tv PBS News Hour Weekend PBS December 24, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
captioning sponsored by wnet >> sreenivasan: on this edition for sunday, december 24: president trump continues to take aim at the f.b.i. in our signature segment, efforts in hawaii that are making a difference for homeless people. and, a photographer's journey through a world of garbage. next on pbs newshour weekend. >> "pbs newshour weekend" is made possible by: bernard and irene schwartz. the cheryl and philip milstein family. sue and edgar wachenheim, iii. dr. p. roy vagelos and diana t. vagelos. the j.p.b. foundation. the anderson family fund. rosalind p. walter, in memory of abby m. o'neill. barbara hope zuckerberg.
corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we're your retirement company. and by: >> babbel. a language app that teaches real-life conversations in a new language, like spanish, french, german, italian, and more. babbel's 10-15 minute lessons are available as an app, or online. more information on babbel.com. >> additional support has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. ank you. from the tisch wnet studios at lincoln center in new york, hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: good evening and thank you for joining us. president trump continued his criticism of f.b.i. deputy director andrew mccabe in a series of tweets this weekend for what the president sees as his ties to the democratic party. mccabe is reportedly planning to retire from the f.b.i. in march.
the problem for the president and some key republicans is that mccabe's wife received $700,000 in democratic party donations for a virginia state senate race in 2015. mccabe also helped oversee the investigation into hillary clinton's use of a private email server. despite the attacks on mccabe, white house director of legislative affairs marc short said the president is "very pleased" with f.b.i. director chris wray, who was confirmed in august. short also said that the president's tweets are meant to point out partisan bias in the justice department. >> when we put our faith in the d.o.j. and the f.b.i. knowing there should be no bias, he's making the point that there should be no bias. >> sreenivasan: this follows the reassignment of the f.b.i.'s top lawyer james baker on thursday. officials have not provided a reason for baker's reassignment. former c.i.a. director john brennan defended the two f.b.i. officials in a tweet, saying mccabe and baker "epitomize integrity, competence and respect for rule of law.
not surprised donald trump fears them, along with the rest of f.b.i." in another legal setback for president trump's travel ban, a federal judge in seattle has partially lifted the administration's restrictions on certain refugees entering the united states. u.s. district judge james robart ruled yesterday that refugees from eleven countries singled out as security risks may enter the country as long as they have a "bona fide relationship to a person or entity within the united states." in october a state department memo effectively paused refugee admissions from those eleven countries, nine of which have majority muslim populations, until new security measures could be put in place. yesterday's ruling would allow refugees to continue entering the country, even as those measures are being implemented. in another court ruling yesterday, a federal judge said that an american citizen being held by the u.s. military allegedly for fighting on the side of the islamic state must be provided with legal counsel. the unnamed man surrendered to u.s.-backed forces in syria this past september and is currently being held in iraq as an enemy
combatant. the man had said he would be willing to speak with the f.b.i., as long as he had a lawyer present. but last month the u.s. government acknowledged that they had held the man in custody without fulfilling his request to see a lawyer. a u.s. district court took up the case after the a.c.l.u. filed a petition to offer the man access to legal services. north korea's foreign ministry has condemned the latest round of u.n. sanctions imposed on the country, calling them "an act of war." the nation's state-run media broadcast the statement today, saying the new sanctions infringed on north korean sovereignty and that any hopes the u.s. has of north korea giving up its nuclear weapons are a "pipe dream." the new sanctions cap petroleum and crude oil exports to the north and mandate all north korean overseas workers to return to the country in two years. they were approved unanimously on friday by the u.n. security council. at least 37 people are missing and believed dead in a fire that engulfed
and escape, while firefighters were temporarily pushed back by intense smoke and flames. the mall is located in davao city, the hometown of philippines' president rodrigo duterte, who visited the victim's families last night. the philippines are also recovering from the impact of tropical storm tembin which strengthened to a typhoon this morning. the death toll has risen to more than 200 with dozens reported missing since the storm made landfall on friday. it created flash floods and landslides that washed away homes. today the philippine weather e still working against heavysd rain and flood waters. in the city of bethlehem, christmas ceremonies are proceeding as planned, despite a tense atmosphere. the top roman catholic official in jerusalem drove through the west bank today on his way to conduct the annual midnight mass at the church of the nativity compound, with increased security patrolling the city. president trump's recent controversial decision to recognize jerusalem as the capital of israel has prompted
protests that have occasionally broken out into violence. vice media co-founders shane smith and suroosh alvi apologized to staff members yesterday for creating a" detrimental boys club culture that fostered inappropriate behavior." the statement follows a "new york times" report that revealed four settlements involving allegations of sexual harassment or defamation against vice employees. more than two dozen women interviewed said they had experienced or witnessed sexual misconduct at the company. in their statement, the co- founders also announced actions to improve the work environment, including enhanced reporting and training processes, and a commitment to pay parity by the end of 2018. >> sreenivasan: a new report from the investigative journalism organization pro publica in conjunction with the "new york times" reveals that the trump administration is shrinking the size of the environmental protection agency, just as it said it would.
among the findings: 700 people have left the agency, since the start of the trump administration, 200 of whom are scientists and another 96 are environmental protection specialists. lisa friedman of the "new york times" joins us to help explain what this means for the agency >> lisa, 700 people sounds like a lot of people and the goal is even higher, right? >> absolutely. i mean, this is an agency of about 15,000 people. that sounds like a lot but there also has been incredible decrease since the obama administration even pushed by republican budget cuts. when the trump administration started, they said they wanted to cut this agency by about 3,200 people, and they are well on their way. >> sreenivasan: all right. so what happens if, as all of these people have left, what are the repercussions? is there less science being performed? are there -- is there a different type of response that agency can provide after a
disaster or perhaps before one? >> about 700 people, but more than that have left the agency since the beginning of the year through a combination of buyouts and retirements and some have just quit. we spoke to dozens of current panned former epa employees who are really worried that science is at risk at the agency, that their ability to understand how pest pesticides are affecting our air and water, how increased pollution can be abated are the kinds of things that will increasingly be at risk, not to mention their ability to deal with big impact issues, whether they are spills or fires or other things that create hazardous toxic issues for americans. >> sreenivasan: what are the long-term consequences for an agency like this? because on the one hand, you have some people who are close en what happens to kind of but that institutional knowledge and how it gets passed down to
younger scientists? >> it is a significant brain drain, in part because it does not seem that it is getting passed down to younger scientists. people are leaving and whereas in past years they might put in younger employees who had mentors within the agency and could learn from their experience and grow and become the experts themselves, that is happening less and less, increasingly these positions are just gone. i think this is in part a reflection of morale. reporters at propublica with whom i did this story, you know, we talked to many, many employees in the agency, former employees. they said to us, we have been here through republican and democrat administrations alike, and we have never seen an atmosphere like this where we feel our work is so devalued. there are many people in the administration who vehemently dispute that characterization, of course, but the scientists
and the epa employees we talked to said that part of the large number of buyouts reflects not only the ability to retire a litter early, but also a sense that they feel that they are not going to be able to accomplish their mission under this administration. >> sreenivasan: all right. lisa friedman of "the new york times", joining us from washington, thank you so much. >> thank you so much. >> >> sreenivasan: every year the department of housing and urban development releases a report assessing the homelessness problem in the united states. and this year, it revealed that the nation's homelessness rate rose slightly, the first such increase in seven years. according to the study, "on a single night in 2017, 553,742 people were experiencing homelessness in the united states." hawaii, with its high cost of living and housing, has the
highest per-capita rate of homelessness of any state. and many suffer from untreated diseases, taxing the state's public health care system. but as newshour weekend's megan thompson recently found in this updated story, the state has started to turn things around. >> morning guys, anybody need medical attention? >> reporter: on a monday morning, justin phillips sets out with a small medical team to offer aid to hawaii's homeless. >> what's up? you can always call me. i'll try to help if i can. >> reporter: phillips directs outreach for the institute for human services, the state's largest homeless services provider. his first stop, a sidewalk encampment stretching two blocks near downtown honolulu. phillips knows what it's like to sleep on these streets. about a decade ago, he struggled with addiction and was homeless too. >> i come out here with an understanding of what it means to be homeless. i come out here with an understanding of what it means to be a drug addict. i come out here with an understanding of what it means to be an alcoholic. and because i have that understanding, i'm able to relate to people in a different
way. >> looking for amy. >> reporter: at a park downtown, phillips and his team find a woman they know well. >> hey amy! >> how much you had to drink today? >> reporter: there are around 7,200 homeless in this state of 1.4 million people. hawaii is known as a beautiful island paradise. but it also has the distinction of having one of the highest per-capita rates of homelessness in the nation. hawaii's homelessness rate is now around 51 homeless for every 10,000 residents. by comparison, new york state has the second-highest rate of 45 per 10,000, and california and oregon are third, with 34 each. hawaii's problem became so severe, that two years ago governor david ige declared a state of emergency. >> this homelessness challenge is a crisis. >> reporter: that released more funding for new housing and shelters like this one, designed specifically for families with children. >> we have a very tight housing
market here. >> reporter: state homelessness coordinator scott morishige says hawaii's high cost of housing is the number one cause of the problem. average rent for a one-bedroom apartment here is almost $1800 a month. and hawaii ranks #1 of the 50 states in highest overall cost of living. >> we really have a shortage of affordable housing, and particularly rental housing. part of it is because we're an island state, so we have very limited land. and there's not as much opportunity for additional development. >> reporter: two-thirds of hawaii's homeless live on the island of oahu, the most populous of the state's eight islands and home to the capital, honolulu. native hawaiians and pacific islanders who've migrated from places like the marshall islands and micronesia make up a quarter of hawaii's population, but account for 40% of the homeless. >> hi charles! can i take a peek at your legs? >> reporter: the medical outreach team includes heather wahab, a registered nurse. skin wounds from living outdoors are a common problem. >> they hurt?
>> reporter: these homeless individuals represent some of the most difficult, chronic cases. most all of them have untreated physical and mental health issues. >> rosie! >> reporter: psychiatrist chad koyanagi assesses mental illness and addictions. >> you have depression, bipolar, psychosis? >> yes. depression and bipolar. >> are you depressed now? >> yes i am. >> are you hearing voices? >> i'm hurting bad. i have nothing to help me. >> reporter: homeless service provider justin phillips says in order for a homeless person to qualify for certain housing programs, a doctor must diagnose a disability. but phillips says many of the people out here can't be relied on to make it to an appointment. >> we know they're not going to go to a doctor, you know? ¡ my main priority is getting a beer in my system, maybe some, you know, marijuana, maybe some ice. want to get loaded, get good and-- you know, good and high. and then i'm ready to go do it.' but by by that time, it's 5:00
p.m., all the doctors are closed, all the doctors' offices are closed, there's no psychiatrists. >> reporter: when honolulu's homeless do seek out care, it's usually at the queen's medical center, a private nonprofit hospital that handles more than 10,000 visits a year. daniel cheng is the e.r. medical director. >> the top few diagnoses that we see are infectious disease, behavioral health, and substance abuse. >> reporter: many of cheng's homeless patients also suffer from heart disease, diabetes, and kidney disease, and lack access to regular medical care. >> our homeless individuals die about one-third earlier than the normal population. so we're talking a good solid 20 to 25 years lost of life. and that really strikes home. because i think that speaks to the frustration as a physician. at the very core of what we're trying to do is quality of life. >> reporter: treating the homeless burdens cheng's hospital with around 10 million dollars a year in unreimbursed medical bills. and, the homeless cost the state's medicaid system more than $200 million a year.
cheng says he sees the same homeless patients over and over. >> we just don't have enough time and resources to address the social issues. and they go back out to the street and they get lost into the system. and it's a very perverse and it's a very broken system. >> reporter: to change that, cheng has started a program to put social workers in the e.r. to connect the homeless to food stamps, housing and other services, before they're discharged and hard to locate again. he's also working with local officials to open a new health care center next year in an old warehouse near honolulu's largest homeless shelter. the goal will be to divert patients here, for both medical care and short-term housing. supporters say the new center could cut homeless' health care costs by up to $50 million a year. a 2016 study by the university of hawaii showed that after the homeless were given housing, their medical costs decreased by 43%. >> we know that there's a strong association between health care and homelessness. >> reporter: state homelessness
coordinator scott morishige says one of the biggest priorities for both the city of honolulu and the state is expanding a program called housing first, which proponents say can make a big difference. the idea, which has had success in other states, is to get a homeless person into housing before doing anything else. >> because we know the quicker you can get someone into housing and a point of stability, the more positive impact you will have for that person. >> reporter: and that includes positive impacts on a person's health. >> come on in. >> reporter: housing first is how thomas lamberton, homeless for eight years, got into his apartment about two years ago. >> this is the picture of cardboard that i slept on and my backpack i used for a pillow. >> reporter: as an alcoholic living on the streets of honolulu, lamberton had regular seizures. did you go to the emergency room when you were on the streets? >> every other week at least. well, it was constant. it's embarrassing when nurses
know your first name.¡ hey thomas.' it's like, ¡whoa.' this is my bedroom, and my bathroom, with a shower. >> reporter: then, a local nonprofit got lamberton on a list for a housing first apartment. >> i mean, i'm not drinking. that's first of all. and you know, when you're not drinking, you're going to be healthier. and i have a place to put food in the refrigerator. >> reporter: since he moved in, lamberton has also stopped having seizures. he's on medicaid and sees a primary care doctor. and he's been to the emergency room only twice, for minor injuries he got volunteering at the humane society. >> my health is great now, because i don't have the raspberry patches on my hips and shoulders from sleeping on concrete or cardboard. >> reporter: but lamberton says his new home has restored more than just his health. >> it gave me my self-respect back that i-- don't feel like a piece of scum on the street and worthless to society. basically they've helped me out
immensely. and i owe them my life. >> reporter: over the last two years, the state and honolulu have expanded housing first by adding around 400 new housing units, like this new building, opened last spring. advocates say housing first has helped finally turn the tide. >> our homeless numbers have decreased statewide. >> reporter: last spring, hawaii announced the first decrease in its homeless population in eight years. down nine percent between 2016 and 2017. they're hoping improvements in health and medical spending will now follow. >> you okay? >> reporter: back on the streets, justin phillips says housing people is the ultimate goal here, too. >> you ever thought about coming down to the shelter and hooking up with a social worker? >> reporter: gaining trust to get people healthy and into a home. >> we've housed a lot of people that normally wouldn't get seen by doctors, would never get housing. we've been able to house them through this process.¡ hope, one bandage at a time,' you know, because that's what--
really, what we're doing, you know? one relationship through one bandage, you know. >> sreenivasan: 13 writers, musicians and podcasters told us the best gift they'd ever received. find out what they are. visit pbs.org/newshour. >> sreenivasan: the world produces 3.5 million tons of garbage every day, and that number is increasing. what is being done about it, or not, is the subject of a recent report in the "washington post" called "drowning in garbage." reporter-photographer kadir van lohuizen traveled to six major cities around the world to chronicle the problem of too much trash. i spoke with him earlier via skype from amsterdam. >> sreenivasan: in a nutshell you went to all of these can different places around the world. what did you learn? >> well, i learned that it is pretty dramatic. i mean, the whole project came about because i was working in the pacific on some remote islands. i saw their -- so much
specifically plastic on the beaches, which was definitely not from there. that i started to research where this was actually coming from. and at the same time, i realized that i myself -- i didn't really know anymore. i put my garbage back on the curb side, it is being collected by garbage truck, what happens after, i had no clue, actually. so, you know, especially in the western part of the world, trash is often invisible and it is just stunning how much we produce. >> sreenivasan:, you know, you took some photographs and some video, including some drone footage from jakarta and it is not invisible there. i mean, these are mountains of trash that people are going across and it is hard to even fathom that there is this many people walking across this much trash. >> yeah. what was remarkable is often we assure cities like jakarta, he goss in nigeria where it is much
more visible than in u.s. or europe that they produce a lot, because we consider it to be dirty, you see people on these huge landfills, garbage belts working and living. actually, the opposite is true. i mean, new york is the number one waste producer in the world there is no city in the world which produces more than new york city, 15 times more, actually, than lagos, which is about the same size in terms of population. and these people who work on these garbage belts, you know, it looks very apocalyptic. it looks scary but working there, i understood actually how organized this is, and actually those people became kind of heroes because those people are actually the ones who pick up plastic, textile, paper and they sell it for recycling. >> sreenivasan: when you say in europe a huge chunk of this trash is actually burned and that can't be necessarily good
for air quality. >> , you know, i mean, i have been in the incinerator in am amsterdam and an incinerator in pennsylvania i would slay is a big difference. i think the one in amsterdam has much better fit eric system, so it is supposed to be more environmental friendly, also more friendly to your health. what i have seen in the u.s. is that many .. are many outdated and are very dangerous, not to mention what all gets burned. because like in tokyo, which is probably the best example of all of the cities i have been, there are 24 incinerators actually in the city itself. they claim that they are completely clean. i don't know if that is completely true, but what is true is that people in tokyo, they separate a lot of their waste, so what goes into the incinerator is mostly organic,
and that is obviously a big difference, if you have gone organic or start to burn plastics. >> sreenivasan: so our trash changes as we develop, i mean more developed we are, the more electronics and packaging it seems we are throwing away. >> yeah. i mean, it goes up with the welfare, so, you know, we definitely produce a lot more than we did ten, 20, 30 years ago. usually if people are higher in the social ladder they produce more. in the u.s. it might be a bit different also. just because of the fast food industry. >> sreenivasan: kadir van lohuizen from the photo agency doing this for the "washington post", called drowning in garbage. thanks so much. >> you are very welcome. and finally the largest in production amphibious aircraft
in the world made its flight today from airport in china toality size of a boeing them certain them that can land on both land and water and stay airborne 12 hours. it will be used to fight fires and conduct marine rescues. tomorrow on christmas day on the newshour the u.s. armed forces present a special edition of carol of the bells. that's all for edition of pbs newshour weekend. i am hari sreenivasan. have a good night. >> captioning sponsored by wnet captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: bernard and irene schwartz. the cheryl and philip milstein family. sue and edgar wachenheim, iii. dr. p. roy vagelos and diana t. vagelos. the j.p.b. foundation. the anderson family fund. rosalind p. walter, in memory of abby m. o'neill.
barbara hope zuckerberg. corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we're your retirement company. and by: >> babbel. a language app that teaches real-life conversations in a new language, like spanish, french, german, italian, and more. babbel's 10-15 minute lessons are available as an app, or online. more information on babbel.com. additional support has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. woman: here she is.
now, i should have warned you, they do mate for life. ed kenney: oh, there she goes. aw, she picked me. ha ha ha! kenney, voice-over: jack johnson's music reflects his home of hawai'i, but a life-changing road trip up the california coast traces his soul to something much deeper. every dish has a story. food brings people together and has the power to conjure up cherished memories. johnson: ♪ oh, you're such a pretty thing ♪ ♪ i'll take you, and i'll make you all mine ♪ kenney: i was born and raised in the hawaiian islands, one of the most diverse communities in the world. johnson: ♪ we will watch you from the clouds ♪ ♪ we can't stop it, anyhow ♪ it's not ours kenney: in this show, we'll meet a guest from hawai'i, learn about their favorite dish, trace it back to its origins, and have some fun along the way. johnson: ♪ oh, you're such a pretty thing ♪