tv PBS News Hour Weekend PBS December 22, 2018 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
captioning sponsored by wnet >> thompson: on this edition for saturd, december 22: a partial government shutdown over disagreement for funding the border wall.hutdown over and some year end favorites, ant the ies behind them next on pbs newshour weekend. >>s newshour weekend is made possible by: bernard and irene schwartz. sue and edgar wachenheim iii. seton melvin. the cheryl and philip milstein elamily. dr. p. roy v and diana t. vagelos. the j.p.b. foundation. rosalind p. walter. barbara hope zuckerberg. corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we're your
retirement company.on addi support has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. from the tisch wnet studios at lincoln center in new york, megan thompson. >> thompson: good evening and thank you for joining us. the partial government shuondown willnue until at least next thursday. lawmakers were back in the capital today, after failing to meet predent trump's demand for $5 billion for a border wall and fund nine agencies. president trump postponed his holiday trip to mar-a-lago in flthida, and hosted a lunch staff and republican lawmakers. in a video posted on twitter last night, the presblamed democrats, despite saying a week ago that he would onoudly take rebility for a shutdown.
the senate minoritleader, chuck schumer, met with vice president pence earlier this afternoon. on the senate floor today, schumer blamed the president for what he called the "trump shutdown" and said the wall was a non-starter. >> if you want to open the government, you must abandon the wall. >> thompson: for more on thesh down, washington post reporter damian paletta joins us now from washington, d.c. so, damien, you've been keeping your eye on all the developments in washington today. can you just tels us what all ppened and where do we stand now? >> sure, i mean, i think things have gone from bad to worse. we saw president trump have lunch today with some hardine conservatives at the white house, people that really support his, you know, push to demand money for theorder wall. congressional leaders were on capitol hill, but they made no real prog.ress, eith in fact, the senate has adjourned until two days after christmas. a numbel of fedeencieses will be closed. we've already seen, you know, dozens ofioatl parks close
today. and 380,000 federal workers, not to mention all the contractors d others, will be sent home without pay beginning wednesday. n: you mentioned the senate's adjourned until the 27th, but, i i mean, how likely is it we'll actually seeg th resolved then or do you think this might continue until the democrats take over the house in january? it's increasingly starting to look like that. i mean, once you get to there 27th, yobout a week away from democrats taking control of tse of representatives. democrats feel like they're on very solid ground here in this impasse because president trump said last week that he would own the shutdown. he would be proud to shut down the government. the republicans have kind of changed their ulpositioniple times leading into the shutdown. s nancy pelosi in the house and chuck schumer in tate, you know, have been able to unify the democratic party to holdpp firm ande any money for the wall. so the democrats feel like they're in good position, and c th maybe wait this out another week. >> thompson: do you think that all of this polical jockeying is kind of foreshadowing what
we're going to see when the new congress comes into session? >> yeahabsolutely. that's a great question. i think both sides are kind of feeling each otheout, and neither side wants to give in. nancy pelosi, who igoing to be the speaker of the house in january, you know, nto prove to her members, especially the new members, the newmo ats just elected, that sheik stand up to trump and hold the line. and the same thing for chuck so with them work together, they really, for the first time, act esidentg check on pr trump's authority. president trump, on the other hand, feels like he has to, you know, take a tough position or democrats will try to essentially take away all of his power. so there's a real, you know, showdown happening here. and it could drag on f quite a while. >> thompson: so, for the next few days, when theovernme definitely is going to be shut down, what kinds of things are we going to see? how is it going to affecty? peop >> we saw many, many national parks closed. the gateway arch in st. louis
st. louis, where i'm from, was closed. that's, obviously, inconvenient and hurts a lot of people who have businesses, maybe connected to those national parks. i think wednesday and thursday we're going to start seeing the real impact on a lot of federal workers, like i mentioned. 380,000 federal workers will be sent home indefinitely without pay. another 400,000 workers will continue to go to their jobs but they will not be puntil this 's also important to keep in mind this is just a hand full. multiple federal agencies, but not all federal agencies will be the spaeg not impacted, but the departmendepartment of homelandy is impacted. it could have kind of an uneven impact but it will definitely be felt by many people. >> thompson: all right, damien paletta of the "washington post." thank you so much for joining us. >> my pleasure, thank you. >> >> thompson: the u.s. envoy to the international coalition fighting the islamic state-- brett mcgurk-- has resigned in
protest of president trump's decision to withdraw u.s. troops from syria. mcgurk's resignation was submitted yesterday, a is effective december 31. he had already planned to resign two months from now, in february, 2019. mcgurk, who was appointed by president obama and retained by mr. trump, warned earlier this month that it would be "reckless" to bring u.s. troopsi home from his departure comes just a day after defense secretary james hettis also quit over policy differences with administration. in a series of tweets today, president trump defended the decision to leave syria, saying "now isis is largely defeated and other local countries, including turkey, should be able to easily take care of whatever remains." finaial markets were rattled this week by the shutdown and news of defense secretary james mattis' resignatn. see what that means for the u.s. economy at pbs.org/newshour. for our year-end broadcasts,
thought we'd let you hear from the team of producers who bring you our newshour weekend stories each weeto gain some insight into our production and journalistic process, and maybe even hear few war stories ong the way. newshour weekend's hnii srsan recently sat down with the team of chris booker, laura fong, and mori rothman.an >> sreenivall right, chris, let's start with you. let's talk about one of the pieces that mattered to you, moved you this year. >> so in july, my producer and i, laura fong, we went dow to hoopers island on the eastern shore of maryland, and basically, the eastern shore of maryland is known for its crabs. everybody goes to maryland, everybody eats maryland crabs. but this year they were missing about 40% of their workforce. >> the american crab picker is gone by the wside. the old ladies have died off, and the younger ladies now want a full-me job. we only offer eight months out of the year. 're seasonal, so they want something that they can count on year round with benefits, and we
don't offer that. >> reporter: like others in the area, harry phillips has thtten around the shortage of american workers a migrant workforce, hired season after season, and brought legally to the u.s. on h-2b visas., in the pase visas were issued on a first-come, first-served basis, but the department of homeland security switched to a lottery system. which means if i'm crab compa "x," a laura is crab company "y," we apply. and if i'm selected in the lottery, i'm able to get all of my visas. if laura is not selected she gets non of her visas. >> sreenivasan: got it. >> so there were a number of crab housesn hoopers island who of who had no workers at the height of their season. >> sreenivasan: so, laura, how do you make this into. interesting when you do your research, where you try to fig outer where to go >> it was tricky because one of our main characters, harry phillips, had no workers. so what do you film?
>> empty bags? >> i basically filled an empty room where there was a table and no people and that wasis story, that he needed those workers in order to make, you know, his business work. >> gl what are-- what are these companies going to do next year? >> so, speaking with a number of the fishermen, they are in a situation where they don't know. they don't know what will happen. maybe they'll get selected in the lottery. maybe they won't. maybe sthael b e able toend some of the visas they had from last season into is season, maybe they won't. it's a really gray area right now. and, unfortunately, they're ht in this perfect storm of politics and economics. >> i can't do it two years in a, o. if we don't get workers another year, we'll shut the doors. either that or we've even considered-- there's crabs in mexico. and we-- we've been checking ato see s going on, and we're going to fly down there thisnt . >> reporter: to see about maybe setting up shop there. >> setting up shop inexico. the ladies are there. they're all willing to work. the crabs are there.'t i doave much education, and
i do know what i'm doing here. so what else can we do? you know, we can't sit here idle. >> that was a very strange comment from him. itwe didn't expec it kind of took us off guard. >> sreenivasan: he hasn gone yet. >> as far as wean, he hasn't. he was able to get some workers late in the seson, so he has not made that move. but the fact that he was even considering it, being a native of, you know, the eastern shore of maryland for many generations, we were shocked that he even considered it. >> year, he's ahird-generation fisherman. and, you know, lot of times i think we're looking to tell big stories through small windows. and i think this is a example of that. i mean, you know, you're real ral trying to look at stories through a person's individual experience. and you're trying to find some stories that include the bigger things that may be more difficult or more complicated to talk about, but you can realleay y see, wow, this is a policy that's having a direct impact on peop, and there's really no black or white.
it's remarkably gray. it requires a bit of nuance, in the way we look at things. >> sreenivasan: not all of our stories are big policy issueha you and mor been kind of on a hot streak this year of going to some beautiful places. let's talk about a couple of thos >> yes, i'll give it to you, mori. because mori say great partner to have in the field. we've been in the desert. we've been in the mountains. and it's aays good to have mori at your side. >> yeah, well, we've had the luck this year of going to several locations that proders dream to film. we've been in the desert where everything you point the camera at is picd resque. u can't miss. every single frame can be used-- in the salton sea story, the sun setsver the mountains by the sea, and it's an incredible sunset. in another setting we were filming in moab, with the moab music festival. and not only are we filming a classical music concert. middleilming it in t of this canyon of red rock.
♪ ♪ >> sreenivasan: and that's not some place you can drive to. >> it' we had to hike to it. we had to bring our camera gear in the canyon. >> sreenivasan: all of the musicians are carrying all their equipment. you showed that in the story. >> we didn't have it as bad as them. particular loot the baz player. he had his bass strapped to his back and was duck under trees and had to move tree branches ound. we just had two tripods. but the highlight of that high, it has to be said, is mori was actually charged by a ferocious baby deer. ( laughter ) which somehow we didn't put in the story. a> we were grabbing some shots of the nature around the concert, and we see this deer approach us, and i'm getting closer with t camera and thinking this is incredible, i'm getting this close of aan shot. the deer starts getting closer to me, wow, really snaig there and getting mshot. and it starts to gal gallegoop e littbit and charge and pick up its hooves, and about 10 feet
from mi realize, oh! this is very close toe. i probably should put my camera down and see if i'm in trouble here. ( laughter ). >> sreenivasan: the thing is, we're bringing this up partly, mo, not to embarra you, but you're on a streak of these kind of bizarre moments that are haening only to you, compared to anybody else that we have. you come back and y have video of these things happening. >> i do. it's doing everythinet the shot. >> gl yup. >> sometimes that includes-re when we wen calgary-- crashi on a bike on a mountain trail. we had a gopro strapped to my bike as i was following a person we were profiling -- >> he made a really coo wheelchair bike. >> yes, this is for a story that hasn't run wet. we mh a fellow named christian bag, and he broke his back snowboarding when he was 20, and he spent the last 22 ars work on an all-terrain wheelchair. and he has successfully baclt thhine that allows him to
go extreme mountain bikiweng. trapped gopros everywhere and had them on christian's and mori's bike and my bike. and we were toward the end oft the ride tha point and going down the mountain. we're feeling really good-- >> i had alry taken a couple of tumbles f the bike. so i was feeling iffy. >> but we got the footage of morip lipping uover the handle bars. >> my bodie's taking a beating. >> sreenivasan: the thing is, there's nohing in your way that you flipped over. was there a b rock? there was a surprise baby deer? nope. i there wasn't. d no excuse for this one. just-- >> the other part of the story that was funny and i was thinking about this last night. we were about halfway through the ride, and i said to the guys, the canadians, "do we have to worry about bears?" and they were like, "yeah, you do. do younow what you have to do?" they basically said a bear won't
eat something that's not run sewing stay still. >> sreenivasan: wow. news you can use right here. >> exaently. >> sasan: at the end of the year. >> one of the guys with us said i've got this bear spray with w me. the two york griez... >> and my difficulty on the bike and the risks there rlilly just hit how amazing it is that christian can go out there on this 3d-printed wheelchair, ands i'm crh ago i crashed four times on that mountain. christian -- >> no problem >> speeding past me. >> you'll notice that there's no one behind us. and no one in front of us, because we have to walk. >> i'm really excited about this stort' just becausea story about technology, because he's making a lot of the parts with his3d printer, but it's also the story of iovation. and the highlight for him isn't that he's throughout in the mountain, it's that he's out there with his friends and having an experience just like they don't have to worry that i'm going to slow them down. i'm going just as fast as i did0 ears ago. >> sreenivasan: he's not left behind. >> no. >> sreenndasan: thereus
that we use all kinds of cameras and all kinds of placesnd you and i did a piece about lyft and uber and what's happening withyo the new city taxi system. and there are scenes in the beginning where, you know, if you weren't watching, you wouldn't have known laura was in the backseat trying get the shot in every waybl possi and every once in a while your head drifts up there and drifts back. andy gonzalez, began with uber shortly after the company came to new york seven years ago. he drove m and my producer, laura, who is filming in the backseat. >> i didn't have good way to monitor whether or not i was in the shot of the gopro, and, of course, i want to make the piece good. i had to get a shot of you, hari,and i sometimes had to cross over. and lo and behold, there was a shot we wanted to use where i s in the background. >> sreenivasan: it's okay. i mean, it's a team effort. and i think a lot of things that our viewers miss is that there's t just the one person that appears on camera doing this, that there's people back in the newsroom tare helping put the scripts together, there are editors working to make this
stuff look good. right, there are a lot of people involved in this process. wh happened with that lyf story? has anything changed? >> newtiork is very much an anomaly, especially in the u.s. market, in terms of ride-hailing apps like uber and lyft. we're the onlyha city has put some sort of cap. and it's technically only a yearlong cap. it could change after this year while they study the flow of traffic d how itill affect the city. >> sreenivasan: since 2011, the number ofor-hire vicles licensed in new york city has more than doubled fr 50,000 to did 130,000 cars, all required to be licensedy the city's taxi and limousine commission. the majority of the new cars are used for app services like uber and lyft. you also got a chance to do somethinthis year that i thi anybody of a certain generation iso completely envious of, which is skate with tony hawk. >> i did. it was as black sabbath was
playing in concert and and i was the carpenters and i jumped up bain the middle of a blackth set and interrupted them. but it was amazing. about twoonths before his 50th birthday, tony hawk set out to do his tricks he invented years before. >> sreenivasan: this is a 50-year-old doing what he's iting physically, regardless of whet skateboarding, he's in phenomen>> shape. s he tells you nonetheless piece, no yoga, no die he surfs. >> nowadayiz have to work at it. so if i get hurt i'm the one doin gthe icing andting the mobility back and starting low and starting slow. it's just more work. >> tony hawk's cultural footprint is substantial. it may sm a bit odd that he's appearing on a news program like, this but his found has built over 600 skate parks around the world, an estimated si t million people usese skate parks every year, and he's involved in internationals
organizatiat are championing skateboarding and education. he's involved in a group called skateistan. and they built schools and skate parks in south africa andis afghn. he talks about, skateboarding in a place like afghanistan, they're viewed add a toy. there's no gender dynamic. they're saying it's okay for gis and boys to go skateboarding because it's a toy. i'm revealing myself. i was a lifetime skater. now i really basically only skate with my daughter. but skateboarding as an activity is something that it's really done by the individual. there's no league. there's no team. there's no ref. and there's no bar for what youd o do or be able to do but it's also about falling. you fall down a lot. and it maybe sounds hyperbolsonaroic but the idea of falling pd getting back is something that's really important. >> sreenivasan: mori, just in case the audience can'l, you guys are of slightly different generations. but it's nas mazing how g his brand has kind of gone through all these different iterations,e
ans still-- >> still very relevant. and, you know, everybody who i told about this storywas jealous of me for getting to go report on this. rand it also was ae opportunity to see someone who has been following tony hawk skateboarding so ong, to meet the man, tony hawk, and you get to see-- a. >> sreenivasan: a fanfandom moment. >> we walked iide the office just outside of san diego, and he hasll these amazing things on the wall. nd, this fellow take us arou a really nice guy, said, you can shoot here, you can shoot on the ramp. i said i need a moment here. >> tony hawk's private personal half-pipe, the mecca of skating, really. >> the skating came up because tony-- we didiehe inteand he skated for us. and he said, "you should hav brought your board." and i said, "if you have a helmet, i'll happily do it." 30 secretaries later i was suiting up with the helmet and off i go. feel like i was interrupting
something, but it was still pretty cool. >> sreenivasan: any kind of overall recollections? it's been a nutty newpsyche thel year. you guys have had lots of opportunities to go do all kinds of interesting things. any refloaks the state of the indust or any kind of topics that stuck out to you. >> you know, this is such a unique te as we hday in and day out. i feel remarkably lucky to work for the with t pbs newshour weekend" because we are able to go a bit slower. we're ableo take te with stories and really, i think, give heart to things and to ex sain things. online our audience is growth. our audience is growing on televion as well. that's really encouraging. >> sreenivasan: mori and laura,khat do you guys l for when-- before you pitch a story to us and say, "hey, we really want to go out in the field and do this? what are the things that kind of light you up and say this could make for an interesting piece? >> i think it's so important to
find those ories that connects with everyone, and sometimes nanetyork, with the story th we did, it's-- it seems like it's a new york story, but, really, it's a story that could be happening in other cities as wellt >> i think w look for in a story is giving people the chance to learn more that they won't get from the hdlines, in a way if they're talking to a friend about the news of the day they can say, "well, ihe watc the "pbs newshour weekend" and there's actually an interesng wrinkle to the story you might not know about which it really changed the way i feel about what we're all reading and talking about. >> the narrative is that we're divided. and i feel when we go out into the country, it doesn't feel tdivided. yes, feels different depending on where you are in the country, but when you get down and actually talk with people and talk with them about their experience, the noise goes away, and it gets a lot simpler. how that manifests itself in l politics, i've for others to talk about. but i find that encourage. >> woodruff: all righ laura
fong, mor mori rothman, christopher booker, thank you all. ay this is "pbs newshour weekend," satu >> thompson: the first observers from the united nations arrived in yemen today, part of an advance team that will monitor a fragile ceasefire that went into effect in the port city of hodeida. the u.n. brokered ceasefire was agreed to in sweden, by yemen's government and houthi shiite rebels, earlier this month. onriday, the u.n. security councivoted unanimously to authorize the deployment, which will not be uniformed or armed. hodeida, which handles 70% of yemen's imports, has been the site of intense fighting this year, contributing to the ongoing famine in the country. the "yellow vest" protesuets continfor a sixth straight weekend in paris today, but showed signs of losing uteam. policed tear gas and batons on a few demonstrators following a number of small scuffles.
authorities estimated only 800 protestors turned out today down from 4,000 last week and 10,00e the week bef. the yellow vest demonstrations began over increased fuel taxes, which were rescinded. protests continue over the high cost of living. two people were arrested last night in connection with illegal gatwick airport.r london's sussex police confirmed the arrests, but stressedhat the investigation is ongoing. flights were grounde36 hours after the drones were first spotted on wednesday. the airport has since reopened, but delays are still expected. the spanish lottery "el gordo" was played today and made a ergroup of lucky ticket ho very rich. the winning numbers are broadcast live, and audience members dress up for the christmas holidays. el gordo ranks as the world's largest lottery in terms of total prize money. this year's payout is worth $2.7 billion. the top prize for a winning
ticket is $455,000, but there are many smaller prizes.oi >> thompson:us tomorrow for more on the continuing partial government shutdown, the drawdown of u.s. forces in syria and afghanista a look back at more of our producers' favorite stories from th year.t that's all for this edition of pbs newshour weekend. i'm megan thompson. thanks for watching. have a good night. captioning sponsored by wnet captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org >> pbs newshour wees made possible by:
bernard and irene schwartz. sue and edgar wachenheim iii. seton melvin. the cheryl and philip milstein family. dr. p. roy vagelos and diana t. gelos. the j.p.b. foundation. rosalind p. walter. barbara hope zuckerberg. corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we're your retirement company. additional support has been provided by: and by the corration for blic broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. be more. pbs. be more.