tv PBS News Hour PBS January 16, 2019 3:00pm-4:01pm PST
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc f. woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodr 26 the newshour tonight, the shutdown hits the ay mark, as speaker of the house nancy pelosi calls on the president to his state of the union address. then, an attack in northern syrikills american special forces soldiers, with esis claiming rnsibility for the blast. and, welcome to washington-- the first in our seriefrprofiling tweshman members of congress, as they navigate the capitol amid a government shutdown. you get goosebumps. like, i have 730,000 people who are relying on me right now to reprent them. and some are going to agree some are not going to agree. but that vote means something. >> woodruff: all that and more ononight's pbs newshour.
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rted by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. morg information at macfound >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewersyou. thank you. >> woodruff: t state of the union address may be the latest casualty of the partial government shutdown, now in its 26th day. the speech is set for january 29th, but house speaker nancy pelosi asked today that it be postponed. toe cited security concerns, due he shutdown.
in a letter to president trump, pelosi wrote: "unless governme re-opens this week, i suggest that we workrmogether to dee another suitable date." meanwhile, south carolina republican senator lindsey graham urged mr. trump to jump- start negotiations. >> he doesn't have to commit, but i think it would be smart e president to hear peop out who want to have a pathway forward. but that's uy to them. if tink they can do it some other way, do it. i'm not standing in yo way. i just don't see another path. >> woodruff: the president did meet today with one group of lawmakers from both parties. meanwhile, the agriculture department recalled 2,500 employees to help process farm loans and tax docume they will work without pay. we get some insighnow into shutdown politics and possibilities, from both ends of pennsylvania avenue.
i'm joined by white house correspondent yamiche alcindor and congressional correpondent ysa desjardins. welcome to both . lisa, what do we know now about the timing of the state of the union? >> right. well speaker pelosi's office is being very careful because there were some republicans sh may have overplayed her hand. she's asking the president to make one of two decisions. either hold the state of the unn address somewhere else like the ovale office or for them to have t have continued talks how it could work at the capitol she does say it is security concerned for all the homeland security officer, hcret service agents whave to work that event. however, the department of homeland security have said it's not a concern they have the eights to work it even ife theyt going to be paid. it shouldn't be a problem. i think what we're seeing here is democrats do feel like they're on a high ground. it's a question ofr leveage. there are democrat leader
sources say there is a concern of security but they also think this is a president who wants a national stage, he is a showman and they dok there's a point of rench here in saying -h leverae saying you will not have this platform if the shut down continues. >> woodruff: yamiche, what are they saying about this at the white house? >> remarkly the white how has not formally responded to ieaker pelosi's letter. tha president of course has talked a lot on twitter and in person about what he wants to talk about in terms of border security, in terms of the wall. but at this, hour had sources telling me there was a white house statement put out several hours ago but nothing has happened. the white house did retweet, the secretary of homeland security. i want to read it to you.ty th of homeland security and u.s. secret service are fully prepared to support and secure the state of the union. we think our mission, focus and dedication for all they do eacht day ando secure our homeland. that's important because the president hasn't acally said hey i really want to still do
this so as a reshalt that'st we have from that. i want to add there is some sprecedent here for the pent possibly not delivering the state of the union in a way that we normally are usedro hing him do that. in 1986 president ronald reagan postponed because of the challenger and he said the day he was going to say the state of the union he said actually we're going to do a morning remembrance instead. also in 1944 president franklin d. roosevelt he delivered then state of a uni in fire side chat over a radio and he did that because he did not feelnd wellid not want to go in front of congress. so that's a little bit of ory there. but as lisa said, the president is a show plan. he wants the platform to talk about peerd security and talk about his demand for the wall. woodruff: you have go back a way to find those ouecedence. lisaot some reporting today on the senate side of he capitol some ids circulating. >> senator republicans were lunching today they almost felt ihere's a giant dart board where they are throwinas to get
through this even it's really up to the president and house democrats. one idea that seems to get a little traction today. the chairman of the homeland security committee said that he wants a bill to pass that would pay those workers who are forced to stay on the job now. i talked to republin both chambers. they are very warm to that as tre some democrats. so let's watch t the question is, would the president support that. there is that bipartisan group that lindsey graham is starting but right non' judy, i have the time of fraction yet. >>ooodruff: yamiche back you. we know the white house is trying to mitigate the effect of this and w mentioned this a moment ago on some of these workers who are furlsaghed by ng they are going to get back pay but recalling them to work now. remind us which workers are expected to show up and which are not? >> well t president and the heads of agencies are the number one peopleho can make the decision who can be considered essential and who has to go to
wod awho doesn't. part of that means the irs today is ralling thousands of employees to process tax refunds. they arehaaking issue with i talked to one source for a union who are for the irs employees and that person said this is realy political winging and the president is using histh power an agency heads are using their power to recall people who is going to help the politically might be farmers who is the president's base. i want to read to you the definition what an essential or accepted employee is of the people who have to work when there is a furlough. people performing functions that would effectife, safety health or property and they are deemed essential. those are people that the government essentially says you have to work without pay but unions are challenging that. they are saying there's ande expandinnition and that's being used by the fred as a >> woodruff: finally lisa what does it look like in the days ahead. >> house and senate are supposed to recess next week. those are now canceled. they will be in town as long as there's a shut down.
it's also important next week judy monday and tuesdayis the not drop day for payroll for the next paycheck. if the s shut down contin early next week that means those 800,000 federal workers will not miss one but two paychecks at the end of next week and of course the end osthe month i usually when mortgages are due as well. >> woodruff: it's all very series. lisa desjardins and yamiche yamiche alcior, thank you both. >> woodruff: in the day's other news, four americans-- two soldiers and two civilians-- y re killed in northern syria. the u.s. militid an islamic state suicide bomber attacked a patrol in manbij. just last month, president trump announced u.s. forces will besy leavina. we'll look at today's attack, and its implications, after the news summary. the death toll in kenya climbed to 21 today, including one american, in tuesday's attack on a hotel complex in nairobi. five al-shabab attackers, based p somalia, also died. the grid it was retaliation for the u.s.
recognizing jerusalem as israel's capital. ewhn ray of independent televisions, reports. >> reporter: it's taken the best part of a day and much spilled blood for the kenyans to uer this corner of their capital. twice they called the all-clear only to be contradicted by the muffled sounds of battle. >> we are grieving as a country this morning, and my heart and that of every kenyan, goes out to the iocent men and women violated by senseless violence. >> reporter: for some, the costs are unbearable. this is the mortuary where they come to claim the dead. this woman lost her husband, and her two young children, their father. >> one of the terrorists shot him at the back of the head. >> reporter: he had no chance? >> no, he had no chance. >> reporter: mohammed's cousin
died stoo, a work colleague, as he ran from the terrorists' n vance. >> we heard the ots that were very close. they were coming closer and closer >> reporter: and the explosions? >> the explosions, definitely. it was very loud and we cod ilar it very intense. >> reporter: the sent images of the gunmen caught yesterday on security cameras somehow amplify the horror. beyond the security cordon, there is a crime scene and all the evidence that kenyans need to know that al-shabab is back in brutal business striking at one of nairobi's wealthiest and wst defended suburbs, and yet in all, 700 peopleked free of al-shabab's death trap. reunions that had seemed im miraculous escape late into the night. >> and at one point she els like pleaseme i'm getting out of here alive and i think that was ju my breaking point.ut >> reporter: boday they're burying the deadnd the fearful
shadow of terror has returned. >> woodruff: that report from john ray of independent television news. a crackdown has begun in zimbabwe, amid violent protest over the government doubling fuel prices. officials say police have arrested more than 600 people. in the capital city, harare, they also seized an activist pastor at his home today. he's accused of inciting public violce through social media. the fuel price hike adds to an economic crisis that includes unemployment above 80%. british prime minister theresa may narrowly survived a no- confidence vote today, but it was close. the vote was just 325 to 306 in may's favor. it came one day after parliament tsoundly rejected her bre deal. after today's vote, may told the house of commons she's eager to get back to work on a brexit onan b.
we must all work cstructively together to set out what parliament does want. that's why i'm inviting mps from all parties to come toward to find a way forward. one that delivers on the ferendum and can command the support of parliament. this is now e time to put self interests aside. >> woodruff: britain is due to leave the european unima on h 29th. iran says the united states has detained an american-born journalist who worksor iranian state tv. today's announcement said marzieh hashemi was arrested shortly after landing at the st. louis international airport on sunday. the f.b.i. had no immediate remment, but the reported came after iran confirmed it has detained a u.s. navy veteran.
over the decision to let president trump keep his lease on the government building that houses his washington hotel. the inspector general of the general services administration says the agency has, quote, ignored concerns that th deal might violate the contitution. the clause does bar presidents from taking payments from foreign government or fm u.s. states. the white house today denounced congressman steve king over his comments on white supremy. the iowa republican had questioned why such terms are offensive. abesident trump has not directly voiced an opiniot king's remarks, but today, spokeswoman sarah sanders called the comments "abhorrent." as denied he is a racist new york senator kirsten gillibrand is the latest indemocrat to say she's ru for president in 2020. she announced la night, joining at least five others in lle race. rand has been outspoken on sexual harassment, sexual y.sault in the military and
equal and, on wall street, strong earnings by big banks pushed stocks a little higher. the dow jones industrial average gained 141 points to close at 24,207. the nasdaq rose 10 points, and the s&p 500 added five. orill to come on the newshou an attack inern syria kills american special forces two freshman cgressmembers learn the ropes on capitol hill. he the president's nominee to the e.p.a. faces questions, we take a look at the shutdown's effect on the agency, and much more. t ie woodruf u.s. military suffered its dea day in two american soldiers, a
pentagon civilian, and an american contractor were killed, and wounded, in the city of manbij, ne the turkish border. as nick hifrin reports, the four killed were among at least 16 dead in a suicide attack. n schifrin: on a street i northern syria, the restaurant where u.s. troops were having a meeting, is gutted. the building facade is crumpledi and the rostained with blood. a closed circuit camera video posted to twitter shows the street before the attack, and the moment of the explosion. after, a u.s. military hecopter evacuated the wounded. atese photos posted on facebook last month show .s. troops do in manbij. they conduct patrols in a local trrket, speak to residents, and y to maintain stability in a city liberated from isis more than two years ago. in 2014, isis contolled huge
swaths of syria, in black. today, the u.s. and its local allies have seized all but this area in the east. today's attack in manbij is hundreds of miles away. but isis claimed responsibility. and a u.s. official says isis ed at least six major attacks in the last few weeks. but today at the state department, vice president mike pence repeated the administration's claim isis was vanquished. e we're now actually able to begin to hand off ght against isis in syria to our hoalition partners and we are bringing our troop. the caliphate has crumbled and isis has been feated. >> schifrin: there are about 2,000 u.s. troops in northern syria. administration and defense officials say they w withdraw, but there's no deadline, and the details will be worked out througrktalks with h president reyip tayib gadogan. today ersaid the manbij attack wouldn't derail that plan. >> ( translated ): it could be construed that the attack was meant to impact mr. trump's
decision. but i think the honorable mr. trump's determination on this, won't stand back in the utce of a terrorist attack. >> schifrin: b announcing the withdrawal, is exactly what made u.s. troops vulnerable, said trump ally senatorindsey graham >> my concerns about statements made by president trump is that you'd set in motion enthusiasm by the enemy we're fighting, and as they get bolder, the people we're trying to help are going to get more uncertain. >> schifrin: the people the u.s. has been helping are the syrian kurd manbij was supposed to be the model for syria's future, bridging the difficult divide between the kurds, and these turkish forces, who consider the kurds terrorists. today's attack could make a complex withdrawal more complicated. and it's a reminder u.s. troops remain in harm's way, said acting defense secretary patrick shannahan. >> our fight against terrorism is ongoing, and we will remain vigilant and committed to its destruction.
>> schifrin: and that means wispite the order to withdrawal, u.s. troop keep fighting in syria. today, after the attack, a local rew captured u.s. troops driving through manbij, on another patrol. for the pbs newshour, i'm nick schifrin. >> woodruff: across the country, people who live in cities big and small are feeling th effects of the federal government shutdown. to get a local perspective, i'm joined by two mayors, from oklahoma city, mayor david holt, and from new london, connecticut, mayor michael passero. usntlemen, thank you both for being with mayor holt, i'm going to turn to
you first. oklahoma city population about what, 645,000. how is it being affected by this sh down? yeah, i mean we've got 6450,000 in our city propet we've 1.3 million in the metro. so we've got a lot of federal employees. of course everybody knows the federal building in oklahoma city because of what happened in 1995. so yes, they are affected. we as a city government are affected. we have transit grants that are not gettingaid. we care most i think about our citizens that are t getting id and we're also, you know, worried just like every city where an airport is what's going at happen with tsa in the weeks ahead and if going to impact travel plans. we have a unique thing or in oklahoma city we're the home of the training centers. all of the traffic controllers are trained and educated right here in oklahoma city and they've shut that school dow. we've got students here for a
temporary amnt of time to train. we've had generous apartment ords who areandl trying to work with those students to float them while itis goes on. buffects the nation because we're already behind. we already have an air traffic controller shortage in this country. we were hoping to graduate 1500 out of oklahoma city this yeargh now we're not graduating or training anybody. so that's a unique thing we've got hre in oklaoma city is the impact of the shut down. >> woodruff: that's something people are certainlgoing to pay attention to. player passero, new done sun, a popular city. but how are you being affected. >> we're quite a bit smaller than oklahoma ci at 27,000 people but we are very densely populated into five and-a-half square mile area ande're the urban hub for a much larger metro area in south conn hectic. t four major coast guard institutions and the coast guard is beingeverely impacted by
the shut down because they're not part of the dod, there part of homeland security. so their funding has been cutf. the coast guard academy has over a thousand cadets. they are continuing operations. but the 300 military persoel and the 2550 seville gen personnel -- 250 civilian personnel are being aected. some work without pay. we host the coast guard rnd centern new london. we host the international ice patrol and we have a working coast guard station that patrolc and prot the water surrounding new london. and so forunately, we have the governor, governor lamont has negotiated an arrangement with the privte ranking institutions to provide no interest loans to covethe los paychecks. yeess of course, the emplo are eligible for unemployment and there's a military, a
military fund, relief fund that's being made available from the state militar and the community is really pitching in to help all these employees. there's pop up food fantries and volunteer organizations.wa >> woodruff: to ask you both about that. it is an important thing i think for all ofs to be reminded of all these different jobs thatfe ral employees do. it's almost as if this week we're being reminded again of just how many jobs are performed by federal workers. hayor holt, you mention in oklahoma city yo a community stepping up. atve us a little more of a sense of what's being done to reach out, whether it's the training of air traffic controllers or the other firld workers who are awe -- federal workers w are affected. >> as i mentioned we've got landlords in town who are at this poinout geney working with the people living in, with their plents, theeople live -- tenants, people living in their apartments.
what i've seen of the generous offers they say we can only do this so long so we're ceainly at a point where generous landlords run out of fds and resources. we at the city, we're worki with our utility customers, obviously who are affected. i even had a gentleman reach out to me this aeek, hen irs employee still working but he parks in one of our parkng garages down an town and he didl like he could cover the parking. we are working with that and trying to delay some of those costs. we're trying to pitch in and certainly are happy to do that. but at some point people's unility to do that will out. >> woodruff: what about that mayor passero, are you beginning to get a sense that this st can't, these kinds of individual stories of help just can't go on indefinitely. >> well that certainly would be the case but we are a very strong miliary community. we also host the navalubmarine
base and electric folks across the river in groton. it's a very large community and the military takes care of their own. so our community is ready to stand with the employees in the active duty personnel that areer really suffg under this shuta down. >> woodruff: what a lot of people don't realize ishe coast guard does not fall under the department of defense it falls under depament of homeland security which is one of the agencies that is not functioning, they're not paying employees right now. i want to finally ask both of you, you are leaders in your community. you are the leader of your city government. mayor holt, as you look at what's gone on in washingtonid between the prt and the congressional leadership, what do you make o it? >> well you know, judy, as aol mayor if i my citizen we were shutting the government down, it would not be acceptable. keeping thlights on is
basically the bear minimum requirement for competency k d i don't there's any good reason to shut down the government. i do not believe that should ever be a tool for leverage no matter what the policy discussion is about. and so as a mayor, we have to and i'm sure i speak for my colleague also on this segment. we have to keep our services out there r r citizens. that's what we're expected to do. and so if i had any message to anybody in d.c. who has power tr t this situation, it would be this is not an acceptable u tcome. no matter what yel about the different issues at play, we've got to get the governnnmet g again and we've got to get these people back to work. >> woodruff: mayor passero, what about you. what do you make of this and what should happen. 1 i would agree with all of th%. some of the behaviors we're witnessing down in washington right now, i certinly hope that the children are not watching. we're thankful in the second
congressional district in connecticut we have a great human being and wonderful representative in congress courtney and i think it's really, i hear the mayor ofla ma city, i think he reflects the bipartisan attitude of most of o representatives in washington. so they have to get the attention of the leadership, aey have to get the leadership to get this dod get the government running again. >> woodruff: just very quickly. do either one of you want to suggest in a sentence what they should do to resolve this. mayor holt? >> it's the thing we do in every city in america. we compromise and we get it done. we have no choice but to be effective and that's with what hato happen here. >> woodruff: mayor passero. >> absolutely.mp mise. either side is going to get everything they want we simply have to compromise and get it down now. >> woodruff: we pe they're listening. maybe they are. mayor david holt of oa oklahoma city and mayor passero of new london, connecticut. gentlemen, thank you. >> thank you.
>> woodruff: stay with us, coming up on the newshour: the supreme court declines to hear the case of veterans claiming they were exposed to toxic smoke. we speak with a turkish n.b.a. player who refuses to travel to london, fearing that agents of president erdogan might be waiting for him. and a unique court in boston gives homeless people a second chance. the congressional freshman class of 2019 is the largest in m cades. with themes a change in party leadship, as well as nerational and demographic shifts. imngressional correspondent lisa desjardins spentwith two newly-elected members as they navigated their first n office, during the longest government shutdown in u.s. histy. >> desjardins: in a back hallway of a congressional office
building, change has come, in a wave of people and hugs. former c.i.a. officer and democrat abigailnupanberger is s from becoming a new member of congress. desks and shelves inside are empty, computers not all set up. but the doors are open and so many of her virginia supporters have come. .. attention everyone! >> desjardins:at spanberger needs a chair to be heard. >> i'm looking forward to xctting to work very shortly, so please euse me i might e sappear. becausi really want to get sworn in and i don't want to miss that. >> reporter: two floors below, it's also day one for reblican denver riggleman. >> thanks dad! >> reporter: he's surroue ed by his thughters, and a new world. understanding the vote schedule... >> so time remaining doesn't mean that it's closed. >> desjardins: testing the phone... >> congressman riggleman here, yes, pepperoni pizza, please. >> desjardins: and trying to open his wdow.
his district runs in a long stripe through virginia, next to abby spanberger' together they literallrm the center of a purple state. like spanberger... air force veteran and illery owner riggleman has never held political office befor they have evything to learn, including how to get from their s to the house chamber f votes. add to this, they are taking office in the middle of a government shutdown, and immediately facevotes on whether to back democrats' bill to reopen most of governnt - without funding a border wall. >> we went from the open hou to the swearing in, keep running, running, running and straight into votes. thd so it made it really real on first day when you cast that first vote. >> i think it's like a you know exhilaration wrapped in chaos, right with a lot of spicy mustard. liat's pretty much what it's .
>> and of course i was voting to reopen the government which is incredibly impactful for me as a utrmer federal employee. >> youour voting card in but the first vote, like wait a second, you look up and your name is up on the big board right, it's like the you know the jumbotron for congressmen and congresswomen and you get goosebumps. plke i have some 700,030 p too are relying on me right now epresent them. and some are going to agree some are not going to agree. but that vote means something. >> desjardins: ty both voted with their party, but both, sitting down with us, expressed frustration. >> i can't speak to what it is but i can speak to the fact that my district wants us to stop this. my district wants us to get the government functioning my district wants to not see disagreement after disagreement and fit after fight. >> desjains: her district voted for president trump in 2016, and was represented bye conservative dat. when spanberger upset him, she become the first docrat to
represent the area in nearly 50 years. so speaker pelosi's current message, no talk of border barriers and pointing at president trump, doesync up with spanberger's voters. >> yeah, i mn, i think both sides need to come to the table and need to say what's the goal? because i think from perspective that's the challenge. i have voters in my district saying, yohaknow what's ening? >> it's a tough one. i was was elected to make tough votes so i made it. >> desjardins: riggleman told us he thinks the presiden to push for border wall money, for now. but he also believes both parties are missing something. and i would say that i believe if we can change some of the language and verbiage from just 'build the wall' to 'comprehensive border security,' you know with physical barriers with looking at defensive of d pth, i actually think something cot done. i think you see i would say moderates on both sides, independents, even far right far left, are sayi something here. >> desjardins: we asked them both what words they'd use to describe it all, the first days, the high stakes. be adjectives... oh goodness.
the first woulwestruck, second would be terrified. the third one to be hothe fourth one would be terrified. >> i mean i think it's, it's interesting, heart wrenching, exciting, i dot know what's the adjective that comes with ahh... exasperating? >> desjardins: there is some hope that their freshman class, the largest since the '70s and full of first-time candidates, could be its own gravitational force. >> there's so many people and maybe every year that people come in and say they want to change things and maybe lo steam. there are so many of us that there's just, we're to be further propelled. i think it's undeniable that there will be a monumental change with this class in berious places. >> i honestly lieve there are people here that haven't been
changed by d.c. i don't think there's a whole lot of them. i would hope, youlknow what i tell you a promise, that wouldn't be true, i would hope that if i feel like i'm being changed i'd walk away. >> desjards: they are outsiders-- the next year will show what they change and if washington changes them. for the pbs newshour, i'm lisa desjardins. >> woodruff: like most government agencies, the e.p.a. has been affected by the shutdown today the acting chief of the ewvironmental protection agency, anheeler, had his confirmation hearing before a senate committee so he could serve in the job permanently. wheeler took over the agency this summer after scott pruitt resigned amid multiple investigations. before he joined the tmp administration, wheeler lobbied on behalf of coal industry and itics say that creates ethical problems as well. as acting chief, he's delived
on a promise of deregulation that the predent campaigned on and is strongly welcomed by many business and farming voices. wheeler oversaw rollbacks on car fuel standards, mercury emissions standards and federal ayter rules. he has also down the overwhelming scientific e nsensus on the threat of climange. today, senator bernie sanders zeroed in on that. >> do you agree with the scientific community that climate change is aa globl crises that must be addressed in an aggressive way? >> i believe that climate change is a globl issue that must be addressed globally. no one country -- >> that wasn't my question, sir. do you agree withhe scientific community. >> i would not call it the greatest crises, those. i consider it a huge issue that has to be addressed globally. >> you are -- i found it
interesting, mr. wheeler. you are the nominee to be head of the environmental protection yoency. just i opening statement did not mention the word climate change. >> woodruff: during his hearing, the shutdown came up several times. we talked to two environmental reporters today who are focused on that very issue. coral davenport of the new york times has been covering how inspections of chemical factories and many other industrial sites are not happening right now. >> typically these inspectors, these ep, engineers and scientists would be going to places like power plants, oil refineries, chemical facilities, chemical manufturers, and they would be looking for things like are these facilities complying with the law. are they keepis their esion levels in accordance with the law. do they have any broken equipment. do they have hardoonus materia site that's suppose beened to be
taken out and dealt with. are they dumpingi tc chemicals in rivers and streams which might be an easy way to get of things. none of this is being overseen right now. woodruff: not all of these datential violations are dangerous buenport told us there are far more than the public realizes. >> i talked to a furlougd eps worker who oversees these inspections and she says thot every inspection she has ever done she finds some kind of olation. maybe not an extremely hazard occupies violation but always -- butd occupies violation something that could be dangerous. with the shut down now going into a few weeks, this is hundreds and hundreds of these inspections around the country that are not happening and facility owners tnow that for the foreseeable future these inspectors will not ben site. >> woodruff: she also told us most companies would not seek to take advantage of this gap in
inspections but e risks remain real. >> more than 90% of industries are pretty good actors. they do you want want to break the law, they don't want to be fined. a lot of times the violations of pollution rules are unintentional. a site might have a piece of equipment that's broken that a company might not know about that could be leaching hazardous material, hazardous waste. so the inspectors i talk to say this iomputtingunities absolutely at risk of being exposed to potntialoxic hazardous chemicals or wasten fromstrial sites. >> woodruff: inspections are not the only concern. ellen knickmeyer of the associated press has been reporting on the stoppage of lang time work and clean up that spur fund toxic wasteites nationwide. here's some of what she told us. >> there are hundreds of sites inound the country thatude ume of the most contaminated sites in t. they could be old mines. they could be old factories,
places that are confamiliar nated by chemicals oraid -- contaminated by chemicals or radiation. workers would be helping with the imlean up with spur fund sites all aroud the country and that's not happening with the shut down. the people alweed to including former epa spur fundal offi they said if the shut down was one or two weeks tt's not as big a problem. but as time goes on and as the risk of some kind of flood or sain or something that cause problems increases, then the risk of something going on for the public livinround the site increases. >> woodruff: the ap ellen knickmeyer and we will watch all these concerns in the days to come. >> woodruff: last night, the supreme court rejected an appeal in a case where veterans sought
to sue private military defense contractors for allegedly making them sick burning toxic materials and garbage of all kinds in war zones. hari sreenivasan h an update to our original story. >> we had a burn units t your uniform on your vehicle. >> >> sreenivasan: retired . col. rick lamberth was one of those veterans. we spoke to him four years ago. he told us because of his the american operations mayor burned thousands of tonsf foash and material over the years. the past decade, veterans ofav those wars h sued a number of major defense contractoin cluding kvr for the way they dispose of guard budge on mayor tree basis. all kinds of things we up in smoke including items that arnd all kiof things went up in
smoke, from batteries, paint, solvents and tires, to ttwspapers, plastic water s, styrofoam, electronic styrofoam and ipping materials ch as plastic wrap. we spoke to lambert four years ago he told us exposure to burned pit smokuse ed lung illness but forced him to use inhalers. >> i can no longer run. i don't have the stamina at one me i could run five or six and-a-half miles at a time. today i cough and people look at me like i'm a smoker. i have a lot of phlegm and a lot of mucous from it. sometimes it's embarrassing. >> hundreds of thousands of veterans who served in these wars were exposed to this kind atedmoke because it perme the basis where they lived. starting in 2008, veterans began filing lawsuits. last year the fourth u.s. circuit court of appeals cited with a defense contractor kbr and the defense department. the court said it had nori iction to rule on the case and kbr was acting under the
orders of the s. mility. last night the u.s. supreme court announced it would not take up the cas which has 800 named plaintis filed in 60 cases. they will now have no further legal recourse we spoke to rick lambert today. >> my reaction to hearing that the supreme court had denied the case about the burning pits is upsetting, disconcerting. the system and the politicians just sacrifice the veteragans n. yt's just a modern da equivalent to agent orange and we wait until the maximum numbeo of veterans di. >> d sreenivasan: kbr on the other hand issstatement saying, "the supreme court made the correct decision and we are pleased that this legacy case has reached final reso." and they said the courts confirmed that "the u.s. military made all the key decisions renarding waste ment in the war zone. as kbr has consistently stated, the limited number of burn pits operated by kbr were operated at
the direction and une control of the u.s. military." street run activists say they will now ask congress to pass legislation to provide medical and financial assistance to those whose lives have been injured from export to burn pit for the pbs newshour, i'm hari screenivasan. >> woodruff: since surviving a coup attempt in 2016 and consolidating his power, turkish president recep tayyip erodgan has cracked down on dissenting voices in his country, rounding up thousands of political opponents and jailing dozens of journalists. he's been heavily criticized by human rights groups and some world leaders. but one of his most vocal pitics today isn't a politician, he'sfessional athlete. and, as amna nawaz tells us, he heys he's speaking out because ears for his own life.
enes karnlt is an nba player who isinow heth year in the league. he's now a center for the new york nicks and his strong criticism offered one calling him a lunatic and dictator an hitler of our century placed him in the leaders cross hairs. in 2017 he was briefly detained overseas when turkey canceled his passort and issued a warrant for his arrest. today cante kanter isv not telig because he's awarered one supporters arrest. welcome to the newshour. >> thank you, i appreciate it. >> it's been reported that a prosecutor has filed what's called a red notice with interpol that's basically seeking your extradition back to turkey. have y gotten notifiation about that. >> i heard the news thismo ing. they put the order while my team were flying and they were still in the airnd the turkish
government assumed i would be on the plane and that's why they put a red notice under my name on interpol. so if i would go to london as soon as i left the plane, they could arrest me there. >> you're guessing thatwhat happened, right. you haven't gotten official notit'cation. >> tall over the turkish news and i believe that it o happened. >>e turkish government is basically accused you of being a mber of what they say is an armed terrorist group and' thats based on your friendship mewith e here in exile and was blamed on the 2016 coup attempt. what's yourshelati with him. >> i see him once every two or three weeks. it's funny because i remember friday night i sasting in the same room with him and then his assistant brought him news and he said there's a cou that happened in turkey and i was onocked and he was shocked.
latered one came out and said --ered one came out and said that. there's no way this is true, this is happethning. 's why i was trying to explain the whole world who i was wi that night and that did not ppen. >> youeet with him every two or three weeks. why is that. >> i cannot go back to my country. every time i go there i listen eat turkh food and hang out with turkish people. it's like family there for me. >> it's a family outside of turkey for you. do you know whether he had anything to do with the 2016 >> he didn't have anything to do with it because i was with him at night. you have to look at the coup attempt there were 80,000 people 70 the jail and there are women an babies are in jail right now with their families. >> let me ask you about your t decision n travel with your team to london. phat specifically are you worried could n if you went
to london or traveled anywhere outside the u.s. right now. >> i was getting backtracked almost once or twica week. after i made that -- threats.u getting the >> mostly on social media. after i made the london comment getting hundreds and hundreds every day. so i did not want to go to some foreign country that especially europe where edogan is everywhere. turkish government is very famous for hunng down people especially in europe. anhe kidnapped around a ers,red people, teach journalists. that's why i do not want to go there and risk my life. >> you're worr wied yould be talked by one of his supporters, kidnapped d. detai >> that's right. >> how do you know you're safe here in the u.s. >> i knowhhere's love ine u.s. and i believe u.s. nothing can happen.e in t.s. but outside of the u.s. i don't really feel safe anywhere else. >> you were on capitol hill
meeting with a bunch of senators and members of congr what were those meetings about. >> it was amazing. we talked about turky, we talked about erodgan isng abusi human rights. we're talking about people in prison right now. we're talking about the womns in prison waiting for help. they keep asking me. why are you doing this. i id, i play in nba and i have a platfor i'm using the platform for the people in turkey who don'tave one. >> did you request those meetings or did they ask you. >> i did. >> what are yoasking for. >> anything. anything they can help because i'm trying to use myself for innocent people and trying to do something quite awareness. >> you've been meeting with members of co have you met with anyone from the white house or the administration. >> i have not but i reallwant to and i hope i will get to talk to trump one day and talk about the issues. >> what would you hope to say to him. >> i would say that erodgan is
violating human rights in turkey. i want to say do something, not for me but all of the citzen people thousands and thousands of people in turkey because they are really waiting for help >> tell me about your family. they are still back in turkey. >> my family is still back in turkey my mom, my dad and my sister. stand r father i under currently being prosecuted on charges of being a member of the orist group. >> he's actually in trial mid march he's facng 15 years in jail. >> what is your father's background. what's the basis of though ngcharges. >> by dad. >> based on his relationship to you belie those charges have been brought. >> es. >> have you spoken with your namily recently. >> i haven't s my family for three years. last time i talked to them long >> why is that. us because when they come to raid my in 2017 they took electronics away, computers
away. they want to know if i'm in tack with my --ontact with my family or not. they risk being in jail. i'm not going to risky famiy my mom and dad and they see one te and they are in jail. just not communicate with them. >> so the turk onish government -- turkish government canceled your passpu ort. ve something issued by the u.s. government but you're not a citizen here. where is home for you. y you want to stay here in the u.s. want to go back to turkey one day. >> a lot of people call me th without a country. ghomeless. but do you know what, i feel like an american. i really feel li an american because of all the support i'm getting from aomricans, my teammates and my friends. i'm becoming an american citizen in 2021 and i cannot wait. >> you're in the process now. >>'ve got two years yes. >> enes kanter thank you very much. >> i appreciate it. >> woodruff: amna spoe with
kanter yesterday. uff: wind up in front of a judge and the stakes are high: not only the prospect of doing jail time or paying a fine, but also carrying a crimal a record. but as tina martin at pbs atation wgbh in boston reports, there's one court ffers a second chance. >>oeporter: in more than tw decades as district court judge, pe honorable kathleen coffey has sent plenty ple to jail. >> hear yea, hear yea, all persons having business beforedg the honorable kathleen coffey. >> reporter: but her goal on this day is to keep them out. this is homeless court, held once a month at the pine street the largest organizatio for homeless services in new england.
>> when you're homeless, you are more likely to be involved in the criminal justice system because of your interactions on the street with police. >> many who ed up h >> reporter: many who end up here are battling addiction. >> i'm coming up on two years off heroin this january. >> reporter: this man asked that we call him by his first name only, mathew. and even though he's clean now, an arrest for drug possession from years agotayed his record. >> it's kind of a roadblock to securing employment. >> reporter: like all the defendants in this courtroom, social workers and prosecutors lend-picked his case. they have to be ho or facing homelessness, and have done the hard work of getting their lives back together. everything from rehab to job ning, on this day matthe case was dismissed. e so keep up the good work. >> we moving legal irriers, that being default warrants, therfere with the placement of an individual into pernent housing.
>> reporter: judge coffey has rtpresided over homeless c here inside the pine street in since 2010 and says since then she has dismissed hundreds of low level felonies and misdemeanors, including a drug possession charge on barbara parham's record. >> i just knew that i had to get rid of i and it was something that was gonna hinr me, job wise, living wise. i felt like it was a mistake and how can i have this corrected without making it a big to do or being embarrassed. >> reporter: this ti last year parham was homeless and nervous about the idea of showing up in a courtroom. >> you're homeless so you're a little on the shabby side. when they told me about homeless court and where it was and how it was held, a very private setting, i felt safe and comfortable enough to go. >> reporter: the chawas dismissed, and parham says she got her life back. she now has an apartment. >> my life tme was a total saster.
i was jobless, homeless. and from then to now, with the help of pine street, i was able te. >> rep in her own home, something matthew hopes to have soon. r good luck. orter: for the pbs newshour, i'm tina martin in boston. >> woodruff: on the newshour online right now, more americans are becoming caregivers to elderly or disabled family member according to a recent study, putting them under crable stress as they seek to balance their loved ones' needs with their own work, finances and need to care for their children. rend more about the findings the causes on our web site, pbs.org/newshour. and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online and again here tomorrow evening.
for all of us at the pbs neuhour, thank you and see soon. ng >> major funor the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> ordering takeout. >> finding the west route. >> talking forours. >> planning for showers. >> you can do the things you like to do with a wireless plan designed for you. with talk, text and data. consumer cellula learn more a consumercellular.tv >> babbel. a language app that teaches real-life conversations in a new language, like spanish, french, german, italian, and more. >> and w of these institutions and individuals.
llo, everyone, and welcome to "amanpour & company. here's what's coming up. >> the firstar woman to hijab to represent us in congress. >> she came to the u.s. as a somali refugee. 23 years later she's taking her seat in congress. i speak with minnesots ilhan omar. plus, the one shocking statistic that can tell us much with america today. when it comes to infant mortality, the united states ranks 32 out of 35 wealthiest nations ahe why t death of black newborns is driving this number. and the age of silicon valley worship is over. where do w go from here? we get a reality check.