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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  June 14, 2019 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: as the u.s. and iran trade accusations over damaged oil tankers in the persian gulf, a look at whats strategy may be in this tense moment. then, it's friday. mark shields and david brooks are here to analyze president trump's controversial comments about receiving foreign intellence on political opponents, and preview the upcoming democratic presidential bates. inus, a second life for a southern juke how clarkesdale, mississippi became a boomtown by embracing its legacy of blues musi >> it was just really winding down. you could almost just see it winding down. so it's kind of like, , you make it reliable, i can bring
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you tourists, blues fans. but they're not go spend the night in clarksdale if i can't promise them you've got music tonight. >> woodruff: all tand more, on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> ordering takeout. >> finding the west route. >> talking for hours. >> planning for showers. >> you can do the things you like to do with a wireless plan designed for you. with talk, text and data. consumer cellular. learn more at consumercellul >> babbel. flanguage program that teaches spanisnch, italian, german, and more. >> financial services firm raymond james. >> the ford foundation. working with visionaries on the frontlines of social change
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worldwide. and with the ongoing support of these institu tand friends newshour. >> this program was made possible by the corporatron for publiccasting. and by contributions to your pbs stion from viewers like yo thank you. >> woodruff: tensions are still running high in the persian lf region's troubled waters, a day after two tankers werettacked. the u.s. military has released video that purportedly shows an's revolutionary guard removing an unexploded mine from one ship. u.s. officials said it is clear that the iranians were trying to
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remove evidence, but iran denied any involvement. we will explore all of this, after the news summary. president trump today walked back, a bit, from saying he might not tell the f.b.i. if a foreign government offered "dirt" on a political opponent. he had made the original statement in an abc news interview. he was asked about it again today, in a fox news interview. >> i don't think anybody would present me with anything bad, because love this country.i nobody is going to present me with anything bad. number two, if i was-- and of course you have to look at it, because if you're not going to know if it's bad. how are you going to know if it's bad but, of course you'd give it to the f.b.i. or report it to the attorney general or somebody like that. >> woodruff: democrats had condemned the president's initial statement as ig foreign interference in u.s. elections. president trump says he will not
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fire adviser kellyanne conway despe a government watchdog agency's recommendation. the agency says her criticism of democrat presidential candidates has violated the "hatch act." that law bars government employees from engaging in political activities. the president rejected the nding, saying that conway has the right to free speech. ohen anstaffing issue, mr. trump said he plans to name tom homan as hr is new borar. homan was acting head of immigration and customs enforcement from january 2017 until retiring last june. he has since been a fox news contributor. in hong kong, pressure is building to scrap a bill setting up extraditin with mainland china. the bill has sparked mass protests, and police are bracing for more this weekend. but today, several former senior hong kong officials sided with the protesters. >> what the people are attempting to tell this nment is that we are ver
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worried about the consequences of passing the extradition bill, because no one will feel safe, even in own beds, after ybssage of this bill. t places evy's individual freedom and safetysk. >> woodruff: some members of hong kong's governing cabinet also ca action on the legislation. soutsudan is warning that a record number of people face hunger, and potentially starvation. in a new report, the sou sudanese government and the united nations say nearly seven million people are at risk. that is more than 60% of the population. the report blames delad rainfall, economic crisis and the effects of a five-year civil war. women across switzerland went on str dike today and equal treatment. they walked off jobs and blocked traffic, carrying signs and chanting slogans calling for fair pay and an end to sexual harassment. it was the first such protest in
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switzerland in 28 years. >> ( translated ): it's a historic day because women, whether they protest normally or not, need to be heard. things need to change. we are the majority of this country's population, but we are still not listened to enough, not present enough in decision- making jobs. >> woodruff: women in itzerland make an average of co% less than their male terparts. for the first time, a woman llll lead the u.s. navy's war e. rear admiral shoshana chatfield was named today as the school's new president. nce has led a u.s. military command in guam 2017. rear admiral jeffrey harley was removed as the war college's president on monday, amid allegations of excessive spendinirg and abuse ofg authority. hundreds of thousandedof people marnd celebrated in tel aviv, israel today, in one of the world's largest l.g.b.t. pride parades.
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participants waved rainbow flags, walked with colorful balloons and danced on floats. some called for israel to drop curbs on same-sex marriage and rental rights. on wall street, stocks failed to make any headway on this friday. the dow jones industrial average lost 17 points to close at 26,089. the nasdaq fell 40 points, and the s&p 500 slipped four. and, the toronto raptors are n.b.a. champions, for the first time. they clinched the title last night, beating the two-time defending champiolden state warriors in game six of the finals, 114-110. fans in toronto, including rap star drake, celebrated into the night. it is the raptors' first title in their 24-year history.
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congratulations. stilto come on the newshour: what will iran do next as tension grows in the persian gulf? an inside look at the training school districts undergo to prepare fomass shootings. the three million lives at risk as syria's president bashar al-assad steps up his bombing campaign. and, much more. woodruff: the suspected tacks yesterday on two o tankers near the strategically- vital straits of hormuz ratcheted already-high tensions between the u.s. and iran to a new level. and, global reaction has varied markedly different ways the united nations secretary general called for an independent investigion. president trump says the u.s. knows iran was responsible. nonetheless, today he expressed interest in talks with tehran. japan's prime minister shinzo
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abe condemned the attacks, one of which hit a japanese-operatet anker while abe was in tehran. and, iran's president hassan rouhani accused the u.s. of "radicalizing the situation" in the region, and pursuing an "aggressive policy" against the islamic republic. at the pentagon today, acting defense secretary shanahan had this to say: >> we have an international situation there in the middle east. it's not a u.s. situation. and the focus, for myself, and ambassor bolton and secretary pompeo, is to build international consensus to this international problem. >> woodruff: we take a closer look at wh is at stake and how iran might respond, with reuel marc gerecht. he was a c.i.a. operations officer in the middle east in the 1980s and '90s. he is now a senior feltiw at the foun for defense of democracies. and, vali nasr is a middle east miholar, and served in the obama
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stration's state department. he is now the dean of the school of advanced and international studies at johns hopkins university, although he will be stepping down from that job so he can advise democratic presidential candidates. and we welcome both of you back to the "newshour". so my first question to both of you is do you acpt the trump administration insistence that this w iran that was behind these attacks, vali nasr? >> i tnk more than likely, yes, although we have the see the final proof, and the adtnistration will do wel provide the irrefutable proof, but i think, moe than likely, it happened in a way that provides them with plausible denight club, andhe nowe actually is a very interesting rituation where the debate is about whethey did it, rather than the ramifications and what signal they wetrying to send. >> woodruff: do you believe the administration is correct in saying it wasiron? >> yeah, i don't think there was any plausible candidate besides iran, the islamic revolutionary
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guard corps' naval unis have a long history of training mines and using the persian gulf, so i think it's conclusive. >> woodruff: why did they do it? >> a fasons. i think, most importantly, they're trying to spook the europeans, t japanese and others, they're trying to send a signal to put pressure on the americans to sort of back off. y it.nk they also enjo i mean, i think there's a certain feeling of revolutionary pride here. >> woodruff: en joy it? e yeah. they hen under tremendous sanctions pressure, and they wanted a means to strike back. they can't strike back directly against the americans because they knew thatwould be, i think, suicidal, so they go after others, they go after peripheral targets, and i thinkt gives them considerable satisfaction as well as, they ho, achieving a strategic goal of getting everybody worried that chaos might break out, war might break out and the americans will be t in a tight
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spot. >> woodr do you see is the motive here? ef i think iran wants to show it'snt, that maximum pressure strategy of president trump has not worked, and that they are also capable ofting the united states and also escalating costs, and in peticular if this prdent does not want to go to war, iran acting rashly, threatening lycalation, could essenti turn the tables on the president, but i also think thao iran cannoto the table with the united states looking lik it's surrendering, like its capitulating. so given that prime minister abe s in tehran, everybody was expecting he carried messages from president trump and mayin messages back. i think the iranians wanted to send a message to the domestic and international audience that regardless of what is brought to them, they are nevertheless going to be fine. this is not going to be rsy the united states. >> woodruff: so reuel marc
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gerecht, does this bring iran closer to what they want? do these attacks do that? >> i think it depen dsin part on how the united states responds. i think, eventually, the united states is going to have to ohibit them from using mining operations in the persian gulf. i think the u. navy is going to get quite cranky about. this if you recalwal, i a mine attack in 1988 that ledid prt reagan to authorize the u.s. navy to essentially destroy much of the iranian navy. so i think the u.s. navy sin cleaneto become much more aggressive if the president authorizes it to prevent this type of action. i agree with vali. i think there's aed prate being made for possible negotiations, possible diplomasy. i think the regime is in a very tight spot and they will, perhaps, try to find an out with the trump administration. they mayitot ntil 2020 to
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see if the democrats win. >> woodruff: where do you see that going, vali sr? because on the one hand, the administration has had thixis m pressure, the trump administration, maximum pressure, but, on the other hand, you he them saying -- the president saying we would coider talking to the how do you see that coming about or not? >> well, i think it's wonderful, the purpose of maximum pressure is not clear,so there are elements of the administration who would want either regimane or for iran to completely capitulate and then the president in tockowe sad iran can prosper under the existing regime, and what i likely wanted was to talk to iran. so i think the united statell would do if it had a clear strategy and would signal it properly. but i agree witreuel that an is in a tough spot. they don't have an option of goinwito war the united states. would be the end of their republic. they cannot suffsa under the tionings as is, and they will have to come to the table. but it will be aelicate dance
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of getting to the table. we saw this with kim jong un north korea, that beating their chest and being threatening essentially might be a way to come to the table, and we shouldn't forget, you know, that the prime minister of japan did ndt go to iran without having at least some iation that the iranians would like to hear proposals from the united stateo and it's quiteible he's carrying back at least aice conditions and proposals from iran. o the public message between the two sidmay be providing, fo reuel says, an umbrella or covesome kind of engagement that might be forthcoming. >> woodruff: so counterintuitive, so with resaying the maximum pressure campaign that might have pushed iran io a corner that made them want to do this, reuel marc gerecht, then may, in turn, lead to talks? >> well, it's entirely possible. again, i think it depends on what the iranians do they are creatures of habit. so since we haven't responded yet to their provocations, and i
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think in retrosuspect it was probably a mistake that we didn't respond to the attacks off the foes roof fihere four ships were damaged -- >> woodruff: a few weeks ago. right. if we had been more bold and said you do that again we'll unleash helicopter gunships on the revolutuaionaryd corpse navy, this might not have happened. it depends on with they return to these tactics, i suspect they might, in which respect i think the u.s. navy will have to that could derail or delay the process of -- for the regime if sit really trying to find an avenue to have negotiations with president trump. >> woodruff: quickly, right now, we are still waiting to see clear response from the trump administration. is that right? >> absol know exactly what prime minister abe brought back and what is related to the i think reuel is correct, i think both sides need to show decisiveness as they're perhaps
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trying to go to talks and gain leverage. but this is exactly why it's dangerous, it can get out of hand and one escalatimay essentially lead to somewhere where neither country, i think, would want go. >> woodruff: and in the meantime you had acting defense secretary shanahan talking about an international reaction. so we'll wait to see whethomer that ces together in some way. , uel marc gerecli nasr, we thank you. >> thank you very much. >> woodruff: with an increasing number of school shootings across the country, school boards and administrate struggling with how to prepare for the worst-case scenarios. as john ferrugia from rocky mountain pbs in denver reports, colorado has become a center foroping school safety protocols that have been adop throughout the u.s.
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h>> reporter: walking thels of platte canyon high school in eriley, colorado is always bittsweet for john michael keyes. it is here he lost his daughter. ( sirens ) in 2006, a lone gunman, a stranger, got into the school and took students host a classroom. all got out, but one-- emily keyes. she sent this last text message to her parents. >> you know, emily gave us a voice, and she also told us what to say. "i love you guys." >> reporter: and it is from here that an idea emerged, and a plan to save the lives of others. as>> i realized that theret a common language and common expectations of what to do in a crisis around the country with our schools. and we found a handful of districts in the country that re using some very specific language in their crisis response, and we packaged it and relabeled it and called it the standaponse protocol. >> reporter: the "i love you guys" foundation, started by
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hn-michael and ellen keyes, trains hundreds of teachers, administrators, organizations and agencies every year to expand the reach and scope of the program. >> woke ock out, lock down, evacuate, and we added shelter. and those are the four actions of a standard response protocol. >> we found the standard response protocol in 2009. it changed our lives. >> reporter: that was john michael keyes. >> that was john michaelveeyes. the i ou guys foundation. >> reporter: john mcdonald heads security at the jeffcounty school district. this is the district of ine high school, where in 1999 two students killed 12 fellow students and a tealier before kilng themselves. mcdold and his team, working usosely with local law enforcement, are f on keeping kids safe in schools. he oversees the frank deangelis center, which was once an foementary school. it is named after er columbine high school principal frank deangelis, who now speaks across the country about the lessons learned from columbine. at thisraining center, school
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districts and law enforcement agencies from across the country can train r the worst. >> in the past year, we have had over 60 agencies and 6,000 police officers, sheriff's deputies, state and federal agents training here, praring for that given day. r reporter: the goal is making suponding officer, even if working alone, understands the tactics that can help stop a shooter who gets into a scol. this is a state-of-the-art, computer-controlled, virtual reality shooter training. officers can be run through hundreds of scenarios involving a gunman in one room, or several rooms. >> it really provides our professionitals the abto go e to an environment and train just ley would have to respond using multiple rooms, tise, sight. >> reporter: bs is just one part of the school safety equation. chanother component is howls immediately respond, before law enforcement arrives. that brought john michael keyes, with program in hand, to
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jeffersocounty. >> he came to me, sat down in our office here. and i said, how mu? he said, "i'm not going to charge you anything. i just want you to try it." ayi call him back the nextnd i said i don't believe in testing it. we're gog to implement it. we started training on the standard response protocol in all of our schools, and it was battle-tested that year. in february 2010, three weeks before the deer creek middle school shooting, we first went into that school and trained rs about what they would see, what it would feel like, what they need to think about. >> reporter: on that day, a mentally ill man shot and wounded two students outside deer creek middle school, before being tackled by a teacher and subdued. >> i support this program. i have for many years. >> reporter: and that is why john mcdald is often right alongside keyes, helping to train the standard response protocol. >> i believe it to be the fundamental program that we base all school safety on, here in
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this dmatrict, and s districts across the state of colorado, and now across theun y and in canada. on reporter: the i love you guys foundaas mapped where school districts are now using the stan and the list continues to grow. but despite their efforts, john mcdonald says there are still huge gaps in schoosafety training across the country. >> there are no national standards. there's no states' sta there's not local standards other than what we decide and determine. and, and that's a struggle, and frankly, that worries me a lot. >> reporter: for jtyferson cond many other school districts, student and staff usaining and law enforcement response aretwo components of a comprehensive safety plan. columbine also changed school access and school surveillance. >> you have to be a video or intercom to get into a school today. >> reporter: mcdonald is mmitted to making sure they never let a gunman near, or in a school. >> video camera, robust surveillance systems that track people's movement outside and inside the school if need be. panic alarms inside hools that
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automatically connect with our emergency dispatch center here. we are on the same radio system that all of our first responders are. >rerter: and while he would not reveal the capabilities of the high-tech, high-definitiys surveillancem, he did demonstrate the lower-resolution optics. ho if there's a critical incident in a and we're locked down, our dispatchers can open the door the moment they see law enforcement pull up on scene. remotely. >> reporter: and, he says, these are safety measures for all district sools. but for columbine high school, there are even more unique security elements that can't be discussed. >> for so many, it is a place of hope and inspiration. lot victims come here. but so too do a lot of people who are inspired by the killers. and th challenge for us.st >> reporter: how many people have tried to get into the school? >> we're averagint about 198 a >> r eporter: a month!
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>> uh-huh. >> reporter: 198 people month are trying to get into the school. >> yeah. >> reporter: and what do youo when you have people there? >> oh, we stop them. we engage outside the ng, not inside. i'm not giving them the mcportunity to get in. >> reporter: andonald says, unlike in 1999 when there were unheeded warnings about the kioillers beingnt in their writings and conversations, today, if there are threats-- spoken, written or on social media-- his team wilt quickly. >> look, if you say you're going to kill us, you y you're going to blow us up-- i believe you. and we're going to send law enforcement to your hoe, and we're going to try to get consent to search your room from your parents. and we're ing to make your parents partners in this, because we're not going to allow this to happen. we're going to make sure tt in our environment, you and everyone else around you is safe and secure. >> reporter: that is the message from a school district that has experienced mass murder. is a message officials here hope other districts across the country take to heart to shevent yet another school ooting. fr the pbs newshour, i'm jorugia in denver.
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>> woodruff: stay with us. coming up on the newshour: mark shields and david brooks break down president trump's controversial comments about receiving foreign help in campais. plus, how embracing the legacy of blues musst is reviving a ggling southern city. >> woodruff: but first, in syria, there is a taleief two territs-- the final stronghold of those opposed to the assad regimee target of relentless attacks, and the source of constant tension between syr and neighboring turkey. and then there is the ea liberated by the u.s. and its allies. as nick schifrin reports, each area faces unique, and iense, challenges. >> reporter: with the war in syria now grinding intthe ninth year. basher assad has all but won the war and kept power with much of
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russia and the country. the killing eand suring continues especially in northwest syria in idlib province. anllions of civilians and tens of tho of militants are under constant bombardment. in northea tst syria, syrian kurds with u.s. and european backing destroy.ed is.'s strong hold nearly three months ago. the kurds control a vast area, but many of its major cities are destroyed, and they live with a s.reat of a promise of u. withdrawal. to update us on both regions, we welcome two people covering te war, hassan hassan grew up in eastern syria now a director at the center of global policy, a foreign policy think tank, a journalist, gayle tzemach lemmon, adjunct council on foreign relations and frurnd her sixth trip from syria and s working on a book about the kurds. welcome to you both. hassan, how bad is t heslaught by is syrian regime and the
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russian air force against tis last location where rebels are living? >> this is as bad as it gets we were anticipating that the regime and the russians will attack idlib. we have been anticiping this for about a year now. so h the defenas been relentless. the russians have been boeaarding the ars nonstop for about six weeks now, but with very little military progress on hae ground. >> reporter: so is their hope? are they trying to bomb thepse eople into submission? these people don't have very many place to go other than across the board in turkey, or is it more a limited goal? >> the campaign have been very limited. there are signs russians wanted it to be geographically limited. iran has not been involved in the fightn the grou, and this is one of the major reasons why russia has not managed to make any meaningful progress against the syrian rebels in idlib and northern.
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they managed to ke 1%. >> reporter: these horrific things that we're seeing inid b are not the same as we see in northern syria and northeast syria. ir i.s.i.s.'s strong hold, a place -- rawaqq i.s.i.s.'s strong holiday season, executions in the square. kurds with the u.s. help hakeve over that city. is it a real city today? >> it is, it is a al city with real problems led by a non-state acr with real-state issues, right, and, so, what you see now is a real fragile stability. one we visited, i was worried her business was going to be closed after slow in december and we walked in this time and not only does she have a great business that's going and a hewing machine that's up but s has a 14-year-old girl from her family that's helping her and so you see this real fragile stability taking hold id
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enormous challenge and a real threat of i.s.i.s. emergence. they're looking for any opening they can possibly use. it's interesting, one mother we met you know, what we likely love is women are in all kinds of new roles around rac aa cay. >> one of the challenges is what to do with the members of i.s.i.s. or held by yierksz so-called i.s.i.s. wives, women ndo traveled with her husba dozen join i.s.i.s. how do they feel about i.s.i.s. today and how are they raising dseir children? >> its depn who you talk to. i think you should call them both i.s.i.s. wives and followers because they were very much in adherence to what was so you talk to them and you hear this mix of real disappointment and disillusionment with bag daddybagwithbaghdadi and the is.
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children of the women died in isolation while leadership had access to potato chips and juice and pepsi while our children died in our arms anlyyou re hear that now. at the same time you have the nnited nations of i.s.i.s. i this whole came with people from germany an amsterdam and all kinds of countries. you walk in and hear the real rainw languages being spoken as people talk about it and yrou see how reaching this project was and you wonder, you know, this camp had 9,000 people in the school runni, it was prared for 30,000 to 40,000 and now has 73,000 people, at least 60% of them children, and they're trying to figure out what to do with this including all ne the forers who absolutely no one wants to take back. >>eporter: because the kurds don't have the capacity to do much with them. >> up until a few mohs ago,
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right, they were fighting, and onw we've asked them to please no house, feed, shelter them and make sure viruses don't spread and their healthcare is taken care of but also hold people that their own home countries don't want. >> reporter: let's quickly look toward the future. haan, what do you see in idlib? do you think this onslaught will continue and are we gngo see it spread past? >> well, i think both russia and the regime will entually want to take over idlib because this is the last stronghold held by the syrian forces. to demolishnce is the area, the reason is because they know that, even after they expel the syrian rebel forces from these areas, that will turn into an endless campaign ad insurgency by these forces, so they don't want to take chances essentially of having some remnants of the rebels in that very critilca area. >> reporter: tzemachn, lem
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what do you see in this area, the threats to stability, do the rds have the capacity to prevent instability and is the u.s. focused enough on it? >> the u- is the oz-like presence you don't see but everybody knows. so far they have been ablt to keep ohe regime in iran, turkey and keep i.s.i.s. more oh less at bay, w a partner force doing its job every single day. so the challenge is what coes next, and that has always been the question. you hear or talk to sdf leadership, to folks who are part of this partner force, and they are focused on trying to work with the amercans to get to a deal with turkey, they're very quick to talk to you about it. whether that deal can be dheefd is a whole orthoquestion. >> gayle tzemach lemmon, council on foreign relations, hassan hassan, center for global policy, thank you. >> thank you.
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>> woodruff: back in the u.s., the stages are set for the first democratic primary debates, and president trump weighs in on accepting information from foreign governments aboutpo tical opponents. which brings us to the analysis of shields and brooks. that is syndicated columnist mark shields, and "new york times" columnist david brooks. he to the both of you. so let's start with the story that has pretty much dominated the week, dtavid, and t is president trump saying in that interview with abc that, if he were offered information from a foreign government about a political opponent, he wouldn't have any trouble taking it, and why would he report it to the f.b.i. now, he's walked it back a little. >> yeah. woodruff: but how serious is this? >> well, it's a very moment in moral philosophy where you're asked if you're going to cheat and you say, of course, everyone cheats. i salute hi not pretending to be better than he is, he's pretty candid about it. but that's a bit of his mind set that everybody breaks the rules.
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maybe he conducted his business li that way and h certainly wants to do that. it's his natural reaction, everybody breaks the rules. what's so disturbing is how many republicans arnow walking themselves up to the position, well, we're in a death match and, so, we need to leave it like that. and i think in order to just either support for president trump, they' talked themselves, many have, into a position that this is a life or death strefgle, the lis out to destroy us, so breaking the rules is what you have to do. that to me is almost a scarier prospect than the heart and soul of donald trump. >> woodruff: some republicans >>id he made a mistake. ut some of the others, people who are supporting him, the ends justify the means. >> woodruff: mark? i agree with david. it strikes me the president remains unchanged in a changing world. being president has not changed him in the ast. even warren harding, not a particularly thoughtful or
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self-reflected han,said the white house is an alkemist. he finds what your strengths and weaknesses are. dold trump said in that interview with george stephanopoulos, i've heard a lot i things in my life've never gone to f.b.i. he's talking to the new york state real estate guy. he never i had the transition, is it good for the united states of america, for the working families, world peace, whatever, that a president is supposed to think through that prism. it comes down to is it good for me. any,that's the point, et a lilt advantage over my opponentb you bettieve i'll do it. ngat am i, a sissy, a snitch that's go go to the f.b.i.? and, you know, it really is sort of a sad moral judgent. the other thing i'd just point out is it was abc's story, and abc today oke that -- they revealed that the trump state polls at this point, and i don't know if you saw that, but is now trailing joe biden by 16
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points in pennsylvania, by 10 points in wisconsin, by 7 points in florida. so, i mean, we're looking at the cusp right now, given those kind of numbers of the campaign. >> woo president when asked about those the other day said that'sec not co his polls show he is ahead in every state. >> and these ars polls. >> woodruff: david, to your point about republicans being on board, the fact is you have mainly republicans holding up efforts in the congress right now to thten election security. so this is having some consequence here. >> yeah, andhis is mitch mcconnell, and, you know, frankly, the federal government has already authorized $380 million for the states. one of the bills would give another billion. i n't know what the right spending level is for this, but you would think, giv the seriousness of what we have been through, that you would want to err on the side of preventing
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corruption, which is going to happen again from multiple sources maybe, the russians doing something different than last time. if we're gng to spend, whatever, hundreds and hundreds of billions on our military defense, a billion to defend our electoral system doesn't seem to me an outrageous expense. seems like something they should be doing and you get the impression mitch mcconnell doesn't want to do anhing to annoy donald trump. >> and mitch mcconnell has been cnstant in this. he was the one voice to recall in the leadership in 2016 when the leadership of the congress unanimously agreed with the obama adgoinistration to public on the revelation that russia was already deeply volved in th systematic undermining of our electoral process. he reitsisted and, as a consequence, stopped it. he is now topip stng the reforms. even roy blun chairman of the rules committee, has been quite candid about this. c mean, the fact is that, in a secular decy, the closest
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thing to a public sack meant is a national election. when you're starting to tamper 2d trifle with that, we went through it 6, we saw what happened when there was stive -- strife and disunity nurtured in ete democratic sideeen sanders and the clinton campaigns by those e-mas, party chair was forced out and donald trump 140 times mentioned wikileaks approvingly during the campaign. so there was a play and the mueller report investigation confirmed it. >> woodruff: but at this point, nothing is really mving that would change. >> no, thanks to mitch. >> woodruff: that would protect what we've got going on. mark, you mentioned the polls of the democrats probably brought a e ttle spring to their step but we know thespolls are
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temporary. today, david, the democratic national committee announced they have the firstmidebates up next week and they're divided into two nights because there are so many candidates. the democrats, the party said, okay, the most we'll allow o the stage on any one night i ten. so they have ten one night, ten the next. today they drew names and we can show you the lineup. onhe first night june 26, there are going to be these ten, and i'm not goiname every single one of them, but i can tell you elizabeth warren sin clued here, beto o'rourke and then the others, cory booker, amy klobuchar and others. the second night you have, frankly, sever the frontrunners, joe biden, bernie sanders, pete buttigieg, kamalaa harr others. is this a lineup, david, at tell us something about what we can look for? the party was clearly trying not to have an adult night, a kids' night.
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>> i think the short answer, i don't know, thefirst thing is it's bad for elizabeth warren because the bert night is the second night. you have biden, buttigieg, sanders, thr of the top tier, and then some of the wildcards as well as kamala harri a so if peop going to watch one night, i expect they watch two. of course, we'll be watching both nights. >> woodruff: btsh ni and so that. second thing, hearing from the campgns, is you usually go into a debate with some strategy, like who you're going to say wh, to, but with so m there's no strategy, you can't pick a strategy because you , n't know what's going to happn people will be on the stage. >> woodruff: two hours each thnight. >> andn 10 the next night or some other time, so a little parallel play with the candtates not trying to rea so much to each other but trying to shine theirwnselve ownselves. >> woouff: mark, does this
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lineg foretell somethin special about this? >> it does, jude, and i'll tell you what about it says, if you'regoing io 2%, 3%, this is your night. you have to say something memorable, that's what it is. that is maybe good news for a candidate, maybe bad news to the party. you know, going to mak the boldesboldest assertion. i'm going to take a position that's farr to the left and challenge everybody else to do it. you know, but i have to do something that's memorable. i want to bell the cat, i want to go after joe biden or one of the frontrunners or elizabeth warren in the first night. i would say elizabeth warren's probably got thest position because she has the first night, and out of curiosity a lot of people will turn in. but, no, i thk that's the risk, and plus it's the rewa. mean, you do something that's memorable. i remember 1988 e democrats, the seven dwarfs, nine dwarfs,
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khatever they were then, when bruce babbitt, a d horse, the governor of arizona, stood up e d said we're going to have to raxes, we know that after ronald reagan, and i know i'll do it as president ani will stand up and challenge the rest of you to, and all the others sat down. of course, he was right. >> woodruff: he was the only one. >> he was the only one whdid it. >> did he get the nomination? no, he didn't get the no, nomination, but you have to do something to roll te dice to get the attention. >> the good news for the democrats, i left out a syllable from solocystic, but the ood news for the democrats is they all qualified. you had to get 65,000 and be at least a x%, and you have all of these people out, they all did it. so that's a sign democratic interest is super high and we could see expoentially record turnout either through primaries or the whole year.
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>> i'm expecting we'll have a huge viewership on both .nigh >> do you really. okay. >> woodruff: mark, you mentioned the candidat having chance to stand out. there are a few of them who are now besinning to take shot or mini shots, i guess we could say, at frontrunner joe biden. st night we interviewed beto o'rourke here and he took what i would sais a gentle swipe at the former.ice preside >> i think some of the appeal of the vice president's candidacy is a return to an earlier era. and while we are grateful for that era and certainly for the service of president obamai think we need to be focused on the future because, even before donald trump, we had challenges in this country. >> woodruff: even before president trump we had challenges. >> yes, that's true. no one's goingto argue that. nostalgia isn't what it used to be. that's the beto o'rourke bumper sticker. i can understand that.
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i think more than anything else it was a subtle, non-venomous way of raging the age issue, at joe biden is yesterday, i'm tomorrow. tomorrow bas ically wins american politics. i think today might be an exception, when yesterday looks pretty darn todato most americans. >> woodruff: is that effective for him to be doing that? he's not the only one. >> subsequently there is an argument whether the democrats want to continue on the obama-biden trajectory or want a different onand sanders and warren were on a different trajectory. i personally n'think it's effective to do it now. i think the democrats with all these good poll numbers are terrified and they do not want to sully each other too much. i think there's going to be low market especially early in the campaign to lly the candidates. second, people like joe biden, and so, there's some expe from some of the other campaigns that he's just going to fade on his own or they hope he will,
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but to go out so early and b negative -- >> it was pretty general. but i wou make just the larger point that i think going after each other lyas heand hard as sanders and clinton or obama and clinton did, i think is probably the wrong formula this year. that's my question, mark, in that theof thing we're going to look for in these debates and say how hard are they going to go and be prepared? >>e're looking for substance in ideas but we will look for elbows andnees in the groin and rabbit punches and that, and whether, in fact, the they're rewarded for it. i think the sens ue gency that you've got to break through in one of those appeances is so strong and so compelling and ovowhelming. >>ruff: and this week we saw, david, bernie sanders talk about democratic socialism. e's clearly feeling some heat
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from maybe n much from democrats, although they've expressed their differences, but also from republicans. is that something he needs to do right now? >> yeah, i certainly have heard it from democrats that we're not all socialists, we don't want to be the socialist party. i don't think he helped himse at all. he didn't describe what kind of socialist he is. he's just a socialist that wants to construe the new deal, i wouldn't call thatsoalisms. elizabeth warren makes it clear she has aggressive policies but wants to reformapitalism, no do away with it. sanders is never able to define the left where he won't go, whether venezuela, nicaragua, he won't say, and without throwing that toundamp can say, look, he's as socialist as yount o be. so i don't think he did a good job of defining what he means as a socialist. > woodruff: he will have a chance to do ththursday night on the debate stage.
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mark shields, david brooks, we'll be talking about that next friday. thank you. >> thank you. >> woodruff: and now, a music festival attempting to keethe blues alive in the mississippi delta and revive a struggling town. jeffrey brown reports, as part of our arts and culture series, "canvas," and our look at "american creators." ♪ anthony's big a sha rad is holding course. ♪ ♪ it was just one act in a town-like celebration of the blues that, for 16 years, has been bringing thousands of fans
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here, rain or shine, ea spring. >> it's wonderful, man. t >> it's wonderful, man. it's lovely. they love the blues, just like i do. e u do, too. >> brown: they camfrom all around the country, and all over the world-- including this contingent from australia. this year, the festival feated more than 100 performances. for the kids, there were racing pigs, and a monkey riding a dog herding goats. the festival takes its name from juke jois: informal bars and music venues once scattered thronhout the african america south as an answer, in part, to whites-only clubs. a rich history, now in danger of being lost. red's lounge is said to be one of the last true juke joints in clarksdale. and, on a friday night, was packed, as frank rimmer dazzled on guitar. d ♪
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den has been running this place for over 40 years. so why do you think people areer comingfrom all over the world? they keep coming.he >> thed i was a mean son of a bitch! that's what that is. laughs ) >> brown: no, really, why are they coming to clarksdale? why are they coming to red's? >> it tells a story, man. and a lot of them have gone through certain things, you know, but didn't know how to express themselves. so in the music, they learn how to express tmselves. >> brown: clarksdale sits at a very famous crossroads of blues history: where rte 61-- which runs from new orleans to memphis, st louis and beyo-- meets route 49, which runs across mississippi. and it's where, according to lore, blues legend robert johnson sold his soul to the devil to learn the guitar. it's home to the riverside
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hotel, on the southside of town, where singer bessie smith died after a car accident. and, it was once home to legends like muddy waters, sam cooke, ike turner, and many more. juke joint festival co-founder roger stolle grew up in ohio as a fan of the music, and moved here in 2002 to openead, a record store. s the downtown was dead, and live music was struggling to be heard. >> it was just really winding cown. yod almost just see it kinding down. so it' of like, well, you know, can you make it reliable? that was my only thing with him. you make it reli i could bring you tourists, blues fans. but they're not spending tsd night in clae if i can't promise them you've got music tonight. >> brown: today, thereew fes, restaurants, hotels ♪ ♪ and live music across town, includg at many new venues
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like ground ro blues club, co- owned by actor morgan freeman. real economic challenges remain, but cultural tourism h been a major factor in the growth. >> well, i don't think it's because of the weather. a>> brown: john henshall economist based in melbourne, australia. he first came here in 2001 by accident, and has since returned 22 times. now, he's written a book about its downtown redevelopment, ando lessonother small cities. >> well, you have to have something that you can authentically promote. in this case, it's the blues. >> brown: something real. >> something real. it's n just the music, but certainly the blues, that's one ro the lessons. you got tote it. you've got to get people engaged and, increasingly the clarksdalians themselves are now recognizing what they have here >> brown: you mean they didn't before? >> they grew up with it. they didn't realize that something could be so appealing to people beyond the city limits. >> brown: in a majority-black area, those visitors are overwhelmingly white, as are many of the new businesses-- and akthe challenge here is to sure the benefits are spreaden evly.
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>> lot of people depend on the festival. >> brown: archie buford is owner of our grandma's house of pancakes, one of a number of new downtown establishments-- but .one of the few black-own >> what we got to work on is making sure what we do inside the fence gets outside to better the community. the better the community, the better the city. >> brown: festival co-founder ror stolle. >> it's the first puzzle piece on that empty table. and it was absolutely an empty table. and the thing about puzzle pieces is, you c build off of that. so now you look at it, there's the obvious things like, okay, well, we've got live blues 365 nights a year. we do. we have a dozen festivals a year, which we do. it just reverberates. it may not save the town, obviously, on its own, but it's sort of the foundation of what ev're doing, at least for downtown ralization. >> brown: it's a hope for the music, and for the economic benefits it can bring. for the pbs newshour, i'min jeffrey brown larksdale,
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mississippi. >> woodruff: tonight, pbs' "american masters" presents "terrence mcnally: every act of life," a documentary on e of the nation's leading playwrights and writer of the broadway musical "the full monty.">> was in a prep school, and my first play that i did was annext byice mcnally, and i remember by the end of the play i was in tears, i couldn't even finish the play, and thlights went down and i just felt very raw, and i felt like, wow, i guess that's what acting is. >> i went by the theater on night and i saw patrick wilson on a gershwin review, and i thought, this guy's really great and we're casting.
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the cast, in full money means the characters have gumption and cant want the to better themselves. >>ahis show is about lifend love and not taking anybody for granted as any show i have been a part of. >> woodruff: american masters hanight on pbs. >> woodruff:s "american masters," tonight on pbs. and that is the newshour for tonight. earlier i said on shields and brooks the democratic debates are next week. ey're actually in two weeks. i was in too big a huery. we will be here to analyze it all. i'm judy woodruff. have a great weeke. thank you, and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> kevin. >> kevin! >>icevin? >> advfor life.
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life well-planned. learn more at raymonames.com. >> consumer cellular. >> babbel. a language program that teaches spanish, french, italian, german, and more. >> supporting social entrepreneurs and their solutions to the world's most pressing problems-- skollfoundation.org. >> the william and flora hewlett foundation. for more than 50 years, advancing ideas and supporting institutions to promote a better world. w .hewlett.org. >> and with the ongoing supportf hese institutions and friends of the newshour. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs u.ation from viewers like
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thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group awgbh.w acceh.org >> you're watching pbs.
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