tv PBS News Hour PBS December 20, 2016 6:00pm-7:01pm PST
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. >> sreenivasan: and i'm hari sreenivasan. >> woodruff: on the newshour tonight, after the attack: we report from berlin as a manhunt continues. >> sreenivasan: then, one outcome of the election: a rise of women seeking long-term contraceptive care, fearing restrictions on birth control coverage in the new political climate. >> woodruff: plus, part two of our bruce springsteen profile. the rock legend opens up about depression and the joy of performing. >> i walk on stage, i play, i perform, i create, i write. that's where sort of that peace comes over me. >> sreenivasan: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs
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station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: the islamic state group has claimed responsibility tonight for the berlin truck attack that killed a dozen people and injured 50. that word came hours after german police let their main suspect go. special correspondent malcolm brabant reports from berlin. >> reporter: this normally bustling christmas market in berlin was eerily quiet today as investigators searched for clues. swathed in fog, and with armed guards sealing off the area, berlin was coming to terms with its new status as a victim of terrorism after paris, brussels and nice. german chancellor angela merkel spoke at a morning news conference. >> ( translated ): there is still a lot that we don't know about this act with sufficient certainty, but we must, as things stand, assume it was a
terrorist attack. >> reporter: police detained a pakistani asylum-seeker shortly after the truck rammed into a crowd of people on monday. but today he was released, due to insufficient evidence. prosecutors said he matched a description of the suspected attacker, but he denied any involvement. the truck, which had been carrying steel beams, was towed away earlier this morning. the body of a polish truck driver was found inside the cabin. he had been stabbed and shot after being hijacked. the gun used to kill him has yet to be found. >> it was waiting to happen, no? i'm not like totally surprised. >> reporter: berlin is the home town of terrorism expert peter neumann. he believes german authorities were too complacent about the possibility of an attack and didn't offer sufficient protection to the christmas markets. >> i think in germany, people have been very blessed with the idea that they would be spared this kind of attack. and so i don't think that german authorities were thinking as systematically about the threat
from terrorism as authorities in britain have or authorities in other countries. this will have to change. and there will be a very uncomfortable discussion in germany about anti-terrorism measures but also of course about the relationship with muslim communities and with refugees. >> reporter: the chancellor and other senior officials laid white roses at a makeshift memorial to the victims. they toured the market for a firsthand look. ordinary berliners paid their respects, laying candles, flowers and messages of sympathy. many said they believe this attack marked a turning point for germany, especially as for most of the past 24 hours, they were under the impression that the massacre had been perpetrated by an asylum seeker admitted under chancellor merkel's open door refugee policy. >> i definitely want to see stricter border control in germany and the european union. i want to see more cooperation between the countries of the european union and regarding
refugee policy because at the moment it's out of control. >> i think it's not yet the day or time to think about the consequences for the refugee politics. i think today it's a question of sadness and come here see people come together and bring flowers. that's the most important. i think we have a good system of asylum seekers. >> reporter: chancellor merkel warned against letting the attack change germans' way of life, but she acknowledged her policies are under new pressure. >> ( translated ): i know that it would be particularly hard for us all to bear it if it were to be confirmed that a person committed this crime who sought protection and asylum in germany. this would be particularly sickening for the many, many germans who work to help refugees every day and for the many people who really need our help and are making an effort to integrate in our country.
>> reporter: at the berlin state parliament, where flags were lowered to half-mast, the anti- immigrant "alternative for germany" party and its deputy leader ronald glaser offered a harsher appraisal: >> first of all the terrorist is to blame for what happened. on the other hand, angela merkel and her welcome culture made all these refugees come to our country. and among them were a lot of fanatics and criminals. she's not going to accept that her policy was wrong but of course the german people is awakening and will force her to do so. >> reporter: just outside the regional parliament is the largest remaining section of the berlin wall, whose demise 27 years ago led to europe's open borders. there could not be a more poignant reminder of what's at stake as europe grapples with terrorism and the wave of migration across the mediterranean. in the meantime, the german capital remains on high alert.
>> ( translated ): and of course people are worried. i believe people who live in this city should be vigilant. >> reporter: security has also been tightened at christmas markets and other outdoor venues all across europe out of an abundance of caution. and in berlin this evening, mourners gathered for a candlelight vigil in the same square where the tragedy took place, as germany's leaders attended a solemn memorial service at a nearby church. the iconic brandenburg gate was illuminated with the images of both the german and berlin flags. >> woodruff: and malcolm joins me now from berlin. malcolm, now that isis has claimed responsibility, how is that affecting thinking there? >> it's not really made that much of an impact, to be honest. the german interior minister acknowledged that isis had made this claim, but he didn't really react the it. i don't think anybody is particularly surprised. this attack was right out of the jihadist's playbook. it's the sort of language they've used before. but what i think isis has
achieved by saying what they have done is that they have perhaps helped to polarize germany. they've helped to perhaps drive people into the arms of the alternative for germany party, the anti-immigrant party. they're going to create hatred. that's what their main objective is. >> woodruff: so the perpetrator is still on the loose. is there fear that he or she may strike again? >> that certainly is the worry. people are being advised to stay indoors. the police are very much concerned that the interior minister did say they have some leads and the police are following up on those leads, but they thought that they actually had their man in their sights because the person they described as a brave witness to the attacks said that he followed the person that he thought was the truck driver.
he had driven through the christmas market, was in touch with police all the time. but it now appears he may have lost sight of the target during that particular time, which is perhaps why the wrong man was arrested. but there are certainly fears that there will be attacks again, and there are armed police at other christmas markets around there. one pretty good indication of just how tense things are, there was a federal prosecutor who was giving a federal prosecutor giving a press conference in germany, and he said he wouldn't go to any christmas markets, which is probably an endorsement of the state of security here. >> woodruff: no, it isn't. burlington mall in -- malcolm brabant in berlin, thank you. >> sreenivasan: in the day's other news, turkish police detained seven people, in the assassination of russia's ambassador. andrei karlov was shot dead yesterday, at an art gallery in ankara. his remains were flown back to moscow today, after a memorial ceremony. turkey's deputy prime minister insisted the killing won't damage relations with russia.
>> ( translated ): those who ordered and carried out this attack did not kill ambassador andrey karlov. they created a new place for him in history. ambassador andrey karlov has become an eternal symbol for turkish-russian friendship. >> sreenivasan: the gunman was a police officer. he shouted slogans about aleppo, in syria, and about jihad, before being killed by security forces. so far, there's been no claim of responsibility. >> woodruff: in syria, buses evacuated more people from east aleppo, as the syrian army warned it's about to enter the last rebel enclave. estimates of how many people have left the city varied from 19,000 to more than 37,000. but rebels said thousands are still waiting for transport. meanwhile, in moscow, russia, iran and turkey announced they're ready to broker a final syrian peace, leaving president bashar al-assad in power. >> ( translated ): our main priority should not be the regime change but defeating terrorist threats. i am sure that we will be able
to formulate our common approaches, based on the goals we have declared: to win over terrorism, to restore territorial integrity, sovereignty, independence and unity of the syrian arab republic. we are united in that. >> woodruff: the talks were held without the u.s. or the u.n. being represented. >> sreenivasan: security forces in congo killed at least three protesters today and arrested dozens more. they were opposing president joseph kabila's decision to stay in office. his term ended overnight, but new elections have been delayed indefinitely. police and troops used live fire and tear gas against protesters who took to the streets in the capital city, kinshasa, u.n. officials in armored carriers tried to keep the peace. >> woodruff: china has returned an american underwater drone that it seized last week in the south china sea. it was handed back to the u.s. navy today. the pentagon called it an illegal seizure in international waters. beijing blamed u.s. surveillance in waters facing china. >> sreenivasan: back in this country, president-elect trump
interviewed more job candidates, and took time to confront former president clinton. a suburban new york city newspaper had quoted mr. clinton as saying the incoming president "doesn't know much" besides "how to get angry white men to vote". mr. trump tweeted back that president clinton did not even know how to turn out voters and "focused on the wrong states." >> woodruff: first lady michelle obama says watching the election was "painful," but that she and the president are supporting the transition. she spoke to oprah winfrey in her final interview as first lady. it was broadcast monday on cbs. >> it is important for the health of this nation that we support the commander in chief. it wasn't done when my husband took office, but we're going high and this is what's best for the country. >> woodruff: the obama family officially moves out of the white house, one month from today. >> sreenivasan: the senate majority leader has again rejected calls for a select committee to investigate russian interference in the election. mitch mcconnell says he still
believes the standing intelligence committee can do the job. several republicans and democrats have called for a special panel to be created. >> woodruff: volkswagen reached a settlement today with regulators and owners of another 80,000 vehicles, in its emissions-cheating scandal. under the terms, v.w. agrees to buy back some vehicles and fix others. the company previously reached a deal affecting 475,000 other cars, but it could still face criminal charges. >> sreenivasan: the state of michigan has filed more criminal charges in the investigation of lead-tainted water in flint. two former emergency managers of the city and two other former city workers were charged today with conspiracy and other crimes. state attorney general bill schuette said the investigation isn't over, and he vowed to get justice. >> flint was a casualty of arrogance, disdain and a failure of management, an absence of accountability, shirking responsibility.
flint deserves better. the people of flint are not expendable so to move on is unacceptable. >> sreenivasan: all told, 13 people have been charged in the ongoing investigation. >> woodruff: president obama today banned future oil and gas drilling in most federal waters of the atlantic and arctic oceans. it's one of his last major environmental moves. president-elect trump has called for more offshore drilling, but it's not clear he can reverse today's action without going to court. >> sreenivasan: on wall street, the rally resumed as bank stocks surged. the dow jones industrial average gained 91 points to close at 19,974. the nasdaq rose 26 points, and the s&p 500 added eight. >> woodruff: and, the rock and roll hall of fame introduced its latest inductees today. they include the late rapper, tupac shakur, whose 1996 murder is still unsolved, the seattle band "pearl jam", who popularized grunge rock in the '90's, and joan baez, political activist and mainstay of the
folk movement. the formal induction is next april. >> sreenivasan: still to come on the newshour: we sit down with donald trump's senior advisor, kellyanne conway. president obama's final push to transfer guantanamo bay prisoners. women scramble for contraceptives as access hangs in the balance, and much more. >> woodruff: we turn now to the trump transition. kellyanne conway is senior adviser to the president-elect. kellyanne kellyanne conway, thank you for talking with us. mr. trump has now been certified the winner by the electoral college, but as you know, there are still questions out there about the russian government's role and whether it influenced the outcome of this election in favor of mr. trump. my question to you is since we now have this joint or what appears to be agreement by the
intelligence community that the russian government was involved and they were trying to help mr. trump, is he going to ask for this information that they have so he can satisfy himself? >> well, i don't really agree with that premise only because we have leaks to the media rather than c.i.a. officials showing up at closed-door house intelligence briefings where they were invited. instead of doing that i went and talked to the media. i have not seen a report. i have not seen evidence that they were trying the influence the election. that's what everyone is doing to confuse and conflate here. also i would point out very logically that i don't remember the clinton team in those last days before the election having jay-z or beyonceé or president obama or president bill clinton out there saying, look, we want the warn you all that there is a chance health hillary clinton ig to lose because of russian hacking. that is not true. they weren't saying that. they were pretty confident it was going to be a blowout and they were going to take the house and senate with them. so i understand the hand-ringing
and the breast-beating continues on the left, but let's be fair, we're not going to interfere with anything the legislature wants to do certainly, but let's be clear what this is: it's pure politics. you even have the president of the united states, president obama in his final press conference last friday, judy, not going as far as saying he believes that the russians hacked in and tried to interfere. in fact, he said when he told putin to "cut it out," that putin did. >> woodruff: since mr. trump has access to pretty much any intelligence he wants, can he simply just get this information and satisfy himself once and for all whether it's true? >> perhaps and perhaps he has, but again, everybody wants to it will -- litigate this in the media. he's the president-elect of the united states. barack obama is the president of the united states until january 20th. we all must be respectful of the fact that those who gentlemen are going to have information
the rest of us don't. some think it's jim comey's fault. the others blame the movement. the other blame bernie sanders, how dare he won in the first place, he won 22 states and over 13 million voters, and russian hacking. >> woodruff: let me turn you to what mr. trump tweeted after the incident in europe among other things. he referred to terror attacks in turkey, switzerland, germany. he issued statements about islamist terrorists, but we now know german and turkish officials say they don't have all the information. they don't know the genesis of what happened. and we know what happened in switzerland, they're saying this is someone who was obsessed with the occult, had killed a friend of his before he committed suicide. so my question is should mr. trump have waited for more information before he tweeted and made a statement? >> what the president-elect knows is that people across this country and indeed world are afraid of terrorism, and they have a reason to. most predominantly in the last couple years, judy, has been radical islamic terrorists who have done their massacre,
certainly in europe and of course the united states, in orlando and in san bernardino. so the fact is he will continue to denounce these acts of terror. he will continue to send condolences to the families of those who have lost... >> woodruff: but my question is: should he be making public statements before the information is in? does he not have a responsibility to wait until the authorities have looked into it? >> he's very responsible. i would point out i remember i believe it was during orlando or san bernardino, we'll have to look, but he blamed radical islamic terrorism there and people attacked him for doing that before he had all the information. of course he was correct. i don't remember people apologizing or saying, gee, you're even ahead... you're ahead, your instincts are right. but the fact remains this president-elect and this future commander-in-chief is much more serious about stopping and eradicating, as he says, radical
terrorists of all strains. but we know that isis is really on the advance. we know that it's just false when people call them the j.v. team. we'll see what the authorities say, but it doesn't change the fact that because we're t as serious about terrorism as we can be that people all across the globe feel like they can just murder innocent people. >> drew: let me ask you about something that president obama said in his news conference on friday. he said by so many measure, our country is stronger and more prosperous than it was when we started. he said it's a situation i'm proud to lead for my successor. it's thanks to the american people, to the work you've put in, the sacrifices you've made. does mr. trump believe what mr. obama said, that the country is stronger and more prosperous as a result or at the end of the obama presidency? >> by some measures we are, but if you look at the polls, americans don't feel that way. if they felt that way, they would have given hillary clinton and obama a third term. he campaigned highly across the
country for her, basically making that case. he said to people, i will take it personally, this is my legacy on the line, and people rejected that call. i think people feel like there is a little bit of unfinished business, judy. there is no question you have millions of americans still lacking health insurance. millions of americans, particularly women and children new york poverty as you and i speak tonight. you have a lot of unfinished business, but obviously every president who leaves, particularly after two term, can point to many different areas where there has been progress and there has been change, and i would expect president obama to do what president george w. bush did when he left, and president bill clinton when he left, which is to point to those numbers of improvement. >> woodruff: let me ask you about what president obama did today. he announced a ban on new oil and gas drilling on the atlantic coast from new england to the chesapeake bay, canada announced something in conjunction with this. is she something that mr. trump is going to let stand? >> well, i would need to discuss that with him, and he will make those decisions as the president, but i will remind us all what his policy toward energy is.
it's basically, and everybody can read it for himself. as part of his 100-day plan, president-elect trump has made very clear that unleashing our energy sources here at home is an incredibly important aspect of that. why? because we need to invest in all energy sources, including coal and shale. we have energy literally off our shores and under our feet. >> woodruff: it sounds like he's going to reverse it. >> you asked me about a specific policy move, and i can't comment. it would be unfair to the president-elect, but i will tell you, if you look at his plan, he's going to go further than other presidents have gone in terms of making us more dependent on ourselves and energy-wise to create billions of dollars in revenue, millions of jobs some people project over time, and it also means that we're less dependent upon some of these foreign powers for our energy sources, which i know many americans would appreciate. what's the major concern that people, major grievance americans lodge. we don't make anything in america anymore. you know what?
energy is in america. if we can tap into that safely and appropriately, i guarantee that is something that president trump will certainly look into in a very serious way. >> woodruff: kellyanne conway, adviser to the president-elect, we thank you. >> thank you, judy. all the best. >> sreenivasan: and in other white house news, according to a "new york times" report, the obama administration has notified congress it plans to transfer 17 or 18 prisoners from the detention center at guantanamo bay, cuba before president elect trump takes office. in all, the military prison has housed nearly 780 detainees. that number was down to 242 by time president obama took office. today, there are 59 remaining, including 22 who have been approved for transfer to other countries, that's if certain security conditions were met there.
after this latest batch of transfers, 41 or 42 prisoners would be left at guantanamo bay, for mr. trump's administration to handle. joining me now for more on this process is charlie savage: he's a washington correspondent at the "new york times" and author of "power wars: inside obama's post-9/11 presidency." thanks for joining us whom are these batch of prisoners who are being transferred? why them and why not the rest of them? >> right. of the men at guantanamo, not all of them are cleared for transfer. there are 10 facing charges were a military commission, and there are about just under 30 who the government has not charged with a crime but officials believe they are still too dangerous to release. so they continue to be held as war crime detainees essentially. then there are these lists you mentioned of about 22 men. that's the remnants of what used to be a very long list of people who six agencies looked at and decided could be safely released as long as they went to a
country that could provide certain security assurances like monitoring them and preventing them from travel and so forth. and the second part of it, the second term, obama has made a big push to get that list down as close to zero as he can before he leaves office, even if he fails to close the prison. >> woodruff:>> sreenivasan: cloe prison was something the president wanted, but it had bipartisan support. why didn't it happen? >> you're right. the bush administration in its second term wanted to close guantanamo. and in the 2008 presidential election, both obama and his republican opponent john mccain said they would close guantanamo. so when obama came in and said he would close the prison within a year, it looked like it was not a partisan or a controversial policy to to be working toward, but the politics shifted under his feet over the course of 2009/2010. and so at that point congress started imposing restrictions on the transfers of detainee,
including eventually banning them and their transfer to the united states for any purpose. and president obama's plan often overlooked for closing guantanamo was not to release every detainee who could not be charged with a crime. there was that group of two or three dozen who the administration itself thought was too dangerous to release but could not be charged. his plan then to close the prison but the move him the to a different prison in the united states where they would be cheaper to house and where the symbolic sort of notoriety of guantanamo, the location the bush administration had used would go away. so once congress banned him from bringing prisonersed into the united states, that plan could not work. and therefore basically he wasn't going to close it. the only question was would the u.s. get rid of the people they didn't want to hold, this long list of detainees approved for transfer. >> woodruff: what about concerns about recidivism? >> the reengagement rate of detainees who were released during the bush administration
is about 30% suspected or confirmed, a little over 30%. that's because during the bush years, large numbers of detainees were sent home to places like afghanistan and saudi arabia in bulk transfers after president bush decided to start trying to close the prison. the obama administration has pursued a did approach, a individualized approach. it has a process with six national security agencies look at individual detainees and have to agree that that person is releasable, and there's a lot more planning for where they're going to go and what kind of sort of re-entry into society, monitoring, travel restrictions and so forth they're going to encounter once they get out. and that has brought down the recidivism rate for obama era transfers to about 12% confirmed or suspected. >> sreenivasan: what do we know about the trump administration's plans for guantanamo bay? >> president trump has said he will keep guantanamo open and bring new detainees up. there he famously said he would "load it up with some bad dudes
." obama was trying to close it and did not bring any new detainees there and chipped away at the population. i think we can safely predict sooner or later the united states government will capture a terrorism suspect and bring him to guantanamo. he will be the first new prisoner there in quite a long time. what we don't know is whether president-elect trump intends to shut down all transfers of lower-level detainees to get rid of the six-agency review parole board process, or whether he will continue that process without not using it very often. >> sreenivasan: how much does it cost to keep guantanamo running? >> the operating cost was $450 million in 2016. if the obama administration does succeed in getting roughly 18 plus or minus detainees out, that would break down to a ratio of about $10 million per detainee per year to house them
at guantanamo. so i add an asterisk because that includes the cost of the military commission system, as well, which is not cheap at all. >> sreenivasan: charlie savage of "the new york times," thank you. >> woodruff: some american women fear they could lose their access to birth control once president-elect trump takes office. president-elect trump has promised to repeal the affordable care act, which includes free contraceptives. that's why the women in this story are taking action. correspondent lisa desjardins has the story. >> reporter: morning in baltimore: oven-baked biscuits and a warm moment for victoria cross and fiance cameron okeke >> i also have to take a lot of
ibuprofen. >> reporter: today victoria's getting an i.u.d. or intrauterine device, a form of birth control that works for several years. the young couple isn't shy about their family planning. they can't be. 23-year-old victoria is at high risk for miscarriages due to a genetic tissue disorder. she's used monthly birth control pills for years, but something changed election night. >> i immediately thought about abortion access, immediately birth control access-- how expensive birth control was when and so i pretty immediately called my gynecologist and said i want to talk to you, help. >> reporter: doctor stacy leigh rubin of johns hopkins, victoria's gynecologist, says many patients and non-patients have reached out. >> and distant acquaintances and old classmates contacting me on facebook, because they know this is my specialty with concerns and questions about what i.u.d.'s are and how they can >> reporter: it's a surge in interest. >> it is a surge in interest
>> reporter: the device, usually plastic, is inserted in the uterus to prevent pregnancy. i.u.d.'s are considered among the most effective birth control methods. but they're not cheap, running up to $1,000. >> what do you think you're leaning towards? >> reporter: right now, for victoria and other women, i.u.d.'s and all birth control is free, because the obama administration considers it a" preventative" procedure: a category that the affordable care act says must be cost-free to the patient. enter a new white house. >> repealing obamacare is one of the single most important reasons we must win on november 8. >> reporter: president-elect donald trump campaigned on repealing and replacing the affordable care act. he notably has not said exactly how he will handle the contraceptive benefit. but others close to him have talked about it.
>> i'm a christian, a conservative and a republican, in that order. >> reporter: vice-president elect mike pence, speaking on a radio show in october, highlighted religious groups opposed to contraception, and their religious freedom. >> our administration is going to err on the side of freedom. we are going to err on the side of protecting the liberties of our people. >> reporter: a key voice will be mr. trump's pick to head the department of health and human services: orthopedic surgeon and georgia representative tom price. he's echoed concern for religious values. and in 2012, questioned if contraceptive costs were an issue for women. >> bring me one woman who has been left behind. bring me one. there's not one. the fact of the matter is this is a trampling on religious freedom and religious liberty in this country. >> reporter: price's old comment struck an already-watchful internet. immediately after the election google searches for "i.u.d." spiked and twitter saw phrases like "get an i.u.d." jump in popularity. what are the wallet implications? a university of pennsylvania study found that the obama contraception policy saved i.u.d. and birth control pill
users an average of roughly $250 a year. >> no-cost birth control has been a game-changer for women. and the idea of going back to high out of pocket costs for contraception is distressing and >> reporter: but will trump change those costs? someone with insight is marjorie dannenfelser-- she led what trump called his "pro-life coalition," and runs the anti- abortion group the susan b. anthony list. dannenfelser says neither she nor trump want to weigh in on the morality of contraception. but when it comes to the no-cost mandate... >> he and i also agree that religious and any other individual deserves the right to a conscience and they should not be forced to pay for things that they find are undermining of that conscience. so yes. i believe that he will-- he will undo that mandate. and he'll be right to do so. >> reporter: that leads to another question about the president-elect . how quickly could a president trump change contraception coverage, and therefore out-of- pocket cost?
relatively quickly. the contraception mandate is not law, it's a rule put in place by health and human services. and h.h.s., under president trump, could change that without input from congress. women like victoria are making decisions now, as she and her friends remain uncertain. >> we talk a lot about our own reproductive health and where do we go from here and how do we prepare for this new administration where access may go away. and everything might change. >> reporter: victoria's new birth control will last up to five years, one year longer than the four years of donald trump's first term. for the pbs newshour, i'm lisa desjardins in baltimore. >> sreenivasan: stay with us, coming up on the newshour, music legend bruce springsteen opens up about his depression,
politics, and more in the second part of our interview. but first, a story about an effort in flint michigan to help its youngest residents cope with possible effects of lead- contaminated water part of our weekly series on education, "making the grade." >> sreenivasan: more than a year after alarmingly high levels of lead were found in flint's water supply, the city has opened a free all-day early childhood center for children two months to five years of age. >> it's for any children currently living in flint, or were living in flint when lead exposure was at it's worst. >> sreenivasan: bob barnett, a dean of education for the university of michigan in flint, helped create the new early learning program. >> we made phone calls, we went door to door, to every single neighborhood in the city. >> sreenivasan: barnett had a mission: to reach families with the youngest children. that's because lead is a neurotoxin that targets the developing brain. >> a child's brain doubles in
size from 0-2 and when you have these insults to the developing brain at such a young age, it really impacts that entire trajectory of learning. >> sreenivasan: mona hanna- attisha, a pediatrician who discovered elevated lead levels in flint's children, says there's a well established link between lead exposure and learning disabilities. >> lead has been shown to drop children's i.q., so it impacts how they think, and how they act. it has been linked to attention deficit disorder, impulsivity, many other developmental delays. >> sreenivasan: more than 5,000 of flint's youngest children were put in danger when the city switched to a new water source, the flint river, in the spring of 2014, causing lead from aging pipes to leach into the system. since then, flint officials have switched back to lake huron for
their water supply, and although lead levels have been dramatically reduced, residents are still urged to use bottled or filtered water for everything from drinking to bathing. the lead exposure lasted only 18 months, but health officials say a threat still exists. >> imagine these little babies who were on formula and all they're getting is lead-tainted water mixed with powdered formula, for an entire year. not that they're all going to have problems, but we're not going to wait to see who is going to have problems. >> sreenivasan: hanna-attisha sees the new child care facility as a needed intervention. >> the most important medication that i can prescribe to our flint kids is early education. people are like, you're a doctor don't you want healthcare stuff? no, i want early education. >> sreenivasan: the center is an expansion of a high quality program called great expectations early childhood, run by the university of michigan in flint. >> we know that lead exposure, especially in our youngest children, birth to five, affects their cognition and their behavior.
we also know that the impact of early childhood education and intervention can counter that. >> sreenivasan: the free program has been able to accommodate 240 children. another 220 families remain on the waitlist. major donations from 10 foundations as well as millions from the state of michigan cover tuition costs as high as 15 to $20,000 per child per year. joyce sanders says she and her husband could not have afforded the program for their three- year-old daughter nyla. >> what is this area? >> sreenivasan: sanders is anxious to protect her child's ability to learn. >> she's so incredibly bright, and it's terrifying to think that this exposure could take that away from her. it is terrifying. and i'm trying to do everything i can to give her the resources so she can hold on to that. >> girls, you want some water?
>> sreenivasan: nyla and her five-year-old sister kaia both tested positive for low levels of lead in their blood. but because lead has a short window of detection in the blood stream, sanders is unsure how much her children ingested. >> i don't really know what their exposure level is. every time they get anything, i'm worried. is this something that i'm missing? >> sreenivasan: like many parents in flint, the experience has left sanders feeling uneasy. >> i've noticed with my daughter nyla, she can sometimes get upset, and it's very very hard to calm her down, and that may be one of those quirky things, or it could mean something, and if it means something, that's huge. and so those are the type of things that are always in the back of my mind. >> i keep wanting to put this in the middle, but she keeps moving it. >> ok, sage, nyla would like to keep this one here. okay? >> sreenivasan: great expectations uses the reggio emilia teaching approach, which emphasizes emotional well being- - something educators believe is a good fit for kids with
possible lead exposure. >> we're working on impulse control, so everyone can listen, everyone can take turns and pay attention. we really want to see where they are at developmentally. >> these early childhood teachers are actually brain builders. they're building these kids neuroconnections. >> sreenivasan: the new center is housed in one of flint's shuttered elementary schools. the city's school enrollment has declined dramatically since the 1980's, when car manufacturing jobs started disappearing. flint school's superintendent, bilal tawwab. >> right now we have only 5,000 kids in flint community schools. at one time, there was about 50,000 kids. we have more closed buildings than open buildings. >> sreenivasan: more than 40% of
flint's residents live below the poverty line and superintendent tawwab says using vacant buildings for early education coupled with good nutrition will better prepare flint's children. >> i would like to believe this is just the start of some very, very important work. >> sreenivasan: but while educators hope to expand the program, there's only enough money to serve 240 of the five to 6,000 children in the city. and even those slots are operating on limited three years grants. for the pbs newshour, i'm hari sreenivasan. >> woodruff: today, michigan's attorney general filed new criminal charges in flint's lead contamination case against four people, including two former two recent news investigations startling numbers. a reuters investigation of lead levels in blood found nearly 3,000 areas in the country with
contamination levels higher than those in flint. and a "usa today" report found that some four million americans get water from utilities that do not meet federal safe drinking water standards. laura unger was a lead reporter on the "usa today" investigation. she joins me now. laura unger, welcome to the program. you and your colleagues focused on smaller communities around the country. why? >> well, we wanted to look at the problem beyond flint and look to see just how big the scope was. so basically we looked at where the problem was the worst, and we found that in sneeze small water system, which are generally located in rural areas, small, remote communities, the problem was worse in those communities. >> woodruff: and give us an example of what you found. you got a number of families you write about in this series.
>> yeah. for example, one family in ranger, texas, they have a situation where their two-year-old son has high levels of lead in his blood, and they lived there for about a year, almost a year, before finding out from a city-wide letter that they had high lead in their city, in their city's water supply. and then they actually... their tap was tested, and they did not find out the results of that from the city. they found it out from me actually. i told them the levels that were found in their own tap. and they were very upset about that situation, because, you know, their son is two and he's facing high lead, which, as you know, just causes all sorts of problems with children. >> woodruff: and again, it wasn't just this one small community. you found something like four
million americans affected. >> yes, more than four million. that four million is places where... well, people affected by places that either tested improper or skipped tests. there are even more than that when you talk about where high lead has been found. and in some cases it has not been fixed. >> woodruff: sorry. didn't mean to interrupt, but why is it that some of these smaller communities don't have the stringent regulations that larger population areas do. >> the rationale that i've heard for the difference in the rulings is the resource difference. there's a vastly different resources between the large water systems in big cities and the small water systems which only serve a few thousand people. i mean, some of them are run by
folks who may have another full-time job. we found one place where, for example, a farmer slash rancher ran a water system in his spare time. he tried his best, but it's part-time thing. that's a much different situation than in a large water system where you might have very educated folks and large staffs dealing with water quality. >> woodruff: so finally, who is responsible? the environmental protection agency? i know you talked to them. what do they say? how do they explain it? >> they... there's layers of responsibility first of all. there's the utility. there's the states that are supposed to be enforcing those federal safe drinking water standards. and then ultimately the buck stops at the e.p.a. the e.p.a. does tell me that they are focusing on these small water system, that they do hope to make improvements in this
area. but it's a multifaceted problem, and there are no easy answers at all. >> woodruff: well, some excellent reporting. i know you'll be following up on that. laura unger with "usa today." thank you. >> thank you. >> woodruff: finally tonight, part two of jeffrey brown's conversation with bruce springsteen. the working-class rock 'n roll hero talks about his lifelong bouts of depression, his love of reading, and the election of donald trump. >> brown: on a visit with bruce springsteen at his home in rural new jersey, most of the talk, of course, was about music, the core of his life and career. but part of the story he tells, about his rise to the world stage, also involved books-- what he describes in his memoir as his self-education. >> i think when i discovered the russian guys, they were, that was-- >> brown: the russians did it? >> that was the big thing. >> brown: you mean the big
hitters? like dostoyevsky and tolstoy and those guys? >> yeah, when i got into "anna karenina" and "brothers karamazov" and "crime and punishment." that was the stuff that had a big effect on me, cause it was so psychological. >> brown: does your reading affect your writing as a songwriter? >> i think it affects you internally in a way that's not immediately evident, but that it simply increases your frame of reference. you learn more about the craft of writing, what good writing feels like, but mostly it just enlarges you as an individual. the one thing i wished for my children is that they'd be readers. >> brown: well? and are they? >> no. >> brown: their father didn't make himself a reader until around 30, so the kids, in their 20's, still have time. ♪ ♪
by that point springsteen had become a major rock star. but in his 30s he also suffered a serious bout of depression, something he would struggle with throughout his life, including an episode as recently as his early 60s, all while keeping up a rigorous touring and recording career. springsteen now 67, credits his wife patti and years of counseling and antidepressants with getting him through. he writes candidly of these struggles in his new memoir. >> it was a big enough part of my life to where it felt like it needed to be included in the book. also, i think it was an insight into some of your creative fire, where it comes from. i think that it was, i wrote, the premise of the book was to give my audience an insight into how i created, and what's the fuel for the fire. >> brown: you see them as combined, twined.
there's a kind of trope of many artists of creativity and madness. >> mental illness and creativity, it's a thin line in between the two. i tend to believe that. i don't know many artists who are not crazy. most of the artists i know are crazy in one way or another. i think that's why you get into it. you're in pursuit of a certain sort of peace that's very, very, very difficult to come by. i realized the only time i felt complete and peaceful was while i was playing or shortly afterwards. ♪ ♪ though it was in front of thousands of other people, which most people wouldn't consider to be a safe place. for me-- >> brown: no, they wouldn't. so why is that a safe place? >> for me, it's always been. for me, once i count the band in, and i delve deep into my song, i feel a certain sort of
integrity and integration that i rarely find in my daily life. it's better now than it used to be, but it's still something that if i want to deeply experience it, i walk on stage, i play, i perform, i create, i write. that's where sort of that peace comes over me. ♪ ♪ >> brown: as he matured as an artist, springsteen's music took on issues of the political culture: vietnam, poverty, those left behind in the 2008 recession. >> i integrated it because politics and life go hand in hand. so it needed to be a part of my music. there's the different social forces that affected my parents' lives, or my friends' lives, or i saw around me, became essential for me to write about.
>> brown: he also became more upfront in his own politics, joining barack obama on the campaign trail, and in the recent election, supporting hillary clinton. >> i was going around the world swearing, i was betting on hillary, going around the world, interview after interview. >> brown: and you were wrong, like many people. but what explains it? >> i think a lot of things. people with legitimate concerns about how are you going to live, where are you going to find new jobs. de-industrialization that i've written about for 40 years left a good part of the american public behind, and i think if somebody comes up and simply says, "your jobs? i'm going to bring them back. you're not comfortable with the browning of america? i'm going to build a wall. isis? i'm going to defeat them." those are very, they are, it's a simple, but it was a compelling message for a lot of people. >> brown: but these are the
people that you've been writing about for all these years. >> yes, that's true. >> brown: so did you lose touch with them? did they lose touch with you? >> it was just a very divided country, a very divided country. i don't really know another way to explain it. while i didn't think that donald trump's message was credible enough to affect the vote to that degree, i was wrong, and it was. ♪ ♪ >> brown: in this book, you talk about telling your story, but also telling our story, which has come through in your music, right? telling a story of this country. how do we bridge divides in this country? >> i think you can't demonize somebody that's on the other side of the political spectrum. you can't generalize about them. ♪ ♪ i know people on both sides of that particular divide.
they just have a different opinion about it. your own daily experience also. which is something that as a writer, that was sort of something that meant a great deal to me. that's been my story to tell over the past 40 years. there's common ground in it. but it's going to take a while to see where it goes. ♪ ♪ >> brown: in the meantime, the music continues: bruce springsteen and the e street band head to australia and new zealand at the beginning of the new year. from central new jersey, i'm jeffrey brown for the pbs newshour.
>> woodruff: a remarkable, rare interview with bruce springsteen. minute interview with bruce springsteen on our homepage, pbs.org/newshour. >> sreenivasan: and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm hari sreenivasan. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. join us online, and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> the ford foundation. working with visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide. >> carnegie corporation of new york. supporting innovations in education, democratic engagement, and the advancement of international peace and security.
at carnegie.org. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and individuals. >> 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
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