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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  August 25, 2017 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT

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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: hurricane harvey threatens texas. with winds at more than 120 miles an hour and devastating floods, it could be the most powerful storm to hit the u.s. in more than a decade. then, rebuilding after isis. a look at the challenges facing one syrian city, as it creates a future from the rubble of terrorism. >> the start of liberation was a challenge. it is hard to organize a city that was ruled by terror for two years. and after we freed manbij, we needed to clear the city from the isis ideology. >> woodruff: and, it's friday. mark shields and david brooks take on a far-reaching week of news, from the president's decision on the war in afghanistan, to his own war of
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words with other republicans. all that and more, on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> the ford foundation. working with visionaries on the
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frontlines of social change worldwide. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: and friends of the newshour. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: hurricane harvey is bearing down on the gulf coast of texas tonight, with all the makings of a major disaster. by early evening, the storm had sustained winds of 125 miles an hour, and could get even stronger. lisa desjardins begins our
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coverage. >> reporter: waves battered galveston and the rest of the texas coast all day, the punishing winds and rain only beginning. from high overhead, cameras aboard the international space station captured the scope of the storm as it closed in. texas governor greg abbott activated 700 national guard troops and braced for the worst. >> we are going to be dealing with immense, really record- setting flooding in multiple regions across the state of texas. you may think that the initial surge is something you can deal with. what no one knows is the magnitude of flooding over the coming days, and the aftermath. >> reporter: harvey is poised to make landfall overnight near corpus christi. but, it's expected to stall and
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hover, inundating a wide swath of the state, including san antonio and houston, with up to three feet of rain. then, another weather front could push it back into the gulf of mexico, to regain strength and strike again near houston. seven coastal texas counties ordered tens of thousands to evacuate from low-lying areas. other areas, like galveston, only encouraged residents to leave. but the city's mayor warned, the flooding will be worse than usual. >> the hovering effect will impact us. we're going to see high tides come up. the highest tide, we anticipate will be in the morning. the bad news is, they're not going down for three or four days, and so you get those high tides in the morning, any of this rain we anticipate is going to stack on top of that. >> reporter: corpus christi officials are also anticipating tough times. >> when the power goes off, you can expect it to be off, depending on where you are in the city of corpus christi and in oasis county, 3-7 days. >> reporter: with that in mind, one hospital in corpus christi
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airlifted ten critically ill infants from the intensive care unit. as thousands of others hit the road for drier land today, a few took advantage of pounding waves. but a county sheriff put it plainly: stay at your own risk. >> i am not going to send the boat down there after we ask you to leave. i'm not going to put one of my deputies' lives on the line to go down there and get you out, so you're on your own. >> reporter: some boarded up their homes and hunkered down despite the warnings. >> i'm scared. so i will do everything i can to protect our little place down here, and hope and pray for the best. >> reporter: and shoppers in >> reporter: in washington, president trump's homeland security advisor tom bossert said federal disaster preparations are well under way. >> right now, we're executing and we're going to do what it takes to save peoples lives and make their lives easier as they sustain damage. >> reporter: the president tweeted that he'd spoken with the governors of texas and louisiana, and will "assist as needed." and later, the white house announced he'll go to texas
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early next week. for the pbs newshour, i'm lisa desjardins. >> woodruff: the national hurricane center has issued very clear warnings about the danger of this storm. ed rappaport is the acting director, and he joins me now from miami. thank you so much for talking with us. what's the latest on harvey's course. >> the latest is that the center of harvey is located about 50 miles offshore between corpus christy and porter conner texas. we believe it will be moving ashore probably by midnight. the center's offshore though, the strong winds and heavy rain and high storm search are already approaching the coast. we've seen gusts now of over 80 miles per hour reported, and the war levels are beginning to rise. that's one of our big fears is the storm surge associated with the hurricane is going to rise to life threatening levels. >> woodruff: that's what i wanted to ask you. what is the greatest danger. it's flooding, that rain that's going to hover over the area. >> yes.
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the greatest danger from hurricanes is always water. 90% of lives lost during hurricanes is water. it's split. from storm surge and others from rainfall. in this case we have both hazards in place. first along the coast we have storm surge that could rise 6 to 12 feet, there will be waves on top of that. we expect ron fall near record levels. here's the texas coast. this area here we're expecting at least 20 inches of rain perhaps as much as 35 inches of rain. so very dangerous conditions both from the sea and from the rainfall. >> woodruff: ed rappaport, some concern this storm could go out and come back again and hit houston twice? >> there's some possibility that down the road three to five days that we'll have the system move back offshore. but at the moment the biggest threat, the biggest concern is for the next three days with the storm surge which will dirk
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through many high -- linger through many high tides along the coastal area. >> woodruff: i want to put this in context. we were looking at the warning just a few hours ago. catastrophic flooding, life threatening conditions. this is very strong language. >> that's right. this at the moment appears to be the strongest hurricane that we've had land fall in texas in about 50 years. so i hope that provides some perspective the last store was actually in the corpus christy area back in 19 0 and before that 1964 along the texas coast. >> woodruff: you are continually giving warnings and urging people to pay attention. ed rappaport. we thank you very much from the national hurricane center. >> thank you. >> woodruff: in the city of san antonio, they're preparing for heavy rain, winds and evacuees from the coast.
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ron nirenberg is the mayor. i spoke with him a short time ago. >> anywhere nirenberg thank you for joining us. what do you expect from this storm. >> we're expecting localized flooding because it's significant rain falls that will occur over the next several hours and several days. but more importantly than that, our area is a coordinated reasonable marijuana operation - emergency operation center. we've been working with emergency departments and we received a lot of resources from the different parts of the state that are now being deployed to the coastal areas and we're also receiving a lot of evacuees from the coastal communities. there's a couple command tree evacuations and of course there are people who are leaving which is a good idea with the path of the storm going right over them. >> woodruff: before i ask you about some of that, i do want to ask you about the flooding, the rain you're expecting. what have they told you to
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expect? i know from historical experience in san antonio had some serious rain episodes in the past. >> yes. and the projections have changed. as we moved along in the storm and we're cautioning everyone to be aware of the evolving nature of the storm that they could change again. but we know in san antonio that a small amount of rainfall, falling in a short 3erd o periof time can cause some significant flooding. we saw that as recently as two weeks ago. we've been told to expect anywhere from six to 15 inches depending where you are in san antonio. the heavy rain will fall east of i-35 and i-37. again that could all change. we're asking residents to please stay home, use some common sense stay off the roadways and if they have to travel avoid low water crossings and be aware of surroundings. we'll have an emergency crew operating. currently they are barricading known trouble areas with regard
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to high water areas, and we're also asking people just to alert our authorities if they find areas that are high water over the road. >> woodruff: so you're not asking people in your area to evacuate. >> no. san antonio is not under any kind of evacuation. wire just asking people to clear path for first reresponders and make sure the roads are clear as evacuees continue to come here. we've had 700 of them come already that are sheltered and we have many more that are coming through our area or stopping in san antonio on their own volition because they have wisely chosen to leave the coastal area. >> woodruff: so do you feel you have what you need to handle the people who are coming into this city? >> absolutely. and we've been coordinating resources throughout the week and san antonio is read. no one will be turned away if they need shelter in san antonio and we certainly stand ready as
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we always are in the event of significant storm, you know, rain or winds here in san antonio locally. >> woodruff: are residents heeding your advice, the advice they're getting from city owe firm-owefirms and liter owe fis. >> they've been here before. we're in flash flood al hey so we've seen small events turn into flooding situations. they're away but we want to make sure also we're checking on each other, neighbors checking on neighbors. but just doing the ski simple things. presenting for staying in during the vast part of this weekend and into next week, staying out of the way of first responders and in the event someone can hlp, we're also taking volunteers and doing trainings through our american red cross all the way through tomorrow and asking people to call our non-emergency lines to help with any assistance they can provide.
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we also are asking them to download apps and stay aware of the changing nature of the storm. >> woodruff: what's your biggest worry right now. >> i'm not worried, i'm just presented and working with our emergency services, our neighbors to our south in the coastal areas. we're activated. we're ready. we know how to handle this. it's not worry, it's making sure we're handling everything as it comes and ensuring that as people who do arrive from the coast who are worried about what they're going to arrive back when they go home know that they have a friend and a neighbor and a safe place and shelter here in san antonio. >> woodruff: mayor ron nirenberg, we certainly wish you the best with this and wish safety for everybody there. thank you very much. >> thank you, judy. >> woodruff: in the day's other news, the death toll from monsoon flooding across south asia surged again, to more than 1,200. entire communities across india, bangladesh and nepal are devastated, with many cut off
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from clean water and food. an estimated 40 million people are affected. in afghanistan's capital, suicide bombers and gunmen stormed a shiite mosque today, killing at least 20 worshippers. the four attackers also died. shooting and explosions went on for several hours. emergency workers rushed at least 50 people to the hospital. others told of frantic efforts to escape. >> ( translated ): i was trying to escape over a wall when i saw my daughter, who was wounded, trying to climb the wall as well. there was another girl who was shot in the head. finally i managed to escape with my daughter, and a police officer escorted us to safety from the back of the mosque. >> woodruff: the sunni-dominated islamic state group claimed responsibility. in northern india, a self- declared guru was convicted of rape today, touching off riots that killed 28 people. supporters of the religious sect leader went on a rampage, burning cars and destroying stores. in addition to the dead, more
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than 250 people were hurt. there is word that president trump's top economic adviser almost quit after the violence in charlottesville, virginia. the "new york times" reports that gary cohn drafted a resignation letter in response to when mr. trump blamed both white supremacists and their opponents. cohn is jewish. he told "the financial times" that "this administration can and must do better in consistently and unequivocally condemning these groups." but at the white house, press secretary sarah huckabee sanders played down the comments. >> gary has not held back how he feels about the situation. he's been very open and honest, and i don't think that anyone was surprised by the comments. >> woodruff: meanwhile, police in san francisco are gearing up for possible trouble tomorrow, when a conservative group holds a free speech rally. the united states has slapped
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far-ranging sanctions on venezuela. they bar any funds for the government or the state oil company, but, they stop short of cutting off imports of venezuelan oil. the goal is to squeeze president nicolas maduro, as he moves increasingly toward authoritarian rule. the head of south korea's electronics giant, samsung, was sentenced to five years in prison today. a court in seoul convicted lee jae-yong of offering millions of dollars in bribes to then- president park geun-hye and a close friend of hers. park was removed from office in march. trans gender recruits. it also authorized the defense secretary to decide how to deal with those already serving. and he ordered the military to stop paying for surgery toobd gender reassign -- to do gender reassignments.
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the chair of the u.s. federal reserve is defending regulations imposed after the crash of 2008. in a speech today, janet yellen disputed claims that the "dodd- frank" law has hindered bank lending. president trump and other republicans have pushed to scrap the law. and on wall street, the dow jones industrial average gained 30 points to close at 21,813. the nasdaq fell five points, and the s&p 500 added four. still to come on the newshour: the growing controversy over what to do with confederate monuments. as war rages around them, yrians in one city attempt to rebuild. mark shields and david brooks on the week's news. and, a novelist explains why fictional characters don't always have to be relatable. >> woodruff: united states history is dominating the
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headlines by being at the heart of a debate that has compelled many to take to the streets. how do we remember our past and confront the deep wounds of slavery? our william brangham explores how the events of recent weeks are sparking a national conversation. >> brangham: it began-- at least according to the organizers-- as a protest against plans to remove a statue of confederate general robert e. lee from downtown charlottesville, virginia. >> i think it's a historical monument and it should stay where it's at. >> brangham: but the events there earlier this month jolted the nation. this week, the nearly century- old monument was covered in a black shroud, and calls for it to be taken down continue. >> i'm not going to stop in my efforts to try and get it removed, but i'm glad the city council recognized that it had to be addressed. >> brangham: this most recent push to get rid of confederate symbols can be traced, in part, back to june 2015. that's when avowed white supremacist dylann roof killed nine black parishioners at a church in charleston, south carolina.
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the next month, a confederate battle flag was removed from the statehouse grounds. earlier this year, the city of new orleans removed all its confederate monuments. democratic mayor mitch landrieu: >> to literally put the confederacy on a pedestal in our most prominent places of honor is an inaccurate recitation of our full past. it is an affront to our present, and it is a bad prescription for our future. >> brangham: but in the weeks since charlottesville, as even more confederate statues came down in places like baltimore, which the city removed, and durham, north carolina, toppled by activists, a new question emerged: what are we to do with monuments that honor historical figures who've been accused of wrongdoing? among the examples cited recently: statues and commemorations for christopher columbus, whose brutality toward native americans was well documented; boston's faneuil hall, named after merchant peter faneuil,
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who had ties to slave trading; and the philadelphia monument depicting former mayor frank rizzo, who led a police force widely seen as brutal and racist. it's a debate attracting voices from every corner-- including president trump: >> i wonder, is it george washington next week? and is it thomas jefferson the week after? you know, you all-- you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop? >> brangham: the national conversation still largely focuses on the hundreds of confederate monuments, most of which were erected decades after the civil war, and others during the civil rights era. joining me now are three men who've thought long and hard about how to wrestle with this history. pierre mcgraw is founder and president of the monumental task committee, a group dedicated to preserving and restoring monuments. he's in new orleans. peniel joseph is a professor of public affairs at the university of texas in austin. and, fitzhugh brundage is a history professor at the university of north carolina,
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chapel hill. on the south and u.s. history since the civil war. gentleman, welcome to the newshour to you all. peniel joseph, i'd like to start with you first. i know you are a strong proponent that we ought to take down confederatema confederate s across the country. explain why. >> because the confederal symbols are symbols of racial hatred, slavery and white supremacy. so i think what some critics do is conflate the wish to remove the monuments with somehow politically correct advocacy of whitewashing or subbing american history. nothing could be further from the case. removing confederate symbols is not the same as trying to remove the washington monument or symbols of thomas jefferson. those founders owned slaves but their ideas about democracy and freedom, they were generative ideas that other groups,
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including people of color, women, lgbtq have utilized to perfect the union. when we think about the confederacy, that's something different. there was a civil war between 1861 and 1865 where over 600,000 people were killed because there was a group that want to abandon our founding values of freedom and democracy, and didn't want to be a part of the united states. so getting rid of those symbols is really honoring the best of our history and not trying to somehow scrub or aface that history. >> pierre mcgraw, you heard what he's saying that these monuments to many people are first and foremost, the celebration of the brutal tortious history of america. what do you think of that. >> first thanks for having me on. any time you're going to try to edit our history you're asking for trouble. monuments do mean different
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things to different people. but it's really unfair to judge historical figures by today's standards. i think this is all just eyes politica --easy political foddeo after these monuments. we know it's much larger than that seeing monuments to christopher columbus smashed. just a few days ago we've seen rallies in new orleans that take down andrew jackson, an american president who saved new orleans. so this is a lot larger than just the easy targets of confederal soldiers. >> i wonder if you could give us a bit of context here. there is some question as to why they monuments went up, what they are a monument or celebration of. who put them up and why. can you tell us a little bit about that? >> certainly. i think there's not just the
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question of who put them up and why but also when. so some monuments were put up after the civil war and we understand those monuments as being simultaneouslyman you'lls to the white confed -- monuments for the white confederates who died for the republic and also symbol of grieve and certainly defiance. those monuments tend to be located in cemeteries and by local groups honoring local confederates borrow e buried th. then there was an explosion of confeddal comen compel risk and those monuments are bigger than the ones we typically think of monuments to confederate soldiers often depicted in military gosh on to garb. they honor not just the
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confederate soldier but the confederate cause itself. >> peniel joseph i wonder if you've seen this, there was a poll that showed roughly six in ten americans feel for their historical value the confederate monuments ought to stay up. i'm wondering what you would say to 60% of the nation that seems to believe that. what would you say to try to convince them of your point of view and what would you like us to do with them? >> i would tell them that these monuments are unamerican. i would argue these are symbols of white supremacy because one of the other things that happened after that period of 1930, that fitzhugh brundage spoke of is the 1950's and 0's after the brown supreme court decision in 1954 different states start to put up the confederate battle flag as white massive resistance against the idea of civil rights. i would say it's unamerican. it's not, we think about our founding documents, constitution, deck calculation
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of independence, we said that all people are created equal. even though the document says all men we've since expanded and revise that to include people who are gay or straight, muslim, christian, atheist, black, white, hispanic america. that's why we're the envy of the world. we're only liberty's surest garden when we're true to our moral and political values. the confederacy was not true to those values. slavery is not true to those values, racism, sex many, none of those things are true core american values. so i would say we don't need to honor robert e. lee but we're on sure ground when we honor abolitionists and the founding fathers and mothers. when we honor people who reflect the values of making america the world's last best hope for freedom and dac democracy. >> pierre mcgraw, i know you
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were strongly against bringing down robert e. lee and several other monuments. my understanding is those are down now and will essential rea en --he ventionally eventually a museum. what's wrong with that. they haven't been melted down. what's wrong with removing them from these cities and towns put them in a museum and say what they stood for in history but take them out of the center sweasquare so to speak. >> i think that's an amusing consent. the robert e. lee monument is over 70 feet tall in new orleans. i don't know where you would put that. if you have ever been to new orleans it's a very special city, a unique city. and we have monuments to all kinds of events and to people. but basically and since new orleans has more historic districts than any city in
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america, the whole city is in essence a living museum and these monuments were designed where they were placed. they were put up by new orleansians. they held bake sales to raise money. women want to honor their husbands who didn't return. this is a way for the south to grieve and to show that they were still in business. they were still a proud people. the other gentleman mentioned that there weren't any monuments put up for a little while after the war and only in cemeteries. well that was the case in near loans too becaus -- near liens e it was forbidden to put up monuments until rescruk reconst. to spend a lot of money to take down monuments. moving down, spending a lot of
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money to put them back up somewhere in public view just does not make any sense. the people who find these objectionable in the public view now will find them equally as objectionable if they're in a museum context. >> fitzhugh brundage i wonder if you could take on the practicality of this. there are enormous amount of these monuments around the country. is there any way you could emergency that theimagine they o stay up and the context could be applied in some way to existing monuments that would make them, to give them context that you would be comfortable with. >> i think there's necessarily going to be some kind of triage in this process because as you said, there are so many hundreds of monuments indeed more than a thousand probably, maybe as many as 2,000 scattered all over the landscape. as a practical matter it's a huge undertaking. but i think there are questions
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as well about given that these monuments are controversial, they provehicle very strong and we live in a different society than that which created the monument. and that entails money and is presumably going to entail more money in the future. so i do think, i would be cautious about allowing a sort of dollars and cents argument to decide whether or not it's appropriate to remove the monuments. with regards to removing them, i certainly think it's entirely within the community's right to move a monument into a new setting and provide it with the kind of historical context that a monument standing 70 feet in the air that middle of a traffic circle in a modern city is never going to have. there's no signage you could put up that is going to interpret that monument so that people driving past it on tour buses are going to gain an
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understanding of it. at least an adequate understanding. so i think the question of reinterpretation and how you do it is a very good question to have but i don't think it's one that's going to be resolved by deciding it's cheaper to leave them where they are than it is to moo them. >to -- move them. >> all right, fitzhugh brundage, pierre mcgraw and peniel joseph, thank you all vention. thank you all very much. >> woodruff: tonight, we conclude our three-part series about fighting isis, and life in northern syria. the country has been ravaged by war. many parts now lie in ruin. in the north, the grip of isis is slowly receding. but what happens once isis has been pushed out? how does a community rebuild? special correspondent gayle tzemach lemmon traveled to manbij, a city that was liberated from isis control last year. this story, as well as last
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night's story about the role of syria's kurdish population in the struggle against isis, was done in partnership with the pulitzer center on crisis reporting. >> reporter: in a neighborhood that looks like this, one front door is hard to miss. why blue? >> because it is the color of happiness. >> reporter: abdulkadir ali aboud is a construction worker, born and raised in manbij, northern syria. his home in the neighborhood of hazawni was hit by an airstrike in the fighting that pushed isis out exactly one year ago. >> ( translated ): it's been two months since we began renovations. when we first saw the damage, we were sad. but then we realized we'd escaped the injustice of isis. and it was worth it. everything can be made right. >> reporter: as the fight to defeat the so-called islamic state pushes forward, the question of "what comes next" comes up again and again.
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one year on, this town offers a look at the possibilities-- and the pitfalls-- when it comes to rebuilding and restarting after isis. manbij was an isis stronghold and saw some of the most-savage fighting of the three-year fight. but returning life to normal takes time, and pushing isis out is just the start. for the past year, residents have struggled to rebuild. ibrahim qaftan leads the executive council of manbij, working to get services to residents. >> ( translated ): we are done with the military side. we escaped isis at home. but we still need civil services. people are looking for public services more than anything else. >> reporter: the challenges remain-- the city still has no phone service. but compared to one year ago, he says, manbij has made great strides, in health, governance and education. and he says there are lessons to be learned, as the diverse population of manbij, both arab
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and kurdish, has pushed forward together. what's to learn from manbij? >> ( translated ): brotherhood. national brotherhood. for the world to succeed, we must act like brothers. to us, armenians, turkmen, alawites, druze, are all part of syria. we want them all to be one family. this is our main lesson. >> reporter: but brotherhood is fragile amid the pressure of war. the city's population of around 200,000 has doubled, with the arrival of displaced families from across the country, qaftan says. and tensions have emerged. the aswad family arrived here two months ago after fleeing the ongoing violence in their home city of raqqa. they've taken up residence here in a relative's manbij home. but, they say they've faced discrimination, particularly from other arab residents, who see that they're from raqqa and treat them like isis sympathizers. >> when we first arrived and said we are from raqqa, they
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immediately judged us. they accused us of being isis. yes, we lived in raqqa, but we were helpless. we didn't deal with isis, we just went to work and that was it. >> ( translated ): when we go to the bakery, people complain that there's no bread left, because of the refugees from raqqa. nothing is like home. we hope it will be freed and we can go back. >> reporter: shervan darwish, of the manbij military council, has witnessed these internal divisions and challenges, ever since the battle that liberated his city. >> ( translated ): the start of liberation was a challenge. it is hard to organize a city that was ruled by terror for two years. and after we freed manbij, we needed to clear the city from the isis ideology. >> reporter: the fate of manbij has also been complicated by another factor: geography. the town sits just 25 miles from its watchful turkish neighbor. it lies on a fault-line within syria: the regime of president bashar al assad to the west, u.s.-backed kurdish and arab
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forces to the east, and an isis insurgency, that is on its heels, but far from gone, darwish says. >> ( translated ): turkey is trying to destabilize us. the regime also wants manbij. isis is still here and also working against us. for a year, we have not had any internal disorder or attack from inside, but we have had attacks from outside. >> reporter: despite a year without isis, turkish military incursions remain a threat. turkish air strikes killed syrian democratic forces near manbij last year, and the city remains a flashpoint between the u.s. and turkey. u.s. forces now regularly patrol the city. back in abdulkadir's neighborhood, talk of war amid the renovations. rafiq fouad ali, abdulkadir's cousin, is mourning his younger brother, killed last month on the raqqa battlefield. he shows us pictures.
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>> ( translated ): i am proud my brother was killed by isis, i'm proud of him. we want to defeat injustice, and remove the isis name from everywhere. >> reporter: he says he will shortly leave manbij, and return to battle himself. >> ( translated ): i don't mind being killed, if it gives the young generation proper life and education. it is not about ourselves. we must improve the future of the next generation, not ours. >> reporter: abdulkadir, too, focuses now on the next generation-- doing his part to restore their future, and paint over their past. >> ( translated ): isis would hang people for three days at the circle, and the children would see them. i tried not to let them see such things, and i painted the walls blue, so they would forget about the black darkness. i want happiness and joy for my children and neighbors. >> reporter: he says restoring his house helps him share that joy, and create new memories.
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you have paint on your hands, why are you so happy? >> ( translated ): life is going well, thanks be to god. my greatest joy has been overcoming isis. and we hope for a bright future. as long as we are over these thugs, we are doing well. >> reporter: one year on, he says, he and his city have both made a good start at something better. and as the raqqa fight nears its end, the story of manbij is one many will look to for inspiration, as the fight against isis nears its end in raqqa and beyond. for the pbs newshour, i'm gayle tzemach lemmon, in manbij, syria. >> woodruff: the week began with the president's scripted speech on afghanistan, followed by a raucus rally in phoenix that helped widen a rift between mr. trump and top republicans in congress.
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and, now to the analysis of shields and brooks. that's syndicated columnist mark shields, and "new york times" columnist david brooks. welcome. to so charlottesville, it's been almost two weeks since the tragedy there. it has risen in the headlines again this week, david. the president's in phoenix, he makes this passionate speech unscripted, defending the way he handled charlottesville, bringing on even more criticism. are we in the clear now on what this president believes about placism, about white supremacy and all of it. >> i think we're clearer where the republican party is. the trump campaign began seriously with the muslim ban. it continued with a series of racial things about the wall, continued charlottesville and the reaction. what happened is the racial winking and content, the identity politic has become a
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rising motif in the trump administration along with everything else like economic populism has fallen away. that meant the republican party at least some portion of it and i don't know how big has become more of a white ethnic party, ethnic nationalist party. that has made life impossible for a lot of people who signed up as republicans but didn't sign up for this. and we've had fights within republicans on a lot of different issues on taxes, on wars and things like that. this is upon which parties break apart because you can't, if the republican party becomes a party aligned with bigotry in some overt way or in any way, you can't be a republican and try to be a decent person and be a part of it. i've watched within my friends here in washington, friendships ending in a way i never really seen before. and friendship ending i think in the evangelical world friend ships are ending and there was an op ed today and barry cohen
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put in this position. so you're seeing hints of the likes i've never seen before. >> woodruff: i was going to ask you both and david brought it up, mark, this column and today an interview by the former republican senator from the state of mo saying if the republican -- missouri saying if the republican party doesn't disassociate himself over donald trump and his handling most recently of charlottesville and the race question he said the party's sunk,. >> yes. jack dannorth comes with credentials as a senator, as the senate sponsor, person endorser of an african american on supreme court clarence thomas. he is someone who has certainly speak cred on this issue.
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judy, it's quite obvious at this point that the president does not understand what the job is. i mean the job of the president of the united states is to be the voice of compassion, is to be, to provide a spirit, to provide a ma magna anymority vi. in a scripted teleprompted address, he can give a coherent speech as he did on afghanistan, a colorless coherent speech for veterans but he only thrives. he's only alive, he's only authentic when he unleashes his objective, when he stirs up the basest instincts of his supporters. and he responds only to years to those he opposes and he's still running against. ten months after the election
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he's still running against. so it's a sad sad time. it has to be sadder for those who work in this administration to learn from the university poll, a respected poll shows this week americans by two to one believe that donald trump is dividing the country rather than writing the country. solid majority 3-2 they believe the press is the dread he had media over donald trump to tell the truth. and they believe three out of five americans believe he is giving aid in comfort to white supremacist and encouragement. so it's a truly, i can only say to republicans, it is a time you're going to be asked about this. you're going to be asked where you stood. and what you did on donald trump. and i thought gary cohen it only took him two weeks to come to it. >> woodruff: this is the president's k34ebg -- >k34ebg -- economic -- >> janet yellen made a very
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candid statement today in jackson hole, ink, the wyoming s the collapse of the financial crises were necessary, were wise and should not be repealed. so gary cohen holding on slimly perhaps to the hope of becoming chair of the welder reserve swallowed his misgive, and the odor of anti-semitism that smacked donald trump's remark and agreed to continue to be a patriotic plan and we should salute him. >> woodruff: it's a zigzag course. when the president is reading from the teleprompter the message is we reject racism, we reject white supreme sear and neo nazis but it's in these speeches where there's another message that seem to come out the i was just reading the radio address that the whitehouse is going to put out tomorrow from the president.
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he's back to the scripted lines rejecting everything that smacks of -- >> to his credit he's incapable of insincerity and hypocrisy. he can keep up for 24 he'll say what they want him to say but then 24 hours he has to come back and be himself and explode beyond those barriers. we've seen that again and again and again. i just think the trump administration is going to wander into these fields more and more in the months and years ahead. simply they don't have an economic awe general dob small chance of tax reform, they don't have the populist thing they can bring to people. so what they have is this ethnic nationalism. and they are frankly going to be helped sometimes by democrats or by radicals on the left who are going to deface the thomas jefferson statute or do something like that. and then that's it for donald trump. he can say they're defacing thomas jefferson. so then the identity politics of the left and they off each other
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and you get this war of people who think that white and black are the only two categories in life and they should have some sort of political war like the sunnis and shi'ites. like i say that's a republican party that decent people don't know how to be a part of. >> woodruff: there are tweets against fellow republicans. today senator bob corker has been the senate stagity leader mitch mcconnel, paul ryan, you go down the list six or seven republicans he's going over. what's the strategy, the rationale. >> it was deemed provider to this week, it was deemed impossible to make senate majority leader mitch mcconnel into a sympathetic public figure. and donald trump has achieved that. it makes no sense. politic is a matter of addition not subtraction. i'm sorry, mr. president, you cannot distance yourself from
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your own administration saying oh he's going to blame the republican congress for the stalled programs the non-programs as david's pointed out and the non-awachievements s their fault. it just won't washington. no president has attempted to do that before. to say i wasment involved in my own administration. it's these guys in my own party up on the hill who have done it to me. it makes absolutely no sense politically. one explanation offered by some people in the whitehouse or "the washington post" today that he sees looming disaster and so he's going to distance himself. you cannot distance yourself as a president from ur own administration. >> woodruff: but again, referring to this washington post story, david, the theory is that the president's going to be able to point the finger at those republicans who messed this up. didn't get the job done. >> i don't think theory or
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strategy would be worse, i think it makes him feel good to get into a shutting match with mitch mcconnel over the investigation of russia. aside from the legislative agenda the biggest event looming in washington these days is the mueller investigation. and if there's some sort of bringing impeachment of the u.s. senate who he's working really hard to offend they are the jury at the owned of the day. so it's just crazy necessary to offend those people. and but yet he's doing it a short term. it's a matter of not strategy but psychology. >> woodruff: in the meantime his administration is moving in a conservative direction. lisa da dejawrtdz had dejarred s week to roll back what we saw during the iran administration. just tonight the president has finally signed an order telling the pentagon not to admit any
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individuals who are transgender, not to pay for the senior that some of them choose to have. so there are steps being taken to carry out the conservative agenda. >> conservative agenda, judy, i don't, you know, among issues i haven't heard pollsters report or volunteered by those interviewed where a statute is being removed which the president greatly moved after are transgender service members. i mean, the navy seal who served 20 years did 13 overseas deployments, seven combat deployments and one brown star and one purple heart and transgender is now a woman had more deployments and more days in uniform than donald trump, mike pence, second huddle stop or secretary mnuchin, secretary
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price or carson, go right through it. he proved his patriot isn't, she proved her patriotism, 100% american. i don't understand this, i commend chairman of the joint chiefs of staff joe dunford coming out today, came out originally in his tweet that those who serve honorably in this service will be respected and continue to be so. >> the important thing when he made the order the generals decided that's trump being trump let's just ignore it. that was the right thing to do. what's disturbing here is he actually followed through on his own statement. a lot of people in the administration are saying let's just let it pass, let it pass. if he's going to now start following through and start behaving that puts them in a much tougher decision. >> woodruff: he said in the campaign he was going to be supportive of those lgbtq. david, mark, we thank you both.
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>> thank you. >> woodruff: in the age of social media, there is an elevated emphasis on so-called "likes." novelist and creative writing teacher charmaine craig sees a disturbing trend. she explains in tonight's "in my humble opinion." >> in addition to being a novelist, i teach fiction at a university. and something that drives me crazy is students rejecting a piece of writing because it's not "relatable," or because its characters aren't "likable." recently, i was teaching "anna karenina," and one of my brightest graduate students wrote off the novel because she found the characters' thinking to be too different from her own. well, maybe literature isn't here to hold a mirror up to our own way of thinking. the word "relatable" is relatively new, and it strikes me as more than a coincidence that its rise correlates with
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that of facebook and its culture of "likes." when we say we like something, we're really describing ourselves more than the thing we like. that character, that photo, that idea reflects my preferences, my outlooks, my tastes, me. there's nothing wrong with liking or disliking, but when we only like things we find relatable, or we are only interested in people we find likeable, we're implicitly holding up narcissism and conformity, and we're critiquing difference. i grew up in this country, and there's no way that my peers would have described me as "relatable" when i was young. i was shy to the point of extreme awkwardness, this height at age 11, terrible at team sports, and impossible to categorize racially or culturally. my father was a descendent of people who arrived on the mayflower, and my mother was a mixed-race refugee from the country now called myanmar, also known as burma. partly because i'm culturally and ethnically kind of anomalous, i've rarely related
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to people in my life. but that doesn't mean i haven't learned from and respected and felt with them. and that's really what i want to say: that there's a difference between relating or liking, in our current sense, and being curious and empathic. would i rather people like my novel or be affected by it finally? to be moved or affected by a piece of literature isn't necessarily to see ourselves reflected in it or to like everything about it: we might disapprove of or want to fight with its characters; we might never have been exposed to the kinds of social settings or modes of thinking it describes. and yet, if we open ourselves to such a piece of literature-- to a novel like "anna karenina" that attentively describes other human beings, with all their passions, foibles and insights-- we might find it opening itself to us, in turn. we might even feel something like love emanating from its
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pages, a love that comes with an author's feeling for humanity, for readers, and for characters that, in life, might at first be very difficult to relate to or like. >> woodruff: a news update: south korea's military says that north korea has fired another projectile into the sea of japan. it could be the latest in a series of missile launches this year, as the south and the u.s. continue military exercises. and, a conservative group has canceled a free speech rally in san francisco that had been planned for tomorrow. officials had warned of possible violence. tune in later tonight to keep up your politics fix. join robert costa and his panel on "washington week." and tomorrow, pbs newshour
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weekend will continue to follow hurricane harvey as it makes landfall on the texas coast. plus, nick schifrin reports on a controversial new law in russia that decriminalizes some forms of domestic violence. throughout the weekend, stay with us. we'll be tracking harvey online at www.pbs.org/newshour. and we'll have the latest, right here on monday. that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. have a great weekend. thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> bnsf railway. >> supporting social entrepreneurs and their solutions to the world's most pressing problems-- skollfoundation.org. >> the william and flora hewlett foundation, helping people build immeasurably better lives.
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>> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and friends of the newshour. >> 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 >> you're watching pbs.
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♪ hello and welcome to kqed news room. i'm thuy vu. coming up on our show, one woman's mission to achieve social and economic justice. we talk to the new executive director of dream corps in oakland. first, local news. hours after a plan to rally in san francisco saturday, patriot prayer founder joey gibson is calling it off. he says he plans to hold a press conference instead, not far from the civic center. >> we have decided that tomorrow really seems like a set up. it doesn't seem face. a lot of people's lives are going to be in danger tomorrow. >> before making that is surprise announcement, gibson spoke to us about his philosophy and why he wants to come to the bay aa.

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