tv PBS News Hour PBS April 11, 2019 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> nawaz: good evening. i'm amna nawaz. judy woodruff is away. on the newshour tonight: wikiln eaks founder juliaassange is arrested at the ecuadorian embassy in london, after his asylum is revoked. then, a coup in sudan. after 30 years in power, president omar al-bashir is out after months of protests. and, a year and a half after hurricane irma struck the florida keys, residents are still struggling to rebuild homes lost in the storm. t we can't survive here, if the people that makengs run every day aren't, aren't here. and they can't stay if they don't have a place to live. >> nawaz: all that and more, on tonit's pbs newshour.
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literacy in the 21st century. ew carnegie corporation of york. supporting innovations in education, democraticen gement, and the advancement of international peace and security.ar atgie.org. and with the ongoing support of these institutions: and individuals. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contrutions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> nawaz: julian assange, the founder of the anti-secrecy organization wikileaks, was arrested this morning in london, seven years after taking refuge in an embassy ther
the united states will seek his extradition on federal charges unsealed this morning, in connection with a gigantic leak of american intelligence nearly a decade ago. defiantly shouting at lithorities, refusing to walk out on his own, juan assange out of the ecuadorian embassy after seven years of asylum, toward the justice system that has long-pursued him.s assange charged by britishr authorities failing to appear in court on previous charges. but u.s. authorities have also requested he be extradited for a icharge related to his ro the 2010 release of classified american intelligence and diplomatic army private bradley manning, now chelsea manning. the u.s. department of justice aleges "that in march 2010, assange engaged onspiracy with chelsea manning, to assist manning in cracking a password stored on u.s. departmenof defense computers connected to the secure internet protocol
network." back in 2012, assange sought protection in ecuador's london embassy, facing extradition to swed on rape and molestation charges. >> i thank president correa for the courage he has shown inid coering and in granting me political asylum. >> nawaz: but over the yrs, the controversy grew around assange's role in wikileaks, and their mission to expose government secrets around the globe. relations between assange and his hosts soured. today, ecuador's president lenin moreno said they'd had enoh. >> ( translated ): the asylum or assange is unsustainable. the patience of ecuador has reached its limit on the behavior of mr. assange. >> nawaz: assange's work has long been the subject of intense debate. to his supporters, theac australian hr is a champion of free speech. to his critics-- a national security threat. those competing legacies stem ntom his involvement in one of the biggest govern leaks in u.s. history. the 2010 leak by assange and wikileaks released classified
n cuments on u.s. activity in afghanistan, andaq, including a graphic video of a u.s. army helicopterlt on suected militants who turn outo be civilians. they also published more than 250,000 diplomatic cables, that sent the obama administration and foreign diploms reeling. those leaks put manning in jail; her sentence was commuted by president obama, and she was beleased in 2017, only to re-imprisoned in 2019. assange also published on wikileaks top-secret information stolen by c.i.a. contractor edward snowden, about the scope of u.s. government surveillance. snowden fled to russia and was granted asylum himself. the 2016 presidential election put the spotlight back o assange and wikileaks.li they ped damaging emails from the democratic party and secretary clinton's campaign, allegedly obtained by russian hackers, prompting thireaction from then-candidate donald trump. >> wikileaks. i love wikileaks! >> nawaz: in an interview thatoo
year with judyuff, assange defended the move. >> let's say that, personally, i loved hillary clinton. would wikileaks still publish this material? of course it would. otherwise, we would be censoring at. our mandate. it's actually interesting to think about what media organizations wouldn't publishch aterial if it was given to them.th >> nawaztrump administration's view of assange and wikileaks has evolved:.i >> we at the. find the celebration of entities like wikileaks to be both perplexing and deeply troubling because while we do our best to onietly collect informatio those who pose very real threats to our country, individuals susa us julian ase and edward snowden seek to that information to make a name for themselves. >> nawaz: today, at his first court appearance, assange entered a plea of not guilty. his extradition hearing will take place on may 2. in our other top story tod, the sudanese military announced it has overthrown president omar al-bashir,ho ruled sudan for
three decades. the coup comes after months of massiverotests demanding al-bashir step down. sudan's defense minister said the military is suspending the constitution, and will take charge of the country for the next two years, before new elections are held. we'll look at the coup, and its implications, later in the program. a powerful spring blizzard hammered t central u.s. today, bringing heavy snow and strong gusty winds. forecasters warned parts of south dakota and minnesota could get as much as two feet of snow. meanwhile, in colorado, flurrie frosted eshly-planted flowers in fort collins. the so-called bomb cycloneas ocked out power to nearly 56,000 customers across minnesota and iowa. a federal grand jury in southern california has indicted attorney michael avenatti on 36 new charges, ranging from tax and bank fraud, to stealing millions of dollars from clients. avenat is best known for representing adult film actress stormy daniels, who claims to
have h an affair with president trump. federal prosecutors said avenatti swindled clients to serve his own interests. >> mon generated from one set of crimes was ed to further other crimes, typicay in form of payments designed to string along victims, so as to prevent mr. avenatti's financial house of cards from collapsing. >> nawaz: enatti said he will plead not guilty to the charges. he could face up to 333 year in prison if convicted on all 36 counts. avenatti had already beenre ed last month in new york for allegedly trying to extort $25 million from nike. a 21-year-old man has been arrested in connection to arsons at three black churches in louisiana. officials confirmed today the suspect, holden matthews, is the inn of a sheriff's deputy rural st. landry parish. the churches-- each more than 100 years old-- were set on fire between march 26 and april 2. no injuries were reported.y,
tohe state's fire marshal declared the community is safe again. >> this investigation is one of the most unique in my 33 years, in that this was an attack on a house of god. though the spirit is still strong, the landmark has been destroyed. >> nawaz: matthews faces three charges of sliple arson on ous buildings. each count carries a maximum sentence of years. the governor of oh has signed one of the nation's most restrictive abortion bills into law. it bans the procedure after the first detectable fetal heartbeat. that can come as early as five or six weeks in pregnancy-- before many women even know they are pregnant. ohio is now the fifth state af ban abortionr the first heartbeat. president trump today repeated unfounded claims made by his attorney general that u.s.
d intelligence agencies sp his 2016 presidential campaign. yesterday, william barr testified before cgress that he believes "spying did occur" against the trump campaign. today, in an oval office meeting with south korea's president, mr. trump endorsed that assessment-- but offered no proof. >> there was absolutely spying into my campaign. i'll go a step further. it was, in my opinion, illegal spying-- and something that should never be allowed in our country again, and i think his answer was actually a very accurate one. >> nawaz: the senate's top democrat, minority leader chuck schumer, warned today that barr's testimony "just destroyed intilla of credibility h had left." former obama white house counsel greg craig has bn charged with lying and hiding information about his lobbying work in ukraine. the indictment was announced today in washinginn. the federastigation stemmed from special council igbert mueller's probe into former trump camchair paul
manafort's work on behalf of a pro-russian political party in ukraine. the u.s. senate has voted to confirm david bernhardt as secretary of the interior. bernhardt had been leading t department as acting secretary. he is also a former oil and gas lobbyist. his predecessor, ryan zinke, resigned in december amid ethics investigations. retired pope benedict has penned a rare essay addressing the sex abuse andal in the roman catholic church. it was published today in a german church magazine. benedict said the sexual revolution of the 1960s and "homosexual cliques" in seminaries were largely to blame g r the crisis. he also said dure 1980s and '90s, "the right to a defense was so broad as to make conviction nearly impossible" for priests. benedict has been criticized for not doing more to investigate the abuse claims. in india, at least four people were killed in violent clashes, as the first phase of voting began in the country'secational on.
the vote is seen as a referendum minister narendra modi, who's seeking a second term. nearly 900 million people arest eligible to heir ballots. ine process is expected to take about six weeks toh, before results are announced on may 23. and back in this country, there are new signs the nation's job market is strengthening. the labor departmentted jobless claims fell to a nearly 50-year low last week. even so, there was little movement on wall street today. the dow jones industrial average lost 14 points to close at 26,143. the nasdaq fell 17 points, and the s&p 500 was unchanged. still to come on the newshour: fralysis of the legal and political fallou the arrest of julian assange. the president of sudan is ousted from power after 30 years. residents of the florida keys struggle to rebuild after a devastating hurricane. and, much more.
>> nawaz: for a closer look at the arrest of julian assange, and the long-running u.s. effort to prosecute the wikileaks oined by i'm jesselyn radack, director of the whistleblower and source protection program at the group "expose facts." she represents former government contractor and whistleblower edward snowden. edamy jeffress is a formeral prosecutor. she served as a national security lawyer in the department of justice under president obama. and, jamil jaffer, former senior counsel for the house intelligence committee. he served at the justicede rtment's national security division during the george w.dm bushistration. welcome to you all. amy, let me start with you. let's set aside politics, how all of this is going to be spun by supporters or critics of mr. assange, just legally, should he have been charged >> so, i don't want to opine on whether they should have charged him. i think a lot of the debate that's going on is whether he's a journalist, and if you read the indictment, which i did, the
charges relate to computer hacking. so the issue is not did he publish information that was illegally obtained, but did he, himself, parviticipate in ating the law in obtaining that information? >> nawaz: but legallthere's a basis for those charges there? >> well, yes, it depends on they facts certa it's a very sparse indictment so we really don't know a lot abou, the evideut the charges are cergtainly limate. >> nawaz: jesselyn, let me ask you, it's a sparse indictment, and a narrow seof charges, but you said already this sets a terrible precedent, you think. why? explain that to me. >> i thnk this can make any journalist or publisher vulnerable to charg undere computer fraud abuse act. i read the indictment, too. it's very thin right now. i don't know if they're planning on doing a superseding indictment, or if that's even possible on an exttira warrant. but publishing classified information independent u.s. about the u.s. should not be
criminalized under any statute. we have a first amendment. >> nawaz: but, again, this was not about e publishing of the material, right? the charges, as i understand themifrelated spally to the alleged hacking, breaking into a secure system to get the >> to the extent that it talks about assange-- again, i've seef all sortstuff in indictments because you can put pretty much anything in there. it's just the government's side. but to the extent that journalist is talking to a source, i mean, when i leaked to a journalist, he talked to me about how to go to kinko's and use an old-fashioned fax machine. i mean, that shouldn't be something that would be criminalized. >> nawaz: jamil jaffer, jump in here.i do you this sets a precedent that's dangerous? is there a sliery slope her >> no, absolutely not. look, what julian assange did here was he spoke to a person who he knew had authorized access to classified information. she had already given him tons of classified information. he wanted more. she said, "i can get into the system but i need to break into
the password." she then downlose a piece of software, gets access to part of the password and gives to assange with theintent which she tried to do to crack the rest of the password to getrt r into the of system. that's not first amendment protected speech. it's nothing like that. this is straight-up assistance to hack a computer sa classified computer system to, get classified material blish it. that is a crime under any circumstance, and absolutely the right thing for the govern cnt arge assange and prosecute him to the fullest extent of the >> nawazs try to fill in lelaw. some of the information here. there was a decision made by the prevus administration not to prosecute, right? decided it was too fraught and too risky. what had to change 20 obama administration and this administration to get tthat decision to prosecute proout? >> that's an interesting question and, again, i don't think i want to opine over whether charge-- >> nawaz: what information to get from one to the next? >> evidence hviolated the law. the fact that was new to me--
and i didn't know anything aboui this case le i was in government, just to be clear-- but the fact that was new to me was this attempt on julian assange's pa, which is aeged n the indictment, to assist then-bradley manni helping crack a password to gain access to what they both knw was computer-- computer information that contained clssified information. >> woodruff: >> nawaz: jesselyn, let me dig , though.s with you because this is the charge, right, related to the teevmentha . we already heard from mr. assange's lawyer. he, again, made the same argument, that this is dangerous for jouaalists. thiswas acting as a journalist. how is that strong legal ground, though, wheon this desn't seem to be related to first amendment issues? >> you know, again, cois is undeuter fraud abuse act, which has been incredibly-- it's an increbly broad law, and this can crimi ilize-- ev you think journalists are not doing that, i mean, a lot of journalists walk sources through how to transmit information on
secure drop. i you know, ahink we create this slippery slope in doi this. i attended chels-- chelsea's court-martial, chelsea manning's court-martial and this kind of interpla this is the first i' hearing about this. and i had gone to fort meade, to these very-- loce, it's ng to me this wouldn't have come up earlier. >> nawaz: you think thil changes the es because. it opens up the door for,000 journalists will setimes interwact their sources in obtaining different kind of information? oes. think it d trump didn't make it a secret that he considers the press to be , the ened here, i think you see the first step eye mean, we already have a soue put in jail for longer than any other source, reality winter has been in prison forrm giving inion to a news outlet, and here you have an actual pub so i think this is a step
beyond. i always said the war on whistleblower was a backdoor war on journalism. >> nawaz: jamil, help me understand the timing if we can. the inadvertent filing back in november that there was this sealed criminal complaint against mr. a sange. that weral months ago. what had to happen between them then and now that led to the arrest today? >> well, obviously, the ecuadorian embarrass letou mr. assangt on the street. so this indictment was filed over a year ago in fedndal court,o this indictment has been sitting sealed for over a year. md so this idea soow that this is a war on journalism is completely outrageous. there's no war on journalism. there's a war oneaching people who are trying to hack a password. that's illegal under any standard. it's never been lawful. it will never be laful. hacking a secure computer system is against the law and trying to crack a pasword for a classified system, that's illegal. there's no war on journalists. there's no discussion of trying to use secure drop. this is how to break aor pas
which is exactly what mr. assange said he was trying to do. he was able to do it.r but he paticipated with chelsea manning in trying to do that,c and that's me under federal law. period, full stop. >> nawaz: ere's another question here about the protection he was grant by the ecuadorians. he had been there seven years. they obviously said there was some kind of credible fear, right, some level of protection he was owed. does that concernou at they were able to pull back that level of asylum? >> absolutely. asylum grants are not doled out willy-nilly. you have to show that you have a valid fear of persecution based on political expression. so to the extent that the u.s. has a history of violating human rights laws, particularly when you look at case es likthis. look at chelsea manning, the u.s. during her couarrtal gave her credit time because she was, nax, tortured. when you look at that kind of histor you cold understand why-- why this would happen. >> nawazvamy i want to gie you the last word here.
we have a little over a minute and a halfa lefnt . are you worried that this sets a dangerous precedent, that it send a metssage to journal and otherring the way they interact with sources and walk us through what happens next. >> sure. these charges again are not-- he's not charged with leaking. he'snot charged with t espionage act defenses. he's charged with a computer fraud crime. so it's different from some of the other cases that have been more controversial, in my opinion. what happens next is he will have a hearing in westminster mag staight's curt on may 2,as i understand it. pbae the hearing on may 2 will startc to on the united states' extradition request. erience, having served at the embassy in london, these proceed accusation take a very long time. so he will have a full opportunity to present all of these defenses. he can have an appeal. he can take an appeal to the european court on human rights. and so this will take a time to sort out.
i don't think we will see juliae assange innited states for months, if not years, and he may be able to launch a succeful challenge. so it's going to unfold over a very long period of time. >> nawaz: several months, if not years. we'll be tracking it. amy jffress, jesselyn radack,a and jamilfer, thank you very much for your time. >> thank you. >> nawaz: we return to t coup s inan, ending the 30-year rule of omar al-bashir. as nick schifrin reports, protestors helped end one reign of oppression, but they fear another may be on the way. ( crowd celebrating ) >> schifrin: after the largest peacul demonstration in a generation...
( dancing ) >> schifrin: ...after 30 years of authoritarian rule, there was jubilation in the streets, for the protestors who helped depose yodespot. they held aloft g soldier who sided with them against the ogime. they pulled downr al- bashir's face from ubiquitous posters. and they didn't care if they were sitting in traffic, as long as they could declare "v" for victory. e thressed hope that today marked a new beginning.an >> ( trated ): we have been under his rule for 30 years and feel this step came too late,po but what is ant, is that everyone is ppy now. >> (anslated ): everyone will now work for a better, united sudan. >> schifrin: since 1989, 75-year-old omar al-bashir forciblynited sudan by waging wars while wearing a smile. in southern sudan and in darfuro his militiashed earth and massacred his enemies. huanreds of thousands died, suffered from famine. he was indicted for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. and in the 1990s, he hosted
osama bin laden. he led thanks to military support, but today the military removed him and promised a two-year transition government, administered by the military, and declared by defense minister awad mohamed bin a >> ( translated ): we announce a complete cease-fire, and the rease of all prisoners cemediately, providing an atmosphere for a pl transition of power, building political parties, holding free ofd fair elections by the the transitional period, andtr inoducing a permanent constitution. >> schifrin: but for the hundreds of thousands protested a regime and its military, that wasn't good enough. immediately after the nouncement, protestors surrounded an army general's vehicle and demanded a transition to democracy. ey called defense minister, ibn auf, a "regime crony." the u.s.till has sanctions against him. >> it was a massive disappointment. people shouted in anger. we do not accept this, because they haven't done anything, no a ange, no real change. >> schifrin: muaaddad is a
university of khartoum professor and member of e civil society liances forces that helped lead the protests. helays the demonstrations w continue until their demands are all met.>> e need full democracy, with all the principles and pillars of good governance. we want a representation of the people. we want to survive from the economic collapse. we also would like to ensure human rights f all, and this should be done by a governing structure that is a truly civilian. ( protests ) >> schifrin: the demonstrations began in december as protests against increased food prices, but quickly became political.ov they too intersections and overpasses, chanting "the people want to build a new sudan." y, and night-- ( violin ) --they drafted a nationalist message, and demanded the man who himself took power in a military takeover, finally cede power.
bashir has survived prior protests, but these were different. they peaked in khartoum, the traditiol base of bashir's power. tors included opposition figures, working class, and the elite, including the children of regime members. and the majority were women. in an extremely patriarchalen society, womelped lead the movement, and 22-year-old alaa salah became its icon. ( chants ) she wore the uniform of working sudanese women, with touches of. traditio and where previous protests died out, female protestors provided staying por-- --especially as dozens of protestors were kiy ed. today, tw to keep protesting. they say ty may have won today's battle, but they are fighting a war that is far from over. so why did the protests lead to the downfall of president bashir, and what are the challenges a head for sudan? we turn to khalid mu medani, associate professor and chair of the african studies
department at mcgill university in montreal. the military is talking about a two-year transition. protesters sayhat's not enough. are we on the road for continuing protests and a continuation of a regime just without bashir? >> absolutel i think there's no question we're on the way to continuing i think this is essentially an internal coup, replacing one military leader, you know, with another. and,sh, it's been very clear with respect to the position of the opposition that this is unacceptable. their demand is very , raightforward, very clend that is a transition to a civilian government that is overseen, perhaps by the military, basically just as a kind of caretaker. but composed of a number of different chnocrats and representatives of the different opposition groups, in addition to representatives of those wha taken to the streets over these four months. so the protests, as you probably have been looking at in terms of the news, will continue and will opposition. by the
they've come out with statements, very strong statemts today, saying tha they will not tolerate this kind of continuation of the military regime, and they don't fd the military transitional council mandtimate because their de is not only to get rid of rashir-- which has been successful, of co-- but also to really dismantle the regime, and of course the acting head of state at the moment, the defense minister, is really just another member, personnel of that-- of that regime. >> schifrin: so is the fear the problems will persist? we're taing abo now a divide 20 military, the intelligence services, and the militias. t're talking about the economic crisis that sparkese protests. i mean, will today solve any of those problems at all? >> no, absolutely not. i mean, that is really the central question-- that is, that ioe economic crise is so deep, you have an inflrate of over 60%. you have, of course, a great deal of unemployment. llyically the economy is r under bankruptcy, which is
really problematic. so the econom crisis cannot be resolved through military means. and the reason that is internal coup has happened, and the reason that bashir has been ousted, basically is because of divisions within the military itself, in particular televisions and differences between the top brass of the military, including the current head of government, and middle and lower ranking soldiers who eave taken the side, essentially, with protesters. that, really, is the catalyst for why bashe was oust by his former loyalist and defense minister. so the internal rift is the reason for this internal coup, but this is by no means going to solve the deep economic crisis and the grievances that have really propelled these protests, which, of course, are unprecedented in sudan's history, since they are not only the largest protest across the country, across social groups, but also, they're very , stained, over four months. so they're basicalhe
longest protest we have seen in the history of sudan. and the protests will, in fact, continue. protesters at the mome saying that they're going to continue their s-ins in the hundreds of thousands until the real kind of regime falls, or a new transition toil cin government occurs. >> schifrin: let's quickly try to get through u.s. actrens and ins here. over the last few years with the sudan, the u.s. has been normalizing relations. the state department released a statement calling for a "speedy transition to a civilian-led ervernment." will the proteconsider that statement supportive of their demands? >> absolutely. i think thatthe statement that came out on april 9 that was released by the united states, norexpwairkt united kingdom, the troika, was vivry poswith respect on the part of the protesters in terms of the opport for a transition to democracy and ru law. that is really important. it's very clear that the united
states is sending signals that it's very, very interested and is in a democratic transition. so it's an-- of course, indirectly supporting the protesters. of course, what the protesters and the opposition, led by the sudanese professional associations would likeis increasing pressure by the united states and other western allies to this present regime, in order to speed up themo atic process. what they're demanding very specifically at the moment is ti negotiath segments of the military to immedialy have a civilian government or interim government that is manned byvi ans to oversee a four-year transition period to multiparty democracy. >> schifrin: professor khalid medani, we'll hae to leave it there. thank you so much. >> okay, you're welcome, thank u.
>> nawaz: stay with us. coming up on the newshour: the challenges facmi by dwestern farmers, after recent flooding. making sense of this year's tax refunds. veand, terrence davenport his "brief but spectacular" take on the economy in rural arkansas. just about every region in the country has been hit by natural disasts or extreme weather in the past two years. we have now a pair of stories on how people are trying to recover. first, we go to the florida keys where hurricane irma struck hard a year and half ago. last month, the federal emergency management agency, or fema, ended its temporary housing prram for people impacted by the hurricane. but, as special correspondentre alicia menenderts, rebuilding remains a work in progress. >> first thing y have to do is get everything out. water level was up here, and all the sheetrock was wet. >> reporter: for brian vest, it's been a long 18 months.or
the ripped his roof off, water seeped in, and black mold invaded. the rebuilding process has taken time, savings and patience. yet, vest is in a better position than most. >> we have resources, as i call them. there are others down here who do not. r the elderlired who are living on social security, who've been here for 40 years. thy're the ones who are rea struggling, because their places have been paid for, for two decades, and now it's destroyed and they don't have thy saved up to fix it. >>teporter: hurricane irma the keys in september of 2017 as a major catego-4 storm. it was estimated to be the fifth most damaging storm in u.s. history--t a cost of $50 billion. 77,000 people call the florida ke home. hurricane irma wiped 1,100 homee off the map en. thousands more sustained damagee
thilding efforts still underway have exposed a larger challenge, one that existed before hurrine irma hit: a lack of affordable housing. simple geography is one of the biggest stacles to building of any kind here. the keys are a 120-mile-long chain of narrow islands. >> the cost of land is more expensive, the cost of the materials to come into our county is more expenve. and then, finding the people to build the homes is more expensive, because we're in a workforce housing crisis. who's going to build the homes, where are they living when they're here working as a construction worker or electrician? >> reporter: michelle coldirony- is the recenected commissioner of monroe county. that includes all of the keys. >> i think where we're being challenged right now as being where it is getting our reimbursement from fema. s so many moving parts. getting funding approved or
tting a bill approved or it's mti-pronged. so it takes longer. >> reporter: the anues neighborhood obig pine key is one of the places irma hit the hardest. the island lies between two of the bigger population centers-- key west and marathon-and many of the people who live and work in the keys call it home. >> some people never came back. like, they didn't come back after the storm. there was nothing to come back to, and i think they knew it. >> reporter: it's here that philanthropist maggie whitcomb is trying to help address the affordable housing problem, one cottage at a time. >> you can see the water through that window. >> reporter: the florida keys community land trust is building homes that will be designated as affordable rentals permanently. one is finished; three more are under construction, with more to follow. the structures are elevated to avoid flooding and engineered to withstand 200-mile-per-hour winds.
>> we can't survive here if the people that make things run every day aren't, aren't here. and they can't stay if they don't have a place to live. >> reporter: but the need heren is greater tthe land trust can meetss homelessnes a real problem here. w stephanie kapl works with people experiencing homelessness in key west, says hurricane irma only exacerbated the problem. >> a lot of people from hurricane irma would not call themselvesomeless. as the programs have ended and as fema has rolled out its support, they are now looking a this like ma, you know, they have to find theiown solutions now. >> reporter: tourism in thdekeys has rebosince irma. and as the biggest economic engine, that's vital to recovery efforts, but it also creates a uniq challenge. >> as every hotel in the countyd reopens and ththeir ribbon-cutting and we're thrilled, we're happy.
it's great. yay! business is coming back to life! and we have to balance that with so many of our families are still struggling. d the last thing we want are volunteers across the united states to think we don't need any more help, because we still do. >> reporter: volunteers are sorely needed-- and one group thinks it's found new way to accommodate them: shipping containers. >> these are 40-foot steel containers that, each one-- the blue ones-- each one sleeps ten individuals. >> reporter: the idea was hatched by michelle luckett and the monroe county long-term recovery group. this "volunteer village" will house people who want to help rebuild but can't afford the steep pricetag of a night's stay in the keys. >> in high season, the hotels can range anywhere between $250 up to $400 a night. that's a bit much to ask a volunteer to come down to donate thr time, and then have th expense of lodging as well. >> repor disaster recovery-- a mobile
housing unit that can ostensibly travel wherevea storm, wildfire or earthquake hits. the county leased thland to the recovery group for $10. hindsight being 20/20, if thisd had exismediately following the hurricane, do you believe that t keys would be in a different position today?nk >> i tf volunteer housing was a solved situation anywhere, not justn the keys, but anywhere in the country, when a disaster hits-- this is a viable plan that anges the narrative. having volunteers come in immediately after the storm? everyone wants to help. because what happens as you get farther and farther away frome orm is that people forget, and people outside of that community forget. >> reporter: and it's not just homethat need rebuilding. a critical ecosystem in the keys rouble. in mile after mile of the mangroves that encircle the keys are dying, choke dd byris left over from rricane irma. ian vest has formed an army--
the conch republic marine army-a to try help them. one boat ride at a time, he andn teams of vers are spending their own money and time to pick up everything from gas cans to sofas to refrigerators, but it's uldrop in the bucket of what needs g out. >> so the two of us just got this out in probably 20 minutes. and imagine what 100 people could do in a day, or 15 people working full time doing this all day long with the proper gear. >> reporter: what do you need to bring it to scale? >> we need funding. that would give us the ability to acquire boats like this and put paid captains and deckhands on board, comingut and helping us clean up monday through friday. this will take decades to come back, and we don't have that long. our kids don't have that long. so we've got to do it, and we've got to do it now. >> reporter: that spirit is what's keeping people hopeful, even as rebuilding is estimated to take anywhere from three to five years. and that's without any more hurricanes. for the pbs newshour, i'm alicia
menendez in the florida keys. >> nawaz: in another part of the country, farmers are trying to dry out and rebuild after record flooding last month. vice president mike pence is scheduled to visit the midwest tomorrow to speak with farmers and ranchers, who face an already tough agricultural environment now made worse by gh water. as jack williams of pbs station net in nebraska repo this year's planting season will be challenging for many farmers.te >> floodwawent right through our place here, aneyit took a guight out of the middle of the place. >> reporter: in hooper northeast nebraska, the flood water has gone down, but for farmers like tom geisler, the work has just begun. >> our ater lines for our cattle are laid right here, and it took the water line right out of the ground. >> reporr: he's farmed this land, about 400 acres, for the past 42 years, and hs never seen anything like this. >> just, devastation, wherever you look.
>> reporter: before the flood, many midst farmers like geisler were dealing with challenges such as low commodity prices, trade tariffs and high property taxes. added to their already heavy burden, the high waters ll likely delay the planting season set to start this month. the water is even threatening some of last yr's crops, stored away in bins that are now soaked. that could lead to even more lost income. >> just trying to get corn out of the bin-- we can't rn out of the bin, because it's wet on the bottom. we got to get it out of there. going tory to move it starting today. >> reporter: geisler also raises cattle, and was amazed most of them survived several days of standing in ice-cold water with nothing to eat, because their hay had been washed away.he ost only two cows and a couple of calves. how do you pull yourself up after something likehis? >> keep going. that's all you can do. if you don't keep going, our business will be gone. >> reporter: in the southeast nebraska town of per along the missouri river, getting back into his fiefas, or even his , won't be easy for brett
adams. levees along the river failed, and risi farmland.looded his he was finally able to check things outn a boat. >> over here is our main shop. this is kind of our farming headquarters, where literally ever machinery storage, this and that. >> reporter: adams grows corn and soybeans with his father on 2,000 acres, but there good chance he won't plant anything in this ground this year. he's a relatively young farmer who missed the farm crisisutn the 1980s,till knows the ups and downs of the agriculture economy. >> we don't know how long it's going to take to repair these levees and the water to go away and this and that, so it's a big, it's going to be a hurt for a lot of people, me included. >> rorter: adams, who's married and has two kids, says he'll make it, but some might not. >> you get to a point and you're just like, you can't take it any longer.o you've gotep fighting. i don't know how to do anything else. i was raised on a fa, and this is my livelihood, and emotionally and financially, i've got everything invested in this. >> reporter: for some farmers already dealing with financial uncertainty before the flood,
adding another layer oship is more than they can take. they've been calling the rural response hotline, the oldest farm crisis hotline in the nation. >> this last year, we set four new all-time monthly highs forth most new first-time, high- stress phone callers. >> reporter: john hansen is the president of the nebraska farmers union, and has been involved with the hotline since >> so ththe worst ag i84. turndown since the mid-1980s, so there's a great need of course for services right now. and then again, the flood just makes all that even more so.me >> reporter: f and ranchers who know no other skills are faced with potentially losing their only source of income. many are facing mental health issues and increased stress. >> it's their identity. h-in addition to being a h
risk, capital intensive, low margin business. >> reporter: chapter 12 farm bankruptcies in the midwest were up 19% last year, compared to 2017, although the numbers nationwide were actually down slightly, according to u.s. bankruptcy court statistics. creighton university economist ernie goss compiles a monthly economic survey for midwest states, and says for the most part, farmers entered the latest downturn in good shape. and, he says, despite the current tough times, long term, they're in a good business. >> there's one thing that we all need, and that's food. and that's globally. it doesn't matter if you're in china, india, ance or germany, wherever. they need food, and they need it from the most productive farmers on the face of the earth, and that's the farmers in this nation, the u.s. and the farmers in the midwest >> reporter: at the nebraska farm bureau, president steve nelson says during the downturn ar the 1980s, high interest rates and more fdebt drove a silot of farmers out of buness. now, he says, higher costs for pretty much everythingong with tighter margins and now bad keather, are combining to
things rough for farmers. >> it might be a year or twoop before somations figure out that they just aren't going to be able to recover from an event like we've had. >> rorter: back in hooper, nebraska, tom geisler is hopeful. >> you just have to be resilient anitkeep going, and hopefull will work out for us this year.> eporter: for many farmers in the midwest, this summer crop season may be the most challenging they've ever seen. for the pbs newshour, i'm jack williams in hooper, nebraska. >> nawaz: the deadline for filing your taxes is right around the corner-- on monday. and this year is different for many taxpayers out there. it's the first year that fully incorporates big changes tthe tax code-- all were part of a tax overhaul signed by president trump in 2017. this winter and spring, many taxpayers have been expressing frustration or confubout how these changes impact them.
lisa desjardins has the details in tonight's "making sense" segment. >> desjardins: something unusual is happening here. the new law did cut taxes overall for the vast majority ot taxpayers,any americans sending off their forms right tuw are somewhere between disappointed anded to see lower refunds, or even more taxes due than expecte jim tankersley covers this regularly for the "new yorkjo times," ans me now. let me jump right into this. a lot of americans are very unhappy this week-not necessarily about their overall tax bill, but about what they're seeing on theim.r tax f what is going on? >> well, what happened is, the united states co overhauled the way that it does individual income taxes, and there's been a lot of changes, and that has absolutely affecte not just the amount overall that people pay but what was put into their paychecks every month, and how much they get back in tfunds. and itt calculation-- how much is withheld from your paycheck?
how much are you actually seeing in your paycheck every month? and how much did you get in a refund? that has proven to be very tricky. >> my understanding e i.r.s. changed the withholding table and did it in a way that it benited weekly an biweekly paychecks. the money went there instead of toward refunds, right? >> yes, when you cut tax rates, when they did, and change a bunch of deductions and exemptions, which they did. you have to change withholding e rules. they h decide how much is the government going to take out of your paycheck every week or two weeks in estimati of what taxes you're going to owe. the change they made essentially biased the system toward eople getting lesmoney in the-- sorry, getting more money ihn teir paychecks, but having less money in refunds at the end. you could ch in andange it, but that w the bias of the change. happened very quickly, too. and this law had other major effects to it-- change in the amount people could deduct fr their mortgages, for example; their state and local property
were those things also factors in these changes in refunds we're seeing >> a little bit, particularly the state and local tax deduction, people in the washington area, new york, california, in high-tax states and hicih-taes have noticed, that have actually raised their taxes. again, it's a really small number of people in the united states who are actuay seeing a tax increase right now. but it is concentrated in places where, you know, big media companies exist, and so we're hearing a lot about those fol who are upset. >> i want to talk about how many people are affected here,u there's some conflicting information. the i.r.s. is saying the average refund is about the same. however, "the new york times" did a survey with survey monkey and respondents told you, about a third of them believe they are getting less of threfundis year than they did last year. what do we know aboyut how m people are really seeing less than they have in the past? >> so we can't know for sure because the i.r.s. refund stattics are averages overall. we know that a little more than
a million people so far have not gotten refunds at all, compared to what we would have expected fr last year's numbers. but our polling suggests, like, a third of people say that theye not getting the refunds that they expected or they're paying more, they're getting less of a refund. and pat does not apear to us to be based-- >> one million americans is not a third on the amerixpayer base. >> yeah, it doesn't seem to us he be based, perhaps, in reality that people are experiencing on their tax forms. and i think charitably, we coulp say are just surprised and maybe they're misremembering from last year or misreading or-- there's a lot of things w that can happn you're filling out your tax forms. it's also possible that it's just people who don't like tathe law are telling us that they didn't get refund they wanted, in part as a sort of protest t the tax law. >> let's talk about the psychology here. economists say rfund bad because you're giving the government too much of your money. they're holding it for yo . but, you know, i reached out to my twitter followers. i took a risk here. i asked them about their refunds, and i was surprised, i got a hugresponse from people
who really want their refunds and say this year now they'in dothings like cancelling vacations. they can't pay to fix their roof because they expected more of a refund. where are americans on refunds? do they care more about refunds than they do rout thei weekly paycheck? >> i mean, i think it's a way of rced savings. you expect that you overpaid your taxes a little bit-- with which, by the way, is an interest-free loan to the government. lly clear ife r you overpay your taxes. but you expect you'll get it back and you know, okay, every tyear i ge $1,000, $2,000, even just a couple hundred dollars ba from the government is something people count on that's very mooningful if their lives. it's a windfall. it's not a small amount of money in their paychecks wcyou see overtime which they might not even notice. paychecks change for a lot of reasons-- alth care costs change, you might have gotten a raise last year. yomight not realize the tax cuts are helping you but when the refunds come in low, it's a shock.
>> very quickly on the politics. this is a poiint of pr for republicans, the tax cut law. however, if people l like they're not getting what they expected what, do the think e results are for republicans? >> our poll is if you really wanted to design a politically awesome, maximized tax cut, your would justple everybody's refund. because that is the thing that really makes people happy republicans have been disappointed that the law's numbers have not picked up since it was passed. and i think this is maybe one of the reasons why. people-- it seems to us are not noticing the tax cuts that they actually got. >> speaking for myself, i would noke triple the refund. i, also, didhave a great tax year. >> run for president on that platform. >> i think i'll stay here atho ne. jim tankersley, thank you so much. >> nawaz: the gig economy has opened ua lot of new opportunities for people to work temporary positions for
platforms like uber, lyf and taskrabbit. in tonight's "brief but spectacular," terrence davenport exains why the gig economy doesn't work in his hometown of dumas, arkansas. davenpt has worked as a social entrepreneur, coaching low- income people how to participate in the digital economy. >> so, in 2012, my brother was murdered. and there were a lot of questions around, whatned to him. it was cald a suicide. we found taser marks on his body. i couldn't get any traction with the police. i was told that i was, i was putting myself in a dangerous situation by raising the, raising the questions that i was raising. and so, i decided that the way i would recompense my brother's death is by giving back to the folks that live in this town, and making sure that other young men had opportunities that my brother didn't have.
>> dumas is a small rural town in the mississippi delta. african-american population is out 65%. one-third of the population isw beloe poverty line. i went to college at the university of arkansas atle fayettev my pastor one day said that he needed a w dsite done. soided to teach myself. there are not a lot of, you know, employers comie to employ folks, mostly because of the low skill levels. eawas thinking, it would ry be interesting to use the skills that i have to teach folks how to earn income. whether it's web design skills or any other type of digital skill. our goal was to give people skills that they can use on digital platforms, l upwork.com, freelancer.com. we were dealing with not only occupational skills but low digital skills, which is really surprising in a digital
age-- i had students that didn't know what it meant to right-click, that didn't know what a "u.r." was. on most of the popular platforms, i took a look at the top 0 earners. there was not a single africann american ithose top 100 earners. and that kind of raised a question about the feasibility for domest african americans, to actually earn a living on these platform i think, as a nation, we have to take care of our own people. and that's what i see, in the gig economy. i see a lack of concern for the well-being of others. i see decisions being made based on the dollar. the gig economy doesn't work foa people tlive in the area that i live in. ou live in a big city, y can get on taskrabbit and go do bejob. you can sign up on and make some money. when we're talking about online work platforms that require you to use real digital skills, thom these jobs bglobalized.
it actually works against some of the dreams of the people thab i'm surround my name is terrencdavenport. this is my "brief but spectacular" take on life and work in rural arkansas. >> nawaz: and on the newshour online right now, we talk to one oof the many researchers contributed to the event horizon telescope. 29-year-old katie bouman wrote the algorithm to turn disparate data into an image of a black hole. that's on our website, www.pbs.org/newshour. and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm amna nawaz. join us again here tomorrow eving. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you, and we'll see you soon. >> major funneng for the pbs hour has been provided by: >> babbel. a language app that teaches real-life conversations in a new language, like spanish, french,l german, n, and more. babbel's 10-15 minute lessons
are available as an app, or online. more information on babbel.com. >> bnsf railway. >> consumer cellular. >> financial services firm raymond james. on and with the ongoing support of these institu >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh
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