tv PBS News Hour PBS February 6, 2018 3:00pm-4:01pm PST
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> yang: good evening. i'm john yang. judy woodruff is away. ohon the newsur tonight: a roller coaster on wa street. the stock market swings wildly, gaining back more than 500 points. then, president trump says he wshould "love to see down," as lawmakers scramble to agree t a spending deal before another deadline for government funding. and, uston thinks long-term. five months after hurricane harvey, how the city is preparing for the next big storm. >> we have to be stronger, and we have to be more resilient. otherwise, just pting people back in their homes the very way they were before is just funding for failure. >> yang: plus, with an eye on mars, space-x successfully launches the most powerful commercial rocket in the world. all that and more, on tonight's
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>> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions r pbs station from viewts like you. hank you. >> yang: they are breathing just a little easier on wall street tonight, after another dizzying day.s the dow jondustrial average plunged 500 points in the opening minutes, then rallied to recover nearly half of monday's hugloss. in the end, the dow closed up 567 points, 2%, to finish at 24,912. the nasdaq rose 148 points, and the s&p 500 added 46. at a house hearing today, treasury secretary steve mnuchin played down the market volatility. > the stock market is up significantly, over 30%, since president trump was elected. we're monitoring the stock markets. they're functioning very well and we continue to believe in the long-term impact of the stock markets. >> yang: stock markets in asia and europe also took a hit in
the wake of monday's sell-off on wall street. we'll get more perspective on thet market turmoil, right aewfter thesummary. the day's other big story is the lo atest deadlineert a new government shutdown. the house and senate moved on swheparate tracks todaye president trump dared democrats not to cooperate. lisa coverage.begins our >> reporter: in washington, a tale of two issues, immigration a and spending, collidiund one magnetic deadline: to fund the government by thursday ight >> my guess is, they don't want a government shutdown. we don't want a government shutdown. no one wants a government shutdown. >> reporter: first, spending. >> they must stop using our troops as pawns in the game of politics. >> reporter: republicans like speaker paul ryan want to erase defense budget cuts, known as budget caps. their case was bolstered by the defense secretary. appearing on the hill today, he lso decried temporary spending bills, or continuing resolutions. >> our competitive edge has eroded in every domain of
warfare: air, land, sea, cyber and space. under frequent continuing resolutions and sequesters' badudget caps, ountages continue to shrink. >: > reportuse republicans' bill to avoid a shutdown proposes funding the military through september 30 with a $30 billion increase to avert spending cuts. the rest of government would get a temporary six weeks of funds. but this partisan funding bill is a whopping 515 pages long, full of other policies and roposals, many of them meant to jam, or pressure the senate. conservative freedom caucus member dave brat: >> mn, i would love to just see the senate have to vote on something. >> report a wholly different idea. both parties, both leaders-- can mitch mcconnell and democrat chuck schumer-- working toward a bigger, bipartisan b fudget deal to increaseunds for defense and non-defense. >> i think we're on the way to getting an agreement, and on the way of getting an agreement very
soon. >> we support an increase in funding for our military and our middle cls. the two are not mutually exclusive. >> reporter: one budget breakthroh: democrats like schumer seem to be separating the immigration debate from this week's spending debate. that's issue number two, immigration, now mostly behind closed doors as senators try tow ork out a deal, with mixed optimism. >> in terms of immigration, i think it's great that little pockets of senators are meeting, but what counts is whether 60 can agree. > reporter: in a reverse, today it was the republican white house that connected the immigration debate to a possible shutdown. president trump spoke at a round table on the predominantly central-american gang, ms-13. >> frankly, if we don't change the legislation, if we don't get rreid of these loopholes, w killers are allowed to come into our country and continue to
kill-- if we don'ge it, let's have a shutdown. we'll do a shutdown and it's worth it for our country. i'd love to see a shutdown if we cdon't get this stuff take of. >> reporter: the white house enlater said that the presis not advocating a shutdown. >> yang: lisa joins me now from the pitol, along with yamich alcindor athe white house. let me turn to lisa first. ssa, developments and eve moving very fast up there. the house is poised to pass its spending bill. what's the state of play in the senate? >> right. the house any minute could act. the senate a very differen track. what we expect is the house to nass spendingill. it will go over to the syndicate, and they will take out the legislative scsors and probably cut out most of that bill, replace it with their own wversion, whiche expect could be this two-year budget deal, perhaps erasing spending cuts for defense and non-defense. staff is in talks on that right now, john. what happens after that, theyha sendnew bill over to the
house, and there's a question trk, john. it's not clear iat will get the votes in the housing. there are criticisms of this idea of this spending cap bill from both the right and the left in the house tonight. >> yang: you mentioned in your taped spot that the psident is now attaching immigration to this issue. how is that playi toirn shoe and what's the state of play on immigration on the hill today? >> there is some confusion over the president's remarksot. it'sclear what he meant, because immigration does not seem to be attachedto a possible shutdown this week, at least not at this point, but where immigration is, i just walked passed a meeting and talked to conservave senators coming out of mitch mcconnell's office, and mitch mcconnell is a person to watc on this issue, john. he told his republicans he does full to move forward with a debate on the senate floor next week, and that's why democrats are stepping back this week on forcing a shutdown over immigration. essentially, john, they are trusting mitch mcconnell. they're taking him his word. dick durbin said this today.
theyelieve he will come through and allow an open debate on the senate floor, but,ohn, there are big questions over what that debate look like, how many amendments does senator mcconnell allow? is it a truly open debate? and of course, a big question is: even with allof that, can the senate come up with plan with 60 votes? senator lindsey graham said he's more ssistic today over a wider deal. this there is trouble on the topic of familmigration. very hard to find an agreement on whether or how to limit that. >> yang: lisa desjardins, thank you very money. yamiche in the white house briefing room we heard the president talking about he would love a shutdown. why is he talking about this? >> the president is talng about a shutdown for several reasons. the first is he misunderstood at was going on on the hill today. the hill and lawmakers there are talking abending bill including military and non-military spending. this is not like thlast shutdown where people were really focused on immigration. democrats were saying theyg weren't go vote for the bill if it doesn't include
something to do with the daca kids, the dreameose undocumented kids that were brought here as young people. this time around, that's just not the case. president trump,owever, really maybe didn't understand that he was sitting in this t immigration s ms-13 roundtable when he made that remark, so maybe that's why immiation was on his mind. the second thing is that he likely thinks he won the immigration messaging war and the shutdown messaging war the last time the government shutdown. he feels good about the fact that when the government was reopened, the democrats still didn't have their fix to immigration, and as a result, it seems as though he doesn't really think a shutdown is gng to hurt the republicans, which is the only reason i can think of why he would president that on the table when his party was not interested inalking about that. >> yang: and in the white house meeting we saw where he made those comments, there was an interesting exchange between the president and representative barbarcomstock of virgini. tell us about that? >> well, in that meet, representative comstock was saying that t really doesn't need to be a shutdown.
there doesn't need to be this gridlock over immigration. she thought they could actually get it done. the president actually interrupted her. so this is a republican president interrupting a republican lawmaker he said, no, the republicans need the stand hard and the democrats, they're probably not going to get it togeer. we need to have a shutdown. let's have a shutdown. a pretty remarkable exchange, because his party, the republican parki is not t about shutting down the government, but this president is pushing for it. i think part of tt has to do, some of the reporting i have been doing is it shows that conservative groups are really upset about the president's offer to have 1.8 million people have a path toward citizenship. there are a lot of con people think that's amnesty. breitbart has been calling him amnesty don. so i think the president is feeling pressure fro his own base to look really hard on this. so as a result, you have this ms-13 roundtable where he's talking about immigration and crime. you also have chief of staff john kelly going to the hill, and he's saying to lawmakers,
dreamers might have been lazy, that might ve been why there aren't as many people on daca, so there is this idea that this white house wants to feel as though they are taking hard line, that they're drawing this line in pped and forcing democrats hands so when the government is back open or if it doesn't shut down, the president can say, well, you know what, i saved the day. >> yang: yamiche alcindor at the white house, lisa desjardins on capitol hill, thanks very much. busy days ahead for both of you. in the day's other news, white house als said mr. trump was joking yesterday, when he suggested democrats might have been "treasonous" not to applaud his state of the union speech. press secretary sarah sanders today: >> the president w clearly joking with his comments, but what isn't a joke is that democrats refuse to celebrate the accomplishments of last year, that has helped all americans. democrats are going to have to make a decision some point really soon: do they hate this president more than they love this country?
and i hope the answer to that is no. >> yang: a number oflyemocrats strobjected to the president's words, and some republicans joined them. senator jefflake of arizona spoke on the senate floor: >> i have seen theresident's st ardent defenders use the now-weary argument that the president's comments we meant as a joke-- just sarcasm, only tongue in cheek. but treason is not a punchline, mr. president. >> yang: the president himself did not mention the criticism of his comments, at his lone public event to the white house declined to say today whether president trump will agree to be interviewed by the special counsel in the russia investigation. the "new york times" reported mr. trump's lawyers are "concerned that the president could be charged with lying to investigators." the "times" reported that some on his legal team are recommending he decline to be interviewed by special counsel robert mueller. the presideasnt of turkey aimed a new warning at u.s. troops in syria. recip tayyip erdogan accused the u.s. today of working against turkish interests by supporting
kurdish militia fighte. rkey's military is now attacking the kurds around afn northwest syria. u.s. troops lee near manbij, than 100 miles to the east. in ankara, erd warned the american forces to leave manbij. >> ( translated why are you standing around? go ahead and le ve. and you ill telling us not to come to manbij. o will come to manbij to deliver the lands true owners. this is our difference. >> yang: turkey insists the kurdish fi in syria are allied with kurdish rebels inside turkey. meanwhile, russian and syrian government forces launched heavy new air strikes on a rebam area near dascus. they blasted a string of towns in the eastern ghouta region. activists and a war monitoring group say at least 45 people were kild. a top u.n. investigator said the attacks amount to "international crimes." the president of poland signed a law today that makes it illegal
lame the polish nation f holocaust crimes. israel and the u.s. arguedhe law whitewashes polish collaboration with nazi invaders in world war ii. but president andrzej duda joined with far-right nationalist groups, insisting poles were not responsible for what the nazis did. >> ( translated ci this is my on. i think this is a solution which, on one hand, secures polish interests-- our dignity, historical truth, that we are judged fairly in the world and that we should not batblamed as a and as a nation. >> yang: the measure would impose prison sentences of up to thre phrases as "polish death camps." back in this country, e u.s. house of representatives voted to revamp how it handles sexual harassment claims. from now on, house members themselves, and not taxpayers, oll have to foot the bill
settle harassment cases. in addition, employees no longer have to undergo counling and mediation before pursuing a claim. and, spacex scored a coup today, eslaunching the world's la operating rocket. the "falcon heavy" blasted off from cape canaveral,lorida on its very first test. it carried a tesla roadster toward a solar orbit. naire elon musk owns bot tesla and spacex. we'll have a full report, later in the pam. still to come on the newshour: what's behind the roller coaster stock market. how houston could prepare for the next big flood after hurricane harvey. and, the plight of puerto rican students after hurne maria. and, much more. >> yang: the past three trading days have been a roller coaster ride for global markets. at this morning's opening bell on wall street, the dow jones industrial average plunged more than 500 points, and ended the trading day up more than 500
points-- a 1,000 point swing. to help us understand this, we are joined by neil irwin, senior economics correspondent for the "new york times'" "u"ks neil, thor being here. this morning you wrote that the key to keep in mind is to keep the long view in mind. so having said that, what do we take from the lt three days? >> well, i think the era of extreme low volatile may be over, at least for a while. i think it might come back, but for now this period we had, all of 2017, not aingle day of thement to losing more than 2%. that's very unusual. and we've now two of those days out of the last three trading sessions. thisars c a more vol vile environment. this is clearly a time en stocks are going crazy. we're still only at mid-december levels. we're down only a it will bit for the year. we're losing 10% in stock value. this isn't a crisis. this isn't something to worry about too much. at the same time, it's certainly
teeth-chattering when you watch the daily stock market ticker. >> yang: there was return to volatility. we hadn't seen this volatility in quite a while. why do you think it came back this way? >> there seems to be some self-fulfilling cycles happen. a lot of investors are betting sainst volatility. there is ale news behind this. this -- there was a jobs report that suggested wage growth is stronger than it appears. that suggestden maybe the l reserve will have to raise interest rates faster than they have bee that's good news for american workers. bigger paychecks might be bad for corporate earn, but it's not bad the you're earning a paycheck. ct there is a reversal of these long building efthat were depressing volatility in the market. >> yang: not only volatile, but the velocity of the vement. , the downward movement yesterday in particular. does that suggest that there was some program trading pushing that, driving thatesn >> it you have institutions that have
billions of dollars in assreets thataking these huge decisions, huge trades based o what computers want to do. no humans touch them. that can create these self-reinforcing cycles. one clue that might be part of what's going on, if you look at other markets, the bond market, the commodity markets, they haven't moved nearly as muc they haven't been nearly as volatile. this is confined to the stock market. that says something weird is going on. this isn't about fundamentals and inpeople reassesthe view of the economy. >> yang: much was made yesterday that the gains of 28 had been wiped out, but if you take the long view, asou counsel in your column this morning, talk about the larger trend we're seeing inethe stock ma >> fundamentally we've had -- this is a recovery that dates o 2009. we haven't had a butt of instability since early 2016. so two years, you know, this is an unusually calm time, you know, part of the trade-off of stocks, they have higher ng-term returns than other
assets, but the price is volatility some this is the anice you pay for longer-term returnnow we're kind of experiencing it all at one time instead of in a more kind of gradual race. >> yang: what we saw the last three days real had nothing to this with the fundamentals of the economy. >> well, the thing is, you look at the eco data. there are no signs of problems. the weekly jobless claims, the employment reports, anything you want the look at, industrial production, those numbers are s all veid. all the things you look to as a leading indicator that we might have a recession or a downturn, ose aren't showingup in the data so far. unless the stock market knows something that isn't g up, things look good in the economy so far. >> yang: a the market had been soaring at a high altitude. there had been a lot of talk and a lot of people saying the stock market was overvalued compared to thprice earnings raischors we were seeing. but this wecn't a coion. >> technically a correction is a 10% drop. even after monday's close, only down 8.5% by the s 500 an
rebounded today. so we're even closer to the high. thnot yet technically a correction. it still could get there. we might have a fewordays of volatility. who knows. but the reality is in the grand scheme of th this is not the biggest correction, and we're only back to mid-december levels. as long as you're a long-term investor, you're only doing fine. it's only if you put money in early, mid-january that you may have seen some losses. >> yang: if the mar out of bed and finished up -- >> technical factors and algorithms. a lot of money is sloshing around very ra without human hands touching it often. that createse unpredicta swings. will we go back to the old normal of low volatil i don't know about, that but all signs are we might have another few sticky days before it's all over. >> yang: aew more sticky days perhaps. neil irwin of he new york times," thanks for being with us. >> thank you, john.
>> yang: we return to our series on the state of hurricane recovery efforts ihouston, five months after hurricane harvey. in our first reports, we profiled two sets of homeowners who are still trying to get their lick to normal. in his final report on life after the storm, hari sreenivasan explores what changes leaders say are needed to avoid another disaster, and who should pay for them. >> reporter: in northeast houston, jackie white and her husband michael are repairing their home, which floodeduring harvey. this is the second time they've gone through allthis-- despite being outside the federally-designated floodplien. jack holding out hope the government will buy her out, so she can movee place safer. >> if i had that choice, i would be happy to selld walk away, because it would give me a peace of mind. >>eporter: meanwhile, on t other side of the city, in the uthwest neighborhood of
meyerland, kathleen annat pacini flooded as well. >> this was our den. it had beautiful wood paneling in here. >> reporter: they ved their mid-century home, but wi kathleen fighting breast cancer, they've decided to take their insurance payout and sell. >> so our contract currently is with a builder, who ll come in and tear it down and build a million-plus dollar house. >> reporter: that new house would be elevated, to keep it from flooding. >> this is a house that looks like it's in the process of being lifted. >> reporter:e drove around the pacini's neighborhood, where many homes are now f sale, with architect brett zamore. he designs homes in this area, and in fact, he says he won't even take on clients unless they're thinking long term. >> i've been in houston since '95, and it's flded so many times. it's getting worse and worse every year. the past three years, we've had three severe floods: tax day flood, memorial day flood, and then harvey. and harvey has just been the one that people have realized, we've
got to wake up and do something abouis. >> reporter: the city and county say they are, enacting building wdes that will require ne homes to be elevated above not the 100- but the 5r floodplain. and yet, elevating old homes is expensive, even with a federal subsidy. so in some cases, it will mean buieng out old homes like ja white's, says harris county executive ed emmett. >> like itr not, we cannot keep paying people to rebuild in places where they're going to keep flooding. >> reporter: buyake money. the county will move forward with a large bond issue, and $5 billion from the department of housing and urban development is on the way, some of which will go towards th. >> there's been a huge disconnect, i think, between the builder of these developments and the home buyer. >> reporter: texas a&m professor sam brody says better information will help drive market changes moving forward.
using fema data on that have flooded before, he created "buyers-b-where," so when people are looking to buy ain houston or galveston, they c know the flood risk, too. you know, we talked to a woman this morning. she's heading back to a house that is kind of being, you know, band-aided together. if she had her choice, she wouldn't go back there. she survived allison. she doesn't want another harvey, right. but she's like, "i don't have the money to anywhere else." >> i hear stories like that every week, and buyers-b-where was created in response to people coming in, saying, "i wish i i'm trapped. i'll never be bought out because there's so many people w want to be bought out." >> reporter: in addition to moving people out of harm's way, ybrody says there are man structural and large s changes needed, and that after harvey, now is the time to push for them. here for tropical storm allison, which had similar impacts. at that point, they said hthis will nevpen again. that was in 2001. or years later, it happened again, this time
widespread. i think it's a real window of opportunity to think about meaningful change. >> reporter: houston is known the "bayou city." it was built in a low-lying area only about an hour from the gulf of mexico. many of its streets were built to convey storm water in the bayous, which snake throughout the city. thn turn, take water from the streets out to the gulf. harvey was so catastrophic, not because of its winds, but because it dumped more than inches of rain on this region. the flood control measures were simply overwhelmed. the two reservoirs, the barker and addicks, which were built in the 1940s and lie in the west, look lelds on a dry january day. harvey filled them to the brim, d the u.s. army corps of engineers, which controls them, feared a breach, so they opened their floodgates into buffalo bayou, flooding tens of thousands of additional homes. >> we don't want to be standing in the same place whenhe next storm comes. >> reporteayor sylvester turner and others are calling
for a third reservoir to be built in the northwest part of the city. the continued widening of the bayous to help carry more water to the gulf, and in the gulf, le construction of a coas spine-- a massive gate that would protect tha region during orm surge. >> one thing we do know of, the rains will ctinue to fall, and there will be flooding in '18, '19 and '20. so, we have to be stronger, and we have to be more resilie. otherwise, just putting people back in their homes the very way they were befos just funding failure. >> reporter: but of course, these ideas will take time, political will, and money. the state of texas has an $11 billion rainy day fund that turner and emmett want to tap into-- but the state legislature won't return to session until 2019. then there's an $81 billion funding package making its way through congre the house has passed it, but the senate has yet to vote on it. in a year that held the most expensive natural disasters on
record-- wildfires in california, hurricanes in florida and puerto rico-- that money will have to be shared between all of the affected areas. >> we need to move with the greatest degree of urgency. the state has indicated repeatedly that they are probably not going to come back into session until 2019. we're waiting on the feds. >> reporter: so what's the , and why? i mean, you're in a position of power. you've got members of congress in the majority, you've got a white house majority today. >> today, it is illegal for me, as a member of congress and appropriator, to target the y to a geographically specific project. >> reporter: u.s. representative john culberson represents houston, and says because of a house baon earmarks, he can't send money directly to these flood mitigation projects to gic them moving y. >> that makes no sense. it handicaps me as a representative, and itrevents me from front-loading the funding. by front-loading the funding, it expedites everything. by cutting the permitting time, tu give the local authorities the ability to buise
things much more rapidly, if they've got the cash on hand to get done. >> reporter: president trump has said he supports bringing earmarks back, but a bipartisan bill now moving through the senate wouldermanently ban them. in the meantime, with the help of federal funds, people like jackie white are returning to their homes, resigned to the fact that they may go through all of this again. >> i have no choice. this is home. >> reporter: the question brody and others ask, is whether the nation continues to pay r saster recovery after a storm, or for flood mitigation before one, saving both mey and live >> many would say that welre setting ous up in houston and miami and chicago for continuing chronic and s repetitive flood losses,e
conditions change, it's just gog to get worse unless we realp back and start rethinking the way we measure and conceptualize risk. >> reporter: reporting from houston, i'msreenivasan for the pbs newshour. >> yang: stay with us. coming up on the newshour: the gang that's become focus of a political debate. and, the most powerful rocket to launch in 45 years, lifts off. what it means for human space travel. but first, let's go to another part of the united states affected by last year's hurricanes: puerto rico. many of those who have left the island for the mainld since hurricane maria hit last september are young students. officiy that over the next four years, they expect more than 50,000 students to leave. puerto rico's governor says he wants to create chter schools as part of a plan to overhaul of the debt-ridden island's public school system. special correspondent monica
villamizar has our report, as part of our weekly look at ucation, "making the grade." >> reporter: 18-year-old rocco marquez ju to pursue his dream to play baseball at lake howell high school. >> baseball meerything to me, because when i play baseball, i forget allthis: the school, the problems, everything. i just play baseball and have fun. >> reporter: he's not a touted prospect bught to the mainland to groom for a professional career. he is one of 25,00ftstudents who uerto rico in the wake of hurricane maria's devastation. >> i want to be a big baball player, and the kids look at me like, "i want to be like him. he does a great job, halways tries to do his best and never give up." >> reporter: when you saw maria, at did you think? >> when maria arrived, it was my birthday: september 20.
so, couple days later, i told my mom, "mom, i think iave to go, because here we don't have ll." they don't know when baseball is going school, everything. my mom said, "okay, if you want to, i'm going to help you. >> reporter: rocco's mother came with him to orlando to get him settled at school and on the baseball team. now, his success depends on his own efforts. baseball practice is a daily routine in schools across america, but for rocco, this sport is his life, and he has made many sacrifices to get here from puerto rico. is one of about 30 students who came to lake howell high school after displaced them. like many schools in florida, alake howell has given ex attention to puerto rican students. the scol gives extra counseling and acamic support, provides financial assistance when needed, a has to be
flexible about accepting transcripts from schools in puerto rico thatollow different systems than on the mainland. school counselor janibelle jackson uart, who is also puerto rican, helps students transition. >> we have to really look at the bigger p that we're trying to do with all these students that are coming in, and play to their strengths, cause they have strength it's just a different education system. and when you have a trickle, it's one thingbut when you have a flood, it's a whole different thing. >> reporter: how does their short-term future look like? do you think somhem are just going to try to settle here? >> these students that have come ngwere not planning on leahe island. they were going to finish their education on the island, in their mind, and they were going they never intended to live here they never intended to go to universities here. so they're just going to get their diploma and head back ho. and they're hoping that, come summer, thnd is more stabilized and they can go back and resume their lives. >> reporter: the consequences of is mass exodus of puerto ricans are being felt on the island. more than half a million people
have moved to the u.s. mainlmad sinca, and the education system hangs in the balance. the u.s.-appointed secretary of education in puerto rico, julia keleher, anticipates the closure of at least 200 of the 1,300 public schools. >> there's too many buildings, ans.there's not enough stude at one point, we had 750,000 kids. so their buildings aren't filled to capacity.an that was part of the reason, why we're going through the consolidation. last year, we closed 167 schools to try and right size. >> reporter: adaut 20 schools ged in the storm are not expected to re-open, but the policy to close or combine schools starfore hurricane maria. it was part of an austerity package imposed on tand to counter its debt. edwin morales, head of the teteacher's union, was arr with other teachers as they broke into the education departmentcember to try to speak with secretary keleher. he says the storm is being used as a pretext to replace the public system with charter schools and introduce private investment to education. >> we are talking about vouchers, we are talking about charter schools, ware talking
about the possibility of firing teachers that... for us, as a union, doesn't help the island to recover. >> reporter: and recovery will be long. in the caguas slum of morales, damaged furniture and debris sits in corners. collapsed buildings remain. in this public school, teachers have not received any help. the community got it up and running again. they have relaxed the rules. uniforms are now optional, since some students don't have power or water in their homes. eight-year-oldy dreams of life in the u.s. mai >> ( translated ): there is a robberies, i want to leave. >> reporte notorious for drug trafficking gangs. principal amia ramirez says the school needs to stay open to offer kids opportunities and tools to stay aw from crime. >> ( translated ): i asked my
dad if we could leave puerto rico. he agreed and said we must go to michigan, because we relatives there. my aunty is there. >> reporter: when her house flooded, ashley lost her clothes and outfits that she wore in beauty pageants. she now walks around clutching a miniature rabbit she found, hoping it brings her good luck. in san juan, rocco's mother gini marxuach is also hoping for good luck, for rocco in florida. she stayed to continue her work as headmaster of an alternative education school she founded. >> after maria, we sat with the students, and they were very affected, too. >> reporter: the private school has managed to stay afloat through donations. t now, its future is also unclear. one-fifth of the students left after the hurricane, including >> it ally difficult because rocco is so helpful,t home.
r he's always there, whateu need. he's a happy, smart... ve, it was hard to just, i days, it was not something that we planned. soust, "okay, there. we're here."l so, it is strd because we talk a lot. we're a very close family. >> reporter: everyone here remembers what they were doing the day maria came. it was a birthday rocco won't forget. the family relocated to a small apartment in the capital and have put their home up for sale. the father, stephan marquez, a chef, says rocco may be far from home, but he knows how to cook puerto rican food. he has taught all of his boys well. rocco is staying with family friends in orlando, but is otherwise independent. he makes his own food, and got a car to drive to school. he's made new friends, including the catcher on his baseball
team. >> ( translated ): what i really miss is my family, sharing with em, seeing them every day, it is really tough to wake up and not see your mother in the kitchen. >> reporter: they say they all miss rocco too, but s ve high hopefor his new life on the mainland. it's a new realityhousands of families like theirs, which are now separated, and trying to move on. across from the balcony, aiant banner with the puerto rican flag says "fuerza", or "strength." for the pbs newshour, i'm monica villamizar in puerto rico. >> yang: to puerto rico's southeast he tiny island nation of antigua and barbuda, hardy the hurricanes, too. our frequent partners at the pulitzer center on crisis reporting recently traveled to barbuda, where a communal way of life faces the hard task of rebuilding.
you can watch and read about that on our website, www.pbs.org/newshour. >> yang: now, let's take a closer look at the deadly gang president trump has been highlighting in his effort to change immigration laws: ms-13. as we reported earlier, it was the topic of a white house meeting today. the trump administration says the gang has 10,000 members in 40 states. in a moment, william brangham gets a breakdown on what's known about ms-13. t first, from our colleagues at "frontline," an excerpt from a iring next tuesday, "the gang cra." >> in the state of the unide address, pre trump talked about the murder of two girls from long island by the torious ms-13 gang.
>> here tonight are two fathers and two mothers. their two teenage daughters, kayla cuevas and neesa mickens were close friends on long island. these two precious girls were brutally murderedle walking together in their hometown. six members of the savage ms-13 gang have been chargedith kayla and neesa's murders. tonight i am calling congress to finally close the deadly lop lop -- loopholes that have allowed ms-13 -- >> the murder has been used by immigration in its fight for tougher immigration policy. on september 26, 2016, the two girlacwere brutally attked next to an elementary school in redwood, long island. >> two girls fund dead in this t d neighborhood lght. >> i was in my den. i remember where i was sitting.
we first received a briefing sheet on it, because the injuries were so horrific that the first hyphesis was that it's a motor vehicle crash, hit and run. >> the victims were kayla q cuevas and neesa mickens. >> they were run over by oohicles. theyit to a level i don't any anybody was ready for. >> i justigured one was found in the street and the other behind some homes. there was no motive other than they might be known or be someds with members of other gang. >> they were looking to settle the score wit somebody. they didn't find that person. and then they encountered these girls. one of them had apparently taunted them on facebook, and so they killed edr, an they ki her friend just because she was there with her. this set off a chain reaction, because for the veryfi t time you're not seeing
rival gang members being murdered. that usually is what was happening. now you have twogi s viciously and senselessly beaten and murdered, and that when the suffolk county police went into overdrive. >> these two teenage girls, there is an active investigation. they're asking for the puic's help. >> relations between the immigration community and the suffolk county police have been fraught. >> there's a $5,000 award leading to an arrest. munity's helpe c would be challenging. >> the police department in suffolk county had created aat cle of fear. people in the country who were latino felt intimidated ihegoing to police. people were afraid to come forward. phaeople saidthey had been mistreated by the police and they were very frighten ted that rathn take their claim seriously shay would simply be dismissed or mbe suspected of being in a rival gang. >> four members of the ms-13
gang were charged in connection to the september slaying. >> it would take six months for the police the find the suspect killers. in morch law ement officials announced they had found them. among those arrested was a young salvadoran who wase of the leaders of a local subgroup of ms-13 known as a clique. they called themselves the westside slors. he went byhe alias "funny." >> most of the suspects arrested in these recent cases were in the country ially. >> for the ps two years ms-13 has been on a ram page on long island. law enforcement believes there are anywhere from 200 t 400 active ms-13 members and around a dozen cliques. >> brangham: so let's look a msttle more at what's known abou3, its origins and how this all ties to the politics of
immigration. jonathan b has been reporting on it for the "new yorker" magazine, and he joins me now. welcome the news hour. tell us, just how big of a problem is ms-13 nationwide? >> it is a problem.er s no denying it. i don't know how new it is of a problem. so the department of justice is estimated there are about 10,00 minutes of ms-13 living in the u.s. that number hasll essentiabeen steady over the last decade. so the number itself hasn'tow there have been cycles of violence, occasional spikes and ebbs in the violence, and there are all kinds of complexth factorse account for why that has been. at the current moment, we'rei defitely seeing a spike in violence, there's no question. but it's hard sometimes to assess theest ways o approach the gang because it's very sort of loosely organized. there are these sort of local clicks tha ttend presents themselves in individual community, but there isn't some sort of obvious nerve center goes if law enforceme after a certain leader there will be a kind of consequent
reduction in cr'sime. hard problem to combprat isely because the gang itself is so diffuse, so dopilyr ched in individual communities. >> brangham: it seems if you wanted to pick out an example to drive the push for tougher immigration law, they're almost e ideal boogieman. it makes sense why the presidents tal about them so ch. >> it's a talking point that writes itself from the anpresident's oint. the acts of violence, the acts themselves are horrific. victims are killed with baseball bats, machetes. they're gra gratuitous, heinouss of violence. if you're a president trying to push a law anorder message and try to yolk that to iigration reform, you have a problem generally becouse immigrant unities tend to see much lower levels of crime of communthan are full of american citizens. immigrants tend to commit crimes at aower rates thrican citizen, but this is one example where the crimes themselves are
kind ofutliers in terms of who the trend is, but the example is so dramatic and so bracing that they tend to dominate the debate rather than the actual facts. >> yang:. >> brangham: the president keeps talking about them as monsters and animals and talkabs t how our streets are running with blood because of them. whether this changes the debate or whether it changes actual federal immigration policy, what is the impact with regarded to gain? >> it's definitely making the gangs geronger jo str? >> yes. it's counter productive to demonize the gang in such a public way because the gang doesn't discenminate bet positive and negative publicity. the more teatening the gang sounds, the easier it is for them to recruit, to intimidate, to get away with cries because people are scared to report them. resident am: the out there ms-13, ms-13, they love that?
>> yeah. it helps them. at the same time it makes the victims of their criminal activity all the scared to come forward. for the most part the president only talks about these gang members as savages and victims as precious and beal people. what's striking about themo situation is of the victims tend to be immigrants themselves or the children of immigrants. so the president discriminates between the victims and the perpetrators of these crime, but he tars the entire immigrant community by using this talking point the way he does. people are legitimately scared to come forward. if you're undocume, you're coming forbard to report gang-relateed problems, but you don't know how themmigratn officials will respond. the crackdown on communities where gang members and victims live side by side, the crackdown is so indiscriminate, that a lot of victims are trapped between e gang violence on the one hand and immigration enforcement ly the other, and the president is larriving that wedge.
>> brangham: the president had said that ms-13 is a perfect example of why he wants to change the three main issues o immigrtion reform. he wants to build a wall. he wants to end family tgration, and he wants to get rid visa lottery. duds your reporting indicate whether any of those thingsul address the problem of ms-13? >> i'm glad you asked. it's a total bait-and-switch. no of those issues have anything to do with ms-13. the things the president is pushing in ter of reforming aspects of the legal immigration system, that's his own separate area of reform. the gang crime we're talking about has to do with mostly people who are living as undocumented immigrants already in the country. the gangs, as i said earlier, have existed in this country for and years. it began in this country. building a wall isn't necessarily going to prevent the gang from continuing to exist where it has since the 10s. and so he's kind of heaping all these things together. and then the idea is to create
such a sense of fear and anxiety about immigrant crime and about migrants generally that you'll feel like, okay, we have to buy into this broader reform but the reform agenda is not even notionally tailored to respond to this particular problem. >> brangham: john dhan -- jonathan blitzer of the "the new yorker" magazine, you can see all the reporting. there and on frontline you can see the report. it's called "the gang crackdown." f>> yang: aally tonight, we simply can't leave without a longer look at today's liftoff of a huge new cket from spacex. >> three, two, one.
qcathe world's most powerful ( cheers and applause ) >> yang: the world'spoost rful rocket, "the falcon heavy," took off from kennedy space center in florida. that's where nasa has long launched spacecraft from, but today, it was from the private company started by elon musk. at least two watching it on the company's livestream on youtube. our own science correspondent, and resident space expert, miles o'brien, is here, naturally. and of course, it's the focus of our weekly segment on "the leading edge" of science and technology. miles, welcome. let's get the serious stuff out t the way. what is the goal os effort? >> well, elon musk wants to go to mars and conize mars. that's the top line goal. this is one of the big, important steps along the way. but part of getting to mars and king that a practical idea is making it more easy to get to spac. and this is a lot cheaper.
it's a fraction of the cost of anything nasa has built. we used to s in thehuttle days, it was about $10,000 of pound of any pound of anything you put into space. elon musk is down to about $1,000 a pound. we're talking about an improvement on cost, anthat has to do with with the reusability of the boo sers. >> yan these boosters relanded after take-off? >> two madeit back. they landed in perfect sink nisty. it almost looked like animation. it was rather spectacular. those are fully reusable boothsers. the shuttle tried to reusability. but because of compromises in bullets along the way, it was onlierally reusable and ultimately an expensive craft to fly. >> yang: and elon musk, what is he using for a payload? >> sreenivasan: nasa probably would have put in bricks furht we he put in a tesla roadster with
a dummy sitting in the seat wite his arm onithin doe, and on the screen of the tesla, it says, "don't panic." david bowie playing, of course. you have to appreciate the cro marketing, tesla, his company, and number two, just the good, plain fun of it. >> yang: absolutely. onu covered the space program for a long, time. what was it like for you to watch this today? >> iurcaught me byise. i wasn't. there i couldn't get. there but just watching it, i really g emotional. i miss that event, seeing the shut lts launch from those that launchpad was where apollo 1 launched from. lots of history there. and there's something very moving and emotional about it. i gotnto covering space because it's one of the few events that binds us altogether in an uplifting way. a lot of things bring us together and bring our focus together in a negative way, but space has a way itofally and
figuratively taking us above the horizon. >> yang: and the beaches and the stands at kennedy space center full of people. >> it was reminiscenof the moon shots or the more celebrated shuttle launches where there were a huge amot of people on the beaches an the hotels sold out and the enthusiasm, and the enthusiasm of these young people. we have mission conol in hawthorne, california, for spacex, 20 somethings. it we minded me we got to the moon on the backs and thro oh the brai 20 somethings. it's a new generation. it's their grandkids. thch have taken the t they're carrying the torch. an hopefully they're taking us to mars. >> yang: and elon musk has already booked a commercial flight with this? two unnamed people, apparent ly unname people, that to say a lap around the moon using the "falcon heavy" as a way to get them there. stay tuned for that. i can tell you it's not me. but i'm available if spo number
three comes up. >> yang: there was -- people may not know this, but there was a journalist in space program, an you were supsed to be part of it or you may have been part of it? >> in my days at cnn we worked out a deal for me to fly on the shuttle to the international space station. unfortunately bi lost col right about the time we were going to announce, that and that was the end of that. so it's a long-held dream of mine to have reported from space. i'm tan, restednd ready. >> yang: so elon musk, if you're looking for the third, here he is. for a fourth, i'll carry your notebook. >> i'm in, brother, let's go. >> yang: great, miles o'briethanks a lot. >> you're welcome, john. >> yang: if you can't get enough ohour online right now, you can watch the full rocket launch. that's at pbs.org/newshour. and a news update before we go. s e house of representatis just approved a new short-term spending bill.
as we reported earlier, it would hund the federal government until ma 23rd and the defense department for tishe entirel year. the bill now goes to the senate. and that's the newour for tonight. i'm john yang. join us online, and again here tomorrow evening. all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you, and see yo. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been proved by: >> babbel. a language app that teaches real-life conversain 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. >> bnsf railway. >> consumer cellular. >> the ford foundation. working with visionari on the
frontlines of social change worldwide. >> carnegie corporation of new york. supporting innovations in education, democratic entgement, and the advancem of international peace and security. at carnee.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 yo pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc
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