tv PBS News Hour PBS December 18, 2018 3:00pm-4:01pm PST
captioningponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, courtroom drama-- prison sentencing for president trump's former national security adviser is postponed after harsh words from the federal judge. then, president trump t the center of a fight over a southern border wall that could shut down parts of the federal government at the end of the week. and, an exclusive report from a vital port city in yemen as a fragile ceasefire appears to take hold. all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour >> mor funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
>> kevin. >> kevin! >> kevin. >> advice for life. life well-planned. learn more at raymondjames.com. with the ongoing suppor of these institutions: >> this program was made fossible by the corporatio public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: two new devets tonight in the ongoing legal dramas related to president trump.de a l judge in washington today accused his formerur
national sy adviser michael flynn of selling out his country. and, he pontponed prison cing for flynn. the retired general hatted to lying about his contacts with russia during the trump transition period. p meanwhile, tsident's personal charity organization will shut down, amid allegations that he misused it for personal and political gain. we'll explore both developments after the news summary. in the day's other news, russia blasted u.s. senate findings that it ran a sweeping disinformation campaign to help elect president trump. a spokesman for russian president vladmir putin called the claims "baseless." he said moscow had nothing to do with any election interference. president trump appeared today to back away a bit from forcing ial government shutdown, friday night. last week, he warned he would do just that, if congress doesn't approve $5 billion for a
southern border wall. today, he said, "it's too early to say." meanwhile, white house aides and top democrats debated whether d her funds could be diver border security. >> we're looking at every avenue available to us possible, the presiden his cabinet secretaries to look for funding that can be used ano toct our border and give the president his ability to fulfill his constiontional obligao protect the american people. >> as for the idea that sarah nanders huckabee said they could get wall money froa or some other part of the government, they need congressional approval, they're not getting it fothe wall, plain and simple. >> woodruff: senate publicans floated another idea: $1.6 billion for border fencing, plus anotr billion that the president could use at his discretion. democrats called that a lush fund" and rejected it.
republican congresswoman martha mcsally is going to represent arizona in the u.s. senate, afr all. the state's republican governorp inted mcsally today to the seat once held by the late john mccain. former senator john kyl has filled the position since september, but says he will resign at year's end. mcsally ran for arizona's other senate seat, but was narrowly defeated in november by democrat kyrsten sinema. in china, president xi jinping dismissed fears of his nation's growing influence, but he also warned that no one can boss china around anymore. xi spoke in beijing, marking 40 years of economic reforms. defended beijing's growingec omic footprint.tr >> ( slated ): china will never pursue its development at the cost of others' interests, nor will china ever give up its legitimate rhts and interests. china pursues a national defense
policy that is defensive in poture. china's developmens no threat to any country. no matter what stage of development it reaches, china will never seek hegemony. >> woodruff: xi stopped short of offering any new policies to boost china's slowing economy, or to ease tde tensions with e u.s. that, in turn, sent asian stock markets tumbling. japan, meanwhile, moved to ramf upse spending against potential threats from china and north korea. that includes adding the country's first aircraft carrier since world war ii. prime minister shinzo abe's cabinet approved the new plans. it's his latest effort to expand japan's military role. back in this country, president trump has formally authorized creation of a u.s. "space command." the goal is to pull together existing units under one structure. their focus would be on war- fighting in space and defending satellites. the u.s. surgeon gener declared today that teenagers'
use of electronic cigarettes has become an epidemic. that follows a survey that showed the number of teens who jepe has doubled over last year. drme adams called for aggressive steps by parents, teachers, doctors and governmeal offi >> we already have enough science to tell us youth use of e cigarettes are mnsafe. today t protect our nations young people from a lifetime of nicotinetion and associated problems by immediately addressing cigarette us >> woodruff: last montou the f.d.a. aed a crackdown on the use of e-cigarette flavors arat appeal to kids. the u.s. justice dent officially issued a regulation day to ban bump stocks. these are devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire like automatics. a gunm used one to kill 58 people in las vegas, last year. acting u.s. attorney g matt whitaker signed the
regulation today. it takes effect in march. on wall street, the mark struggled to gain ground, after oil prices hit their lowest since august of last year. the dow jones industrial average added 82 points to close at 23,675. the nasdaq rose 30 points, and the s&p 500 was up a fraction. and, actor-director penny marshall has died in los angeles. television,ame and went on to become one of hollywood's first, successful female directors. jeffrey brown has a look at her fe and work. schlemiel! schlimazel! hasenpfeffer incorporated.pe >> brown: y marshall was first, and she would later say, forever, known as "laverne," from the hit abc sitcom, "laverne and shirley", that debuted in 1976 and ran for eight seasons. a spin-off of "happy days", the show featured marshall and cindy williams as roommates and blue- collar workers at a milwaukee brewery.
>> those boys have got the right idea. we should try making money at what we really love to do. >> i think we get arrest forward that. ( laughter ) >> brown: it was created by penny's older brother, garry marshall. >> brown: from there, though, nepenny marshall forged a w, and long-lasting, hollywood career as a director. her firsmajor hit came with "big" in 1988, starring tom hanks as a boy suddenly transformed into a man overnight. it became the first film by a female director to gross $100 million at the box office. >> all these things you're experience regular the side effects of that and they're making you behave this way. >> brown: she followed it with liwakenings" starring robert de niro and robin ws, which received an oscar nomination for best picture. >> are you cry! are you cry! >> brown: and then "a league of their own" in 1992, also with
tom has, alongside geena davis, rosie o'donnell and madonna. >> no crying in baseball. >> brown: marsll continued to make films, tv and documentaries up until her death, which came last night at her home in los angeles from complications with diabetes. she s 75 years old. >> woouff: and what a talent. still to come on the newshour: a ay in court for former national security adviser michael flynn president trump's charity is shutting down foowing a lawsuit. on the ground in yemen athere's hopeeasefire may subdue ongoing violence, and mu more. >> woodruff: there were surprise developments today in two court cases that involve the president. first, at the federal courthouse here in washington today, we were expecting michael flynn,
president trump's first national security adviser, to be sentenced on a criminal count brought by special counsel robert mueller. william brangham begins our coverage there. >> brangham: that's right judy, a year ago, michael flynn tpleaded guilty to lying f.b.i. about his contacts with the russian ambassador. since pleading, he's been cooperating on at least two other federal investigations, meeting 19 times with either robert mueller's office, or other justice department lawyers. osecutors, and flynn's lawyers, had both argued that flynn should get little or no jail time, because ohis cooperation. but today, judge emmet sullivan postponed flynn's sentencing, and rebuked the former three- star army lieutenant general saying, "arguably yo your country out." here to help us understand s day's dramatic developme carrie cordero. she's a former justice department official focu sng on nationurity. welcome backo the newshour. thank you. >> brangham: so before we get to the delay in the sentencing today, can you remind us what were flynn's lawrs arguing
going into today had happened to their client? >> so, whahappened is prosecutor's office, the special counsel's office, had fied a document recommending no jail time for michael flynn in their sentencing memo. his lawyers then fil another memorandum where they also argued to the court that he shouldeceive jail time. but they made an additional argument that insigne dted that not, perhaps, understand the context of the intethiews .b.i. agents when he was interviewed in early 2017en and he rest of their filing included many letters o recommendation and people who were vouching for him, describing his character and people who had attributed and supported his years of public service. >> brangha for someone who is accused of making false statements to come into court and say, "i didn't know i was supposed to be honest with the f.b.i.," or "they now
trapped me in this "? is that a credible argument he was making? >> well, it was a little odd in this circumstakne. because we there are likely other charges that the special counsel office could have brought against mhael flynn. they probably could have charged him with additional false statement charges, and they also probably could have charged stm with at lesome violations of the foreign agents registrationr fara, and they didn't. they charged him with one count of making fase statements. and they also were recommending absolutely no jail time. i so, reallyink, all his lawyers needed to do was sayings, we agree with the prosecutors. we appreciate that they appreciate all of the coops ation that he ovided to several different investigations, and here's all the supporting people who e also vouching for his career of public service, and leave it at that. guthink the fact that they made this additional ment, insigneuating that the f.b.i. agents had done something wrong, ge's attentionud and caused him to order the f.b.i. to release yesterdaylet
investigative interview documents of included-- >> brangham: this is when they talked to flynn way back when. so the f.b.i. created a written record-- it's referred to as a 302-- of the actual interview, it's their sum rear, thir investigative summary of their interview with him. and those documents were releasblicly last night. they do not, however, provide information. i read'them. they dprovide information suggesting that michael flynn was somehow tricked or entrapped or anything like that. it shows that the f.b.i. agents were transparent with him and explained the context of dwr they were there. s >> branghathen the judge today really rebukes michael flynn and uses rds like "treason," as i mentioned, "that you allegly sold out your country." what do you make of the judge, the stingtig csms of flynn? >> i thought his comments, his reference to treason-- which a-- it's a legal definition and it is a very harsh, high standard thathas to be met.
someone is levying war against the united states, and providing aid and comfort to enemies. it's not a crime that michael flynn was ever considered by prosecutors to be charged with. so it was really unusual and thought somewhat out of bounds for the judge to go in that direction and talk about treason. and in fact, after he took a break in the proceeding today, he caback and made comments e rt of saying that no one should takose comments quite so seriously. he said something along those lines. so i think he went too far in that. on the other hand, i think he was trying to convey the seriousness of an individual who was in such a position of powear anority and a position of trust in the nseationarity establishment, having been the national security adviser when ese interviews took place, and ofving previously served as a senior governmenicial in the national security community. so i think the judge was, perhaps, trying to convey how michael flynn had violated that
trust.no >> brangham: swe know there's a 90-day delay until 's sentenced again. does that change anything >>gally, really, for michael flynn? it just introduces an element of uncertainty. the lots of things can go on. developments can happen in other cases. perhaps something else is discovered and through investigation about michael flynn that wasneviously. you just don't know. and so from a lawyer's perspective, adng more uncertainty to the clie's case is not necessarily a desirable outcome. >> brangham: carrie cordero, always creat h great ve you, thk you. >> thank you. >> brangham: meanwhile, the second big legal development of the day was this: president trump is shutting down his charitable foundation. this comes as the new york attorney general is investigating the charity, and trump's children, for what's been described as "persistently illegal conduct." the "washington post's" david fahrenthold has been following the money in this case from the very beginning. david, welcome back to the newshour. before we talk about the closing heofoundation, could you just remind us what is it that
the foundati is accused of doing that was illegal? >> three things, basifically. t, trump used the foundation as kind of a checkbook for himself. .ominally this money was in an independent chari this its own charitable aims. it was supposed to spend money on charities. he used the moneytto sele legal disputes for his for-profit business. he also used the charity to buy portraits of himself, including one that hung up on the wall of one oflis gof clubs. and he, in the 2016 campaign, basically turned ovehis charity to his campaign and let his campaign dictate when money was raised and when money was given out, including with big checks that he gave out in the middle of his campaign ral in iowa and new hampshire. >> brangham: in addition to those allegations, did the foundation actually do any charitable donations? >> it did. the trump foundation was started in 1987. it gave out a lot ofoney to
charities. almost all of its money was given to various charities. what's interesting here is the accusation is is not that trumpy took the monnd bought a lamborghini or a yacht. he used the money-- he gave the money to other charies, but in the process he was buying things for himself. i think in trump's mind, as long as the moneyrom hi charity ended up in another charity, that was fithe. that's notway the law works. he was using the money to save his business' money, even if it went to another charity. that was, al, egedgainst the law. >> brangham: you touched on the campaign. i want to reaetd somng that barbara underwood wrote: can you explain a little bit motor unlawful connection, coordination with the trump campaign? sure. one of the sort of bedrock principles of charitylaw is charities can't get involved in
politics. they're prohibited from participating in or aid aything political campaign. charities stay frway awaom that line because they don't want to get in trouble with th i.r.s. trump used the charity for a op for his campaign. in the iowa caucuses he held a fund-raiser meant as a kind of counter-programming for a republican debate she was skipping. he raised money for veterans and money from other people flowed into hisound auction in the successive days when he was campaigning in iowa he would stop his rallies in iowa and say, "bring forth the local veterans charity i have selected. here's a giant check from the donald j. trump foundation." they would say, "mr. trump, yorre so generous," and af they sat sat downtown rally would continue. he used it to bohe the persona that he was rich, rich enough to give money away lik nothing, and that he cared about veterans because that's who got the money.
his charity, this theoretical independent entity, made all that possible. >> brangham: lastly, i mentioned the trump children might be involved in this what's their legal exposure? what's their involve independent foundation? >> donald trump was the president of this foundation and has been since the beginning. but on the last few years his children other than on the board of director they were on the board of directors for this foundation.th legally, gives them a duty to the foundation, a duty to safeguard itsne my, safeguard its save thes, make sure the foundation-- their farther-- isn't using the money to help himself. no did they not do that, but the attorney, found thed boey were on hadn't met at all since 1999. they took on a legal duty to safeguard the foundation's funds and didn't fulfill that duty, according to the a.g. >> brangham: david fahrenthold of the "washington post," thank you, as always. >> thank you.
>> woodruff: funding for 25% of the u.s. government is set to expire on friday. more than 800,000 federal workers, from departments including homeland security, transportation and justice, could be furloughed or have to work without pay. negotiations between the white house and congress are held up by $5 billion president trump wants to fund a border wall.xp toin the disagreement and chance for a partial shutdown:hi newshour's house correspondent yamiche alcindor f here. and jake shermanlitico is following the developments on capitol hill. and hello to both of you. so, yamiche, to you first. tell us, first, where does the opresident stand exactthe possibility of a deal to prevent a shutdown to fund the government? >> the president is indicating that he's willing to give up on his inial demando have $5 billion for the border wall. he wants to start his vacatinion florida, it seems ofriday, and not be dealing with a
government shutdown.la remember week when he had the democratic leaders in the white house, that would be senator chuck schumer and i,representative nancy pele said, "i would be proud to shut down the government over border security anduld be proud to take credit for that. now the white house is completely changing their tune. the president today said it's too early to tell. sarah sanders said they're willing to get the money from somewhere else. there isn't a clear idea of what the deal is going to be, but the white house is indating they're willing to make a deal and not stand firm on that $5 billion mark. >> woodruff: so given that, jake sherman, what does it look like from the perspective of capiatl hill? demoand republicans? >> so, i mean, democrats are heartened bought bauz there's not going be a border wall. it's very clear that the president, as yamiche said, is not going to get $5 billion, and he stepped away from this commitment-- which, by the way, he made many years ago. but republicans who have been following the president r the last three or four years and campaigning on what he has campaigned on are saying, "wait
a minut w you said yoe going to build a border wall with mexico. you first said mexico was going to pay for tand then you saiddo you woul it through the appropriations process, through ane congressional spending process. here we are in the last gasp of republican washington, and the president has given on that promise. so i think there's a lot of consternation ong republicans, certainly, and trump republicans specifically. woodruff: andso, yamiche, where does the president it's people around himy, where do the believe they're going to get this money from? >> that's a great question, judy. we have no idea. it's unclear where the president is going to get the money from. sarah sanders, in what iy is a rare white house press briefing since they're verrare these days-- she said they're going to try to not have taxpayer money spent on this wall. that's misleadg because that's what they will be looking for. they reqested federal agencies look at their budgets and cobble together this $5 billion and
floating an idea there might be legislation out there to pay for rder security. ere's no indication that legislation is anywhere near something that congress or the esident can pass. so what we have right now is the president saying, "we want to get the money. f we hope nd the money, but we're not exactly sure where we're going to get from." >> woodruff: so, jake, the conversation we're hearing is there may be a short-term deal that would push this over intonu y. what does that mean? you have a new congress, certainly more democrats in the use, two more republicans in the senate. but the shows where the real what does it look like could happen then? >> it looks like january or february is goingo bethe deadline, especially because we're sitting here just a couple of day s awfrom this deadline coming up. and it's just a complete and 100% fold from the president. the democratic shows not, especially the new democrs who are coming in energized to resist and oppose the president, they're not going t him a border wall in any way. now they might give him border security, which is different than a physical barrier which
had is what the president promised, but this should be read quite clearly by everybody as the predent saying that he's pretty much done on-- with his quest for the border wall. and that's what it's going to be when democrats take over in just a few short weeks. >> woodruff: very quickly, yamiche,on a few secs, the president still clings, talks about the border wall, evendi though the f doesn't seem to be there. >> he talks about it because it's a central partof his campaign, a central part of his presidency. he t to be president because he had crowds saying, "we want the wall," and now he is wede to the idea of criminalizing immigrants saying they bring disease here, so he wants talk about the wall even though, as je said, there's no indication he will get the money forthis. >> woodruff: yamiche alcindor, we'll keep watching this, and jake sherman, thank you. >> woodruff: now, we bring youo
ports from yemen amid years of war there.in and a wa images and accounts in both stories may upset some viewers. first, a fragile ceasefire seemed to hold today in hodeidah, the vital port city on yemen's red sea coas it's been controlled for years by houthi rebels, aligned with iran. a relentless bombing and ground campaign, led by saudi arabia, sought to re-take the city and its port, through which 70% of yemen's food is distributed. special correspondent jane ferguson is the only journalist on american television who got into the city, just before the truce took hold. >> reporter: both sides fighting in hodeidah battled one another right up until the tuesday a deadline fease fire. houthi rebels still control the city, but they are being encircled. yemeni fighters loyal to the internationally recognized government, supported by saudi- led coalition war planes and heavy weaponry are fighting to take it over.
we were given rare access to the city, through the one road in and out, not yet cut off by fighting. piles of earth and metal containers dragged across thesi road, the firs that this l a war zone. when troops loya saudi arabia andhe united arab emirates pushed inside the city in november, the battle reached ato ordinary people's hom neighborhoods. yemeni troops backed by the coalition are just about 500 yards inhat direction. and this neighborhood, which has been hit by air strikes, is a residential one, filled with civilians. this apartment buildg took a direct hit two weeks ago, people to us. the house next door was also hit. 13-year-old mohammed qudaiysh showed us the cuts on his body he received while running for his life. were you afraid? >> ( translated ): yes i was afraid.r my sised. i ran away when the strike came but the shrapnel followed me.
sen we went to the neighb and i was running and bleeding. >> reporter: his grandma needed surgery to remove shrapnel from her body. little mohammed collected parts of the missile that hit his house and killed his sister. the u.s. sells the saudi-led coalition the majority of the weapons it's using in this war. and take a look at this: throughout hodeidah, murals like these condemning the united states for its part in the war in yemen. mohammed is one of a growing number of children injured in this war. across town in the al salakhana hospital, battle-scarred youngsters fill the rooms. too young to understand the war, all they klaw is their prounds have become death traps. those like 10-year-old aisha mohim. t e was playing inside her house when a stray bult her and ended up lodged in her foot.ea in a bed ny lays eight-year- old qaddifa baria. still traumatized, qaddifa doesn't speak. she was injured when an air
strike hit the street she was playing in. her father struges to bare the pain. >> ( translated ): i go out every day to look for work as a borer at sunrise. and when i was out that day a missile hit nearby my house and her brother died instantly. my daughter's leg was broken and she had shrapnel all over her back. >> reporter: the shrapnel passed right through qaddifa's too, so now, she needs to have a colostomy bag attached at all times. >> ( translated ): i feel insane. i am poor and have nothing, i am a laborer, and i don't have anything. nothing. nothing at all. >> reporter: this hospital is supported by doctors without borders, known by its french acronym "m.s.f.," one of only a few charities inside yemen sti willing to keep international staff in hodeidah. according to frederic bertrand, m.s.f.'s head of mission here, hospitals sperately need their support. >> many civilians that have beet
caughten fire. eople that have been victims of gunshot, shrapnelosion, e r strikes. we are supporting the hospitals inside the city. lothe front lines that gotr to our hospital make difficult the access forhe patient and also our capacity to increase the care according to the needs. >> reporter: aoss town hodeidah's main hospal thura, is packed with people hoping to find help. bth the fighting just a few yards away, it cely cope, overwhelmed with people desperate for all kinds of medical care. this hospital is very to the front line here in hodeidah, and it is absolutely packed. it tres people for everything from malnutrition to war wounds. ofah hadi, a nursing student, lost six extended family members when an air strike hit her apartment building.
she also lost her left leg. >> ( translated ): when i woke up after the operation i found myself in the i.c.u. i tried to move my legs. my right leg moved but the left didn't. i knew the moment i tried to move my leg. and when the doctor told me to try to move my toes, i tried too myself together. later my father came to heck on me ande told me i am your father standing next to you and igwill be your leg. >> reporter: theing here doesn't just risk the lives of those inside the pity. hodeidaht is a lifeline for millions across yemen. most of the food imported intobe reheld yemen comes through this port, and if fighting were to reach here and shut it down, the u.n. says it could bring with it the biggest famine of a generation, with millions of lis at risk. in sweden, the talks resulted in a handshake agreemt by both sides to eventually pull their troops out of hodeidah.
but it's a fragile agreement, yet to be honored. back in sana'a i asked t political leader of the houthis, president mohammed ali al houthi, if he will really withdraw troops. >> ( translated ): this is one of the conditions, yes, that the military forces withdrawal and keep only the police. according to what was planned. nothing has been declared yetwi buin ten to twelve days of ceasing fire these steps will start. the first step is to cease fire and then gradually there will be more steps towards this. >> reporter: at the end of the first day, the ceasefire is still holding in hodeidah, for the most part. turning this moment of peace into a lasting chance for yemen's people to put their lives back together again is the next, difficult step. for the pbs newshour, i'm jane ferguson in hodeidah, yemen >> woodruff: now, another look at the world's largest humanitarian crisis. t it comough the story of one family that has borne astonishing loss, and are trying
to prevent even more, from the preventable disease diptheria. and though it's been eradicated in many parts of the wor through vaccination, the public whealth crisis amid yemen has let this infection flourish there for thfirst time since 1989. from aden, special correspondent beth murphy rerts. >> reporter: if you coulhear nora, you would hear her screaming. she is just four years old, wi a tracheostomy tube robbing her of voice, but giving herife. it's her only way of breathing while suffering from diptheria. her two siblings, both sisters, have already died of the highly contagious bacterial infection. iow she's in a hospital isolward, watched over by her mother and grandmother as she struggles to breathe. >> ( translated ): ameera and sondos are the two that died. we are devastated by it. they died with blood coming out
of the mouths in their mothers arms, may they rest in peace. >> reporter: diphtheria is known as "the strangling angel of children"; doctor al-noor abdul- a-rishi explains why. is it really like strangling? >> yes, yes, yes, yes, there is a narrowing in the airway. >> reporter: that narrowing is caused by a toxin that can also get into the bloodstream and attack the heart, kidneyand nervous system. that's what killed noora's younger sister, ameera, who was three years old. sood muhammed is the nur who was with her in the ambulance en she died. >> ( translated ): suddenly she was having seizures and screaming and started convulsing. she was sleeping and then she woke up screaming. this wasn't normal so i tried to get her to rest. it was cardiac arrest so i started c.p.r. i kept performing cpr, cpr, cpr
until 4:30 a.m. i handed the body to the fatr. i said, here is your daughter. i did the best i could and did everything i was able to do and left the rest to god. >> reporter: nora's older sister, sondos, did not survive rgery to insert a tracheostomy tube in her throat. >> i am working here 26 years as a pediatric doctor. i don't facing diphtheria during whole my work, only last year. >> reporter: it's been nearly 30 years since yemen's last diphtheria o the first case in this latest crisis came in august 2017. since then, the disease has spread to every corner of the launtry as the war has made it difficult to ino children and also moved large, fleeing, dpulations closer together where the airborease can rapidly spread through coughing and sneezing. 2600 cases have been counted, ors suspect there are countless others that have been
misdiagnosed, often as tonsillitis. doctors here have treated 70 patients. 12 of them died. esarly all the victims are like nora, whose familed fighting in the north. across yemen, the healthre system has collapsed and there are severe shortages of vaccines, medicines, equipment and of staff to use it all. >> during the war, many, many health centers stopped working, there is no vaccination. and also there is migration of the population from one town to another, avoiding the war.ep >>ter: because the al- sadaqa hospital here in the southern port city aden has received the largest number of diphtheria cases over the past year, doctors here have created training materials that are now being used to teach other doctors all around the country how to handle diphtheria cases. nora's roommate is 8-year-old sultan. for three weeks, he's been treated with antibiotics and a phtheria anti-toxin. it's a big step to practice
talking again. even with treatment diphtheria kills one out of every 10 patients. untreated, the death rate is one out of every two patients. with two of their three children already gone, nora's family isng doing everythey can to keep her alive. >> (anslated ): it was traumatic. what could we have done? we didn't know anything about this disea no cure. nothing. no parentshould bury their t ild. if we'd known abe vaccine we would've done anything to get it. the disease doesn't know old from young. we will cry for the rest of our lives from the pain we feel fr. their deat >> reporter: for the pbs newshour, i'm beth murphy in aden, yemen.
>> woodruff: there have been 24 school shootings this year at k through 12 schools 35 people have been killed, 28 of them students. another 79 people have been injured. those are the latest stats that our colleagues at education week have been tracking throughout 18. depending on how you count, it's one of the worst years in modern times. yet, there are still enormous differences and debaund what should be done for school safety. this afternoon, president trump and his team released their own recommendations, and there are plenty of debates again aboutme of those ideas. amna nawaz has the story, fome our weekly s, making the grade. >> nothing is more important than protecting our nation' children. >> nawaz: at the white house, president trump hailed a school safety report nine months in th. maki >> i think we have a lot of tremendous ideas here, put up by tremendous people. >> nawaz: the federal commission
on school safety released itsfi ings today with dozens of proposals for improving security at u.s. schools. they range from mental health .training to cyber bullyi the commission, led by education cretary betsy devos, formed after the february shooting at marjorie stoneman douglas gh school in parkland, florida that killed 17 students. the gunman, nikolas cruz, was a former student there. at the te, it was the 11th school shooting of the year. the commission consulted dozens of survivors, teacrs and parents. the father of one of the parkland victims spoke today: >> it means so much to all of us and this president and his administration listened and he did this and it means a lot all the families. and i want to thank all the administration for getting this done and making it safer for all the kids in this country. >> nawaz: the shooting sparked a nationwide conversation about gun control, led by students from stoneman douglas high school. they led several marches including one month after the ooting, which drew more than one million people to
washington, d.c.um president and some lawmakers initially discussed a thmber of potential actions, including raisinminimum age to buy assault-style rifles. but there wano final action on raising the age. and eventually, the president sied a law strengthening t federal background check system. gun-control advocates say action at the federal level hasn't gone far enough. the report scops short of endations on access to guns, but supports so-called "red flag" laws thatllow a gun to be taken away from e who poses a threat to himself or others. the commission says it took a "holistic" approach to school safety. among the dozens of proposals: a call to roll back obama-a guidance for reducing racial disparities in schoolli disc. the administration argues those rules kept schools from taking action against pottially dangerous students. the report also calls for increased attention to mental health, citing the parkland gunman who was expelled from school. oe two previous secretari education john b. king and arne
duncan released a statement calling the rollback proposal "beyond disheartening" and "shameful." the report also says individual schools should make the decision on giving teachers and school personnel firearms and training. the commission does not encourage schools to arm teachers, but it provide guidelines if they choose to do so. for the first of our twoti res to secretary devos's woport, i am joined by catherine e. lhamon, chan of the u.s. commission on civil rights. sering the obama administration, she was assistanetary for civil rights at the u.s. rtment of education, whe she oversaw and signed the student disciplinary guidelines that are being rescinded byy' toreport. welcome to the newshour. >> thank you, amna. >> nawaz: the goal of this report wasbasically to make schools safer. you have taken a look at it. does it do that? >> it has nothing to do with making schools s.af it does not take steps that will
make students safer in schitols, and sos a massive misstep, while, also, enshrining discrimination. >> nawaz: that is the rolng back of those obama-era guidelines about disciplinary actis, right. the argument there from the administration is that, look, that prevented teachers from taking actions they needed to take against potentially dangerous students. what do you make of that? >> that argument is absolute nonsense, including in the specific context that this commission was investigating. in the parkland shooting context, that student had been disciplined. that studenars discipl record had absolutely nothing to do with the external school shootingahich is travesty, which is terrifying for every parent-- of whom i am one-- ford ts in schools, and this commission did not take steps to figure out how to make sure the students are safe. >> nawaz: just this one example, we heard from some of the victims' parents who said the shooter in parkland wasn't disciplined as he should have been, there wasn't a record of
goininto the alternative detention program and he wasn't flagged. do you think there are failings there thatare not addressed by this report? >> there may be serious issues be addressed wit respect to that student. those are unrelated to whether the school had toacceshe school with a gun to take students' lives. that is something we still need to address. that has absolutely nothing to do with what are appropriate steps not discriminate against students in the context of hool dicipline, unrelated to school shootings. those two issues need to be fully seorated and both need be appropriately addressed. >> nawaz: there is a concrete specific remendation here related to gun control, right, of the expansion of what we call red flag laws, of potentially taking away firearms fromgh someone who be dangerous in the community comoount? are you happy to see that? do you think that's >> sure, i'm glad to see there is some recommendation that is actually relevant to the ofopic his commission but i would have expected this commission to take steps to make sure our students are safe. i'm a parent of two students in public school. i want to know every day when they go to school i have a t theyable expectation t
will come home safe to me and fay myfamiat. >> nawaz: ould you have wanted to see in the report that wasn't included? >> i would like to see concre steps about gun control. i would have liked to have seeno concrete stepr schools to make the school safer. i did not expect this commission or any commission to use it as an execution for discrimination in schools, to ro back protections that we have been promised for six decades by congress. >> nawaz: they also do call for schools to take new ways to fund programs around mental health, around making sure staents get the supporthey need. they want a broader conversation about violence in our culture and video games and so on. is that a produoive way to mve this conversation forward, too? >> mental health support for all communities in theunited states are critically important. it's very important to have those conversations, not specific to scl shoot, but in general, because we need to make sure that all of our health condions are fully addressed. so i'm grateful to hear what
there are recommendations that this commission is beginning to think about related to mental s healthupports for students in school. we have too few councilors. the ones we have are too few. that is separate and apart from the question w we make sure that no student is discriminated against in school on the base of race. and this commission's recommendations not only don't take that seriously, but take us back several decades to the bad old daysov that topic. >> nawaz: catherineon, thank you so much for being here. >> nawaz: let's get a different take from someone who lihad much ofshe heard today. jeanne allen is the c.e.o. of center for education reform, a group that has long supportedho charter s. thanks for being here. >> thank you, amna. >> nawaz: are heard from catherine lhamon, sheoesn think the recommendations will make the schools safer, do you believe it does? >> it was a comprehensive broad world view of what you have to
do to provide for not just students but teachers to be safe. it puts controls back in the hands of teachers and schools to make some really imanpo disciplinary decisions when they are confronted wih students objectively that cause a problem. it advocate for ntal health thsues in schools, not just outside. 's an important piece of it. it advocates for that red flag law that you mentioned. it advocates for security at a much higher level. and fundamentally what, it s is it says we have to think about the whole child. >> brown: of. >> nawaz: let me ask you about the disappear actions. those disproportionately have affected students of color. it is not students of color that have been carryith outese school shootings so how does that make schools safer. entwhen the federal gover throws down a dictate, schools and teachers get very fearfulhi about ever they do. so it's not about race and
color. the issue in the obama era disciplined policy, so well intentioned, a i so repect catherine and secretary king and secretary duncan who put that in place. they were well intentioned, but the problem is that when you fail to realize that the children coming to school who are causing dissopline issues have other background issues, right, then that's why in cosomemmunities, it has been disproportionately on n american males, for example, who have been suspended or thereee haveissues. nobody wants to talk about this amna. the reality is this should be-- this should not be something we walk on eggs over. we should be talkiout single-parent families and holding the student to high expecttions. you mened one of the things supported is charter schools. afcan american-led charter schools across the country are enforcing high levels of disrng academpectations, and sending poor minority kids to college is.n drove
>> nawaz: let me ask you something else that came out inp the t, the conversation about arming school personnel if the school chooses to do so or for increased funding for school resource officers. do you support that? > one of the things i liked about theport is some of the retired military troops, the teachers, and bringing in me of our law enforcement people who no longer are in theo streets, speak, and helping protect schools. >> nawaz: you believe that would make schools safe ir. elieve that would absolutely make schools safer. i think it's talking about a holistic community approach to bring everybody around our kids into the equation and not leaving things on the table that, perhapswould really go a long way to reporting and providing for safe,disciplined and academically rich schools. rt nawaz: let me ask you about the whole headq approach. this isn't the first timewe have had a report from an administration after a school shooting. this is the third concutive administration that has put forward recommendations. what do you think it will take? for parents out there who want to know their kids are safe
what, willt take to bring about meaningful change which i think we can all agree this report does notead to. >> it's unfathomable that we have to this and that the parents and students have had to endure these tragedies is awful. it's a rep the federal government can only do so much. they cannot just dictate what should be going on in anyone's home, schools, or communities. it's a bul.ly pulp it is to laid discussion, bring these ideas, ps to make us do thingst and differently and do so with a sense of urgently. but fundamentally, it is parents, teachers, and thmmunities and lawmakers that have to come tor on this without this bipartisan bickering on who did this and who is not treating our kids ay? certain we have to put that aside. what it will take is active parent engagement. schools that work. schools that aren't huge and amorphous. opportunities to get educated in lots of different new ways that technology makes possible, and fundamentally allowing teachers to actually call out when they're doing something
wrong. >> nawaz: jeanne allen, thank you very much for your time. >> thank you, amna. >> wdruff: now, two photographers aimed to capture the richnessf rural life. but before they could do it, fred baldwin and wenha watriss firsto figure out their way into a world they knew little about. jeffrey brown has their story for our series, american creators. >> brown: rural texas in the early 1970's: images highlighting the lives and experiences of african american families, white farmers and mexican migrant workers. all captured by documentary photographers fred baldwin and wendy watriss.to >> i wanteell stories. the camera is an extraordinary instrument for that. >> i knew that this was what i wanted to do for the rest of my life. >> brown: it was, many ways, an unlikely journey.
the son of a u.s. diplom, fred baldwin was born in switzerland. he began his life as a photographer by convincing pablo picasso to sit for him later took freelance assignments l over the world, from for national geographic and other publications.y wetriss spent most of her youth in greece and spain, before working as a journalist cd photographer, covering conflicts in europtral america and africa for "newsweek" and the "new york times." ele two met in the late 1960s at a manhattan party,in love, and came to a decision. >> when we met, we had both lived in many parts of the worli and beolved in bigger and smaller news stories, but it hadn't been lodeing deeply inur own country, our own culture. magically, we both said, "why don't we take time off and really look at the inside of the country." ad>> brown: in 1971, they ed
up a tiny trailer and embarked on a journey through some of backroads of rural america, a trip that would shape much of the rest of their career. >> this trip started in maryland and wound its y over the appalachians and into arkansas and finally into texas. >> brown: there, in anderson, they met willie buchanan and his family. >> this pickup truck camewn roaring he road, pulled up and said, "what are y'all doing here?" we said, "we're photographing the church and we're looking for a place to put our trailer." this guy gave us a beer and he said, "follow me." we moved into his back pasture d remained there off and on for three years. >> brown: their cameras capturei scenide the buchanan home, like this one titled "front room."s >> to me i intimate d pression of self and comfort in his own home s own territory. >> brown: buchthan introduced to several other african
american families living in the haarea, who became part of baldwin and watriss called "the texas prect," photographing weddings, inside bars, pool halls, and even the local black rodeo. they also met white families, captur as the racial divide of the time, in both public and private settings, embedding themselves we went to church every sunday, sometimes three times. black churches, white churches, we set up a fr photography service. we cranked out prints. in every event and everying m at we did, we came there bearing pictures fat we did the last time we were there. >> i think we were there long enough to in a sense prove ourselves. >> brown: the texas work continued over time, including photographing the lives of mexican-american farmworkers, and the descendents of german settlers in central and west texas.
the co and in 1986 founded "fotofest," a biennial exhibition now one of e largest in the world. aneir photography, and life, partnership has d five decades. how does the partnerouip work? whenake on a project, a itotography project, who does what and how doeork? >> we both do everythi when we were dealing with analog film, fred developedmuch better than i do. i'm a slightly better printer than he is. >> you are? (laughter) >> we both photograph. we don't identify who took what picture. >> we wanted people when they saw the pictures just to look at the picture, not say, "oh, wendy >> brown: at 90 and 75 years old, balin and watriss are now sorting through the original images from their texas project, and recently returned to many of the places they first photographed in the 1970's >> the one thing that we discovered was that when we went
in, we didn't have to ask very many questions to find out that things had not changed in certain respects. >> the schools are not serving the larger community. the old power structure remains very intact. yes, there are black officials now and there's some intermarriage and so forth. things have changed, but underneath it hasn't changed that much.e >> brown: theyrrently working on a multimedia project, oucluding a short documentary their time photographing grimes county, texas. >> i love looking at those pictures, because they're not it's a wonderful reflection of life, that yes, there's a lot of hardship all around, but people have this extraordinary capacity to make their own lives with their friends and their family something that's very rich and joyous. >> brownfor the pbs newshour, i'm jeffrebrown in houston.
>> woodruff: and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm jody woodruff. 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: >> the ford foundation. working with visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide. >> carnegie corporation of new york. supporting innovations in educion, democratic gagement, and the advancement of international peace and security. at carnegie.org. >> and with the ongoing support ofhese institutions and individuals.
hello, everyon and welcome to "amanpour." here is what's coming up. war and peace, love and hate in the middle east. first yemen where warring parties agreedafo a ceasefire r more than two years. and i speak to the u.n.'s tireless negotiator martin griffiths. then true love that hate in israel. a jewish/muslim marriage between two a-list mediatars. ♪ and finally, the power of empathy, how an iraqi refup e and a trumsupporter became unlikely friends. ♪