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tv   PBS News Hour Weekend  PBS  January 6, 2019 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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captionin wg sponsored byt >> sreenivasan: on this edition for sunday, january 6: the partial government shutdown over a border wall continues into day 16. administration officials meet with allies over u.s. rategy in syr. and in our signature segment, an asian carp invasion threatens the great lakes. next on "pbs newshour weekend." >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: bernard and irene schwartz. sue and edgar wachenheim iii. seton melvin. the cheryl and philip milstein famil. y. p. roy vagelos 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
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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. thank you. from the tisch wt studios at ncoln center in new york, hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: good evening and thank you for joining us. day 16 of the partial government shutdown, day two of nthegotiations betwee administration and congressional staff, and the president says he doesn't expect much progress this weekend. on his way to meetings at camp david this morning, president d reporters he believes the 800,000 federal workers and contractors going without pay will be able to manage. >> i can that the people that are on the receiving end will make justments. they always do.
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>> sreenivasan: on his return this afternoon, the president again said he might declare a natial emergency to get the wall built and said he has new instructions for his staff. >> i informed my folks to say that we will be build a steel barrie steel. joining us now from washington, c. is damian paletta, white house economic policy reporter for "the washington post." are the longer-termrns about what is going to be funded and what's not? >> this week will be a very month one because friday is the krst paychhat 800,000 american federal workers are going to miss. that is the first paycheck of their furloughed status. they will not get paid and so that is going to have an immediate impact on not just those 800,000 people but also on their family membershe government contractors who also are not getting paid. so that is kind the near-term pain we are expecting this week. as we slip int yo februar know, some more monumental things happen whereas foodtamp anney is expected to run out for 38 million amerand iirs
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and tresh ruhrry are scrambling la figure out what to do for those peopleing to file their taxes in february and are expecting huge tax refunds. w,as it stands those will not be paid until this is sorted out. so there are a lot of thingth are happening quickly and e is will begin snowballing politically for hite house. >> stewart: so the u.s. department of agriculture is the one that administers the food stamps, not people living for free on this, working people that are getting benefits, what kind of impacts are they likely to see and how do we prioritize who gets the limited funds? d >> so yeah, tartment of agriculture run this program. there's 38 million recipients. a lot of them are children, elderly peopt . this is whey rely on for theirood. and there's never been a situation befeore re the money's been cut off it is always kind of reappropriated by congss in an appropriate wa because this impacts people in every state. i think what they are wrestling
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with right now is you just have to give a haircut to everyone, you only give e60 percent of money you are sucaosed to get e that is the reserves for one month, and after february there would be no money. or do they reapportion it so just the elderly will get the haven't sorted that out but these are the things as the shutdown drags on they are trying to resolve. they didn't anticipate it wou a long as it has. >> sreenivasan: when it comes to the irs, most of them are furlough right now. the people that file early are likely the people that are going to get refunds, right? >> absolutely. if you are getting-- if you owe money you kind of wait until the la minute in april but ifre you getting a refund you file early and the earliest you could file last year was january 29s. last february of 2018, 140bi ion dollars in tax refunds, that is billion with a "b" was paid out in the month of fen. as of the irs's plan last year during a shutdown, theyould not pay any tax refunds while congress has not funded thaish agency s so we are inuation now where they have sto decide do we not put that money out back to
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the taxpayers, $140 billion, or do we reserve-- reverse our severes in possibly a legally dicey decision an pay that money out even though we have a skeleton staff that maybe isn't able to kind of check the dots, dot the is anthd cros ts. all those things are happening at a friend etic pace ght now because like i said they did in the expect it to get to this point. >> sreenivasan: weuld remind viewers those $140 billion in taxes or moneyhat goes through food stamps has a ripple effect on the tbroses ree stores that don get the money or most people don't put it in their savers account, they spend it for the needs they have you have also been wrieg about the park service. what is happening there. >> it's ally interesting. during shutdowns even though national parks is a small part of the federal budget, they become the public faiftion the shutdown because so many americans visit national par statue of liberty, et cetera. so right now what we are seeing is the first majoyr reversal the white house during the shutdown. pley have reversed themselves and arning to reopen parts of the parks that had been
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closed and add staffing because it was getting unsustainable the amount of trash that was piling up, the bathrooms that were getting very unsanitary. t y are going to try to add thaff back using the fees they collect from peoplt are entering these parks. it was deemed just a week ago that they could not legally do that because are you not a you laked to use the entrance fees to pay the staff and things like that, it has to be appropriated by congress but they decided they need to do that, they have so we are expecting a political fight over that as well. but that is what i am trying to say. these are the sorts of flash decisions they're trying to make to minimize the impact of the shutdown. but a lot of these run precedted, never been des t tested and st unclear how it will work vaz damian paletta joining us from washington tonight, thanks so much. >> my pleasure, thank you. >> in jerusalem today national security advisor john >> sreenivasan: in jerusalem today, national security advisor john bolton told reporters there is no timetable for the withdrawal of u.s. troops from syria-- the first public confirmation that president trump's plan to bring all two
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2,000 troops home is slowing down. bolton toured jerusalem's old city today after meltings with isofficials. he said u.s. troops will come home based on conditions being met, including the defeat of what remains of isis in syria, and the protection of kurdish militias who have fought raongside u.s. troops. tomorrow, boltonls to turkey for more talks on syria-- and secretary of stke pllompeo eave on an eight country tour of the middle east on tuesday. joining us now from washington, d.c. for more on the trump administratiooms mideast diy is nahal toosi, foreign affairs correspondent for "politico." first, let's talk about our pull out, or status of that pullout from syria. e you know, this is like big question that everyone is still trying to get an answer to. the latest thing that we have heard is that joholton, president donald trump, national securi advisor was in israel and he said that it's going to be entirely conditioned spaceg meanat the u.s. won't leave until isis is fully eradicated and that it can have a pledge from the turks not to
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attack the kurds. ofeffectively, that's kindade it an indifficult deployment. >> sreenivasan: uh-huh. >> which is the oppof what president trump said just a few weeks ago in which he declared that isis had been defeated and ayat the u.s. troops were coming home soment in ae're back at square one and there's just ongoing confusion. o >> in the midd last month he said that we had won, the troops are going to come home right away. anabout two weeksfter, right at the beginning of the year that time linextended to four months and now you are saying that could be indefinite. wh kus that do tthe allies in the fight against ice snis. >> well, i would think that some of them are breathing a sigh of relief. e e idea that the u.s. is going tothdrawing completely was deeply angering to folks like the kurds and other allies who were fighting the islamic state. and have eith grieveances with the syrian government or you know were trying to say to stay to some extent neutral.
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having mpthe u.s. wastant to folks. so the idea that the u.s. would leave immediately without a real sought out plan for what comes afterward was deeply alarming. so now the idea that the u.s. will leave on a conditions-based approach, one of those conditions being the full eradication of isis, i would think would make them very happy because it effecteddivelymeans the americans are not going anywhere. >> sreenivasan: mike pompeo and john bolton have other tasks. boey are also trying to message how we feel iran and their roles and responsibility in the region? >> that's right, if there is one thing this administration has been very cstent about, stt messaging it has done on iran, that the u.s wants to see a rollback of iranian influence in the middle east, thatras maligned ak tiferlts must be stopped. now e one person that occasionally throws a wrench into all of this is president trump whhejust the day said that iran can do whatever it wants in syria. that really undes rcs own
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aides. again,his saul mainly rhetoric. what really matters is policy and so far, at least, the u.s. hasn't been withdrawing from syria. and it is still connuing its sanctions and doing other things to try to contain iran, and therefore that, that has been fairly consistent. >> sreenivasan: finally brief where does saudi arabia pli in this, their role in yemen and also the death of jamal cash ogi, any consequences. >> we know when pompeo vitsesth middle east he will be go to saudi arabia and will raise the issue of jamal khashoggi and what is going done to hold the perpetrators of his murder accountable. es notate department feel as though the saudis have done enough on that front. but once again they still believe saudi arabia is a critical ally against iran and they will dowhat they can to seep saudi arabia in the u.s. embrace, and also push it to try to bring the conflict in yemen to an end.
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>> sreevasan: nahal toosi, thanks so much. >> thank you. >> sreenivasan: just a few weeks ago, the federal government ioposed a plan for a nearly $800-millirastructure project in the state of illinois. it's not about maint bridges or repaving highways, lt it is about building barriers to defee michigan from a fish. it's the asian carp, a fish that has already wreaked environmental havoc up and down the mississippi river watershed. newshour weekend's megan thompson has our report. >> reporter: charlie gilpin, jr. fires up his boat and heads out to fish a stretch of the iclinois river, about 100 miles west of o. he's spent most of his adult life working on the lakes and rivers of the upper midwest. >> i'm a third-generation commercial fisherman. i've been doinit for about 22, years. >> reporter: like a typical fisherman, gilpin gets an early
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stt. he drives while an assistant sets out the nets.'s >> now lee if we can scare 'em. >> reporter: what comes next... not so tical. >> go ahead, doug! >> reporter: this is how you catch asian carp. the loud sounds startle the fish and push them into the nets. the other unusual thing, tse fish jump. the flopping, flailing fish are an invasive species wreaking havoc on lakes and rivers across the south and miest. relpin and the other fishermen out he today are employed by the state of illinois. their mission: pull as many carp out of the river as they can. kevin irons runs the program. >> whenever any of theps are out of balance, there's too many of them, they're going to have catastrophic ecological effects. >> reporter: there are four
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types of asian carp, but bighead and silver cause the most trouble. they reproduce faster than other fish, grow very quickly, and can get ey over 100 pounds, and th gobble up plankton and algae, rsshing out the native fish. the carp were fibrought to the southern u.s. from asia in the 1960's to help clean ponds apd fish farms. but some e to nearby rivers and lakes. >> so places that were once prized fisheries for a fish like small mouth bass or walleye become primarily asian carp habitat. >> rorter: joel brammeier heads the environmental nonprofit, the alliance for the great lakes. brammeier explains that, over the last three decades, the carp have moved up the mississii and through its tributaries. today, the leading edge of the population hovers about 50 miles from lake michigan. the fear now: the carp could get into lake michigan, and then into the other four great lakes. their most likely path is a series of canals dug in the
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chicago area in the 1800s to connect lake michigan to the mississippi river system. the canals provided new shipping lanes, carried away sewage, and were hailed as a great feat of engineering. >> but it also created a whole set of new problems. th reporter: brammeier says, asian carp igreat lakes could spell disaster for the region's environment and economy, which is highlyen depeon tourism and sportfishing. g >> we' fish like lake trout, and walleye, and yellow perch that form the backbone of a $7 bil on sport fishery. these fish are the kind that can get pushed out. >> reporter: and then there's that issue of all the ing. >> where they've really gotten established, they've basically shut down streams and lakes from recreation, because, for one, when you powerboat through asian carp habitat, silver carp in particular jump out of the water, and cpe actually hit le in the boats. >> reporter: over the last two decades, officials across the upper midwest have bunding nd spending hundreds of millions of state and federal
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dollars to try to keep the fish out. currently the biggest and most expensive defense lies in the chicago canal about 25 miles from lake michigan. >> we actually have three operating electrical barriers. >> reporter: chuck shea is a project manager for the u.s. army corps of engineers, which operates a series of specially designed underwater electrical barriers. >> so the electricity is very pidly turning on and off. >> reporter: three sets of caveral eight-ton steel bars send electpulses into the water above. >> as a fish comes into the electrical field, it gets a stronger and stronger electrical shock. and most fish will turn around. >> reporter: shea says this is the largest barrier of its kind in the world. the army corps says the biggest danger is the risk of electrocal to the boaters who might pass through. >> they should watch any children or pets that are onboard, and everybody should stay away from the edges of the boat. >> reporter: the three fences, thand a folated for 2021, cost $270 million to build. operation and maintenance of the barriers, staffed around the ost around $16 million a
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year. do you ever just look at this and think, "oh, my gosh, all of this for some fish?" >> well, it's more than just fish, though. there's an entire ecosystem in the great lakes that's of concern, and that has great economic as well as environmenl benefits. >> reporter: shea says, thes barrier'en successful in protecting those benefits, scientists tag fish downstream, and have never seen any tagged fish get throu but shea admits the system's not foolproof. >> it would be very difficult for any fish to swim directly throug when they are on and operating. but i don't know that we can say anything in life is absolutely 100% effective. fo reporter: in fact, in 2017, an asian carp wad beyond the barrier, about nine miles from entering lake michigan. in 2010, another carp was caught about six miles from lake bchigan. carp d.n.a. has aln detected in the waterways, and even lake michigan itself.
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there's debate over whether the fish slipped through the barrier, or made it into the waters some other way. the discoveries further stoked regional tensions over the issue. the state of michigan, with its 3,300 miles of great lakes coastline, has long pressured illinois to do more to stop the carp. in 2009, michigan and four other states sued illinois in a bid to shut down the chicago canals to keep carp t of lake michigan. the lawsuit went nowhere and other talk of taking the drastic step of closing the canals has met stiff opposition ine illinois, becallions of dollars of freight travel through the area's wateays every year. >> and in this region, you know we ship probably 25 to 35 million tons annually in the region. direct and indirect, tens of thousands of jobs are directly involvedith this industry. >> reporter: del wilkins is the president of illinois marine towing, a major shipping company. he agrees asian carp must be stopped, but not at the expense e massive barges carryin everything from grain to fuel to
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cement up and down the rivers. >> and we look at the asian carp as a threat, as well, to the lake michigan region but let's understand how we move to be able to mitigate that risk and find a way to have a win, win solution, versus a win, lose solution. >> reporter: evelyn sanguinetti, illinois's outgoing republican lieutenant governor, agrees. ssthe's helped oversee the's battle against asian carp. >> in our waterways, there is commee. so, that is a balance that oftentimes we're encountering. >> reporter: since th oe discoverif carp beyond the e octric barrier, the statef illinois has launched a number of projects to keep them out of the great lakes. there are public awareness campaigns and regular monitoring of the waterways to keep tabs on where the sh are. >> it goes with th oer campaign that have, which goes something like thbe, "if
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you ca 'em, then you eat 'em." >> reporter: that's right-- the state's trying to get people to eat asian carp, a fish that s have never embraced as food. a program at the university of illinois serves up more than 10,000 pounds of cary year in its dining halls. >> that's really good. >> reporter: but the state program that pays fishermen like charlie gilpin, jr. to catch as many fish as they can is making the biggest dent. kevin irons of the department of natural resources helped launch it in 2010. >> it's all asian carp all the time is our little mantra. >> reporter: the program's price tag of just over $1 million per year is covered by the u.s.ot environmental tion agency. nine teams of professional fishermen can each catch up to a three tons of carp iy-- sometimes more. biologists ride along to document the catch. charlie gilpin, jr. used to d catch sell buffalo fish in western illinois, where he's from. cabut then, the asia arrived about 15 years ago. >> in those areas you can't target the fish, the nat ue fish that yd to, because of the
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abundance of the asian carp. so we've kind of had to join in aand just catch thesian carp. , >> reporter: gilpin saysfore liis program, he was struggling to make a ving fishing, let alon on asian carp, which hasn't caught on widely s food. so thiogram has helped him out a lot and his father, who's out here fishing, too. at the end of each day, the fishermen tow their catch to a nearby town. the carp are transferred to huge binsnd stored in a frigerated truck. anyone can come get them, free of charge. they just can't be eaten by people, since they went a few hours without being refrigerated. so they're made into things like fish fertilizer and bait. the day we were there, a pet food maker showed up to gladly take the free ingredients. >> we load up, i got coolers of ice, we're going to ice it down, tarp it, i'm going to take it home, and get it processed. >> reporter: since this program started in 2010, the state sa it has caught 7.5 million pounds of carp, decreasing the leading edge population by 93%. do you hope someday that you can
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just stop fishing for asian carp in this part of the river? >> it'd be great, right? i'm concerned with people thinking eradication is the ultimate goal. it's really, really hard to do. >> reporter: and that's why there's a whole new line of carp defenses being planned at the bran ldon roadock and dam, about ten miles before the existing electric barriers. the army corps is proposing to install more electricwaarriers, undr sound machines to scare the fish, and something rplled an "air bubble curtain" to flush out any aught between barges traveling through. the state of illinois reed to sponsor the project, reluctantly worried about the costs. >> it's very easy to aucally come to the conclusion that the sky is falling. and so, this is why it's so impothat we not have a knee-jerk reaction to this. >> you can stop asian carp from devastating the great lakes. >> reporter: meanwhile, the state of micgan has is gung- s , even launching a campaign to pressure illinoi take a stronger stand.
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>> all the states need to come together and not make money the issue. the issue is these car >> reporter: but the money is an issu a new price tag for the project was announced in november: nearly $778 million, three times the original estimate. congress must now approve the plan and provide some funding. previous talks between illinois and michigan about sharing the remaining costs are now up in the air, given the new price thaag, and the factnew governors are taking over both states this month. while the politicians sort it all out, the fishermen in illinois continue their work hauling ton after n of bighead and silver carp. charlie gilpin, jr. says he's proud to be a part of the mission, and he even sees a silver lining for what he calls his dying profession. >> but with the abundance of the fish, it's kind of given us another outlet. it's kind of-- it's kind of a blessing and a curse it may be our savior.
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>> this is "pbs newshour weekend," sunday. >> sreenivasan: the week-long maunt in houston for the shooter who killed seven-year- old jazmine barnes and wounded her mother is over. 20-year-old eric black, jr. was arrested last night following a tip, admitted to taking part in the shooting. black appeared in court this morning and was charged with capital murder. in a statement, th sharris countyriff's office said investigators do not believe barnes and her family were the intended target, and that a second suspect was taken into custody. before the arrests, witnesses described the suspected shooter as a 40-year-old white man. on twitter, a lawyer for barnes' family said it "is imaginable that witnesses confused a fleeing bystander for the actual n ooter." voterse democratic republic of the congo will have to wait to learn who won the december 30 presidential eection. the announcement wected to be made today, but officials say that compiling the votes has taken longer than expected.
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to slow widespread specuvetion, the goment cut internet access throughout the country. the united states deployed troops to protect u.s. embassy employees and facilities in case violence erupts. congo is hoping for its first peaceful transfer of power since the country gained its pendence from belgium in 1960. thousands marched through sudan's capital of khartoum today to demd that president omar al-bashir step down. the demonstrators chanted "freedom, peace, and justice" as rcthey battled security fo. the protests started weeks ago over poor economic conditions, and authorities have since resorted to using curfews, tear gas, stun guns, and l ammunition to break up the demonstrations. at least 40 people have reportedly beeprkilled in the ests. the u.s. military confirmed today that an air strike in yemen on j al-badawi.led jamal he was an al-qaeda operative accused of involvement in that ck on the u.s.s. cole that killed 17 sailors in october of 2000. he was indicted by a u.s. grand hajury in 2003 anded with 50 counts, including murder of u.s. military personnel.
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on tomorrow's news hour the latee on the .cntinuing stalemate in washingtonand our series inside yemen continues with ato visihe oldest orphanage in the middle east. that is it for this week's newshour weekend, i'm harink sreenivasan, tou for watching. have a good night. captioning sponsored by wnet captioned by media access group at wgbh >> pbs newshour w is made possible by:
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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 orate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we're your onetirement company. 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. be more. pbs. be more.
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