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tv   PBS News Hour Weekend  PBS  March 10, 2018 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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captioning sponsored by wnet >> sreenivasan: on for saturday, march 10: new reactions to president thump's agreement to meet north korea. also, the plight of rohingya muslims still living in myanmar. and a new documentary on the secret life of an iconic hollywood actress. next on "pbs newshour weekend." >> "pbs newshour weekend" is made possible by: pernard and irene schwartz. the cheryl alip 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 barbara hope zuckerberg. corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual
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and group retirement products. that's why we're your retirement company. >> additional support has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station y from viewers li. thank you. from the tisch wnet studios at lincoln centein new york, ri sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: good evening and thank you for joining us. we are learning more the conditions president trump is demanding of north koresiahead of a pe face-to-face meeting with kim jong un. on twitter, president trtp pointed ouhat north korea has not conducted a missile test since last november and saysom they, "ed not to do so through our meetings." so far, north koreastate media has not even mentioned plans for a meeting between the two leaders. also on twitter, the rresident sharctions from other world leaders. after speaking with china's president xi jinping, the president said, "he appreciates that the u.s. is working to solve the problem diplomatically." after speaking with japanesemi primster shinzo abe, trump
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tweeted that abe was, "very enthusiastic about talks with rth korea." yesterday the white house said the meeting would not take place without, "concrete actions that match promises that have been made by noh korea." the u.s. and european union failed to reach an agreement on exemptions to new u.s. steel and aluminum tariffs today. commissionerade hoped to reach a deal on exemptions from the 25% steel and 10% aluminum tariffs ring her meetinthg wi top u.s. trade rep robert lighthizer. they are set to meet again next week. canada and mexico are currently exempt and australia is negotiating an exemption as well. lighthiz also met with top s panese officials who have voiced concerner the tariffs setting off a trade war. the tariffs are set to take effect in two weeks. the department of stice announced today plans to ban devices that allow rifles to fire like automatic weapons likely setting up a legal battle with gun manufacturers and pro-
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gun groups. in a statement, the justice department laid out its proposal ypto reclassify bump stock devices as machine guns, which are already banned under federal law. following the school shooting florida last month, president totrump pushed the d.o.j. egin the process of banning the devices, sidestepping congressional approval. bump stocks were used in last year's mass shooting in las vegas thateft 58 dead, but not the parkland high school massacre. investigators are working to determine why a former army rifleman and afghan war veteran killed three women who devoted their lives to helping traumatized vets. authorities say the gunman killed 48-year-old christine loeber, 42-year-old jennifer golick and 29-year-old jennifer gonzales during a standoff at california's pathway home, the largest veterans' home in the u.s. the gunman had been kicked out of a treatment program there. officers found his body yesterday, along with the three men, following a standoff that lasted about eight hours. we are learng more about th pentagon's plans for president trump's military parade.
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according to a pentagon memo sent to the chairman of the joint chiefs of staf washington, d.c. parade will highlight the contributions of vets throughout u.s. histluy, it will i several airplane fly-overs, but no tanks which uld damage roads. the memo didn't include the cost of the parade, but theprhite house haviously estimated it to cost between $10 and $30 million.be the parade ig planned for afterans day, which happens to be just five dayr the midterm elections. afghan state forces took heavy losses in a taliban attack in western farah province. soldiers were reportr ly preparing operation in loe bala buluk district. l officials say at least 15 soldiers died, including several members of afghanistan's special forces. this is just the latest in a surge of taliban attacks across afghanistan. meet one of the first openly transgender recruits to join the military on our website, pbs.org/newshour.
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when president trump accepted an invitation to meet with north korean leader kim jong un on thursday, his top diplomat was on the other side of the world. secretary of state rex tillerson is ofin the middle five country tour in africa, an already charged trip to boost relations aft president trump reportedly used a sl to refer to african nations in a meeting with u.s. lawmakers in january. josh lederman of the associated press has been traveling with tillerson and joins me now via skype from nairobi, kenya. so, today, interestingly enough, secretary tillerson is actually not out meeting people and not doing all the stuff because he got si . ter basically being up for two days straight taling the ni before with the north korea announcement that came out of the white house. the secretary was on the phone with the president in the middle of the night, and in ethopia is where we were at the time, and as result, he has really been pushing it to the max and they
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said he needed a day to get back up to speed >> sreenivasan: the secretary has said this meeting is just a meeting, it's not a negotiation. is there a distinction? >> the distinction that u.s. officials seem to be drawing is that you have talks initially, where you essentially build some rapport, some trust, see if you can even agree on basic terms have enough common ground to move forward togethe and then you proceed to the next step, negotiations, where you are actually saying, "all right, what e you willing to do? what are we willing to do? what kind of mechanisms would you even have to put in place that both side are complying, and can we actually reach an agreement on paper?" >> sreenivasan: how engagedta has sec tillerson been on this issue, also considering that there are lots of things at happen before a meeting, lots of lower level people go out and meet. in some cases, those positions f are not yetled in the state department. >> that's right, there's no u.so ambassador south korea.
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the special envoy to north korea, joseph yun, retired, and there are her key vacancies vacs that would be relevant to this.i lookerson was very involved in trying to put so many sanctions on north korheea thatwould be economically compelled to come to the table. but as far as the decision to have attacks or not have talks,h tillers often seemed at odds with the president, pushing for talks when the presi'tdent waand vice versa. and over the past few days it seems he's been ratively removed from the situation >> sreenivasan: and part of tillerson's mission on this tour is to me nice with african leaders who might still be holding a grudge about president trump's alleged comments. >> that's right. we've been asking about this at every stop that we've been in, in africa so far, and the u.s. officials really continue to say thissn't a huge issue, that african countries are ready to move on. but you caonfeel that tensin the air. the civil society groups, the human right groups, others in rica certainly not willing to just let that slide. and it seems to be tothe und for the whole trip >> sreenivasan: has the
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continent become more important to the united states, partly because of the increased amount of investments that china i >> china is-- that's been a rivalry with the united states, so to speak, on the continent is a huge issue. but, look, afric iisreasing the relevance of the united states for practical reasons. the population here is booming, expected to be much, much larger in the comingecades the economies here are growing very, ry fast. and the counter-interest rism threat has really started to shift from part of the middle east to afri, especially as the islamic statero g in iraq and syria near the defeat >> sreenivasan: all right, joshederman from the associated press joining us have sskype from nairobi, kenya. thanmuch. >> thanks a lot. >> sreenivasan: since last summer, nearly 700,000 minority rohingya muslims have fled myanmar to neighboring bangladesh, escaping attacks, executions and rape by
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government forces. the conditions for those who remain in the buddhi country are hard to know because the rohingya are isolated in areas where foreigners are mostly banned from traveling. "new york times" columni nicholas kristof slipped around inlice checkpoints and into remote ra villages in myanmar to document their plight. in a recent column, he describes the situation as a slow motion genocide, a massive humanitarian crisis that the rest of the i world is all bgnoring. i spoke with kristof at the "new york times" offices yesterday t learn more. you called this a slow motion genocide. homow >> originally, i call this an ethnic cleansing. but when you go and talk to the survivors and you hear about babnties being thrown bonfires, about young men and boys being systematically... ing their throats cut being shot, and then when that violence has subsided then to see pele being systematically denied medical care and in some areas systematically denied food, systematically denied
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humanitarian assistance, then i don't know what else to call that but genocide.a this iliberate policy aim to make the life of one ethnic group unlivable. sreenivasan: this is your fourth trip in four years. have you seen a change? >> originally, there was a lot of fear that this might blow up. well, then it... it did blow up. there was this r tebel grot began to attack burmese government installaons, and the result was this scorched earth response. and i think that in myanmar the decision was, we just can't accommodate the rohingya anymore; we need to drive them out and get d of them and solve this once and for all. the rohingya are confined to their villages or to a big, huge concentration camp, and they're not allowed toeave the villages for education, for jobs, for medical care. in some extreme circumstances,
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they can get permission and an escort to a medical center, but it'scult to get. and so, women who are pregnant end up dyichildbirth or they lose their babies and the kids can't go to school. and this is juar because they rohingya. >> sreenivasan: one of the people t column was a woman who had just given birth. tell us about it. >> this is a woman called sono wara. she's 18-years-o. this is her first pregnancy. she's carrying twins. it's a high-risk pregnancy. but because the rohingya in this village are not lowed to leave to get medical care, there's a traditional birth attendant who tries to help her deliver. she delivers, and... and both babies die unnecessarily. >> sreenivasan: what's the role been of aung sang suu kyi? >> aung sang suu kyi was one of my heroe and to see her now become complicit in this genocide against the rohingya is
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heartbreing. i think, in retrospect, that we gave her too much credit for being in favor of human rights broadly of the burmese people. in fact, i think she was something of a burma nationalist all along. and i think also that she fundamentally became a politician. and one of the problems is that the old political split in burma was between the military and democracy. that has chaed. so now, it's essentially about how much you hate muslims. and so, for any politician, there's a fear that if they are soft on the rohingya, they will be hurt politically. i think that suu kyi sees that. she's an opportunist, and she is afraid of being pelyeived as frieo the rohingya, speaking up for them. d so, she's now a part of this.
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>> sreenivasan: you also mentioned when it comes to hating specific groups that there are active disinfognation campaithere, and social media is being used to rile people up. >> i think i and a lot of people thought that, you know, internet comes to a country, social media, this frees people from the tyranny of government control of information. and it does. but facebook brought with it these vicious anti-muslim propaganda campaigns that were... photos are shown purportedly of the rohingya slaughtering buddhists. and they are spread around, and they're used to create hatred and to foster a broad desire among many, many burmese that they need to get rid of the rohingya. >> sreenivasan: i know there have been attempts in the u.s. congress to do something about it, but why the inaction right
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now? >> i think part of the problem is that right now the trp administration is not terribly interested in human rights around the world. it has its own focuses. and that we in the media who ngrmally would be highligh these kinds of issues, we're now enormously distracted by president trump himself and there isn't really much of a business mod in journalism for covering these kinds of stories. rsd without coverage, these kinds of crises peist. >> stoenivasan: nick kr thanks so much joining us. >> good to be with you. >> sreenivasan: hedy lamarr was one of the most iconic actresses of her day, knowfor her great beauty and said to be the inspiration for catwomannd snow white. but there was a part of her life that almost no one knew about.ur it out, hedy lamarr was also a brilliant inventor. a erw documentary film about
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life opened widely in theaters across the nation this ek and will air may 18 on "american masters" on pbs. newshour weekend's megan thompson spoke recently to alexandra dean, the director of "bombshell: the hedy lamarr story." >> reporter: tell us, who was hedy lamarr? >> hedy larr was a jewish child who was born in austria in the shadow of the first world war. and then, she became extraordinarily beautien she was about, you know, i'd say ten, 11 years old. and that kind of swept her away. she became an actress, and she flees to the united states and convinces louis b. mayer to make her his next great star on the silver screen. so, she becomes, you know, a huge... the angelina jolie her day and does all of these films with spencer tracy, gable, jimmy stewart. >> reporter: that was the public het dy lamarr. was the private, unexpected lamarr who director alexandra dean found far more compelling. >> inventing was her h.
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she not only had a complete inventing table set up in her house,ut howard hughes gave her a small version of the set of equipment which she had in the trailer where she stayed in between takes and her moon pictures. >> we don't know everything that hedy invted, but we know that during the second world war she teamed up first with howard hughes, who was a great inventor himself. he was trying to create the fastest airplane in the world at that time. >> i thought the aeroplanes were too slow. i decided that's not right. they shouldn't be square, the wings. so, i bought a book h, and i bought a book of birds. and tn, i used the fastest bird and connected it with the fasted fish and then drew it together and showed it to howard hughes. and he said, "you're a genius." >> you did? s yeah. >> reporter: s had no formal training in engineering or chemistry or anything like that?
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she was just naturally gifted? >> this is the amazing thing about hedy lamoor. she left swhen she was 15 years old to become an actress. she loved chemistry. we know that. >> she invented during that peod a tablet that would fizz up and make a cola. >> i had two chemists that howard gave me to do that. t you know, duri war, nobody had coca-cola, and i wanted to compress it into a cube so that servicemen and factory people, all they had to have was water and put it in. during the second world war, there was this chokehold around england of nazi u-boats, and it felt like it was the end of the war. it felt like it was the turninna point and this were going to win because we couldn't get any supplies to england. >> reporter: nazi submarines kept eluding t allies' attacks because the germans were very good at hacking-- or jamming-- the radio signals that guided the allies' torpedoes. >> what hedy lamarr came up with was a radio signal between a ship and a torpedo that couldn't
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be hacked, tt couldn't be jammed. >> reporter: rather than sending radio communications on just on frequency as was normally done, laame up with the idea of making the signal leap from frequency to fququency. >> fcy hopping. you couldn't jam it because you'd only jam a split second of it in a single frequency. sen frequency change, frequcy hop, frequency hop, frequency hop. that concept, secure radio communica >> and that basic idea of frequency-hopping became part of what's known as spread spectrum. spread spectrum is what's in all of our technogy today. i mean, bluetooth is probably the most purely similar to whatr hedy lr invented. and wi-fi, too. t spread spectrum is in a huge amount of inventions that we use on a daily basis >> reporter: lamarr had a patent on the technology, but it was confiscated because she was an austrian immigrant and considered an "enemy alien."
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she was never compensated for her invention, which the film estimates to be worth around $30 billion today. >> when we began making this film, you know, some scientists said to me, "she was probably a spy. you know, she probably stole this invention from the nazis and brought it to the allies as a spy. and we just don't reit now, but doesn't that make a lot more sense to you than this movie star coming up with this incredible invention?" i mean, serious scientists said that to me at the beginning of my research, and i really had to coeront that assumption in film. >> reporter: part of what fueled those assumptions was that lamarr had almost never spken blicly about her invention. n e'd never really taken credit for her rk. >> and so, i realized i had nothing really of her own record. eand we really started sh leather reporting and figuring out thathere were about 75 people alive today that could possibly have something on hedy lamarr, and just systematically going down that list. and when we got to this guy, fleming meeks, who had written this article about her in 1990,
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he picked up the phonehe said to me, "i have been waiting 25 years for you to call me!" >> it's embarrassing. behind that blue trash can. i've had stuff stowed there, and i moved it out of te way, and th was. >> it turned out he had tapes that basically told the whole of hedy lamarr's story, and they had never seen the light of day. >> yes, this is fleming meeks at "forbes." >> oh, thank you so much for the roses! >> oh, you're very welcome. >> i love them! the brains of the people are more interesting than the looks, i think. then, people have the idea that i'm sort of a stupid thing. >> reporter: what was thatm ent like for you as a filmmaker? >> i think i cried when i first heard hedy's voice. >> i was different, i guess. maybe i came from a different planet. who knows? ( laughter ) but whatever it is, inventions are easy for me to do. >> reporter: how did hedy lamarr's life end? >> hedy withdrew from the world
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ad t the her life. she really felt misunderstood. part of it was a shoplifting arotst, which she may or may have been guilty of. and part of it was the she had this really unfortunastic surgery at the end of her life to try and shore up eauty. she was so withdrawn by the time she started to get recognized for invtion that she never came out publicly and accepted any claim for it. people a me all the time if hedy lamarr's life was a tragic life to me, and i don't think it was, fennily enough. hough she did have this really dark period, at the end of her life, she really examined what she'd been through, and she came o with some wisdom. and the reason we know that is she would call her children and leave them these long m asages on thewer phones, which they would record. and on one of her answer phone messages, we found her really trying to tell her son the message of her life through this poem. >> give the world the best you have, and you'll be kicked into the teeth. gwoive thd the best you've got, anyway. >> and in the poem, she's saying to him, "you know, you might
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feel kicked in the teeth. you might feel that the world never understands you or applauds y for your greatest achievements. but you know what? do it anyway. do it anyway because it's in the doing this great thing that will change the world that you will find the meaning of your life." s
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captioninsored by wnet captioned by upmedia access gt wgbh access.wgbh.org >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: bernard and irene schwartz. the cheryl and philip milstein family. sue and gar wachenheim, iii. dr. p. roy vagelos and diana t. vagelos. the j.p.b. foundation. the anderson family fund. rosalind p. walter barbara hope zuckerberg. corporate funding is providbyed utual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we're your retirement company. additional support has been eprovy: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by
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tcontributionour pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. be more. pbs. be more.
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