tv PBS News Hour PBS November 12, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc g >> woodrufd evening, i'm judy woodruff. : the newshour tonight, california burnie death toll rises as multiple massive wildfires rage across ate. then, several key midterm election races remain undecided. we havthe latest on recounts in florida, lawsuits in georgia and an expandingemocratic lead arizona. plus, a report on the challenges oferoviding mental health c in liberia following an ebola outbreak in the long aftermath of a brutal civil war. >> we'd go to meetings and people would acknowledge that psychosocial support is important. but mostly they were thinking about how to get mattresses and buckets and those kinds of things to people and food, very ant, but not about how y nddress the problems of the
mi? >> woodruff: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour. bs>> major funding for the newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> consumer cellular understands that not everyone need unlimited wireless plan. our u.s.-based customer service
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>> woodruff: the deadly wild fires in california continue to wreak destruction today. thousands of acres are burning in more than a dozen active s fires across tte. a total of 31 people are known to have died and more than 200 people are still unaccounted for. mary maccarthy of feature story news is on the ground and starts with is report. >> reporter: the scene in radise, california is apocalyptic. the camp fire has left a deadlag trail of wrethrough the northern california town, just five days after it started burning. >> there werpeople literally wnrning in their cars, running he street abandoning their vehicles, dying on the road. it was just utter, it was just utter panic. >> reporter: and the state's tost destructive fire in h could still do more damage.
across the state, more than 8,000 firefighters are battling flames amid wind gusts of up to al miles per hour. in tot, some 224,000 people have been displaced. the camp fire began thursday morning and decimated the town of paradise and it's burning near the 90,000 people of chsoo. al media video captured the arenzied scenes as residents soedise. the 27,000n town has largely been incinerated. husks of c to homes reduced to rubble. one survivor described the ugments as the fire tore wa >> ijust a shower of hot embers, part of my sleeve and east, the wind was blowing really heavily and it was spot firing aheadf the fire. >> reporter: efforts to find missing loved ones are underway. ten search crews are scouring paradise and the surrounding towns. deyave found more bodies in
the ashes, using.a. experts to identify the dead. more than 20people remain e accounted for. part of that maycause those missing have not been able to get in touch with loved ones, but the death toll is still expected to rise. in southern california, the woolsey fire continues to grow and wreak havoc. it began thursday afternoon and has spread into parts of los angeles and ventura counties. firefighters are battling gusty conditions as the powerful santa ana winds fan the flames. officials forced evacuations in thousand oaks, where last week a gunman killed 12 people and himself at a country-western bar. >> it's devastating. it's like welcome to hell. e don't even know what to say. it's like wel walking around kind of in a trance. >> reporter: the fire has also ravaged the seaside town of molibu where multi-million dollar houses and bile homes in the hills have been destroyed.
>> i'm surrounded i fire right don't know what to do. >> reporter: one resident captured flames swallowing her mali neighborhood as she fle malibu and nearby calabasas are under mandatory evacuation orders and authorities have urged residents to be prepared for new blazes. >> these are extreme cditions. if there's a fire in your neighborhood, do not wait for an evacuation order, leave. >> reporte two new fires also broke out today near the woolsey fire, shutting down california highway 118. with the flames ly partially contained across the state, california governor jerry brow has declared a state of emergency. re said these fires represent a neity for the state, with cnger and more devastating fire seasons e. >> this is not the new normal, this is the new abnormal. and this new abnormal will continue, certainly in the next 10 to 15 to 20 years.
and unfortunately the be science is telling us that dryness, warmth, drought, all those things, they're going to intensify. es>> reporter: he has requted federal funds to fight the fires and rebuild the damaged areas. over the weekend though, president trump appeared to blame the state governnt's response to the fires. n a tweet, he wrote: "there is no rear these massive, deadly and costly forest fires ma california except that forest gement is so poor." california recovered from a five-year drought two years ago, nditions across the stat remain dry and windy, ripe for e ldfires. authorities say mbination of drought, rising temperatures om climate change and the construction of homes deeper into forest areas will only make things worse. gusty conditions and low humidity conditions are expected across the state through tuesday. >> woodruff: and mary maccarthy joins us now.
so, mary, tell us exacere you are right now, and give us a sense of the scene there. >> reporter: so where i'm standing now, judy, is a residential subdivision in oak park outside of los angeles, and is what're seeing here we're seeing across the region is you have suburban homes built into these beautiful rolling hills that the region is known for, and the fire has come in and sort of skipped and jumped across the neighborhood, and you hod up with scenes like this, a fes scattered throughout the neighborhood that are entirelydecimated, burned to the ground. a very difficult situation. speaking to neighbors, in this particular neighborhood, we learned that this, in fact, is the home of a firefiger. he was at home, in the neighborhood, putting out fires at homes around him when the fire broke out in his own home. fortunately, he was able to grab his wife, their pets and get out on time to safethiy. atpoint, he is out there with the thosands of other
california firefighters, ak.hting the blazes as we s >> woodruff: mary, you were talking earlier today with the red cross helping with evacuation. what if they told you? >> that's right. i would just add one to have the evacuation centers set up at a local recreation center in the mediate emerncy response, the first night, they had about 250 evacus. they said the numbers have been going down slowly as people have been able to go their family's homes or homes of loved ones. at this point, they're moving into phase two of the response, which is taking thue evacees still there, many senior citizens and putting them into longer-term accommodations. at this case add california theran university whic offered a place where they have showers and more basic comforts that people need when they have been pushed out their homes. >> woodruff: mary, we know, i a terrible coincidence, this is where the awfulhooting at bar and dance club was in
thousand oaks last week. they're dealing with a double tragedy. >> where i'm standing is close to 2000 oaks. some of the people have have been able to evac were were in thousand oaks, and there were reports of families directly affected by the shootings either losing their loved ones or people still in the hospital, they are, in fact, out of a home.lt a very diffiituation. some of the funerals, at this point, have been postponed. so it's just an unimaginable situation for the residents of thousand oaks.e >> woodruff:ertainly wish them the very best. mary mccarth thank you so much. and for a closer look at the terrible fire toll in the northern part of the state, sheriff kory honea of butte county joins us by phone. sheriff honea, so manyeople displaced, all the death there. what is your main task now? >> well, from a law enforcement errspective and from a coron perspective because i'm also the
county coroner, we are first preparing ourselves in the event we need to evacuate additional areas, this fire is still going on, so we haaw enforcement officers here that would help with that. once the area isvacuated, of course, then we have law enforcement officers remaining there tourovide srity, to prevent, hopefully, anybody from getting in there and engaging in looi o. then, on ter side of that, many, many people have been displaced. we are receiving a lot of reports from people who can noti friends or loved ones, and, so, we're investigating those as a missing persons. that's a pretty daunting task, given how big this particular situation is. in addition to that, we are in the process of going into the burned-out areas ander recovg human remains that perished in the fire. e> woodruff: and the process of identifying tho remains, how are you dealing with that?
>> so that is a difficult process, made more difficult bya th that many of these , ople succumbed to the fire. in some case have badly-burned bodies. in those cases, if there are fingerprints still available, we ght use fingerprints to identify them. we can also use dental records. if that'not possible, we would look to use dna. in other case, the fire was so intense that all we have is skeletal remains or bones, and wells believe there is a high likelihood that some of the remains may have been completely consumed by the fire. >> woodruff: it's just almost impossible to imagine how horrible. how are you going about trying to reunite people with theirve ones? >> we have got people dispersed all over. we have a good number of them in
shelters. beyond that, there were a lot of people that didn't go toel rs and they either went with friends and family, some t hotels in other locations. so it has been a difficult task. we are working to try to do that. we are asking people ty're missing a friend or a family member to contact our office and we'll provide some numbers so you can perhaps put thatp. we ask that they contact us and then we are cr cking ousystem to see if we can locate them. we'reou checkin-- with the local shelters, trying to get information from t local shelters, and we're also asking those people of the program to utilize their own networks to try to locate them if they do let us kno >> woodruff: are there any good stories you're able to find? arpyou able to reunite ple? >> we are. although i don't have that specific number in front of me, but we have been able to find people and make sure that th
were accounted for and reunite them, and that is a really ufsitive thing. >> woo and do you have enough help, do you have enough to your office and adjacent sheriff's officeo the work that you need to get done? >> well, certainly my office is not big enough to take this own. it's unprecedented, given what we're dealing with at this poin we're pace to be the most deadliest fire in the history of california. so i've reacuthedthrough the california law enforcement system and as a result, i have law enforcement officers, search and rescue members, coroners spams, a whole host of ialties and disciplines that have come throughout california to assist me. >> woodruff: sheriff kory honea dealing with whaounds like an almost unsurmountable job, but you're certainly outting the help you need and we wishhe very best. thank you. >> thank you, i appreciate it.
>> woodruff: in the day's other news, president trump claimed that "an honest vote count is no longer possible" in florida's governor and senate races. he tweeted "many ballots are missing or forged," and said republicans rick scott and ron desantis, who both have slim erads, should be declared the wi he provided no evidence for his claim. meanwhile, in georgia remains too close to call. and in arizona, democratyrsten sinema maintains a narrow lead in the state's senate contest. we'll take a closer look at the pcounts after the news summary. stocmmeted on wall street today, after apple, amazon, and other tech companies suffered ineep losses. the dow jonestrial average plunged 602 points to close at 25,387. the nasdaq fell 206 points, and the s&p 500 slipped 54. israeli air raids in the gaza strip killed at least three palestinians today. they came less than 24 hours after an israeli undercover operation killed a hamas commander and six othe
palestinians. the strikes are the latest in what's becoming a back-and-forth between israel and gaza. an israeli military spokesman said at least 200 retaliatory palestinian rockets targeted israel today. a hamas spokesman blamed israel for the escalation. >> (anslated ): the israeli enemy struck a pivotal point for all the regional and international parties that were seeking to strengthen the cease- sre and to end the crisis in the gaip. the israeli enemy isn't interested in a calm and it's not interested in an end to the gaza strip blockad the israeli occupation is the one responsible for these stupid actions. the palestinian resistance will never abandon its duty in making israeli occupiers pay the price for all these crimes and foolish ufts. >> woo israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu cut short his visit to the world war i commemorations in paris to address the escalating conflict. there's word north korea is operating 16 secret ballistic
missile bases, in spit ongoing nuclear negotiations. that's accordingr o the center rategic and international studies. the u.s. think tank published sallite images of the one showed a nuclear base about 50 miles north of the demilitarized zone. the evidenes contradicts ent trump's claim that the north is eliminating its nuclear programs. back in this country, catholic bishops delayed a votew ways to combat sex abuse in the church. oney had gathered for a na conference in baltimore, and were expted to consider a number of proposals, including a new code of couct. but the vatican requested they postpone any action until february, when it convenes a worldwide meeting of church leaders. americans observed veterans day today, honoring the men and women whve served in uniform. annual festivities were held across the country, like at th parade in mansfield, texas. yesterday, veterans affairs
secretary robert wilkie marked the occasion with a wreath- laying at arlington national cemetery. and the federal government has updated its exercise guidelines for the first time in a decade. icognizing the childhood obesity problenow recommends children as young as three be active. the guidelines used to begin at age six.op it also es that adults get at least 2.5 hours of exercise weekly, and avoid sitting for a prolonged period of time. only 20% of americans are currently getting enough exerse. still to come on the newshour: the results of several key midterm election races remain in question. an interview with a representative-elect on the .mocrats retaking the hou tackling mental illness in the wake of ebola ravaging liberia, and much more.
>> woodruff: nearly a week after election day 2018, the are still votes uncounted and races left to call. the drama over who won and lost will stretch into a second week. lisa desjardins brings us up to speed. >> desjardins: these are the sights and sounds of a high- stakes recount: an election center buzzing with staffers, scanning machines gobbling up piles of ballots, and in florida, no less, evoking memories of chads and undervotes and the state's weeks-long post- election drama in 2000. this year's machine recount of eight million ballots was ordered saturday, in three dead- heat statewide races, including the race for governor, between republican ron desantis and democrat andrew gillum, as well as the race for u.s. senate, between publican rick scott and democrat bill nelson. santis was leading in th
unofficial tally for the governor's race, and in this saturday was already laying the groundwork for a desantis administration: since the election a few days ago we have begun our transition efforts to build an administration tt can secure florida's future. with the election behind us, it's now time to comther as a state as we prepare to serve all floridians. >> desjardins: but that same day, gillum, who had conceded on election night, said hs taking it back. >> let me say clearly. i am replacing my words of concession with an uncomprised and unapologetic call that we count every single vote, that we count every vote. i say this recognizing that my fate in this may or may not change. >> desjardins: they're in a recount because of how narrow desantis's lead ended up being after the unofficial count, about four-tenths of one
percent. scott's lead in the senate race over nelson is even narrower, and now litigation is involved. results from the machine recount .n florida are due by 3:00 p.m. thursd if it is still close there could be a hand recount of some ballots. on the other side of the country, arizona officials have said there won't be a complete initial count in thee race there until thursday. democrat kyrsten sinema has asl ht lead over republican martha mcsally. and georgia, republican bri ffmp is still in position to avoid a ruor governor ouainst democrat stacey abrams. the deadline fories to certify is 5:00 p.m. tomorrow. t abrams filed a lawsuit sunday asking to extend that deadline, arguing not all potential votes have been vett and counted. and there is one lasunresolved senate election: mississippi republican cindy hyde-smith is defending her senate seat in a run-off race a video emerged this weekend,
showing hyde-smith praising a supporter by saying, "if he invited me to a public hanging, i'd be on the front row." her democratic opponent, mike espy, who is black, called the remark "reprehensible." in a statement, hyde-smith said it was "an exaggerated expression of regard" and called the idea of a negative connotation "ridiculous." the mississippi runoff is in just over two weeks. for the pbs newshour, i'm lisa desjardins. >> woodruff: one race that was decided last tuesday: viinia's 7th congressional district- where former c.i.a. case officer abigail spanberger defeated two- term republican congressman dave br, . the distri suburban richmond, has not been held by a bmocrat for nearly 50 years. spanberger will althe first woman to represent the district. and she joins me now. congratulations. >> thank you very much. >> woodruff: i have to say, many of us saw the photograph from the election night, your
victory speech, it was a picture of you speaking with your 4-year-old daughter crawling on the floor between your feet, i t guess that symbol of the juggling act you and others will be doing. yes, absolutely. she was so excited. dt was funny. i i co hear my husband calling for her, katherine, katherin but she was beyd excited that we had won, so -- >> woodruff: so you beat conservative david brat, he had knocked to off a prominent numberf a leading member of the house of republicans. what's' changed? >> first and foremost is the way we campaigned. we got out in the community. for me it was such a priority to be accessible. for so long, that had been the criticism of my predecessors is they weren't accesible. we started with meet and greets in people's living rooms a dining rooms to talk to voters about the important issues to
them and that's how c weducted the entire campaign. i was president across the counties, meeting voters, talking about the issues, from the beginning to the urnd of campaign where the focus was. >> woodruff: so accessibility, more than posion on th issues. i mean, you're not nearly as conservative as he. >> that's true. i was talking about the issues. when you're accessible and listening to people, you have a chance to heas r what'portant. in our district like so many across the country, the number one issue people wanted to talk about was healthcare, cost of prescription drug prices and premiums, so that wasthe issue we were talking about. in our district, we have infrastructure issues like lack of broadband infrastructure in some of the rural counties, people were concerned about educational opportunities that exist for their children and i made that my priority. we have been restricted recently, there are shifting l,graphics, but i think,
overhere's been a shift in penalty getting engaged in the political ence. we had over 500,000 people registered to volunteer with our campaign and that's what drove us. >> woodruff: you mentioned prescription drug prices, getting the prices down, building infrastructure, you also talked about campa reform. >> that's right. >> woodruff: finance reform. are there things you think the other side, republicans, president trump are prepared to work with you on? >> i would hope so. voters, healthca is the numbe one issue. i've heard that from solidly blue districts to districts who were tosup districts and i think really wrapping our hands ound the issue of prescription drug prices and the rising cost of premiums and the instability that exists inthe healthcare market is something that there's a mandate from voters for us to get together on this issue and i think voters are tired of seeing
pele in washington bicker across partisan lines because the bottom line is there are republicans who can't afford prescriptions the same as democrats. it's something that if we'reth trying to mee needs of the american people, it's something both paroes should try t find common ground on. >> woodruff: one of the things to resolve is who is gog to be the leader of the democratic party in the house. you said you are not prepared to support nancy pelosi for speakean you said youa leader who can represent the full house, make progress for the american people. my question is who can fill that job not nancy pelosi? who is it? name one or two peope. >> i have tremendous respect for everything nancy pelosi has done as a representative r the district, as a prior speaker of the house and leader of the democratic party, but what we needed in washington and nat we've had is we've had a shift voices arriving in washington at the lowest levels and i think at the highest level we also need a shift in the direction of the conversation and that starts with changing
the people who are directing thatonversation. terms of who would actually be next in line, no one stepped foard at this point in time saying they're going to run lainst her, so that makes that questionttle bit harder to answer i think in a vibrant house of representatives and a vibrant democratic party, there should be strong people who could step forward and who could usher in a new era as we're pivoting with all of these new members coming in. >> woodruff: but you're just days away from having a vote on this, having to figure it out,ar there no names out there you would be prepared to support inh >>e not been made aware of anyone spending to run art from leader pelosi. >> woodruff: so another point you madein this -- after the election, you said democrats shouldn't appear to be too espartisan. i my question is you think you shouldn't stand -- this is a president who is know for using very tough rhetoric, going right for the jugular.
in talking about democrats, are u saying turn the other cheek? what should the approach be? an i think it's the difference between offensiv defensive. i think when we're looking at trying to solve probl tems, we netalk about the issues impacting our districts as issues that impact the american people, likerescription drug costs and other related issue w. whre talking about upholding american values and who it is we a as a people, that doesn't necessarily have to be partisan. i think one of the things in ou district people are very tired of is the lack oif clity and decency in politics and i think it's incredibly important we thd up for our ideals, against attacks on the free press, freedum of expression freedum for people to be who they are and certainly attacks on the intelligence community and all the things we've seen in this shifting world that we're in, ot it doesn't always have to be
an outsourthem, it has this is who we are and we should stand up for it versus democra versus democrats. it should be american values we standing up for us. at this point, a lot of the voices are democrats, but turning everything into a partisan battle is i think where cert on groups start to sh and it becomes less effective. >> woodruff: what about investigating the president and ethical alleged misdeeds on the part of the president, his family members, th administration, where do you stand on that? pathe democrats say that' of this new congress. >> congress has a variety o responsibilities, legislating those in their district and being checkscend balanon the executive branch. it's a role every member of congress should bey red reddo play. in terms of particular discussions related to investigations forward or be suggested, the question is what's the goal and i think ithe goal
understanding something that happens so we can avoid it from happening again? is il uphong the rule of law? all of those are associates of questions i thinwe need to be, as democrats and the majority, ready to answer, because i think the mostal detrimehing would be if it looks as though we're being hyperpartisan i our efforts t to potentially pursue any investigations as opposed to being driven by a desire to uphold the rule of law, being driven by a sire to ensure particular things don't occur again such as potential russian meddling in our elections, things like that. >> woodruff: doesn't sound like you're ready to impeach the president. >> i have not yet been presented with descriptions of impefeachae es, so not yet, no. >> woodruff: congresswoman elect abigail spanberger from virginia, thank you very much for talking with us. >> thank you very much for having me.
>> woodruff: as we've reported, are still being tallied from last week's midterm election, but democrats picked egup more than 30 seats ton control of the house of representatives. john yang has more on the lessons of the 2018 midterms. cr yang: judy, were they the blue wave des hoped for? ked will the new majority look he voters that helped elect them? am's time for politics monday witha keith of npr, and stuart rothenberg of inside elections. welcome to you both. tuesday night, the story line quickly developed that this was not the night that democrats had hoped for, that the blue wave, some refer to as a blue ripple. tammics a week out from election edy, we've seen more races casome margins narrow. tha-- what do it look like? >> the initial hot takes are not so hot after a few days and whas it looike is -- and
president trump came out and declared victory and is now, well, it's even clearer the democrats picked up a lot of seats. there are still several races that are nlot cd yet still outstanding. at the moment a.p. has it at 32 seats flipped, but there are nany more outstanding, especiallyalifornia, and the important thing to keep in mind is that, yes, election night is a big night, it's a big night onelevision, but the vote counting is slow and arduous, especially in states like california where they have a lot of vote by ma even if it says 100% of 'secincts reporting, that not 100% of votes counted. ir reporter: tuesday night, stu, i remember fy early in the night you tweeted out, so what's with all this hammering? >> that's right, i think the narrative didn't change two or cthree days after the etion. i think it changed two or three hours after the votes started
being counted, actually. you know, i understand why democratseedemocrats w fully inn the texas senate race and the florida's governor's race and th g georgiaernor's race, and amy mcgrath didn't do so well in kentucky, but once we got into a large number of districts what were competitive, it was very clear we had a wave. between 35 and 40 seats flipping is wave. a national elavtion is a. it's not a cherry-picked election where aistrict here and there flipped. there were significant upsets in oklahoma, south carolina's first congressional district. so we had a wave. people attempt to jump the gun, they're emotional and invested in the races but we had a good democratic wave. >> reporter: the georgia gave, florida gave still up in the air, the president saying votes being discovered in florida, being turned up, he really seems to be challenging the legitimacy
of this. what do you make of that? >> i think it's ver consistent for the president. he really doesn't care about procss. 's all into outcomes and how the outcomes affect him and how he plays in the outcome. many of us think that process is actually more important than the outcome. if you don't get the process right, you can't get the outcome right, so i think it's what you see with donald trump is what you get. this is very consistent along the way with the kavanaugh testimony, the rigged elections. he's alway undermining the system when it benefits him and i expect him to continue that. >> yeah, and the thing about the president is the first election that he was probably really truly inveted in the result is 2016, and that election ended at the end f the night or very drly the next morning, and this election is -- itid not end. there are 435 house racs and 35 senate races and all of these governor's races, and t
minutia of the election process is not ptty all the time. close elections get a little bit messy. the process has a lot o technicalities and things that, if you haven't been paying close ustention, come off as weird or suspichat aren't. >> i would just add one thing, the more we have mail elections, il balloting, absentee ballots and the like, the moth complicate process will be. i remember we tweeted the other day, maybe the pres to understand how the mail works. me's a slow process. let the votes n and you've got to count them. that's the way it is. >> and to match theignatures on the absentee ballots. >>eporter: talk about the erw voices coming into the house, the leaip, at the top levels, the leadership team that aears to be headed to remain has been there about a decade, the three top leaders in
the late 70s, isr te going to be a challenge for the democrats, the public face of the party as we approach 2020? >> certainly if the leadership stays exactly the way it is, i can picture te rnc e-mails that are probably headed to my iox already talking about the leadership not reflecting the broader american public and, also, yie rnc e-mails ng what about all those democrats who said they weren't going po vote fosi and now they do? one argument you have been hearing a lot in the last 48 hours or so is you' ct replace something with nothing, and til someone steps forrd for the democrats to challenge, pelois sort of nascent effort that's out there with members trying to together a mevement, it's pretty hard if the mo doesn't have a leader. >> stu? erll, i think the young democrats and mo recent
democrats need a voice. the speaker cliburn is an african-american, and this is a party that has tried to be diverse and there's no question, so 18 to 35-year-olds, they would be more comfortable in seeing younger mbers, doesn't even have to be in the form of leadership, john. these are people who speak for party and are invold in tv interviews and things like that. i think that would be helpf for democrats because the leadership should, in many ways, reflect the party but, also, they should reflect the country, actually. >> and beyond the top, three democrats have a lot of leadership positions in the house, so nancy pelosi said she sees herself as a transitional speaker. they have had farm team issues where the people in the lower ranks of the leadership ended up leaving, hike attorney general of california. so there is something for
democrats to figurout. >> tamera keith, stu rothenberg, thank you very much. >> thanks, john. >> woodruff: stay with us, beming up on the newshour: nd the scenes look at the new movie about gay conversion, "boy erased." and remembering one of the creators of "spider man." but now, an ebola outbreak is emain killing people, this time in theratic republic of congo; more than 200 are confirmed dead, and officials call it the worst-ever outbreak in the nation's history. rl comes more than two years since the health organization declared an end to the ebola virus that killed 11,000 people in three west african countrie sierra leone, guinea, and liberia. but the end of that outbreak brought a new struggle for survivors: mental illness. and unlike the response to
ebola, this crisis attracts far less attention. in partnership with the pulitzer center, newshour special correspondt molly knight raskin reports from liberia. >> reporter: here in rural liberia, mental illnesses are considered a curse. and caring for people who suffer from the most serious of these illnesses, from depression to schizophrenia, is often left to traditional healers who resort to the only treatments they know. >> this is an african handcuff. whenever he tries dealing with itntally ill patients who is so ed and could harm anybody, as you can see, you put your foot here, and he nails it. >> reporter: mental illness is widespread in liberia, a country deeply traumatized by clong, brutalil war that ended in 2003. it's estimated the conflict left more than 40% of liberia's four
million people with post aumatic stress disorder. health experts say the 2014 ebola outbreak compounded that trauma. >> separation, grief, loss, trauma. you might not see them, but they're there. >> reporter: janice cooper is a psychologist with the atlanta- based carter center who led the mental health response to ebol in liberia. she says ebola proved the global arhealth community is unpr to deal with psychiatric emergencies. >> we'd go to meetings and people would acknowledge that psychosocial support is important. but mostly they were thinking about how to get mattresses and leckets and those kinds things to peop and food, very important, but not about how you address the problems of the mind? >> reporter: dr. vikram patel is a professor at harvard university and an expert on global mental health. >> in many parts of the world mental health problems are already amongst the leading causes. not just of disability and poor
quality of life but actually of death as well. >> reporte that's because til recently, treating mental health conditions in resource- , or countries was considered a luxue that required access to medication and mental health professionals. >> there are solutions. but one has to put on a certain set of glasses that allows you to see the world as being far more complex than one has been accustomed to seeing. s reporter: a growing body of researchoving a low-cost, community-based model of mental health care to be remarkably effective. this model crossesultures by training local health workers like nurses to deliver basic mental health seuices such as nseling and behavior modificaon. in liberia this kind of program rts first launched in 2011 by the atlanta-based center. the carter center trained 144 mental health clinicians in liberia. no small feat in a countryith almost no access to medicine and
just one psychiatrist for a population of four million. >> at timepeople say maybe someone bewitched another person. >> reporter: these clinicians work with traditional healers, churches and hospitals to deliver front-line mental health care that respects the culture in a country where the mentally ill are often outcast and sometimes brutally punished. psychotherapist rodney presley is the former head of e.s. grant psychiatric hospital in monrovia. >> there are people you chained like dogs to a tree because the n'mily just does not know what to do, they doknow that there is treatment available. they are under the impression that the individual ha witched or is possessed. eporter: aaron debah is graduate of the carter center iogram and is the only mental health clinicinimba county, a rural part of liberia
that's home to half a million people. debah works with ebola survivor support groups in nta, a city devastated by the virus. survivors t only suffer lingering physical ailments like joint pain andision problems - they often suffer depression and anxiety. >> the group today is for the continuing needs of people affected by ebola and also helping to support children or orphans effected affected by ebola. >> my name is jacqueline dessi. survivor from this epidemic. i got sick i lost my husband, his mother, his father and other people. i lost every person in my house. >> coming together once a week or once a month is so important, these things will strengthen us. >> reporter: two years after ebola, the liberian government passed legislation to make mental hlth a nationwide priority, but it has yet to
dedicate the required funding. this raises serious questions about the long-term effectiveness of mental health programs like the carter center's says corector janice er. >> we're really hopeful, sanguine, about the aftermath of ebola in terms of having more resources for psychological, psychosocial and mental health services. >> reporte for now, this leaves mental healthin most developing countries to a small but dedicated number of local heal workers who lack t and resources needed to do their job. for the pbs newshour, this is molly knight raskin in ganta, liberia. >> woodruff: our fall film series continues tonight, with a movie tackling the controversial topic of gay conversion therapy. jeffrey brown has our look.
>> brown: "boy erased" is the story of just that: efforts by >> i think it's true about me. >> brown: efforts by r ndamentalist christian parents to have thn's sexual orientation erased through so- called "gay conversion therapy"" actor nicole kidman stars as the mother, nancy eamons. llow australian russell crowe is her preher husband, marshall. in it's my beliefs >> brown: on learng that their son, played by actor lucas hedges, is gay, they force him into a kind of re-programming treatment facility aimed at changing his sexuality and beptvior. si attin their eyes, to move him out o now this may be the toughest, most rewarding 12 days you will ever face. but we have just one task, tos bring ourselveck to god. >> brown: gay conversion therapy
has been widely discredited by mainstream pchologists, but is still practiced. this account is based on a memoir by 33-year-old garrard conley. >> i wanted to show how this was a cultural moment that was part of a larger you know, kind of bigotry that's in the country. >> brown: it took ten years and distance from his family for conley to begin writing. i never wanted to approach any of the characters in it, you know, my mom or dad or even the counselors or the other people there at the camp with me, i did not want to pnt them with a heavy brush. >> we cannot see a way that yoli ca under this roof if you're going to fundamentally go against god. >> almost every aspect of growing up in that town felt .controlled in some w >> almost every aspect of growing up in that town felt controlled in some way. my fther usemoto walk out of
e theaters if someone, you know, cursed. at first, it's about looking into a window of sodymelse's life that was kind of diabolical and it was allt abou institutionalized, a religious prison. >> brown: joel edgerton >> brown: joel edgerton, known for many recent roles, iraluding his pol of richard loving in the film "loving" here plays the head of thconversion clinic. he also directed the film and wrote the screenplay. >> what i found out in theook was this incredibly hopeful story about one person struggling. garrard's story was so full of empathy considering what he had gone through. >> brown: a high school athlete with a girlfriend, in the film garrard, "jared" as he's called here, abruptly leaves college to comply with his family's wish: you thought it was right to go to conversiotherapy. >> yeah, i mean, it's hard to erke, tack it down to one reason why i went to coon therapy. i mean a really terrible outing experience happened. you know, my father put a lot of pressure on me and i was really afraid of losing god.
and you know, that was the u osest relationship i ever had. ow, every day almost to the hour i would pray to god. so that was a terrifying idea at you know, somehow i was going to lose god just by being who i am. it felt like you know there was no other choice. >> duress i woul >> brown: duress that continues through the weeks garrard attempts to convert. at>> conversion therapy op as a sort of intense come to jesus moment where you suddenly like, there's something really wrong here because every day the same hatred and self- hatred is being peddled to me. d you know, how is that connected to god or to jesus? i n't get that. god and jesus -- god a the
devil are having a bet >> brown some of the most painful aspects of conversion therapy, for o ample, forcing young people to confess publiclyeir >> some of the most exposing scenes for instance is hearing sarah, the character sarah, having to stand up and read off a piece of paper, a sexual act. and what straight person has to ever go through that unless they're being cruel to another human being. >> brown: confessing their feeling and behavior-- >> i never go to a job interview or an audition and what happens to me in my sex life becomes an issue inside the room. >> brown: garrard's experience happened 14 years ago. he left his home and now lives in new york as a gay man. >> a lot of people you know, that i've encountered on my book tour for emple, they say how is this still happening in 2018. and they believe that progress is a straight line and that we're already there and it's just not true. i mean it is just so obvious
that people are still struggling all over and not just in the u.s. all or the world. and the effects of conversion therapy have traveled all over the world. >> brown: "boy erased" opens nationwide on november 16. for the pbs newshour, i'm jeffrey brown at the toronto international lm festival. >> woodruff: now remembering a man who had a big impact on the movies by the legendary comic book characters he helped create. william brangham has the story. >> brangham: he's credited with bringing to life some of the biggest, baddest, most iconic superheroes of the 20th century. stan lee, as the head of marvel comics, helped revolutionize comic books 40 years ago, and
more recently, helped turned deose characters into a world- ovie juggernaut that's grossed over $20 billion globally. bob batchelor wrote the biography: "stan lee: the man behind marvel." >> stan lee had a part in creating or co-creatme of r erica's and the world's popultural figures. >> brangham: back in the 1960s, stan lee was a writer and editor at marvel comics, a company being eclipsed by the much bigger d.c. comics, which had the sturdy franchises of superman and batman. lee was asked to ce up with etmething, anything, to co his next project, done with his partner, artist jack kirbytiwas the fantfour, and it was a surprise hitparticularly because its oddball characters had weird powers, could never seem to gealong, and defied the superhero type. this more complex hero was something lee repeated, with great success, with his subsequent characters like the amazing spiderman, the
incredible hulk, the avengers. in a 2002 interview at the premiere of the first spiderman mowe, lee described just ho hard it was to convince his editor, decades ago, to approve the story line: >> i said i wanted to do this guy called spider-man. he's a teenager, he's got a ion problems, everything goes wrong. my publisher said stan, you've lost it. he said, first of all, nobody likes spiders, you can't call a hero spider-man. secondly, a teenager can't be a hero, he can only be a sidekick and lastly, he said, you say un's got all kinds of problems? don't yorstand, stan? he's a hero! hero's don't have problems. that's why they're heroes. shows you what i knew! >> stan's real power was capturing this kind of everyday supeeero mentality that peopl were really attractive to. it wasn't the god-like speaking of a superman or thelted language of a batman. it was a language people could
really relate to and understand at a deeply personal level. >> brangham: while there were always questions about whether lee shared the proper credit with his collaborators over the years, his influence on the comic book industry was indisputable. one tried to turhis characters into live acti, like in the 1980's tv series "the incredible hulk." but it wasn't until the x-men, and then spiderman, in the early 2000s, did the marvel movie enterprise really ta off. since then, it's over a dozen films have resurrect, and interwoven, the stories of over 20 individual characters, many of whom were first drawn almost 50 years ago. last year's blockbuster, "black panther" struck many firsts: a black superhero, a largely all- black cast, numerous strong black female characters, all done by a black director, ryan stogler. >> one of the mportant things that stan did was he always pushed the boundaries of what comic books would publish. stan saw that comic books and
superheroes should represent tat we see in everyday life and so he was ahead curve on d ny of the issues we take for grantetoday or we still are dasping with today. >> branghapite his success, the last years of lee's life were riven with stories of financial mismanagement, and painful, drawn-out legal fights with members of his family. but diehard fansill still look for him in the movies, where he gularly made cameo opearances, like here where he >> i guess man can make a difference. >> brangham: appeared in spider man iii, talking to young peter parker: stan lee was 95 years old. for the pbs newshour, im william brangham. >> woodruff: on the newshour online right now, we examine the science that explains why california's mega fires are sparking in november, typically a cooling off period for moldfire season. find that an on our web site, pbs.org/newshour.
and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online and again here tomorrow evening. for alof us at the pbs newshour, thank you and see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, logy, and improved economic irformance and financial literacyn the 21st century. >> supportedy the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. more information at macfound.org >> and with the ongoing support
hello, everyone and welcome to "amanpour & co." here is what's coming up. >> deep in republican country, home to president trump's favorite golf course, in new jersey district sends a democra to washington for the first time in almost 40 years. and i'll speak with the congressman elect. tom malennousky. then wall street helped create the financial meltdown. ten years later trying to be part of the solution. mime exclusive interview with jamie timen. a exclusive with justin trudeau. up north in prime minister prime minister trudeau b