tv PBS News Hour PBS December 13, 2018 3:00pm-4:01pm PST
captioniponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, a starting point-- how a partial cease-fire in yemen help end a brutal war, as the u.s. senate takes a symbolic vote coemning saudi arabia. then, outgoing democratic senators claire mccaskill and heidi heitkamp reflect on their elections, their time in congress and what their rty needs to do next. plus, the last ship in therr mediteean helping migrants ceases operations due to political pressure by european governments, leaving many stranded. >> the aquarius has saved about 30,000 lives over the last three years. people that without th dedicated search and rescue capability on the mediterranean iesea would otherwise haveas
they undertook that perilous journey. >> woodruff: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been pr by: >> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic perfmance and financial literacy in the 21st century. >> carnegie corporation of new york. supporting innovations in education, democratic engagement, anthe advancement international peace and security. at carnegie.org.
>> and with the ongoing support of these institutions:in anviduals. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. urand by contributions to bs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: the united states senate is challenging esident trump's approach to saudi arabia, on two fronts. senators voted today to ghcommend ending support for the saudi coalition ng in yemen. that came amid news of a partial cease-fire agreement. separately, the senate directly blamed saudi crown princemo mmed bin salman for the murder of journalist jamal
khashoggi. we'll have a full report, after the news summary. in the day's other news, the l esident denied he ever told his former persowyer to violate campaign finance law. michael cohen is going to prison for arranging payments, in 2016, to conceal mr. trump's alleged sexual affairs. but in aox news interview today, the president insisted cohen acted on his own. a>> a lawyer who represen client is supposed to do the right thing. that's why you pay them a lot o. mo he is a lawyer. he represents a client i never directed him to do anything incorrect or wrong, and he understands that. >> woodruff: meanwhile, it's reported that candidatp attended a 2015 meeting on how ghthe "national enquirer" bury negative stories about his relationships with women. "the wall stre journal" and nbc news say mr. trump joined michael cohen and the enquirer's publisher in that meeting.
a woman accused acting as a covert agent for russia pleaded guilty to conspiracy today, in a plea bargain. maria butina appeared in federal court in washington. she admitted trying to infiltrate the nationae association, and set up back channels with american conservatives. butina's case is separate from e special counsel's russia investigation. police in france have found and killed the accused gunman in the strasbourg shootings. officials say cherif chekatt died in a shootout there tonight. security forces had been hunting him since tuesday's rampage that killed three people at a christmas market. britain's prime minister theresa may was back at it today, asking the european union fnges in a brexit deal. this comes aft she survived a -confidence vote in her own party. james mates of independent television news has our report. >> reporter: the warm glow of victory last night over the
plotters at home may not have lasted long, as theresa may t moved straigo the next k,ttle in brussels. she had come to perhaps even to plea, for the legal guarantees she needs to get the withdrawal bill through paiament. france's president macron, just the first to say that legally binding commitments won't be forthcomg. i think it's important to avoid ambiguity, he said. we have to have a political discussion but we can't reopen a legally binding agreement. mrs. may has been making the case explaining what she needs and why. they'll discuss a response among themselves at dinner this evening without her. they'll also talk about how to step up their preparations for a no deal brexit that looks ever more possible. one of the reasons theresa may may not get what she's asking for here is a feeling among other leaders that whatever they offered her, it wouldn't be enough to get the withdrawal agreement through parliament. they have watched the debate in
london in the last fmi weeks and op that this will be wrapped up in the new year is pretty thin on the groun >> woodruff: that report from james mates, of independent television news. there's new violence in the middle east. a palestiniashot and killed two israeli soldiers in the west bank today. o other people were wounded, and the israelis launched a manhunt, sealing off roads into ramallah. later, the army said soldiers killed a man who tried to ram them with his car. on sunday, a premature israeli baby died after another attack, and troops killed the suspected gunman. china has confirmed it now has two canadians in custody, for allegedly endangering its national security. michael kovrig is a former diplomat who lives in hong kong. michael spavor rs tours of north korea. their detention followcanada's arrest of meng wanzhou, a chinese tech executive.
she faces possible extradition to the united states on charges of violating sanctions on iran. back in this country, the u.s. congress gave final approval to overhauling its handling of sexual hassment claims. e new rules hold lawmakers personally liable for settlements, and eliminate a "cooling off" period before ctis can file suit. california democratic sswoman jackie speier sa it's high time for a change. >> time is finally up for members of congress who think they can harass and get away with it. they will no longer be able to slink away with no one knowing they harassed. there will be transparency and members will be held accountable. >> woodruff: the measure goes now to president trump, who is expected to sign it. a federal appeals court panel has upheld an injunction against changes in federal birth control rules. the trump administration wanted to let more employers opt out of
providing women with free contraception. today's ruling came from the 9th circuit court of appeals in san francisco. and, on wall street, the dow jones industrial average gained 70 points to close at 24,597. the nasdaq fell nearly 28 points, and the s&p 500 sl.ped a fracti still to come on the newshour: a partl cease fire could be a starting point to end the brutal war in yemen. two outgoing senators discuss their time in office and the gridlock among lawmakers. the last migrant rescue ship in the mediterranean ceases operations following pressure from european govern and much more. >> woodruff: we return to the war in yemen, and efforts to stop it. in sweden today, the first, fragile steps towards a possible
resolution, as united nations- brokered talks resulted in an agreement on a cease fire. and in the senate, as nick schifrin reports, the saudi role in yem, and america's support for its top arab ally, was subject to tough judgment. and a warning: some images in this story may be disturbing to some viewers. >> schifrin: 3,000 miles from the front lines, u.n. secretary general antonio guterres called today a breakthrough. >> this a critical element for the future political settlement to end the conflict. >> schifrin: it's been more than four yearsince the two sides started fighting: shia houthi rebels, backed by an, who seized the capital. and the internationally recognized sunni government backed by a saudi-led coalition and the u.s. after one week of talks, the two sides agreed to reduce the fighting in taiz. armed houthis will withdraw from the ports of salif, and the ras
isa oil terminal.an most importantly, a fire in hodiedah, the epicenter of the most intense fighting, and al the vast majority of goods and humanitarian aid.mo mmed abdul-salam led the houthi delegation. >> ( translated ): we have made very large concessions and these concessions we made are for our yemeni people. because hodeida is ty remaining corridor to rescue yemen from starvation, famine and the catastrophic events in the event of continued military actions. >> schifrin: buthose military tions continue, and yemen is already starving. the united nations says ov itlf of yemenis face "severe acute food insecur" for years special correspondent jane ferguson has covered the yemen, and this summer smuggled herself into houthi-controlled areas. today she said the humanitariann crisis is ore dire. >> 20 million people here are in need of food aid. that's up for eight million from when i was last here in these
rebel-held areas ijune of this year. and that's an indicator of how best the situation here ha deteriorating. >> schifrin: every 10 minutes, a yemeni child dies. since the start of the war, save the children estimated 85,000 children he died. and that makes many in yemen skeptical peace talks can end the violence or allow yemenis to resume normal lives. >> many people have given up pe of any possibility that they would work because there have been so many fail attempts to get both sides of this war to sit down together in the past. >> schifrin: 7,000 miles away, for the first time today, a bipartisan group of senators voted to end u.s. assistance to the saudi-led coalition. th weapons, and provides targeting assistance and intelligence.ls itused to provide mid-air refueling. that assistance has been questioned in the past, but senators' criticism accelerated erter a saudi-hit squad mu
lid dismembered saudi jour jamal khashoggi, who'd been critical of saudi leadership. new jersey democrat robert menendez: >> saudi arabia has joined a ranister clique along with north korea, russia, andin its assassination on jamal khashoggi. a few more weapons purchases cannot buy our silence. >> the c.i.a. assessed saudi crowe mohammad bin salman likely ordered khashoggi's murder. the senate went futher in a resolution led by its sponsor, bobr. cor >> this is now unalynimo unanimously the united states senate has said that crown ince mohammad bin salman is responsible for the murder of jamal khashoggi. that is a strong statement. i think it speaks to the values that we hold dear. $3 billion. >> reporter: but president trump has defended mohammad bin salman and made saudi arabia the center of his middle east policy
from fighting radicalism to middle east peace. today, away from cameras, secretaries of state and defense mike pompeo and jim mattisfe brthe house on the administration policy. and republican senator marco rubio warned today's vote would help iranian-backed houthi rebels. >> they're not just agents of iran. they have launched rockets, ballistic missiles into saudi arabia after civiln populations, including efforts to kill members of the saudi royal family and governmensh lead. >> schifrin: ultimately, thees senate'sution is symbolic. the house won't debate the yemen ebill, and the white ho wouldn't sign it into law. >> senator murphy. >> but connecticut democrat chris but ticut democrat chris murphy said pressure from the senate echoed in saudi arabia, and led to today's cease fire announcement. >> the progress on the peace negotiations is not coincidental to this vote. the coessions that were made by the saudi side in the negotiationshis morning would not have happened if it wasn't onr the pressure that the united states senate puhose
negotiations. p us navigate where thin go from here, i'm joined by gregory johnsen. he has lived in yemen, and visited many times over the past 15 years. he is author of "the lt refuge: yemen, al-qaeda, and america's war in arabia." he was also a member of u.n. security council's panel of experts on yemen. gregory johnsen, thank you very much for being here. >> absolutely. >> schifrin: let's just start with sator chris murphy there at then. did the pressure lead to today's agreement? >> i think they certainly had an impact. the unfortunate truth of whose happening in yemen right now is anr and fighting is much easier than peacethe u.s. senate-- we should be clear. saudi arabia was not in the room. these were only negotiations 20 yemeni government and the hou rebels. but that pressure i think by the senate is toa chnge that. >> schifrin: i talked to some people who agree with you, and say, yes, the government that was in the room today dmake some
concessions, in part because of the external pressure. but otr people sa, wait a minute, they were actually interested or willing to agree to this, and it was theouthi rebels, then-iracked houthi rebels, who made new concessions in the last few days. >> right. i think what we see right now is that for both sides, for the houthi rebels, for the internatiolly recognized government yemen, the saudi-led coalition, there's vertty lile domestic pressure on any of these actors.e the houthiership is by and large insulated from the shortages of this war, whetheror it be medicin food. they're not being targeted and killed. so what needs to change is th needs to be concentrated and sustained international pressure to change the behavior of the t party glifs ae administration is not doing that, so the senate really is some of the source of tha. pressu >> right. the senate is the only one that can do it. as we said, thiis symbolic so we'll see if the new congress in the new year takes this again. >> schifrin: let's talk about some of the specifics.
hue dada, thr e epicen a lot of fighting, how signature is the agreement there? and can it hold, both the military aspec b of it, also the revenue distribution that come from the port? >> yeas h, that's-- tha great question. first, we should be clear-- this is just a first p. and it's incredibly, incredibly fragile. so what we'r talking about is we have a-- the text that they've agreed to is basically page and a half, and there's a lot of ambiguity written into this text on basically what security forces are going to be lefthe port of houda, i. the houthis are right now in the city. the agreement calls for a cease-fire and the houthis to recall. are these people aligned with the houthis? are these people aligned with the government? it's not at all clear. and my concern is that perhaps both sides that signed on to this read the same sentence but came away thinking two different things. >> schifrin: and that
ambiguity extends to revenue distribution from the port. >> absolutely. right now the agreement called caulz for all rev fenm the port-- and right now the houthis make about a third of their income coming in through the port. the agreement says all revenue will go to the central bank in yemen. there are two banks, one under the control of the houthis, and one under control of the government. and it's not clear, at least from the text, who will receive the money and how it will be distributed. >distributed. >> schifrin: the agreement today could open a hum corridor that's important. >> yeah, so the taizz agreement has less details than the houdida agreement. there are so many different actors. al qaeda is there, isis is is ofere. there are a numbeifferent militia groups. there are so many different parties and different groups with guns, todsay's agreement only between two of those, and it's not at all clear if there are only two people or two sides sign on to this agreement if it's an agreement that can
actually hold on the grund. >> schifrin: so questions about whether the agreement can hold, questions about the ambiguity of the language. but zooming out, you know, ho significant is this day? it's been more than two years since the two si sd down, let alone made these kinds of agreements. >> right. so in the short ter's a good first step. so this special envoy, the u.n. special enjoy, had trouble getting these two sides in the same country just a onths ago. but really, traditionally in yemen, and even in this war over , the difficulty has not been getting the sides to agree to different things. it's been getting them to implement the agreements and actually having a lasting cease-fire that to a negotiated peace. and i think, unfortunately, in yemen, we're still a long way off from that. >> schifrin: gregory johnsen, thank you very much. >> thanks. >> woodruff: the 2018 midterm election results lead to an
influx of new female lawmakers coming to washington, most of them democrats. but in "the year of the woman," two prominent female senators, democrats heidi heitkamp of north dakota andlaire mccaskill of missouri, are packing up their washington fices this week and heading back to the midwest after bruising re-election losses last d nth. in a wide-ranging vealing conversation earlier today, they shared their thoughts on washington's dysfunction working with the president and the future of the democraticrt party, but i s by asking them if the sting has lessened any, how they're handling the setback. >> listen, i'm a competitive person and, obviously, it stinks to lose. and, of course, i didn't want to lose. but i feel great about what's around theorner, and i feel good about the time i've spent in the public eye. and i am definitely ready to ve on. >> woodruff: what about you
senator height camp? >> oh, i think i'm sadder than claire. but she had six more years to dh amazings on behalf of the people of missouri and this country and it would have been nice to get six more ye but with that said, both of us have lost before, so we know what thfeels like. >> woodruff: well, while it's still fresh in your mind, senator mccaskill, what lessons learned from this experience? i mean, i know you can't condense a whole campaign into a few sentences, but-- >> well, this is donald trump's republican party. and donald trump camped out in my state. and he had m someanufactured optics, but a real television drama around the caravan. the spectacle around the kavanaugh nomination, regardless of whether yo felt he should have or should not have been confirmed, it was a speacle. and that really amped the enthusiasm in my state. >> woodruff: what about in north dakota? >> one thing that we discovered,
in north dakhere we used to have swing voters, people would vote, even they wwoe republicand consider voting fair democrat who was successful and actually achieving results for the statet issipated. and, you know, early on in the campaign, my opponent said, "she can never win because she's a deincrat." and i that the election proved that. >> woodruff: but i want to ask you both about some of the g guments you were makring the campaign. senator mccaskill, you were spending a lot of time talking about health care, among ot things, pre-existing conditions. why didn't that work or resonate enogh with vters? >> i think it did with many voters. i think that's why we set a record for the number of votes thatve democrat's ever rec in a midterm election inmi ouri. but what resonated more with most people in rural areas was that they believe in donald trump. and they thought that because im was a rat-- and, frankly, judy, one thing that we've got to be realistic about now is
that lonservice and experience in elective office is not a positive anymore. it's a negative. and my opponent used that very effectively against me. >> woodruff: senator heitkamp, you were talking about the tariffs. you have farmers in the state of north dakota. soybean is affected by the tariffs. you made that argument. it wasn't enough. >> well, i think in part because of the way soybeans are marketed, about half of them were already sold, so it wasn't going to affect thsis yea crop, and we knew that. but i think more importantly dthe trade aid package, people felt like he ha their back. the president was going to make it right. and, you know, people trust thi president in rural america, even against what is obvious to me their political interests or eir economic interests >> woodruff: you said, voters in your state voted against eceir own onomic interests? >> that always happens. >.>> woodruff: but that says the voters don't unrstand what's
ing on? >> they have different priority >> and, also, i think it's very fair to ever look wn your nose at these voters. they are frustrated. theyave worked hard. they've played by the rules, and they're not doing as well as their parents. d th't feel like the dig tee of their work is being respected or recthognized. think my party, our party, has been too fixated on identity politics and cultural politics and not enough on who they are and eir frustrations and anet. and give t marketer in chief credit. he may have a torture relationship with the truth, but he tapped into that veinf anger and frustration of a lot of working class voters, particarly in rural aa s. >> woodruff: and what does this say about the democratic party? you two worked at times with him. there was no pyoff there then for that, to put it very crudely. >> i wos d say it thiy: there was no payoff for results.
i could go through north a dakota's econo show the single most important things that happened in almost every ctor. i provided leadership on and was able to deliver. what it tells you is that we have become incredibly tribal. you know, in rural america, people feel like they've been forgotten. but their concern, as reflected in this election, is a mile higher than that. it's about the cultural changes in the united states of america and how that basically reflects their position. >> woodruff: let's talk jufost a moment about the institution that you're leaving, the congress, the united states how well is it working? are the american people getting what they should be getting fros nstitution? >> you never want to kick something that you love in the teeth you walk out. so i want to be measured in what i say. but the year i came to the senate in 207, we voted on 306 amendments. this yea we voted on 36.
the power has beeal cened in leadership. bills are being written behind closed doors instead of in committies. giant ombuses are being plopped on our desks and the lobbyists on "k" street knore ab what's in them than we do. and there has really been a disintegration of this notion that this is a deliberative body. we've got to get back to the notion that if you're strong enough to be a united states senator, you gotta stand up and take some tough v btecause we aren't going to solve tough problems unless we take tough votes. >> i think that from the time that i got here, what i really felt is that we're in a culture of failure. and to add to what claire just said, we're afraid to do really big things. because we're afrd of flure. and part of that is an inability of people to see a goal or a result as the purpose as oppose to winning fur party or sticking someone in the eye on
any particular issue. >> woodruff: so how do you change that? that?n you chang >> well, i don't think it's going to change much as long as mitch mcconnell is the leadeo you and i'm not saying our side's been perfect. weontributed tothis kind of degradation of the notion that we could debate things in the senate and vote on a variety of issues. but he really sees everying through the lens of how do i protect republican members ofe enate? and how do i get more republican members of the senate? he is a very political leader. he is not a polic he's very animated on how you win elections so that he can be majority floor leader and stay jority floor leader. well, you do that by controlling everything a by only allowing votes that are going to hurt democrats and t hurt republicans. so it is-- it's kind of this, you know, tail wagging the dog that we got into in the reid
years and now it's been taken to a new art form-- witness merrick garland-- in the mcconnell years. >>oodruff: like a zero-sum game. >> you only have power as a group. that is what the uteted states ses, and until you learn and figure out how to make things work as a group, you wilt ue to fail, and you will continue to reap the rewards in the public eye for failure. >> woodruff: how do democrats comeack inerms of the presidency, and in terms of the senate? >> donald trump is going to help. i do believe that. i do not think that he is a leaderenhat has the conf of the majority of americans. vedo think we're going to to figure out a way to nominate a candidate for president who is inspiring and who is capable ofv cing people that he or she is capable of getting things to ange. and we've got to do the math because we can't win the presidency just by very blue states. we have to win states like florida and ohio and wiscoin
and michigan. and, you know, compete in states like missouri. so we've goto get back to having our elections be moreou inspiring people that we can change things and less about identity politics. >> whoever gets nominated should have three characteristics. they should have character. they should have charisma. and they should have competence. and there will be a big comp ifigz discover who rises to the top. buou think that you can win without a charismatic leader, that's not tru'se. ot to be somebody who inspires people. but it's also, i think, in the juxtaposition of what we have right now, it has to be someone of very high character. >> woodruff: welli'alking to two women senators. there are a number of women looking at running. is it harder for a woman to get elected president? >> it is, becauseere've nev seen a woman in that role before, and i think there are-- there are some barer there.
but on the other hand, i think women have some advantages that men don't have. and so i tink one of the mistakes that we make as a party is spending too much time talking abut a gender thing. you know, we are a party of all nds of people, and, you kno white men-- white working class men have traditionally been a huge part of our party. we have lost a lot of them. and one of those reasons is we've had a tendency to talk maybe too much about gender. i wanth someone-- likee said-- i want inspirational, carsizmatic. i want somebody who is competent and strong and authentic, and i don't care if they're a woman or a man. >> woodruff: senator heidi heitkamp, senator claire mccaskill, we wish you both welwl in your future ventures. thank you so much. >> thanks, judy. >> thanks, jdy.
>> woouff: stay with us, coming up on the newshour: a new report details how u.s.a. gymnastics leadership ignored allegations against convicted child abuser larry nassar. we travel to one of the country's fastest growing cities to meet the woman who went from high school dropout to the federal reserve bank doctors without borders is calling for the urgentes blishment of what it calls "safe pathways" to enable refugees andconomic migrants reach the european union.ri the humani organization fears thousands will continue to drown in the mediterranean now w that doctohout borders is decomissioning the last rescue ship, the aquarius, because of what the groups says is untenable political pressure. special correspondent malcolm brabant spent time on board in 2016; now he looks at the legacy of a ship with a unique spirit.
>> the aquarius has saved about 30,000 lives over the last thr years. people that without that dedicated search and rescu capability on the mediterranean sea would otherwise have died as they undertook that perilous journey. reporter: the head of doctors s in the u.k., vicky hawkins, is angry at those who've engineered the end of the ship's humanitarian mission. >> our decision comes on the back of a year and half of an essentially concerted campaign to force us to stop. we've been obstructed, we've been criminalized, the vesselip has been sd of its flag twice. we've been shot at and harassed by the libyan coastguard. so today there is no dedicated inrch and rescue capabili the mediterranean. >> reporter: which will delight the ultra right wing generation entity. w
>> evek, every day, every hour, ships packed full of illegal immigrants are flooding the europe border. an invasion is taking place. this massive immigration is changing tnt face of our ent. we are losing ouy safety, our life and we will become a minori in our own country. our future is under attack. >> reporter: and this is perhaps the greatest architec of the aquarius' demise, italy's right wing deputy prime minister matteo salvini. >> ( translated ): italy has welcomed over 700,000 immigrants who haveisembarked in the last few years, but that's enough w. our ports are closed. italy cannot continue to be the refugee camp of europe. >> there's a reason why all throughout sicily, there are cities that have greek names. people have been making this passage for thousands of years. >> reporter: new york doctor craig spencer spent several months on board the aquarius in. 20 >> the idea that migrant hordes,
that waves of refugees are coming to europe to destroy our countries is just really, i think, a diversion from concentrated onewhat's really ed and that is durable, sustainable long term solutions. >> reporter: the polar opposite of what you're saying is thatle you and your cues are contributing to the ultimate demise of europe because the demographics are such that within decades europe is goingov to btaken by people coming from north africa and elsewhere. >> a that's interesting because that's a complaint we often hear. we want to allow unfettered migration, we want to let all of africa into europe. that's not the case. and we came together as a global communy and said there are things we think are important as human rights and human values. and just because these people are coming from a different place, may speak a differentng lauage or have a different t mean that does there situation can be any different. >> reporter: in the suer of 2016, i spent three weeks aboard the aquarius for the newshour as
it cruised the mediterranean coast off libya. it was the height of the migrant and refugee crisis in the middle east and north africa and the numbers of people desperately trying to reh europe was skyrocketing. international relief agencies say they're extremely concerned about the major upswing in the number of children who're making this most perilous our journeys. the voyage between turkey and greece is bad enough, but this one is many, many, many times worse. >> 15 dead bodies. >> reporter: they may have frequently encountered death, but they also welcomed new life as well. who is this? >> it's newman. my new baby. >> why did you call him newman? >> i call him newman because he's a new man to me, a new man to godand he's a very lucky boy. >> reporter: the baby was delivered by midwife jonquil nicholl. >> many, manelwomen were trng pregnant.
and it's inconceivatle to think hat journey was like for these women. t they have no option. once they're on this journey from their homes where ever th are, whether it's sub saharan africa, west africa or east africa. they have to go. they don't have the choice. >> reporter: newman is now with his parents in southern italy, but to their dtress, he doesn't yet have a national identity. without exception, aquarius crew members like nicholl reject suggestions that the ship t provided aaxi service for migrants between africa and italy. >> there's a reason that they left. and i think we can't belittle that reason. that reason is often fundamental. it's either because they're in danger of their lives. or they have no prospects. or no prospects for thr children. m we hady women who were leaving because they knew if they stayed they would undergo female genital mutilor their daughters would.ee they nd to leave their countries and to put up walls
and to force them back to the tsuntries they came from is outrageous and i not manitarian at all. we're all humans and we should be treating other people as humans. >> what we need are safe and legal pathways that enlele peo move, whether they are fleeing violence and conflict, or whether they are looking to legally migrate. this is a glal phenomenon that is going to be with us for decades to come. and the only way thrgh is to look how we can have humane global migration policies that allow people to move i managed and safe fashion. >> i'm going to throw this flowern the water out of respect for the people who died in the boat. >> reporter: dutchman ferr schippers ran the humanitarian operation on board. >> aquarius has become a symbol of humanitarian aid.
the aquarius gave back those people the dignity they deserv >> the journey was very hard for us.k but thd we have reached italy. thank all of you people. because you are the people who saved our lives. >> the aquarius is special.d sincerely hope that other s ships wirt and go there and just be there for these people. >> reporter: doctors without borders says it may charter other rescue ships in the future. s t not this one. the age of aquariuis over. for the pbs newshour, i'm malcolm brabant. >> woodruff: now, new revelations this week about a failure of leadership at the
very top of u.s.a. olympics. the trial of larry nassar and the women who came forward to publicly accuse him of sexual abuse remains one of the more powerf moments of this year. p amna nawaz explains, we're now getting a fullture of how top officials knew about allegations and kept the gymnastics world in the dark for a full year before the scandal broke open in a newspaper expose. >> i remember that exact moment that i was being molested by somebody i trusted. that i was one of the gymnasts that he had abused, that my life was never going to be the same. >> nawaz: more than 150 victims shared wrenching court testimony earlier this year, of hosports doctor larry nassar sexually abused them for years, under the guisof medical treatment. >> and this is what it looks like when people in authority refuse to listen, put friendships in front of the truth, fail to create or enforce proper policy and fail to hold enablers accountable.
>> nawaz: nassar worked for u.s.a. gymnastics for 29 years, including as team doctor for four olympic games. he also worked for years at michigan state university. more than 300 athletes say he abused them during that time. at least seven are gold olympic mnasts, including aly raisman. >> if, over these many years, just o adult listened and had the courage and character to act, this tragedy could have been avoided. >> nawaz: nassar was convicted and is now in prison. this week, an independent investigation reveaat senior officials at u.s.a. gymnastics and the body that overes it, the u.s. olympic committee, not only knew of his tions, but also, "enabled nassar and his system of abuse." the report named former u.s.a. gymnastics c.e.o. steve penn former u.s.o.c. c.e.o. scott blackmun, and u.s. olympic committee sports performance chief alan ashley. it said they "allowed nassar to
continue to have access to young athletes and girls for another 14 months" while he was already under investigation. the report concluded that "the inaction and concealment had consequences: dozens of girls and young women were abused during the year-long period." both u.s.a. gymnastics and the u.s. olympic committe say theyknowledged their failures, and have vowed reforms. some perspective now on all ofts this from spiter and columnist, christine brennan of "usa today." e has long covered the olympics and has written about the culture that led to this abuse. thanks for being here. >> amna, thank you. >> nawaz: let's back up whabo we know the report. what did officials know back in july 2015 when they rst found out, and what did they do about it? >> yeah, the officials knew, u.s.a. gymnastics, got in touch with the u.s. olympic committee officials and told them there were allegations of sexual abuse by the team doctor and another month later told them the name
of the team doctor, larry nassar. so this was in july of 2015.it an wasn't until september of 2016, 13 and a half mon ts lateat the news finally was made public and that was in the "indianapolis star" naming larry nassar, the allegations there. so you have two-- the top two u.s. committee offticials, sc blackmun, c.e.o., resign in february, andashley, who was fired when the report came out. you have those two men knowing all these details, doing absolutely nothing, sitting on the information, and basically more worried about their nd thanions than the bra worried about the young women who were being assaulted. >> nawaz: so do we ow, was this just an issue of inaction or did it go beyond that? was thp e a cover some kind? >> it's both pmen. the cover-up is clear. there was an email that both of them received, anit disappeared from both of their ac ounts. so thacourse, is terrible, because if they were deleting emails. and then, of course, you've got the fact that they didn't tell
they didn't do anything. all of the things that could have happened, the thhangs they coule done that they didn't do, and to think of how different thingsight have been they had called the f.b.i., if they had sent out an alert to every gymnastics parent in the country, things that would have been so easy for them to do and, of course, would have be right thing to do. it is unconscionable eye know both men-- in fact i know all three men. i've coveredmphe ols for years, and it's absolutely unconscionable to me and unconscionable what tey did that they decided it was okay just to defer to law enforcement. nawaz: so you mentioned scott blackmun resigning. the other two men we nad in the report they're also out of their positions. i guess the question sis that it? is the reckoning over? is the house >>ean? hat's a good question. there is a new leader of the u.s. olympic committee, the first full-time woman c.e.o. of the u.s. olympic committee, and she has been on ee job si august and has done some major things, including wanti to decertify u.s.a. gymnastics, which is the nuclear option
under the amateur sports act, but that's something that the u.s. olympic committee can do. and of course she is also theon who fired alan ashley when she was made aware of his inaction for those 13 and a hal months. i think that we will probably see congress gettin more involved -- there have already been five congressional hearings this year, ithe calendar ye i think they probably will do more. one of the things i think that should be done, the center for safe sport. a lot of people have heard about, that right. and you kind of picture this big thing and it's working fine and it's been around forever. a year and a half, they've had 16-- over 1600 cases, people coming to them with complaints. d up until the en of october, they had four employees, four please. a $6.4 million but. congress needs to fund that immediately. and i think you also need to abase. dat right now there's no cohesive database, believe it or not. so if you're a parenandou say you want your child to start getting involvein gymnastics
or volleyball-- whatever it is-- a database so you can see who has been banned. some of these coaches moveom one sport to the other. there's no cohe was database. you and i ca get on aane by having our eyes scanned and walk into buildings with ourd fingerprints, t our olympic movement in the united states can't somehow get on the same page so that parents a young athletes can know who is a sexual predator? ansi think, you know, tha something that needs to be dealt with immediately. >> nawaz: you know, it's worth shouting out some of your colleagues at "usa today." you published a new report today, focusing basically on half a dozen coaches wh been banned because of sexual misconduct, and are still dsaching and have access to in some way, in different sports. obviously, we're having thisnv sation now because of gymnastics, but i think a lot of parent out there, as you just mentioned, are wondering how can they trusthat these institutions are doing all they can to protect kids? >> and the national governing dies, as they're known are, far flung. some have staffs of two or three people-- which iso excuse--
some are bigger like swimming and gymnastics. in gymnastics over 350 women sexually abused by larry nassar. that's the is. yes, "usa today," we found-- my colleagues found-- there were a half dozen coaches who were banned and now are back. and, again, i think these are-- if there are any positives here, the warning signals are out. the having there. we're to. i'm going to stay on this tory. it is so important. the darkest days in the history of the u.s. olympic movement, this is sometng that we, obviously have to stay on top of. i think the good news is, clearly,his report shows tht action needs to be taken. >> nawaz: absolutely. christine brennan, thank you for being here. >> thank you. >> woodruff: now, the story of a top economist and how her journey from higschool dropout to key policymaker informs her decisions today. economics correspondent paul
solman has our profile of w leading figuhin the federal reserve. one thing we must note: fed officials do not make public commen of the federal reserve open market committee. that meeting is next wut paul did this interview well in advance for our weekly segment "making sense." >> i'll run in place because is's chilly. >> reporter: in idaho last month, a small nonprofit with an unassuming but lofty visitor. >> oh this is cool. may i introduce myself? >> absolutely. eileen, mary. >> nice to meet you. >> reporter: mary daly is the new president the san francisco federal reserve bank, responsible for, among other duties, monitoring the economies of the nine western states and pacific territories. >> if you don't visit the areas you don't really get all the information u need, all the fferent ways that firms and businesses and individuals and households mightnteract, so you need people on the ground like regional fed presidents to
go out there and learn. >> everyone in a black smock is actually an employee. >> reporter: that's why c.e.o. tracy hitchcock was teaching her about "create common good," which teaches professional kitchen skills to refugees, and others facing hardships and looking for work. >> we are a step along the way for someone working to achieve their biggest dreams, and for every adult head of household that graduates our program their kids have tremendously better outcomes around health and education and future employment and that benefits everybody in boise. >> well as an economist, i always tell people it's a virtuous cycle. if we invest in each other then other people lift up and they invest in others and you create this virtuous cycle. rs reporter: mary daly knows about hardship, hand. >> i grew up in missouri. my father was anpostal worker. when i was 15 he lost his job. my mom, she got some part time rk but not enough. then both of them fell on ill health my siblings moved in with my
grandparents and i moved in with a friend. >> reporter: and dropped out of high school? >> dropped out of high school because my family's imploded essentially and scattered and so i needed to think about how do i just make a living? so i just cobbled together different part time jobs-- working in a donut shop, workin, at a dorking at a target, and living with this family who let me sy with them. ly charged me five dollars a month. h was a way to let me keep my dignity even thoey were completely helping me. >> reporter: also helping: a mentor who gently nudged >> she didn't say, mary you should just go to college. be president the federal reserve bank of san francisco. she says, maybe you can get a g.e.d. >> reporter: she got the g.e.d. her mentor then suggested a semester of college. >> i actually never heard of college which is-- >> reporter: never heard that there wasuch a thing as college? >> didn't know anything past high school. everybody in my experience had gone to high school and then tant and got a job. you might be a pworker like my father was. you might get a union job as a bus driver, or go work on the assembly line for mcdonnell douglas when it was still in missouri.
>> reporter: so when she nudges you toake a semester of college you say-- >> why? and then she says, well, you know you're good in school, it' good, you'll hlot of other opportunities. i had to tell her i couldn't afford it. and she takes her checkbook out and she just writes me a $216 eck and i give it to the bursar and i start my adventure. >> reporter: longer story short, she graduated from university of missouri, earned a phd in economics at syracuse university. and then the rest is history.es >> theis sort of history. ironically i trained in labor economics and public policy and i take a job in macro economics and monetary policy. >> reporter: but for daly, monetary policy is aeans to more personal ends: prosperity for as many of us as possible. >> how many here think you'll be better off than your parents?te >> rep measured by population and job growth, in perctage terms. boise is the star community in daly's district, the fastestgr
ing city in america; idaho, the fastest growing state. but, as daly learned in a series of interviews she taped for a podcast she's starting, zip code economies, there's still pley of anxiety >> we're the people making policy right now for your future. i'd like to know what you want from us. >> reporter: economics andfi nce students at boise state university. >> boise's a very competitive job market right now. so as like college graduates we're competing with some of that california influx. and so what i want when i graduate this field is to get a decent job here in boise. >> what makes you frry about youre? >> for me it would baieconomic uncey as it relates particularly to the det the federal government carries analso for student loans a how these raises in the interest rate wilaffect, you know, the burden of student debt that we inevitably will carry. >> not that i know anything
about interest rate policy. want to be clear! >> reporter: of course, daly knows quite a bit about interest rate policy. as president of the san francisco fed, she's a votingmb of the fed's open market committee, charged with setting short term interest rates. >> monetary policy is the tool kit we have for a strong, healthy and sustainable economy. >> reporter: that means you're, in one metaphor, you're steerinn a course betoo hot an economy, too cold an economy. >> exactly, yeah, hot and cold. so congress has given us two goals, two mandates and we call it the dndate and one is low and steady inflation and the employment.l you want to have everybody who rk engaged and wants to work, and jobs are there and you want to make sure inflation doesn't run away so that thehe value ofollar doesn't erode for people. >> reporter: in trying to avoi"" too hot", the fed has raisme rates six since president trump took office. that's drawn the ire of a
president dedicated to the proposition of a hot economy. >> my biggest threat is the fed because the fed is raising rates too fast. >> reporter: in late november, he attacked fed chair jay powell." so far i'm not even a little bit happy with my selection of jay," he told the "washington post." what did you make of the president's critue of chairman powell, whom he after all appointed to the job. >> my view on this is i have responsibility for the federal reserve bank of san francisco, for voting on monetary policy, for working with my fed colleagues to make the best monetary policy. >> reporter: and you don't want to ansr that question. >> i just don't think of it. the great thing about the fed it e have been given independence. there are no politics in the fed. who do you want to be five years from now? >> reporter: well, there are certainly no politics at the work refuge "create common good," where daly also recorded conversations for her podcast. >> i'm shawn.
i'm actually originally from missouri and we moved out here. >> me too! >> awesome. >> reporter: shawn mckelley explained that he wasau stic... >> and it's really hard to have an autistic person tget a job where people treat you with the same, the same as other people. and not treat ke this delicate little flower. >> reporter: alexia petronis has wrestled with >>ug addiction. ay i ask you something and i hope it's not too personal.at do you find he skills and the connection to the workforce help you maintain your sobriety? >> yes. it does a lot. because it gives me something to look forward to. >> do you feel better about yourself? >> yes i do, a lot better. >> that's a great thing, right? >> yes, i love it. >> i kw. it's a sense of relief. >> yes. >> you're not carrying a weight. >> yes. k >> i donw if that's how you feel but i have felt that way myself. >> reporter: does your nontraditional background, and i mean dramatically no traditional, give you a different point of view than other fed presidents?
>> i don't think my experience something that i've overcome and now i can get a place at the table. i think of it differently.th k of my experience as something that influences my thinking and helps me be good at the place at the table. >> reporter: at the table setting interest rates, or at places like create common good and boise state, seeing how economic policy affects everyday americans.oi from b, idaho, this is economics correspondent paul soan for the pbs newshour. >> i'll be on your side. >> thank you so much. >> yes! >> woodruff: on the newshour online right now, the tax overhaul passed in 2017 could have consequences for end-of- the-year charitable giving. we look at the changes and their impact on our web site, pbs.org/newshour. and that's the newshour for tnight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online and agae tomorrow evening with mark
shields the latest in the russia investigation means for the trump presidency. for all us at the pbs newshour, thank you and see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been prided by: >> kevin. >> kevin! >> kevin. >> advice for life. li well-planned. learn more at raymondjames.com. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions >> this program was madeco possible by thoration for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
hello, everyone, and welcome to amanpour and wmpany. here'st's coming up. as bashar al assad won in syria. nearly eight years and halfio a mideaths after the u.s. said he had to go. the outgoing un humanitarian adviser. plus, a television legen o who en imitated but never matched. my conversation with the great tv host. > plus, going backo school, one woman who's working to help students accl ed of sexua misconduct getnto u.s. colleges. uni