focused 100% on cuba. i've put all of my emotions and energy into this whole process that we're experiencing today. >> reporter: cancio says in the past year, the arrival of western union in cuba and the approval of commercial airline flights from nine american cities has made it easier for cubans to access cash. in addition, remittances from friends and family in the u.s. hit a record $3.3 billion last year. with travel restrictions eased, americans spent more than $1 billion in cuba in the first six months of this year. the number of u.s. tourists nearly doubled. to meet the growing demand, american and international hotel
chains are building or remodeling properties, typically co-owned by the cuban government, like the la manzana complex near old havana. >> this park represents the old and the new, and i think will continue to do so. >> reporter: and now, it's the foreground for the many cranes and building works going on. >> cranes mean prosperity, you know, something's brewing in the economy. there are companies that used to be here prior to 1959 whose properties and businesses were nationalized or confiscated or expropriated, and they're willing to forgive and forget their claims against the cuban government to be the first one to get in here. it's taking a bit too long and people are readjusting their expectations. >> reporter: american companies expecting to do business in cuba exhibited at havana's annual international business fair in october, including general electric and napa auto parts. they join a queue of foreign companies from canada to china
that have been investing in cuba for decades. cancio warns the cuban government is cautious to avoid the overdependence on america that helped fuel the revolution. >> remember, part of the whole process that led to the cuban revolution was the fact that, back in 1959, the cuban economy was in the hands of american businesses and american interests. that cuba is not coming back. >> reporter: despite that concern, ricardo torres, an economist at the university of havana's center for the study of the cuban economy, says the u.s. and cuba are natural trading partners. >> culturally speaking, those two countries are much closer than probably other countries. and the fact there are almost two million cubans living in the united states means that there is a powerful force out there that will, you know, stick the two countries very close. >> reporter: is there any concern that interest from
foreign investors will wane if it takes too long? >> yes, there might be a problem with that. we need facts to tell people that we are ready and we are open for business. >> reporter: torres says cuba's crumbling infrastructure is an area ripe for deals with american investors. >> i think there are billions of dollars to be invested in that sector over the coming decades. we are talking about roads, we are talking about railroads, we are talking about airports, talking about ports, we are talking about telecommunications. >> reporter: torres points to the special economic zone established at the port of mariel, an hour outside of havana, which has drawn foreign investment mainly from brazil and singapore. it's a state of the art deepwater port with huge container terminals and warehouses. port officials from several american states have been making visits here. already, government officials from virginia and louisiana have made future agreements to facilitate trade between the u.s. and cuba. those agreements envision ramping up imports and exports when the existing trade
restrictions with cuba are eased. mariel port official wendy barroto says the cuban government has offered tax breaks, expedited permits and built a monorail line to attract more foreign companies. >> ( translated ): the total completion for this area is estimated in about 30 years. >> reporter: what industries are you hoping to attract here? >> ( translated ): they are basically logistics services, pharmaceutical industry, biotechnology and advanced manufacturing, with priority given to food processing and packing, and steel works. >> reporter: while american companies wait for these deals to go through, saul berenthal is optimistic his tractors will one day plough cuban soil. berenthal says he understands why cuba has been slow to trust the u.s. >> the difficulty lies between developing a trust with a country that on one side says "we want to do business with you" and on the other side has
an embargo that forbids practically any activity in the business world. >> reporter: so, you're hopeful that eventually your tractors will come to cuba. >> in time, with the proper political changes that must be put in place, yes. >> stewart: in europe, anti- establishment, populist political parties are on the rise not only in italy, as we discussed earlier in the broadcast, but also in france, england, germany and austria. austrians vote in their presidential election tomorrow, which is a do-over of the election held in may that was nullified over voting irregularities. the left-leaning independent candidate, alexander van der bellen, is running against norbert hofer, the leader of the right wing "freedom party" who opposes benefits for migrants and is critical of the european
union. francois murphy is the bureau chief for reuters in vienna, and he joins me now to discuss the ancois, in every article about the austrian election, you also read a sentence about brexit, the u.k. exit from europe, and about the election of the donald trump as president of the united states. is there a sense that austria will follow in this line of rejecting establishment parties and people and go anti-establishment? >> well, you could also argue that it's actually britain and america that were following austria since, as you mentioned, this is a re-run of an election that was first held in may. and in may, the far-right candidate norbert hofer came very, very close to winning. so in a way it's very hard to say which way this wave is headed in. >> stewart: where are the lines divided in the country? who is voting for whom? >> there is actually a very similar picture to what we have since seen in britain and in the united states. data from the original rerun in may shows that you had blue-collar workers largely
voting for norbert hofer, the far-right candidate, was the highly educated, for example, were largely backing alexander van der bellen, the former leader of the greens party. >> stewart: francois, is there anti-e.u. sentiment involved in the austrian election? >> i'm not sure it's fair to say that this is driven by anti-e.u. sentiment. in fact, the far-right candidate, norbert hofer, said austria could hold their own vote on leaving the european union in a year and that hasn't gone down too well in austria, where most people, according to opinion polls, feel that the country should stay within the e.u. >> stewart: if norbert hofer should win, what could he do? what changes could he make? >> so, in austria, the president traditionally plays a largely ceremonial role. the pretty powers, however, are quite broadly defined, and it's possible to interpret those in a larger way. and that's what norbert hofer has said he intends to do. he has said that he would
dismiss a government that behaved in a certain way. he's given a couple of examples, at least one is if the government were to raise taxes. another is if a government allowed another influx of migrants like the one we saw here just over a year ago where, at the time, there were no i.d. checks for example of people coming through and he said if something like that were to happen again, he would restrict the government. >> stewart: francois murphy, thank you. >> thank you. >> finally, iran sharply criticized the united states today for extending unilateral economic sanctions for 10 more years. president obama is expected to sient bill approved by congress this week. iran's foreign minister says the extension violates the nuclear disarmament deal implemented this year by the u.s. and other world powers. u.s. officials say the sanctions don't breach the pact, which lifted certain international
sanctions on iran. that's all for this edition of pbs newshour weekend. i'm alison stewart. good night. captioning sponsored by wnet captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: bernard and irene schwartz. judy and josh weston. the cheryl and philip milstein family. the john and helen glessner family trust-- supporting trustworthy journalism that informs and inspires. sue and edgar wachenheim, iii. barbara hope zuckerberg. corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we're your retirement company. additional support has been provided by: and by the corporation for
along with the train line, to bring people to the casino in nearby monte carlo. the middle corniche comes with views of impressive villas, and the grande corniche caps the cliffs with staggering mediterranean vistas. while hailed as napoleon's crowning road construction achievement, it actually sits upon the via aurelia, a road built by the ancient romans as they conquered the west. a towering roman ruin celebrates that conquest. caesar augustus built the trophy of the alpes to commemorate his defeat of the region's many hostile tribes. with this victory, the completion of the main artery connecting italy and spain was made possible. this opened the way for the continued expansion of the roman empire. the inscription tells the story. it was erected by the senate and the people to honor the emperor. carved below is an inventory of all the feisty barbarian tribes that put up such a fight. and on either side are the vanquished in chains at the feet of their conqueror,
a reminder to any who would challenge the empire. nearby, standing high above the sea, is touristy but magnificent eze. the once-formidable town gate, designed to keep rampaging pirates out, leads into the medieval village. this self-proclaimed village of art and gastronomie mixes perfume outlets, upscale boutiques, cobbled lanes, and scenic perches perfect for savoring a drink. the more adventurous can climb even further up to the scant ruins of the eze chateau. the paths leading there host a prickly festival of over a hundred varieties of cacti. looking beyond the flowers, you'll enjoy a commanding riviera view.
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