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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  March 6, 2019 3:00pm-4:01pm PST

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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff.ew on theour tonight: one-on-one with lisa murkowski. i sit down with the alaska senator to talk about being a dissenting voice in today's republican party. then, president trump moves to sign a bipartisan conservation bill, protecting millions of acreof public land. plus, for saudi arabian students studying in the u.s., constant surveillance a threats from the saudi government is a dangerous fact of li. >> just today i got, for example, a threat from a twitter account, saying that "we're going to lock you up, and we're going to find you, and we're going to bring you back and, and put you in a cell next to your father."
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>> woodruff: all that and more, on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> babbel. a language program that teaches spanish, french, german, italian, and more. >> consumer cellular. >> american cruise lines.
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>> supporting social entrepreneurs and their solutions to the world's most pressing problems-- >> the lemelson foundation. committed to improving lives through invention, in the u.s. and developing countries. on the web at >> supported by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. i moormation at >> a with the ongoing suppor of these institutions: >> possible by the corporation for public broadcasting.d contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: president trump isi
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re cautiously to reports that north korea is rebuilding a missile launch sit he was asked today about commercial satellite images that show new construion. but the north said it partially dismantled the site ear. >> the relationship is good. but i would be very disappointed if that was happening. i would be very, very disappointed in chairman kim. i don't think i will be, but we'll see what happens. it will ultimately get solved. >> woodruff: the president's secondummit with north korean leader kim jong-un collapsed last week. it is not clear if the missile site work began before or after that happened. democrats in the u.s. house havo delayed a tion that indirectly rebukes minnesota's ilhan omar. the freshman representative, a muslim, had suggested that lawmakers feel pressured to pledge allegiance to israel. party leaders initially offered a resolution condemning anti- semitism.
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they delayed it today, amid reports that supporters of omar protested at a contentious, closed meeting. the secretary of homeland security told congress today that there is a crisis at the southern border with mexico. kirstjen nielsen cited 76,000 migrants who crossed illegally last month. that wasore than twice the total from february of last year. at a house hearing, nielsen said most of the migrantsre families, and that border agencies cannot keep up. >> we face a crisis-- a re, serious, and sustained crisis at our borders. our capacity is already severely restrained, but these increases will overwhelm the system entirely. this is not a manufactured crisis. this is truly an emerg >> woodruff: at a separate hearing, the customs and border protection commissioner, kevin l aleenan, said his agency has unprecedented medieds at its short-term holding
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facilities. officials in alabama now say all those missing in sunday's deadly tornado have been accounted fo and that the death toll remains at 23. today, volunteers in the hard- hit beauregard community turned a church into a donation center they set ules of clothing, food, and diapers for victims. u.s. senator martha mcsally-- the first female combat pilot in the air force-- revealed today i that earher career, she was raped by a superior officer. the arizona republican made the disclosure during a hearing on sexual assaults in the military. mcsally said that she did not diport the rape because sh not trust the system. >> i was horrified at how my attempt to share generally my experiences were handled.i most separated from the air force at 18 years over my anspair. likevictims, i felt the system was raping me allver
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sain. >> woodruff: mcsald the military has come a long way in bundling sexual misconduct that too many commanders still have not addressed the problem. in canada, a former top aide to prime minister justin trudeau denied today that trudeau deted his former attorney general for targeting a montreal engineering company. jody wilson-raybould says trudeau pressed her not to prosecute the company for alleged bribery in ther trudeau aide, gerald butts, told a parliamentary committee that nothing inappropriate was done. france has unveiled plans to impose a 3% tax on tech giants, including amazon, ogle and facebook. the tax would apply to all revenues generated in france. the companies currently payst taxes where they are based, and pay little in other countries, even if they have extensive operations there.
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back in this country, the u.s. interior department gave notice that it wants to end protections for gray wolves nationwide. the animals were granted "endan 1975, when only 1,000 were left. now, more than 5,000 le in the ntinental u.s. protections for wolvthe northern rockies were lifted in and, thell u.s. traden- deficit hit a ar high last year, at $621 billion. the commerce department reports that it was driven largely by a record trade gap with china. the negative numbers helped push wall street lower today. the dow jones industverage lost 133 points to close at 25,673. the nasdaq fell 70 points, and the s&p 500 slipped 18. still to come on the newshour: i sit down with alaska senator lisa murkowski. a new bill protecting millions of acres of public land.
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saudi arabian students in the u.s. face constant surveillance from their home country. the director of the national institutes of health on sexual harassment in the sciences. and, much more. >> woodruff: few republicanspu icly disagree with president trump on issues critical to his agenda more than senator lisa murk healthcare, to the supreme urt, to environmental issues. last week, she announced shet would not suppe president's emergency declaration to fund the southern border wall. i sat down with senator murkowski earlier today, and began by asking her, why not? >> so the president has gone above and beyond what congress
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has clearly indicated that they are willing to do. i have not suported the designation of a nationa emergency that would allow the president to basicallygo around the whether and the intent of the congress just laid out a matter of weeks ago. i do think that there are sources that he can turn to that do not require emergency declaration such as the treasury asset forfeiture fund. there is some ability within the drug fund he can tap into but when you use the national emergencies act to effectively pand executive powers y legislative acquiescence, i think that sets a dangerous precedent, and i don't think that it's a path that we should take. >> woodruff: buisthe president aying it's entirely within his right as president of the united states to doh tis, in addition to that he points to the fact that the number of
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people crossing that border has more than doubled just in the month of february from what it was a year ag. it is something that's literally out of control. >> my concern is that, because the national emergencies act doesn't clearly define the criteriay there is a greea, so we know that this is going to be contested in the courts, and, so, the question is probably not can he do it but should he d it. again, is this an expansion of that executive authority by way w encroachment on the legislative branich has those appropriating powers specifically designated to them? so i think we can address fairly and honestly the issue, the crisis as the president describes it at the brder using available fundipportunities
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without overstepping the constitutional lanes that have been very clearly defin w? druff: i want to broaden this out for a moment becausep you not sporting the president on this, you have supported him this terg ss two-thirds of the votes that came up overall, i read it was 80% of the time you ted with president trump, but you've also opposed him on significant mov, the nomination of brett kavanaugh to the supreme court, the attempt to repeal the affordable care act, there have been other important votes. you have carved out a place for yourself as a moderate republican. how hard is it to be a moderate republican right now? >> i come from a prey independent state. alaskans are pretty opinionated, and we're noto afrai share our pinions. we are a state that is very conservative but also very, i
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think, broad a expansive in our way of thinking, a very diverse, eclectic, independent people. >> woodruff: what do you think when you hear the criticism of many if not most republicans that they ju'tst donave the backbone to stand up to this prhiident. do you there's something to that? >> i can't put myself in the shoes of others. i do knw that is hard to go agait your party because you have folks that say you are a republican, you should always act as a republican. my rejoinder to that is i represent all alaskans. it's a challenging thing to do to try to represent that eclectic and ve independent constituency, but i try to do what i believe is best and to have that backbone to stand up to whomever or whatever. >> wooodruff: i want to ask yu
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about something in the news right now and that is the rapidly expanding investigation into president trump, his potehial russian tiesis businesses, to pensile obstruction of justice -- potential obstruction of justice. the house democrats requested domes from scores of people, even family members. do you think this is something that is appropriate? >> i understand fulll wel that when you have one body that is consumed, occupied to the exclusion of al else on an effort to bring down a president, we don't get any busine done and, in the man time, the country suffers. so we've got a job to do here. part of our job -- and i cle respect the role of the oversight, but i also don't want
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us to le sight of our obligations and our responsibilities as lawmakers to be ensuring that the business of ed. country is condu >> woodruff: should the white house be cooperating or should they be, as they are, calling this a big fishin expedition? >> well, i think if you have efforts by committees that are chasing things down a rabbit trail just to b obstreperous, just to frustra and delay -- >> woodruff: well, they argue it's legitimate. >> keep in mind the authorities within certain committees. does every committeed to be involved in this? >> woodruff: last thi innt to ask you about is your legislation dealing witbh pulic lands in this country, designating wilderness, addrescong watenservation,
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appropriating purchases of public lands access to en spaces, it passed overwhelmingly just a few wes ago. what difference is it going to mab with regard to pulic lands in this dismount. >> on the poly side, its important to recognize that from the perspective of a conservation piece, permanent authorization of the water lan conservation went is significant, not only will it help tor facilitate o federal lands, but, also with the support that goes to the state side programs, very significant place like alaska where we already ha our share of federal lands but the suppo for state side funding is very significant. so many p parochial matters seem manner to us in washington, d.c., but for a all community in south dakota
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you're able to convey certain land so anpoir can have a small expansion, these allow for economies to thrive, for opportunities in places where opportunities where perhaps limited. it helps with our parks and cess. it helps with spoenrt issues, it helps with water management issues. it's pretty significant. >> woodruff: and how big a shift is it in the sense that republicans who traditionally vote against expansion of public lands voted for this? >> fair enough, but, , agais is the beauty of something that is constructed in such a highly cooperative manner. you have what is cale compromise. the good old fashioned legislative term of compromise. >> woodruff: senskor lisa murk thank you very much. >> good to be with you. >> woodruff: speaking of that good old fashioned compromise ,
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compromisa desjardins takes a closer look now at the bill with far-reaching ramifications for those who use and enjoy public lands, and see to preseem. >> desjardins: this bipartisan legislation is as sweeping as the land iwill affect. 1.3 million acres, newly designated as wilderness,an g it is undeveloped now, and must remain so. it expandsell-known national parks like joshua tree and death valley in california. d, the country's first national park, yellowstone, gains new protection, as the new measure blocks gold mining on hundreds of thousands of acres next to the park. it is not all expansion. a few park like acadia in maine, will see future growth limited. but what some e as the biggest game-changer is making permanent the land and water conservation fund, the largest federal conservation program, used in nearly every state. onding currently comes fr and gas drilling. the bill does not guarane that money, but does safeguard the program's existence.
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the bill found broad support in congress, with something for nearly every region and political viewpoint. >> as a 35th-generation new mexican, i rise today insu ort of senate bill 47. this bill represents a major victory for conservation. >> i'm also proud to see theor important men's titles included in this bill, that will expand access for recreation, fishing and hunting on public lands. >> this is a historic win for montana. t's one of the biggest conservation wins we've seen in arguably a decade. >> the "yea's" are 92, the "nay's" are eight. >> desjardins: and, it cleared both chambers of this usually divided congress by overwhelmina ins. >> the rules are suspended, the bill is passed.s: >> desjardhere were a few critics. republican senator mike lee of heutah argued, this leaves government too much power over tuarsely-settled land. >> this bill peres a terrible standard for federal ndnd policy in the west, a particularly for the state of utah. >> desjardins: in the past,
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president trump has agreedith lee. for example, the president shrank this protected ea, the bears ears monument intah, which conservatives argued had been an overreach. but this bill n mr. trump, and most republicans, over. part of the reason? it expands access for hunters, fishermen and other sportsmen to vast areas of public land, as well as specifically allowing them to carry crossbows when on the way to hunting trips. still not convinced of this bill's scope? a few other items: it creates an office to monitor american volcano activity 24/7, as well as new programs to fight wildfires. it looks to the future, permanently giving all fourth graders free access to national parks, an idea started by former president obama. and, it protects some history, designating the mississippi home of slain civil rights leader medgar evers as a national monument, and part of the
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national park system. in all, think of it as a measure that, against the backdrop ofti sharp pol divide, shows unity over the american landscape. >> it was not an easy task puttg it together. counties negotiated for month over specific borders and what they wanted. judy, it's politically significt to senator murkowski. this is a shiftay from public lands inswtead of ho it used for. we expect him to sign in coming days. >> woodruff: so important to report on. this as you said, it enha years in the making. thank you, lisa. >> woodruff: today, the administration's nominee to become ambassador to saudi arabia, retired general jo abizaid, testified in the
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senate. he defended the kingdom's importance to u.s. foreign policy, despite sharp criticismr senators who accuse the kingdom of cracking down on its critics. as foreignffairs correspondent nick schifrin reports, even saudi citizens here in the united states say they can't escape the watchful eye of their government. >> schifrin: college sabior lrahman al-mutairy is carefree with his classmates, but he fee to watch his >> i was extremely afraid. i had to changdimy location. 't know what could happen next. i didn't know what to expect. >> schifrin: in a manhattan art gallery, photographer danah al-mayouf is worried. >> who are these people attacking me all the tho want to basically put me in jail, want to see me homeless in america? >> schifrin: and in washington, d.c., georgetown university fellow abdullah alaoudh says even 6,000 milesrom home, there's nowhere to hide. >> they have no limits. they can reach you everywhere.
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they fear evercriticism. >> schifrin: three saudi citizens, living in the u.s., who say they're targeted for their criticism of the saudi government. they may be protected by u.s. laws, but they say they have no protection from saudi rveillance. >> it's a reality, and unfortunately it happening on united states soil. a schifrin: al-mutairy is senior at the university of san diego, and an activist via online video blogs. last august he began criticizing the ultra-conservative saudi religious establishment. >> if god accepts repentance, who are you to curse me? >> schifrin: the videos earned him thousands of saudi and international followers, and the ire of the government. he had been studying on a saudi- government scholarship. after the criticism, he says the saudi embassy warned him to stay silent.e whenpt talking, he received this email, revoking his scholarship, and this notification blocking hisal
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student po technically, he'd been warned. s in 2017, tdi government published a list of rules for onudents studying abroad. rule number one: engage in political or religious discussion, or conduct media interviews. by disobeying, al-mutairy ended up bke. on twitter, critics said the government should crucify him. terminating his scholarship s not enough >> at the end, just because i expressed my religio belief, without harming anyone, my scholarship gets ten away. and it was hard, it was a hard fact to digest that my own people and own governmenwanted me to be executed. >> schifrin: up until then, al-mutairy's criticism was narrow focused. but then, critical saudi journalist jamal khashoggi was murdered and dismembered while visiting saudi arabia's istanbul consulate, and al-mutairy turned his targeto his own government. >> you didn't only kill him, you chopped him up. is this a government or a mafia? >> schifrin: he said there's no chance crown prince mohammaed bin salman, known as m.b.s.,
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wasn't involved. >> if he didn' know about this, he doesn't know about anything in the country. m.b.s. doesn't know about the war in yemen. he doesn't know about the tax he doesn't know that i'm a saudi citizen who voiced his opiniont and scholarship pulled, and now i live below the poverty line, and now i'm eating (tbleep ), i'mg dirt. >> schifrin: after that video, the government labeled him a udlitical dissident, and he says his family in saarabia was instructed by the government to cut him off. he hasn't spoken to his family in saudi arabia since. >> i really miss them a lot, and i hope if they're watching this yterview, they know i'm o and i miss them a lot. >> schifrin:ohammed bin salman has ushered in dramatic reforms, trying to curb the conrvative clergy's power, and allowing women to drive, and attend movies and sporting but critics acim of
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silencing dissent. in november 2017, the government rounded up rival royals in the riyadh ritz-carlton, arrested the very women who successfully campaigned forhe right to drive, and senior officials close to m.b.s. are accused of murdering khashoggi. >> they said it's a red line to criticize the saudi crown prince. well, killing a journalist in the saudi counsulate is not a red line? i mean, they have their own version of truth probably. >> schifrin: before abdullah alaoudh became a georgetown fellow, back in 2014 he was on a saudi scholarship university of pittsburgh. he says it also got canceled because he criticized the vevernment. how has the saudi ment targeted you while you're in the united states?hr >> i getts every day fromr twitcounts that a lot of people think somehow associated with the saudi government.od i mean, just i got, for
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erample, threat from a twi account saying that we going to lock you up, and we going to ofind you and we're going bring you back and put you in a cellext to your father. >> schifrin: alaoudh's father, salman, is an outspoken activist who has called for a change in the saudi government. he was arrested, and nowaces the death penalty. alaoudh says his father's interrogators ntion him during interrogation. >> you know, talking to somebody about his son and saying that "we going to arrest him, we're going to torture him, we're going to do this and that to him," it's a w of intimidation and pressure. >> schifrin: and have they also tried to pressure you by talking about your father? >> yes, because they try to send the message that, whatever you do is going to be reflected on my father and how they deal with my father. >> schifrin: alaoudh says how the saudis deal wi him here is surveillance. he says in 2016, before a public event, he was approached by another saudi citizen who said he was there to spy and report
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back. y want to know what saud think about the government and about saudi foreign policy here in the united states. >> schifrin: the saudi government denies it surveils its citizens in the u.s., viass the emor the cultural mission, which oversees saudi students. saudi embassy spokesmafahad naze >> i think the claim that theal saudi cultission is there to collect intelligence on students or to follow around a very big countredlike the unittates is, is, is a little absurd. they are not here toolonitor or tow people. they are there to help, and not to collect intelligence. at is simply not what they do. >> schifrin: nazer himself received a saudi scholarship to study in the u.s., one of hundreds of ousands to do so he says focusing on the criticism misses the bigger picture. >> the experience for the overwhelming majority is a positive one, and many of them actuallyontribute positively to their local communities visiting senior homes, they're working at soup kitchens, they are informal, unofcial ambassadors, and the overwhelming majority go back. b ically, i fell in love
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with freedom and i didn't want to go back. danah al-mayouf is a saudi photographer and activist. she's a former student who says she didn't speak out for fear of losing her scholarship. but w, she advocates for sau women's rights. >> basically, we've been taught that we're less than men. men are supposed to marry not only one wife, but four, and we should be fine with it, and all these poisonous ideas. we learn them in school, so that's why i'm angry. i'm an activist right now cause basically this is wrong, to teach young girls that you're less than men.>> chifrin: as she gained prominence, she said she received two strange offers. this email, th a lucrative job in the saudi stock market, if she silenced herself. then, this man offered her a photography job, only to tell her there was a case open against her, andhe would be deported. looking back, al-mayouf thinks the whole thing was a trap. do you think there's been an attempt to lure you bae? >> yes, i think so.
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>> schifrin:nd do you have any idea who's behind it? >> i believe the gudernment. the government. they just hate sing people talking, and it's their worst nightmare to see people talking, especially women. >> schifrin: but she wasn't alone. in 2017, alaoudh applied in washington to renew his udi passport. >> so they said, if you want to renew your passport, you have to go back to saudi arabia in order to do that. >> sifrin: do you think they were luring you back home? >> yes, i strongly think that. and you know, the case of khashoggi is just another example. >> schifrin: for al-mutairy, the attempt to lure him home was a phone call from a fellow saudi promising a family reunion. >> he said, i am in l.a. right now, i want you to join me and go to saudi arabia, where you say hi to your parents. and i said no, i'm not going to go to saudi arabia.
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he said, well, you have to goba to saudi arabia. this is when things kind of escalated. >> schifrin: can youo home today? >> the best case scenario would be going to jail, without any charge, for five, 10, 15, 20 years. worst case scenario, i would be publicly executed for my >> schifrin: which is why he'll stay here, knowing that despite the freedom provided by the southern california sun, they're always watching. for the pbs newshour, i'm nick schifrin. >> woodruff: in this era of "me-too" revelations, it is increasingly clear that the fiel of science, engineering and medicine have a lot more to do when it comes to stopping or reducing sexual harassment and discrimination. a milestone report found between 20% to 50% of female students in science, engineering and medicine experienced harassment,
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often from faculty and sff. more than 50% of faculty said they too experienced harassment. that report added new pressure on the national institutes of health, one of the biggest funders of scientific research in the u.s. william brangham now has a the head of the n.i.h. joined. >> brangham: for a conversation. it's part of our weekly science segment "the leading edge." >> reporter: last year's report documented an al-too common story. >> brangham: last year's report documented an all-too-common story: existing anti-harassmente policies at ific institutions simply didn't do enough to stop the problem, and there was too little accounta to help those who come forward. now, the director of the n.i.h., dr. ancis collins, has issue a frank apology for not doing more. dr. collins wrote, "we are sorri thhas taken so long to acknowledge and address the climate and culture that has caused such harm." sexual hassment in the sciences, he wrote, is "morally indefensible, it's unacceptable,
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and it presents a major obacle that is keeping women from achieving their rightful place science." and dr. francis collins joins me now. welcome back to th "newshour". >> thanks, great to be with you, william. >> reporter: i guess in the ague the sciences problemso well, but the numbers judy cited out the number of women in these fields who claim they have been a havin victim of these crs striking. why is it so bad in the science snls. >> i think the sciences e male dominated traditionally. that's change bug not quickly enough. most to have the senio leadership and academic institution tends to be male, and that kind of culture, then, encourages this willingness for what can sometimes be more subt g forms ofender harassment but sometimes also provides the kind evironment where other sexual coeviion aces may happen. we need to change that, and that's one of the messages from
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at national academy report. >> reporter: in male dominated fields, and we've seen this in the mittary and oher ways where women have moved in, is it partly bause women are moving into more traditionally male-dominated fields, or is it n'tply that the men just do appreciate that they can't tact the way they have been acting? what's the dynamic there? >> in science, women are a significant part of oure, workfout still we have not achieved the point where womenri have theitful place in leadership. if you go to the top tier of organizations that are doing science and universities, they are disproportionately male. graduate students, post-docs, medical students, we ae close to 50/50 in those categories. but why is it a problem seeing this advance happening? it is not always welcoming to women. we're so concerned about sexuala harassment t it discourages
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talented women from continuing on the pahway to ldership and we're losing the talent and that's bad for everybody. thereorter: not only a emotional and psychic toll to being the victim peof this f thing but it deprives science of a population if thy view the field is not open to them. >> absolutely, and there is enormous talent we are deprived pleand we're discouraging pe who have visions of what they might be able to contribute who encounter this unpleasant somewhat costrictive atmosphere with sexual commentary that is demeaning and derading and thy sort of say to themselves, i don't know if this feels like a ace i want to spend my career, and go off and do something else. weose a lot of women at the point of becoming a trainee toan ndependent faculty person. >> reporter: let's talk about accountability, because that is such an eenormous part of this, fat that the if you're in ae cultere this is going on,
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so many women i have been reporting on say in this field say i just didn't think i wouldn go to anyand the behavior would stop. how do we address that? if you cn't report it and feel you will get a sense of justice u either endure it or get out. >> and n.i.h., and myself as a director, we have tried to change. we have been perceived and i think there's justification in standing back and sying it's the university's problem, they should take care to have but we'rlargest funder of biomedical research in the world. on have responsibility to make sure that the envnt where that research is going on is free of this kind of immoral activity. so we are now taking ownersh of this, and i wanted in that statement that was mentioned to make it very clearthat we have not been as much of the solution that we should be. mes we have been part o the problem. we want to apologize for that. we have been listening to those stories, and there are harrowing stories of women who have gone through these experiences. we don't think that's something
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we can simply look the other way, so we've decided within the legal constrictions we have to basically play a larger role in identifying instances and acting upon them. and in just the last year, mre than two dozen institutions have heard from us about circumstances where sexual harassment was going on and we insisted they come forward and say what they're doing abt it. as a result, some 21 disciplinary actions have been taken against university faculty, sbe lost their jos, others have not been allowed to main as principal investigators on n.i.h. grant, other are not allowed to take part in peer revere. we're serious, not just saying it's someonelse's problem. >> reporter: many people are welcoming toa the tement you've put out and feel it's heart. but some say you are focusing too much on accountability once the cronime is committedce harassment is identified, and not enough in changing theur
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cuwhere this goes fore. they're say dog more on the prevention side not just the enforcement side. what's your reaction to that? >> i totally agree with that because it is not sufficient to simply address things once the already happen and this was a big part of the national academy recommendation, the need to have culture change. are in constant communication now with our institutions about the need for tha as we talked about that earlier, a lot of that is getting women in leadership positions, in the dean's office, in the chairman's office, because that changes the culture in a way that this kind of gender harassment simply becomes less acceptable. we're going to promote that at every level as we ou thr these next steps and, i agree, if all we do is address things where thare's already been a action, we have not been sufficient. >> reporter: you have obviouy spent your enire career in the sciences, and i'm curious, when this started to bubble to the surface, did this spried you or was this something you yourself seen as you
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came up in your own career? >> i had seen but i have to be honest, as a male working in this male-dominated arena, i had and but not personally taking responsibility for doing something about it at the level that i know feel i should. one of the things i hope comes out of this vy open public discussi where we've decided, yeah, this is awkward but we're going to talk about it, is that men will step up and take more sponsibility, also, for the change that's needed. this shouldn't just fall on thed shs of the women to fix a problem that the men have largely been responsible for. >> reporter: dr. fconcis ins of the national institutes of health, good luck with your work and thank you for being here. >> thanks. it's been great to be with you. d>> woodruff: as we repor earlier, the department of homeland security announced that
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illegal immigration at the u.s. southern border is at the umghest rate since 2007. in addition, ther of unaccompanied minors is up 54% from last year. those children migrants are at the center of the latest novel on the "newshour bookshelfn jeffrey brs this report for "canvas," our arts and culture series. u.s.-mexico border from the south, at the same time a family in new york heads for the border on a road trip across america. valeria luiselli first wrote of migration in her 2017 nonfiction book "tell me how ends" based on her work as an interpreter for childn seeking to remain in the u.s. now she goes written a fictional account in the novel "lost children archive." this is her first novel written in english. born in mexico, she now lives in new york. welcome to you. >> thank you very much. >> brown: so you've done an interesting thing, written two n, one one in nonfict fiction about one subject. first, the subject, why did it
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grab you? >> it was the first summer or what we can now calil ths era of the central american diaspora which is the summer where the arrival of central american children to the u.s. who were seeking asylum surged, and driving down te arizona an hearing the news with my family, i couldn't stop thinking about the fact that there were, at that moment, 60,000 children alone at the border waiting for permission to reunite with family members, seeking asylum, and hoping not to be deported back. >> brown: well, so, when it's ws,t close andeth on the n and here we are in a news program, we covered these issues, and then you think about it in fiction terms -- >> yeah. >> brown: what's your way in? when i returned to new i decided to volunteer as an interpreter, translator, interviewer in the court of immigration with children, and i started somehow putting all of
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that into the novel, and what happened to the novel was that i was just stuffing it, stuitffing ith my own political frustration and rage at the stories i was hearing in court, wd also stuffing itth attempts to paint a bigger picture, sort of tking about u.s. interventionism in the 1970in centra central america, d it was killing the novel and not doing any justice to the subject matter, so i stopped writing it. and i wrote "tell me how it end" which is omy previous k where i straightforwardly talk about this immigration crisis. only then was i able to go back to this novel and think about things more clearly. >> brown: in the novel, a family is going on a road trip, the marriage is disintegrating, a lot is happening on the border, real and imagined, in the characters' minds.
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>> "lost children archive" is more a qustioning of how and where we should stand in order to docviument politicalence. >> brown: yeah, but also how and where we should stand as artists, as writers. >>wnxactly. >> bbecause the ethics of writing other people's stories is clearly on view.f you kindt it out there. i think i can see your mind as r er thinking about these things even as you're doing it in fiction. d >>'t think that a novel written from an attempt to convince anyone of your particular political reewpoints caly do anything in the world other than be incredibly annoying. when you are a writer that haso strongitical viewpoints but wants to enter into a space of fiction, not necessarily trying to convince anyone of those viewpoints but likely just exploring the queions behind
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them, right, and what is thehi around documenting political crises.h how muc you become a parasite of people's suffering, what good do you do to a situation by docenting it fictionalizing it? i mean, these are all questions that are in the novel, and i ion't think they're quite solvable, but i they're questions that writers and others have to ask themselves. >> brown: you also to also write aood piece of fiction, a bod piece of writing, which i think you've dont that has to happen to capture and hold the reaenr. >> at thwhat we like is stories. i mean, it's a story of a family as wl and the sto of their journeying, and it's als novel about storytelling, think about how storytelling is, after all, the fabric that really binds us and also the fabric betweeour communities.
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>> brown: archive," valeria luiselli, thank you very much. >> thank you so much. >> woodruff: we'll be back shortly with an essay on take on dangerous even >> woodruff: for those stations staying with us-- a story about one state's plan c nter an aging workforce, by helping students reduce their debt level. hari sreenivasan has this encore report tonight, on what maine is s,promising college graduaf they agree to live and work in ere state. it's part of ours, "making the grade."
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>> sreenivasan: maine is famous for noisy gulls and fishing ports, endless milesf rocky coastline, lighthouses that seem made for postcards, and, of isurse, the crustacean tha dipped in butter and served up for a luxurious dinner.e but ate is also known for having the oldest population in the nation. the median age here is 43, and the trend has some local businesses concern. dana connors is the president of the maine state chamber of commerce. >> right now, 400,000, or aof thirur population, is at retirement, has recently retired, or is about to retire. sreenivasan: in order to reverse that aging work force, lawmakers here came up with an, id offer to all recent , llege graduates-- come and livend work in maid we will help you pay off your student loans. >> come back home, we will help you pay off your student debt. >> sreenivasan: mattie daughtry is a state house representative
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from brunswick. she owns a local brewery and was one of the sponsors of maine's student loan payback offer. t fact of the matter is, for my age group, we have some very sious issues facing us, as far as being able to be a part of the american dream. when you have stude debt, it can be hard to get a car. it can be hard to look at other jobs. it's really becoming a barer to those next steps to the american dream. >> sreenivasan: according to the federarve bank of new york, in 2017, americans owed trillion in student loa debt, and the amount of money borrowed doubled in the past eight years. the debt relief comes in the form of a tax credit. it allows college graduates who work in the state to deduct student loan payments from their state income tax. >> it can be over a ten-year plan. the amount varie whether it's a stem degree or not. if it's a stem degree, it is up to a $5,000 credit. and then if it's a non-stem degree, it'sbout up to $3,500,
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$4,000. >> sreenivasan: daughtry took out a student order to save money after colloe, she moved back home t maine and, for a time, lived with their parents. o she says many graduates ft maine need a financial incentive to return. co a lot of our friends keep saying they want t back to maine. and they say, when we have savee ugh money or we have paid off our student, maybe we will be able to return. there's a real strong draw to come home, but they're not able to pull down the types of salaries that they can get in boston, new york, washington, d. >> sreenivasan: erika skiff took out $70,00in loans to earn a bachelor's degree in nursing from st. joseph's college. >> it's a littleverwhelming when you go through school, and it's-- you don't thinkbout it, and then you graduate, and it's like, oh, i have to pay all this inck now. and, yes, it's dely overwhelming each month. >> sreenivan: this summer, she and her husband, elias, had their first child. erika maternity leave from her nursin6 job, aof her normal pay.
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>> that 33% has left a pretty significant dent in the nances. >> sreenivasan: using the educational tax credit, erika receives $4,500 a year. >> that credit allows us a little more ggle room than we would normally have. i'm able to stay home without feeling the burden so much of not having the pay that i normally would have atk. >> student debt is a huge issue here in maine, just like it is across the count . >> sreenivasan: nate wildes markets the tax cred for a campaign called live and work in maine. we walked through downtownla port as he explained how important a post-secondary degree can be to employers. >> the commitment made is made to individuals who have invested in themselves, invested in their higher education. it's to recognize the fact that $1 is $1, but student debt isdi somethinerent. student debt is a recognition that you have invested in yourself. you have given yourself skills, x,whether over two, four, eight-plus years, that you didn't have before, and that now adds value to you in the workple. >> sreenivasan: the credit is also an attempt by maine to
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scale their workforce. wick johnson, the president of kennebec technogies in augusta, says today's work force calls for a secondary ucation. the company produces high- precision parts for aerospacns deand technologyie compan johnson says higher education is neceary to be globally competitive. >> in and of itself, the bachelor's degree, the piece of paper is not, not a requirement. but we work in a very sophisticated environment. what we do is driven by the expectations of the market. o d you have to have that work force in order tmply with the expectations. >> sreenivasan: for drew leeman, a design supervisor at general dynamics' bath iron works facility... >> this is probably about a 300-foot ship. >> sreenivasan: ...whoelps design navy vessels, the tax relief goes toward $110,000 in student loans.ho does that $4,000 impact your life? >> it impacts me greatly. getting it in, like, bulk right in the beginning of a year from
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a edit, it's-- you can do whatever you want with it. you can buy a new car.y you can new house. you can do a lot with $4,000. >> sreenivasanmatthew glatz thought about leaving maine for work, stay and open his own business. the tax credit has meant he can pour money back into the food truck cafe he opened three years ago. so, how much of a consideration did you give the tax breaks in deciding whether to stick around or not? >> my full amount is $373 a month that i can get back, maximum reimbursement, which is more than my monthly payment. so, essentially, my studen are paid in full by the state as long as i stay. s enivasan: as for mattie daughtry's student loan debt, she graduated too early to qualify for the tax credit she helped sponsor, and she cannot take advantage of the program. soohow long did it take you get out of debt? are you out? >> no. i still have $4,982 left.
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hilaughs ) not that i checkedmorning. >> sreenivasan: in maine, for the pbs newshour, i'm. hari sreenivas uf >> woo hopefully, picking up new hobbies is a life-long habit. o as we ag new pursuits tend to be things that keep us tethered to the ground. we learn a new language, or become proficient at a ge we never played before. but what happens when all you want to do, is something that puts your life in danger? tonight, novelist jane uamilton brinher "humble opinion" on just how to weigh that decision. n >> 50s, i fell in love. i couldn't believe it at first.
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love without the usual lunacy, sleepless nights, sudden weight loss, no sending reckless notes. beloved, a track el fa ke any new love, however, there were soon problems beyond there was a standard fundamental question, is this relationship going to kill me? every time i get on the track, i wonder if i'm going to die at the hands me idiot on the road, and i include myself in that category. i've made some stupendously unconsideredoves and, more than once, tipped over at a standstill. questi number two, a math problem -- how much risk is worth taking for how much joy? for instance, there's my father who started rock climbing in middle age. he was rapturously obswhessed. he fell to his death at age 59 in a freak accident, we were in shock not just for a while but really for years. everyone said how lucky he was to die doing something he loved. i wasn't so sure. he missea lot of fuure
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rapture such as knowing his grandchildren. ihat would he say to me now, wonder, if he became available for an terview. was your sport worth dying for, father? look at youndgrans, spitting images of you, and they have your brains, he may, well, obviously, rock climbing was stupid. what was i thinking? maybe he would advise me to do good works intead of chugging around the county. train therapy animals, run for congress, volunteer at a detention center. instead, i pump up the trek tires and say it's a spring mornin i head out, the cool air on my bare arms. i swear that sometimes all i wish for, coolir, bare arms and to be free, free from the labor of making sentences, liberated into a pure self and into the fresh awakening world.
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what luck this joy at age. maybe, after all, my father with a long view wilohsay, , don't be such a worier and a purinan. maybhe afterlife, he's had time to read george elliott's middle march, the best piety is to enjoy, she wrote in her novel. if you have joy, she said, you are doing the most to save the earth's character as an agreeable planet. well, bat that oneyround, father and i. is george elliott's claim simple-minded? is joy an old-fashioned luxury? her it selfish or sit, my fat would offer, the reason for being? >> woodruff: novisjane hamilton. and that's the "newshour" for tonight. we are thrilled to anounce day the creation of "pbs newshour" west. we are partnering with ari state university to bring our
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west coast audience regular updates as news warrants and tmore reporting througho region. stay tuned. we hope to launch theew "pbsour" west later this year. i'm judy woodruff. join us online, and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you, and we'll see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> text night and da >> catch it on replay. >> burning some fat. t! sharing the latest viral >> you can do the things you like to do with a wireless plan designed for you. with talk, text and data. consumer cellular. learn more at >> uage program that teaches spanish, french, german, italian, and more.ra >> >> americase lines.e >> and with going support of these institutions
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and individuals. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs statiofrom viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh >> you're watching pbs.
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. hello, everyone. and welcome t amanpour and company. here's what's coming up. the engine of the global economy is stalling as chilows down, what will be the ost to the rest of us? noble prize winning economist paul roma joins me. then do labels divide society? author and islamic reform campaigner certainly thinks so. why she believes how we define ourselves can eclipse t truth? plus -- >> who have thought we'd beg talkbout blackface in 2019? >> not me. >> historian traces the history of a racist relic that's made an unwelcome return.


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