tv PBS News Hour Weekend PBS December 29, 2018 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
captioning sponsored by wnet >> stewart: on this edition for saturday, december 29: the partial government shutdown enters its eighth day. and the stories behind some end of year favorites. next on pbs newshour weekend. >> depbs newshour weekend is possible by: tz bernard and irene schw sue and edgar wachenheim iii. seton melvin. the cheryl and philip milstein family. dr. p. roy vagelos and diana t vagelos. the j.p.b. foundation. rosalind p. walter. barbara hope zuckerberg. corporate funding is provided by mual 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 corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thk you. from the tisch wnet studios at lincoln center in new york, alison stewart. >> stewa: good evening and thank you for joining us. yed.ng their pay will be, butwn last night all but essential e.p.a. employees were notified they are being furloughed. the smithsonian museums and national zoo in washington, d.c. will close january 2, if the shutdown continues. in all, nine major government agencies, including homeland security, interior and state, are affected. this morning, president trump tweeted that he is "waiting for mocrats to come on over and make a deal on border security." democratic leaders say they are waiting for the president to
propose a bill he will sign that does not include $5 billion for the border wall. joining me now from washington, d.c. is npr congressional reporter kelsey snell. hi, kelsey. thanks for being with us. >> hi there. thanks for having me. >> stewart: so i think everyone is looking towards next week, january 3, specifically. explain for o viewers what could happen on january 3 that could affect the shutdown. >> the middle of the day is when congonss comes back into ses and all of the new members are sworn in. and then, over in the house,be they wilaving a speaker's election, and that's when we expect nancy pelosi to be elected speaker. and she has said that one of the first things that theyill do is the house will vote to reopen the government. and once they do that, it will beenompletely up to thee and president trump about whether or not they will movear fowith that. once the house votes, senate would then have to decide if they're going to vote on the house-passed bill or they're going to still keep waiting to see what president trump will support because that's where we are rightow-- waiting to see what president trump would be
willing to sign. >> stewart: c wean't ignore the politics of this. you have the president's the republicans' position, the democrats' position. right now, can you just give me a snapshot of where each stands and how this is being perceived in washington? >> well, they are basically exactly where they were, gosh, a month ago, maybe. nomocrats say that they ar e border mexico.d a wall along the president is saying that he won't sign any spending bills that don't have that money. now, that puts them in a spot where somebody has to give. one of the options might be for democrats and the president to agree on more border security money that doesn't necessarily build the wall. that would kind of give them the flexibility to claim a political victory where democrats say we di,'t directly fund the wa and the president could say i'm doing things along the border, maybe building fencing putting up barbed wire or repaingxisting fencing.
but in the end, a shutdown looks bad for everybost. the only qn now is how long will voters remember that they were upset about a shutdown. we've seen several of them in the past couple of years, and neither party has really paid any political consequences at the ballot box forting down the government, which completely defies conventional wisdom about shutdowns being bad. >> stewart: so what organizations, what departments are the latest to shut down? >> we have been hearing that the e.p.a. is going to be having to scale back a lot of their operations. about 15% of all federal workers are in d.c. that means 85% of people are out in the rest of the country, people like border patrol agents and t.s.a. agents who are out there workg without pay as the government is shut down. >> stewart: that brings me to a question. i'm wondering what the shutdown is doing to affect american safety. you mentioned t.s.a. and border patr s. >> they arll working and there are many assurances from all over the government that american safety will sll be protected. what is happening is the people working just aren't getting
paychecks. and it is coming around to the first of the month when rent and bills are due. and there are a lot of questions about,ou know, how do thes people who are missing out on paychecks keep up with thend regular de of life? one of the things that happened earlier this week is that the office of personnel management sent out these draft letters the that were supposed to be for employees who were either furloughed or working without pay to give to creditors and to, say, their landlord to explain why they can't pay their bills. it was a fairly surprising thing, i think, for a lot of people to see that the government was asking ple to kind of barter with their dandlords to avoid, you know, being penalior this time when they don't get a paycheck. >> stewart: i don't this is true, but i understand some people didn't actually realize that they weren't going to get paid. >> that tends to happen every once in a while, where people get caught by surprise. usually, the departments are supposed to let all of their employees know if thewould be essential. essential employees are those who would work without pay, or
whether they would be furloughed or not working at all. it's importain to poout that congress already passed a bill that would allow mot workers to get backpay once the government reopens. but that only really appls to federal workers, not to people who are contractors working for private companies hired by the federal government. oftentimes, that's peopllike janitors or security guards, some of the low-wage workers who are worko keep u the daily operations of government buildingr >> stewart: congressional reporter kelsey snell. thanks for sharing your reporting. >> thank you. >> stewart: to read more about the government shutdown, visit pbs.org/newshour. >> stewart: as the year comes tv an end, been sitting down with some of our production teams to get a peek behind the scenes of the stories we air on the newshour weekend broadcast each week. hari sreenivasan recently spoke withroducer melanie saltzman and correspondent megan thompson to get some perspective and inght into some of their segments from 2018. >> sreenivasan: angan, melanie for joining us.
let's start th a couple of different stories that you've worked on one that was fascinating was accessible fashion. >> every morning, christina malon picks out an outfit for her job at a marketing firm in new york. malin loves fashion and wants to look her best. but deciding what to wear isn't the biggest issue folast eight years slowly. both my arms and shoulders came paralyzed. they don't exactly know what i have. they think it's motor neuron disease most similar to a.l.s. >> when malin's muscles began to atrophy, her old clothes no longer fit or became too difficult for her to put on by herself. >> fashion is a way to express your soul and your personality so me being a fashionista since i was a child it was very difficult that i couldn't wear my remaining clothing because i felt like a part of my identity was dying. malon went online and looked at clothes designed for people with a disability. but what she found was disappointing. >> it was these really bold colors that i would never wear a
att of fleeces nothing fitted a lot of velcro and ust wasn't me, it just made me really upset. you know when i go out of the house. >> then last year malon found someone who could help. >> our mission has always been to make style accessib >> grace j leads open style lab, a nonprofit based at the parsons school of design in new york, one of the nation's premr fashion institutes. the lab runs a summer program that trains participan to create clothing that is inclusive and accessible. >> one out of five people identify having a disability. in the united states which means there's a whole untapped market that's marginalized ddd haven't beressed. >> cristina mallon's team made her a stylish coat free of charge. >> being able to pys a coat on byf was a difference made me having enough confidence to go to work. and things like that have such a big impact that people don't understand.an >> sreenivhow did this story come about? >> i heard about this lab at mit where they were training
designers to make clothing that was more accessible to people with disabilities. earlier this year, i thought you know i wonder what's going on with that program and it turned out th they'd actually move the program down to parsons which is just down the street from us. so we were able to tell the story in a whole different way. we were able to follow this story basically for the mmtire suer. >> newshour weekend followedle open styab's 10 week summer program from day one to see how it works. >> lack of accessible clothing is a barrier to greater independence. >> the participants were divided into teams. each has a designer and an engineer. >> i want you to hold it all tha way in you. plus there's an occupational or physical therapist to palm up. >> they worked with residents of emieriverside rehabilitation and healing center in manhattan. the first task gettingdeo know the res needs. >> sweater type material is hard to put on because it's bulky. >> sreenivasan: how you'or telling the is very
different than how we usually shoot. out a reality tv show goingg tck and getting element after element seeing hs whole course evolves. >> i felt like i was doing reality tv. we kept making jokes like this is project runway. we wanted tim gunn to shet up and say, have a make-it- work moment. he never did unfortunately. but we usually are following one person and we do an interview. we film a little bit of b-roll afterwards, but for this i mean the way that it worked was there were seven teams and they would get together a few times a week all in one place and so and they would be there for an hour. w and soould go in with mori rothman or mike reagan who's another producer on the show and filming at the same time because you don't know what's ing to happen when, right? and you're just sort of ndering around the room trying to catch as much as you possibly can. we went back repeateery over the su we probably shot about 10 days total. it's great you get to follow a s process frrt to finish which we really get to do. also end up with hours a hours and hours of footage.
>> sreenivasan: so how do you decide what to focus on after coming home with all that tape so to eak? >> yeah, i mean, you spend a lot of time sitting in front of the edit bay watching all of this and you know you basically asss what you caught, righ so you start to ke notes of the moments that are really interesting, you pick the characters that you caught the people who have the most to say are the interesting stories. we ended up profiling essentially three different pieces of clothing: a jacket a dress and a pant suit. >> as the summer went on is stewart's outfits slowly took shape. the team tested different types of pleats for the pants and devised a pulley system that will gather up the pants for her. making it easier to get her feet in. ada's hands get cold so the team placed the pockets on her lap where her hands naturally lay. she told her team she wanted to get rid of her wheelchair one day. t
y developed sensors that light up to remind her when it's time to exercise and give her feedback during the workout. >> i love it, i love it. it's gonna be good.>> reenivasan: are designers in the industry stepping up?es >> theners and stores that are addressing it are still few and far between, but it seemsll like there r really is more. prings are changing. so for instance, wiled tommy hilfiger, he was the first ncmajor fashion label to la line specifically for people with disabilities. th target, zappos.s like and when i asked people why, why 'sw, a lot of people said to me that they think ind of part of this moment we're having as a nn iow, you know we've seen things like the black lives matter movement, we've seen enviously #metoo and there's just more of an aws that we need to be sort of more inclusive and aware of other people's experiences in a very sort of large sense the end game, the end sort of goal is
that fashion is designed for all abilities and you don't have sort of a separate rack in the corner that's-- here are the clothing for people who have adi sability and here's the rest our clothing. you know the question is this is sort of a design question is there a way that you can just design pieces of clothing that are just better for everybody. >> sreenivasan: one of the other areas that you guys are focused on very well is zero tolerance policy in schools and you decided to take a look at this and how these kids are getting arrested. you know we called the school to prison pipeline what we want to do this. >> you know i think megan and i are really intereste criminal justice issues in general and when we found out that phi addressing that problem on the ground and we thought it was a really good way to bok at the problem but also how people are addressing it. i mean they've gone across philadelphia into hu of schools and really change their ways. >> harsh penalties for breaking school rules push kids minorities disproportionately into the criminal justice system. >> 30 years ago when the academy lock up d let someone else
deal with those back in issues >> kevin bethes spent eight years as the deputy police commissioner overseeing security in the philadelphia public schools.to he usee in charge of locking kids up.t >> look at w're locking up for. things that i did a kid. know have my little cub scout life i had i got to have fights in schools i did all that stuffki when i'm l up kids and i'm a deputy commissioner. i did those things. that was a moment for me and turned to my bosses and say man i can't do it anymore. >> bethel's started the diversion program in 2014 announcing that officers would arrest only when it was absolutely necessary. and they're also collecting data which is really rare. so we could see from a scientific standpoint is this actually working. it wasn't just anecdotal. >> sreenivasan: the hard pt about criminal justice reform stories and with school stories is who goes on camera. how do yoget over that hurdle? >> i mean it is tricky. you know you're dealing with minors, you're dealing with institutions that could be waria of the mike school districts like police
departments. i reached out to them a yearto prioilming more than a year just to build relationships and explain our intentions and say this is what we'll need. so i think over time you build that rapport and then you get on the ground and you try.o be nimb i've got a call from an officer who i had been speaking with fo over a yat said melanie there's a diversion happening riot now you'd have to go t the school you have to film it. and the principal there knew me. the officers knew me already so could get my camera. and this really sensitive situation with you know kids had just been arrested for drug possession. >> school security just found two students with several vials of marijuana. they've detained them in handcuffs unl philadelphia police officers arrive. it's a common scene in a neighborhood with high rates of poverty and crime. just a few years ago und the school districts zero tolerance policy, both students estions asked.n arrested no today, it's likely only onewi studen be arrested because he's already on probation wearing an ankle bracelet. but for the other student who
has no record, there is another option rather than being arrest, the student has put in the philadelphia police school diversion program. a citywide initiative that aims to keep kids out of the criminal justice system for misdemeanors. things like having drugs in school or bringing items that are banned like pocket knives and b.b. guns. >> sreenivasansiwhat was surp to you when you talk to these people? >> i mean one of the things that's really surprising going into a school like this is you just really get a sense of how different the experiences are for our kids in america's public schools. i mean you walk in and there are metal detectors just like you're there are people who look like police officers, some of them are actually city cops some are school security officers. you just really realize that certain kids in certain parts of this country have a very different experience walking into a school building every single d than other kids do. >> sreenivasan: surprised at what they were being disciplined r having what. >> yeah, i mean i was one of the things. and it goes both ways i med one on one hu know you're
hearing stories about kids bringing knives and thingsike they may really have been intended to use as a weapon to school. the same time you know there were things like hair picks or scissors. >> we have a bottle opener which can still be used as a weapon as a point. >> and under zero tolerance, no questions were asked that could be used a hairpick. you know that could be it could be used as a weapon. you were arrested. sreenivasan: some of these kids are coming from difficult neighborhoods. what about their own personal safety and security? what did they do? >> i mean that came up with one of the students that we filmed with you knoher mother had given her a taser as protection. >> she gave it to me to protect myself. i used to go from school straight to work and from work to home and i wasn't getting off until like 11:00/12:00.he >> officers atchool found it and she would have been arrested if she wasn't diverted through this program. so it really is a balance of the schools needing to ensure public safety on the school grounds. but also coming up with a systed
thsn't overly punish kids that are in those situations that looks at the context and says how can we address those problems without havng term effects on their lives? you know it could go to record you know to get into college to get a job. ghit could follow them thrt their life. >> sreenivasan: so is it working? >> yeah, i mean, said the data you know even the researcher enat we spoke with in this story said that she's tudying things these types of programs all around the country and she said she had never seen the effects like this. >> throughout philadelphia student arrests have dropped by 71%. recidivism rates have improved citywide, too. before the program began. the rate for youth arrested was 27%. today it's 14% for students who are diverted. and school safety improved an 1 average 0 fewer serious incidents have been reported annually since the program began. >> sreenivasan: one of the stories that you did this year really took off about pharmacy benefit managers, something most of us don't realize we already have. what are they? i guess just to bring people back up to sed, and what was
the story about. >> so pharmacy benefit managers are essentially middlemen. e p.b.m.'s act as middlemen between the insuraans drug makers and pharmacies. most consumers have no idea there's a p.b.m. not an insurance company managing their prescription drug plans. >> there are three main problems that take up 85% of the market.e you haressscripts you have cvs caremark and you have optumrx.fi >> pharmacy bemanagers practices have come under scrutiny in recent yecause eoey handle all facets of this chain and a lot ofe accuse themf practices that may be inflating the cost of prescription drugs. >> sreenivasan: so give me an example what kind of cost inflation are we talking about. >>e of the things we looked at in the story is inmething called a clawback and that is when you g aou pharmacyay a co-pay. you assume i mean it's called a co-pay, right? you assume that you are sharingd the cost of thg. let's say you pay a $10 co-pay.
you know i think that maybe thru cost of thatis maybe you know $15 or $20 insurance is kicking in some but instead in some instances the cost of that drug the cost of the drug to the pharmacy is actual much lower than that co-pay. and if you didn't use your insurance, if you just pay cash or out of pocket you could actually be saving money. and often when this happens that money he pharmacist is collecting is actually going back to the p.b.m. so you know we had an instance in a story where a gentleman who was helping his elderly aunt. >> his aunt was taking eight generic drugs for things like dementia and high blood pressure. she was paying close to $103 in insurance co-pays for thoseug every month. falkow those exact same drugs for $65 if he paid out of pocket at ant independarmacy not using his aunt's insurance plan at lel. that's nearly 40% falkowitz manages a medical practice and deals with insurance pll
the time. he says it was a total surprise. >> i just couldn. understand this is a foreign concept. never, never did it dawned on me if you pay cash, do not submit to insurance, you save moneybo >> the thing these stories is it's very opaque it's never quite clear where the money is going but there's you know a pretty big chance it was going back to the p.b.m. in the rm of a clawback. and the thing also that we talked about in this story is that for a long time, pharmacists were actually prohibited from telling you at the at the counter hey guess what i can see that there's a clawback happening. you could save sommoney if you just pay out of pocket. >> sreenivasan: so the story i remember you put online it was w wh it, $285 drug that you could just pocket for $40. >> yeah that was another example that we found there's a gentleman in california he has p.b.m. was express scripts and they actually have a mail order pharmacy. they do a lot of their business
just by maing directly to the customer. he was paying for his wife's medications his co-pay was $285. he walked into costco and just happened to say, "hey if i paid out of pocket how much it costs," and they said $40. so when we went to express scripts they said well that's not a clawback. there wasn't a pharmacist involved so technically it a sn't a clawback. we didn't use it ioadcast story. but you can't not report on a story like that. and en you ask express scrip for an explanation. it's tough, quite franeay, to get a explanation. they're pointing out his insurance company thaninsurance cos pointing back at them. but you know thaparticular story got a lot of a lot of so absurd it'so absurd. i mean you know one of the guys in our story said something that they and he said something like it just defies logic it defies common sense. i mean you just almost can't believe this is haening and people don't realize that it is. >> sreenivasan: megan, melanie, thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you. >> thanks, hari.
this is pbs newshour weekend, saturday. >> stewart: u.s. homeland security secretary kirstjen nielsen visited yuma, arizona today, on the second day of a tour of customs and border protection facilities along the southwest border. the trip comes after the recent deaths of two guatemalan children while in u.s. custody: seven-year old jakelin caal and eight-year old felipe gomez alonzo. earlier this week, a d.h.s. spokesperson said the secretary would be meeting with medical professionals and technicians during her tour. yesterday, nielsen began her trip at a border patrol station in el paso, texas. russia ministers met in moscow today to discuss a joint military strategy in syria. the meeting focused mainly on the upcoming wit2,rawal of about 0 u.s. troops from the war- torn country. russia's foreign minister, sergei lavrov, told reporters that during the meeting, both
countries agreed to coordinate to "eradicate the terrorist threat" in sykea. the u.s.-bkurds fear that president trump's troop yptian authorities said today that state security forces killed 4suspected militants in separate raids just hours after a bus bomblled three vietnamese tourists and their tour guide, and wounded 11 hers. egypt's ministry of interior said in a statement that militants were planning attack on the military, tourist sites and churches. a roadside bomb struck the bus yesterday close to the pyramid just outside cairo. it was the first attack on foreign tourists in two years. scientists say that indonesia's anak krakatau volcano has lost roughly three-quarters of its size after a massive eruption last week. the volcano, which was more than 1100 feet high in september, is now only 360 feet high. it also lost between 5.2 billion and 6.3 billion cubic feet of its volume.th eruption triggered a deadly tsunami last week that killed
more than 420 people in the region. >> stewart: finally tonight, in a year-e review of retail chains, the "wall street journal" found target andle walmarthe pack in sales growth which the paper linked to improved stores and better e- commce. but one of the less successful retailers this year, dick's dsporting goods, lost gro after its decision to stop selling assault-style weapons and raise the buying age for ns and ammunition to 21. according to the journal, the compans c.e.o. has said the choice was made for moral reasons, and that it will make up losses by replacingwith higher-margin, faster-growing categories like golf and items like kayaks. that's all for this edition of pbs newshour weekend. i'm alison stewart. thanks for watching. have a good night. captioning sponsored by wnet gaptioned by media accessroup at wgbh acce.wgbh.org >> pbs newshour weekend is 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. vagelos. the j.p.b. foundation. rosalind p. walter. barbara hope zuckerberg. corporate funding is provided byutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we're yourre rement company. additional support has been provided by: po and by the ction for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
narrator: it is a city built on sand -- on fog-swept dunes and dry cliffs of chert rising from a semi-arid desert perched along a salt sea -- a city without water. that there is fresh water in san francisco, abundant, pristine water, is something of a miracle -- drained from a melting glacier 200 miles away, through cosystem nobody thoughd be built or should beuilt, a system some died fighting and some still want to dismantle. today, millions of people depend on it, and more every day.