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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  November 28, 2018 6:00pm-7:00pm PST

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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, senators demand to hear directly from the c.i.a. after secretary of state pompeo claims there is no link to saudi arabia's crown prince in the murder of a journalist. then, one-on-one with the trump administration's point person of anistan amid a spike of violence in the united states' longest war. plus, to catch an asteroid-- side nasa's mission to further understand the origins os-life. >> osix will be the largest sample-return from a planetary body since the apollo missions, so we're really are redefining the next y age of planetploration. >> woodruff: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour. >>
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6:02 pm >> the lemelson foundation. committed to improvih lives througvention, in the u.s. and developing countries. on the web at >> supported by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. more information at >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: t s program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. ank you. >> woodruff: this has been a big day in both branches of the u.s. congress. on the house side, democrats nominated nancy pelosi to be
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speaker when they take majorityo conext year. but with 32 votes against her in her own caucus, she has work to to win over enough votes when the full house votes in january. pelosi acknowledged that and calls for new leadership, but said today's vote was a big boost. >> i'm talking about scores of members of congress who just gave me a vote, who are giving me a vote of confidence. that is where our focus is. are there dissente yes, but i expect to have a v powerfe as we go forward. >> woodruff: pelosi vanquished several would-be challengers to prevail today.on she was speake before, and is the only woman to ever hold the position. on the senate side, the trump administration touched off a new storm of criticism over the killing of saudi writer jamal khashoggi. it beg when two top officials showed up for a briefing, but a third did not. congressional correspondent lisn desjardins begs our coverage.
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>> desjardins: in the basemeol of the capit, senators arrive for a tense and critical briefing. two topics: u.s. support of the saudi-led war against houthi rels in yemen. and the murder of journalist jamal khasoggi in october. multiple outlets have reported the c.i.a. believes saudi crown prince muhamman salman ordered the assassination. but c.i.a. director gina haspel was not at today's briefing, somethinriating both parties.>> t's outrageous that the senate can be stonewalled from hearing from the c.i.a. director. >> i cannot recall a briefing on such a sensitive measure where we have been denied access to the intelligence agencies of the liited states. >> desjardins: repn senator lindsey graham, often an ally of the president's, has broken with him on muhammad bin salman, or m.b.s., and says he will withhold his vote on other issues to try to get answers.
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>> i'm talking about any key vote, anything that you need met for to getf town, i ain't doing it until we hear from the c.i.a. >> desjardins: secretary of state mike pompeo, who helped lead t briefing did not answer why the c.i.a. director was absent. >> i was asked to be here and here i am. >> desjardins: it is a critical moment-- saudi issues have forged an unusl alliance between some senate republicans like mike lee of utah and independent rnie sanders. they co-authored a resolution to end u.s. support of saudi action in yemen. >> the passage of a few months has allowed people to think about this a little more, has allowed people to see the war progressing, continuing to result in a lot of awful casualties including casualties of a lot of innocent civilians and children. >> desjardins: pompeo defended trump administration policy. >> we are on the cusp of allowing the u.n. envoy martin griffiths to, in december, gather the parties together and hopefully get a cease fire in
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yemen, something we have diplomatically been striving for for months, and we think we're the view of the admistration, secretary mattis, and myself that passing a resolion at this point undermines that. >> desjardins: as for the saudi crown prince, pompeo told senators: >> there is no direct reporting connecting the crown prince to the murder of jamal khashoggi. >> desjardins: but several republicans were unswayed. >> we know the truth if he wasn't directly involved he knev and those in were under his direction. >> in a sign otosome defiance rds the white house and saudi arabia, in the just the past two hours the senate voted overwhelmingly to take thate sanders-esolution to end u.s. summit of fighting in yemen out of. committ >> woodruff: so, lisa, what happens next in the senate on the issue of saudirabia? we have to keep a very close eye. what we expect is a vote likely next week. it's remotely possible this
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week, but more likely next week, to see if they will get a full debate on ths resolution. i expect we will. then after that, it could be open to amendments. that's when we could have a free-for-all. some like lindsey graham are saying they want to add things, tweak things tring more republicans on board. today, 14 republicans voted to try to get to this resolution. that's significant, a very big difference from a similar vote that happened in march. >> woodruff: now, this was not the only drama today in the senate. there was this effort to protect the russia investigation, theec l counsel robert mueller, there was a bipartisan move to do that. tell us what happened. >> that's right. senators coons, flake, and others had a bill that would make sure that only the-- the only reasons to fire the special prosecutor in this case would be for cause, essentially, and that not everyone could do it. there was a hope that thiwould actually get a hope today. but no, senator jeff flake tried to bringt up. there you see robert mueller,
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and it was objted to on the floor by another republican, mike lee. that's important, judy, because now the only way that this mueller protection bill can get a vote is if seccnator onnell allows it to get a vote, or if every senator agrees. th's because of h senate rules work. and it seems that senator mcconnell does not want to bring it up at this time, evenin though it mayact, have a majority of senate votes. re woodruff: now, you w telling us this has a direct connection to another important vote today ithe senate. te was a down-to-the-wire vo on a controversial judicial nominee. and it was a difficult vote for the onlcay afamerican republican in the senate. >> that's exactly right. i mentioned sen he has said he will not vote in naifer of any judicial nominee until the mueller investigation bill gets a vote. so he was a "no" at the start on this judl icominee. this man's name is thomas far. it's imptant to talk about him. he has been nominated for the eastn district in north carolina.
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since 2006. he's controversial, judy, i want to show you couple ofhings about him. he is currently an attorney. he works on workplace and employment law i north carolina. and you see one of the issues with him is that he has worked for years fo stricter voting laws, including identification and other laws in north carolina that courts have found targeted minorities. he also rked for jesse helms' senate campaign at one point, sending t postcards telling african americans that they were not eligible to vote,. false so he's very controversial, but the president supports him. today, it came down to one voteo the was 49-50, and the outstanding vote was tim scott of south korea. i. i sat in the senate chamber as he sat in the back trying to sort out his in the end he was a "yes" for moving forward on this nomination. but he said he hasn't decide his final vote yet. that's a vy big issue, of course, about how you perceive race and how the republican
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party perceives issues of race. and i thinit will be decided tomorrow when we have the final vote on this nominee. >> woodruff: so, as you say, hisa, all three of these issues revolve around oneng, and that is the president. wean republicans in the senate, in the house, have had their frustrations with th president. are we seeing that frustration turn into something more?th >> ink that's right. we're seeing the senators be a little bit morbold here on saudi arabia. however, one good longtime senate source of mine who haso sort of both ways on the president, one lawmaker told me it has to be a very serious matter for us to takon the president directly. and what you see this week, clearly, we feel they ars seriatters, things like saudi arabia. >> woodruff: maybe some kind of page ha turned. we'll see. >> we'll find out. >> woodruff: lisandesjardins, you. sh woodruff: in the day's other news, wall stree higher on signs that interest rate hikes might slow down. the w jones industrial avera surged more than 617 points to
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close at 25,366. the sdaq rose nearly 209 points, and the s&p 500 added 61.t, all of tfter federal reserve chair jerome powell said miin new york, that the fet ponder a pause in raising rates. >> we know that moving too fas would risk shortening the we als that moving too slowly, keeping interest rates too low for too long, cod risk other distortions in the form of higher inflation or destabilizing financial imbalances. >> woodruff: powell's comments came a day after president trump blamed recent stock market declines and general motors plant closings on fed moves to raise rates. today the president had another warning, for g.m. he retweeted a suggestion that the automaker should pay back the federal bailout money it received, after the 2008 recession. president trump is refusing to rule out a campaign chair paul manafort, in the russia probe.
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manafort has pleaded guilty to money laundering and lobbying violations. but mr. trump told "the new york post" today that a pardon is "not off the table." meanwhile, presidential attorney avdy guiliani confirmed that manafort's lawyersshared information with the president's lawyers. and, the president reportedly denied knowing, in advance, of a 2016 trump tower meeting between campaign aid and russians. the denial came in written answers to the special counsel, robert mueller. russia's military announced today it is sendinmore anti- aircraft missiles to occupied crimea, amid a new crisis with ukraine. russian vessels seized three ukrainian ips and 24 sailors in the kerch strait on sunday, claiming they illegally entered the area. today, president vladimir putin arged that ukraine's president provoked the crisis, to help his
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re-election chances. >> ( translated ): now, a small incident occurred and martial law was introduced in the country. this is being done obviously in the run-up to the presidential th is an absolutely obvious fact. now this is a provocation for sure. >> woodruff: also today, the kremlin said it still expectsn pu meet with president trump at the g-20 summit. mr. trump threatened yesterday to cancel that meeting, over the russian actions against ukraine. in afghanistan, the taliban taged new attacks, as a summit convened in genegarner new support for the afghan government. 3 at leacivilians died in overnight fighting, in helmand afghan officaid most were killed in a u.s. air strike. a separate attack, il today, killed 10 people. he'll examine the state of afghan war, and peace efforts, right after the news people of australia grappled today with ereme fire and extremrainfall.
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sydney was inundat with a month's worth of rain in a single morning. the deluge flooded homesnd streets, and claimed at least one life. >> we've had storm ents before in new south wales, we've had storm events in sydney before but not this widespread, not over this continuing period of time.d we've excess of a hundred millimeters of rain already in some areas of sydney, but one of the things we're happening is the rain is flooding different areas at different times. >> woodruff: meanwhile, inas norttern australia, firefighters in queensland state battled an unprecedented 138 fires, as temperatures soared to 104 degrees. authorities said the fire danger has gone to "catastrophic," the worst on their scale. a chinese scientist who says he engineered the first genetically edited babies, now says another pregnancy is underway. he jiankui made the announcement today at an international
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conference in hong kong. there has been no independent confirmation of his claims, butv scientistscondemned his experiments. back in this country, nal u.s. senate race in this year's elections has been danided. republenator cindy hyde- smith won tuesday's run-off in miissippi. she fended off a challenge from mike espy, aormer democratic ngressman. republicans will hold 53 seats in the n senate, a net gain of two. and there's finally a champion at the world chess finals. norwegian magnus carlsen defeated american fabiano caruana in london today, thold on to the title for the 4th time. they had fought to 12 draws before the tie-breaker round. no american has won the championship since bobby fischer in 1972. and, the national christmas tree was officially lit this evening, ushering in the hoday season
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in washington. the president and first lady did the honors, lighting up a fraser fir from newland, north carolina. that carries on a nearly century-old tradition, started under president calvin coolidge. ill to come on the newshour: the trump administration's point person on afghanistan amid ant rencrease in violence. an increase in u.s. women behind bars sparks calls for pris. refow ho asteroid can reveal secrets to the origins of life, and much more. >> woodruff: new flaicpoints in ams longest war. nick schifrin reports on how a spike in vionce in afghanistan collides with a renewed push to negotiate peace with the taliban. >> schifrin: aft 17 years,
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more than a trillion dollars, and tens of thousands lives lost, the violence continues in an inconclusive and grindingar in afghanistan. after another week of deadly attacks, today a massive suicide bomb rattled a foreign compound outside the afghan capital. this year is poised to be one of the deadliest for afghan civilians, and increased taliban attacks have led to territial gains for the militants. in 2016, the taliban controlled 9% of afghanistan's territory, and contested 25%. this year, the group gained control of 14% in red, and contest 30% in yellow. that helps keep the government ak, and elections in question. u.s. officials admit lasth' montparliamentary election went poorly, leading some to consider a delay in theal presidenlection planned for april. that's the stated cut off point for peace talks with the taliban, led by zalmay
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khalilzad, special envoy for afghanistan and the former u.s.. ambassador the >> i hope that the taliban and afghans would use the election date as a deline to achieve a peace agreement before then. >> schifrin:he international community is encouraging that push for peace. at a u.n. conference in geneva, the e.u. pledged $535 million, and afghan president ashraf ghani asked for tience. he said a peace plan would take at least fars. >> as the saying goes, we have been building a house while putting out the fire. we have exercised strategic patience in the face of unspeakable horrors and have extended the hand of fdship and delivered concrete proposals for cooperation to all our neighbors. >> schifrin: the most important neighbor is pakistan, where taliban leadership live. this week, pakistan's prime minister imran khan, who's sparred with president trump, promised help.
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he said in a speech along the afghan border, "we shall play our role in afghan peace process along with other stake holders as peace in afghanistan is critical for achieving enduring peace in pakistan." president trump has long doubted the u.s. mission in afghanistan. he told the "washingst" yesterday that he keeps the u.s. there because "virtuvery expert that i have and speak to say if we don't go there, they're going to be fighting over here." but over there, afghans are desperate to end the sly endless violence, said the u.n.'s top officer in afanistan, toby lanzer. >> for the vast majority of the country, they have gp knowing conflict and nothing else, so there is a tremendous hunger for peace. >> schifrin: zalmay alilzad is u.s. special representative for afghanistan reconciliation. he was born and grew up in afghanistan. during the attacks on 9/11 he was working for the george bushistration on the national security council staff. he was involved in the planning of the u. invasion and then
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constructing a government. ambassador, thank you very much, welcome back to the newshour. >> well, it's great to be with you. >>rdchifrin: we just heaou in kabul using the word "deadline." have you been given a deadline by the president or anybody on his staff? >> well, everyone, starting with the president, would like to see the war in afghanistan end, that there be reconciliation and peace among the warring factions. but we want a peace that is worthy of the sacrifices that have been amend for hest 17 years, meanwhile, especially, thfghans do not become a platform for international terroristsagainst the united states. so, yes, we are in a hurry to end the afghan tragedy. the afghan people deserve peace. they have been at war for 40 years displik you said you're in a hurry.
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there has been talker inlly, six months, nine months, how much time you actually have. as you know, there is cri of past policies that have deadlines. so are you setting yourself up for failure by needing to so much and finishing something xt year? >> we are in a hurry, but we arl tic, also. we believe that warring factions, including the taliban, they're saying tey cannot win the war, and the afghan government says that they want l political seent. we say we want a political settlement. we lead the international forces that are in af ganistan. ven that, this maybe a moment of opportunity displik wh needs to come first, reconciliation with the taliban, or the presidentiall eections currently scheduled for april? >> ideally, of course, it would be goood have an agreement with the taliban first, and then have the presidential election. because then theitalibs will
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also participate in a possible election, whatever road map the afghans agree to. >> schifrin: and you ink that's possible, that time frame? >> it is possiblt is likely? we will have to see. its posgisible. n what both sides are saying and we will have to wait and s see. if there agreement, if uhere is no progress with the talib, then, of e, the timing of the election has already been announced today, the presidential elections will be in april. schifrin: but could thbe pushed back? >> well, if there is an agreement among the afghans-- aaning talibs and others to do so-- that's realdecision for the afghans to make. >> schifrin: the number one ng ofd of theital bar course, has always been the withdrawal of u.s. forces. what is the u.s. willing to give up what is the u.s. willing to concede in order to achieve peace? >> stayingn afghanistan militarily is not an end in itself for us. our objective has been the preclusion of use of afghan
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territory by terrorists against us. so if wean b satisfied that we can handle the terrorist reat with less force, ultimately, of course, we want an afghanistan that is sovereign, self-reliant, with no foreign forces on it. but how we get from here throfor us, the key requirement would be satisfaction that afghanistan will never become a platform to threaten us. >> schifrin: you're trying to get to talks between the taliban and the afghan government, but how can the afghan governmentot possibly nte with the taliban when they, themselves, have so many issues internally and can't really agree with eachorg how they run the country? >> for peace to happen, afghans mu accept each other, must respect each other, and must agree on road map to end the tragedy of the last 40 years in
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afghanistan of one party imposing or seeking to impose its will, its world view on the rest. ard i hope that, given what the talib leadershisaying, that they do not seek to that there has to be a political settlement. therefore, afghans havto sit together, including the talib, to come to an arrangement. >> schifrin: you visited pakistan a few times in this thiew you of covery years have been very critical of the pakistani administration. that has not changed pakistani behavior. so is there something you're istan in order to try to stop them from hedging? >> we want to assure them-- and i have engaged them, as you said, repeatedly-- to let them know that we are not seeking an afghanistan as the ref a political settlement that's tostile to them. we want afghanistae at peace with itself, but also at peace with the neighborhood, and at peace with us in terms of the
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terroris threat. and we are engaging the taliban. that's what they have been advocating. so, therefore, i believe that the time is now for peace in isghanistan and in pan to play a positive role. >> schifri zalmay khalilzad, special representative for afghanistan reconstruction, thank you very much. er>> thank you, thank you much. >> woodruff: stay with us, coming up on the newshour: nasa seeks to take samples from an asteroid in an effort to understand the origins of life. author katie kitamura discusses her novel "a separation," the latest entry our newshour book club. and how one company uses mipltary pants to employ peoe often overlooked for a job.
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but now, the u.s. incarcerates more people than any other country. more than two million people a in jails or prisons here, and more than 200,000 of those prisoners are female. amna nawaz takes a closer look at the conditions faced by women behind bars. >> nawaz: judy, nearly 30% of all incarcerated women worldwide are in the united states. and the number of women in u.s. prisons has risen more than 700% in the last 40 years. th that increase came a recognition that men and women in custody have different needse eathis year, the department of justice's inspector general conducted a review of how the federal bureau of prisonsinandles female tes. leaders from both organizations testied today on capitol hil where democrats and republicans expressed concerns about prison conditns. the report, released in september, made several recommendations. among them: provide better training for staff on needs of women and trauma victi. more than 85% of women in prison reported some physical or sexual trauma in their lifetime.
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increase awareness of pregnancy iograms for inmates. just 37% of pregnaates frticipate in programs. increase access inine hygiene products. to talk about how these recommendations would affect women in prison, i'm joined by andrea jam. she's an attorney who served two years in a federal prison in danbury, connecticut. after her release she founded the national council for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women and girls. andrea james, welcome newshour. as we mentioned, before you were an advocate, before you served your time, you were an atorney focusing mostly on criminal defense. i'm curious, when you first got to prison, what was it that struck you about the people and the coiond inside? >> in terms of what struck me when i walked in to the federal prison for women in danbury, connecticut, as an incarcerated woman was to see a se of predominantly black and bwn women who were being warehoused
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in a prson. coming from the extensive background i have with my family as civil rights folks, it just really made me realize that what i was sing was the result of policy that had oorproportionately affected p women, women of color, and that a prison will never be the place for a woman or a rl to bgin to heal and advance your life. >> nawaz: let metsk you ab something else you mentioned about the relationship between incarcerated mothers and their children. there's a strike statistic, it's rere than 60% of women in state prisons have chiunder the age of 18. when you served your time, you left behind some young children as well. tell me about what it's lie to be serving time in a prison and try to maintain that bond. how easy is it? well, it's not easy latl. i was very fortunate. i was very privileged as an incarcerated person. i had a husband who brought my gleldren to see me every sin visit. i left behind at the time a
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12-year-old daughter and my son was six months old when i walked into that prison. and for me i had the opportunity-- and that wasly incredeartbreak. it was incredibly difficult to be separated from them.d and i walto a prison that was crammed full of women who had not seen their children. and then even after incarceration, phone call callse extraordinarily costly. it's very difficult to be able to stay connected to your children, particularly if when you were doesn't to prison, your children were separated and nt to different households to live in. and so mothers often had to make a decision as to which child she was going to call, and often ha only enough money-- we made 12 cents an hour in the prison, for e most part-- only having enough money to call one cld or make one phone call to a child a month. >> nawaz: andrea, some willy ck of resources, access to
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resources, that's a pro systemwide, not just for women but also for men. so why do you think this is a spific ise that needs addressing for women who are incarcerated? and, also, why do you think we're talking so much about it right now? women havvery specific-- gender-specific reasons as towh leads them into the behavior that lands them on a prison bunk, and often the system does norecognize those things as mitigating factors, or evt pays attention to wh those things are. so we need to do a better job ot paying attentit. and, yes, there are men, obviously, who are inarcerated, d they make up the majority of the prison population in the country. but the fact of the mater is that for many of the reasons that women are incarcerate forward, we need to find otherse solutions, bechey are directly in relation to women being victims themselvyo. >> nawaz: advocate for prison reform, making conditions better. we heard the push-back in congress earlier today. some will saprison is not ant to be comfortable.
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people who are serving crimes-- serving time for committing crimes don't need to be a comfortable and have all these resources available to them. what do you say ttho ? >> well, listen, if prison was the answer, we wouldn't have the-- we wouldn't be the most incarcerating country on the planet right now. prison is not the answer. and i think we neeto learn from the mistakes that we've made. we've increed the incarceration numbers in this .ountry for four decades now that's long enough for us to realize that is not the solution. the solution needs me from within the communities that have been most directly affected. we need investments, not in mores prison and prison building and investing in those prisons. we need to invest in the communities where folks are coming from where they are disproportionately represented in the prisons, and that includes social and economi resources that currently are vastly lacking in many marginalized communities. >> nawaz: andrea james, thank you very much. >> thank you.
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>> woodruff: a more than two year journey is about to reachwe its target nex, when a nasa spacecraft, launched in 2016, connects with an asteroid hurtling through space. science correspondens o'brien haan inside look at the mission ofhe "osiris-rex" obe and the researchers behind it. it's our weekly science and technology series, "the leading edge." >> here's a couple of pictures we've got today for just eye candy. >> reporter: briefings like this are becoming more frequentand intensefor this team of scientists and engineers at thez university of a. more than two years after it launched, their spacecraft is homing in on an asteroid named bennu, which they hopeill tell
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them more about our origins, and our possible demise. >> it's one of the most potentially hazardous asteroids that we know of within the solar system. >> reporter: planetary scientist dante lauretta leads the missn. its name is a mouthful: origins, spectral interpretation, resource identification, security,th regoxplorer. or osiris-rex.>> siris-rex will be the largest sample-return from a planetary body since the apollos missso we're really are redefining the next stage ofpl planetary ation. >> okay, the contingency sample is down. >> reporter: apollo astronauts collected 842 pounds of lunar rocks from 1969 through 1972, which scientists are still actively analyzing today. but beyond the moon, sampleis returnons remain the province of robots. in 2006, nasa's stardust mission returned a milligram of dust
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from the tail of the comet. in 2010, the japan's hayabusan missought back a few micro grains of an asteroid, even p though tbe's collection device failed.os this-rex team is hoping for a much bigger payload, at least 60 grams, or about two ounces of loose asteroid rock- about the weight of a snickers bar. scientists believe carbon-rich asteroids like bennu carry the key ingrednts of life, like amino and nucleic acids which make up our proteins and d.n.a. >> if we can show the building ocks of life are contained in these asteroids, then those got delivered all over the solar system, and we don't think the chemistry of our solar system is vastly dif thousands of other solar systems that we are finding elsewhere ia thxy, so the likelihood that life is out there i think it goes up exponentially. >> reporter: landing on an asteroid is a big engineering challenge. bennu is about 500 meters, orss
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1600 feet acit generates only a wisp of gravity, about a 100,000 times less strength than seat of earth. so the team has dea novel sampling method. instead of landing, the spacecraftill touch the surface of bennu ever so juiefly, pogo stick style. it's a touch and gst long enough kick up and grab some dust. carl hergenrother leads the astronomy working group. >> so about 30 meters up, we kind of go into a free fall. we slowly fall wndh our arm ex out. as soon as it touches the e, there's canisters of nitrogen gas that will blow into the surface. it will kick up all of the material in the surface, which then gets caught by the air filter. the whole time this is going on, the spacecraft continues the kind of descend and shorten up the shock absorber. and then, we kind of like pogo stick off. >> reporter: but the team is not
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rushing into this bold maneuver. once osiris-rex is in orbi around bennu, they will spend more than a year scanning it with various instruments, to increase their chances of success. selecting a good sample site is a top priority for lead imaginge ist dani dellaguistina. >> we're very excited about t startilook at bennu with our color imager. and in particular, we're going to be seeing how rocky the surface is. so, the amount of ro boulders on the surface is going to have a really big impact on where we chose to sample. >> reporter: while the team searches for a touchite, they hope to measure how the asteroid tumbles through space, which slightly alters its orbit. e goal: a better understanding of how big a threat bennu poses to ee th. ds it's on a collision course with us in the next 200 years are 1 in 2,700.
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if bennu hit earth, it would not send us the way of the dinosaurs, he asteroid tmit did that 6ion years ago was about the size of manhattan. nobut smaller asteroids arto be ignored. in 2013, aasteroid 66 feet in diameter buzzed the russian region of chelyabinsk. it didn't impact the surface, but caused numerous injuries, mostly from the thousands of windows it shattered. empire state building-sized bennu would cause widespreadal regiamage if it hit the surface. >> we are paying attention t bennu. we take it-- it's important to understand this risk and to isk.gate the >> reporter: of course even smaller fragments ofid astehit earth all the time in the form of meteorites. s so why is entifically ?ecessary to return a piece of one still in spa >> what actually survives passes marough the earth's atmosphere that hit the grounnot be
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representative of what material it's out there. most of the meteorite, 99% of its mass probably burns off. so, it's a good chan of what you're actually finding is just the strongest material. so, by actually going to an asteroid and bringing back nderything we can from at least this little area aurface. you end up with an unbiased sample. >> reporter: if all s planned, osiris-rex should leave bennu with that sample in march of 2021, returning it to the utah desert in september of 2023. and for scientists that's when it's game on. the precious cargo will keep them busy for many years, trying to understand the origin and possiblebiquity, of life. for the pbs newshour, i'm miles o'brien in tucson, arizona.
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>> woodruff: all you readers out there, get ready. jeffrey brown has the latest installment of our newshour/"new york times" book club, "now reas >> brown: a youple g separates. the husband disappears. the wife travels to greece to find him. "a separation" is a mystery in which she and we only learn so much. and it was our november book club pick. author katie kitamura ire to answer some of the questions our readers sent in. welcome you. anks for doing this with us. >> thank you for having me. >> brown: i called it a "mystery." i've seen it a "thriller." how do you think about this book? hi it's funny, i nk it kind of comes on like a mystery or comes like ahriller but ultimately for me it's a book about grief, about letting go of past selfs and people we havelo as well. >> brown: a thriller is the way in for a lot of us. >> i think.o, ye >> brown: let's go to some of the questions we heard. >> the narrator demonstrates a level of self-awareness andho
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sty that is, quite frankly, admirable. why, then, did she marry such an unlovable man? >> brown: okay, we have to let in those wheo haven't ad it, the unlovable man. but this is about picking your characters, right? the narrator is the woman going to find this man. she doesn't really want to find him, but she does. >> i mean, i think in a lot of ways, one thing that the book grapes with is the fact that it's really impossible to fully know another person. and i think that includes ourselves. it's hard to really know ourselves 100%. and i thk one thing the thought about a lot as i wrote the book was the fact that we do things that ar mysterious to ourselves, whether it's being with somebody who seems less than wholly admirabl so in a lot of ways, the tone for the the book is of a persoy who is ing to understand something that happened in the past. >> brown: aerson she's decided not to be with. >> yes. >> brown: and now she has to figure out w who was he anyway? >> yes, that's right. and i think that can happen even wi people you feel you've known very well for much-- you
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come across them again and you think, "whof that? and who was i when i was with that person?" and that caib friend or ar partner parent. it can be anybody. but you kind of access pasto versions ofself through other people sometimes. >> brown: another let's go to our second question. >> your narrative begins by plunging into a dry,en fire-bla landscape, and ends contemplating a nameless black pool. what connection should we drw between these bookends of devastation? >> brown: bookends devastation. that's dramatic. but he's getting at the sense of place. and for thoseagain, wh haven't read it, set in this far-off greece which-- well, you tell us. why that setting? >> sure. it's in a very remote part of greece which is kind of famous even within greece for being quite rugged. it's an incredible, beautiful, desolate landscape. >> brown: it's the off-season
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so nobody is is there. >> it's ofy season so nobs there. it's really sublime in the real i went there probably 10 years ago now. it was a particular time in my life. my father d been sick fo quite a long time when i had been there. he would die two years lar, but it was while i was there that i accepted the fact that he was going to die. so r me, that landscape was waally saturated with grieving something that going to happen. it's more than just a kind ofa landscapeautiful picturesque landscape around the character. it's a psychological terrain. >> brown: let's go to the next question because i think that goes to your personal experience, okay. >> right. >> what personal experienceso prompted herite such a heart-wrenching story about infidelity, sepation, and death? >> brown: okay, well you started to answer that. >> yes, i did.ot i it in the years after my father died. shen i started writing it, i didn't think it book necessarily about grief. when i finished, i looked back,
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and there are mourners, there's loss, there's the rituals of grief areeally fundamental to the book. i think in that sense, it's really rooted in my experience of that loss s, which very kind of central one for me. >> brown: another let's go ton ouxt question. >> i'm curious about your literary influences. >> i read a lot of fiction translation, and my character a translator, and i think that's-- that idea of words being shifted from one language to another is reatlly fascg to me. >> brown: why is that? >> i grew up in a household that spoke japanese and english. so i grew up kind of surfing between two different languages, moving back and forth.d think that's fundamental to the way i think about languagend the way i think about storytelling. >> brown: okay, let's go to one more question. >> thank you. >> my question is did she killd? her husb >> my question for you is who did it? who killed christoph? >> brown: okay. ( laughter ) we put those two together, the whodunit. now, you are not going to tell us who done it.
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did you know who did it? >> you know, i don't eye don't know, but it's reay funny trevor: you don't know. >> i don't know. because also the narrator has hename. she's unnamed, and people say what's her name. i wrote a version of this novel inhe third pern before putting it aside, and i think she must have had a name in that version, but i neer looked back. >> and don't know what her name is, either. >> brown: all right, we'll continue th can find the entire conversation there later. for now,a, katie kitamhank you very much. >> thank you. >> brown: and our next book for december is garnering much attention. it's called, "there will be no miracles here." author casey gerald tells his he-to-the-moment of obtaining and questioning merican dream. as always, we hope you read along and join of join the discussion on our facebook page for this "now read this," in partnership with the "new york e'mes."
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>> woodruff: and be back shortly with a company that uses its contract to make pants for the military to employse often overlooked for a job. but first, take a moment to hear
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>> woodruff: producing uniforms for our nati's more than one million member military is a big job. in clevelandohio, one company hires people who might otherwise have difficulty finding rk. from the pbs station in cleveland, darrielle snipes ha the story. >> reporter: like the women who vow to fight for our freedom, the employees at vocationace guidance serfight their own personal battle each day, that comes in the form of a physical or cognitive disability. >> im visual impaired i was born legally blind with sight. >> i have mild autism and having
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some struggles growing up.te >> reporr: barbara moore and david ogletree both work at v.g.s., a non-profit that trains those living with disabilities by giving them hands-o experience. v.gre.s. is cly producing 3,000 pairs of trousers a monthn these aren't just any pair of pants; they are made for the women who serve in the army and marines. b in tement of v.g.s., the fabric is first cut into panels to make pants. next, on the second floor, it takes only 40 minutes for employees to transform the panels into trousers, passing barbara sews on the bus but also folds and psses the pants. 1e's worked at v.g.s. for years.e esn't let her disability stop her. >> i don't have a disa. i have a different way of life. when i first got here i had to have brighter lights and raise or lower the machine b you are comfortable do it for so long you can do it in your sleep. >> reporter: david inspects the pants, and is as meticulous as if he were in the military.
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go>> i always believe it i to help those who served the country. >> reporter: sabrina selinka, duneral manager of sewing, says they are able to p high quality garments, by a group some may underestimate, with a lot of time and training. >> it is something that makes all of us proud. some of them had dreams of wanting to join the military but they couldn't. so being here gives them that sense of pride of having a contribution to the military. >> reporter: barbara says she loves giving back to the women in the military and loves eing >> i love parade is the military and i get so excited when i see because i tell who ever is sitting next to me. hey, i helped make their uniforms and they are like wow >> reporter: v.g.s. is workingxp onding its government contracts to include other garments for the military as well as securing contracts. that way it will keep these employees producing quality clothing and potenally employ more individuals with disabilities.
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for pbs newshour, i'm darrielle snipes in cleveland. >> woodruff: and three cheers for them. and that's theniewshour for t. i'm judy woodruff. join us online and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you and see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> consumer cellular believes that wireless plans shou reflect the amount of talk, text and data that you use. we offer a variety of no- contract wireless plans for learn more, go toything ina >> kevin. >> kevin! >> kevin. >> advice for life. life well-planned. learn more at
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>> and wit of these institutions and individuals. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station fr viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh
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