tv PBS News Hour PBS January 17, 2019 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
ctaptioning sponsored by newshour produns, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, on day 27 of thshutdown, the tug-of- war between the white house and capitol hill heats up, as president trump cancels house speaker nancy pelosi's overseas trip. then, president trump announces plans to build up missile defense systems to stop possible missile attacks launched against the u.s. and, we sit down with colin o'brady, who completed a record 54 day solo crossing of antarctica. >> my entire sort of personal reason for going and doing this project was to push the limits i human potential. anought what better way than to see how far i can go in a single push to finish. >> woodruff: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour
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>> woodruff: the partial government shutdown is looking like a personal showdown tonight, between president trump and house speaker nancy pelosi. this afternoon, mr. trump rescinded approval for a military plane to fly pelosi and a congressional delegation to afghanistan. in a letter to the speaker, he cited the shutdown, and said, ni'm sure you would agree that post this public relations event is totally appropriate." it came a day after pelosi called for postponing the state of the union address. she defended that stance today. >> the date of the state of the union is not a sacred date, it's not constituonally required, 's not the president's birthday, it's not anything it is a day that we agreed to. it could have been a week later, and it could be a week later if government is open. >> woodruff: meanwhire federal employees are being called back to work. the state department today ordered u.s. diplomats here and
abroad to return to their jobs. it said it found money to pay them, but ga no details. overall, more than 450,000 federal employees are now working withoupay. congressional correspondent lisa desjardins joins me to help aeak down today's events. so, lisa, first , what is the congress saying about this announcement from the state department? >> right. so the firsthing tonk to say is that there are some questions about how exactlyhis is working. and we saw from the leading ttmocrat on the foreign relations comm, bob menendez, he calls it a scheme and he said he's not sure this funding is actuallypr appiate. he's also-- he's not saying he will do a hearing yet, t he said tais political move. isd this is a new precedent. s the president changing the riewstles the shutdown in a way and we still have to figurea out ctly how he's doing this. everyone says we want people back towork, but is he changing the rules for his benefit. >> woodruff: and now
president's surprise announcement before the delegation was to take off for the middle east, the president announce tin a lettero speaker pelosi, which the white house released, that the trip wasn't going to happen, that the plane wasn't going to be allowed to fly. what are they saying on capitol hill about it? >> i want to show a picture that conveys the situation. the members who were going on codele-- odruff: the term for congressional delegation. >> exactly. there you se the members of congress had been on the bus ready to go to the airport for overseas. there's you see adam schiff, the chairman of the house intelligence committee-- getting off the bus. is was actually, obviously, very late notice. hed what schiff said is-- said it was inappropriate, first of all, to reveal this trip existed. these are highly sere events. nother member lorraine nawria, a navy veter from virginia, she said it was an insult that the president called it a public relations move. licans,talk to the repub the chairman of the senate armed services committee said thet
president ha power and i think the speaker should not have plannedo go on this trip during this time. but the rest of the republicans, judy, they're having real trouble with this. the question to them, should a sitting president of any party be able to cancel a trip for a leader of congress for any party? i asked senator pat roberts that and he said, "i'm not sure." those senate republicans, when i talked to them, had just come from their retoaty, which was at a local baseball park here in washington. what did they hear? they heard from people that republicans'roblems is wit suburban women, especially married women. we have polling that shows t suburban women, 73% of them have a more negative opinion of the esesident because of this shd. that is re that is on republicans right now. >> woodruff: fascinat what about the-- whether this is unprecedented or not, people were talking about that today. has this ever happened be rfore? >> weeached out to the senate historian's office and several other of the white house's historical office, a no o
knows yet for sure, but democrats say and one otherkind of self-acclaimed historian i spoke to at the congress, believ that this is unprecedented. that's what adam shim said, that nothing like this has happened before. >> woodruff: finally, the most important thing, any policy developments towards reaching an agreement to get the government back open again. >> i'm so glad we're coming back to that. there is such frustation here. there is sucha disconnect. i asked speaker pelosi, she and i, i asked her today, do you favor a steel-slat fence, which many thought was th?end game they don't want a call, called it a fence. and she sai'tit doesnmatter what i think. it matters if the president shinks it's a wall. meanins not even really engaging in what it is that democrats want and it's all a bit of politics and gaming out the president's thought. but meanwhile, judy, he democratic freshmen, i spoke to one, said yes, weul accept a fence. under leadership there's discussion of the reality of the
poli, but at the leadership level, both at the white house and at congress, it is nothing but polit >> woodruff: and the horizon shows nothing in terms of a breakthrough. >> no, right now, we don't expect congress back until tuesday. >> woodruff: remarkable. , anwhile, federal employes we're reporting in the program, continue to feel consequences. sa desjardins, thank yu. >> woodruff: in the day's other news, comments by president trump's personal attorney raised w questions about whether his 2016 campaign colluded with russia. rudy giuliani had previously dismissed the idea. but on cnn last night, he seemed to reverse himself. >> i never said there was no collusion between the campaign, or between people with the campaign i have no idea. i have n. i've said the president of the united states-- there is not a single piece of evidence that the president of thed states committed the only crime you can commit here, conspiring with the russians to hacthe d.n.c. >> woodruff: today, giuliani sought to clarifthe comments. in a statement, he insisted again there was no collusion of any kind involving mr. trump.
as for the campaign, he id, "i pcoe thousands of people who woed on the campaign." mr. trump himself has repeatedly denied there was any collusion with the russians the president's former lawyer, michael cohen, now admits he paid a technology company to boost mr. trump's standing in two on-line public opinion polls. the rigged polls appeared beforn the trump presal bid began. hen tweeted today, confirming a "wall street journal" story. he said he acted at mr. trump's direction. a judge in chicago today acquittethree current and former police officers of a cover-up in the killing of laquan mcdonald. he was shot 16 times, by a white officer, in 2014. the defendants listened today as judge domenica stephenson ruled there was not ough evidence to prove conspiracy, misconductnd
obstruction of justice. former officer jason van dyke has already been convicted of mcdonald's murder. he's due to be sentenced tomorrow. in syria, the u.s.-led coalition unleashed intensive new air s today against islamic state fighters. they targeted deir el-zour province, the last isis stronghold in the country's east. just yesterday, an isis suicide bombing killed four americans in syria. last month, president trump announced u.s. forces will be leaving syria. spain reports a new surge in migrants crossing from africa. more than 472 were rescued in the last two days. many were brought to malaga, where they were screened by the red cross. attempted crossings to europe as a whole, are at a five-year-low back in this country, michigan state university ousted its interim president today, after he said some sexual abuse victims at the school, enjoyed the spotlight.
john engler was dismissed a week before his resignation would ve taken effect. the chair of the university's trustees said today that engler's comments don't reflect we school's values. >> m.s.u.'s beking hard to make needed improvements regarding the prevention of and the response to seal misconduct and relationship violence, as well as enhancing patient care and safety. but none of our work will matter if our leaders say hurtful things and do not listen to wrvivors. druff: hundreds of girls and women have said former sports doctor larry nassar molested them at michigan state and usa gymnastics. he is now serving whatts to life in prison. republican congressman tom marino of pennlvania will step down next week, to take a job in the private sector. ame two announcement months after he easily won a fifth term. marino was an early supporter of president trump and was nominated byim to be the
administration drug czar. he withdw after reports that he played a key role in making it easier for drug companies to distribute opioids. on wall street, stocks rallied on reports the trump administration might consider scaling back tariffs on chinese goods. the dow jones industrial average gained 163 points to close at e ,370. the nasdaq rre than 49 points, and the s&p 500 added nearly 20. and, a major american poet, mary oliver, has died. she passed away today at her home in florida. iver authored more than 15 poetry and essay collections, and was known for her odes t nature. she won a pulitzer prize and the national booaward, among many s her honors. mary oliver years old. still to come on the newshour: the president announces a plan to boost missile defense, including possibly in spacwn how the shuts affecting
availability of food sta the "curse of bigness": making sense of industries dominated by a few, giant companies, anmuch more. >> woodruff: the president went to the pentagon today and annound the united states would improve its capability to defend against missile attacks against the homeland and allies abroad. nick schifrin has the story. >> schifrin: since the end of the cold war the u.s. built missile defenses primarily to counter rogue states. prday the u.s. expanded the ram's ambition. >> our goal is simple: to ensure that we can detect and destroy why missile launched against the united states, ae, anytime, anyplace. >> my fellow americans. >> schifrin: president trump's words echo president reagan's from 36 years ago, when he launched the strategic defense initiative, that imagi
shooting down nuclear weapons frompace. >> we could intercept and destroy strategic ballistic missiles before they reached our own soil or that of our allies. >> schifrin: today's missile defense reviewalls for space- bathd sensors, and to study e possibility of space-based interceptors, like lasers aboard satellites. u.s. oicials say the new policy responds to new russian technologies, including a hypersonic missile a russian animation showed speeding around missile defenses. china is also pursuing hyperson and advanced cruise missiles, said acting secretary of defense patrick shanahan. >> these new threats are harder track, harderr t to defeat. to our competitors, we see wt you are doing, and we are taking action. >> schifrin: in order to counter north korean or iranian missiles, the review reiterates plans to build 20 additional ts.-based interceptors.
it calls forhe advanced f-35 to be able to shoot down intercontinental ballistic ssiles, and for arming drones with lasers. president trump called it a dramatic policy shift. >> schifrin: so are president trump's plans to build up missile defense capabilities necessary and alistic? we get two views. joe cirincione is president of the ploughshares funds, a foundation that seeks to rid the world of nuclear weapons. and rebeccah heinrica senior fellow at the hudson institute. welcome to the newshour to you both. >> thank you. .> joe cirincione, i want to start with y i want to separate the report, which we have here, from what the president said. the president said, "we will ensure that we can detect and destroy any missile launched against the united states anywhere, anytimeanyplace. is that a good policy? >> no, it's not. and it's very different from t what the reporid. the report itself is fairly modest. that's because it doesn't have much to build on. the existing system we have,a few dozen interceptors in the ozen tundra of alaska doesn't
work, and the rest of the consheerptz are just vieraphs and ideas. but what president trump said dramatically expands the scope of this program, and that makes it dangerous. it turns ifrom a regional program todesigned to defeat a few primitive missiles from a small nation to one that's global in scope, to defeat any missile anywhere launched by anybody. that would take major technological breakthroughs, decades of work and trillions of dollars. and the wo t part is stimulates the very thing it's supposed to prevent-- a new arme what's the response of china and russia? to cower? to rreat? no. they doll what we do. they will build more weapons to overcome our defense. that's dynamicof an arms race. >> schifrin: rebeccah heinrichs, there'sa lot there, but, one, is it dangerous, and, two, does it create an arms race? >> no, missile defense is stabilizing. the president laid out the right policy today. the missile defense review takes
more modest steps ithat direction, but it does take care of the regional threats from russia and cina. have two options-- the ndssians, the chineses, the north koreans,he iranians are moving towards increasing their capability in the area of missiles. missiles give them a coercive ability in relative times of peace and a military advantage in the evenar breaks out. two chwces: do e defend against those threats or don't we? it get the country moving in the right direction to hav a more muscular missile defense architecture. >> schifrin: joe cirincione, there is new advanced cruise missile technology from both these counrories. what's with creating missile defense to defend the united states against this? >> so ask yourself why they are pursuing those i'll tell you what vladimir putin said a year ago when he introduced these prog ams. he's doi because of the missile defense program. he told u.s. officials in the bush administratn that if you pull out of the antiballistic missile treaty-- which bush id
in 2001-- he was going to be derced to develop weapons to counter annses. it takes decades to develop those weapons. unat's what he did. is thasual? no. that's what we did when the soviets deployed missile defens moscow, you know what we did? we deployed more weapons to overwhelm their system. that is the dynamic of defense and offense. and you know what? the offense always wins because it's easier and cheaper to overwhelm the system an to kyild these complicated pie-in-theystems that never turns out works. >> schifrin: rebeccah, you are shaking your head. >> missile defense has broad bipartisan support. it's now being integrated into our offense-defense mix. so the idea that they don't wor is simply silly. we deploy them today in the regional context. the ground-based midcourse defense system that protects homeland against ballistic missiles, there's great confidence in our combatant commanders that ovet.rsee t so five out of six of the last
tests have been succ of the kind of ballistic missile interceptors that are deployed today. so this is a system that protects americans. the russis deploy missile defense because they want to protect themselves. the united states' response should be to pctotehe american people, our deployed forces and our allies. rin: i want to get to the space aspect. >> yes. iew.chifrin: of this r and what the pentagon announced today was a study into space sensors to detect missiles all over the world. and, also, research into spacete eptors-- basically shooting down missiles from space. so, one, has technology advanced since 1983? and is this something the u.s. should pur >> sensor technology has. we already have systems to detect any launch anywhe'vre. had it since the 1960s. and sensors are getting better and smallat. great. but interceptors, putting something up in space that would be able toaintain inpace for decades and work on a moment's notice? no, that is still out of reach. but u know what? we don't have to just have this
debate on here. what the congresshould do is commission an independent technical assessment of these t'chnologies. see what's real. the technology-- the independent assessments we have so far warn that these things won't work, and they'll be extremely expensive. just to defend against north korea, from space, for examtipl, the naal academy of sciences thought that that would cost $330 billion for a simple regional defense if it could be made to work. let's have the facts on the ground, and hen we can decide whether we want to buy any of these weapon >> schifn: rebeccah heinrichs, is space technology too expensive, and would it actually work? >> no, ff'sdable. and there are two different things you have to take a look at. first first, spac sensors. we do not currently have in place space sensors that can provide birth to death tracking. we can't populate the planet with enough ground-based and sea-based sensors. and so we need to have space sensors. that going to give us our
biggest bang for our buck in terms of improving the overall system we currently ha in place. the other piece of the puzzle is more controversial, and that's where the president was talking about space-based interceptors. if we're going to intercept missiles, you have to hit it in its boost phase. the best place to do that is from space. so we're going to take a look at this. the report says we're going to study it. we're going to see what we need a do to move the technology in that directi see if we can move in that direction, and i think that's a o realistion for the american people. >> schifrin: 30 seconds for you both. in missile defense were to work, if is it a good idea? >> i would love to have an effecte missile defense system. who wouldn't. but i would also love a cure for cancer. i'd like really good l beer. but some things are beyond our capability. missile defense against i.c.b.m. is one of those things. >> it's stabilizing, gives the united states increased deterrence credishlity, and it ld be part of how the united states thinks about deterring our adsayers in the event that
deterrence fails to give us the abilghy to fiand win. >> schifrin: okay, i think we'll have to leave it there for both of you. thank you. joe cirincione from ploughshares, and rebeccah heinrichs from the hudson institute. thank you so much to you both. >> thanks, nick. >> thank you. f: >> woodrith the government shutdown now in its 27th day, many federal programs have been affected, including food stamps. so far, there is no major lapse in benefits used by nearly 39 million people each month. that's because the u.s. department of agriculture found a way to pay snap bene, as they are called, earlier than normal. february benefits, awarded eirough a debit-style card used at stores, are paid out this week. several states, including ecalifornia and florida, warning users to be careful and make sure they manage to make the money last longer.
for 500 retailers, the probl is already here. that's because those stores needed to renew a license for the electronic befit transfer, or e.b.t. - debit card program and fail to meet a deadline before the shutdown. those renewals, required every five years, are on hold. sarah jackson is an employee at one store in northern arkansas. f we have been completely unable to take am of snap e.b.t. payments. grocery stes need a license to process e.b.t. payments, and ours expired and was unable to be renewed on schedule because of the because of an argument about a wall, i have to look people in the eyes every day and tell them they can't pay for their food. for their children's food. >> woodruff: we reached out to the u.s. department of agriculture for a response. a spokesperson wrote back: "over ab99% of snap retailers ar
to accept benefits as usual... there is a small percentage of stores that failed to complete a required reauthorization process that was due on december 21. these stores can take steps to update their status once funding is restored." >> woodruf stay with us, coming up on the newshour: a new government report detaats family sepns at the border. an historic trip crossg the antarctic continent. brief but spectacular take on life at a jail in mobile, alabama. but first, these past couple of years have been a kind of turning point for public attitudes about some tech and social media giants. it's led some to ask broader
poestions about monopolies, r and competition. at his confirmation hearing this week, william barr, the nominee for attorney general, told but, he said, "a lot of people wonder how such huge behemoths that now exist in silicon valley have taken shape under the nose of the antitrust enforcers." that's part of the focus of tonight's report from economics correspondent paul soln, for our regular feature, "making sense." >> reporter: you want to do what to facebook? >> break them up. us reporter: break up the company and he facebook monopoly law professor tim wu hts saying, in the trailer we shot for ton story. >> i think that if you look carefully at facebook it is in some ways the poe er child for rse of bigness in our time. >> reporter: "the curse of bigness," is wu's new boo the curse: that america has abandoned anti-trust enforcement and left us with an economy dominated by de facto monopolists like facebook, google, and amazon.
and things used to be different. in 1911, john d. rockeer's standard oil trust was broken up because of its vast power. over a century later, many think facebook's tolerce for disinformation and its invasion of privacy are similarly sinister. but facebo proceeds unchallenged. >> the u.s. government allowed them to buy their two main competitors: instagram and whats app. so there's been no real competition in social networking for the last six years. and so i think they felt in some ways above the law, above >>mpetition. eporter: what about google? >> yeah. so you know google has proven itself willing to destroy all of ss competitors over the last ten years ti waze. the number one rea navigation app. co reporter: waze was this promising israelany that could have been a platform for other competitors and they just bougyo them. know that online maps, wat's important to commerce. thatre people often start. google has extinguished many
industries that might ly compete with it vertically by giving its own products preference right wheyou se >> reporter: and amazon? >> what i'm concerned about with amazon is the fact that they have become the only real ple online where you can sell things. >> reporter: but it's just amazing what amazon does right? >> there's good amazon, there's bad amazon. the good amazon in my view is the one that has made it easier to get a lot of products relatily easily. but maybe you invent a better mousetrap. they make the amazon version and then they own that market. >> reporter: but they're super convenient right? >> reporter: in our times the path towards a dangerous fate is paved with convenience, and it's taking us closer to this structure that we had in the gilded age where you had one great monopoly per industry. >> reporter: or industries dominated by just a few firms; monopolies but oligopoli that still control price and service. >> people may like amazon and google but ask people how they
el about the airlines, a people how they feel about their cable company, and ask people how they feeutabout pharmaal bills. these are areas where the competition s shrunk. 're left with just a few choices. >> reporter: the classic argument against monopoly that i learned was that the monopolist will be able to charge higher prices because she or he is the only game in town. >> yea that is the classic argument but i think it's too thin an argument. and it turns out that the damage done by monopolies is frankly much greater than ju higher prices. >> reporter: first, says wu, the industry tends to stagnate. >> a monopolist has no real need to innovate, no real need to improve things. you know, like at&t by the 1960s or '70s. their idea of improvement was three-way calling. >> want someone else on the line? that's easy too. just click the switch button then dial a code number and the number you want and presto. ng didn't believe in answe machines for regular people.
it was against the fax machine, the dem. the internet, all this kind of stuff, forget it. >> reporter: so i remember films about general motors and how they prevented electric cars from coming in and how they wiped out light rail trams in cities. that was all true? >> that was all true and it's just a long line of discussion ere once a monopoly in a tech industry is there they tend to want to suppress what's coming next or control it or make sure it doe't hurt them. >> reporter: i'm thinking about velicon alley here in new york or silicon whaall over the country in various cities. and i would have thought the last thing we need to worrit about is tooe innovation in technology in america. >> you know you would think that. but amazon and google are the new faces of new york tnovation. if yk to venture capitalists in silicon valley they say, "well, f anywhere neebook or anywhere near google you're finished. that's he kill zone." >> reporter: 20 years ago, as we reported back then, the kill
zone was around microsoft. silicon valley anti-trust lawyer gary reback had represented nearly all of microsoft's major rivals. >> they can take any product they want, bundle it into the operating system, and put t'mpetition out of business. >> reporter: twhat microsoft had done with its internet browser. >> when you click on that internet icon, you're going to get what microsoft considers the best way for you to get to the internet, which is the internet explorer that's produced by microsoft. >> reporter: by bundling explorer into the windows operating system for free, microsoft, according to netscape, wacompeting unfairly with netscape's browser, called navigator. >> microsoft was the power of convenience, 1990s version. and i think there is this courageous moment where the government said we don't buy i we think you just want to monopolize this industry. we think you want to control the future of the internet by controlling the browser. end so microsoft's control is br and you had all these other companies emerge. that's when google, amazon,
facebook got their start, so i lyink it's a cycle. i think you constaeed to anep your eyes on the big guys l eak their capacity to conte future. >> i know that when we address these challenges, we'll look back and view helping people opconnect and giving more a voice as a positive force in the world. >> reporter: another curse of bigness, youon't be surprised to hear: outsized political ncfluence. >> the more trated an industry and extreme the monopoly is, the more easily able to influence government to get what it wants. >> reporter: so what's an example? you know, debating new prescription drug legislation. the pharmaceutical industry decided that the best thing it could do was to prevent medicare, which of course is the biggest buyer of drugs, from negotiatg for lower prices. the lobbying effort was over $100 million. but the investment paid off to the tune of 10 to $15 billion a year. >> reporter: now imagine the
clout of a facebook, an amazon, a google. but even higher prices, stagnation and political influence, says tim wu, don't exhaust the list of bigness downsides. there's also economic inequality. >> a growing number of economists have recognized that when you have most industry concentrated to three or four tarms the tendency is towards wageation, towards higher profits for shareholders and executives and certain professionals but the rest of the population making le. >> reporter: consider health care, wu says, the fastest growing sector of the economy. >> it's very difficult bargain with a monopoly hospital nur a higher wage if you're a e. what's your leverage especially if there's only one hospital in because they bought all the other hospitals. >> reporter: finally, tim wu altes one more danger, perhaps the most ominous o you've written about the dangers of the connection betwee lies and authoritarianis >> there's a history and a track
record of economy dominated by monopoly flipping into an authoritarian form of government. and i don't think it's crazy to start becoming concerned about possible rise of fascism in our times. >> reporter: but you're not saying facebook and amazon and google are in cahoots with the mpvernment in the way that ies were with hitler in germany. >> i'm not saying anything like that. i think we need to be very careful about making superficial compisons. but i do think we need to be aware of the dangers of a union of private and public power. imagine facebook cooperating with an authoritarian regime. they know everything about us. they know what we do. they know how to influence us. if you imagine these two units working together i think it's a very scary prospect. >> reporter: for the pbs newshour, this is economics frrrespondent paul solman, reportin new york.
>> woodruff: a report issued today by an internal executive branch watchdog paints the most detailed picture to date, about the trumadministration's sotions to separate immigrant families at thhern border. it comes from the inspector general at the department of health and human services, the agency responsible for undocumented children in feral custody, who are separated from their guardians. today's report runs 24 pages, and amna nawaz joins me now to share some of the tails. so, hello. s a story, amna, you hav been following for many months. tell us what's new, what'ssi ificant in this report. >> judy, this report lays bare the sheer scope and enormity of the trump administration'fa ly separation policy. they formally announced that. in 2018. en challenged in court, they had to say how many children they separated. they said around 3,000 i
the findin this report found they were separating children long before the polic was announced, almost a year before the policy was announced, and they may have sarated ousands of more children than we previously reported. it alsoth confirm we've known for a long time-- there was never any centralized way to identify, track, or reunite these children. the bottom line is, judy, we still do not know how many ed under were separa the trump administration's policy at the border. >> woodruff: so they literally have no wa- there is no accounting of the children of e e families, the children in thmilies that were taken from their parents? >> we have had hints along way in the many months we have been reporting on this just how bathe bookkeeper was. we didn't know exactly how much until this report. when we first had a given number they said around 2600 and over the next few months they revised it up. they said ey had more formation that came into their knowledge. let's remember there are two agencies. d.h.s. does the separating at the border, and then they hand over the children to.h.s., who receives them for care and
custody. i got a look at that shared that they were tryin to use to track children. there was never a checkbox that says, "this child has been separated," or space to put informatn about their pats. it was up to the d.h.s. officers to choose or remember to put that in the comments section. and they found that in this report just how bad that bookkeeping was. when h.h.s. noticed there was an uptick in separated children coming they tried to formally track. they said: judy, when they tried to bring people ck together they had to go through 60 different databases, sometimes just cross-references last names to, try to figure out if kids were separated or not. >> woodruff: so what about what happened to these children? do they have records, inrmation about whether they ended up with their families or did they end up ing somewhere else? >> alarmingly, this report doesn'detail it.
we don't know if it's because we don't know what happened to the children. they say many of the children were released. we don't know if that means they were released to an aunt or an uncle or a 'cause nin the u.s., or if in many cases -- which we heard was happening it's children wld bego be reunited with the parents, and go back to their home country. there is no insight, and it's noted in the report, why these w kie separateed in the first place. as we noted before, h.h.i. sad they saw an uptick in kids coming in and we know that overnd in the time period the government was test running policy of family separation. judy, it's worth pointing out, that was eight months before they officially announced the policy, 10 months before the homeland security secretary tweeted this, "we do not have a policy of separating families at the period. period." we now know at was not true. >> woodruff: they had been doing it for months. >> many,y months. >> woodruff: at that point. finally what, is the trump administration, what are federal agencies saying about this? re bh h.h.s. and d.h.s. issued
onses. h.h.s. said we welcome the findings, we improved the database. e is now a checkbox if the haild is separated where someone notes there is staff to figure out if there are kids in the system who need to e reunified. more worrying they discovered in this report, long after the policy ended, separations continued. july to november of last year arct least 118 more separated kids came into their custody. and h.h.s. defers to d.h.s. to make that call when they meet the child and parents at th border. d.h.s. said if the child seems to be in danger or the parent is fahdulent or there's criminal activity we will continue to separate because that's our policy.oi it's worthing out criminal activity is a pretty broad base for discretion. we found one case in which a parent had a burglaryge in their home country 10 years ago that never resulted in a conviction. and still had his child taken away from him. so this is very muc.h ongoi and it's very much a live issue. >> woodruff: still going on
months after t courts said stop this. >> many, manony s. >> woodruff: amna nawaz, great reportindy >> thanks, >> woodruff: on the day after christmas, an american endurance athlete, colin o'brady, completed a 54-day solo trek across more than 930 miles of the vastness of antarctica. over the past century and then some, there have been many expeditions across the frozen continent since roald admundsen first went to the south pole. ernest shackleton tried to cross shortly afterward. ons have followed those pursuits as equipment has geanged and the routes have chconsiderably. part of the path, for examtte, is now f. but o'brady became the first to romplete such a difficult trek with no supply and no kites or the like to help him. william brangh talked with him d his wife about his journey and enduring the worst of
antarctica. >> brangham: with a final 32- hour, 80 mile push, colin o'brady became the first person to cross antarctica alone, without any assistance ste 33-year-old celebrated with a post on ram, writing: "i did it!" ngis was 54 days after set off on this brutal 930-mile trip. upon arrival, o'brady tearfully called his wife, and expedition manager, jenna besaw. o'brady arted the treacherous journey on november 3rd, at the ronne ice shelf on the continent's eastern side. he set off at the same time as 49-year-old louis rudd, a british army captain who's also trying to make the historic e ip. o men raced each other for nearly two months, passing over mountains of ice and snow and across the south pole. then, o'bradmade it to the finish-- the leverett glacier at the ross ice shelf, where antarctica's land mass ends, and the ice sea begins.
others had made the crossing before, but they had assistance with supplies or kites that helped pull them across the ice. o'brady had none of elp. most days, he trekked 12 hours, s.lling roughly 400 pounds on his sl he climbed up ice ridges, pushed through blinding snow and 30- mile-an-hour headwinds and had 80 endure temperatures as low as minuegrees farenheit. o'brady consumed around 7,000 calories a day to ensure he had gh energy for the grueli trek. still, his legs were emaciat by the end. he dubbed his attempt: "the impossible fir," which it certainly would have seemed just a decade ago. that's when an accidrned nearly 25% of o'brady's body, primarily his legs and feet. doctors warned him he might never walk normally again. but after a lengthy rehab, he went on to become a professional triathlete, and eventually
climbed mt. everest. once he'd set this record for crossing antarctica, o'brady stayed put, setting up camp near the ross ice slf, where he waited for louis rudd to cross the finish line and join him, a little more than 48 hos later. colin o'brady is back in the u.s. now, and i recently sat nnwn with him and his wife in ne york city, to talk about that trek. this story has a happy ending. you're shomee and sound. we know the ending of this story now. but did you have any reservations ahead of time before you set out on journey? >> you know the stakre real. kbut at the same time youw it's part of the preparation that goes into it. to prepare the body mind soul for the journey but it also makes it a great advture and a great goal to set out for is that it's not guaranteed. >> brangham: jenna, how do you feel about this? i mean you find the idea of sending your husband on something called the impossible first. >> i really understand the risks that were there and then falle trust that c was able to manage them. and again the training and prep that wenin and the preparation and whatnot i was pretty
confident that we had at least tried our besto manage their risks. >> brangham: can you give us a she knows how to push me hard. tespite the risks. >> i think of it as encouragement. little more sense of what it was like day to day? >> full blowing winds, i mean there's lots of times where i would spend you know 12 to 13 hours pulling my sled per day and couldn't even barely see the next step in front of me. i mean complete white out all just staring at my compass the entireime. and then the average temperature, yeah you know minus 25 minus 30 degrees 30 40 50 mile per hour winds were not uncommon throughout this sourney. hat jacks the wind chill up into minus 70 minus 80. then campingt night. so two hours to set everything ea man. that wlly intense. up two hours take everything down and 17 hours onlyureaves a few for sleep and do it again. i did that 54 days in a row tithout taking a single day off.
i'd now. ik brangham: these conditions are really i thinkwhat almost any person watching this ris ever experienced. what are you w on your body to stop yourself from freezing to death? >> brangham: i had full face mask on every day. gloves, mittens, no part of my skin exposed, you probably saw fr some of the photos, you know, ta on my nose and cheeks because that's where little pieces of wind seemed to be penetrating my mask even.tt i was getting traces of frostbite in ltle sections. ou know really, one tiny little corner of your skin exposed you know that's .rostbite in a few minutes with that level of wi so, yeah, it was very intense. >> brangm: how often are you hearing from him on this trip? >> anywhere from y know a five minute to sometimes longer if we needed to go over anything specific. bu i did get to check in with him every day. >> brangham: people are obviously just awed by the physical nature of what you did, but obviously the mental aspect of this is a huge part of it, maybe even bigger than the physical. i just wonder what is it like to
live alone like that in that environment doing that kind of physical work ery day? >> i would say you know 10 or 20% was the physical being a professional athlete hieparing but really the success ofproject hangs in the balance or the mental prep resilience there. i have a kind of avid meditation practice. every year i get to a silent meditation retreat no reading or writing no eye contact. we've both done that several times, just as part of just our life, as a way to reflect. but that ultimately prepared me so well to be in solitude like this. ntd that was sort of the more positive eleof it, but also so much time for your mind at wind you up and take you down into a sort of a ne place. >> i'm kind of down in my mind right now, even though i'm so close, d f 48. it's theirst time in the project i'm feeling like i just wish i could quit. oh, my god, it's only day 17. winds 50 mph. i'm freezing i just got blown over off my skis. am i going to make it? i mean all of a negave and you
know thoughts of course. i mean i'm only human. >> it's going to be a windy one! the headwind! you are locked in a prison of your own brain. so fortunately i like my own company, i suppose >> or he learned to like it. ug it was a great lesson t just so many profound just kind of personal lessons have come from that experience and that journey of going so deep into my own mind my own memories. it was really beautiful in the end. >> brangham: i really can't imagine being so remote. i mean literally there is probably no more remote place on this earth and more dangerous place for human. but then at the same time being able to talk to your beloved thousands of miles away. that's got to ben unbelievable sort of contrast. >> yeah. it is a strange contrast. am grateful to be able to do that, but it's nif i was sort of talking to all sorts of different people at the same time. so it wakind of like this little bubble between the two of us. jenna had to read between the lines just in my voi literally that's why we had that toll not just because i wanted to but alsor her to be
like, ok, you know, ask me kind of a series of questions. >> but then again it was reading between the lines and kind of discerning what i waing and making sure that it was headed in a positive directionn >> brangham:ristmas morning you get up and by your schedule, the pace you've been running, you're two, three days from the finh line. but you decide, i'm not going to take two or three days to do it. what i'm going to do it in one big push. why? >> i woke up that morning and i just felt great. my entire sort of personal reason for going and doing this project was to push the limits of humanotential. and i thought what better way than to see how far i can go in a single push to finish. so i kept going. unfortunately the weather declined. it got horrible. i also ran out of water because i only melted enough generally for about 12 or 13 hours so by hour 18 i had run out of water >> brangham: all humans would say, i'm going to rest now. >> instead, i geilin my tent, he water. give jenna a call, she's like, oh my god, i saw you went almost 50 miles. incredible. get some rest.
you probably going to finish this project tomorrow. i was like, well, actually i'm just melting water for an hour. i'm about to take my tent down in this crazy storm that i'm experiencing and get back out and finish this thing. and so another 12 plus hours i finished, in that 32 hour push, 77 miles to finish and you know i think it was a really fun way to finish. >> brangham: what were you thking? >> i mean he sounded better than he had sounded almost in the previous 53 days. but of course we made sure like you know did you stop him boil water, which of course was the reasonhy he had stopped. and have in all the calories properly today, asking him about his memorycould he remember everything that happened up to that point? >> brangham: when you're asking those questions you're checking. to see if he's >> ...thinking properly. >> brangham: ...if he's doing all the crucial steps to suive. >> totally doing the critical thinking necessary to really you kn maintain a safe crossin and so at that pointou know i just heard in his voice, he didn't sound crazed or insane. he sounded like he, and i've
ic career, he sounded li he was quote unquote in the zone. e d he sounded like he was in the perfect pl high perform. >> brangham: so many people are obviously inspired by what you did and followed you as you went. does any part of you worry that other people who are not nearly as capable of doing this kind of thing might try to emulate you? >> i mean if someone wants to cross antarctica and there's someone dreaming about that i hope they do the proper training and i would love to see somebo else do that. that would be amazing and i would be cheering their success. but more so pefully they can take sort of the universal principles of this into their own life and dare to dream whatever it is in their own life that they can actually turn the impossible dreams and their life into something that's possible and beautiful and rich. >> brangham: all right, colin o'brady, jenna besaw, thank you nkth very much. >> tou. uf thanks so much. >> woo william is currently on his way to sotarctica and we'll bring you those report. g's not going to be cross solo.
>> woodruff: last week, brief but spectacular focused onlt mental hfrom the perspective of a parent, whose son was failed by legal andsy mental healtems in washington state. tonight, we hear from the warden of metro county jail in mobile, alamaba, to get his take on howh the mentlth crisis affects his operation. >> with our tongue in our cheek, we look at inmates sometimesnd say listen, life here is not great. this is not a resort, it's not a hotel, it's not a retreat, it's not burger king, you don't get it your way and we do not want you to come back, so we preface everything by saying this is less than ideal situations. rithe difference between an and a jail is essentially, in a prison you are serving out your sentence that a judge has handed down.
for the most part out population is here awaiting to go to trial. the average stay forn inmate here at metro jail would be about 17 days, now that is misleading when you first consider it because we have erally have been here for four and a half years awaiting trials and typically b that wouldfacing a murder trial. working in any jail this size is a very hostile work environment, i would put it sometimes worse than a prison, because in a prison, the inmates are settled, and they're locked down all the time, we he court appearances, visitation, church services so there's a lot of activity. this facility was originally designed for less than 1200 inmates. however, on a day basis like today for example we'll have way over 1500. sometimes we'll have four or five, six or seven inmes in a cell designed for two people we see inmates return on a very regular basis. recidivism is probably about 50
to 60%. i try to at least on a weey basis just walk through the jail. they want my time, they want mye ation, and they will flag me down and ask me questions. >> in some places you have seven minutes a cell. >> absolutely. consider yourself lucky. obviously in a hostiork environment like this, we don't have people knocking down our doors to work for us so we always are short-sta, and sometimes you're looking at one floor officer will be responsible for anywhere from 150 to 300 individuals.th mentally ill poses a number of problems for us. we feel very strongly that anyone suffering from a serious mental i a county jail.t be in however, that happens on a regular basis because the stateo hospital iacked up, there's no place for these people to go. when alabama closed our only regional hospital, we saw an immediate doubling of our mental health pulation.
we'll see the same mentally ill person arrested for the same charge in the same location by the same police officer three four and five times. this is not a problem that we can arrest ourselves out they need to be in a facility where they can receive around- hee-clock care. whoever was behindlosing of the mental health hospitals, enat they thought that was a good idea, i cha them on that. they were concerned at the timee thatentally ill were being warehoused, in these hospitals. well i got news for ody. the mentally ill are now being warehoused in county jails across this country. my name is trey oliver, and this is my brief but spectacular take on life here at metro jail in mobile alabama. >> we thank you for that perspective. >> woodruff: tonight's brief but spectacular was prodabed in coation with jason johnson, a reporter for lagniappe, a weekly paper in mobile, alabama. you can fi a special episode with johnson on our website at pbs.org/newshour/brief.
an update before we go on our lead story, the stalemate over the government shutdown. after cancelling the congressional delegation scheduled to head to afghanistan today, president trumceled his own team's travel plans as well. d the white house announat his cabinet and staff would not be traveling doos, switzerland, to attend the world economic forum. the first lady,owever, was traveling tonight aboard a government plane en route to florida for some prescheduled personal travel. and as the shutdn continues on this 27th day, we've learned that senate majority leader mitch mcconnell is meeting this evening with vice president mike pence and jared kushner. thpresident's senior adviser -in-law. on the newshour online right now, a research team made 300 milln-year-old fossils come life in order to see how animals predating the dinosaurs evolved to walk on dry land.ey
see how id it 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 with mark shields and david brooks. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you and see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> babbel. a language app that teaches real-life conversations in a new language, like spanish, french, germalian, and more. babbel's 10-15 minute lessons are available as an app, or online.ti more informa on babbel.com. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions
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